Due to a friend turning 40 and my cat getting lost for three days and my overwhelming sense of laziness, I kinda got behind on this month's pointless entry. The whole mess couple have been avoided if everyone just got drunk in a sink like this cat.
Although I've still not seen the full-length video, Thrasher has been posting "raw" videos for each rider from "Propeller," the new Vans video. They've all been great but so far Tony Trujillo aka TNT has had my favorite.
For my favorite part by someone I had never heard of, I give you Trevor Morgan. He does an excellent job of mixing goofy tricks with gnar ones, and the Budos Band The sole non-skate link this month - color footage of Berlin taken just a couple of months after the end of WWII. Pretty fascinating to get such a clear look at the aftermath of years of war. One photo
journal jam, some band photos to no one's surprise.
I've not spent nearly enough time seeing Flesh Wounds
live, for reasons that are entirely not clear to me. They put on a
great live show and I'm way into their brand of punk rock, and
yet...this is only the second time I've seen them play. To no surprise
they were fantastic, burning through a dozen or so songs in probably not
much longer than twenty minutes, barely stopping to catch their
breath. It's unclear how much the mostly middle-aged crowd was feeling
their youthful exuberance, but I was certainly up front and way into
it. I've really gotta make an effort to see them more often.
For the second time this year I would get to see Mac McCaughan
play a solo set apart from my beloved Superchunk; for the first time
this year, I would be able to see his set in it's entirety since I
didn't show up late like a damn fool. His performance was really three
sub-sets, with Flesh Wounds (or as he referred to them "the
Non-Believers") acting as his backing band at the beginning and the end,
and Mac all by himself for a little while in the middle. The full band
por- tions were made up mostly of songs from his new solo album "Non
Believers" and at least one Portastatic track - it was all quite
enjoyable, but since I've not really digested this solo material yet I
wasn't quite as invested as I usually am at a show by Mac or any of his
bands. But that middle portion where he was all by himself - yep, all
Superchunk, and real goddamn exciting as always. Some highlights
included "Detroit Has a Skyline," "Driveway to Driveway," "Iron On," and
"Watery Hands." Of course he didn't play even close to everything I
wanted to hear with such a small portion of his set dedicated to the
Chunk, but it was a nice selection and a fun night.
Lightning Bolt might have been the headliners, but make no mistake Whatever Brains
were the main draw on this night. Sure, I've seen them dozens of
times, but word on the street (aka my friend John who is friends with
the band) is this was going to be their final show. Upon hearing this
news a different friend asked me "what are you going to do for fun now?"
- the only answer is there will be no more fun ever again. Now, this
word of the end of WB comes from a reliable source, but the band hasn't
explicitly said anything about it themselves, and they are planning on
re- cording a new record, so who knows what happens at this point. I
certainly wasn't going to take a chance of missing the gig if it did end
up being their last performance, and worst case scenario is they keep
playing but I just saw another show by them, something I've never had a
problem with. Anyways, yadda yadda yadda, it was a great show with lots
of whistles and rototoms and dual drumming and Rich making crazy faces
while he plays guitar, just as we've come to expect from these guys. I
think I was sorta expecting one of their more "weird" shows since it was
supposed to be the last one, but it was a pretty straight-forward
effort. No complaints outta this guy though.
I saw Lightning Bolt
a few times back in my San Francisco days - they played all the time
for a non-local band, or maybe they just never stopped touring so it
felt that way. They were always a fun show, even if every gig pretty
much felt (and sounded) the same. After a number of years out of the
loop, I stuck around after Whatever Brains to see what has changed for
them - apparently, the big difference now is they play on stage in stead
of the floor. But they're still a two piece, still play brutal barely
melodic noise rock, still with the singing drummer wearing a creepy mask
with the mic attached to it, and still attracting a mosh heavy crowd of
bearded dudes. And still fun too, to be fair, though after five or six
songs I felt like I'd had enough of it all and headed home.
I've probably mentioned it before, but I've been friends with Nate Hall, the front man of USX
(aka US Christmas) since high school when he wore ridiculous vertical
striped polo shirts and had a bowl haircut. I saw him perform not too
long ago but it had been quite some time since I had seen him with this
particular outfit (he also has another band called Nate Hall and the
Poison Snake, as well as releasing solo records) - USX was the first,
and continues to be my fav- orite of all his different efforts. The band
has had many forms and different members, but the current line-up of
Nate singing and playing guitar, Meg on violin, Josh on bass, and Billy
on drums appears to be the most stable they've ever been, and their most
enjoyable for my money. Their set was a nice mix of songs from across
their spectrum of albums, a concise and powerful 45ish minute set; it
was a stoned, sludgy, slow metal dirge with occasional bursts of power
and aggression. As always, I dug it; nevertheless I still made fun of
Nate after the show, as I've always done, as it shall always be.
This was my first time seeing Knoxville's Generation of Vipers,
even though I've known 2/3rds of the band for quite a while. Josh and
Billy of USX make up the guitar/vocals and drums along with a cat named
Travis on the bass. Unlike USX, GoV is much more straight-forward metal
- heavier, faster, etc - but that's not to say it's generic or rote.
And maybe it's just me, but there is a heavy punk vibe infused into
their songs, though I'd be hard pressed to give an ad- equate answer as to
why I feel that way - just a feeling I guess. I get a similar vibe
from a band like Coliseum, and I think you could make a very light
comparison between them and GoV.
The first band I saw this evening was Sinister Haze,
an almost totally instrumental trio out of Richmond (there was a touch
of vocals on their last song). Knowing very little about metal (I'm
pretty sure you already realized that), I'd say they reminded me a
stoner rock version of Russian Circles or someone of that ilk. The
drummer was absolutely ruth- less
and killed it the entire set. I'd definitely see them again, and
hopefully being only a few hours away will mean that happens sooner rather than later.
"What do you mean brought it bowling, Dude? I didn't rent it shoes. I'm
not buying it a fucking beer. He's not taking your fucking turn, Dude. "
A few selections from the Merge25 seven inch subscription series...it was tough only picking seven. There are reviews for all of the records (and therefore all of these songs) on the review site linked at the top. Ex Hex - All Kindsa Girls (Kids cover) Lambchop - FA-Q Matt Suggs - This Is My Light Mikal Cronin - Take It Easy Mountain Goats - Shot In The Dark (Ozzy Osbourne cover) Vertical Scratchers - Jackie's Favorite Wye Oak - Better
Blind Willie McTell - Kill It Kid. One of the top three best blues songs for my money. Everything else he does is great too, but this song man... Bonus: Dying Crapshooter's Blues Bonus: Little Delia
Dogs - Stranger Than Me. French rock band from the late seventies that has elements of pub rock and punk and should be much better known. Their first two records never got released in the US. Bonus: Terminal State
Solids - Blame Confusion. One of my top records from 2014 that would rank even higher Bonus: Cold Hands Bonus: Traces