First, awesome free downloads: for reasons I'm not entirely aware of,
the car company scion has been releasing a
bunch of awesome free singles but great garage bands. This link is specifically for
the Reigning Sound/Last Year's
Men split, but if you scroll down the screen you/ can click on the link
for a bunch of other great tracks.
Speaking of the great local jangle punk pop band Last Year's Men, they
had a segment on VBS's Noisey show. Check
it out here.
That link was "curated" by another local pop band, the Love
Language. So here is a short tour video on
a bit all over the map/unstructured, but fun enough and features a slow
acoustic cover of the Misfits "One Last Caress".
In non-local music news...sexy sax man! This is one
of the greatest things I've ever seen. My man Ivan hipped me to
this one. And then not long after this was making the rounds, he
popped up in this (really really good) skate video as
And while I'm posting shit that I'm sure no one will watch, here is the
Wizard video. Which is a skateboard video,
not a video about, you know, bloody wizards. It's got Chris Senn
in it. Everyone loves Chris Senn.
Finally, lots of music reviews over at the other site - Centro-matic,
Flaming Lips, Nada Surf, Herman Dune, White Hills,
Moonface, Gillian Welch, 13 & God, and more.
Dinosaur Jr with Mac McCaughan Cat's Cradle
A somewhat early show at the Cradle where I want to see the opener only
means one thing - Carrburritos before hand.
And man did I stuff myself silly. So much so that in rolling my
fat frame back towards the club I missed the first few
songs by Mac McCaughan. I'm
assuming it was just a few, but it's a total guess on my part.
Let's just say I missed
somewhere between one and one hundred songs by him. But what I
did see was great...maybe a Portastatic song or
two, a few Superchunk songs ("Driveway to Driveway" and "Digging for
Something" and "Martinis on the Roof"), and
there was even a Misfits cover - "Children in Heat". With their
record store day release and the previous couple of
Superchunk shows, it's obvious that Mac is completely absorbed with the
Misfits lately. And who can blame him? It
was kinda odd seeing him play these songs by himself, just his guitar
and high-pitched voice, no Jim Wilbur making
snarky comments, no Jon Wurster making funny faces, no Laura Ballance
for me to stare at lustfully. But I loved it,
like I do all things Superchunk related.
Two noteworthy things about this Dinosaur Jr tour - First, they
were playing their album "Bug" in it's entirety, in the
track order of the album. Second, they brought Henry Rollins
along to perform an interview with the band before
they played their set. The interview was somewhat interesting,
but much of the info I already knew from reading the
Michael Azerrad book "Our Band Could Be Your Life", and after a few
minutes I was just wanting them to get to the
And eventually they did. They started the show with "Forget the
Swan" and "In a Jar" before moving on to all of "Bug".
Hearing these songs with the original line-up...I never saw Dino the
first time around as this version of the band had
already broken up by the time I got wise to them, but this performance
transported me back to my high school years
when I heard these songs for the first time. And while there was
no shortage of old folks my age and older at the gig,
I was impressed with how many young folks were there, many of whom were
born after "Bug" was released. But age
be damned, we all enjoyed ourselves this evening, especially the three
guys on stage. Well, I'm assuming J Mascis
did - you could never tell what he is feeling from that stone face of
his. They closed out with an encore of "Tarpit" and
"Just Like Heaven", which had pretty much the whole crowd as giddy as
school girls. I might have even let out a high-
pitched squeal myself.
I was so excited for this show that I planned my vacation around it...I
can't say I would do that for very many bands. But
Portland's Lovers released my favorite
album of last year (or at least top three) called "Dark Light", and I
was eager to
see how it would come across live. The answer: fuckin'
brilliant. The songs sounded SO good being performed right in
front of me that it took all my power and strength not to sing along
loudly like I do in the car. The Hook had a nice healthy
crowd for this show, which I was glad to see since every person I've
ever mentioned them to stared at me like I was
speaking in tongues. They played nearly all of "Dark Light" over
the course of the night, with maybe one or two other
tracks that were either new or from their older releases I'm not super
familiar with yet. For the life of me I don't get why
this band isn't more popular, but I suppose the end result of that is I
get to see them play in places the size of the Pinhook.
So that "secret" Archers of Loaf show earlier in
the year has turned into a full blown reunion, as Merge is re-releasing
remastered versions of their records with bonus tracks and all that
jazz. And in support of these releases, they're play-
ing shows again, non-secret shows. Announced shows that are
selling out and full of aggro drunk thirty-something white
males who spill their beer everywhere and stomp on my feet and sing
along a little too exuberantly and...fuck it, who
cares, the Archers are playing, all this other shit doesn't
Unlike the first reunion show, they expanded their set list past their
first two record and the "Greatest of All Time" EP,
but still obviously managed to hit pretty heavily on those albums
too. Along with all the songs you'd expect to hear -
"Wrong", "Harnessed in Slums", "Web in Front", the entire EP (aka the
hits) - they also pulled out "Dead Red Eyes",
"Scenic Pastures", "Fabricoh", and "Plumb Line". More
importantly, they played two of my very favorite songs "Form
and File" and finished the evening with "Bacteria", a song they didn't
even play all that often back in the day. I got so
excited that they were playing "Bacteria" that I might have peed myself
just a little bit. And the glorious part is I'm going
to get to see them play again in a few months at the Cradle.
Cola Freaks with Fossils and Double Negative
Tir Na Nog
I was really surprised to see that this particular rendition of "Local
Bands, Local Beers" was only a little local and not at
all like the typical indie rock of these affairs. To go with the
erstwhile Double Negative were a couple of touring Danish
bands, Fossils and Cola Freaks. But then again, Denmark is kinda
local, I've eaten many a cheese danish in these
Double Negative opened the show
to a sparse crowd, but given the line-up that wasn't all that
surprising. This area
ain't exactly known for it's predilection towards punk music. But
fuck it, crowd or no crowd they put on a great show
anyways. Is it wrong that they remind me of Rollins-era Black
Flag? I know some might take that as an insult, as they
might consider the Rollins years a travesty, but damn it I like most of
that music, and Hank brought a ton of energy and
charisma to the performance...not unlike the singer of Double Negative,
Kevin Collins. They couldn't have played more
than 15 or 20 minutes, but it was a hard hitting 15 or 20 minutes, and
I didn't know the first Danish band, Fossils, from Adam. Never
heard the music, never even heard the name. Turns out
they are an instrumental bass-and-drums two-piece, a couple of bad ass
musicians producing a Big Business-type of
math-metal-hard rock. Not as heavy as Big Business though, as
they were just playing through a regular number of
amps, not entire wall of them. There was a bit of sameness to
many of their songs, but it was a pretty good sameness.
The greatest punk song of all time out of Denmark was "Cola Freaks" by
Lost Kids, and now the best punk band out of
Denmark is named Cola Freaks. And
I'm sure we can all agree this is a complete coincidence. I knew
little about them
but they have a record out on Douchemaster and that label rarely wrongs
me. This is straight forward, punch you in the
face dirty punk rock...I've read them compared to the Oblivians and it
would be hard to argue with that. They have a
slight new wave nervous energy feel to them, compounded by the fact
that the singer slinks around and got right in
people's faces in a very confrontational manner. And I mean RIGHT
IN their faces, close enough to make out, were you
want to suck face with a Danish punk rocker. Great energy, great
performance, and it was nice to see some quality
punk rock here in the Oak City.
The Love Language decided that instead of playing one big show at the
Cradle or somewhere similar, why not play
four small shows at the tiny Slims? Certainly I prefer it, as I'm
guessing most fans do (not that I don't love the Cradle).
Then again, it's easy to say that when you get to Slims early enough to
get a great spot, as I did for this show. It's not
really like me to get to a gig early, but for this show Whatever Brains were opening and
those guys get a rousing
"fuck yes". I give up on trying to describe this band -
art-party-post-punk that gives a hearty "fuck you" to any possible
comparisons you could ever try and come up with. Their music is
more attitude than sound, best summed up by one of
their song intros that night - "This song is about people who read
books...fuck'em." The Love Language were
spending each of their four nights playing different material - on this
second evening of
the residency, it would be their entire sophomore album
"Libraries". As you might have guessed, the first night they
played the entire debut album; and it turns out on the third night they
played all of Velvet Underground's "White Light
White Heat" if I'm not mistaken. I'm not sure what they did on
the fourth and final night, so until I'm told otherwise I'm
going to assume it was TV game show theme songs of the seventies.
So, I got to hear all of "Libraries", which was
great because I've really grown to love that record. Luckily that
wasn't all they played though, as that album is barely
over a half hour long...they came back with a second set of older songs
and I'm pretty sure there was at least one
cover involved, though my brain is completely failing me as to the
details. It definitely wasn't any TV game show
theme songs, sadly.
buying a Cinnabon...at the airport...I arrived at. You understand
why that's extra disgusting, right? Because when
you're at the airport you're leaving from you can say "Oh, I gotta eat.
I need some food, because I might be trapped in
the sky forever so I should eat right now." But I've
landed. The trip is over. I'm 20 minutes from my house
where I got
bananas and apples and shit, and I'm sitting on my luggage just fuckin'
eating a Cinnabon with a fork and knife."
Today has a whole bunch of songs from favorite records of the
year...the year being both last year and this year.
Handsome Furs - Bury
Me Standing. Electro pop brilliance. Currently
one of my top five of 2011.
of the Future.
Mount Moriah - Lament.
Local twang pop perfection. If this ain't my favorite record of
2011, it's my second favorite.
Radiohead - Codex.
Radiohead made a triumphant return to awesomeness in 2011 by making a
record that fits in
perfectly with their output from ten years ago.
Superchunk - My
Gap Feels Weird. One of my very favorites from last
year, and I've probably listened to it even
more this year.
Lovers - How
The Story Ends. OK, these songs are from their 2009
album "I Am The West" but 2011 is the year
of me obsessing over Lovers cause I can't get enough of this band.
Am What I Don't Know.
Molina and Johnson - Lenore's
Lullaby. Songs from another 2009 release, their
self-titled (and only) release. I'm
just now listening to it, but it rules and might have likely made my
best of 2009 list had I not waited so long.
Cycles To The Ground.