Archive for October, 2009

Neat Bands I Saw at CMJ

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Boogie Boarder (myspace/website)
LISTEN TO: “Bio Hassle,” “USRA”
Their new record – Pizza Hero – is tough to describe, but I’d situate it somewhere between Ponytail and Les Savy Fav – high energy, barely intelligible lyrics, and sick, sick repetitive riffs. In other words, great stuff. They sound basically the same live, but better, because it’s louder and right in your face.

Darlings (myspace/website)
LISTEN TO: everything on their myspace
These cats also had a new record come out over the summer, about a month after Boogie Boarder’s, on the same label (Famous Class). It packs the same energy, but it focuses it into lo-fi garage pop. Catchy and delicious. Again, similar sound live, but a LOT noisier, more feedback, and guitar-destructive tendencies. We liked ’em so much we saw ’em twice.

Surfer Blood (myspace/website)
LISTEN TO: “Twin Peaks”
Hadn’t heard Surfer Blood before I went to NYC, but I heard they played something like 15 shows over the course of 4 days. Also, the New York Times (?!) digs them. I do too, a lot – they play lo-fi pop, but with a lot of attention to good musicianship and a tight live show. These guys have their shit together and they’re great – keep an eye out for a record in the next few months. Also, catch them when they open for Japandroids at the Billiken Club. This will be one of the best shows in St. Louis this fall, DO IT.

Jeff the Brotherhood (myspace/website)
LISTEN TO: “Heavy Days,” “Heavy Damage,” “Bone Jam,” the whole record
Cannot stop listening to “Heavy Days,” JtB’s new record. Armed with just three strings and a drum kit, Jake and Jamin play some serious (metal/stoner/psych/pop) jams, and when they took the floor at Above the Auto Parts Store in Brooklyn-Kings, the entire crowd of unwashed hipsters went fucking crazy. My knees are still pretty banged up from being beaten into the corner of the stage throughout their 45 minute set. If these guys come through town, don’t miss ’em. Oh yeah, check out Brooklyn Vegan’s pictures from the show – you’ll see what I mean (NSFW).

Sleigh Bells (myspace)
LISTEN TO: them live
Lo, a new buzz band (apparently) that’s bound to get a lot of praise from Pitchfork and other hip people who know things about music. In fact, the aforementioned site just named their track “Crown on the Ground” Best New Track – whatever that means – but heads up, it’s physically painful to listen to. Not saying awful, just painful. HOWEVER, they put on an awesome live show – just a chick covering vocal and dancin’ duties, and a dude playing loud, loud, distorted guitar. Think The Kills, or maybe MIA (who was in attendance, with 50 other people, when I saw them).

OTHER COOL (i think) BANDS (that i saw, but am too lazy to write about)

Delorean – recorded stuff is okay, but they really shine live.
Grandchildren – same as above
UUVVWWZ – spaz-tastic. really lovely stuff, great live show.
Real Estate – great on record and live. check it.


Sunday, October 25th, 2009

A couple weeks ago Tom Russell stopped by the station before his show at Off Broadway.

We talked about: the state of modern radio, Leonard Cohen’s “There is a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in” and how that applies to shamelessly broadcasting dusty vinyl, fanbase interactions, The Blogosphere, the edginess of Juarez and the borderland, edginess, Dylan, Bukowski, machismo, “insurgent country,” the kinship between songwriting and painting that excludes poetry, art, REAL SONGS, “New Folk,” “insurgent country,” Andy Warhol, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Willem de Kooning, Mt. Olive, IL, Mother Jones, Merle Travis’ “Dark as a Dungeon” and “Sixteen Tons” & a whole bunch of other subjects that did, as you might expect, include other famous names, but also other things.

For all you KWUR loverboys–TR name-dropped us at Off Broadway that night, citing “graffiti on the walls and DJs sleeping on the floor,” that anecdote meandering to the oblique conclusion “America still exists inside used book stores and on the faces of Amish women” (which I believe he credited as a Lenny Bruce paraphrase). This was a sit-down Off Broadway show and the KDHX sponsorship unsurprisingly ensured the joint was brimming with blue hairs appalled at having to wait in line on Lemp before the doors opened. Great show – the man clearly thrives under the spotlight and his on-stage charisma surpasses his studio delivery (not to undercut the albums). I especially dug an extended version of TR’s Dave Van Ronk monologue and the included phlegmy DVR impersonations: “shut up and listen to this goddamn song!” and the clever but somewhat meaningless banter introducing “Criminologist,” centering around the “New Folk” heroes and their high voices. “Navajo Rug” encore brought down the house (in a staid, sitdownshow sense, natch).

listen to the whole things right here


Sunday, October 25th, 2009

Last night Justin Kinkel-Schuster – lead-singer and songwriter for local band Theodore – stopped in, played some songs and talked some talk. We discussed his band’s recent label-signing, his recent RFT awards for “best male vocalist” and “best country (alternative),” George Hamilton IV’s “Abilene”, “high-voiced New Folk heroes,” rock operas, and probably some other things. I’ll be broadcasting the interview live on the airwaves (@90.3 fm/ at 7 or 8pm (central time, natch), but if you wanna check out the songs right now, give a listen below. Perhaps most importantly, Theodore will be performing tonight at Off Broadway with Samantha Crain and it promises to be a blockbuster humdinger bonanza mindblower so, you know, keep that in mind. Hopefully we’ll get the full band in the studio some time soon.

Theodore – Death’s Head

Theodore – I Won’t Be a Stranger

Theodore – Abilene

KWUR Presents – We Fun: Atlanta, GA Inside Out

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009


From Paste Magazine:

A minor blues progression organ-vamps as the handheld camera zooms shakily into the devious grin of a young dude holding a dual-blaze firework lackadaisically, as if the object weren’t emitting a furious spark geyser next to his face.

This moment from a Black Lips concert in the group’s Georgia hometown kicks off the newly-released trailer for We Fun: Atlanta, GA Inside Out, a rock doc by Nashville filmmakers Chris Dortch and Matthew Robison (Silver Jew) and producer Bill Cody who lent his talents to the musical time capsule Athens, GA: Inside/Out (released in 1987).

The barrage of crowdsurfing, crotch fireballs, spirit-chugging and Whirlyball hints at what Dortch meant when he told Paste, “in my mind, we’ve got like 90 Anton [Newcombe]s floating around here [in Atlanta]. And there’s this legitimate love and camaraderie between them that you don’t find in other cities.” Among the merry bands of eccentrics in the film are Deerhunter, Mastodon, the Selmanaires, Anna Kramer, and the Coathangers.

Movie starts at 8, seventy minutes long.


Monday, October 19th, 2009

Ultramagnetic MCs – Critical Beatdown

Revolutionary both in production techniques and lyrical content
Tuff Crew – Danger Zone
’88 in a nutshell I guess
EPMD – Strictly Business

So good