Thursday, January 28, 2010
Burning Fight, subtitled The Nineties Hardcore Revolution in Ethics, Politics, Spirit and Sound encapsulates just that. Written by well respected writer at large Brian Peterson, the book opens with sections on the straight edge movement, politics, animal rights and spirituality then covers 31 seminal bands from the genre, including 108, Threadbare and Undertow. It's pretty great, and presented oral history style for the most part, leaving the fanboy (girl) stuff to you the reader. It certainly prompted a bunch of nostalgia paired with a huge amount of downloading. It's published by your friends at Revelation Records and if you are a fan of the genre you should definitely pick this up immediately. Props are due to Peterson for a great book that will no doubt be the benchmark for hardcore journalism in the future. Get more info on Burning Fight at its official web presence, then buy it from RevHQ here.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Mr. 50 MCs himself has got a new comp out that has 27 of the best freestyles from Toca's Shade 45 Radio show. Listening to it, you might actually think there is a future for hip hop. Toca drops old school freestyles along most of the artists, and for the record we are talking off-the-head freestyles, not their best writtens. He's hardly Big Daddy Kane, but he's a fair shade better than 95% of the crap that passes for today's hip-hop.
Of the 27, you'll be shocked to find that JS-NYC is coming out in favor of the Sean Price track. In other not so shocking nods, know that Joell Ortiz continues to decimate every other MC in the game. His track is fucking bananas and sadly for shitty rappers he twists the knife and appears a second time as part of Slaughterhouse. Don't think this a young man's game either, as old school players like AG and Steele also represent. Listen to this and ask yourself why these freestyles are better than anything that topped the hip-hop charts last year.
Monday, January 25, 2010
This has been sitting in the pile for a while now. I think it's because I confused it with the Mike Hale band that I kept passing it over. That's not a burn on Mike, who is undoubtably one of the nicest guys I've ever met, but after being not so crazy about his acoustic stuff, I was wary of not liking that either and feeling even more guilty. For the record: this isn't the Mike Hale band.
No ambivalence here. At all. I'm all about this fucking record. Screamy vocals over tight, heavy arrangements with great recording quality? Sign me up. Worn In Red are from Richmond, VA and sound like it. Rarely have I found that to be a bad thing and In The Offing is no exception. Four dudes, probably with a high beard percentage, playing their hearts out. You can't go wrong with that. Pony up the $8 and get In The Offing from No Idea right away. They are streaming it over there, too, if you're a doubting thomas. The gents are on tour currently, so pop on over to their web presence and see if they are coming your way. If In The Offing is any indication, I can't see Worn In Red doing anything but fucking killing live.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Australia has brought many fine musical entities into the world: The Saints, Hoodoo Gurus, Paul Kelly. Then again there is most of the INXS catalog, Silverchair and Wolfmother. Add the ever-popular "garage rock" tag and you've got a pretty hard sell for this asshole. I can't say that I'm the hugest fan of the GR genre, but I know a number of serious players and connoisseurs and have spent enough time absorbing to know this isn't terrible. If you are a GR guy, you'll probably eat this up. Or maybe already own it, as this is a reissue. It's got a good backstory in that there are brothers in the band and EDHC were initially a drunken lark at a vinyl pressing plant's holiday party that had their besotted recordings duped and have gone on to be huge down under. Whouda thought? Get the whole story at the Eddy Current Suppression Ring web presence here, along with some audio and video delights. If you like what you hear, Memphis garage titans Goner are handling this reissue. You can grab it here, along with Primary Colors, the record that blew them up last year.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Hey, Danny Vapid is back. They sure do have a work ethic in the Midwest. I believe that Danny is still a member of Screeching Weasel, The Methadones and the Riverdales when those franchises are active, yet he still has time to team up with Neil Hennessy (the only man who can lay claim to anything close to Mikey Erg's claim to the punk rock polygamy crown) to come up with his best project since Sludgeworth. There are touchstones from all the aforementioned projects, as well as a little Alkaline Trio and Raygun for good measure (and perhaps Union compliance). Props are due to Eric for hipping me to this. Pick up Yeah, Whatever cheap here from your friends at Asian Man Records. Keep tabs on when and if they are going to make it out of the Midwest here. Hennessy jockers should be aware that he only played on the record and, to the best of my knowledge, doesn't play with them live.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
How great is this record? I picked up When The Stage Lights Grow Dim at Micah's show the other night without thinking that I was going to fall for it as hard I did. There were a fair amount of covers in his solo set, so I was pretty sure it was for lack of solo material. Color this idiot wrong, as the whole kit and caboodle is pretty damn fabulous, even the song I was pretty sure was a Tim Easton cover. Micah self-released this late last year, but I understand Virgil and the kids from Suburban Home are re-releasing this soon, if not already. Check here for the details, but don't think for a moment that you don't want this. Buy it, love it and look out for a new Two Cow record this summer from Suburban Home.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Looks like Aziz has hit the big time. No longer playing Pianos on a Sunday night, he's ditched half of that Human Giant crew and moved out west to develop pictures with Apatow and star on Parks And Recreation. This is the CD and DVD version of his live set. It's pretty great. Aziz is one animated motherfucker. I can't say I'm about that Randy character, but judging by the crowd response here, I'm in the minority. Pick it up here from the Ansari web presence. Even if you think you hate him, check out the R. Kelly bit before you totally write him off.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Not sure how old your boy Sha Lumi was when he passed from diabetes a day or so ago, but he was definitely a Queensbridge fixture from back in the day. Maybe not MC Shan old school, but definitely Nas old school. He came back on my radar in the same way I got the picture to the left and the news of his passing: through the best hip-hop presence on the web Unkut.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Luckily, Jack and Coke is great, because it would be hard to kick Artie when he's down. You'd think it'd be hard to like a guy who discusses Gay Cowboys, Drugs, Hookers and Afghanistan with such New Jersey candor, especially with that Jersey Shore program and all, but this is pretty hysterical. Politically correct, no. Funny, yes. Wish him a speedy recovery and pick up Jack and Coke here.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Almost missed this one. Luckily e-mails from mayoral candidate Eric and his brother Dave got this back on my radar. This was my second time to Union Underground and my visit only asserted what I vaguely remembered about my last show: the upstairs space at Union Underground has the worst show space ever. There's a suitably-sized house backline, but the area of the floor that is supposed to be the stage is literally three feet from the bar and has two huge pillars that effectively block the view from both sides. Not to mention the quasi bar/shelf they've got between said pillars. The general consensus was that it allowed artists to sell merch while they played, but all in all in only adds to a bad situation.
Sadly, it wasn't the hugest crowd, but the the 30 or so people that did make it out were treated to one hell of a set. Micah's got a new solo record out called When The Stage Lights Dim, that is absolutely fabulous. While there was the usual Two Cow contingent out for the show, I'd venture that most of us were hearing the songs for the first time, but they were pretty universally well received. I really regret not taping it. He played for maybe 40 minutes, throwing some covers and whatever Two Cow favorites people (ok, Eric) shouted out. NYC was the last night of the tour, which Micah says was really well received. Lest Two Cow fans think this is the band's death knell, word from the man is that they'll be recording a new Two Cow record next month. It'll be on Suburban Home, and if the solo songs are any indication, I can't wait to hear it. In the meantime, pick up Micah's solo record here. Immediately. Look for a review soon.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Another of the great ones has passed. Teddy Pendergrass started as a drummer for Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes before taking the lead vocal role and scoring a huge hit with If You Don't Know Me By Now. After the inevitable creative differences, Teddy Pendergrass had scads of hits on his own (Turn Off The Lights, anyone?) and established himself one of the best R&B voices ever.
Sidelined in 1982 by the small matter of the 'brakes failing' on his Rolls Royce as he was driving home one Philly evening with a 'casual acquaintance' and transsexual that were inconveniently the same person, Pendergrass was paralyzed from the waist down. He eventually returned to the stage and studio, recording and performing until his death 1/13 from colon cancer.
TP also founded the Teddy Pendergrass Alliance to help others with spinal injuries. Find out more here.
Friday, January 15, 2010
I was sort of sold a bill of goods on this one, as someone mentioned on-line that there were lots of Fastbacks anecdotes. I guess it wasn't totally disingenuous, but I wouldn't look as hard as I did for this book for Pearl Jam and Soundgarden anecdotes, I'll tell you. That said, Grunge Is Dead is pretty comprehensive, starting with The Sonics and going through present day.
Some random JS-NYC bile spitting and unnecessary commentary about the players in the Grunge scene: to start, I can't say I really liked Grunge all that much. As re: the players that comprise most of the books content and my blather regarding them, we might as well start with Nirvana. Never really liked them. Truthfully, I never got into them before Nevermind, but will admit that Teen Spirit is one of only two songs I've ever called a radio station to ask about. Once that hit, Nirvana were so oversaturated that the contrarian in me relegated them to the same island I sent Green Day. I think Dave Grohl is totally bad ass, yet never got the Foo Fighters. Talking Soundgarden, I feel the same way about Badmotorfinger. I have a lot of fond (albeit hazy) memories of good times with that record as a soundtrack, but once Black Hole Sun hit, it was goodnight and goodbye. Susan Silver (ex-Soundgarden manager and Cornell wife) figures prominently in the GID proceedings and seems like quite a force. I have begrudging respect for Pearl Jam, but am astounded at how boring I find them. The bass dork in me loves Ament, but for my money Satchel is the best PJ result. Mudhoney have a contender for best song ever with Touch Me, I'm Sick, but have yet to catch on for me. Same with The Melvins. Believe me, I understand the heresy, but I currently have 19 of their records in my I-tunes and have yet to have the epiphany. Green River and Malfunkshun were never on my radar. Like I said before, for me the reason for the season was The Fastbacks stuff. It's not the Hit List retrospective, but the anecdotes are good, as is this book.
If you came up obsessed with Nirvana and the like, this will be pretty mindblowing for you, but it's just as compelling for the average punter. It's done as an oral history, which I have always argued is the best way to cover the subject matter. Grunge Is Dead gets high marks for not being a slavish Albert Goldman-esque Nirvana-fest and seeing the big picture. There are few comprehensive Grunge books out there, but Grunge Is Dead is definitely poised to take its rightful position as the definitive book on the genre. Buy it here from ECW (not the wrestling franchise) Press.
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Snack Truck are sort of an enigma. The music is some jammy prog metal bereft of vocals, but frankly I'm unsure how many people are in the band. At least two, as there are definitely a drummer and someone playing chordal instruments. No help from the one sheet that lists three members (two drummers, one guitar/keys dude), but alludes to being a duo and has a web presence depicting four people (still two drummers, though). The only reason I make any deal about is because Spacial Findings would be pretty damn impressive as a quartet, great as a trio and spectacular if it's a duo. I guess that covers all the positive bases. They sound like Russian Circles a bit, maybe some Don Cab, but there are definitely some 70's Genesis nods as well. I'd say the electronic pastiche that closes the proceedings is sort of a killjoy, pretty much a bad Hilt/Puppy pastiche, but that presumed misstep aside, Snack Truck is totally worth checking out. Buy it here from the good folk of Rorschach. Incidentally, the blurb at the site alludes to these tracks having been "lost in space for years". Again, I'm not sure if that means the band is no longer active and the three dates listed are just one offs, or whether it's supposed to be promo hyping up the spacey jammy aspects of the band. Worth a listen either way, I'd say.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Review of the new Ray Wylie Hubbard record is currently up at PopMatters. Here's a link. Thanks to Sarah Zupko at PopMatters and Traci Thomas at Thirty Tigers.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
So These Arms Are Snakes broke up. Saw them twice, both times I wanted to club the singer to death with a shovel. Forever. Band was tight, though. Bummer for the other guys, who should both form a new band without the jackass singer and release another Roy record.
Sleep well, white belters!
Monday, January 11, 2010
If you like free stuff. Let me clarify, good free stuff, I'd pop on over to the Don Giovanni web presence and snatch this up pronto. It would be worth the bandwidth just for the Measure (SA) and Ergs! songs, so just go here and get this already. They are doing a label showcase next month at Bowery, with most of the above and forgetters, to boot. Check here for details.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
Well, it's not the long awaited DITC record, but it's pretty close. With the DITC crew spread all around the country at present, it looks like it's up to OC and AG to represent. You can't argue, I'm a Lord Finesse man first and foremost, but put OC and AG together and they can wreck a mike like few other duos. Maybe you heard Weed And Drinks? Well, this whole record bangs like that. Most of the production is by someone called E Blaze, although Lord Finesse contributes a couple tracks and Statik Selectah and Primo drop in for intro and scratch appearances. No guests either, save for the odd female singing a hook. None needed, either.
Oasis isn't trap rap or snap music, it's new hip hop with an old school flavor. Both parties are mad lyrical, but not with needlessly polysyllabic backpacker verbosity, just two brothers riding a beat as smooth as astroglide covered ball bearings. If you like real hip hop, you owe it to yourself to head over to the OC and AG web presence and pick up Oasis right away.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Tim is a great guy and Suburban Home is a great label. There's a new record called 28th & Stonewall coming your way 1/26 courtesy of both parties. If you're of a mind, you can preorder and get a slew of other swag along with it. Check out the preorder offer here.
Friday, January 8, 2010
I have pronouncedly mixed feelings about the Bay Area. It's the only city that I've ever been assaulted in, and the weather seems to hold a lot to be desired. If I may throw down the douchebag gauntlet, save for Rut (who, truthfully, I consider Canadian) and a couple others, most of the people I've met from The Bay seemed strangleable on the level of your average Bedford or 7th Ave Brooklyn resident. My feelings about the bands are considerably more polarized. You will rarely catch me saying an unkind word about anything revolving around the Jawbreaker or Samiam franchises. The same goes for Neurosis or J. Church. On the other hand, for all their Rancid (who, along with OpIvy absolutely rule, as well) and Hot Topic credibility, I still don't understand the appeal of AFI. Green Day is another one. All twenty of the people currently in the band seem to be decent people, but I never liked Billie Joe's voice and the MTV ubiquity killed him for me like they did Kurt Cobain. Don't get me started on that American Idiot ridiculousness (or it's Broadway adaptation, a horror show that is just plain wrong on so many levels).
JS-NYC ambivalence aside, The Bay Area's squatting, activistism and punk rock credibility is not one to be understated. Gilman continues to be the high water mark of collectively run DIY spaces (with all respect to ABC) and MRR continues to be the worldwide punk journal, microscopic type and mercurial championing notwithstanding. With Gimme Something Better, Jack Boulware and Silke Tudor have collected a host of anecdotes from the seminal players in the rise of Bay Area Punk Rock. It's notable that many of the true movers and shakers of that scene are both still alive and active in the scene. I have always been of a mind that the anecdotal way is the best way to report on scenes like these. It's so much easier in the long run to just have the players recount situations firsthand whenever possible. It's what makes John Robb's Punk Rock book so great and something that no doubt allows one to cover one's ass on the libel end of things. MRR and Gilman are discussed in depth, as is the whole liturgy of Dead Kennedys litigation. Flipper and other precursors to the DKs are covered, but as the title says, it covers through the Green Day blowup, which blessedly excises a lot of the current dreck coming out of the West. Things close with some reminiscence of Tim Yohannon, arguably the father of the whole Bay Area scene. It's an engaging read, and there are a ton of bands that I would have liked to have seen more commentary from, but the foreward mentioned that they delivered 800 pages to the publisher. That accounts for 300 tantalizing pages of excised material that I can only hope will surface in some form soon. If you have any taste for East Bay Punk Rock, you would do well to pick up Gimme Something Better. Big JS-NYC props to ack Boulware and Silke Tudor for a great book. Check out the web presence here.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
It was tough for me to come up with this list for a couple of reasons. One reason is that technology hates me. It's one of the many reasons that I'm happy to just be a dumb bass player. When I initially tried to figure out the tracks, it seemed prudent to just use the counter in my iTunes. Makes sense, right. In consulting said oracle I was surprised to find that there was one track that really was head and shoulders above any others playwise. I was most surprised to find said track was The Northside, The L&L, And Any Number Of Crappy Apartments by The Lawrence Arms. While that is a solid track, I can't see having played it 285 times, despite what the good folk of Apple might have me think. As a result, I'm going to throw empiricism to the wind. Additionally, I'm not going to limit this list to songs actually released in 2009. Mostly because I can. I bet a bunch of them are from 2009, but hey let's keep it interesting, shall we?
Ok, here we go.
Jaded Scenester NYC Top Ten Singles of 2009
1. Lifter Puller - Star Wars Hips (7" version)
from Slips Backwards
2. Kith n' Kin - Austin Lucas
from The Common Cold
3. Lonesome Dogtown Nights - Lucero
inexplicably not released on 1372 Overton Place
4. The Ballad Of Marvin Heemeyer - Shorebirds
from It's Gonna Get Ugly
5. Calloused Heart #2 - Drag The River
from Bad At Breaking Up
6. Darlin' - Austin Lucas
from Somebody Loves You
7. Jessica's Suicide - Jon Snodgrass
live with Joey Cape or Cory Branan
8. Geraldine - Glasvegas
9. Magazines - The Hold Steady
from Stay Positive
10. Sherman City - Lifter Puller
from Half Dead And Dynamite reissue
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
More PopMatters Love for you, this time a little piece on the new Bunnygrunt record Matt Hamish & Other Delights.
Check it out here.
Thanks to Sarah Zupko and PopMatters!
Monday, January 4, 2010
While we're basking in the nostalgia, why not pop over to PopMatters and check out my review of the 10th Anniversary reissue of said Get Up Kids' Something To Write Home About. Here's a link.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Ok kids. You loved the comp (still free, just e-mail) and were over the moon about the first Top 10 list where we dropped science on the best full-length records of 2009. Let's ride the wave of nostalgia a little more, shall we? Today we're going to give the little guys some shine and select the Top 10 EPs from 2009. Note that while some of these releases were two song 7" releases, JS-NYC is going to shout out the Top 10 individual songs (i.e. singles) later on this week.
Jaded Scenester NYC Top 10 Eps of 2009
1. RVIVR - Life Moves EP
2. Jon Snodgrass/Cory Branan split EP
3. Tenement - Icepick 7"
4. Copyrights/Dopamines - Songs About Fucking Up split EP
5. The Jealous Sound - Got Friends EP
6. Capital - Blind Faith EP
7. Paint It Black - Amnesia EP
8. Superchunk - Leaves In The Gutter EP
9. Minus The Bear - Into The Mirror
10. Celeste - Misanthrope(s) EP
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Ok Boy(s) and Girl(s):
Just because you clamored for it, here's the formal Top 10 Records of 2009 (full-length) as selected by your pals at Jaded Scenester NYC. Thanks to all of the people therein(on?) for all the sweet ear love that they provided in the wasteland that were the internets most lauded records of 2009. If I have to hear one more bad Fairport Convention (or more probably High Llamas) rip-off record reverbed out to infinity by some 20-something beardo or beardos, I'm going to go John Belushi on some motherfuckers. Don't even get me started on the hip-hop records. Criminy! Sell back that Dirty Projectors record and know, love and buy all the 10 releases below. If you are concerned, please rest assured that single tracks, EPs, reissues and live shows will all get their separate lists. Try and control yourselves. Do take note that we've got a Best of 2009 playlist available for your perusal. It's free, just drop JS-NYC HQ a line and we'll send you a download link out pronto.
Jaded Scenester NYC Top 10 Records of 2009
1. Jon Snodgrass - Visitor's Band
2. Drag The River - Bad At Breaking Up
3. Austin Lucas - Somebody Loves You
4. Lucero - 1372 Overton Park
5. Glasvegas - Glasvegas
5. The Dopamines - Soap and Lampshades
6. The Hold Steady - A Positive Rage
7. Banner Pilot - Collapser
8. The Riot Before - Fists Buried In Pockets
9. Dear Landlord - Dream Homes
10. House Boat - Delaware Octopus
Friday, January 1, 2010
Discriminating JS-NYC patrons:
Happy 2010 to both of you! Personally, I couldn't be more pleased to see last year and most of last decade in the rear view mirror. Save for Caroline's roof and recording the So Hideous EP, 2009 has been a fucking dungheap. I hope you found it better than we did, but from where we're sitting the only saving grace appears to be the bumper crop of progeny that has sprung (or is currently springing) up in some of my favorite households and a scant handful of records. As we usher in this new decade, JS-NYC would like to offer in good faith its services in differentiating between that which is shit and that which is the shit from the musical releases of 2009. Oh, how articles do such work!
We have taken the time to cull a lucky 43 track iTunes playlist for your listening pleasure, so if you'd like to hear it, give us a virtual ring at the e-mail or leave a comment with your contact info and we'll hit you back with a link pronto. I expect that I'll be spending the next week or so posting some Top 10 lists and what, so control your enthusiasm.
Thanks for reading!