Friday, November 30, 2012

Chris Knight - Little Victories

If you were to paint a portrait of a singer-songwriter and ex-mine reclamation inspector  hailing from 90 acres in Slaughters, KY, Chris Knight would be the visage on the canvas. Writing songs from a common working mans perspective, Knight writes compelling songs filled with characters drawn not from TV or documentary portrayals, but from real-life, sweat and blood insight into the average 21st Century American's existence.

Knight is a man who prefers to let his music do the talking. If you are as contemptuous of modern "Country" music as JS-NYC and lucky enough to see any of his mainstream CMT-type interviews, check in to see Knight maintaing a level of interview enthusiasm halfway between Robert DeNiro and J. Mascis and watch the plastic hosts wither. His records come out every four years or so and perform as respectively as any other singer-songwriter on the circuit, but Knight keeps the lights on with the royalties from the covers of his tracks by mainstream acts like Montgomery Gentry and Ty Herndon.

Little Victories is a solid collection of songs, filled with portraits of good common men and women trying to make it through another day, not living high on the hog, but living nonetheless.  Co-conspirators include Buddy Miller as well as personal Knight hero John Prine, who pops in to take a pretty aces guest verse on Little Victories. Nothing On Me and You Can't Trust No One are two other high points, but there really isn't a bad song on Little Victories. I'd pick it up with the quickness.

As Knight thinks globally, but performs most locally around the South, those North of the Mason-Dixon line are best advised to get hard copies of Little Victories here from the Chris Knight web presence. Stay tuned to JS-NYC for news of any dates in town.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Toys That Kill at PopMatters

JS-NYC punk aficianados:

Those interested in my take on the new(est) Toys That Kill record Fambly 42 can use this link.

Go to there.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Live: The Twilight Sad with Errors at Music Hall Of Williamsburg 11.5.12

I'm still waiting for The Unwinding Hours to make their way across the pond, but in the interim I can take consolation in the comfortable pair of waterproof Scottish shoes that is The Twilight Sad. The Glasweigian quintet are touring behind their recent remix version of their most recent record I've yet to track down. No One Can Ever Know: The Remixes is the ingeniously appropriate title.

The Twilight Sad always draw a decent, albeit rarely huge, crowd but I posted up in a pretty much empty room when I arrived at the end of the Errors set. After a week without amenities, it mattered little to me, as I was hell-bent on outside stimuli but it seemed a prospective bummer to the Scottish gents who came so far.

Where the people came from, I'm unsure, but regardless the room filled up pretty nicely by the time The Twilight Sad took the stage. No real departures from the set from earlier this year, save for order, but then again, no wacky remix approximations either, so I'll call that a win. James was in good spirits, even moreso when it became apparent that people were actually going to attend the proceedings and  MacFarlane was the usual force of sonic nature we have come to expect live. If you've not seen Twilight Sad love, you should rectify that situation with the quickness. There was also a tour only EP that I snatched up, so stay tuned for a review.

Keep track of The Twilight Sad here.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

forgetters - s/t

It seems like the onset of Fall often brings renewed activity in the forgetters camp and this year is no exception. In a pattern seasoned Schwarzenbach followers have come to find familiar, forgetters popped up in the ashes of Thorns Of Life and played a bunch of shows. A pretty aces eponymous double 7" followed in 2011, as did a European tour, after which there was silence.

A random perusal of the J. Robbins owned  Magpie Cage Studios web presence earlier this year showed revealed a blog post reporting Blake and drummer Kevin Mahon had been recording there in the early part of the year. I'm still unsure whether the tracks here are the same, and my download is sadly bereft of any more info, but regardless the eleven tracks here may very well comprise the best Schwarzenbach tracks since the demise of the mighty Jawbreaker. Tracks like Lie Artist and Hoop and Swan hold their own with the best of the Jets To Brazil catalog. I'm not especially crazy about the opening Strike or the pithy In America, and the literary pretentions of Les Arrivistes might be better relegated to Blake's job interviews and/or dates, but the self-titled debut is far from bad. Beyond that, I've got little bad to say about any of the other tracks. The recent show at Death By Audio was purported to be pretty aces, and evidently marked the live debut of new bassist Michelle Proffit, also of Hiretsukan. I bailed on that show owing to my stupid job, but am not going to make that mistake a second time, I'll tell you.

Get the self-titled full-length from forgetters  here in all your favorite formats.

The rarely updated forgetters web interface can be found here.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Live: The New Trust at Cake Shop 10.25.12 late

Longtime JS-NYC sufferers will no doubt recognize The New Trust as a post perennial, and therefore be unsurprised at the JS-NYC glee at the prospect of a pretty good-sized tour as a tightener for a recording session with Albini in Chicago. A pretty tantalizing proposition made more so when I found I'd be taking in Bitch Magnet and Moss Icon as 'openers' over at Le Poisson Rouge.

Hustling over post-LPR, I got underground at Cake Shop to find a room that was far from overcrowded, but those that did make it out seemed to be devotees of the magic the trio has knocked out over the last decade or so. The set (see below) was heavy on what will evidently be the new record and while the pre-recording tour methodology is a sound one, and I definitely appreciate the Minutemen econo aspect of it all, I definitely would have liked to have heard more in the way of bangers from their early records.

That said, The New Trust are a great band and it was great to see them on our side of the country. Lock-tight, and showing the practiced familiarity of a band than has been together for a decade, the trio alternately joked and rocked their way through a tight eight song set that ended at a wonderfully reasonable hour. Kudos to them.

Word is that recording went well at Electrical, so stay tuned to the New Trust web interface here for news of when we might see the final product.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Live: Bitch Magnet with Moss Icon at Le Poisson Rouge 10.25.12 early

In a year that has been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, the prospect of Bitch Magnet and Moss Icon playing together in 2012, in Manhattan and for under $20 (I think) was one of the higher points. Of course, I got these tickets back in June, so the wait was a little much, but beyond that it continued to be a pleasure to not have to ride over the bridge to see a show.

While it will never depose my beloved Mercury Lounge, Le Poisson Rouge is making a strong run for my #2 favorite place to see a show in town. The Watt book release and Codeine shows have been been definite highlights of 2012 and this show is definitely stands to flex a big presence on that list as well and I was pleased to see LPR getting a piece of this action.

The recent Temporary Residence discography reminded me that I really, really like me some Moss Icon. Seeing them at 8pm on a Thursday pushed the proposition of seeing them towards the sublime. For a band that has lay fallow for a bit and only played sporadic reunion shows this year, Moss Icon sure did level the room, blazing through a handful of the high points of their canon, plus a new tune called George. Brooklyn Vegan reported their playing I'm Back Sleeping, Or Fucking, Or Something, an event that went troublingly unremembered, and one that appears to be an incorrect one judging by the comments section, but rest assured the set was pretty great even with that unfortunate absence. Vance was in rough, but good voice and Tonie Joy continues to be quite the sonic alchemist on the old six string. A definite strong showing from the men from Maryland.

I stood in front of a small gentlemen of Eastern descent and his friend for most of the MI set, in between shifts to avoid a young Williamsburg-ian evidently enjoying his first drink and making a general nuisance of himself. Having met Sooyoung before a million years ago, I figured it couldn't be him, but once again the JS-NYC powers of perception we exposed as weak as he took the stage as the last of MI echoed through the room. No one has gotten any younger in the Bitch Magnet ranks, but the rust definitely was knocked off for their too-short of a set. Park did little to dispel his 'he of the eternal whisper' appellation, but proved to be a mouth that roared when necessary, with Fine and Morfin throwing their shoulder into it and plowing through to a closing one-two punch of Joan Of Arc and Americruiser. Very Nice. Logistics (mostly Park living in Singapore) pretty much made this the last chance to see Bitch Magnet, but here's hoping it leads to competitive offers for a Seam reunion next year.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Live: The Karl Hendricks Trio at Leftfield 10.19.12

There is nothing like the announcement that it has been a decade since Karl Hendricks played in NYC to make a jaded scenester feel a wee bit aged. Of course, JS-NYC was at that show, and all of the ones previous dating back to the mid-90s, so it wasn't hard to figure where JS-NYC would be on this evening. I caught the back end of the Choo Choo La Rouge set and then posted up frontish for the KH3 set.

Once JS-NYC processed the bizarre eventuality of three females attending a Karl Hendricks Show, it was a pleasure to enjoy the nine tracks we were afforded. As this was a Comedy Minus One showcase, the new The Adult Section figured prominently in the proceedings. Hold On, Cool Breeze opened the set and a broodingly rowdy romp through the Neil Young chestnut that is Thrasher capped things, but we also got a couple deep cuts, including You're A Bigger Jerk Than Me. While the set was typically criminally underattended, hopes are high that we'll see Karl & Co. back in NYC in the very near future.

Get The Adult Section here from the Comedy Minus One web presence and keep track of all other things Karl Hendricks Trio here.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Live: Mac Macaughan @ Merge 2012 CMJ Showcase, Mercury Lounge 10.18.12

photo stolen from NYCTaper and For The Love Of Brooklyn
To no great effect, JS-NYC has not been especially crazy about the recent ridiculously successful run of new signings that Merge has added to the roster in recent years, but if it keeps their reissue initiatives rolling and pays for a new Superchunk record down the line, I guess we can call it even.

This was the first Merge showcase at CMJ in a couple of years and as I knew Mac was playing and it was at Mercury, I grabbed tickets. I was decidedly nonplussed when I heard the rest of the lineup, especially when there was a four-hour wasteland of ambivalence (and no re-entry) between Mac's early set and the 1:15am headlining set from The Reigning Sound, so I hit and quit it after Mac wrapped.

The room was pretty full for the aces solo set, featuring a new tune slated for a new Chunk record and a dozen or so others from the Superchunk and Portastatic catalogs. There were some real clambake moments, but Mac more than held his own for the duration. If you were unlucky enough to have not made the scene, the good folk of NYCTaper were in the house and have the set available here for your downloading pleasure, so don't postpone joy and get yerself over there with the quickness.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Live: Greg Cartwright at The Friars Club 10.16.12

The Friars Club Film Festival has become quite the big deal in recent years, and as JS-NYC is in good favor with the bigwigs on the programming end of things there, it was a pleasure to get the invite to see Mr. Greg Cartwright of the Oblivions and Reigning Sound play a pre-festival solo set at the Friars Club.

The Club is certainly a venerable institution. I showed up and headed upstairs for some hobnobbing and a DJ set from The Hound before we dipped across the hall for a little less than an hour of Cartwright delight. The fifty or so attendees definitely seemed to have drank the Kool-Ade, respectfully hooting and hollering their way through their respective libations. I much prefer the Oblivions to Reigning Sound, but it was still a good time. Kudos to the Take My Tuesday crew and much thanks to The Friars Club and Eric from The Friars Club Film Festival.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

And we're back

JS-NYC Massive:

While JS-NYC has been on the laggard tip this year, ConEd taking a week to get power back to the JS-NYC corporate HQ certainly has not helped matters much. We now return to our regularly scheduled carping.

Thanks for your patience.