***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.
Thousand and Fifteen***
Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving, stuffing themselves on the traditional fare of hotdogs, lazer eyes, and tears. It's the American way.
Lots of great skate videos this month... Youness Amrani for sml. Wheels. It's pretty mind-boggling that this is probably all throwaway footage. Donovan Piscopo for Nike. This too is alternate angles and unused footage from his Nike part. Kids are too good. Lee Yankou for Heroin Skateboards. He's been one of my favorties for years, and this new part is perfect. And last but not least, the new Fourstar tour video Obtuse Moments. It's my favorite video in ages...probably since the last Crail camp tour video.
Only one photo
journal entry, some pictures of Lola aka a photo journal entry that is only interesting to my family.
The last time Protomartyr
played at Slims was one of the best shows in recent years - not only
did they kill it, but Whatever Brains and Spray Paint were also on that
bill. I really, really miss Whatever Brains. Anyways, this time
through town they stepped up to a larger club and made Kings their home,
a smart choice given how packed Slims was last time around. As this
was a tour for their newest record "The Agent Intellect," there were
lots of songs off of that excellent album, an album that will definitely
be one of my top three favorites of the year. Plenty of older songs
too, including the amazing "Scum, Rise!" - as long as I get to hear that
track, everything else is gravy. As per usual, singer Joe Casey
stalked around the stage like a drunk professor, usually with a beer in
his hand. If this band played live once a month I would go every time,
The opening band was a trio of females from Philadelphia called Amanda X
that I knew nothing about, but I'm pretty sure none of them are named
Amanda. You very rarely meet anyone named Amanda anymore ya know? My
very first thought when I see a band made up of three ladies is Ex Hex,
who I've been obsessed with for the last couple of years. Amanda X
sound nothing like Ex Hex unfortunately, but you could definitely draw
some comparisons to Mary Timony's old band Helium - heavy nineties
indie-pop vibes with some Sonic Youth-style guitars going on. It was a
pretty enjoy- able set, but short - I'll hold off on final judgement until
I hear some recordings by them. I'm definitely intrigued though.
You never know exactly what you're going to get at a Destroyer
show. Well, you know some of what you will get - you'll get a large,
professional band, and Dan Bejar will barely move while he performs,
other than stooping to attend to his selection of alcoholic beverages on
the stage. The biggest question mark is that the set-list can vary
greatly - despite the new record, Bejar & company decided to widely
sample the entire Destroyer catalog. I mention this because on their
tour a few years back for "Kaputt," they pretty much only played that
record. Not that they avoided the excellent new album "Poison Season" -
I believe they actually kicked off the set with the Al
Stewart-gone-disco jam "Forces from Above," and also played "Dream
Lover" along with a few other new tracks. Other highlights included
"Savage Night at the Opera," "Chinatown," "Rubies," "It's Gonna Take an
Airplane," and "European Oils." Bejar still continues to ignore his
best record "Streethawk: A Seduction" as well as my mental pleas for
them to play "Notorious Lightning," but overall I have no complaints.
Possibly the most entertaining part of the whole night was the girl
standing next to me, who was having her own personal Beatlemania moment
for the duration of the show - complete with high pitched squeals, lots
of tightly clenched hands waving in front of her face, and erratic
jumping up and down. She was acting so wacky that even the band took
note of her a couple of times. I hope to someday get that excited
about...well, anything. Maybe if Destroyer ever plays "Notorious
Lightning" I'll have the same reaction.
Jane's Addiction - Three Days. Been on a Janes kick recently. This is and always will be their best song ever.
Neil Halstead - Digging Shelters. Halstead is pretty much Mojave 3, so I'm not sure why he needs to release records under his own name. I'm not complaining though. Bonus: Wittgenstein's Arm
Outer Spaces - Rust. One of my favorite out of the blue finds - played a gig with Lace Curtains and despite planning on
going home before they played, I caught their sey - fantastic stuff.
Indie pop with a slight twang, gorgeous vocals. Bonus: You Left the Party
I think I forgot to save many links this time around...here's an awesome Gilbert Crockett skate part, dude is too good. Apparently all the hot talk after this came out is the size of his pants...skaters get worked up over the dumbest shit.
journal entries, the biggie is all the photos from this past Hopscotch Music Festival, and the other is some snaps of baby Lola. I guess that is a biggie too, just in a different way.
I actually wrote some music reviews this past month...the new Protomartyr kills.
Decided on a whim to go get my post-rock on with Caspian.
I hadn't paid much attention to them since their first re- cord "The Four
Trees," but I was pretty sure they would deliver live. I might have
even seen them in concert once back in my SF days, but it's been so many
bands over so many years, shit is starting to get fuzzy. They're on
the the heavier side of the post-rock spectrum but not quite metal, and
despite vocals on a couple of songs they very much feel like an
instrumental band who just happens to forget to accidentally not sing
every once in a while. They showed up at Kings like a pro outfit with a
full light show including glowing matching boxes(?) on top of each of
their amps and lots of strobe. More importantly they sounded amazing -
even though I barely know their material, they held my attention
throughout. Yeah, they do that same quiet-loud-quiet thing that all
these bands do, but they did it at about the highest level possible.
I'd gladly go see them again, and I bet I even remember this show this
Technically the opener was Circle Takes the Square,
but the gig was advertised as a co-headlining tour...maybe they take
turns each night headlining or something, I'm both too lazy to figure it
out and don't really care. They were what I guess you'd call prog
metal...not my bag. It can be fun to watch prog bands play because you
never know what kind of crazy direction it is going to go, but that got
old pretty quick. Even worse, as near as I could tell none of the songs
were about the game show Hollywood Squares...I wanted songs about Jim J
Bullock and Shadoe Stevens goddammit!!! For the record, all of my
Hollywood Squares humor fell on deaf ears with my British show
How many times have I even seen Archers of Loaf
at this point? I think this is the fourth time since the "reunion,"
and who knows how often during their initial run. What I do know for
sure is they instantly make me feel like I'm a kid again - no different
than that first time I saw them in high school, senior year I think,
just after "Icky Mettle" came out. No diff- erent mentally at least - my
back, legs and feet might argue differently.
What can I
say about a show that I've seen so many times before though? It was
highly entertaining, but that's no sur- prise. Matt Gentling has let his
hair grow out, which adds an extra layer of movement to the lurching he
already does while playing bass. Eric Johnson was wearing a bad ass
Pipe shirt and I would gladly stab a drifter in the buttocks to get one
exactly like it that fit me. They played all of the "Vs. the Greatest
of All Time" EP, though not in order. They were playing a lot of "deep
cuts" according to Eric Bachmann, and after a false start on "South
Carolina" Eric com- mented "...deep cuts so deep I can't remember how to
play them." There was a ton of tracks off of "Icky Mettle," 3/4ths of
the album maybe. Other highlights included "Fabricoh," "Harnessed in
Slums," "Dead Red Eyes," "Nostalgia," "Form and File"...fuck it, every
song was a highlight. The encore was the biggies - "Wrong," "Web in
Front," and finally "White Trash Heroes," with everyone (plus an extra
dude) playing guitar except for Gentling. The crowd was singing along
so loudly to some of the songs it sounded like an adult version of Kidz
Bop was being held ; in the Cradle. It was a great night.
Local punk rock killers Flesh Wounds
opened the show and burned through fifteen or twenty songs in barely
over thirty minutes (probably the longest set I've ever seen by them).
The constant touring as both this band and as Mac McCaughan's backing
band the Non-Believers has made them incredibly tight. Guitarist and
lead singer Montgomery Morris seems angrier with each passing show -
it's like he's trying to dominate the music more than actually just play
it. Considering how many punk bands these days seem like lovable good
guys on stage, it's kinda nice to have a little snarling attitude come
at you. Also, he spits a lot. Speaking of Pipe, they ended their set
with a cover of the local legends, and Flesh Wounds did a great job of
owning it like they wrote it.
It's been so long since Jeff the Brotherhood
came to the Triangle to play, I had to go to Asheville to see them.
Ok, technically I was already up there showing the new baby off to the
family, but when I saw they were playing I extended my stay through
Sunday night so I wouldn't miss them since they never make it any
further into the state these days.
As expected, it was a
weird and mostly young crowd - kids with crazy tattoos and piercings
talking about train hopping, rowdy crowd surfers, someone hanging from
the rafters (the ceiling is really low in this club), and at one point a
girl was on stage next to the band doing difficult yoga poses, which
even seemed to amuse the band. One guy in the front ex- tended his hand
out and held it in a thumbs up for a large chunk of the show. Also, it
was hot as goddamn balls in there, and packed, so the smell was just
Despite all of that, I had a damn good time, mostly
because JtB were killing it. It had been a little while since I had
seen them last, and their set-up had changed a little - Jake is now
playing a full six-string guitar instead of only three strings like he
had every other time I've seen them. He killed it on his clear acrylic
guitar regardless, and probably would have done so even on one string.
Jamin no longer was running their own personal light show via some foot
switches and cheap mechanic lights, which I always enjoyed for the
record, but I guess it's a little less shit to set up at every show for
them. The set was a good cross section across their whole catalog,
including a couple of covers - Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" and Teenage
Fanclub's "Mad Dog 20/20" (this cover also available on their EP "Dig
the Classics"). They had a giant set list on the ground, but it seemed
to be used more as a suggestion than a bible as they seemed to kinda
play whatever they felt like.
It was a damn good time,
smelly street rat kids and all. I was so sweaty when I left that I put
on an unwashed thrift store t-shirt I had in my car just to get dry.
You can't catch herpes from a t-shirt can you? Eh, it's too late now.
Holopaw - Academy. Hadn't thought about these guys since the days of Ugle Cassanova. Still sounds the same, not that that is a bad thing.
King Khan & the Shrines - Luckiest Man. "Idle No More" came out over two years ago and I just finally got around to spending a lot of time with it...good record, not as good as the previous release "What Is?!". Bonus: Pray for Lil Bonus: Thorn in Her Pride
Love As Laughter - Dirty Lives. For some reason I've bought this record twice (these particular tracks being from "Laughter's Fifth"), and I'm not even mad because I'm such a fan. Criminally underrated act. Bonus: In Amber Bonus: Survivors