I'm not sure what this contest is all about, but our homies Super Black Market are only a few spots away from beating way better-known punk bands. So go vote them to the top -- or at least up a place or two. Their song's probably better than anyone else's on the list. After all, how can you lose with lyrics like this?:
Tonight, we're going to have a party to celebrate the life and death of our generation. Please don't cry. This is inevitable. Whether we die is not a question at all. There's going to be a party TONIGHT! 100 years from now, we'll all be dead. Thats all we have, thats all we have left. Our own death to share with everyone. 100 years from now, you'll be dead. And drink we will no more! How will you go out? How will you be remembered? Will anyone care? Will anyone be there? Maybe if there's BEER! There's going to be a party TONIGHT!
Of course, I'm looking out the window and asking the same question: How will I go out? And it'll be hard, and I might die, but I stayed in last night and nothing good happened, so I'm heading to the Brick for the Roman Numerals and Boyskout -- OR, if I'm feeling really brave, I'll careen over to Mike's (way farther from my flat) for some Rich Boy action.
Don't let the weather scare ya. It's a good night to go out.
We're all being ushered home early in Pitchland so none of us will get lost in the land of the ice and snow, so here's a few quick notes.
1. A discussion of comedians and the n-word is taking place on Hiphopkc.com. Drop by and weigh in, if you care.
2. Mac Minister, the guy who a lot of people think killed KC rapper, gangster and sometime gangsta rapper Fat Tone, said recently that he did no such thing.
3. Lawrence.com just did a feature article on Sonic Spectrum host Robert Moore. That illustration is pretty amazing, even more so for having been done, evidently, by Jesse Katsopolis. Honestly, though, when I first saw the article, I was like wtf, because I'm not sure Robert's played a new show of SS in two years. Well, that's an exaggeration, but there has been an excess of "archived" shows since he started up the very worthy venture that is Oxblood Records. But, Robert, if you're reading this, then, hey, just because they wrote a big story on you in Lawrence and got John Stamos to draw your caricature -- that doesn't mean you can keep passing off re-runs! For goodness sakes, I turned on your show last Saturday and heard you talking about the hype around that "new" band from Glasgow... Franz Freakin' Ferdinand. Sorry, but you'll just have to work harder, old sport. We must have our entertainment.
4. To supplement this week's Wayward Son (not yet up online or I'd link it; check here later this evening), a gallery of photos from the breakfast dance, all taken by Scott Burnett.
It wasn't until the tail end of Thanksgiving -- Sunday night at the Record Bar, specifically -- that I found something new to be thankful for. Kansas City, America, world, I introduce you to ... shit, what's her name? Oh yeah, Sal Retta.
Actually, I think that's a stage name (as opposed to a band name). Sal's real name is Whitney Hiebert. She's 20 years old and works at Musician's Friend up in the Northland. Last night the petite brunette with the warbling pipes strummed a gorgeous Ibanez hollowbody that had a tone so warm and sweet it could turn a glass of milk into a shot of Bailey's. She was joined on stage -- both of them seated -- by guitarist Matt Hill. Among the non-cynics in attendance, her performance caused a minor sensation. But more on her in a minute.
What got me down to the RB in the first place the evening's opener, the Danny Cooke Tribute Band. Mr. Cooke, who was in attendance that evening, is, evidently, a haggard Midtown wanderer who happens to have an amazing knack for writing pop songs. Read the excellent About Me on the MySpace, along with a personal account on the blog of what it was like for the band to work with the eccentric bedroom musician.
It seemed like most everybody in the house had some idea of what was going on -- namely, that this band of regular musician types was covering songs written by this crazy-lookin', wiry, wild-haired, long-ass-goateed dude. That much was evident when bandleader/singer-guitarist Dave Jones invited Cooke on stage to do the first two songs. The worry that it might be a train wreck was in the air from the moment Cooke hobbled up onto the stage to when Jones gave him a printout of the lyrics and stood him in front of the microphone, and then some: The band started, and Cooke, standing somewhat behind and to the left of the mic, peered at the sheet. Jones leaned in and told him to start singing, and out from behind his mustache blasted a hoarse, nasal and surprisingly clear and on-key voice. They made it through two numbers without a hitch, and Cooke ambled back down to his table and beer.
What followed wasn't as good as those opening numbers. It's impressive, intriguing and compelling that this odd, vagabond-like fellow has a secret repetoire of funny, childlike and occasionally rockin' devil-woman songs, but the tribute band sans the man himself wasn't that great. They seemed under-rehearsed -- the only explanation for the shakiness of a band comprised of such experienced musicians (in addition to Jones, there was ex-Doris Henson man Byron Collum on bass, Chris Hudson on guitar and Matt Bramlette on drums). Though people in the know cheered appreciatively after each song, both because Cooke's so easy to like and because he was already liked by kids who caught on back in the day, I couldn't help but think how the other people in attendance -- those who had no idea what the backstory was -- had to be thinking what the hell is this shit?
But that's OK. If you can't appreciate the (to risk being repetitive) childlike brilliance of Danny Cooke's, then who cares? I do still wish the band had done something more with the arrangements. It's the kind of music that would be great with violins, glockenspiels, homemade percussion and harmonic/countermelodic lines to embellish the whimsicality and poignance.
Sal Retta: By the time she and Hill took the stage, I'd found out they were local (I'd never heard of them at all) and that they were the reason there were a bunch of noisy boors from Musician's Friend there -- a crowd of four or five sods all bearing drink tickets (probably given to them by underage Sal) and rudely talking through their lovely coworker's entire set. I haven't come so close to telling people to shut up at a show in ages.
The loudmouths didn't hamper my enjoyment of the show, however. Usually my short attention span gets the better of me, but this music was so savory that all I wanted to do was smoke, drink and bask in the cozy, cloudlike guitar lines and Sal's quirky, jazzy voice, pretending I was the only person in the room.
If you're listening to the MySpace tracks, you're probably pulling up comparisons to Billie Holiday, Feist, Bjork, et al, which raises the question of whether the girl's singing style is authentic or shamelessly derivative. I can find enough to like about the overall sound to excuse whatever affectation Sal might be using in her voice. She does it so well, after all -- listen to that third syllable she sings at the opening of "pennies nickels dimes" on the MySpace page, and, for that matter, check all those, higher, pipping notes along the vocal line. It's as if she's singing with a sour candy balanced on her tongue, visualizing a sparrow in flight. And that fast, jazzy vibrato -- not many 20-year-olds or even old pros out there can pull off that kind of sorcery.
Also lending to the authenticity is that when I shmoozed with Sal afterwards, I could have sworn she had some kind of European accent. It turns out that she's native to these parts (hence her mundane earthbound name); she just kind of has a naturally odd voice, or so it seemed.
Record Bar publicans and Noomers Steve Tulipana and Billy Smith were also feeling good after hearing Sal. Billy even pronounced her an artist that deserves to be big outside of town. I totally agree. Right now similarly quirky-voiced musician, harpist and hottie Joanna Newsom has a new album out that's being pussylicked by every indie-pop-lovin' critic in the English-speaking world . I find it boring, aimless and unlistenable. Maybe Sal Retta's doing isn't as original as Newsom, but it's definitely not bland. It's comforting, warm, classic (she covered some old Stephen Foster-esque song at the show) and really kinda sexy. Who wouldn't prefer that to "twee"?
Just so you know, they're making changes to my blog, ultimately to make it work better, but they can't make the changes all at once, so things may look funky for a stretch here. I hope you still read it.
Now, Thanksgiving ...
Have you ever wanted to have relations with canned cranberry sauce? I have, though I've never consummate. So I understand that, for many people -- men and women both -- having sex with cranberry sauce is actually easier and more gratifying than eating it. Luckily for us, there is equally nasty local music in the form of Street Jizz, a side project started by members of the Ssion. Download the band's theme song from its MySpace page and get busy with some cylindrical berry product.
Oh, you'd rather fuck a pie? So unoriginal.
Seriously, though, this weekend looks as though it will have some fun offerings. I'm going to miss my family as they turkey it up down in Texas while I remain here, but I'll see all of 'em at Christmas. In fact, I'm looking forward to spending this weekend with my beautiful baby, Kansas City.
Now, I've had a MySpace profile up for a while, maybe a year, but until I met Kansas City a few weeks ago, I never thought I'd find anyone to have a meaningful relationship with on the dratted "social networking" site.
Digression: MySpace has replaced some of the more essential forms of human interaction (from the personal e-mail to actually going out with people) by enabling a new form: the Hey-I-Saw-U-Last-Night-But-Was-2-Chickenshit-2-Talk-2-U-So-Here's-A-Message -2-Your-Public-Internet-Profile-U-R-Hot-BTW. That there's a really good way to ensure that you will never make out with, go on a date with or even so much as actually meet the person in question. So go ahead, include your cell-phone number, dumbass. Of course she'll call. Especially if you post that as a comment rather than sending a private message.
Though I complain, I, too, have been MySpace's fool on a couple of occasions. Unexpected errors, indeed. My mistake was ... well, let's say it was this: not finding a woman as wise and forgiving as Kansas City. She knows I cover her music scene, and she appreciates it. So to requite her affection, I am going to go out and rock and party and get rat-arsed all weekend, perhaps having a gay fling with Lawrence at some point just to remind me where my heart really lies.
I'm excited to get to go to this year's Thanksgiving Breakfast Dance over in KCK, tomorrow morning from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mad Southern soul man Marvin Sease and local cat D.C. Bellamy, among others, will play. Though I may be one of two white people in my age group there, I will endeavor to follow the command implicit in Bellamy's new CD, Give Some Body to Somebody. Because this year, we are thankful for two things above most all else: sex and the Gospel.
Thanksgiving night brings power-pop kings (and Social Distortion/Supersuckers tourmates) Blackpool Lights to the Record Bar, along with a band called Making Movies. The Lights have a new guitarist, Chris Tolle of the Belles, who has replaced the recently departed Thom Hoskins, who's focusing back on his awesome alt-country band, Buffalo Saints ('bout bloody time!).
Friday, I'm thinking of making the DJ rounds -- first, the Beat Drop with Kiko De Gallo and newcomer-making-a-wave Ian Frost at Jilly's, then, over at Skybox, Ben Fuller and Senor Oz, the latter being an old friend who's briefly back in town from San Fran.
That should be enough to get you going. As always, there's beacoup listings in the back of the nearest Pitch. Or ask any cool-looking person you see on the street or aisles of the grocery store.
Or just MySpace them when you get home.
I'm recovering today from a wild weekend of wocal wock and woll starring Wylde Chipmunk and the Cuddley-Poos, It's Over, the Pink Socks, the Rich Boys, Black Gasoline, your mother, the Last of the V8s, Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk, and the Republic Tigers (three nights, three venues, and your mom's house). So today I'm handing the wheel to our own Scott "Bartleby" Wilson, whose official title is Editorial Operations Manager but who basically sits in the dark listening to music, reading every word that will go to print and changing half of them. Occasionally, he gets a wild hair to write about music, and what he says is always great, so I hope you enjoy this, his first batch of flash reviews of recent releases.
But first, a brand-new video from a great fucking band that only me, Dan Aykroyd, Tec and Bill care about. Oh, and the Who likes them, too, because Pete and Roger are taking them on tour, mostly on the Canadian dates, natch. Enjoy.
Six-Second Reviews by Scott
Enemies Like This
If a conga line leaves CBGB's for the West Side Y in 1977 but doesn't shower there until 1979, how long does it take David Byrne to wake up from his bad dream?
Keep tracks 2 and 9
The Black Crowes tour Costco parking lots in a Jetta.
Journeyman soul singer ducks into a truck-stop convent with a Merle Haggard number, a Will Oldham song and a dusky version of Charlie Rich's "You Never Really Wanted Me."
Keep those songs
Young and Sexy
Panic When You Find It
At 3:20 a.m., you walk to the common area in your dorm to buy microwave popcorn from the vending machine. It won't take your last dollar, and there's no change in your room. You sit against the wall, staring at the machine, listening to someone in the first room off the hallway — the one who eats only cereal in the cafeteria and cries on the elevator -- play this album. She probably doesn't have a dollar, either.
Sell for a dollar.
The Hidden Cameras
Strings and glockenspiel and tambourines and Jew's harps and one of those Canada very dry singers — operata for preschoolers.
Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain
Raking leaves at the asylum, thinking about escape, preferring applesauce and lithium.
Loudon Wainwright III buys Nick Drake a scoop of rum-raisin at Baskin-Robbins. Damon McMahon can't quite make out what they tell each other, goes back for more butter-pecan and writes a song for the girl behind the counter.
Give Me a Wall
Nick Kent throws a birthday party at a roller rink, and the guys working the snack bar form a band for the occasion.
Electric Soft Parade
The Human Body EP
The Duraflame-log version of XTC.
Keep "Cold World" and "So Much Love"
Return to the Sea
The cast of The OC travels to Bikini Bottom to make crossover-episode history. Plankton killed Marissa.
Leave in a Long John Silver's
Declare a New State
The hunt for blue October.
Keep "Clouds" and "Darkest Things"
Too much Zeppo and Gummo, not enough Groucho and Harpo.
Keep "The Gambler"
Pet Shop Boys
The Vegas-theme-park years.
Keep "Undercover" and "Ice Age" and pour salt on the rest
Word up, psychos. If you want to stalk the music editor this weekend, here's where he'll be going:
Alternate route: Nomathmatics at the Pistol Social Club, followed by a dance party at McCoy's with the female selector-DJs of Bitchwax (full disclosure: one of them is our clubs editor, Megan Metzger).
SATURDAY: The Record Bar for this show. You know we love the Last of the V8s, but I'd like to take a minute and characterize my relationship to them, seeing as how I've written about them so much (mostly on this blog) and people might start to think I favor them. Well, I do, but only because they fucking rock. Off stage, they're mostly bastards. I wouldn't trust a V8 with my last dime. I give them nothing but love, and still, they take my cigarettes, honk my nose and walk away. People, they'll steal the hat off your head and push you in front of a horse-drawn coach. If they'd been in Ben Hur, they would've been the guys with the spikes on wheels of their chariots. They're old-ish, ugly and cranky and have unfairly hot girlfriends. They oughta get down on their knees and lick my nuts, but instead, I'm usually the one who ends up getting molested, if I stick around too long after a show -- or arrive too early, even.
They deserve your support. And if I find out you're still stalking me, I'll pay Ryan Mattes $50 to eat your head.
I'm also excited about this new band the Rich Boys. Maybe I can make them my slaves and they'll protect me from the big mean V8s. Not likely -- I bet the Evil Ones have already gotten to them. Alas.
SUNDAY: I'll probably be too exhausted and hungover to leave my majestic apartment, overlooking the Plaza on one side and Loose Park on the other, my ermine bathrobe on and a mimosa in my hand, reading Wall Street Journal, brought up to me by a servant. This is what I look like, by the way. Is it any wonder they hate me, those cretin rock stars?
Whatever you do, don't drive drunk, and don't stalk us dandy fops.
OK, that was weird.
Basically, what I witnessed last night was the complete conquest of Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club by punk kids from Nashville.
Here's what happened.
My buddy Highball and I went to the Grand Emporium around 9, hoping to catch all three bands on the bill: Ad Astra Per Aspera, Awesome Color and Be Your Own Pet. As has been my fate of late, we missed the first, our own local heroes. Boo.
Awesome Color was pretty awesome, though, despite repeated attempts on the part of the guitarist and singer, Derek Stanton, to make his axe sound louder to himself and the audience. A huge testament to the band's badassery is the fact that even though we could barely hear his guitar through the mix, we were still rocked pretty damn hard. AC's deals in the kind of pounding-groove, one-chord psychedelic garage rock with lots of soloing that few bands attempt these days. I spent the entirety of at least one of the songs watching just the drummer, the underage-looking Allison Busch, pound the fuck out of fill after fill, keeping metronomic time, her jaw open in a Calvinlike triangle-smile and her hair swung down over eyes. I seriously think she might have been born into the world at the exact moment when Keith Moon died.
Another testament to the awesomeness of Color was that the band members didn't look all cool 'n shit. They may live in fancypants Bushwick, but they don't look it. Stanton wore a Lee Renaldo flannel shirt and velcro high-tops; Busch sweated through a guy's t-shirt; and bassist Michael Troutman looked normal and small in a solid black tee and unflashy jeans. Could it be that the mind unenslaved to fashion is more free to contemplate the truer essences of rock?
The next band probably thinks it has the answer, which they'd give as not necessarily. Be Your Own Pet, like Awesome Color, is signed to Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace label, but this band ain't nothin' but punk. Not mohawks-and-leather, but rather skinny-legged-Ramones punk -- I mean seriously skinny-legged. Some of the pantlegs I saw that night would burst if you stuffed a wiffle bat down them. Maybe I'm just jealous because I'm too fat to be punk.
They were screamingly hyper, too. Teensy lead singer Jemina Pearl twisted, jerked and screamed as though in a sugar-induced, autistic tantrum, but she managed, for the most part, to retain a stage presence befitting a good rock frontwoman. Between songs, however, she fired repeated, full-throated and disgusting hacking coughs into the air, depositing a large glob of saliva somewhere on the stage after each fit. Perhaps it was because she's asthmatic and there was lots of smoke and she's a rebel and so on, but it was kind of obnoxious and gross. So was the bass player, as an entity. Tall, rail thin, and with a giant afro and braces, his playing was inaudible even when he wasn't hurling himself down into the crowd, sometimes with the singer on his back. Saving the show from absurdity were the guitarist and drummer -- tight and creative. Dont' get me wrong, however -- this isn't a writeoff. BYOP makes some pretty exciting, authentically don't-give-a-fuck punk rock. I just wish all its members showed equal regard for the music itself.
Any hope of such an eventuality burst into flame at the afterparty at Davey's. Evidently, before playing the Grand Emporium -- which, by the way, was not the most appropriate venue for either of these bands -- BYOP bassist Nathan Vasquez had gone around to a few local joints asking if his band(s) could set up and play afterwards. There was nothing going on at Davey's, so the bartender figured what the hell. Curious as to what was planned, Highball and I followed, making short work of a Pancho's burrito on the way down Main Street.
Basically, what we ended up seeing were three permutations of BYOP, a couple of them utilizing musicians who were apparently just part of the band's entourage. The first ensemble, which called itself Turbo Fruits, consisted of Pet guitarist Jonas Stein and drummer Jamin Orrall. They set up right at the end of the bar because the main hall was closed off and played some really fast shit that I don't remember too well because I was pretty drunk by then (sorry, America). The next band, Cheap Time, featured a random dude on guitar, Jemina Pearl on bass and, I think, Vasquez on drums. Random dude failed to successfully tune his guitar a couple of times -- or, maybe he was retuning it to a different key? It was hard to tell. Pearl didn't know how to tune her bass at all, so random dude reached over and did it for her. Thus equipped, they played, falling down a lot.
The last band took the cake. It was my hero, Vasquez, on guitar, and an impossibly tall, skinny, broad-shouldered random guy #2 on bass, with Orrall or someone on drums. They were the shittiest and the wildest. Someone sloshed a pitcher of water on them, and the resulting piso mojado claimed its victims repeatedly, reducing this final act (I didn't even bother getting the name), to a seething pile of bony torsos, flailing broomstick limbs and feedbacking guitars.
Not accustomed to such spontaneity and hospitality (thanks, Davey's!), the local artpunks were way into it, shaking and jerking their joints arhythmically to the noise. Meanwhile, Awesome Color hung out in the back. I tried to convince Derek Stanton to get up on guitar, but there really wasn't a way for that to happen -- too many kids in the way. I got an interesting tip from AC bassist Troutman, though, who grew up in Minnesota and approved of Davey's framed monument to George Brett. Earlier that day, he'd been to Broadway hippie supply mart It's a Beautiful Day and said it had a ton of cool used books and records in the back. I was surprised because I used to walk or drive past that store every day back when I lived in Westport, and I never even thought of going inside. My loss.
In the end, I left with the feeling that these bands would be back. We all had a pretty good time, even though those Tennessee pups got a bit ridiculous. Next time, I'd put Awesome Color at the Brick or Record Bar and BYOP at whichever basement, loft or animal shelter will have them.
That's not a diss, mind you -- the world needs dedicated young misfits. But sometimes we relatively hung-up old regular folk would prefer them be seen rather than heard.
Satan will be happy with me for telling you that Slayer has announced its winter tourdates, and February 3, they'll be tearing it up at Memorial Hall. (Thanks to vigilant clubs editor Megan Metzger for being the first to find out. She gets first prize for the day.)
Fishing around for good haps tonight, I came across this guy from Denver whose band, Bad Weather California, is playing at the Record Bar Tonight. Normally, I wouldn't bat an eye at such news (indie folk ... middle of the week ... who cares?), but because the band's from Denver, I decided to ask my colleague Dave at Westword for a thumbs up or down, and it came back way up.
Bad Weather CA used to be the Love Letter Band, starring a guy named Chris Adolf. Here's a postive review of a Love Letter album that came out this year. Or if you're really in the mood, an even longer love letter to Love Letter is here.
First order of business: I've started a MySpace page to represent the Pitch Music Section online. I pretty much had to. It was either that, or continue using my personal account to contact and be contacted by musicians and promoters. It was all very good and personable, but I also felt vulnerable. I don't need all the musicians in town knowing what kind of music I'm actually in to.
Check the baby Pitch Music space, and communicate with and through it accordingly. But still, the best way is to e-mail me directly. I don't want my job to be consumed by MySpace, thanks. Oh, and the reason I hardly ever answer my phone? Because then my job would be completely consumed with talking on the phone. So, what I'm saying is, e-mail trumps both the phone and MySpace. Write that down, Buffy.
Also, don't expect anything as cool as this motherfuckin' blog to show up there. Also, I'll have you know we're adding more cool shit to Pitch.com, like streaming audio files to accompany music features. We did that here and here. Look for the text link right above the beginning of the story.
Now, for you dedicated readers who don't give a rat's nipple about any of this, here's a quick report on what you missed this weekend:
Friday, I drove to Lawrence to see Jamie Lidell. I went lone wolf out there because nobody in this town realizes how amazing that sumbitch is. That was the first non-local headliner I've personally (as opposed to professionally) been excited about seeing since August. And I wasn't even prepared for how captivating Lidell is. On his latest career-sea-change album Multiply (before that one, he did experimental, nonvocal electronica), his songs range from old school Motown soul to electronic-enhanced funk, the most jaw-dropping aspect being his raging, blue-eyed soul voice, soaring and gritty, versatile and chock-full of emotion. (My Lawrence-based running buddy April compares his style to Stevie Wonder, and I could go with that.) What dazzles live is how he marries his voice to the machinery.
He works alone onstage, twisting knobs at his mysterious console and howling, vamping and beatboxing into the mic. Half or more of his songs were powered by an acapella percussion track that he spit out on the spot. Not surprisingly, only two of the songs he did sounded at all like the recording. Everything else was a hellaciously good remix, many of them veering briefly into some sick take on the euro house music he probably hears around his home base of Berlin. I was too enthralled by Lidell's talent even to dance -- I couldn't take my eyes and ears away for a second.
The next night, Saturday, I pretty much just went out and raged, beginning with tea time at the Brick and ending with Funhouse (local Stooges tribute) at Davey's. At some point between the two, I was dragged by a dear friend to the Beaumont, where I was met with a cavorting mass of sweat, smoke and X-marked hands and the children they belonged to. Good lord it was crowded. The only place to stand without suffocating on the fumes was behind the stage, where there was an underutilized bar, a good back-view of the band but terrible sound. The band I saw was the third on the bill, a top-selling mainstream hardcore band called Thursday. Maybe you've heard of 'em? Me, all I could literally hear at the show was drums and noise produced by guitars, bass and a berserk frontman. The kids loved it. I didn't stick around for Rise Against because I turn a year older in less than a month and would like to see my birthday.
After a shower and a disco nap, I got a call from Dapper Dan (not his real name, but we'll call him that since he uses oldschool pomade -- lots of it) about meeting up in midtown, so we rolled down to Chez Charlie's, aka The Coziest Dive on Earth, threw back a few, picked up a third accomplice in the form of Lord Mayer (again, an alias, but this one completely random), and went to Davey's to catch the end of Funhouse.
I watched in delight as as man in silver bodypaint, with pretty much the same wiry build of Iggy, writhe and twist and yowl into the mic. He's somebody well-known and local whose name escapes me. He was joined onstage by Last of the V8s guitarist and bassist, respectively, Jay Zastoupil and Chico Thunder, and a drummer dude whose name I don't know either. Sue me. The crowd was light for that hour of the night (past 2 a.m.), but those who were there were feelin' it good. I pretty much remember very little that was said or transpired after the last notes of "Search and Destroy," so if you were there and I offended you, like, by saying your face looked like a bulldog that had been made into a purse that had been stuffed full of marshmallows and stuck in the microwave and I really want to make out with you, then, really, it was the Pabst talking. Oh, and the gin. Whiskey? Yeah, that too. And a dash of bitters.
To start you off today, here's a blurb by Andrew Miller on a really good local band. For various logistical reasons, it did not make it into print, so I posted it today because the show's tomorrow night. -- Ed.
Rock bands don't need much of a reason to throw a party, and at first glance an EP release seems like a relatively flimsy excuse. EPs are to full-length records what previews are to feature films, and only the most obsessed moviegoers gather to witness a trailer's debut. However, The Life and Times' The Magician justifies the fanfare, fitting more intriguing guitar effects into its twenty-two-minute frame than many bands boast in their entire discographies.
Allen Epley's ax spits feedback fuzz, surges, and vanishes like quick-passing highway traffic, and then reverses its melodic flow as if someone started spinning the record backward to scan for Satanic messages. Chris Metcalf's drums hiss and rattle during the verses, then detonate in conjunction with Eric Albert's baleful basslines during pulsing wall-of-sound climaxes. Saturday night's Record Bar show provides fans with perhaps the only opportunity to hear all five songs make the set list, because EP tracks tend to disappear on future tours. (For example, anyone remember hearing Shiner's stellar cover of Bad Company's "Feel Like Making Love," which anchors 1999's Making Love EP, at a post-2000 concert?)
"It's a cold day for pontooning."
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