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Dikes of Holland, The Young, Gospel Truth and The Creationists @ Emo’s inside, 12.22.11

12/23/2011

I still have a blog! Just more photos this time though.

The Creationists, my friend Kevin Pope on bass here.

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The Gospel Truth, before completely disintegrating the stage

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The Young, reminding me of Urge Overkill for some reason.

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Dikes Of Holland, nerd punk attack!

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Built To Spill “Else”

07/17/2011

Came up again recently and I’m in love again.  I put this on a smarmy love-themed mixtape when I lived in Japan, and this was probably my favorite song on it.  The dreamy lyrics and a sound that always reminds me of the old “Sleep Walk” tune make perfection.

Coma In Algiers and French Inhales @ Scoot Inn, 7.9

07/10/2011

Coma In Algiers is what The Factory parties would have sounded like after punk broke.

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The French Inhales were like a shoegaze band on K Records.

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Philadelphia, PA – 5.13.11

07/06/2011

The rockers at Tritone

The Boston to Philadelphia trek turned out to be a little more complicated than anticipated. The plan was to catch a 3:00 bus to Philly from Penn Station, and we got off to a good start but then ran into difficulties trying to find a gas station near the Connecticut/NY border and later exited onto the Saw Mill Parkway about thirty miles too early. I ended up catching a 5 o’clock bus and made it to my friend Maria’s by about 7:30. I was without Patrick’s video monitor, but Maria let me use her small flatscreen and grabbing that from her nice little apartment was about all we had time to do before loading out and catching a cab to Tritone.

Once at the club, Sara the promoter and Scott the soundguy were there ready to go. Setup was pretty quick, though there was a bit of weirdness with the main microphone. Scott had some kind of effects running for the vocals beyond simple reverb and it was getting all sorts of horrible feedback. At one point he was able to cup his hands around the mic and change the feedback tone, sort of like playing a theremin.  After switching out to another model, things seemed to work better and everything was pretty smooth from then on.

Some old friends from Austin, Priya and Jamie, were there early with friends and cookies.  I got to chat a little, both before and after Maria and I made a sandwich run.  Priya and Jamie aren’t singers, but their friend Christine was the first one up after me, and she had another friend who I believe sang.  More ex-Austinites (and KU devotees) Alexis and Amy were there a little later and brought a crew of great singers. Overall, it felt more like a house party than most of the shows I’ve done recently and that was extremely cool. Turnout was a little lower than my Facebook-inflated expectations, but it was still a big crowd, especially given that we were up against what sounds like a great monthly party, England Belongs To Twee. It was also interesting with a lot of the crowd being veterans of Karaoke Obscura, a similar show to KU that we’ve traded tips a few times but never worked together much. They added a bunch of Top 40, especially hip-hop, and when the vocals don’t come out of a song then they just made a singalong version. Karaoke Obscura is on indefinite hiatus, but I talked to Keith who was part of the group running the show and they’re thinking about bringing it back.

On to the highlights!  Briefly because I waited too long to do this.  Here’s the YouTube clip and here are the pics on Facebook, both brought to you by the color red.

– Sheel was a hero, he’s good friends with Chi Chi, who we’ve been borrowing a PA from for the last few years in Austin.  He sang The Impossibles(!) and Okkervil River, plus the Mountain Goats, and was all over the stage every time.  More Austin music this night from Alexis’ friend Ned, who sang “Fun Fun Fun” by the Big Boys.

– Matt was excited to sing Stereolab as soon as the event was posted on Facebook, and he sang that as well as a few more, including a great duet of “Lazy Line Painter Jane” with Vicki.

– Alexis’ friend Dennis rocked out Hüsker Dü and Le Tigre, it was awesome to meet him.

– Justin was probably the MVP of the night.  He only sang one solo song – “Hyper Enough”(!), but got up for a few duets and totally owned.

– Alexis and Amy sang a few favorites from Austin – “Head On,” “Astrozombies,” “Rebel Girl” – but no Crass or Cock Sparrer!  They were responsible for re-introducing me to those bands, and I’ve listened to them quite a bit more since they got added to the list.  Cock Sparrer, at least, is great karaoke music and I should have gotten up to sing “Take ‘Em All”.

Poster Children “In My Way”

06/28/2011

This perfectly sums up the feeling of being trapped by myself this summer, and it’s crap because there is so much to be excited about.  It mostly comes back to devoting so much energy to a big time-sink where I don’t want to fit in, and having so much residual resistance built up that I have a hard time connecting where I want to.  It’s on me to stop getting in my way, stop trying to hide in a stereotype. Here are the lyrics to Poster Children‘s epic “In My Way”:

Writing a novel before you can open your mouth
Editing every response until nothing comes out
Taught from the earliest age how to filter the rage
Into silence that speaks for itself
Split down the center, divided and made to behave

You're in my way

Feeling the need to conform even when you're alone
Feeling yourself going under when you're under control
Building a character out of your character
Trying to hide in a stereotype
Honesty has been replaced by a neutral display

Fleshlights, Hex Machine & MODOK @ Red 7

06/18/2011

I only caught the last minute of MODOK, was damn good though.

Hex Machine (Richmond, VA)
Extremely restless, alternating between triumphant chords and knotty transitions.

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The Fleshlights

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My Disco and Young Widows @ red 7

06/15/2011

My Disco

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Young Widows

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The Spits at Chaos In Tejas, Red 7 6.2.11

06/03/2011

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The Spits

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ShellShags

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TV Ghost

Cambridge, MA – 5.12.11

05/31/2011

Chuck is Damaged Goods

Kelly has a lead foot so we made great time through New York and western Massachusetts.  The weather was amazing, and the three of us had some good catching-up conversation all the way.  I also fixed up a couple videos that had glitches in them when I ripped them from our old VCDs, technology is wonderful.  We got to TT The Bear’s Place near Union Station in Cambridge before they were open enough to load in.  Bowling For Soup was playing downstairs at the Middle East that night, I need to tell my #1-BFS-fan friend Lindsay about that.  Patrick and Kelly and I got some time to wander around and we spent it at Weirdo Records (I went on a CD bargain binge and got some Lost Sounds, Arrington de Dionyso and more, plus full price for the Urinals comp), then got a pint down the street at a pub that P & K manage to hit every time they’re in town.  About an hour after we got there, we were back at TT’s.  Load-in and soundcheck were a breeze, and we went to meet P & K’s friends Richard and Sabi.

Richard and Sabi’s apartment was really cool, including an Atari nook with Space Invaders painted on the wall!  They took us to a great little diner that had slightly eccentric but very tasty food (I went for the Dog Of The Day, a salsa hot dog) and drink options (I had something with jenever and grapefruit that I shouldn’t have ordered and then a very good “deconstructed rum and cola,” with rum and cola bitters).  We met some more friends for dinner, including one friend of Patrick and Richard’s who was living in Syracuse and was at the show the night before.  Patrick knows everybody cool.

At the club, we got there in time to chat a little with some of the members of Ghost Box Orchestra, a really good psych band just returning home from a tour to…Austin.  They’d played at Austin Psych Fest 4, and even though I couldn’t go to the festival, I loved the music they had online.  I was really excited when man-behind-the-curtain Brad Searles told me that GBO would be opening up for Karaoke Underground, and it turned out to be as great a match as I hoped.  They finished off their mostly-instrumental set with a cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” and a friend from the audience got up on stage to join in.  More people really should have jumped up…*I* should have, dammit.  But it was fantastic.

KU sound was all set, and I just had to plug in to the projector that the band was using (run by an awesome guy named… John/Jack/Pete?  this is why I shouldn’t wait three weeks to write these).  Knowing we had to stop at 1, I think the singing started by 11 o’clock, and we flew through as many singers as possible in a short 2-hour show.  We definitely ran into the same problem as at the Matador party, where we had way more singers than time.  I’ll have to find a way to get back there soon, because it was just too great to not do again.  Anyway, TT’s had the best sound of the whole tour, and the huge projection screen made the photos look great.  I got some great video clips, and here are some other highlights:

– “The Ice Of Boston” got sung, by Shannon.  Way to take care of business!

– Chuck (photo above) really got into “Damaged Goods.”  He owned that song, well done sir.

– Terrance was on a Stooges kick and followed up his live band karaoke stint accompanying GBO on “I Wanna Be Your Dog” with “Loose” on our list.  He was all over the stage and I think he got in the crowd a bit too.

– Susan sang Okkervil River with some kind of maniacal giddiness that fit “Westfall” perfectly.  She got down on both of her knees and rocked that performance, it was absolutely amazing.

– Dan sang Miracle Of 86‘s “Every Famous Last Word,” which is his brother Kevin’s band and never ever gets sung, so that was a big treat.

– “Deceptacon” inspired another dance riot, courtesy of Sarah, followed shortly after by another great dance song sung by Maris: “Parentheses” by The Blow.

– Someone sang “Adopduction”!  Taleen sang it, to be precise.  I like it when girls sing Les Savy Fav. A lot.

– Dennis, the bassist from Ghost Box Orchestra, sang the karaoke debut of Superchunk’s “Detroit Has A Skyline,” and he killed it.

– Right before he sang Silkworm’s “Couldn’t You Wait,” Evan’s friends sang a quick “Happy Birthday” to him, which was very cute.  And he fucking nailed the song too, even inspiring some fly girl dancing by someone who I’m not sure he knew.

– All through the last half hour or so, several friends of an Evan K. kept insisting that I push him to the front of the queue.  I don’t do that, but when it came time for the last song of the night, he was next on my list and he lived up to the hype by taking over the club for Black Flag’s “Jealous Again.”  He was jumping on and offstage, getting in people’s faces and trying to start a pit, it was great.  I let the music run into the next song, which happened to be “TV Party” and he continued to rage, with me more or less playing straight man.  After that when the music finally cut off, he kept the mic and tried to get everybody singing “Fight For Your Right To Party” for another minute.  Pretty damn epic, well done Evan K.

Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros “At The Border, Guy”

05/30/2011

I’m way too late to the game with The Mescaleros, but this song from the excellent Global A-Go-Go is bubbling right along today and I need to gush about it.  This is a great example of building a propulsive groove out of the simplest parts.  The guitar/keyboard riff is incredibly basic, but matched up just so against the constantly shifting beat and BAM!

RIP, Joe Strummer, your music lives forever.