Monday, December 10, 2007
Caught Daily Void and TV Ghost at Bourbon St. on Friday night, wow. Awesome weirdness reigned. Chicago's Daily Void vacillate between Crass-ish hardcore and a more swinging Jay Reatard brand of punk (the vocals especially recall Reatard's stuff). Occasionally they leaned toward the latter maybe a bit too much but I'm not a hater so I'm not going to take points off an overall blazing set for petty shit like that. Lafayette, IN's TV Ghost, as usual, ripped my fucking head off with their lurching monster-punk. Abrasive keyboard whoops and wails atop spidery guitar lines and beyond-the-grave vocals, non-stop hostile energy. These teen sensations are going places, make no mistake. Missed Vegetative State yet again, caught the end of the Burndowns' set ... the Pittsburgh punk-poppers play fast, fun, melodic songs with gruff Rancid-esque vocals and the occasional careening guitar lead. Nothing wrong with that at all, so stop sneering. I love Rancid.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Stuff I've heard these year that I actually like: Electric Bunnies, Pyramids, Factums, The Terminals(the one from Nebraska, although there is a trippier, kinda Doors sounding band with the same name that I liked too).
There it is, kid. (james reference). not the band, although laid is pretty sweet.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Last night at Little Brother's Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments offered transcendence of a different sort. I guess. Transcendence is transcendence after all, that's why it, you know, "transcends" things. Some thoughts:
- Looking around the crowd, I remarked to Dave Artgay that this was one ugly fuckin' crowd. Us included. Good lord, what a bunch of broke-ass, drowned-rat-lookin' motherfuckers.
- Bob Petric: one of the great unheralded guitarists of our time. Apparently one of the biggest assholes too. Can you have one without the other? Anyone who can wrest that kind of strangled beauty from his guitar has amassed some kind of rock and roll karma, however. All is forgiven Bob.
- Ron House: lettin' it all hang out, mantitties and all. The most graceless and freakish of frontmen. He's delved deep into the bottle to come back up with the most retarded of profundities, and he generously continues to share his hard-won, and -drunk, wisdom with us. I for one am grateful.
- Songs played: "My Mysterious Death (Turn It Up)," "Rump Government," "Bottle Island," "Quarrel With the World, something else I can't remember, and "Cheater's Heaven," of course.
I paid 5 bucks to get in, so that's less than a dollar a song. A bargain for that kind sweaty, boozy redemption. Leaving, I felt both much dirtier and much cleaner than I had upon arrival.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
I guess I could blame myself for being lame and going home to eat pizza but I'd rather blame these dumbfucks, as they deserve it.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
about these kinda blues
All your friends have left
and you've got no one left to lose." --Cheater Slicks, "Train of Dreams"
- complete, utter, unmitigated despair and resentment at the very fact of your birth ("Train of Dreams," see lyrical excerpts above)
- complete, utter, unmitigated humiliation and loss of personal dignity ("Pants Down")
- the futility of life and a resultant anti-procreation stance ("Stop Breeding"). When you hate life this much, you certainly don't want to create any more of it.
- suicide recommended as a way to escape said loathesome existence: "Why try? Why cry? DIE DIE DIE" ("Just Do It")
And there's more where that came from, of course ... that's not even going into the devastating album closer, "Goodbye," where Tom Shannon wails, "everybody's lonely ... all that's between us has died ... let's just say goodbye."
Add to that the band's scrape n drone--somehow they get the guitar to sound exactly the way ALL guitars sound when you're (OK, I'm) hungover, i.e. tuned just slightly sour and brain-searingly jangly--and you've got a completely soul-poisoning, yet life-affirming, musical experience. That's pretty much the blues as I understand them.
Most of you are probably saying "no shit" right about now. Many of my Columbus cohorts were and are longtime fans of the Slicks, and of course the band is practically WORSHIPPED in many locales outside the Cbus city limits (when the Hunches, from Portland, played here with them a few years ago, they were transformed into giddy, snapshot-taking schoolgirls as the Slicks launched into their set). But I'm just stunned at how little I liked these guys mere weeks ago and how much I like them now. I guess what I'm saying is, even if you don't get them now, you might eventually. Don't give up. It's worth another shot. A few days ago I got retardedly high in the middle of the afternoon and laid down on the couch to listen to this album. I was so exhausted and fucked up I actually experienced sleep paralysis, you know when you try to move your body but you can't? At that exact moment the dour 7-minute dirge "Green Light" came on and a cold chill went through my body. For a minute, I actually thought I knew what it was like to be dead.
That's pretty much the highest recommendation I can give an album.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Update: I've been really fucking lazy about posting anything. In other news ...
I friend of mine once said that "local bands are 'local' for a reason." Hmmmm ... don't know if I agree with the value judgment behind that (i.e. "they deserve it"). But I mean, it definitely IS true that it takes some special combination of hooks/looks to really get over with the masses of college-indie-type girls in tight jeans and eyeliner, especially in today's crowded music market. I guess I just wonder whether there is even such a thing as a "local" band these days given the mushrooming of music blogs, websites, labels, etc.etc.etc. A band beloved almost solely of their roommates. In some ways, the massive proliferation of music chatter out here in the electronic wild creates even more of a gap between bands that are going to have an audience somewhere, anywhere, and those that will continue to provide the soundtrack to local house parties. I'm not talking about a bunch of skinny dudes in tight tshirts with highly atmospheric (read: pussy-ass) songs and lots of guitar pedals (I'm not, but Pitchfork definitely is, right this very moment). Those guys are pretty hot and they'll be OK, even if they are pussies. I'm talking about your friends' band, the ugly dudes who have been wearing the same jeans for 2 years straight and take a swig of leftover beer in the morning instead of brushing. The ones who get so drunk they can't remember their own songs half the time. The ones that are definitely not going to be getting laid by said college girls after their show.
The subtext of that statement is, of course, that too much "local" is a bad thing. Make something too context-specific and any chance of it being appreciated by people outside your circle is pretty much shot. Like I said, I honestly am not sure if this is entirely possible these days--even if your band has never left your basement, someone, somewhere is playing a cassette you made on a boombox 4 years ago and trying to impress their friends with obscurity and non-existent sound "quality" ("no-fi, man!"). But I think that if you look in the right places the truly local band still exists. And this, my friends, is a good, good thing ... both the fact of such a band's existence, and the fact that no one other than their friends will ever crack the code of their charm.
I started thinking about this last weekend at the last-ever Tree of Snakes show at Bernie's. I've pretty much given up trying to explain the appeal of Tree of Snakes for people that don't already get it. I've often tried to imagine I don't know the (incredibly charismatic) Snakes: would I still like their music? I think so but I can't be sure. In any case, the Snakes would consider this question completely irrelevant and would probably spit beer on you if you raised it in their presence. They exist for the very same reason rock and roll itself exists: to get so wasted you can't think, then use your primitive reptilian brain to yelp tunelessly about girls and money, or lack thereof, until you fall down.
That said I still find myself trying to convince unbelievers that the songs are as solid and timeless as anything in the Ramones catalog and that sadness lurks in the background of "Throw a Rock at Me." I mean: "if you see me walk away/if you see me walk away/throw a rock at me/I deserve it anyway/throw a rock at/throw a rock at me"--nothing if not a paean to self-loathing, no? Albeit one issued from the mouth of a drunken 6-year-old.
Anyway ... Tree of Snakes rendered this entire douchey discussion completely moot last Friday. It was a classic sweaty free-for-all, all smashed bottles, drunken groping (it was like Woodstock '99 in reverse, I had my crotch grabbed by a GIRL), aerosol-can flamethrowers, and of course TOS classics bellowed hoarsely into a mic that was unplugged anyway. They graciously included hits like "I Am a Lion" and "Orange" and more recent favorites like "Alexandria" and "Big Tomato." It didn't matter if anyone else outside of Columbus, or Bernie's, for that matter, got it ... they were playing for us, and no one else.
I still think that someday some nerd is gonna come across "The Ottoman Empire Strikes Back" and will have a fit over these lost pop gems, but if not, that's OK too. I recommend going here and checking out the tuneage for yourself if you don't want to wait for the great Tree of Snakes renaissance.
For another account of that glorious evening go to Kevin Elliot's World of Wumme, where he too sings the praises of the band's anarchic final performance. And also references the Ramones. Shit. Well, it pretty much all comes down to the Ramones, anyway, doesn't it?
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
A Nasty gal indeed. Raunch, Filth, bad taste, Betty Davis brings it all to the table sounding like she's deep throatin' while she's on the mic. She's "anti-love", but don't call her no tramp, 'cuz she's no goody-goody. You can smell her panties dripping as she rips through "He was a big freak", with a raspy howl like a soul child from outer space. Deep sci-fi funk. Much thanks to Light in the Attic for reissuing the first two out of print releases from this sorely overlooked singer. Yeah, she was married to Miles Davis. So what. Yeah, she probably got it on with Hendrix. Big whoop. Just listen to this fucked-up, funk, freak-weird shit.
Monday, June 04, 2007
I am listening to this CD-R that fellow Artgayist Dave burned for me. It was his big bro Jon's band (although I think he's no longer a member). Seattle's Welcome could on the one hand be mistaken for a gang of long-lost British post-punkers--songs like "All Set" and "Natural Frost" combine that era's distinctive guitar clangor with Nikki Sudden-esque vocals. On tracks like "Bunky," though, dispassionate girl-vocals make me think of '90s indie-pop of the Pastels/Vaselines variety. Most of the best songs don't even clear 3 minutes. Idiosyncratic and passive-aggressive ... no "in-your-face"-ness to it, just a subtle melancholy pervading the entire affair. Not without teeth, though. Reminds of me of something I might have heard while falling asleep to 120 Minutes in high school. With a weird cut-and-paste video featuring grainy hand-held-camera footage of the band interspersed with hand-scratched/colored frames of film.
"Sirs" was released this spring on the UK's Fat Cat records. Welcome will be at Little Brother's on June 10th with The Mary Timony Band. Check out www.myspace.com/yrwelcome for more info.
Friday, June 01, 2007
My address: 2490 N. 4th Street Columbus OH 43202 c/o Laura
If you use this address for anything other than sending me shitty 7"s I'll be sure to greet you at the door naked with hairy legs, a croquet mallet and a bloody tampon hanging out of my girl parts. You'll think twice before you stalk me again.