Bronze (or Bronze56k, or whatever the fuck they want to be called) released a short vid called Plug - amazing skating, highly questionable fashion. Overalls, really?
If you ever need to feel confused about the state of skateboarding these days, Chris Cope just released this part featuring so many insane tricks it's hard to quantify...the last two in particular don't make any goddamn sense. And the dude isn't even properly sponsored!
journal entries...lots of baby photos. You've been warned.
There was nearly a fight at a Yo La Tengo show. It
never would have come to blows, but there was definitely some chest
puffing and angry jostling for a particular piece of real estate not far
from the stage. Fittingly, one of the guys was a middle-aged,
overweight, bearded man who likely is a brewmaster at one of Asheville's
45,772 breweries, and the other was wearing a scarf and surely worked
as a barista. I wonder if anyone wearing a scarf has ever actually got
into a fight? Seems like you would be giving your opponent a pretty
good weapon to use against you and choke you out. Anyways...
was up in the mountains to see the family anyways, so it was fortuitous
that I actually looked at the calendar and saw Yo La Tengo would be
appearing at the Orange Peel after performing at the Big Ears festival
in Knoxville the night before. I had never been to the Orange Peel
before (a couple of Morrissey cancellations were my only other attempts)
- nice venue, good sound...like a wider and shallower Cats' Cradle
maybe. It was just them, no openers, and they played one acoustic set,
took a break, and then played an electric set. The acoustic set was
made up mostly of songs from their most recent record "Stuff Like That
There," and I was glad to finally see some of that material live; when
they passed through the Triangle last Fall after that record came out, I
had a newborn baby and couldn't make it. For the electric portion of
the evening, they included three of my favorite songs: "Tom Courtenay,"
"Sugarcube," and "Ohm," as well as an encore of Half Japanese's "No More
Beatlemania" and some sort of double drum funk cover that in- volved the
word motherfucker being used repetitively.
it's the old person in me, but I'd love it if more bands took this route
of playing shows by themselves sans opening acts. In the case of Yo La
Tengo (or Low earlier in the year who had the same approach), getting
to see more of the headliner you actually want to see is always a better
option. Hell, even if the band didn't want to play longer and only
played their normal set, that still seems better than slogging through
most openers. Okay, I'm going to return to yelling at clouds and
telling stories about wearing an onion on my belt now, at least until Yo
La Tengo comes back through town.
Raw footage of Cory Kennedy destryong everything. If I could skate like anyone he might be my number one pick.
Fernando Bramsmark aka Darkness for Skate Mental - shreds everything and seems like a fun dude to boot.
A couple of photo
journal entries from some work trips to Miami. It was way less exciting than it sounds. Unless it doesn't
sound exciting at all, in which case it was exactly as exciting as it
sounds. The Everglades were great though.
Hopscotch Music Festival in downtown Raleigh - 9/10/2015, 9/11/2015 & 9/12/2015 (Day and Night) It's a festival so I saw a shitload of bands...highlights included Mac McCaughan, Lydia Loveless, Roky Erickson, Flock of Dimes, Pipe, and Birds of Avalon.
Links - Got a whole shitload of skate videos worth watching...
Anonymous Zone - I wouldn't normally pay attention to a video from Monster and I'd never heard of What Youth before this, but you give me a video that has skating from Ishod, Raven, Ramondetta and Kevin Terpening, and I don't give a shit who makes it.
5BNY - To be perfectly honest I usually forget all about 5Boro, but like everyone else these days the whole team rips. Everyone is great but I especially liked the parts by Tookmanian & Trahan.
been so goddamn lazy about going out to shows lately. Yeah, I could
blame it a little bit on having a new baby, and I'm certainly a little
more tired than in the past, but let's be honest the wife does way more
work than I do. The main culprit is just pure laziness. In fact, I
skipped seeing Bodykit a couple of days before this performance because I
knew I would be seeing them on this night.
Anyways, Bodykit - if you don't know the name, just know it's the new band featuring
Rich and Josh from the amazing Whatever Brains (R.I.P.). Rich traded in
his guitar for a bunch of knob-twiddling electronic gear, while Josh
traded in his knob-twiddling electronic gear for...actually, he's still
doing the same thing, minus the keyboards. Rich still sings, if you can
call his brand of shouting and growling singing. Given the make-up of
the band I expected it to be a lot more noisy and dissonant, but these
were more or less pop songs draped in velvet curtains of noise and
beats. I'm not saying they sound like Liars, but they at least sound
like they might shop at the same store or go to the same barber. Also, I
know so little about this particular of genre of music I have no idea
who else to compare them with. Regardless of compartmentalization, I
will happily see them again.
a three piece from Austin, had the middle slot of the night. After a
quick soundcheck they lurched right into their set with little fanfare
or small talk. I've seen them one other time - with almost this same
exact line-up, except it was Whatever Brains instead of Bodykit - and
they were just as enjoyable live this time around. They're just two
guitars and drums, and musically I guess you'd say they're doing sort of
a caveman protopunk thing, or whatever you want to call it. A lot of
the time (or at least at the best times) their sound makes me think of
the Cramps covering Devo, or maybe Devo covering the Cramps...but with
different vocals. All three dudes sing, sometimes all at the same time,
and they all roughly have the same monotone sound...I'm not sure it
sounds good on paper but it works on stage.
It's rare these days I suffer through two opening sets, but Protomartyr are totally worth it. It also helps that the openers were great, and
neither played for very long. I'm not sure what I could say about this
outing that would set it apart from the other times I've written about
the band - they are wholly dependable in every sense of the word, from
the set list to the outstanding musicianship to the slightly rowdy crowd
(Rich from Bodykit is always in the middle of the rowdyness, and quite
possibly the instigator). As always, you can't take your eyes off of
frontman Joe Casey, though I'd have an extremely hard time explaining
why. He looks like a recently fired private school teacher busted for
drinking on the job, and sings like the love child of Mark E. Smith and a
depressed bassett hound. I'll be goddamned if they're not one of my
very favorite live bands of the last half-decade. I simultaneously have
no idea how to sell anyone else on this band, or how anyone manages to
get by without Protomartyr in their life.
had been sick for a damn week, already missing Eric Bachmann at the
Pinhook even though I already had a ticket - I wasn't doing that again,
health be damned...this Low ticket was getting cashed in. On top of
that, outside of their appearance at Hopscotch in 2013, they haven't
played in the Triangle since I moved back in 2008 - even more of a
reason to make sure I was there. That Hopscotch gig was a seated show
in the sonically perfect Flether Opera Theater and will likely never be
topped, but I knew I'd get a good show at the Cradle as well, because
the Cradle never dis- appoints (even though the crowd often does).
band had no opener, instead opting to play two sets. Apparently it was
also being webcast live, though I question the quality of this webcast
based on how crappy the camera was that the cameraman near me was
using. I would describe the club as "comfortably full," as there were a
fair amount of fans but everyone had plenty of personal space. The
band sounded absolutely terrific - Alan was wrecking shit on his
guitar, Mimi's voice was perfection, and the young bass/keyboard dude
who isn't Zak Sally held the whole thing together. The set was a mix of
old classics like "Monkey," "Murderer," "Especially Me," and "Pissing,"
and a lot of tracks from their newest record "Ones and Sixes." I was
so zoned out and happy most of the show I forgot about how shitty I
felt, though about halfway through the second set I started feeling it
again for sure.
Side note: if you hate
getting sick, let me suggest that you not have a newborn baby in daycare
and also fly about ten times in the span of a month and a half during
the Winter. I've had more colds in the last two months than I usually
have over a span of years.
Mandolin Orange - Little Worlds. While they seem to be very popular in some circles, I'm always surprised that this duo doesn't get more love from people I know. They write great songs. Bonus: Old Ties and Companions
The Scientists - Bet Ya Lyin'. A whole shitload from Australia's greatest band, the Scientists. "Last Night" in par- ticular is one of my favorite songs of all time. Bonus: Larry Bonus: Last Night Bonus: Walk The Plank
The Thought Criminals - More Suicides, Please. I have nothing of note to say about this other than it's great. Which is kinda the whole point of posting it here.
***January Thirty FirstTwo
Thousand and Sixteen***
I spent most of the month in Miami for work. I've been sick four times (including currently). You know, there's a baby in the house now. What I'm saying is...I didn't get around to the whole website update thing. I did update the calendar though, as much for my use as anyone else. Also, here are some pictures that I didn't take.
***December Thirty FirstTwo
Thousand and Fifteen***
It's that time of year again... Top Best Wonderful Records of 2015!!! If
I wrote a shitty review, I linked it in the album name. I have no
idea if anyone reads music reviews anymore...I certainly don't.
5. Mac McCaughan - Non-Believers (Merge) I'm not entirely sure how this is different from a Portastatic record, but it's still good. Not as upbeat/aggro as Superchunk, but damn catchy. Box Batteries Your Hologram
7. Wilco - Star Wars (dBpm) And it was with this record that I finally accepted Wilco for who they are now, and stopped being mad that they are no longer the Jay Bennett-era band I fell in love with. It only took me fifteen-ish years. Pickled Ginger Random Name Generator
9. Bandway - Buddies ( The Man Who Drives the Van) Holy shit Bandway released a new record!!! It's never really about the recorded material with them, but rather the rare live shows. Sustainable White Nipples
10. Jeff the Brotherhood - Wasted on the Dream (Infinity Cat) JtB are way better at being Weezer these days than Weezer have been for nearly two decades.
Flesh Wounds - In the Mouth EP (Snot) Future Islands - The Chase 7'' (4AD) Mount Moriah - Calvander 7'' (Merge) Pampers - Right Tonight 7'' (In the Red) -
I've seen this one listed as both 2014 and 2015, and since I bought it
this year, I'm just going to go with 2015 and not
wind up down a rabbit hole while researching the release
date and probably ending up on the Wiki page for Idi Amin. Run the Jewels - Bust No Moves EP (Mass Appeal)
Great records from previous years! Or rather, last year as is the case this time around.
Ex Hex - Rips (2014) -
This actually made my honorable mention list last year, but if I were
to re-rank today it would be number two easily. Had it come out this year it would hve probably topped the charts. Allo Darlin' - We Come from the Same Place (Slumberland, 2014)
The Lees of Memory - Sisyphus Says (SideOneDummy, 2014) Outer Spaces - Garbage Beach EP (Salinas, 2014)
...Haven't even started thinking about my favorite shows or movies yet. In a later post probably.
Movements No0001Cons video featuring Aaron Herrington and Tom Remillard. They both fuckin' destroy everything.
AMFD Brandon Biebel put together a part from all of his web clips from his skatepark - it's better than a lot of people's street parts. This TimeA feature on Max Schaaf, including a shitload of the most watchable vert skating I've seen in a while. Max will always have the best very style of all time, no one else comes close.
Nike SB Chronicles: Cory Kennedy Nike released CK1's part, and it's just as enjoyable as expected. Backside nose blunt with a fingerflip out! Two photo
journal entries, both band photos because I thought for sure I had posted the older one months ago.
to ReverbNation throwing their holiday party at Motorco and making it
open to the public, I got to see a show for free that I would have
gladly paid real American dollars to witness. Add to that stuffing my
face with Pie Pushers before the show, and it was a good night. As a
side note, there was a BBQ food truck set up in front of the Pit, a BBQ
restaurant that is right across the street from Motorco. This both
confused and delighted me.
I've seen Mac McCaughan
play four or five times this year, and none of those times was with his
main band Super- chunk. A few of the occasions were with local punks
Flesh Wounds acting as his backing band, but this performance was just
Mac solo, with only his electric guitar to help him out. The set had
selections from every facet of his career - solo songs, Portastatic
songs, and of course Superchunk songs. He played a number of my
favorites including "Detroit Has a Skyline," "Driveway to Driveway," and
"Skip Steps 1 & 3," plus the excellent "Breaking Down" from
Superchunk's latest record that I'm not sure I've ever heard them play
live, or at least I can't remember it. He put on a great performance,
just like he did the other dozens of times I've seen him. I keep coming
back to his performances for a reason ya know!
It's possible I've seen Birds of Avalon
just as many times this year as I've seen Mac. It's been mentioned
before but the new six-piece/two-drummer version of the band raised them
into an entirely new stratosphere of awesomeness, and that very much
continues to be true. I've given up trying to compare them to anyone in
particular, just think heavy kraut pop with tons of harmonized vocals
(with as many as four people singing) and the occasional proggy moment.
The double drums, often performed in unison, power the whole affair -
words can't express how important this addition has been to the band.
Actually, words probably can express it, I'm just too stupid/lazy to
make it happen.
It had been a little over four years since I last saw Bandway,
at 2011's Hopscotch Music Festival, which was the last time they
performed live as far as I know. That seems to be pretty much the norm
for them, get together every few years to rock the balls off the select
few people with the goddamn good sense to show up. There were probably a
couple hundred of these smart people on this night, and I recognized a
ton of them - I would bet 90% of the crowd was probably at any Bandway
show I attended nearly twenty years ago. We were all older and some of
us fatter, but our love of a good time has never diminished.
big difference between this gig and the couple of others they've played
over the last, well, decade, is they actually recently released a new
album, "Buddies," their first since 2002's "Night Rock." They were
playing new songs! Awe- some new songs that is, to go along with classics
like "King Kong" and "Balls Out" and "Champagne" and all those other
gems that gets the crowd singing along vigorously. It was, in a word,
I think you can sum up the awesomeness that is this band with the following quote from Brooks Carter, frontman of the gods:
"This song is about love...the purest love of all...the song is called 'White Nipples.'"
opened the show. To paraphrase Wooderson from "Dazed and Confused" -
"That's what I love about Pipe, man. I get older, they stay the same
band." They started with "Gutterball," ended with "Ashtray," and there
was plenty of high-quality, high-kick filled punk rock in between. It's
always sort of the same thing with them, but it's a same thing I'm
always happy to see. Singer Ron Liberti was full of antics as usual,
laying down flat on the stage while still singing at one point. It was a quality night of rock all around, one that doesn't happen nearly often enough.