My first ever website update from a beach house. I'm leaching
internet from some resort down the street, and it is
spotty at best. I used the time to write a bunch of show reviews
and movie reviews. And also to get sunburned, but
that happens if I'm in the sun longer than three minutes.
My friend Conan
used to have a band in
Oakland called Replicator. I saw them many, many times over my eight
in the Bay Area, and they always brought (a) the rock and (b)
the fun. Like most bands, eventually Replicator broke up,
Vicious soon rose from the ashes.
Mount Vicious went on a
tour across the country, and this tour included a stop at the DIVEbar
Since no one knows them out here, it was a Sunday night,
and to be perfectly honest I had no idea there were even shows
this venue, expectations were low across the board.
expectations and even lower
turnout didn't diminish the rock that Mount Vicious brought this
Replicator were almost as much about restraint as
anything else, the Mounting ones were all about balls-to-the-wall
seventies-style rock...loud, anthemic, the sort of songs you want to
pump your fist in the air to. And to go with their
included two tasty covers in their set -“Just What I Needed”
by the Cars
and “Action” by Sweet, the latter
of which is going to be on a
split seven inch with Big Business (who are also going to be covering
a Sweet song, can't
wait to hear that) that will be released in the
night was local band
Blag'ard, a guitar/drums
two-piece that are classic angular Chapel
Hill rock through
and through. Hey remind me of a stripped down
version of an older local band I used to absolutely love, Capsize 7,
for good reason – they share a key band member. Capsize 7 was
a criminally underrated band in my opinion, never
getting the press
and the crowds they deserved, and based on this one Blag'ard
show...sadly, things haven't changed.
But that didn't keep them for
putting a short, blistering performance that I enjoyed quite a bit.
There will definitely be more
Blag'ard shows in my future.
On somewhat of a
side note, I found out
that there is a completely unreleased Capsize 7 record that may see
the light of
the day soon. This makes me so happy I could piss my
pants where I sit. Wait...too late.
with Hammer No More The Fingers
Tir Na Nog
Sometimes you just want to get out of the house. My man Ivan told
me about a benefit show at Tir Na Nog - it was only
five bucks, I was sitting around the house bored out of my mind, so why
not see some local bands? Of course, I got a
quick reminder on why it is better to keep your ass at home when I got
caught in a speed trap and received my first
ticket in over a decade. So my five dollar night out turned into
a hundred seventy-five dollar night out. This is obviously
more dollars than one should spend on a night out of local music, but
what was done was done and might as well have
a fun night out, moping don't make a ticket go away.
I think there might have been 463 bands playing that night, but I
didn't really start paying attention until Hammer No More The
Fingers took the stage. When I look at the music
listings it seems like this band plays out eight nights a
week, but somehow I'd never seen them before. And all that
playing out has apparently worked for them, as they had a
group of fans there who knew all the songs and were singly along in the
most animated fashion. They had a decent
sound - my favorite songs had a bit of a Modest Mouse-meets-Weezer
vibe, which sounds odd but worked for the most
part. There was one song in particular that sounded a whole lot
like Weezer's "Say It Ain't So", but that was a good
thing in my book, that is possibly Weezer's best song. My only
criticism was a lack of guitar punch - I'm not sure if the
live mix was off or the band needs a second axe man, but I got it stuck
in my head that a little more guitar riffage would
really beef up the sound. Then again, the band seems headed in
the right direction so it's probably better just to ignore
any advice I have on the matter.
As enjoyable as Hammer No More The Fingers was, the real treat of the
night was Lonnie Walker. The name
me think it would be an old grizzled honky-tonker playing some Hank
Williams Sr. covers, but Lonnie Walker is a band
and apparently contains no one actually named "Lonnie Walker".
This band was a scorcher, fronted by a singer with a
big personality and a voice that sounded similar to so many yet stood
on it's own. The list of comparisons I could make
to their music is long - Bob Dylan, Violent Femmes, Talking Heads,
Pixies, and my friends kept mentioning The
Proclaimers (though my personal knowledge of that band is limited at
best). They don't sound like any of these bands
and sound like all of them at the same time, all mashed together.
And it works - they had a number of songs that had
me instantly excited, no small task for a band I'd never heard a single
note from before this night. They were almost
good enough to make forget about that damn ticket, if only for a couple
with Shake It Like A Caveman
The Grey Eagle
I was making a fourth of July holiday weekend visit home, and decided
to round up my good man Nate for a last minute
show in Asheville. Blues legend T-Model Ford was playing, and how
many times do you get a chance to see a true
There was only one opener - a one man band going by the name of Shake It Like A Caveman.
Despite that unfor-
tunate choice in name, the guy played some pretty interesting music -
he had a simple drum kit he played with his feet
while he wailed on his guitar and sang. It had a Jon Spencer
Blues Explosion feel to it - sloppy, bluesy, distorted vocals,
good time party music what for booty shaking and such. Very
enjoyable, all told, and a nice set-up for what was to follow.
T-Model Ford - the man is a
national treasure, and that is putting it lightly. 89 years old,
and the cat rocks harder than
most folks a quarter of his age. This is raw, dirty,
pull-no-punches juke-joint delta blues, played by one of the masters
of the genre. A number of times throughout the night he would
address the crowd with the following quote:
"T-Model Ford...from Greenville, Mississippi...and that's for
For a man who lived a rough life, spending a stint of time in jail for
murder, and not even picking up the guitar until his
late fifties, there is a measure of attitude when he delivers a phrase
like that...the man MEANS it. And he meant it on
this night, to the tune of more than two hours of gritty blues music,
tracks like "Back Door Man" and "Chicken Head Man"
and other gems,hilarious between song banter, and some scorchin' guitar
work. After a couple of hours, his band left
the stage giving the sense that the show is over, but that didn't stop
Ford - he just kept playing music, some which
seemed made up on the spot...but that didn't make it any less
entertaining. Eventually, his bassist starting selling CDs
at the side of the stage and not only did I buy one, but I had T-Model
Ford sign his mark on it. I probably haven't asked
for an autograph since I was a little kid, but my inner child wanted
this great man's signature.
Full disclosure - the brains behind this band, Brian Weeks, has been
one of my best friends for close to 15 years now.
We even moved to California together after college. But none of
that changes the fact that he makes some good music.
I spent most of my college years seing Brian play in a couple of
now-defunct bands. And I'd heard some of his "new"
songs as he wrote them
in his teal-carpeted bedroom, moping about how things were not going
his way on the west
coast. And it
was this moping (plus a girl) that led him to move back to his college stomping
grounds of Wilmington
only a year after our move out to SF, formally signaling the beginning of Summer Set.
So anyways, this was my first time getting to see his "new" band Summer
Set, and on their home turf of Wilmington.
The nice part about going down to the port city for a show in the
summer is you can combine a trip to the beach (and
Britt's Doughnuts) with a little rockin' out. You also get to
soak in the local culture, like the sketchy white trash strumpet
who referred to the night club down the street from the Whiskey as
"shitty as fuck" at the top of her lungs, after having
just given a hot dog vendor crap for no apparent reason.
Anyways, the Summer Set show - I quite enjoyed it. The band has
been coming off a bit of a hiatus while nearly every
member had a baby, so they sounded pretty good considering they are
still trying to round into shape. Most of the set
were older songs like "Crackhead in My Car" and "Center of Attention",
with a few new songs mixed in and a cover of
"Magnet and Steel" by Walter Egan. Given that Polvo was playing
the same night just up the street, there was a nice
crowd at the gig, certainly full of enthusiastic home town fans glad to
be seeing their local favorites back in the limelight.
Gang Starr - Code
Of The Streets.
From the second best Gang Starr record "Hard To Earn", but even their
best record is one of the greatest hip hop records of all time.
This is a bunch of old onscure garage/mod songs from one of the zillion
comps I have on the subject. I lost the ability
to keep all those comps straight years ago. J.G. Giants - Caught
Bojax - Don't
Look Back. The Ultimates - Little
The Checkmates - Hey
Shudder To Think - Jade-Dust
One of my favorite bands ever, but the sound quality on the Dischord
absolutely SUCKS. I actually spoke to Craig Wedren at a show and
he said remastered versions of those records were
going to get released. I wait with bated breath. Even
though I don't know what "bated" means.
Sigur Rós - Hljómalind.
I've probably posted these songs before. That doesn't make them
any less awesome.