The B-Side / extended cut of Colin Provost from Emerica's "Made" video. Dude is a serious beast.
Another Visualtraveling vid, this one called "The Persian Version" where they actually manage to get into and skate Iran! I love these videos, they combine my two favorite things: skateboarding and travel.
Not a lot of links this month.
Two new photo
journal entries this month - the other two (of four total) parts from the cruise we took last month.
In the Music reviews, still going through my old seven inches and adding new ones via a recent estate sale. New this time are reviews of The Clientele, Mark Kozalek, Pagans RSD release, even more Fuzz, and more.
with Kraftwerk, Egyptian Lover, Giorgio Moroder, Clark and Moderat
Downtown Asheville 4/25/2014
After hearing from so many friends on the west coast and in the
northeast go on about how good Kraftwerk has been on their current tour,
I called up my friend Brian and decided it was time for a road trip to
Asheville - Asheville had Moogfest, and Moogfest had Kraftwerk.
After a leisurely drive up we hit the streets
of Asheville about 5 in the afternoon. They had the street in front of
the Moog factory blocked off and in place of traffic was vendors and
food trucks and a big ass stage. Performing on that stage was a guy
named Egyptian Lover.
Initially I thought he was just a guy paying homage to the early days
of rap, but it turns out he was an actual part of those early days! His
music was highly influenced by Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock" - very
VERY heavy 808 beats paired with a futuristic/robotic sound. The lover
sorta sing/raps his lyrics and had a hype man there to help plus a dude
playing keyboards on a couple of tracks. In a word, it was fantastic.
Our next destination was up the hill to Thomas Wolfe, where we would see the early show by Kraftwerk
(they had already played once the night before and had another
scheduled for later this night). Honestly I don't think there is any
possible way to put into words the joy I felt from this performance.
Yeah, it's four old German dudes in matching outfits playing electro
krautrock in front of 3D graphics, but it was oh so much more than
that. They played for two hours spanning their entire catalog, but of
course I was most excited for the older material - I've still got a
smile plastered on my face from hearing "The Robots" and "Numbers"
live. Truly the only even slightly negative thing I could say is I wish
they had played "Pocket Calculator," but given how happy I was walking
out of that auditorium, I won't be losing any sleep over it. I might
have balked a little bit when I dropped over a hundred bucks for this
single day of Moogfest, but this performance was worth every cent if not
more. You can peep the entire set list here, if you're so inclined.
Our minds blown, we left Thomas Wolfe and walked down the hill to the Broadway Outdoor stage to see what exactly the Giorgio Moroder
performance was all about. Of course I was hoping it was a band
performing his scores live, not that I actually expected that to be the
case; instead, it was just him on stage DJing disco music. There was a
large crowd and they were eating it up, but I just don't need to hear
any more Donna Summer ever again. We rocked some grub from the food
trucks, listened to the party music in the background, and then before
we even had to decide whether or not to stick around, his DJ set ended
and the outdoor stage shut down for the night and we made our way
elsewhere. In lieu of all that, let's listen to the amazing song he
wrote for "Midnight Express," "The Chase."
We walked a few blocks up the hill to the
Diana Wortham theater and the Warp Records showcase happening there.
There was a DJ/musician/performer named Clark
doing his thing. The sort of instrumental noisy-electronic-techno that
he was playing is so foreign to my usual listening habits I don't even
know where to start in describing his set. Honestly, my best feel for
this is it sounds and feels exactly like the sort of music I, as a
non-raver, would expect to hear at a rave - loud, repetitive,
beat-driven music with a little glitchy IDM (id that still a thing?)
thrown in. It was pretty interesting for about twenty minutes, but an
hour of it was a bit much for me...I was definitely checking my phone
for the time at the end.
The final band for us on the night was Moderat,
a German trio made up of two other known acts Modeselektor and
Apparat. I had watched a couple of youtube clips of the group
performing live and they seemed interesting enough to check out. If
nothing else, they stood apart from most of the other options in that
they weren't just one person with a laptop, but rather Moderat performed
like a more traditional band, something that is important to an old
fogey like me. Hell, they even played a guitar on one of their songs!
This would also notably be the only stringed instrument we had and would
see all night, for those keeping count. Not really knowing much at all
about these guys, I quite enjoyed their music - I'm not sure what
artists I would compare them to of the electronic ilk, but to my
untrained ears they sounded a lot like Radiohead's more recent
electronic fare, minus Thom Yorke's vocals of course. There were some
vocals though, although they were pretty few and far between. We
watched at least half of their set before heading out, greeted by a
giant line of folks waiting to get in the packed theater. That was a
wrap on Moogfest.
Somehow I'd never seen Black Zinfandel,
despite their being on bills of shows I've attended (lazy late arrival
on my part to blame) and by all accounts playing the sort of music that
would be right up my alley - that being something in the neighborhood of
what the kids call "art punk," though I'm struggling to come up with
any particular comparisons. I managed to catch their last three or so
songs, and I was really into it. Other people have referred to them as
garage rock but I didn't get that vibe honestly. this may be due to
sharing the drummer of Whatever Brains, and I just can't imagine that
guy playing garage rock. Also, the singer/guitarist has a bitching
white man afro, which makes my stupid bald head sad and jealous at the
same time. I need another viewing to really pin down what they sound
like to me, and I'll definitely be making a point of seeing them again,
and soon if possible.
Last Year's Men
had the middle slot, and as is always the case I was almost as excited
to see them as anyone they are opening for. The first thing I noticed
was the line-up change - there was a new bassist. Their old bassist was
at the show so I'm assuming it wasn't an acrimonious split, plus his
other band Flesh Wounds just got signed to Merge so I'm sure he's
keeping himself plenty busy. The second thing I noticed were all the
new songs they played, and they were pretty much universally awesome.
I've never been more convinced they are the perfect blend of Gentleman
Jesse and the Replacements than I was after these new tracks. I really
really really need a new record from them, and pronto.
The headliner tonight was Cheap Time
on tour from Nashville. I don't understand how or why a state like
Tennessee produces so many great garage rock bands, but I hope it keeps
happening. After being mostly indifferent to this band for a few years,
I've gotten way into their most recent release "Exit Smiles," about as
perfect a blend of punk, garage and glam as you're going to get. I'd
seen front man and guitarist Jeffrey Novak a few years back in the Rat
Traps, a fun show but man has he upped his guitar playing skills - dude
shreds. The band just powered through a bunch of their songs - no
downtime, no banter, just forty-five minutes or so of blistering rock
music as god intended it to be played. Amen.
I've seen a lot of Whatever Brains
shows, and I mean A LOT, but this one definitely goes down as the
strangest. They've been adding more and more keyboards to the stage
when they perform over the last year or two, but on this night that's
all there was. No drums, no guitar, barely any vocals even...just
keyboards, synths, and other electronic noise makers...oh and a tin
whistle, cause you gotta have something analog going on. There were no
songs, or at least no known songs, just a long form electronic skronky
freak-out...it was sorta Throbbing Gristle-ish. Oh, and let's not
forget the shitload of smoke they had spewing from their smoke machine,
they play that damn thing like it's another instrument. It was a fun,
interesting performance, but to be perfectly honest I'd rather see their
regular show. Not that something like this isn't a fun diversion every
once in a while.
Motor Skills had the middle slot. Or rather, a band called Motor Skills
that barely resembled what I was expecting to see had the middle slot.
I guess, I've seen a few different iterations of the group, but the
lack of Mike Dillon is a huge change since he was the voice of the
band. In his place was a young girl, but take my designation of "young"
with a grain of salt because I'm the worst person with ages ever. In
fact the entire band was different outside of the dude who plays the
keyboards whose name I don't know but who has been in the band from the
start. It all sounded differ- ent but still ok, not nearly as
electronic/dancey and a little more straight-forward indie pop, but I
was so thrown off by it basically being a different band I'll need to
see them again to get a better feel for Motor Skills 2.0 or 3.0 or
what- ever.0 version of the band this is.
The night's opener was a new band called Enemy Waves.
It was either their first show or close to it, but these were no rookies
- two dudes from Birds of Avalon and Crowmeat Bob were among the
members. They just played two or three long songs, all instrumental,
with the occasional sax added in (think more noise sax than sexy sax).
There was a definitely late-nineties Thrill Jockey vibe going on, maybe a
psyche rock version of Trans Am at their most organic. More viewings
will hone this useless comparison, but make no mistake I definitely want
to see them again. A strong first effort.
"Eight hundred leaf-tables and no chairs? You can't sell leaf-tables and
no chairs. Chairs, you got a dinette set. No chairs, you got dick! "
Here's the entire Grandaddy "Now It's On" single, because why not. All the songs are awesome. Now It's On Trouble With A Capital T Hey Cowboy, The Phone's For You
Boyd Rivers - Get Away Jordan. A reverend bluesman from the deep south who finally had his only album released thirty years after recording it. And it's fantastic. Bonus: When the World Seems Cold.
Great Lake Swimmers - There Is A Light. I have nothing of note to say about this band, otherthan they make pretty music. Bonus: Your Rocky Spine.
Metallica - Creeping Death. MY car was in the shop and for my rental I got a Dodge Charger; fittingly, I listened to Metallica's "Ride the Lightning" over and over in it for over a week. Bonus: Fight Fire with Fire. Bonus: For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Red House Painters - Have You Forgotten. Been on a real kick of all things Mark Kozalek lately. One of my favorite songs. Bonus: Silly Love Songs (Wings cover).
The Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love. Classics of this caliber and pedigree need no explanation. Bonus: Late for the Train. Bonus: Operators Manual.