I don't have much personally invested in the Appleseed Cast. I like them well enough, I guess. But when some critic tries to take down a local band with arguments so off base as to seem pulled out of a jar like raffle tickets, I gotta rally 'round the family.
So, Appleseed fans, go here and give this Matt Emery character what for.
It's the critic's job to voice his opinion, sure, and often those opinions upset people (especially the musicians and their dumb girlfriends) but this review is insulting to anyone with ears for music.
Maybe the opening of "Here We Are" does sound vaguely like that Death Cab song, but Emery's claims that Appleseed Cast is trying to sell out (by attracting mainstream audience) with this album are recockulous. You don't even have to be familiar with Peregrine at all, to doubt Emery's claim, "Even a song like 'Woodland Hunter, Part 2' has the band selling out to an adult contemporary market." What kind of band would title a song they wanted to be a radio hit "Woodland Hunter (Part II)"!? Have they been playing Midlake and the Decemberists in grocery stores up in Michigan the past four years and we just didn't know? Did they interview Colin Meloy on TRL last week and I missed it? If anything on Peregrine is AC, then Trout Mask Replica is Benny Fuckin' Goodman.
Emery further hurts his credibility by comparing (hilariously) Cast singer Cris Crisci to Gavin Rossdale of Bush, qualifying him as "pre-Gwen-Stefani." For a critic to hear a male singer, any male singer, with a slight baritone growl, and think "a-ha, Gavin Rossdale!", that just shows that the critic has listened to Bush in the recent past, perhaps even voluntarily, and that alone damages credibility. I noticed a similar faux pas in another out-of-town review of one of our local bands. In this review of Bodisartha, the writer not only mentions Creed, but name-drops the guitarist, saying, "With a definite nod towards Seattle from this Kansas City trio, there is something that is punkier, but with a gritty guitar howl that seems influenced by Mark Tremonti." (Italics mine.) He's right to mention Nirvana in the review (I did, too), but when I read that, I pulled a complete He Did Not and put Mark Tremonti's name into Google to make sure.
This blogging/online publishing shit is scary, man. For as long as an article is up (or reprinted or quoted), it's a permanent record that's accessible to anyone in the world any time of day or night.
So, tell me if I'm the one who's wrong. Go to the MySpace of "Seed" and listen for as long as it takes you to realize this writer's crazy wrong. (And then, go check out the cute 19-year-old British girl whose MySpace address is inexplicably www.myspace.com/appleseedcast.)
Thanks to Andrew for finding this review and being the first to blow the shit whistle.
Remember that local band The Sound and the Fury? If not, then you've forgotten one of the best hard rock bands to come out of the area in recent years. Although a bit mel-emo-dramatic, the music was hard, melodic and accessible, with a frontman named Jeff Wood who could wail in a way that would make the dudes pump their fists and the ladies swoon. They officially broke up earlier this year, leaving fans practically weeping. Check the band's MySpace for regular cries for a reunion show. (Just don't check it for samples of the old hard-ass sludge -- only one of the posted songs seems to work, and it's acoustic.)
I was driving home from work through the Crossroads a couple of First Fridays ago, and as I passed a copy shop on 18th and Main, I saw that out in the parking lot they had set up tables for refreshment partakage, complete with a two-speaker PA system, through which a guy with an acoustic guitar was singing. I recognized him pretty quickly as none other than Jeff freakin' Wood. I didn't hear what sweet aural nectars he was spilling over the mic, but I figured it wasn't "The Rape," the brutal leading run on TSATF's last and greatest, Another Stage.
And I doubt he played that ditty when he auditioned for the reality TV talent show Nashville Star at the Beaumont back in October.
Whatever he did, he made an impression, because the show's producer (or someone) called and offered him a spot among the 20 entering contestants. Jeff had already made up his mind, however, to turn them down because his wife was "with child" and had been told by an angel that it would be the new Messiah. Well, not really, but he did decide not to appear on the show, which is definitely, absolutely un-American.
I mean, come on, sacrificing your family life to be on reality TV and possibly go on to become a ridiculed celebrity -- not to mention a shot at having sex with Cowboy Troy and beating up Jewel -- wait, the other way around, I think -- ... what could be more patriotic!?
While we all digest the taking over of the House (and maybe the Senate, if that hemorrhoid in Montana will just fucking concede) by the Democrats, along with the breaking news that Rummy may be stepping down, let's take a break to live vicariously through Mac Lethal, who, with his compadres Joe Good, DJ Sku, and others, made this pratfall-and-hijink-rich video of their trip to fucking Canada.
Maybe I'm out of my mind, but lately, I've been digging shit that rocks. Like the other night, for example, when I was wowed by Crazy Talk (fine, fine, one word it is) on Halloween, those friends of mine who said they were enjoying the band -- that was just part of their costume. They secretly exchanged costume notes before arriving and said, "Hey dude, whatever it is you're going as, add the phrase 'who pretends to like whatever Jason Harper likes in order to get him to embarrass himself publicly,' i.e. 'I'm a flesh-eating zombie who...'" etc.
Because the solipsist does not think he's right all the time but rather fears that everyone is conspiring to make him think he's right when really he's wrong or it just doesn't matter.
Naw, fuck them other minds. I'm right and they know it.
And next on The Might of My Right tour: The Stolen Winnebagos.
I vaguely remember writing about them before. Yeah, here it is. I had forgotten that my premise for that column was comparing the Crossroads festival downtown to a night out in Lenexa, but that's fitting, because last night I went to the Bait Shop to see a Midtown band (I Love You) rock the suburbs and left wanting to hang out with the natives more.
That may not have happened the same way if I'd seen I Love You. The singer, Justin Randel, told me the day before that his band would go on around 10, so that's when I showed up. They'd already played. Bummed, I bought a copy of their six-song promo CD and am at this moment enjoying its sort of ramshackle, experimental, beat-driven sound. It's kind of like Joy Division meets Tripping Daisy -- just accessible enough for you to get in the door, but once you're in, you're confused and intrigued at once. The vocals are unintelligble, shouted and reverby on the recording, which is a form of stylization I'm not always against but not frequently for. We'll see. They're fun to hang out with; that's for sure.
The second band was Bodisartha. (Holy shit they're offering their entire album for download for free!) I wish I could say I liked them, but the trouble is I was never that into Nirvana, and Bodisartha (uh...clever) mimics Kurt & co. to a severe fault. Singer and guitarist Josh Thomas has a guitar and lampshade of hair, both of which look very Cobain. Voice is pretty similar, too. Songs -- definitely influenced. Thomas' whole slacker-grunge thing was undercut by the casual, stiff stage presence of the lead guitarist and the bassist, and by a drummer who kept saying dorky things into the microphone someone had unwisely given him, like, "Give it up for I Love You! Fuckin' love those guys!" (I figured out later he's just an expressive dork and doesn't give a shit, and, you know, that's OK -- just not during the fucking show, man!) I've heard a rumor that Bodisartha, having just gotten a new guitarist, has written some new, completely different songs. I hope it's true, because Thomas sure is a nice guy.
Following this "homegrown showcase," there was a joke contest, hosted by the evening's emcee, a chipper blonde named Lindsey. Evidently, the Homegrown Buzz was so popular a night when it was at Jerry's about a year ago, they started up their own. Lindsey is quite similar in type to the Buzz's Jeriney, who still hosts the radio show and live event, only I'd say Lindsey's more bubbly and over-the-top. I was jarred when she introduced Bodisartha, and couldn't quite get over the fact that a live music venue felt the need for a host-slash-hype-gal. The joke contest was pretty fun, though. Lindsey put a ban on any jokes involving dead babies, and one-and-a-half such jokes were told anyway. All jokes were told by white males, and I was proud of my whitebread brothers for not embarrassing our race or gender...well, most of them.
Then, los Winnebagos.
(forgive me if the following is a bit lackluster; I just fat-fingered the keyboard and lost everything I'd just written after this point, which was a lot)
After a crashing punk intro that consisted, lyrically, of something like "dead dogs! dead dogs! dead dogs in my garage!" the power trio careened into "War Pigs" by Sabbath, rocking it note for note but replacing Ozzy's famous "alright-cheah!" with guttural squawks.
I suggested to a friend that the Winnebagos, some of them, at least, might have pretty active World of Warcraft lives.
Some new Audioslave song came next -- I asked Lindsey, who was singing along, to confirm -- and that, too, was straight, but the drummer was singing that one, and it seemed like he forgot about five or six words, replacing them with mouthfarts.
I decided I want the Winnebagos to play my (next) wedding.
An unmemorable cover of Green Day's unmemorable "Insomniac" came next, affirming the band's great weakness: they play a bunch of songs I don't like!
Guys, please cut that from your list and replace it with, um... , (no, not "Little Red Corvette" STFU!), how about "The Village Green Preservation Society" by the Kinks? That one's cute! (Eh, they probably already got it in the book.)
"Wynona's Big Brown Beaver," from back before Primus boarded the ridiculous jambandwagon, followed, then a half-funk, half-rock, half-Eurythmics, half-Rush (whole lotta halves) version of the White Stripes "Seven Nation Army," wherein the SWs revealed their penchant for "fucking with it," meaning, playing a song you like in a way that could annoy you if you're a pussy.
I doubt anyone was annoyed, though, when, during Cake's version of "I Will Survive," the wireless-equipped bass player suddenly walked outside and played the rest of the song from the parking lot, including a pretty fancy solo. Nor did anyone fault them for playing Alice in Chains' "Rooster" the way Prince would if he covered it.
I had to draw the line at that damned 4 Non Blondes song (guest vocals: Lindsey), and I was out of money anyway, so I headed for the door.
I'll be back, though. See their myspace (linked above) for coming appearances. And if you go, look for the group of Midtowners not afraid to rock out to some cheese, and there you will find me -- a mouse with a hunger in his tim'rous breast.
TGIF, KC, OMG!!!
Yeah whatever. This guy knows what it's about. His name is Brad Hodgson, and you'll see him tonight seated in a chair (sometimes standing and kicking and flailing), strumming a guitar and singing with his band In the Pines if you stop by the Record Bar. I only discovered Hodgson's solo identity the other day, and it blew me away. Despite repeated testimonials to the contrary, I always had a suspicion that In the Pines would be nothing without the strings and the overall build acheived by the entire band each song.
This little gathering of solo Hodgson material proves once and for all, to me, that Brad is fucking brilliant. That track "Runs on Blood" could make Bonnie Prince Billy take a razor and shave his beard, weeping the entire time. I tell ya'. The only downside is that it matches this bleak, autumnal weather so perfectly you won't give a rat's arse how pretty the trees are -- it's all so damned futile, anyway. Let the leaves fall, and throw that spadeful of earth down where my baby lay.
Sad songs from such a happy guy. Who figured?
After that, we're going to need a dance party. Saturday, Jilly's on Broadway still (as far as I know) has a great '80s ladies' night, hosted by DJ Clockwerk & friends -- that's always a guaranteed blenderful a' booty. I haven't been to the Hangout on a regular (non-event) Saturday before, but, if you can get a group of friends, it's a good place to start out or end up or just go shake a leg for a coupla hours. DJs Monte Silk and Monte Chris share the two stories of the building. For the late night hustle, grab a cab and head to the Point, where, in the basement (The Olive Pit Lounge) my man Automatic Westy spins the best retro-'80s-love-it-so-hard pop in Westport. He's down there on Friday, too, so dash over after In the Pines if you're feeling suicidal or something -- which you won't, because In the Pines is actually just really rocking and cool. (However, if you don't like brooding men in plaid shirts, stay away altogether -- oh, and you'll want to avoid me, too.)
Pick up a copy of the Pitch for the most comprehensive shit-to-do listings in the city.
I leave you now with a video of George Brett losing his shit.
Don't drive drunk, and apply pine tar conservatively.
Well, looky there, it's back. Want to know more?
So, last night, I got into some serious word-eating right before the altar of Crazytalk. It was enough to make me want to write about music this time instead of just tell you about people doing idiotic things dressed in costumes. What happened was I'd said this rock-and-r Olathe band was a lesser version of the Last of the V8s. Granted, that was in the context of that one show at P. Ott's, and I didn't mean that as the definitive word -- just meant they got showed up by their elders at pretty much the same game. Anyway, I'm here to acknowledge that Crazytalk is official and officially bad ass. Here are the reasons:
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