Sunday, March 26, 2006

3/16/06 SXSW Day 2

Heavily medicated and ready for day 2 i was on my way to Mrs. B's when i walked by emos annex and heard some sweet brit rock coming out the doorway. shit was free so i popped my head in for a little while and saw this great band Field Music they play a more beatles-esque version of brit pop. its something different than the more recent wave of british bands.

Back to Mrs. B's in time to catch the end of Saviours. They are more of that rockin SF metal, it occured to me at that point that was the home of the new kick ass metal scene, or maybe its been there forever, they got all kinds of shit out there one the left coast.

Erase Errata was the reason we hit up that spot, like i mentioned when i saw them in august theyve gone through a line up change. shit works, they are chugging along, im interested to see what the next album will sound like in coomparison to the previous ones.

After that I headed north 8 or 10 blocks to the vice trifecta of stages. two small rooms and an outdoor. As we were walking up i heard the crazy japanese noise of Afrirampo the drums and guitar duo are the craziest girls from JP ive ever seen, outside of japanese horro movies of course. they rocked out, but also played some lighter songs since it was the middle of the day and they werent playing right before lightning bolt. the drummer started to chat between songs, and her limited grasp of english made her sound even crazier, not to mention she was talking about how all the rocks and trees and animals were all music and to listen to them as well as the band, psycho.

I left a tad early so that we could make it to the longbranch inn for Young Knives i was not at all disappointed by these guys, i love thier songs, the first record, here comes the rumor mill, sounds great put them in the same catergory as the rakes, and if that aint enuff the two dudes are brothers. intense set.

I saw islands few months ago, i think i negelcted to mention that, the show was fun but i wasnt ultra-impressed, but that shit all changed after this set. the islanders were fucking on like genghis kahn. they fucking had so much energy. and they blew through some great songs, no filler whatsoever, and if that werent enough towards the end of the set busdriver and subtitle blew up on stage and kick it fresher than the freshest mcs could ever kick it. i fucking love busdriver, fear of a black tangent is the shit. long live islands!

Walked back over to the outdoor stage to catch J.mascis of Dinosaur jr. fame in his new band Witch, a band where he fucking rocks out on drums, never thought that would be, but it is and it rocks, dont let those grey locks fool you, j is nowhere near done and he proves it, when he provides the killer beats for thier metal slow jamz. album out now.

Then i went inside for to the other vice stage to see another band, that was for sure gonna be my favorite new band, but first i had to sit through the second werst band i got to see at sxsw. they were called plan b, i wont even bother linking them, you dont want to go near it. imagine some one like the streets(i dig streets), now imagine that same person likes eminem(i cant stand slim), now imagine he takes those two styles sets them to some acoustic guitar and gets a drummer that is embarassed to sit next to him, booyah, you got plan b, not one song went by where this guy didnt mention rape and back alley abortions, i really wished i could turn my ears off dude was fucking painful, the drummer probably wishes he had gone with plan a. BO! i have nightmares about seeing this band again.

Three fucking cheers for You Say Party! We Say Die! seriously best new band that i thought would be good. these guys remind me of pretty girls make graves before they got more into the artpunk stuff. these guys are straight up rockin dance party jamz. i give them my full seal of DYFAO approval. i had only heard 2 songs before this show but was already a fan, got the album on the spot and its also fucking great, to band these canadian kids dont get down to the states as much as i like, but youll definately know when they will be here next, cause ill be first in line, further listening: "the gap"

Next we hit up the iheartcomix party at the beauty bar just in time to see Giant Dragwho are anything but. this quirky rock duo has some of the most the wierdest stange banter and song names on the planet. the highlight has to be "YFLMD" which is short for you fuck like my dad, check em out they rock.

The Cribs were after that. i was in quite a good mood and had a really good time with thier brit rock stylings, super fast and catchy.

Protocol was soon to follow, they were not very innovative in any way, but they were still very good, its a power indie kind of sound, the guitars riffs are very quick and that seems to be the most powerful sound in the band, kind of in the way the guitars are in bloc party.

Annie came up after that and it seemed like that was what every one was there for, but i was very unimpressed with the nordic diva. i hadnt really got into her this past year like the majority of people up here. but i did like her saong chewing gum when it was with hey willpower! that shit goes off like crazy, but when she did it live sans will i was not that into it. and she kept complaining about the sound. i was kind of hoping she would storm offstage. oh well.

The main event here, for me anyway was my first glimpse at australias Wolfmother they didnt dissapoint. they had a really great stage presence in addition to having some great tunes. its like some really good classic rock sounding shit, back to the good old days. leather vest? i think so.

Hit up some club down the street from there and went to the only show i paid for the whole time. it had kicked off a lot earlier but i blew in just in time for a set from Part Chimp that was like 10x awesomer than thier show at the knit, these dudes are fucking metal and they love it, if you want to get your ears blown out through your ass go check em out.

But the reason i went was because i havent seen Thunderbirds are Now! in like a month or two and that seems to long. they were in top form starting a dance contest bringing rahim and the plastic constelations on stage with them, and delivering a diatribe about how every one should have a great time and fuck all the industry people because no one needs them, and he didnt have to tell me that, i already knew.

3/15/06 SXSW day 1

My first venture down to that great state they call texas was an amazing one. I headed down to the fest without anything but a list of free shit and a handful of rsvps, i was gonna have a good time, if it killed me and trust me, it almost did. After 30 hours of driving over 2 days with 5 people crammed in a minivan we finally made it deep down into (clap clap clap) the heart of texas, and there was no going back until it was all over.
Probably, and by probably i mean mos definitely, the savior of sxsw was toddp of nyc fame, the man decided to roll on down there and put on the best free shit at a local bar that even made the locals go crazy for. i spent the entirity of my first day on the wonderful Mrs. B's Patio, catching some not so warm weather while viewing a slew of great bands, some new, some old favs:

the people played very first, i didnt get any pix because i rolled in around thier last song. it was cool loose experimental drums(kevin shea of storm and stress fame) and guitar. i liked the drum stylings, they were all over the place, but there was a lot going on.

Hightower is a rock n roll band to the fullest extent of the law, some metal ass shit. it was like noon but i was fucking blown away, duder rocked out on the table we were sitting at and shredded some shit in my buddies face, it was fucking rad. think about the least bullshit rock youve ever heard and then take a way 10x more bullshit and you will be close to this band. SF nows how to grow em. sidenote: the drummer was superrad, he kept fucking shit up at every set by other bands, often doing skate tricks right up on stage, no one had any stops left to pull this week, they dun pulled em all!

Shellshag was a nyc band that i had heard the name of but never really got to see, well im not letting that happen anymore, this dup was excellent, dueling vocals into microphones on one stand that faced each other, awesome. and they kicked it off with the drummer girl trashing a rope with a bunch of cymbals on the end through the air and down hard on the concrete, she also wears tons of jingle bells on her waist and feet for a bit more rythm to her bear bones drum kit. they are the diy-ite stripes. and since no one would let up during sxsw at the end of the set we got not one, not two but three guitar through drums explosions. they just belw the shit outta those heads. rockin.

Walken was another killer metal band from SF, they were no hightower, but they still rocked the early morning right.

alright, so i think the single best surprise of the whole fetival was Ill Ease this one lady rock band was a really awesome idea that is completely her own. and it isnt just a good idea the execution is so perfect. what ms. sharp does, is play really great indie rock drums and guitar tunes without any help whatsoever. shell start you off with some sweet guitar licks and sing a bit then shell loop the fuck out of it and then give you a kick ass drum solo to show you the way. sometimes she works with prerecorded backbeats and those are great as well, she only uses them when its something thats going to be to complicated to pull off live, and there aint nothing wrong with switching up a formula if its gonna kick the content into overdrive, check out some ill ease, because unfortunately for these hometown homies shes gonna be on tour until june, but thats fantastic news for you out-o-towners. go let her know that she rocks, but she doesnt need you to tell her because she already knows.

Panther was my first disappointment of the festival. not because of his musical content, but because there werent that many people there he acted all shitty about it. now this is something i cannot stand. i have seen many bands that i enjoy do this, and it completely turns me off to them, no one wants to see you play songs and then hear you pout during the breaks, no i understand it must not feel good to play to a small crowd, but suck it up, show the kids there whats up and then theyll tell 2 friends and theyll tell 2 friends etc. his musical content also bothered me, he seems like a less talented barr, and you know i love my barr, it was even more noticable because he was wearing a barr shirt, hes got some fucnky fresh moves, ill give him that, but seriously less baby and ill say maybe.

do i still need to tell people how awesome i think matt and kim are, well i guess not, but i will anyway. they are the coolest kids who ever cooled. seriously i had tons of fun while hanging with these guys down in atx. i got to talk to them and pretty soon they are going to be recording a full length in LA, they are out there right now, its just a matter of time until the world gets 11 new matt and kim tracks unleashed on thier deaf ears. oh man, chills. i have only heard a handful of these joints live, speaking of, i forgot to put a link in my review of thier FL shows, but a pal o mine named maggie took a sweet video of them playing thier new song, "yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah" dont know if thats what its called but thats the chorus, now keep in mind maggie is not a lighting technician or videographer, but she does have a sweet camera that takes video and a good sense of what great music is, watch it here, but more just listen to it really. oh and there was a videographer from new york noise catching some great footage of them on stage that day in texas so keep an eye out for it on channel 25 on tues. nights @ 10.

Meneguar is another one of those bands i talk about all the time, but ill continue to talk. they have been playing some new tracks recently, and they are great. this show was a quick one off with no real surprises, but they are on tour with m+k right now and have a bunch of showcases to play and am sure they want thier best feet put forward, so thats what they do, they give the 5 songs they are most proud of and rock them as professionally as possible and i hope that lots of people who never got to see them before were impressed, they shoudlve been.

Die! Die! Die! from NZ were a killer punk trio that have a very early british punk sound to them, the accent doesnt hurt the validity of that label either. they have a handful more shows left in the US before they make thier way back down under, so catch em (that show w/wolfmother @ bowery doesnt look like a bad choice if you ask me)

Measles Mumps Rubella as i have said in the past are awesome sounding super hero rock that bring to mind a psyched out devo taking you on a rocket to jupiter. they got a great response at this set, and they played really well, the lead singer was doing his signature dances and people loved it, he kind of does this low to the ground sweeping thing, its great. listen to some album tracks,you must know that the live show varies greatly, but its still trip-o-riffic. and i also learned at this show, that the singer is new to the band as of about a year ago, i had no idea.

The Psychic Ills played the best show i have seen them play, it may have been the fact that they played so early normally i am tired and these guys kind of lull you that way its good, but it just flows along at some points and you can get lost in the sound. social registry is putting out some great bands these days and the ills are no exception.

The next band was another one of the coolest things about the whole festival, right after the ills finished a van tore into the parking lot and out came 4 dudes who proceeded to rock out for the next 10 mins, gorilla rock shows are the new underground rock shows, impromptu jams you have to be lucky to catch will take over the world silently. The Teenage Harlets rolled around in a van with speakers attached to the top and thier drummer attached to the interior, the roll up jump out rock and then roll, and they were good to, they reminded me a bit of the phenomenauts but a bit more bluesy garagey, it was great.

The Double played a more new york indie type set then had been seen all day, they are like interpol, but good, and out there a bit more. its the singers voice thats commanding enough to let you know, but not be over bearing and after two records the band really has thier shit together, i mean they had to in order to get thier new record on matador.

Night after Night finished off my night right, another one of the metal bands from SF, these dudes dont care about any one else being there, all of those bands are just good friends there to cheer each other on, and it helps a lot, for the crowd at least, great music is made by great people, i think jesus said that. check out the dudes shredding on top of the uhaul.

i took off early that night because the free night shot fell through, but i figured why not just chill, i got three killer days ahead of me, ill stock up on bengay and dayquill and get an early start tommorow. and i did just that.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

SXSW on the way

hey sweet dudes and sweet ladies, i am well on my way to getting this thing back in order, but i just wanted to give you a taste of my sxsw experience, heres who i saw:
People, hightower, shellshag, walken, ill ease, panther, matt and kim, meneguar, die! die! die!, Measles Mumps Rubella, Psychic Ills, teenage harlets, the double, night after night, field music, saviours, erase eratta, afrirampo, young knives, Islands w/subtitle and busdriver, witch, plan B, You say party we say die, giant drag, the cribs, protocol, annie, wolfmother, part chimp, Thuderbirds are now!, what made milwaukee famous, the ms, film school, we are scientists, charlatans uk, cortina, Parts and Labor, the bats, crystal skulls, john vanderslice, friends of dean martinez, earlimart, the fiery furnaces, octopus project, trail of the dead, dada swing, flosstradamaus, panther(again), wooden wand and friends, sam champion, the gossip, the giraffes, the ark, roger sisters, bad wizard, dmbq, tommorows friend, diamond nights, man man, zero skills, spencer kinman, nat baldwin, ill ease(again), meneguar(again), matt and kim(again)

i was all over that place like mad, that shit was the best vacation i have ever taken, the food the fun the sun (when it was there) youll get a full report soon, but for now take the list and like it, i got pics from almost everything. youll see!

3/10/06 Black Dice, White Magic & Wizzards @ High five space

I got to high five only about an hour after doors and somehow i just missed the only band i really wanted to see. Wizzards has brian gibson, the bass dude from LB playing drums while this other dude makes noise with some boxes and pedals and shit. the record sounds good, but its one of those noise acts youve got to see to get the full effect. i couldve broken things i was so angry. So then after i calmed down White magic took the stage, i had heard good things about their goth folk sound but it made me want to take a nap more than anything. im on the fence about this new folk revolution, some of its good and some of it i cant stand. i managed to snap a few before curling up in a ball on the floor.

Now Black Dice i had seen once before a very long time ago and hated with a passion. but it was while i was waiting to see godspeed so i may have been a little biased, but i remember it just being like free noise stuff that just wondered and at no point formed any kind of song, and just hurt my ears a lot. but this performance changed my whole BD world. they are playing a lot more rhythmic noise now, i really like it, the beat has a good backbone for a nice lush sounding noise layer on top, even a guitar at times, i like the evolution they have gone through and am now a fan, but you make the call on this one.

they had some great visuals too:

and on a side note, i had noticed this large mural of raphael on the wall at high five:

but only this time did the crowd clear so i could see the rest of it, breathtaking:

3/9/06 Oxford Collapse & Part Chimp @ the knit (tap bar)

i picked up Part Chimp's i am come, listened to it, and after i was done i picked my ears up off the ground and did it again. this shit is RAWK raw as hell and hard as diamonds. i cant say much more than that, its doesnt sound dumb though, its very pre-meditated outlandish at times. maybe a UK version of DMBQ type noise. itll rip you up and spit you out and then youll be like, can i do it again, until your boes turn to powder. rock on.

OXCO was prepped for a tour with PC you could tell. they were in heavy form, but not as heavy as i wanted, if they went for it with the first album, it would be a bit closer but no where near the loudness of PC, but i hope they did well out there on the road, i ran into them at sxsw and had a little chat about it and they said the crowds were moslty metal heads for PC but its to be expected metal dudes are a bit crazy, they said some guy drove 6 hours for one of the shows, dedication or what? the OC boys said they werent getting as big a response as they wanted but it was to be expected, at least they are out jaunting around for a bit. i didnt see any of thier sxsw shows, but i was told they were hyped off thier new label status and gave a great performance.

3/4/06 Man Man @ SoundFix Records

MAn oh MaN, i love Man Man. seriously, i cant get enough, the first album was great, but this album(six demon bag), while being in the same vein, is light years above and beyond. everything about it. i like to describe them as tom waits mixed with zappa/beefheart playing sea chantys. i didnt think soundfix was that great, but i have come around, i never saw the coffee house connescted to it, this was a small place for a five piece band to play, but every one crammed in and saw one hell of a show, they are definately a live show that is better if the crowd is better. and i have yet to see a crowd that ate up man man like they were acid. how can you not, 5 or 6 guys going crazy on thier respective instruments, while sometimes breaking into kazoo freakouts. singalongs, war paint, and all white. i know ive told you to see bands before, but man man is one of those bands that i mean, dont bother coming back, if you dont see them, i guess im giving out homework, but theres no due date. now get crackin.
~everything thats anything becomes nothing and thats everything and nothing is the only thing you ever seem to have~ man man

February is four weeks to long

Alright, im back from sxsw alive, but more on that above, this is it, im gonna get this blogs ass back in gear because she deserves it. booyah grandma.

2/26/06 Moistboyz @ The Knit
My last show in feb was heavy one, it was my first time seeing this hardcore side project, made up mostly of members from sound of urchin & ween. actually the first time i saw dean ween play live. the fucker slayed. Moistboyz brought the rock and they brought it hard. it was no bullshit cock rock, and i want that sometimes, especially when its cold as balls outside. the lead singer was so insane i was afraid he was going to come down from the stage for no reason and beat the living piss out of me, but somehow id enjoy it. thats makes sense. but the best part had to be how hard the dean ween and the guy from urchin, molested thier guitars, shit was awesome. thats a couple of guitars that wish they would of been made into something else, they were just screaming for a little mercy, but they wouldnt let those poor instruments any slack. sorry for the dark pics, i didnt want to be hurt.

2/25/06 Weird War, Aa, Meneguar & Professor Murder @ Highfive Space
this was my first time in the highfive space, really great large loft out in bushwick really cool people, really nice vibe. i walked in a little ways through professor murder, they play some really fun dancy punk rock, i really dig em, take a listen and agree with me or die.

Meneguar played second, and if i keep talking about this band i will just be constantly repeating myself, they play some great rock songs. they played some new shit tonight and it sounded great, i cant wait for a new record. i feel like ive turned more people on to these guys than a light switch, dont question that statement it makes sense if you read deeper into it. did you do it, well i was lying, but i made you do it, now scroll.

As i said recently Aa is rearranging their line up a little bit. they have done it once again, added a member with some laptop shit to enhance the sound, it definately adds a nice layer. but i think i like the primal Aa sound a little more than i like this, but i think it would be nice to have that element on a record.

Weird War kicked that shit out. (good luck navigating the website) this was my first experience of ian svenonius in the flesh, he did not disappoint. i was make up fan, but wasnt really in a place to see them when they were around. its has a similar style, but if svenonius is the frontman thats how its going to be, plus the bass player was there to. i still dont think the music is as good as its former incarnation, but its still worth it.

2/20/06 BARR, Free Blood & First Nations @ Cake Shop
First Nation wasnt really my thing, it was noise, but it wasnt noisy. it almost felt somewhat improvised to me. they just got signed to paw tracks so i shouldve expected it, i am really on the fence about that label, i can really get into some of it, while the other stuff does nothing for me. i hold nothing against it i just cant get on that wavelength. ya heard?

Free Blood is funky as hell. i they really are altogether now, a fitting opener for BARR that makes you shake that ass. with a member from !!! you know they got some cred already and they live up to thier dance counterpart well. it even got a bit dirty at times, they said they are going to be releasing some shit sometime in the future, but until then, go see them and get sweaty.

BARR BARR BARR BARR i cant say enough, i love BARR there are some imitators but there is no other brendan fowler (fowler, i hardly know her) the man is excellent, he was so crazed at this show because he hadnt slept in days because he was nervous to start his tour with animal collective, who could blame him, i would think he may have some trouble brining his show out of an intimate space and into a large auditorium, but he can handle it, hes barr. he played a few songs short of a full set, but who could blame him, he still rocked the joint and gave away a cell phone. the man is a wizzzzerd. i was laughing so hard i could barely see, but in the most respectful way possible. barr for prez '08 shit is gonna happen, YOUR ASS BROKE THE CHECKBOOK!

2/9/06 & 2/11/06 Matt and Kim @ BBR (orlando) & the Spot (tampa)
I went on down home for some vacation in the good ole FL, the parts i can stand. and if the weather werent enough i got to see my favorite duo that also doubles as a couple TWICE! they rocked me as usual and i was glad to give them some out of town support. the first show was actually at my sisters house, she was a very gracious host to a sun crazed M+K. They had a great time and were able to play for 30-40 kids just from some great word of mouth. three cheers for, hip hip.

i wish i could say the tampa show was as good, but it wasnt, it was fucked up. i roll in there and what do i find but 30 high school kids having a dance party to bright eyes. after i was done throwing up all over the place i started to wonder what the fuck was going on. this shit didnt happen when i was in high school. and then i found out there wasnt a drop of alcohol anywhere, my head almost blew up. then matt and kim showed up and went through the same realizations so we waited outside calmly until matt and kim played and then we ran for the hills. at least the place looked cool.

2/8/06 The Hold Steady @ the social & park ave cds (orlando)
also while visiting i got to see another NYC band. the hold steady didnt get as big a response as i was expecting them to get, as they get such a good one back in the city, there were still some great people in the crowd, but it wasnt as epic as i thought it would be, dont get me wrong they played great, but you just want some drunkin singalongs. (i did find out that when they played ybor city the next night shit went off, since it is almost like thier 2nd home they have never been to but sing about all the time)

The instore was fun, i liked the store, i got an old mountain goats 7" they did the bit where franz plays accordian, so it becomes an acoustic set. couple new joints in there.

2/4/06 Oakley Hall, Oxford Collapse, & Awesome Color @ union pool
Oakley hall finally put out a new record so they had a release party for it, it was the first time i had been to the newly renovated union pool, that place is nice, and beer isnt rediculous and its only a hop skip and jump(in that order) from the lorimer stop, not bad at all.
i wasnt feeling awesome color at first but i was quikly converted, these guys rocked out,in a great bluesy garage kinda way(think the mooney suzuki, but good)(SLAM!) and they seem to be playing todd shows all the time, so if you see em on a bill go early and dont miss them. in fact they are playing on 3/29 (wed) @ the glasshouse

OXCO played a set that was better than most but not thier finest. i still cant help but yearn for the days that some wilderness was thier main repetoir, it was heavier, it was more thier own sound. i do have to give them mad props (if those are still given) on getting signed to sub pop, these dudes work so hard, they deserve thier success.

Oakley Hall were excellent, maybe they were on fire because of the excitment of finally getting that record out, but maybe they just bring it all the time and i have been in the dark. its like a country bluesy rock collective. really great guitars and really good varied vocals keep it really interesting, they played 2 sets, close to 90mins, brian chase even sat in on the tabla for a song (the next week oakley opened for the yyy's at thier bowery gig)
they are playing again in midapril as part of a benefit a buddy of mine is putting on, keep an eye out for more details on that one, it should be a good night. go pick up the new record, second guessing, out on amish records.

2/2/06 Ex-Models @ the knit
i kicked feb off with an old favorite who have once again regained my respect, after the last time i saw them i was a bit let down, since it was down to 2 members and a drum machine, but the Ex-Models have reinvented themselves as a duo. they are now playing long lush noise scapes. guitar driven, bass stomping noise, and its brutally good. there were some great visuals that night courtesy of mighty robot, they always do the coolest shit and they use those projectors that your history teacher used to write all the notes on colonial times with. only these aint no whigs and torries if you know what im saying, no, i dont either, abracadabra!

i guess fabruary wasnt to long, oh well, let us MARCH!