Your internet cartoons of the month: the Things Could Be Worse
tumblr. Fantastic and surreal, and made me laugh a
number of times. Go through and read them all, it won't
Your skate video of the month: Steve Forstner, Gravis shoes.
Austrian dude I think, on the criminally underrated Antiz
Skateboards. This is one of the best skate parts of the
year. I've never even seen any Gravis skate shoes.
Your free legal music of the month: There was a free King Khan record released
via Scion. I have no idea why a
weird boxy car company has become so involved in the garage rock world,
but if they are paying the bands well and I'm
getting free tunes, I'm not going to over think it.
Your awesome music video of the month: Focus performing "Hocus Pocus" live
on some late night show that was
hosted by Gladys Knight. Who would have ever thought her and them
crossed paths? The seventies were a strange,
awesome place, when multiple hard rock flute bands could get major
Your comical-to-me search terms of the past month:
"lorenzo llama kids place live"
"dog halloween costumes canada"
"two person wheelie"
"giant cooked bird"
Despite my snarkiness with some friends that the new War
on Drugs record "Slave Ambient" is the best album Tom
Petty has released in years, I was pretty pumped to see them play
again. Cause even if it does sound a whole lot like
Petty, it's still a great fuckin' record - and has gotten a ton of
spins since I got my sticky little fingers on it. Kings wasn't
packed but it was fairly full, and despite being a partial anti-social
shut-in I knew a ton of people there. No doubt if you
polled my local group of friends, this record would come the closest to
getting the "record of the year" nod, and across
a fairly wide swath of music fans.
Clearly, the love goes both ways, as the War on Drugs declared their
love for the town multiple times...I'm sure it helps
that they seem to have friends here, and I'm sure constantly getting
smoke blown up your ass is never a bad thing.
Early on they noted they were going to play about 90% of their songs,
and they might have even gone over that number.
They played over an hour and a half, definitely playing my two favorite
songs "Arms Like Boulders" and "Baby Missles"
and pretty much anything else I might possibly want top hear. At
some point about halfway through their set, front man
Adam Granduciel asked for a volunteer from the crowd to help with some
guitar on one of their songs, and local rocker
Andy Holmes (of Old Bricks) joined them not only
for the next track but for a few more throughout the night. There
no encore, just a solid block of rock from one of the best new Tom
Petty cover bands out there today.
Pipe. PIPE! PIPE
PIPE PIPE PIPE PIPE!!!!! Can you tell I was excited to see these
guys again? I couldn't even tell
you how many times it's been, but seeing punk rock's version of Guided
by Voices never gets old. The crowd wasn't
very large but they were enthusiastic, peppering singer Ron Liberti
with beer cans for the duration of the show. The
set list was a typical Pipe set list, including "Ashtray" and "You're
Soaking in It" and all the usual suspects - but the real
surprise is they played a *new* untitled song. When the hell was
the last time Pipe had a new song?!? I was both be-
wildered and excited, fondly daydreaming that there might even be a new
seven inch or album in the future...well, maybe
a seven inch. A new album seems about as likely as this band
getting the due they've deserved for almost 20 years now.
Local classic country purveyors Tonk
decided to make an appearance at Kings, and who was I to stay at home
miss that? After a night of watching football and eating
cheeseburgers with friends, it was the best way to end the night.
As per usual they played a wide swath of classic country songs, some
known and others not. A couple of the highlights
were "Be Real" by Sir Douglas Quintet and Nick Lowe's "Lately I've Let
Things Slide". Yeah the Nick Lowe song isn't
country but it is awesome so who cares. I know there was a Gary
Stewart song played too but my mind fails me on
what it was. There were also a couple of original tracks, with
the comically titled "She Likes To Love Me Early and
Often" standing out in my hazy brain. There were quite a few
audience members dancing, and i don't mean rock show
bobbing-your-head dancing like I've perfected - real dancing, couples
dancing. I don't do that kind of dancing, but
appreciate their enthusiasm. In the event it wasn't already
obvious - Tonk were awesome. If you have any love at all
for classic country, you'd be a fool not to go see them live.
TOW3RS with Naked Gods & Cellar Seas with The Toddlers
Kings & Tir Na Nog
This was a night of two free shows - one at Kings, the other at Tir Na
Nog. The only thing better than a free show is
two of them withing short walking distance of each other.
First up was Naked Gods at Kings. I'd
heard of these kids for a while, but this was my first time seeing
hasn't exactly produced a ton of great bands, and growing up near there
you automatically assume most anything leav-
ing that town is going to have a strong hippie stink to it.
Luckily, that was not the case here - to put it in simplest terms,
the group reminded me of a southern rock version of the great British
band Doves. The singer had a nice voice,
reminding me at different times of David Bazan and Jim James of My
Morning Jacket. I didn't love every single song
they played, but I liked enough of their songs to recommend them to
others and try to see them again myself.
I made my way down to Tir Na Nog after that, hoping to catch Cellar
Seas, but things seemed to be running behind here
and The Toddlers were probably in
the middle of their set. I'd never even heard of this band, but
from what I could
gather they are a fairly new act out of Chapel Hill. The singer
had a really deep, interesting voice, a voice that colors
their songs more than most voices do. When they played slower
songs they had a resemblance to the Doors. When
they played more upbeat songs, they had a Joy Division feel to
them. Now I'm no Doors hater, but I'll let you guess
which tracks I found more appealing.
Cellar Seas closed out Local
Bands Local Beers at the Nog. Now I can try and pretend to write
about these guys (and
gal) from an objective point of view, but let's be honest - I'm friends
with three-quarters of the band and this is being
written for my shitty website so I don't see any reason to fake
it. They play a catchy, pleasant brand of country-tinged
roots rock, and I like it. I don't just "friend rock" like it
either - songs like "Nightshade" and "Carousel" would be damn
fine songs even if I didn't know most of the band (and woulda know all
of the band if D-Mike hadn't up and moved to
Austin). Also, they just released a free EP for download that has
the two songs mentioned above and a couple of other
gems. Grab it here.
I made my way back up the hill to catch most of TOW3RS
set. I'd been hearing about them a little bit, and I'm always
game to check out the newest local buzz bands. Smart decision on
my part - this is a young, powerful band. The songs
are catchy, the music is big, the band members are cute and if there
were a betting pool I'd put my ten cents on these
cats being the next local break out artist. The best way I could
describe their sound is early, pre-disco Of Montreal, a
little bit of Lonnie Walker's jangle and a dash of Danielson Famile's
quirkiness. To top it all of the gig was being entirely
lit by a showing of the film "Independence Day"...nothing like a little
indie pop while Will Smith is being projected on the
side of the band. I will be sing this band again very soon, and
very often, hopefully.
who done made all creatures great and small in his own image: Did you
make 'em fine-ass-soundin' speakers
over there what would sound gooder than hell comin' out of the back of
my truck-boat-truck? Well if you don't want me to
jimmy-jack 'em sweet tweeters you best give me a sign..."
The War On Drugs - Baby
Missiles. The new War on Drugs is one of the best
records of the year, and possibly a
Tom Petty album in disguise. I have no proof of that
Americans In France - Success.
Local kids going the "Sonic Youth meets The Fall" route, which is a
Bright Eyes - Four
Winds. Hadn't listened to Bright Eyes in years until
recently picking up one of their discs at the
thrift store. Connor Oberst definitely gets whiny at times but he
can write some good songs too.
Two Gallants - Linger
On. Another thrift store grab - used to love this band
when I lived in SF and saw them play all
the time, but kinda forgot about them over the last few years.
Still really strong songs and music.
Bonus: Seems Like Home To Me.