Sunday, December 27, 2009

Kudrow - Lando

Kudrow is the newest re-shuffling of the local indie rock deck, featuring Jeff from Bomb The Music Industry!, Mike from Latterman and Dave Garwicke from Halo Fauna and If You Make It. Dave Bierling mentioned them over the holidays and I had been meaning to check them out. Once I started digging, the happy coincidence of this 7" coming out on Ernest Jennings was exposed. Good times! Lando is four Chunks of Triangle-infused indie rock that should have you pogoing with cheap beer in hand in short order. Fast and slow songs. Nothing groundbreaking, save for perhaps the baritone guitar, but Lando still rocks like hell. You definitely should pick it up. Let JS-NYC help you: pop on over to those nutty Ernest Jennings kids here and get yourself some Lando. Keep track of Kudrow here.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

RIP: Vic Chesnutt (1964-2009)

It's been a long time since I was getting Vic anecdotes on the regular, but it's no surprise here that he checked out over the holidays. I started getting e-mails and texts right before the holiday that Vic was in a coma (again). As Jem Cohen and Kristin Hersh started sharing more info, word of a suicide note started circulating, culminating with formal word of his death on Christmas Day. It's been a touch time for Athens, GA, especially in light of Jerry Fuchs' passing a couple weeks ago.

I saw Vic for the first time in the early 90s. He was opening for a Bob Mould solo show at Bogies in Albany and not especially well-received. Tolerated for a bit due to the wheelchair, room chatter soon threatened to overpower Chesnutt. As the room grew closer to capacity (and proportionally more intolerant) Vic quickly asserted the fact that he didn't give a fuck, croaking off-key and making up songs on the spot. I seem to recall something about Winona Ryder. He had been in the chair for a decade at that point and had obviously learned very quickly that it took some doing to get him on or off the average crappy club stage, so he was almost always going to get to play for the duration. Plus, to be crass, he was already paralyzed, what were some drunk assholes at a bar going to do to him. Either way, Bob seemed amused, the crowd less so.

Tam got me West Of Rome and I decided to give Vic a second chance live when he came through the QE2 with Syd Straw. Syd was out with a Lou Whitney driven band for that record and was all in all pretty awesome. At set's end they were looking for weed and so Vic, Syd, Lou shared some delight out front with me, Tam and Steven. They were a good bunch and I saw a lot of the trio's shows collectively and separately over the next couple years. Vic's shows were mercurial to a degree that only Mark Eitzel has been able to approximate for me, vacillating between sublime trancendence and utter trainwrecks. I last saw Vic with Scott at SXSW four or five years ago, where he played his by-then-usual average set to a full, yet lukewarm crowd. The prices his stuff commanded during my on-going Ebay poverty purge made me think that I should check his last couple records out, especially as I heard they featured Guy from Fugazi and members of Godspeed! It appears that I'll have to do it posthumously now. Apologies to those that were closer to Vic and are taking this harder, but with all due respect, he seemed miserable, so perhaps he's in a better place. Here's hoping.


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry X-mas from JS-NYC

Hey Kids:

Have a Happy. Best Wishes to all the other holiday celebrators and their respective rites from JS-NYC.

Year-end best of comp coming soon.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Skillz: 2009 Rap Up at HHdx

JS-NYC loves some Skillz, although his formal releases are getting a little bright and shiny for my tastes. That said, peep the 7th Annual Rap Up here, courtesy of HipHopdx. Personally, save for this track, I'm looking forward to leaving 2009 in the dust.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kevin Avery - Hardcore

Kevin Ayers is a San Francisco based comedy guy who regularly opens for guys like Dave Chappelle and David Allan Grier. As you might surmise by the company he keeps, Avery is not especially hardcore, but pretty funny nonetheless. If that's your thing, look past the 'savoryavery' and pick up a copy through his Myspace here.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jetty Boys - Sheboygan

Let me assert something unequivocally before I lapse into random criticism and short-sighted bile spewing: The Jetty Boys sure seem like a good band and Sheboygan definitely has some songs that are definitely, if I may be so clinical, catchy as fuck. Which begs the question as to what about it/them rubs me so much the wrong way. It may be that I'm looking at it from a pop-punk perspective. More than a lot of a bands, I think that Jetty Boys are a power-pop band. That's not a bad thing at all, but once you have Cheap Trick, The Figgs or Fastbacks in your life, you don't really need much more, at least from where I'm sitting. That said, Sheboygan has a gang of great pop songs on it, with hooks galore. I give to you I'm Not The One or St. Patrick's Day. I hear a bit of Ultimate Fakebook and a lot of Gin Blossoms, especially in the vocals. In drilling down, I think it's really the vocals that are sticking in my craw. They are just a little too smooth for my taste. Again, far, far from bad, just a little too radio friendly. I love all the aforementioned bands, and pop pablum like Matchbox 20 and Third Eye Blind as well, so frankly I can't see why this record isn't setting my world on fire like the House Boat record has recently. Maybe it's old age and bitterness rearing it's ugly head. Either way, if you are enough of a genre purist to like power-pop over pop-punk, The Jetty Boys and Sheboygan will definitely be a big deal for you. Members of that camp should pop (ha!) on over to Rally Records and snatch this bad boy up stat. You could do a whole lot worse. I think I like my pop a little snottier, but will still probably check out The Jetty Boys out when they roll through Fontanas next month. Here's hoping they dirty it up a bit live.


Monday, December 21, 2009

House Boat - Delaware Octopus

I've actually seen House Boat live a couple of times and wasn't really over the moon. Frankly, I thought that the incestuous nature of the pop-punk scene of today was beginning to get more than a little bit ridiculous. This new amalgamation marked the 10,000th band to have Mikey Erg behind the kit, but kept up with the Jones' by having Zack Rivethead on guitar. Ex-member aficionados will delight in seeing Grath and Ace from The Steinways in the fold. Those first couple shows didn't really grab me that hard, but listening to The Delaware Octopus, I've got a new outlook. It's on It's Alive and has Luke from The Copyrights behind the glass, if you needed the pot sweetened any. You get a lucky 13 songs for your hard-earned dollar, only one of which deigns to cross the 90 second mark, but you won't feel slighted after hearing tracks like All Of The Time and Are You Into Metal. Get The Delaware Octopus immediately, then start harassing the gents for some more damn live shows already. Here's a link.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Skarhead - Drugs, Music and Sex

I enjoy the Madball, Crown Of Thorns and most of the DMS oriented fare that is still in the hardcore genre. The hip-hop stuff (and companion beefing) I could do without, but news of a new Skarhead record does make this old man very happy. The video for D.F.F popped up on PunkNews a while ago, precipitating much joy at JS-NYC HQ. Having finally taken receipt of the record, I can attest that Drugs, Music and Sex is not without poorer material, but no one that's been a fan of the crew's previous work will be disappointed. If you love acronyms, you'll be especially stoked. Best to Ezac and his baby mama on the newborn, but I hope that we see the boys back in town very, very soon. In the meantime, peep the video for D.F.F here and grab yourself a copy of Drugs, Music and Sex here from your friends at I Scream Records. It's the perfect holiday gift.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Clipse - Til The Casket Drops

Finally, we have a new release from VA's finest, aka The Clipse. They have ridden a round robin of majors in the last couple years, tarrying at Jive and Arista before settling at Columbia for the short term. The Bros. Thornton are no fools, so it's been all about the licensing. The gents are affiliated with Star Trak and have their own Re-up imprint, which begs the question why they insist on bothering with a major in the first place, especially given their purported *ahem* entreprenurial acumen.

Til The Casket Drops is an interesting (assumably Pyrex) kettle of fish. It's definitely a departure from the street rhyming of their early records and mix tapes, all bright and shiny and Jay-Z'd up. I'm not so crazy about the turn, although truth be told, Mal and Pusha still rhyme their asses off. A lot is being made of the departure from exclusively Neptunes beats, but don't think you're getting drastic departures when Khalil or Sean C are at the helm. Respect is due to all the parties here, but why they didn't choose a single Primo or Just Blaze beat is beyond me. I will give begrudging props to the Kanye track, but won't go so far as to say that I'm crazy about a fucking Cam'ron collabo. All in all, Til The Casket Drops is a decent record, but nothing here is going to knock Joell or Sean P off my playlists anytime soon.


Friday, December 18, 2009

The Get Up Kids - The Daytrotter Sessions

Ah, The Get Up Kids. When I was a younger man, I was quite the mark for the Kansas Kids, but the one-two punch of their later records being not especially good (to be especially diplomatic) and the crowd(s) on the dates they played with the almighty Superchunk being utter douche bags made it easy to disown them when quality control started going south. Hell, it was obvious that they didn't even like each other very much towards the end and if you have seen the live show bundled with the Something To Write Home About 10th anniversary reissue, you might think that is still the case. You can't go home again and this session kind of asserts that. Frankly, it seems like Pryor is kind of a douche who thinks he is the band. It's something that comes across most strongly on the video, but you get a little bit of the air here. The new song is better than most of their last two records, which is promising. I don't think I'd pay to see/hear it live, and it is far from Woodson, but it's a decent track. The Vitreous Humor cover appears, along with the evergreen crowd please I'm A Loner Dottie, A Rebel and a couple other tracks. If this kind of thing floats your boat, grab it over here from the good folk of Daytrotter. It's decent, but I think I'll wait for the The Jealous Sound and Samiam tours.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Joell Ortiz & Frequency - Road Kill mix tape

What kind of bizarro world are we living in that Joell Ortiz is not the biggest thing in hip-hop? Much like fellow twin Titan Sean Price, he kills every track he appears on. P has been on the low for a minute (but poised for a return) but Ortiz has been everywhere. Post Aftermath, he's dropped a couple mix tapes and linked up with Slaughterhouse, not to mention the bazillion freestyles that pop up on the web with alarming frequency. Frequency produced the majority of the Slaughterhouse mix tape you can get from the gents on tour and reprises that role on Road Kill. Freq comes with great beats and mixing, but with Ortiz on the mike, it's hard to go wrong. You won't find anything bad here except for the motherfucker on the mike. Pick it up here immediately and face the inevitable: Joell Ortiz will be king of the rap game very, very soon.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lifter Puller vs. the end of

Almost exactly coincident with my having spent an arm and a leg on buying the aggressively out of print Lifter Puller back catalog, Jessica Hopper mentioned on her blog that she was involved in compiling a book on Lifter Puller that would include all their records, some nostalgia and some bonus/unreleased tracks. Color me priapic and cue a frantic Ebay resell.

Now, only four or five months past the time that the compendium was supposed to drop, Treehouse Records in sunny Minneapolis has finally released Lifter Puller vs. the end of. It's a small softcover with photos, compiled lyrics and a download card that has the new odds and sods compilation (review soon and seperate) along with the full-lengths and an EP. Lifter Puller are the best, so unsurprisingly it is exceedingly awesome, and for $25, you really can't go wrong.
Pick it up here from The Hold Steady store or straight from Treehouse in MN via this link. Act quick regardless, as there are allegedly only 1000 printed and they will definitely sell out in short order.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Live: forgetters at Market Hotel 12.11.9

Historically, there is always a quality rock show on the same night as my shitty job's holiday party. More often than not, I would find myself kind of torn up in some vintage tuxedo at a Slobberbone show or whatnot. This year I was more reasonably dressed, but to keep it interesting the show this year was like 18 degrees and in Brooklyn. Good times. Given the fact the trip necessitated a train, were it not forgetters, I probably would have bailed, but onto the JMZ I went in search of the mysterious Market Hotel. That's a place that's flying well under the radar, but luckily I was able to find the non-descript Steppenwolfian doorway and make it in. This show was the kick-off of the first forgetters tour and as a result I would have thought that it would have been more crowded, but it was pretty managable. I got there just as Chastity Wig were wrapping and carved out some real estate while the kids set up.

forgetters were up in short order. Blake's Keats obsession and the snobbery thereattached were in full effect. I'd say that there were easily three random between-song drops, in between condescending first-hand reports that BS was now a bartender and challenges to the audience regarding their ability to name NPR correspondents. It certainly made this old guy long for the "rabbit, rabbit" banter of shows past. We got about a half-hour of music this night, with at least a couple tunes that were purported to be released out on a forthcoming 7", maybe on Don Giovanni? The songs are decent, especially the last tune that they played as a pseudo-encore, and I'm pretty stoked to hear them recorded. That said, in retrospect, even I might be getting over my Blake obsession. The ex-member factor looms large here and if the songs don't put outweigh the stage banter, it could be another short tenure for forgetters. In the meantime, keep track of their future touring and recording aspirations here.


Monday, December 14, 2009

Artie Lange - Too Fat To Fish

Unlike the other belligerent drunk comedian that I've spoken of recently, I can't say enough good things about Artie Lange. His Stern cred is top-shelf, he can call Norm Macdonald one of his best friends and he seems pretty humble for a guy who has been known to wallow in cocaine and booze for fun. I again enjoyed this via the audio book (why? because you can't snag books off the web) and while I will say that it is still far too long for a guy who reads as fast as I do, Too Fat To Fish is totally great. Artie reads the first couple chapters wherein he talks about his family and early life and it's one of the most engaging things you'll ever hear. It's totally inspiring and heartbreaking, especially in Lange's Jersey accent. You may recall that Artie has some addiction issues, and by chapter three he goes to rehab (literally) and has buddies like Ba-ba-booey and Jim Florentine read the rest. Too Fat To Fish is pretty great regardless of who is on the mike, so believe the hype. Avoid the nightmare that is that ridiculous Palin book and check out a guy who cares more about his family and the troops overseas that 90% of the people who can't shut up about it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

David Cross - I Drink For A Reason

David Cross is a slippery slope for me. I think that his comedy albums are absolutely brilliant, but all that good work is somewhat diluted by every interaction anyone I've ever known him to have with the service world/common people resulting in reports of him being a total douchebag. I would have never thought that anyone who was that much of a Superchunk fan would be that much of a shitbag, but I've obviously been wrong before.

Cross was on one of the late night shows recently talking about his recent month long stand of sold out London shows and did a set at Bumbershoot that is making the interweb rounds, so I mistakenly snapped this up thinking it was a new stand-up set. I Drink For A Reason is actually an audio book with Cross narrating. I would say, in theory, that this a good idea, but while the bits are decent, and it is certainly much more engaging in DC's own voice, he seems to have a DQ (douche quotient) that is off the charts. It's also very, very long, which may be either onerous or equitable depending on how you slice it. I would say that the former is the closest to the truth, but I guess you should probably decide for yourself.
Personally, I'd look for the live show.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Live: Whiskey Trench at Bar Nine 12.6.9

So, would someone please explain to me me the logic in having a band come from Montreal to play that has a fairly limited draw, posting a time that they are going on, then having them go before the announced time, not because the place was packed and people were clamoring, but to two people and the bartender? I showed up at 10, again the posted start time, to see Whiskey Trench play five songs, one of which was a Jawbreaker cover. They sounded decent, but it was a severe bummer.


Friday, December 11, 2009

LIve: The Figgs @ Cake Shop 12.4.9

So, night two of the three night Figgs Fest for the holidays, this one in the hood over at Cake Shop. Sadly the photo at right is not from the show, but is still exceedingly classic and more than apropos given the lack of offering from the Figg franchise as to commemorative photos. Drew and I pre-gamed at JS-NYC HQ before dashing over Cake Shop way for a little time with the aforepictured Casino Officer Big Balls before the set.

As holiday sets go, there were very few surprises, which is not to say that the set was in any way bad, save for The Sights having had to endure a second night of keeping up with them. I suppose it's a character building experience at the very least. Again, I would have liked to have heard some of the stuff of Couldn't Get High, but there were dips as far back as Lo-Fi At Society High, so it wasn't all for nought. We were again treated to the new Casino Hayes single, as well as a guest appearance from Jeb Bishop and a David Cross sighting, so there was a lot of equity to your holiday dollar this year. It seemed like a sparse crowd, but we were up front and Drew claims there were a lot of people out, so what do I know? I missed Night Three in the rugged lands of Shaolin, but if I were you, I'd get on over to Figgs HQ and see when you can see the gents next. If history is any indication, the next shows will be at yet another Green Bay casino, but you owe it to yourself to see America's Finest Rock Band live before you shuffle off this mortal coil.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Live: The Figgs @ Breur Falls 12.3.9

Ok, this is only a week past being relevant, but hey I've got a lot on my plate. Last week, about this time I jumped on the bike and jumped over the bridge to see America's Finest Rock Band, The Figgs, play one of their increasingly rare live shows at Bruar Falls. I missed out on their Halloween extravaganza owing to lack of desire to be pelted with eggs/be divested of my worldly possessions, but had very little excuse this time around.

I crossed threshold and ran into the questionably moustachioed Mr. Pete Hayes, sadly sans his long-suffering wife and new daughter. In luckier eventualities, The Figgs were just about to go on. They proceeded to play one hell of a set, pretty much lacking in deep cuts, but still better than most bands that don't suggest one might Hold one's Steadiness. These shows were with Detroit's The Sights and featured the bands swapping opening slots. This night had Los Figgs on second, which is to say opening. The crowd was sparse, but mostly to see our heroes. Had they not arrived thusly, they left as such as The Figgs wiped the floor up with all in attendance. There was a brief glimmer of respite for the headliners when Gent moved to acoustic towards the end of the set, but all hope was lost for any followers when the soloing continued apace until the set's end. Not the nicest move, but one that more than asserted who the big boys were. We were treated to a couple new songs, including the A-side of the new Casino Hayes 7" and the requisite holiday covers. And there was much rejoicing by all who did not have to follow them. Keep track on the rest of The Figgs holiday dates (and the myriad side projects each member maintains) here. Were you to want to get the new 7" as the best holiday stocking stuffer ever, you can get it here from the kindly proprietors of Peter Wallkee Records here. Save all the toys for the little rich boys.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Minus The Bear - Into The Mirror

If you'll forgive the hackneyed metaphor, Minus The Bear is a strange animal. I got exposed to them through the **ahem** adult site that one of the band members used to run with his wife. Their internet glory was quickly overshadowed by Suicide Girls, but probably a decade past that, Minus The Bear have been much more successful in purveying their mix of electronica and indie slash punk music. The recordings may have become crisper through higher bit rates, but the music is essentially unchanged. The departure of Matt Bayles was hardly the death knell haters made it out to be. As per usual, Minus The Bear generally make me think of being in the Los Angeles of Blade Runner on a whole lot of coke, but that's just me. Not that I touch that silliness, but looking at the crowd they attract and the Lifter Puller level of sordid-tude their songs display, it seems that I might not the only one that feels that way.

Into The Mirror is a two song virtual 7" that varies very little from the time honored MTB formula of deftly finger-tapped riffs cybermelded against rhythms of the organic variety as well as breakbeats and loops. The title track is the mellower of the two, while the b-side pushes the more frantic side of things. If you liked Minus The Bear before, you'll be stoked about this, but I doubt it's going to win over anyone who didn't like them previously. I'd say those people are kinda dumb, but that's not our problem is it? Pick up Into The Mirror from your favorite digital retailer or from the band via their Tigre Blanco records. I don't see any web presence for the label, but you kids are a resourceful lot. In a pinch, it appears you can also contact Team MTB here.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bend Over And Take Your Royalties...

On the heels of this screed from the men of Rehasher and as I have been taking it in the pocketbook like most of America this year, I thought I might cross-post this little delight I found on the Portastatic blog about major labels and digital royalties from Tim Quirk of Too Much Joy. More and more, it seems like going for self is the way of the walk.

That said, while I am sympathetic to the men of Rehasher's plight and will admit they have been known to be good sometimes, the idea that 3000 people would buy their record, especially in the first month, smacks of hubris and reminds me how good the weed is in Florida. I'd bet that maybe 5% of the No Idea (who released the first Rehasher and are distro-ing the new one) roster even press 3000 initially. Now, it appears the new Rehasher is self-released on their own Moathouse Records. I applaud that, but I'd be very surprised if they pressed up 3000 cds in the first pressing. Bully to them if they can sell 3K right out the gate, but it doesn't seem likely from where I'm sitting. Looking at the Moathouse and Rehasherweb presences, there are some interesting eventualities. First off, I would be interested as to why they are selling it for $3 more than No Idea (plus $2 postage). With very, very few exceptions, asking $12 bucks ($10 and postage) for a record that is maybe a half-hour would (and will) make me download it, at least initially. Oddly enough, that $12 seems to get you vinyl with a die-cut cover from No Idea (shipped), a price that seems more than reasonable for collector nerds. If I was buying a CD from you on tour for $10, it would be a whole different ball game, but someone needs to take a step back and look at the big picture asking $12 for mailorder, especially when you're a punk band who is recording a record for your own label. While digital downloading is hurting some bands, it also exposes the average band to exponentially larger numbers of people. Most bands would be stoked that 3000 people would even care about hearing their record. And also take into account that 3000 is most definitely 3000 people around the world, a scope that many people, including me and my stupid band, would be wholly in favor of operating in.

If any Rehasher dudes rebut, I'll post it unedited. I'll also probably download and review it. For free. Listening to the I-tunes clips, it sounds pretty decent. Not better than Susquehanna Hat Company, but decent.


Read the comments on the PunkNews article, too. While they do speak volumes about how charmingly out of touch the young "punks" are today, there is an especially hysterical anecdote from a guy who supposedly dropped 50K on his record and gave/is giving it away. While that is just plain silly and I wish that my Dad was rich, too, the really funny part is where he claims he got over half of it back from donations. In two months! The internet sure is a great place for lying. Well, gotta go, just got a $1 million check from Google Ads, gotta get that in the bank....


Monday, December 7, 2009

Bowery Boy Blue and Lesser Lights - Now We Will Be Brothers

Ah, Bowery Boy Blue! Despite being located individually all over God's creation, the fearsome foursome sure do make a nice sound when they are in the same room. It's been a good year for the Boys. Their debut full-length Stalk This Myth dropped about a year ago on Space Photo Records to almost universal regard. Short tours over the last year were exceedingly well-received and showed the Boys that are both Blue and of the Bowery to be one hell of a force on the stage. Live, the Stalk songs took on dimensions that the recordings only hinted at, boding well for the band's future.

Now We Will Be Brothers is the product of the last days of the historic Looking Glass Studios in NYC. Bowery Boy Bluesmen Zeb Gould and Sam Crawford brought Lesser Lights proprietor Nate Baker to see the space while the SF-based Lesser Lights proprietor was in town playing shows. As luck would have it, the fabled Studio A was open for the afternoon and BBB ended up backing Baker for the two tracks that appear here. It seems to have been a happy coincidence for both parties. Bowery Boy Blue play wonderfully, but their backing is unobtrusive to say the least. Crawford adds wonderful vocal backing to the opening Waving At Trains That No Longer Run, but for the most part the Lesser Lights tracks feel a little bit more solo songwriter. Baker's vocals here show a warm sonority that is equal parts unsettling and engaging. Think Mark Kozalek or Kurt Wagner, maybe Tim Barry on an exceedingly good day. The two Now We Will Be Brothers tracks are a nice introduction and I like what I hear. Suffice to say, I'm excited to hear the EP that I hear is coming in the new year.

At the inception of Bowery Boy Blue, Zeb Gould arguably filled the role Baker holds in Lesser Lights, wherein he would bring songs to the table and flesh them out with players as needed. It lent a Jason Molina meets Neil Young vibe to the proceedings that was wonderful to listen to, but didn't do justice to the BBB live sound. The last couple of years have found Bowery Boy Blue coalescing into a band and fostering a new direction that incorporates a lot more Pixies/Cake rock quirk into the sound. The two songs here show both sides of the band. Now We Will Be Brothers shows more of the early sound, with violin and steel adding texture. It's wonderful, but the closing Give 'Em What They Want melds an arpeggiated guitar riff to a gritty lead that should make waves in eardrums from dorm rooms to home theater systems all over. It is a track that lives up to its name.

As does the record's title. Now We Will Be Brothers pairs two great up and comers in Bowery Boy Blue and Lesser Lights. These are artists that are two sides of a single coin, players that come closest to capturing whatever is still relevant in the increasingly nebulous term that is Americana. Now We Will Be Brothers is American music in the truest sense, combining classic elements of folk, rock and country music with the alternative sounds of their collective youths to form something beautiful and new. You would be foolish not buy this. Get Now We Will Be Brothers from your favorite digital retailer or grab a hard copy from the good folk of Space Photo Records. Tell 'em JS-NYC sent you. Look forward to both parties being out on the road in the new year and keep an ear out for the second Bowery Boy Blue record coming next year.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Teenage Bottlerocket - They Came From The Shadows

Teenage Bottlerocket is another band that has really got under my skin (in a good way) in the last couple months. Their CMJ set this year was a real rager that Luke and I really enjoyed a ton. I revisited all their records after that and continue to be astounded that I wasn't as into them the three times I had see them previously. I'm sure I've whined here previously about the show at the Leonard St. Knit TBR played with Chixdiggit where the Alberta crew was utterly terrible, with a thrown together band backing KJ that barely knew any songs. The TBR kids offered to back KJ to try and salvage the proceedings, but it was all in all a total disappointment that probably tainted my feelings about these proud sons of Laramie.

I seem to have put that behind me now. I can now state definitively that if you like the Ramones, and by proxy your Riverdales and your Screeching Weasels, you would be hard pressed not to enjoy TBR in general and They Came From The Shadows in particular. The addition of Kody has expanded their sound slightly, but Teenage Bottlerocket aren't broken and they aren't about to try and fix it. It's odd that a wizened old man like myself would take to songs like Skate Or Die or The Jerk, but I have and, judging by the number of times I've played this and the rest of the TBR stuff of late, I will continue to do so. Please do the same and buy They Came From The Shadows from Fat via this link. Note: leather motorcycle jacket not included.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Whiskey Trench - Television

Ah, Whiskey Trench! If I may digress from the onset, it's fairly irritating how much of a dick tease the internet can be. As it regards Whiskey Trench, for a while now I've been trying to figure out if Hugo Mudie is still in this damn band? Given the terse assertion that he is not on the web page, I'm given to think that I am right that he was, but that some sort of acrimony has facilitated his departure from the WT ranks. Not that Whiskey Trench are Rush or anything, but it'd be nice if there were somewhere one could get the skinny on the current lineup.

Not that I'm such a slavish Mudie jocker that I would disregard the band if he wasn't a member, but truth be told, The Sainte Catherines/Yesterday's Ring connection was the reason I got into the band in the first place. I grabbed the first Whiskey Trench record from the download section of If You Make It last year and was pretty taken with the Canadian inflected Jawbreaker-isms therein. Television keeps that legacy alive, adding a little Ben Deily era Lemonheads to the mix to keep things interesting. There is also an interesting Green Onions meets Planet Of Sound kind of instrumental turn on No Money For Bus Fare that heralds some interesting directions in the band's future. The fourteen tracks are all pretty sold, with Vicious Sore and Life Long Sentence taking the top two slots to these ears. As luck would have it, the gents are playing Bar Nine tomorrow night, so it appears I'll be able to get to the bottom of the Hugo thing and see if Whiskey Trench can pull it off live. See you front and center at the rock show. If you can't make it out, check the record out at their web presence or just buy Television from Kiss Of Death. Think about maybe buying two. It's the perfect holiday gift.


Friday, December 4, 2009


Hey Kids:

While there seems to be very little chance that we'll be seeing the Fugazi do any live stuff anytime soon, there is no need to deprive yourself of the inimitable stage patter the gents doth provide.

Download this 45 minute comp of Ian and Guy waxing eloquent on issues like dancefloor douchebaggery, ice cream consumption and their drummer's financial woes. Here 'tis courtesy of Henry at Chunklet and Jerry Burns.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Small Brown Bike - Composite, Volume One

Whouda thunk? The Small Brown Bike is back! And with the original lineup even. Works for me. I've had an SBB sticker on my Surly for years now and while it garners the odd bit of mockery from the odd Figg drummer here and there, most of the feedback has concerned how great they were back in the day and how scads of bands have ripped them off. While the ex-members have started various ill-fated side projects like Able Baker Fox and LaSalle, none of the post-Bike projects caught fire on a level of the original franchise.

Small Brown Bike played The Fest this year to much adulation from fans old and new. The nice young(ish) men that they are, they have been kind enough to actually trot out some new material to commemorate their return. It's a 7" on No Idea called Composite, Volume One and I'll be damned if it doesn't sound a lot like some of the best stuff from their early years. While you should, don't take my word for it. Var and Co. have both tracks streaming over at the No Idea web presence here, so why not try that shit then buy that shit. It's the perfect gift for Mom for the holidays.


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2 review at PopMatters

Hey Kids:

Review of the new Raekwon opus is currently up at PopMatters. Thanks to Sarah Zupko at PopMatters! Peep it here.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Figgs for the Holidays!

Hey Kids:

America's finest rock band The Figgs is taking a break from recording their new record and procreating to play some shows for the holidays (and the New Year).

Peep the dates below and note that there will be holiday single available for stocking stuffing courtesy of the good folk of Peter Walkee Records.
It's on Figg-approved vinyl, with complimentary digital downloads.

Come to the shows and thank them personally for the holiday gift, willya. We don't get the boys playing shows outside of Green Bay casinos much anymore. See you Thursday in Brooklyn.

Holiday Shows!
12/3 - Brooklyn, NY - Bruar Falls
12/4 -
New York, NY - Cake Shop
12/5 -
Staten Island, NY - Cargo Cafe
12/11 - Albany, NY - Valentines
12/12 - Saratoga Springs, NY - Putnam Den
12/18 - Cambridge, MA - TT The Bears

12/19 -
Dover, NH - Brick House

1/4 - Carrabassett Valley, ME - Sugarloaf
1/5 -
Newry, ME - Sunday River
2/26 -
Saratoga Springs, NY - The Irish Times
2/27 -
Saratoga Springs, NY - The Irish Times (Matinee Family show)
2/27 - Saratoga Springs, NY - The Irish Times (Late Show)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Visqueen - Message To Garcia

A couple of years ago, it seemed like Rachel Flotard and her rock franchise Visqueen would be the next big thing in rock. They had Kim Warnick of the mighty, mighty Fastbacks in the bass position, quality shows with GbV and Cheap Trick and, most importantly, songs for days. There was (and is) also the small matter of Ms. Flotard being utterly, knee-weakeningly lovely. As the pendulum swung in the opposite direction, there were line-up changes, a couple less than successful tours, and most horribly the news that her father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Priorities were realigned accordingly and Flotard decided to spend as much time as humanly possible with her father until his passing.

George Flotard passed at home in April of this year with his daughter at his side. While he no longer occupies a space on this temporal plane, the paternal Flotard's legacy looms large on Message To Garcia. The title comes from a short story of the same name that was recommended to Rachel by her father during the time that they lived together. Garcia is a soldier who is notable for simply doing his job, neither asking for help nor complaining for the duration. It's a work ethic that was embraced by the older Flotard and one that lives on through his daughter and the other members of Visqueen. Message To Garcia is also the first release on Local 638 Records, named for the steamfitters union that her father maintained membership in until his passing.

Tragic backstory aside, Message To Garcia is one hell of of a rocking power-pop record. It is not without it's melancholia, but fast or slow there is really not a bad song here. Few bands can claim in this day and age. During the time that Visqueen has been on blocks, you may have espied Flotard singing backing vocals on various Neko Case records and tours in recent years or perhaps fronting the ensemble that pedal steel master Jon Rauhouse put together to record his last record. Both former bosses repay the favor by appearing on Message To Garcia. Case and Flotard are a powerful combination that rivals the current Neko/Kelly Hogan musical pairing. Flotard sings like an angel throughout and while I find the vocals to be a little lush for my taste, it does nothing to diminish Message To Garcia's place as being one of the best records of 2009. Walk, don't run to Local 638 Records and pick this up stat. Those that do not like it are stone cold idiots to whom I would suggest severing your ears with something dull. But that's just me.


Friday, November 27, 2009

No Friends

Time to set off the pit. No Friends is the new band that is setting the hardcore world on it's ear. Featuring 3/4 of the pretty much dormant New Mexican Disaster Squad, you'll dig this if you liked them or their current franchises Gatorface and Virgins. Oh, wait! Did I mention that Tony from Municipal Waste is fronting this little combo? While I never really got NMDS, I fucking love The Waste. They have been getting serious play at JS-NYC HQ of late, much to the delight to the my neighbors. It's important to point out that while Municipal Waste thrash with wild abandon, No Friends take the hardcore road that bands like Paint It Black do so well. It's definitely on some Dag Nasty/Descendents/GBs shit and most assuredly awesome. No Idea is the label that pays them and Var and Tony must be stoked. It's not just a recording/project band either. The Waste are pushing their new record Massive Aggressive hard, but No Friends are still trying to do some shows around various Fests and whatnot. I'd go out of my way to see them live when and if you could, but in the meantime pick up No Friends here from the lovable men and women of No Idea.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jeff Klein - 33

I'm far from a MySpace guy, but clicked the link when I got the alert that Jeff Klein had updated his little blog presence there. Jeff is from my hometown, inexplicably, and after catching his set at a Guitartown party a couple SXSWs ago, I've gone out of my way to keep him on my radar. He's been touring as a member of the Twilight Singers in recent years and has popped up in various live ensembles Msrrs. Dulli and Lanegan have put together to promote their myriad projects as well as playing with some TS compatriots in the My Jerusalem ensemble. This rolling stone is gathering no moss. To commemorate the start of his 33rd year, he posted a 23 minute track that has got a bunch of new material along with some wankery. The threat was that it would be available for 24 hours only. Luckily, I'm a nerd and snapped it up quick. It seems like the threat is a valid one, as the link is now dead, but I would expect that a little internet prospecting will turn 33 up. It's worth it. I'm not sure whether any of this stuff will ever see a formal release, but the best place to find out (and check out some other quality tracks) would probably be here.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

NOFX - Cokie The Clown 7"

More choir-preaching from Fat Mike and Co. Five songs, including an acoustic version of My Orphan Year from the most recent record. Not going to win over any new fans, but if you like the boys, you certainly won't be disappointed by the proceedings. You'll probably also want to peep the video, where Fat Mike punks punks like Matty Skiba and Tim Rise Against. Buy the 7" here and enjoy the video shenanigans here.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another Patterson Hood live set at Southern Shelter

Man, Southern Shelter is definitely giving us something to be thankful for this year. I guess we can probably thank Patterson, too. Is typical JS-NYC bass-ackwards fashion, here's a link to the first of the three Wednesday night hometown residency shows at The Caledonia. The opening night was billed as "Onward Out The Window (New And Used Songs - Stripped Down To Piano and Guitar)". Newish DBT cohort Jay Gonzales holds the piano role down for the most part, but Patterson does tickle the ivories for a song or two. Solid all around, with the inimitable Patterson banter in full effect. Peep it here.


Friday, November 20, 2009

The Copyrights and The Brokedowns split 7"

So this is the 7" that I alluded to in my cursory coverage of the recent Copyrights shows. The Brokedowns have been getting a lot of notice lately, playing most of the good Midwestern punk shows with D4, The Dopamines and our heroes, The Copyrights. They have two songs here, none of which really rock my world, but I suspect that if I had a handful of Old Styles in me, I might very well feel differently. I'm not prepared to relegate them to full-on Cobra Skulls over-rateddom yet. Pairing themselves with The Copyrights will certainly get them some shine, but they sure do pale in comparison from where this asshole is sitting. The Copyrights lead off with the banging I'd Rather Die Than Be Alone and seal the deal with Get Got, another number that will enrich your life in many ways. No Idea is the bestest, so why not drink one less beer and help all the parties involved keep the lights on. Here's a link to enable your expenditure.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Patterson Hood live set at Southern Shelter

Hey Kids:

The good folk of Southern Shelter have been posting the live shows Patterson and his Athens auxiliary have been playing during their month-long residency at Caledonia Lounge. This one features some of his more country oriented material. Patterson was sick, but still managed to deliver the goods. Get the skinny on the two new DBT records coming next year and hear some rare stuff via this handy link.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Live: The Copyrights @ Fontana's 11.7.9

If there's any band worth seeing a bunch of nights in a row, it's The Copyrights. Fontanas was the venue for one of the best shows of the year last June with House Boat, Dear Landlord and The Unlovables and our heroes, so it seemed promising that the boys would return, albeit with a hodge-podge of random crappy bands.

They were second, listed as going on at 10, so it seemed to make sense
that I showed up at five of to find them halfway through their set and playing to maybe 10 people. When they drew easily 50 heavy drinkers the last time and played to a rabid crowd the night before, it confounds me that Fontana's would put them on early. The seven or eight songs I did catch were as awesome as you might expect, but fuck Fontana's anyway. Keep track of where The Copyrights are here and pick up the new 7" from No Idea.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Live: The Copyrights, Jonesin' @ Tommy's Tavern 11.6.9

An early Fall night and The Copyrights are two of the great tastes that go great together. I stopped off for a pre-game with 2/3 of the aldenbarton rock franchise and posted up in time to hear the end of Nude Beach. Literally, but I ran into the newlywed Dan of Deadly Board Games and Dirtbike Annie and whiled away the dead time til what I assume was Jonesin' played. They played in the punk-optimized power trio format and rocked some noisy gems that crossed Husker Du with newer NYC indie-punk upstarts like Get Bent and Iron Chic are putting out. They were good, but sadly in the unenviable role of opening for The Copyrights, who are definitely the top tier of the current Mid-Weas-tern punk bands. They have a new 7" on No Idea that I guess they are touring behind. I could have cared less, as anytime The Copyrights are playing, one would be smart to be there. They were without one of their guitar dudes and somewhat limited in their selections but still knocked out a solid 10 or 15 tracks, including the delightfully appropriate (and JS-NYC euphoria inducing) This Ain't Broadway. They managed to cough up a couple more tunes as an encore at the behest of Dan and what appeared to be some rogue Steinways, but as awesome as it was, it was over way too soon. Big up to Tommy's and their bizarro smoke/light treatments. It reminds me of old times at The Charleston. Keep tabs on the tail end of this post-Fest junket and other Copyrights goings-on here. Snatch up the new record (a split with The Brokedowns) from No Idea here.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

R.A. The Rugged Man - Legendary Classics Vol. 1

As the leaves turn and we look forward to giving thanks, let us not forget to make a joyful noise about the fact that R.A The Rugged Man has deigned to grace us with another release. The former Crustified Dibbs has defied the odds (as well as label blacklisting and companion lawsuits) and undergone quite the renaissance in recent years. Sadly, his contributions to Mass Appeal are no more, but the digital age has proven to be a great medium for established indie artists like R.A. He claims that his last release, the pretty damn good American Low Life was recorded for under $5K and sold 400 thousand. Do the math. Thems is some Freddie Foxxx numbers. Even if he did half those numbers, it would be a better showing than most of the hip-hop records that have dropped in the last couple years.

It's been a minute since ALL dropped, but R.A is most definitely back for the attack. Displaying his customary lack of self-confidence, R.A has seen fit to release Legendary Classics Vol. 1 for our pleasure, a limited edition release that compiles a lot of The Rugged Man's early singles from way-out-if-it-was-ever-actually-really-in-print records like Night Of The Bloody Apes. Smithhaven Mall is here, as is Stanley Kubrick. The solo tracks are good, but pair R.A. with fellow grimesmiths Akineyle or Kool G. Rap and you have total magic, if you consider tales of whoring, drugging and otherwise being unproductive to the populace at large to be magical. I sure do. Legendary Classics Vol. 1 adds the legendary Cunt Renaissance duet with Biggie as well as the straight banger 50,000 Heads with Sadat X and a gang of other songs you'll be embarassed to play around your Mom. Any guilt you might feel after listening probably won't keep the Nate Dogg-esque hook from Fucking Your Bitch (When You're Not Around) from haunting you for days afterward. Maybe just hum it to yourself, or consider investing in a better set of noise-canceling headphones. Whatever it takes, you owe it to yourself to check out R.A. and Legendary Classics Vol. 1. Grab it from Nature Sounds here and maybe spring for the limited edition with the DVD and unreleased tracks. Keep track of where the women in your life should be far away from via the Rugged Man web presence here.

Rugged Man? What The Fuck!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Iron Chic - Shitty Rambo EP

Iron Chic is another reshuffling of the Long Island punk rock deck, featuring ex-Latterman dude / engineer / cigarette aficionado Phil Douglas and Lubrano from Small Arms Dealer as well as three other whoa-ohing miscreants that like themselves some pop-punk mixed with Braid-y Midwestern 90s rock (who themselves were jocking Chapel Hill pretty hard).

The Iron Chic demo got a lot of love from JS-NYC to Bloomington. I could have sworn that Iron Chic went the way of the Potboiler and the Get Bent, but if they have songs this good I hope they stick around for a bit. All four songs are bangers, but Don't Tell Me Stupid, Don't Show Me Fuck You and Shit/Giggles occupy the number 1 & 2 slots for now, but I'm just into the double digits with playing Shitty Rambo so standings may very well change. My ranking aside, pick this EP up here immediately from Dead Broke Rekerds. Nerds may be excited to hear of limited vinyl options. Yippee.



Sunday, November 8, 2009

MC Ren - Renincarnated

Of all the NWA members, Ren always was my favorite. He had better tone and flow than most of the other cats, but still always seemed to be batting behind Cube, Dre and Eazy. The first two I could see, but being considered behind Eazy as a rapper is a place in life I wouldn't wish on most people. Not that Eazy isn't head and shoulders above 90% of the shitty rappers that are out today, but the point is that Ren deserves a lot better than that. His skills are definitely on par with Cube and outclass the rest of his former franchise. His solo records haven't sold on the level of Cube or Dre, but are still extremely solid efforts, especially for a West Coast artist. There are equal parts misogyny and spirituality, with the odd weed smoking reference to mix it up. Villianist Tales (sadly, indeed a revisitation of Too Short's Freaky Tales) is a bit of a misstep, but by and large Renincarnated is well worth picking up. Get it here from Ren and Villain Entertainment and check out videos and movies starring the Villain himself. Cops and mark ass bustas need not apply.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sean Price presents Kimbo Price: The Prelude To Mic Tyson

Read the title. Kimbo Price? Come on, you can't front: admit the title is pretty brilliant, especially as a mixtape precursor to a full-length entitled Mic Tyson. I guess that you might be all souped up on the new Jay-Z or Rick Ross records to the point that you might doubt this record's awesomeness, but anyone with even a passing ownership of a set of ears would be an idiot to deny how good this. Interspersed with sound clips from the aforementioned pugilists, Sean gets ridiculous on 23 tracks, mostly for delf but sometimes with the help of old comrades like Ruck, Buckshot and Rusty Juxx but also with newcomers like Flood Diesel, Skyzoo and Torae. If you like hip-hop, you should be picking Kimbo Price up immediately from Duck Down. Here's a link.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Price Is Right

So your man Sean P has got a new mixtape dropping. It's called Kimbo Price and is the precursor to the new full-length (on Duck Down, of course) called Mic Tyson. While Sean comes hard body with it, he still keeps it real on the family and shopping tip. See it firsthand via The Price Is Right, video that may very well be the best thing on the interwebs. Here's a link. Thanks to the mighty Unkut for hipping me to this and big up Dallas Penn for digitizing. Look for a review of Kimbo Price tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Hold Steady - live Southern Comfort show download

Hey Kids:

I don't drink it, but maybe you're into idea of seeing one of your favorite bands and swilling some SoCo while you do so?

Evidently it makes The Hold Steady play a bunch of covers, which I guess may have been the point. Hit the link below and hear a couple new tracks taped live this past Sunday at The Crocodile in Seattle, along with old favorites and/or Steve Earle, ZZ Top and Minutemen covers.