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***January Twenty Second Two Thousand and Nine***

I'm already loving this new presidency...ushering in an era of ridiculous hats not seens since the Chester A. Arthur days.


The King Khan & BBQ Show
with The Jacuzzi Boys
The Grey Eagle

I managed to go to two good shows in Asheville in the span of three days.  I'm not sure this has ever happened in this
town, ever, unless you consider good shows to involve a lot of noodly guitar or bad cover bands. 

This was a double-bill of bands I wanted to see even...opening the events were the Jacuzzi Boys, a trio of kids from
Florida who weren't playing shitty metal or hardcore (I was given the impression early in life that was the only sort of
bands who came from Florida).  They did the dirty garage-punk thing like the Black Lips have made popular recently,
only I'm pretty non-plussed by the Black Lips but found the Jacuzzi Boys quite entertaining.  They had a layer of pop to
their sound that made their gruff rockers quite catchy, which is probably what held my ear so firmly and drove me to the
merch table later to pick up a seven inch by them.  And now the state of Florida is 1 for 4,376 in the "bands that don't
make you want to leap head-first into a moving train" competition.

I've seen the King Khan & BBQ Show many times, both together and as separate entities, and this was by far the
worst crowd I've ever experienced.  Like most "bad crowds", it's really just a handful of assholes making everyone else
look stupid, but this group were going at it like there was an award to be won for pissing off the greatest number of
people.  It was so awful even the band was calling them out for it, but they were either too dumb to understand what was
going on, or too high to care.  At one point these two girls from the ass pack (one of which looked to be in a heroin nod)
got on stage, wherein BBQ let them know that they had a strict "no whores on stage" policy and they would have to
leave.  Eventually a handful of them got kicked out and things mellowed out a bit, but not before putting most of the
audience in a bad mood. 

But you know what?  Despite that crew of douche nozzles and douche nozzlettes, it was still a fine outing the duo.  King
Khan was dressed in his Sunday best sequined dress and matching veil, complete with a trash can next to him in the
event he needed to vomit (apparently he had a touch of food poisoning).  They played nearly every song you'd want to
hear from them - "Waddlin' Around", "Fish Fight", "Shake Real Low"...all your favorite doo-wop influenced garage rock
jams.  There was even a brief cover song, as King Khan performed Johnny Thunders' "You Can't Put Your Arms Around
a Memory" while BBQ fixed a broken drum pedal.  As bad as much of the crowd was, the band made up for it with a
raucous good time.

(Photo actually taken at a solo BBQ show in Oakland a few years back, everything I took on this evening was shitty; and
yes, I realize I say this a's because I take a lot of bad photos.)


Flute Flies
with Magic Babies
Local 506

Nothing quite like a free show, just as god intended.  If god were a cheapskate.

This gig was a celebration of the launching of CyTunes, a local music download website used to raise money for the
fight against cancer, dedicated to the memory of local man-about-town and friend to all, Cy Rawls, who recently died
from the disease.  Many local bands have released exclusive and long out-of-print songs on the site, and I'd encourage
everyone truck on over there and do a bit of shopping.  

Besides the website unveiling, there were some live bands as well...first up was the Magic Babies, featuring a bunch of
former members of The Weather.  they played a very Sloan-like piano/keyboard driven 70's power pop, lots of hooks
and harmonizing and pleasant vocal melodies.  Their best songs sounded like they could have been off a long lost
Records or 20/20 album, a high compliment in my book. 

The main reason I drove over the the Hill from suburbia though was the Flute Flies.  A local "super group" of sorts,
featuring members of the Rosebuds, the Sames, Schooner and Ashley Stove, these kids got together and wrote,
recorded and released a few tracks to be sold exclusively on CyTunes.  Their set consisted of these three songs, each
one of them a fine composition, as well as songs by their respective original bands, only switched up a bit from their
original form.  Even though Ivan of the Rosebuds was in the group, when they chose to play a couple of his tracks ("Back
to Boston" and "Drunkards"), he didn't sing either, instead letting others handle that duty.  It gave songs that I knew
inside-out some new life, a fun bit of diversion from the norm.     

It was a great night, good times from start to finish, and for a good cause on top of that.  I'm sure Cy would have loved it. 


"I'd rather be a gerbil on Fire Island during the Vaseline Day Parade than see that movie."

Aesop Rock -
None Shall Pass.  I've never been the biggest Aesop Rock fan, but this track is one of the best hip-hop
songs I've heard in ages. 
Bonus: 39 Thieves (featuring El-P). 

Black Mountain - Angels.   Part one of "I post a lot of goddamn Canadian music, that shit is so hot right now!".
Bonus: Tyrants

Ladyhawk - S.T.H.D.  This would be part two.
Bonus: You Ran

Pulp - Common People.  Pulp has been going through a renaissance in my CD player lately. 
Bonus: This Is Hardcore

Shivvers - Teenline.  I don't know how many times I've posted this song, and I'm too lazy to try and figure it out.  It is
still one of the greatest pop songs of all time.

The Most Serene Republic - Compliance.  ...And, part three.  The trifecta is completed.
Bonus: Sherry And Her Butterfly Net

The Smiths - Reel Around The Fountain.  Yeah, you already know all if these songs by heart.  But these are Peel
session tracks, so, you know, they are slightly different.
Bonus: Sweet And Tender Hooligan
Bonus: This Charming Man
Bonus: William It Was Really Nothing

***January Sixth Two Thousand and Nine***


A good year for music, it took some effort to get this down to just a top ten.

1.   Eddy Current Supression Ring – Primary Colours (Goner Records)
This is the only entry where the number matters...this was my favorite record of the year, bar none.  It's the bastard love
child of The Fall and Television, with a hint of garage rock gruffness in the background.  I can't think of the last record
to come out of Australia that I liked this much.
Colour Television. 
I Admit My Faults. 
Which Way To Go.

The rest of the top ten are just in alphabetical order...

2.   Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar)
The voice might take a little getting used to, but the songs arebrilliant right from the start.
Lump Sum. 
Skinny Love.

3.   Constantines – Kensington Heights (Arts & Crafts)
They've released four albums, and all four have made my top ten list that year.  When I conjure up an image of a pure
rock-n-roll band, this is the first group to pop in my mind.
Do What You Can Do.
Trans Canada.

4.   Gentleman Jesse & His Men – S/T (Douche Master Records)
It's nice that someone finally figured out power pop was perfected in the late seventies and erly eighties, and decided
it would be in their best interests just to make music like that.
All I Need Tonight. 
Highland Crawler. 

5.   King Khan & the Shrines - The Supreme Genius of King Khan & the Shrines (Vice Records)
Definitely the best party record of the year, and possibly the best live show.  Garage soul on a budget, priceless.
I Wanna Be A Girl.  
Land of the Freak. 

6.   M83 - Saturdays=Youth (Mute)
This band (performer?) gets a lot of grief for being stuck in the eighties, but this sound is much too full to sound like
anything I listened to in my younger days. 
Graveyard Girl. 
Kim & Jessie.

7.   The Notwist – The Devil, You + Me (Domino Records)
They'll never top the brilliance of their last full length "Neon Golden", but this is a damn close effort.

8.   The Rosebuds – Life Like (Merge Records)
This North Carolina Duo (plus friends) continues to mature in their effort to craft the perfect pop song.   They get
closer with each album.
Border Guards. 
In The Backyard. 
Nice Fox. 

9.   Sigur Rós - Með Suð I Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust (XL Records)
It sounds like old Sigur Ros, and I love old Sigur Ros.  Only more "orchestra-ier". 
Inní Mér Syngur Vitleysingur. 
Vid Spilum Endalaust. 
Ára Bátur. 

10. Why? - Alopecia (Anticon Records)
This band continues to flat out deny classification, unless the only classification you want to attach is "awesome". 
Fatalist Palmistry. 
The Hollows. 

The contenders that didn't quite make the cut:

Fleet Foxes - S/T
Nada Surf - Lucky
Okmoniks - Party Fever
Jay Reatard - Singles '08
Blowback - Morning Wood
Black Mountain - In The Future
Destroyer - Trouble in Dreams

Crooked Fingers - Forfeit/Fortune
U.S. Christmas - Eat The Low Dogs
David Vandervelde - Waiting For The Sunrise
British Sea Power - Do You Like Rock Music?
Johnathan Richman - Because Her Beauty Is Raw And Wild

The disappointments, because I love these bands and expected more:

My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
TV on the Radio - Dear Science

Highly thought of albums that the "kids" seem to love that I just don't get:

Fucked Up - The Chemistry of Common Life
Kanye West - 808s and Heartbreak
Fuck Buttons - Street Horrrsing
MGMT - Oracular Spectacular
Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours
Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III
Lykke Li - Youth Novels
Crystal Castles - S/T
No Age - Nouns
Santogold - S/T


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