Saturday, April 21, 2012

Record Store Day

I Couldn't make it to a record store today, so, instead I ordered the Bomb 11" record "The Challenger" from No Idea records, directly. Yeah, on one level, that's not the point of Record Store day. I know you're supposed to go to a brick and mortar indie record store, and purchase some super hip piece of vinyl, to show off to our your friends with Fixie bikes.
Here's what I take from Record Store day- rather than downloading to your itunes account, in a faceless transaction,  Record Store day is about celebrating the human transactions of buying commercial art. So, I bought from people I know ( I used to work in Rocknroll, you know? think I've never been to Gainesville?) to support musicians I know ( I first met Jeff when Naked Raygun was touring the "All Rise" record) . Furthermore, it's an 11" record ( no typo) so there's no CD or download equivalent, now is there?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pelican-Ataraxia Taraxis

A little less Rock, a little more Art tonight. However, Pelican still rock. I don't know if I'd still call them "Post metal", but then, I never did, really. Instead, I think of them as a really heavy Instrumental indie rock band. But, your milage may differ.
So, yes, there are no vocals, and no guitars don't get much louder. Still, it's not so concerned with challenge, this go around. Instead the songs are like the best bridge sections of the extended live versions of your favorite Rock songs. You know, where the band just plays, and it's not so much about hyping the crowd up, as it is about just enjoying the moment? So, no, this isn't as complex as some of their past releases, but I still really like it. One track, "Parasite Colony" even reminds me of a really heavy passage from a Thin White Rope song- so yeah, that's high praise. Still good stuff, I'd say.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Torche Harmonicraft

I don't own it yet. It hasn't been released yet. But I will own it. I heard some of the songs when they played live, and you can stream the record (yuck, I had to link to Spin magazine) so I am ready to give a preliminary thought on it. It's even more Pop than Meanderthal, but it's exactly up my alley. It reminds me of an unsung (except by me, I think) band- Workers. It's got that same melodic blasting- like U2 meets early Jane's Addiction meets 1st album BRMC meets Kyuss- see how that goes from Pop to less pop to post punk to rock? Well, that's how the songs are with Torche-at first, you're assaulted by the Pop sheen, then you start to notice the subversion, then, you notice that really that guitar is mighty loud, and before the short track ends, you realize that it's monstrously heavy, but performed so tightly, that it seems more pop than it is. So, if you like Stoner/Grunge/Alternative loud rock, give it at least two listens. The first just to get the initial impression, and the second to realize what you actually heard. In that spirit- this will be the first word on the new LP from me. The second will come when the record is released, and I get a chance to listen to the CD/LP ( whichever I get first). I think it's the only way to be fair to this band.

Dick Clark

Rest in peace old man. For the man, himself, I hope he had a good life, and that his passing was easy for him and his family.
As a cultural force, however, he wasn't much to me. I got into radio more for Shadoe Stevens, Casey Kasem, and Rodney Bingenheimer. I think Don Cornelius, Dick Cavett, Steve Allen and Johnny Carson were better television hosts.
Dick Clark's persona, as the World's Oldest Teenager, diminished rock and roll, and our culture, as a result. I think he served as the face of the homogenization of American culture. So, no, I don't mourn Dick Clark. Again, I hope that life was good for the man, himself. I don't hate him. But I hope that something better replaces him in our culture.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Return of Da King

Well, not everything is music. I got the new Mark Leyner book, though I've not yet got a chance to read it. Who's Mark Leyner? Well, I discovered his high powered absurdist pop culture satire with his book "Et, Tu, Babe" back in the mid 1990's. Then I read some of his Esquire articles, and I even read "Why do men have nipples" which is the closest thing to non-fiction in his canon. So, I was happily surprised to hear he's got a new fiction out, called "The Sugar Frosted Nutsack". From the sounds of things, this time it's pop religion, reality TV and procedurals that gets his blown out hyperbolic satire. It should be good. I realize, I'm basically a hack journalist who's not even bothering to edit on this blog, but I swear, I've got decent taste in writers, and actually know that Leyner is, in certain technical aspects, a better Satirist than our esteemed Dr Hunter S Thompson.
So, give it a look-see, huh?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Coachella day 3

Well, I couldn't watch very much- had work early this morning, so I couldn't stay up to see HoloPac, but I did see Wild Flag and The Hives. Wild Flag were decent. Honestly, I was a bit let down. I mean, Carrie had some fierce guitar pyrotechnics, but a fair number of the songs reminded me of church when I was a kid. In church, you've got a bunch of older folks who maybe were never great singers, but they certainly aren't any good, now. You've also got a few good singers, and they try to guide the rest of the flock, but it usually works against them. Every time Wild Flag tried to get it together, it just seemed to highlight the flat notes, and missed cues. When they just jammed for a bit, all was forgiven, and I couldn't hate 'em if I tried, but it really wasn't the best set I've ever seen.
The Hives, though, still brought the goods. They brought the fire. Between Pelle's patented stage banter, and the high energy precision garage punk, they managed to ignite the crowd. I don't think I saw the crowd more animated during the rest of what I saw of the festival. Watch the performance of "Tick Tick Boom" and tell me I'm wrong. Rock ain't dead- between The Hives and The Refused, it just has been hiding in Sweden...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Coachella Day 2

Well, I've got to go to work tomorrow, very early, so I don't think I'll be watching much more, but I saw Buzzcocks , We Were Promised Jetpacks, Kaiser Chiefs, Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds, and Kasabian. There were others I wanted to see, but that's still a pretty killer line-up. Because of the set up, I couldn't exactly "channel surf" quite like I otherwise would have- we had the laptop set up with powered external speakers on the bed so the Wife and I could watch in pyjamas (ahem), so not everything was my choice, which was absolutely fine. In my opinion,then, Buzzcocks and Kasabian killed it. Wow! Proper respect must also be given to Ricky Wilson of Kaiser Chiefs- the man can work a festival crowd like few others can, and really takes advantage of anything around.
But Buzzcocks managed to put on a real punk rock show, amidst all the luxury and pop perfection, and that was really stellar! Likewise, Kasabian brought their yobbish hip hop inflected Brit Pop with so much attitude, it was also like a punk rock show.
Now, had it just been me, I probably would've gone with a slightly different list of bands to watch, but I actually prefer that it was a bit more for my wife than me- it made it just a bit more like a real concert experience, and simultaneously more surreal, as, I'd never go to a show in my bedroom....
If I can, I'll watch Wild Flag, this evening, but other than that, my little taste of Coachella, here in Brunswick is over. I sincerely hope that other festivals do the live streaming thing as well, because most times, I have to go to concerts and shows with my son, or alone, as my wife has some health concerns that make it more difficult for her to go. Hey, and to be fair, I'm getting older as well- I can't spend 3 hours in the Pit like I used to, and even if I could, it's a lot of bother and awkwardness just to be "that crazy old guy- what's he doing here?" On top of that, how does this math grab you- cost ( in USD, for two) to go to Coachella-
tickets 500-600
plane fare 600-800
Hotels, taxis, etc- 200-300
lost work time- 400-500
And cost for this:
Internet connection, so 0-5, depending upon how you calculate- my Internet connection costs me roughly 70 a month, so two days worth is 4.5 dollars, but I would've been paying for that anyway- hence, the cost was either nothing, or a few dollars. I honestly would have paid more- so for any promoters who may be reading- there's another revenue stream for you- I, personally, would have paid a few more dollars- nothing crazy mind you, but a few more- say up to 20 dollars a day.
Anyway, I have to go, my suburban life is calling....