Sunday, May 31, 2009

Art Brut vs. Satan

On the eve of their five night stand at NYC's finest venue The Mercury Lounge, it seems apropos to enlighten you all about the wonder that is their new record. Called Art Brut vs. Satan, this little chestnut should do yeoman duty in casting the devil out of all discriminating people's lives. If that's their intention, of course. I ended up having drinks with Eddie and the rest of the kids after a couple of the dates on NME tour with The Hold Steady and it is very likely that Art Brut is of a mind to take the horned guys slot.

If there's a hell below, we're all gonna go and Art Brut might well be the house band. Lucky for us, as I might just be able to listen to Art Brut vs. Satan for all eternity. Much has been made of Frank Black producing the record. The record sounds good, but don't think you're going to get Pixies Mach II or anything. That's not an Art Brut diss, moreso a commentary on the cash-in that is the Pixies reunion. Judging by the rampant sales of the Grand Duchy record, I'd say that the reunion hasn't fostered a huge amount of love for the new material. Why not think forward for once and pick up a record that isn't a retread. There isn't a bad song here, and everything is clear and crisp. If you didn't like Eddie Argos' Craig Finn meets Ian Dury vocals before, you probably are not going to be swayed now, but there are a gang of other reasons to like Art Brut vs. Satan. Even the unexpected closing cover of The Cure didn't kill it for me, and that's saying something.

Like I said, Art Brut will be playing Mercury all week, so if you have ears (and plugs to put in them) you would do well to go on down and check them out. Pick up a copy of Art Brut vs. Satan here and keep track of their ungodly ways via this handy link.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Robert Schimmel - Life Since Then

You may be familiar with Robert Schimmel from his earlier comedy work and/or his comedy specials on HBO and Comedy Central. Maybe you have heard him on Howard Stern or possibly heard that he divorced his wife and ended up marrying his daughter's best friend. Interpersonal dynamics have taken a bit of a back seat in recent years as Schimmel has done battle with non-Hotchkins Lymphoma. He lost a testicle (and his son, sadly also to cancer) but has since gone into remission. It's a hell of a way to have a career resurgence, but it has also revitalized Schimmel's career in a big way.

I'll be the first to tell you that I really don't want to to hear survivor humor. Laughing through the pain is definitely something that people should do, it's just always tougher for me to hear from comedians. These are the reasons why I don't want to hear Christian Finnegan or Louie Anderson. Sorry things went a little shitty for you, but let's suck it up. Guys like Sean Rouse have had (and continue to have) no-end of horrific things befall them and seem to have done ok for themselves. See if you can do the same.

Schimmel does a lot of material about his cancer, but it goes over real well (at least for this asshole) and as insensitive as his humor often is, he's always quick to point out that he is in no way making fun of people's cancer or making light of people's losses. Heavier material is off-set handily by great bits about family trips and hosting the AVN awards. It makes Life Since Then a great watch/listen for comedy fans as well as people trying to deal with cancer first or second-hand. Regardless of your application, you can grab a copy of Life Since Then or his other swag from Bob's website and/or keep up on his general goings-on here.

Friday, May 29, 2009

$5 Sale at Suburban Home

Hey Boys and Girls:

Cheap CDs aren't just for the kids over at Fat Wreck. Suburban Home is upping the ante and doing another $5 sale. Peep the skinny below and know that there is nary a bad record on that roster.

For the next 2 weeks, we will be selling the entire Suburban Home Catalog on CD for $5.00 each. Our CDs are pretty inexpensive to begin with (in most cases $8.99) and this is pretty much the deal you get when you purchase our 5 for $25 or 10 for $50 sales, but we figured that with the economy being where its at, some of you might be interested in just purchasing a couple of cds at this low price.

If you already own most of our catalog, use it to improve your friend’s crappy music collection. Tell them that you know you understand that for their money, they don’t know if it gets any better than when Michael Bolton sings “When a Man Loves a Woman”, but that there is more to music than that no talent assclown and then give them a few of our releases. Your friends’ lives will improve and they will have only you to thank for the dramatic improvement.

For 2 weeks, you can get pretty much our entire, available CD catalog for only $5.00 each. Stock up. To check out the full list if titles click HERE.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

This just in from the good folk of Pirate PR...

Hey Kids:
The tireless folk of Pirate PR got in touch to remind us all that BreakThruRadio (dot) com has got a free sampler over at their site. Look for a review in a bit, but check it out for yourself via the link below.

FREE BreakThru Radio Compilation
The Brunettes, Chairlift, Jason Collett and more! Download Here

From BreakThru Radio ( comes BTR Live Studio: Volume 1, a compilation of exclusive live recordings from the BTR Live Studio. With contributors such as The BrunettesJason CollettRa Ra Riot and Chairlift, the compilation features an eclectic mix of both established artists and up-and-coming performers from around the world. BTR Live Studio's director Maia Macdonald presents the program, which captures intimate moments and compelling interviews twice per week. BTR Live studio has featured one-of-a-kind performances and insights from artists ranging from legendary guitarist Gary Lucas, to British funk sensation Alice Russell, all pre-recorded for broadcast at Dubway Studios and Shelter Island Sound in New York. Sessions air on Tuesdays and Fridays at 12pm on BTR.

Did you know Chairlift's Patrick and Aaron have both hosted shows on BreakThru Radio? Their current DJs also include The Big Takeover's Jack Rabid, BP Fallon, Pitchfork's Matt LeMay, Austinists' Adi Anand and tons more accomplished music professionals. They all span the country. They have remote DJs all over the US, Canada, the UK, and Germany. All of this combined makes for one diverse station. With shows varying the spectrum from Latin Hip Hop to classic Bluegrass to Indie Rock, BreakThru Radio truly has something for everyone. And, with their on demand style of online broadcast, you can hear exactly what you want at the push of a button.

BTR also has a "Live from Pianos" series where they record live bands from the NY venue. The latest session features Immaculate Machine. Check it out right now Pianos will also be the venue for their 4th Birthday Party Show on June 18th. The lineup tba. * *

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Filthy (formery Dirty) Bomb Party with OnPoint and Invidia

Hey Kids:

JS-NYC favorites OnPoint and Invidia are playing another one of the Filthy Bomb parties this Saturday at The Delancey. Peep the flyer for the skinny. Booze, metal and burlesque. It's hard to go wrong with that combo.



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New No Friends tracks!

Are you like me? Well I hope not, but if you like yourself some hardcore of the older (ie: good) variety, with perhaps a little thrash added for good measure, No Friends may be your pair of worn Reebok hightops. Comprised of 3/4 of the late New Mexican Disaster Squad and helmed by Tony from RVA thrashers Municipal Waste, No Friends are definitely bringing the ruckus in an old school way.

There's a record coming down the pike later on this summer on No Idea, but tide yourself over in the interim with a tasty new track, courtesy of their social networking engine. It's called Have You Ever Heard Of Aspirations. Check it out here.


Monday, May 25, 2009

R.I.P: Jay Bennett (1963-2009)

Well this is some shitty news. On the heels of the news that Jay was having health issues and was suing Jeff Tweedy for a piece of the I Am Going To Break Your Heart DVD sales, it appears that Jay Bennett has passed on.

While Wilco was a great band until Summerteeth, the band is a total nightmare at present. When Jeff booted Jay from the band (after making him look like a total douche in the film) the last piece of anything good left that band. It was notable that John Stiratt high-tailed it back to Chicago right after that staffing change, as it seemed that Wilco was rapidly morphing into the Jeff Tweedy Experience.

They really should change the name, as there is very little to associate the old Wilco with the faux-Radiohead ridiculousness they are now purveying. I've not checked, but I'm sure there is adequate documentation of Tweedy denegrating the early (good) records ala King Of Revisionist History Ryan Adams. Credit is due, though. Any band that is that boring with Glenn Kotche and Nels Cline in the band really deserves some notice. Kudos to Jeff and Tony M. I'll give them another five years before Tweedy pulls a Van Halen and has his kids backing him.

If you're of a mind to remember the man, check out Jay's site and pick up some of his back catalog with Ed Burch or Titanic Love Affair. Rarely will you hear better music.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

New North Lincoln!

Hey Kids:

Michigan rock juggernaut North Lincoln have a new record coming down the pike courtesy of the good folk of No Idea.

Review soon, but stream that shit here in the interim.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Free Ice Cream Party - Tomorrow 5/24 @ Bushwick Country Club

Hey Kids: 

Those lovable Brooklyn scamps at are throwing another one of their shindigs tomorrow at Bushwick Country Club. Check the skinny below:

Hi Friends,

Time for another Free Ice Cream BBQ @ Bushwick Country Club! This Sunday, May 24th from 2pm-7pm...Free Food (starting at 2:30), Free Maker's Mark Milkshakes (starting at 4:00) and Free Music, while it all lasts. Speaking of Free Music, if you still haven't downloaded our newest FREE release, Almost Fameless Mixtape Vol.3, you are missing out...It is now available for download @

We have tons of great things in store for you this summer, so make sure you visit our EVENTS page often to keep up with the happenings. There are now NINE FREE downloads available on our site, so make sure you have them all! We hope to see you on Sunday! In the meantime check out:

Pictures from past BBQs: 

Music Videos:

Kats, Domer and DJ SmutVillain

Friday, May 22, 2009

New City Of Ships song and tour!

Hey Kids:

The collectives of Southern gentlemen that comprise the labels that are Sound Study Recordings and Translation Loss Recordings are banding together to co-release the new City Of Ships record called Look What God Did To Us. The record's not out until July, but City Of Ships are proactively sallying forth starting next week to do some dates with the mighty two-piece Liquid Limbs. Peep the skinny below:

CITY OF SHIPS have posted a new song from their monumental upcoming LP titled, “Look What God Did To Us.”  The track is called “Praise Feeder” and can be found on the band’s myspace page . The new album is due out in July and is being co-released by Sound Study Recordings and Translation Loss Records .  Sound Study Recordings will be handling the vinyl and digital releases with Translation Loss taking care of the CD.

The 10 song LP was recorded and produced by Andrew Schnieder (Cave In, Pelican) at Translator Audio in Brooklyn. It will serve as the bands first proper full length album.  The band previously released a split 12" with Souvenir's Young America and a collection LP Titled "Live Free or Don't Tour."

To support their newest effort the band will be going on a lengthy tour of the US and Europe.  The band leaves in June for a series of  East Coast dates with good friends and Sound Study labelmates,LIQUID LIMBS .  Following that they take on Europe for 10 weeks with BRAVEYOUNG andROSETTA .  Dates are below.



5/28 Orlando, FL @ Backbooth   w /   Liquid Limbs

5/29 Tampa, FL @   New  World   Brewery   w /   Liquid Limbs

5/30 Gainesville, FL @   The Atlantic   w /   Liquid Limbs   

5/31 Pensacola, FL @   Sluggos   w /   Liquid Limbs   

6/1 Birmingham, AL @  House   Show   w /   Liquid Limbs  

6/2 Chattanooga, TN @  J J s   Bohemia   w /   Liquid Limbs 

6/3 Covington, KY @  Mad Hatter   w /   Liquid Limbs  

6/4 Columbus, OH  @  Oldfield   s   w /   Liquid Limbs

6/5 Pitsburg, PA @  Pleasure   Island   w /   Liquid Limbs  

6/6  Frederick, MD @  Guidos   Speakeasy   w /   Liquid Limbs 

6/7  Richmond, VA @  Nara   Sushi  w /   Liquid Limbs  

6/9  Baltimore, MD @ Sidebar   w /   Liquid Limbs

6/10 Lancaster, PA @   Stomping Grouds   w /   Liquid Limbs 

6/11 Philadelphia, PA @  Pilam   w /   Liquid Limbs

6/12 Brooklyn, NY @ T B A   w /   Liquid Limbs

6/14 Providence, RI @  Firehouse 13   w /  Liquid Limbs


6/17 Wroclaw, PL @ Firlej Club w/ Rosetta & Blindead

6/18 Prague, CZ @ Klub 007 Strahov w/ Rosetta & Blindead

6/19 Athens, GR @ An Club w/ Rosetta & Blindead

6/20 Brno, CZ @ Yacht Club w/ Rosetta & Blindead

6/21 Budapest, HU @ Dürer Kert w/ Rosetta & Blindead

6/22  Vienna, AT @ Arena Dreiraum w/ Rosetta & Blindead

6/24  Berchem, BE @ JH Eglantier

6/25 Knokke-Heist, BE @ Offerendum Fest

6/28 Tilburg, NL @ 013 w/ Rosetta & Blindead

6/29 Berlin, DE @ Mikz w/ Rosetta & Blindead

7/1 Dresden, DE @ Az Conni w/ Braveyoung 

7/2  Leipzig, DE @ Zoro w/ Braveyoung

7/3 Frankfurt, DE @ Elfer Club w/ Braveyoung

7/4 Antwerpen, BE @ De Rots w/ Braveyoung

7/5 Lille, FR  @ Le Rumeur w/ Braveyoung

7/6 United Kingdom @ TBA w/ Braveyoung

7/7  Stroke on Trent, UK @ Harry’s Bar w/Braveyoung

7/8  Leicester, UK @ Criterion w/ Braveyoung

7/9  Glaslow, UK @  Captain’s Rest/ Braveyoung

7/10 Leeds, UK  @ Joseph’s Well w/ Braveyoung

7/11  Lincoln, UK @ Groomfest w/ Braveyoung

7/12 Le Havre, FR @ Kingstown Cafè w/ Braveyoung

7/13  Montaigu, FR @ Le Noctambule Bar w/ Braveyoung

7/14 Poitiers, FR @ Poitiers w/ Braveyoung

7/15  Toulouse, FR @ Le Pavillon Sauvage w/ Braveyoung

7/16 Leon, ES @  La Veja Escuela w/ Braveyoung

7/17  Porto, PT @ Fabrica Do Som w/ Braveyoung

7/18 Madrid, ES @ Siroco w/ Braveyoung

7/19 Badalona, ES @ Estraperlo Club w/ Braveyoung

7/20 St Feliu De Cordines, ES @ Center Civic La Fonteta

7/21 Lyon, FR @ Lyon’s Hall w/ Braveyoung

7/22 Vicenza, IT @ Centro Tecchio w/ Braveyoung

7/23  Ravenna, IT @ Bronson w/ Braveyoung

7/24 Meunchen, DE @ Sunny Red w/ Braveyoung

7/25 Solingen, DE @ Waldmeister Club w/ Braveyoung

7/28 Hof, DE @ Gruene Haidt w/ Braveyoung

7/29 Wuerzburg, DE @ Immerhin w/ Braveyoung

7/30 Amsterdam, NL @  Winston w/ Braveyoung

7/31 Utrecht, NL @ ACU w/ Braveyoung

8/1  La Louvière (Hainaut), BE @ La Taverne du Théâtre w/ Braveyoung

8/2 Blankenberge, BE @ Offshore Fest w/ Braveyoung

Crucial Links: 

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Hey Kids:

Maryland rock juggernaut Clutch are back with a new record and some more dates on their seemingly endless tour. Read on:

Leaks Tracks off New Album, Strange Cousins From The West, Out July 7th on Weathermaker Music * Announces US Tour w/ Baroness!

Veteran Maryland rock quartet CLUTCH have just put the finishing touches on their ninth studio album, titled Strange Cousins From the West. Produced by Clutch and J. Robbins at Magpie Cage Studios in Baltimore, the effort is the first Clutch original to be released on the band's ownWeathermaker Music, through RED Distribution. Label manager Jon Nardachone reports "Strange Cousins..." will be available both digitally and through retail on July 7th. He also reports the first single and video, "50,000 Unstoppable Watts" will be officially released on June 2nd." 

In celebration, the band has just announced Summer US tour dates with the mighty Baroness, and are currently still on the road w/ Wino and Maylene and The Sons of Disaster. Scroll below for the complete list of Clutch dates, and to listen to three new songs off the new album streaming now on theWeathermaker Myspace page!

The official track listing for "Strange Cousins From the West" is:
Motherless Child
Struck Down
50,000 Unstoppable Watts
Abraham Lincoln

The Amazing Kreskin
Let a Poor Man Be
Algo Ha Cambiado
Sleestak Lightning

Clutch Live!

* September and December North American tour dates will be added to the following confirmed dates:

w/ Wino and Maylene and the Sons of Disaster
May 19 2009 The Music Farm Charleston, South Carolina
May 20 2009 Cat's Cradle Carrboro, North Carolina
May 21 2009 The Norva Norfolk, Virginia
May 22 2009 The Note West Chester, Pennsylvania
May 23 2009 The Bakerton Group @ 930 Club Washington, DC, Washington DC

UK Tour
Jun 13 2009 Corporation Sheffield
Jun 14 2009 Download Festival Donington
Jun 15 2009 HMS Hammer Gig Boat to Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards London
Jun 16 2009 Wedgewood Rooms Portsmouth
Jun 17 2009 TJ's Newport
Jun 18 2009 Cockpit Leeds
Jun 19 2009 King Tut's Glasgow
Jun 21 2009 De Helling Utrecht
Jun 22 2009 Kulturfabrik Esch-sur-Alzette
Jun 23 2009 Underground Koln
Jun 24 2009 Molotow Hamburg
Jun 25 2009 Knaak Berlin

US w/ Baroness and Lionize!
July 3rd Atlantic City, NJ @ House of Blues w/ Monster Magnet and Wino (* no Baroness or Lionize)
July 9 Cincinnati, OH @ Bogart's
July 10 Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
July 11 Chicago, IL @ Kuma's
July 12 Sauget, IL @ Pop's
July 14 Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
July 15 Houston, TX @ House of Blues
July 17 Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater
July 18 Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theater
July 19 Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues Las Vegas
July 20 San Diego, CA @ Cane's Bar & Grill
July 21 Los Angeles, CA @ House Of Blues
July 22 San Francisco, CA @ Regency Center
July 23 Seattle, WA @ King Cat Theater
July 25 Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
July 26 Missoula, MT @ Wilma Theater
July 27 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory
July 28 Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
July 29 Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
July 31 Calgary, AB @ Flames Center
August 1 Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Events Center
August 2 Saskatoon, SK @ Odeon Event Center
August 3 Winnipeg, MB @ Garrick Center
August 5 Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave
August 6 Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom
August 7 Cleveland, OH @ House of Blues
August 8 Baltimore, MD @ Sonar

For more information, visit:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

this just in from The Figgs...

Hey Kids:

America's finest rock band The Figgs are doing some live shows, as is the ever-prolific Mike Gent. Here's the skinny, courtesy of the good folk of Stomper Music.


The Figgs will be heading up to Canada this weekend for their first shows there since theSucking In Stereo Tour in 2000. On the way back they'll play a show in Vermont. And next weekend the guys will be playing two shows at The Midway Cafe' in Boston. The capacity at this venue is only 60 so if you want to go you better order tickets here right now!

Friday! - Ottawa, ON, Canada - Zaphod Beeblebrox
 - MontrealQCCanada - Green Room
Sunday! - 
WinooskiVT - The Monkey House
 - Boston, MA - The Midway Cafe'
6/12 - 
PhiladelphiaPA - The Tritone
6/13 - 
MoorestownNJ - House Concert

Mike Gent will also be playing a show in June with his new band The Rapid Shave:

6/3 - CambridgeMA - Middle East (Upstairs) (with The Rapid Shave opening for Death Vessel)
Order Mike's new solo album either here or here.

See you at the shows,

Figgs Central

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Live: Jason Anderson and 57th St @ Cake Shop 5.18.9

So I finally made it down to see Jason Anderson play at his Cake Shop residency. Queens beardos aldenbarton opened the show and backed Jason for his set later on in the evening as 57th St.

JS-NYC arrived just as our heroes were just about to morph into the 57th St alter egos. One line check later, Jason set it off and set to rocking the half-filled room like it was Madison Square Garden. Springsteen is a obvious influence, but is that really a bad thing?

ab/57th St kicked a hell of a lot of ass, especially bassist Paul Bates. The gents deserve big things, so check out the aldenbarton web presence and snag a copy of their debut Exodus Of The Eldest. Here's a link. Jason is cut from a little bit more of a classic rock cloth, but is pretty good his own self. There's one last date of the Cake Shop residency this coming Monday. You would be wise to be there. If you're dumb enough to miss it, see when you can see Jason next here. Go for the dates and stay for the (free) downloads.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Tombs review up at The Tripwire now!

Esteemed Reader(s):

My review of Winterhours, the new record from Brooklyn metal merchants Tombs, is now up at The Tripwire.

Here's a link

Thanks to Relapse and Derek Evers at The Tripwire


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Live: Drag The River with Joey Cape @ Bar Nine 5.16.9

I love me some Drag The River. I had heard the records before, but never really fell whole hog for the Kings Of Ft. Collins, Colorado until I got a copy of It's Crazy for Skyscraper, but once I heard that little chestnut, I stepped lively and picked up all their stuff. Better late tahn never, I guess. Drag The River are yet another of the fabulous bands on the Suburban Home roster, featuring Mr. Jon Snodgrass of Armchair Martian and Mr. Chad Price of All playing more twang oriented delights, often with JJ from The Nobodys and whoever can sit behind a drumkit for a couple rounds. The force is very strong within them.

Drag The River went on hiatus soon after It's Crazy, but the breakup didn't seem to take. The gents have been awful busy of late, releasing a gang of 7" and comp stuff (thoughtfully compiled by Suburban Home on the stellar Bad At Breaking Up) and touring a bit on the West Coast and in Europe. Jon has even taken the time to finally release a stellar solo record on Suburban Home called Visitor's Band that you should pick up immediately. Snodgrass teamed up recently with Lagwagon/Bad Astronaut singer Joey Cape to play a ton of solo shows and Chad came out for a week or so to play these East Coast dates as Drag The River. It's sad that Drag The River shows end up being this way on the East Coast, but it's not getting any cheaper to tour in a band that doesn't make any real money, so we East Coasters take what we can get.

The show was at Bar Nine, in the shockingly sanitized 2009 version of Hell's Kitchen. I hadn't been there before and had low expectations, but I've got to say that it's a pretty nice little space. Judging by the decor and the familiarity all the bands seemed to have with whoever he was, I get the impression that the owner is a former rocker. Joey Cape was a couple songs in by the time I rolled in. I always kinda liked Lagwagon and genuinely enjoyed Joey's solo record, but had really hoped to miss him and talk to girls at Heath's party. NY shows being NY shows, and the crowd being a drinking one meant that things were pushed back. They crowd was pretty drunk and vocal (as in singing along) which made things easier for Cape, who was alleged to be sick. The crowd wasn't huge, but they sure ate every song up, grabbing the mike at every opportunity to sing along. Chad Rex played an opening set before backing Joey on second guitar and/or mandolin. I couldn't tell you the names of any of the songs, but I was definitely in the minority.

Joey sounded great and went over big, but the big issue for me as:re the Cape set was that it wasn't Drag The River. Jon came over to say that he liked my shirt (R.I.P Split Lip Rayfield) and proved to be a hell of a nice guy. He begged off after a minute to play the last three songs with Joey. It seemed like they were trying for a seamless set, and as it was mostly acoustic guitars it would have been easy, but bar-time precluded such matters and Chad Price made it up after a couple of minutes. Chad's cut his hair, which lends him a slightly disconcerting bit of a Yosemite Sam vibe, but he and Snodgrass really sound great together. The gents had been drunker than usual the night before in Boston, with Jon blacking out on stage a half-hour before he left it, but they showed up in comparatively rude health and played a great set. I have yet to understand how, or perhaps moreso why, Sambuca was the tipple of choice for the gents, but it got us a bunch of favorites, including a new Snodgrass work in progress called Lawman that ended up being a running gag. No Calloused Heart #2 or any of my favorites from Bad At Breaking Up but all in all a hell of a great set. I wish I had recorded it.

I'm not sure when I'll see Drag The River again or when I'll make it up to Hell's Kitchen to rock again, but it was a hell of a good time. I wish I could have seen them last night in Hoboken. That was the last date on the radar for a bit, but keep track of Drag The River here. You can find Joey Cape in this corner of the interwebs.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Jim Gaffigan - King Baby

Jim Gaffigan has been blowing up in recent years. He does a ton of road work, has had at least a couple Comedy Central specials and has a regular cartoon segment called Pale Force on the Conan O'Brien show that is pretty popular. He also seems to be a regular on Flight Of The Conchords. Suffice to say that he's getting some airtime.

Gaffigan's an acquired taste. He's pretty middle of the road on King Baby, covering the usual topics like eating and sleeping. He loves to use a different tone of voice for his aside, which gets a little irritating for me, but he seems to do alright for himself without this asshole's approval. I like my humor a little bit cruder, frankly, but Gaffigan is genuinely funny. There's something to be said for a comedian you can enjoy with your Mom and for that I guess we should be grateful for Comedy Central taking such an interest. Comedy Central is reairing the specials next month, but you can enjoy King Baby on CD or DVD. Here's a link. Keep track of Gaffigan in the interim here.


Friday, May 15, 2009

Chuck Ragan and Austin Lucas - Bristle Ridge

Ok, this is a little past topical, but JS-NYC has been dealing with some technological issues and is playing a little catch-up. You can take small consolation in the fact that JS-NYC HQ is now fully 5.1 surround compliant, a format tailor-made for those who lives are consumed with poorly recorded records and/or downloads. In smaller, but no less relevant issues, my R key is working again. Let's hope the number 5 is next.

That duly covered, Bristle Ridge is the first release on (sort of) ex-Hot Water Music singer Chuck Ragan's Ten Four Records. Co-ran with his significant-other, the record dropped last Fall. Rather than the throat shredding stuff that you would expect from HWM, Bristle Ridge is a bluegrass-inflected collaboration with current JS-NYC obsession Austin Lucas. Backed by Lucas family scion Bob, along with Jon Gaunt and Digger Barnes, Ragan and Lucas work through a dozen old-timey numbers with varying results.

Everything is proficient, with good harmonies and keening fiddle. I will add my far-from-new and/or original caveat regarding the boatload of older punks going folk to maintain continuity. I like Chuck. He is a hell of a nice guy, and his heart is in the right place, but his material pales a bit when compared to Austin Lucas. Live AL favorite Sun or Snow appears here, and it's as wonderful as you would expect. His high pure voice makes the track and Bristle Ridge for me. Songs like Cold Night show an odd Ragan vocal tendency toward Tom Jones that is mildly disconcerting for me, but I would venture that I'm one of the only old bastards that would associate the two. The duet stuff, like Hold My Bed and Simple Life, fares a little better to these ears, but you would do well to check Bristle Ridge out yourself. It's only $10 bones and you can get it here

It's been a minute since Bristle Ridge dropped and the gents have not been idle. Chuck's got a new record in this vein coming soon on Side One Dummy, you can keep track of it's progress here. Austin is on it, but while you're waiting for it to drop, pick up his latest Somebody Loves You from the good folk of Suburban Home and keep tabs on him here.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Joell Ortiz Covers The Classics mixtape hosted by DJ Green Lantern

JS-NYC is all about Joell Ortiz. As it concerns new rappers, I could listen to JO and Sean Price (and, yes, I am well of Sean P's history, but he is virtually unrecognizable from the old-school Magnum Force Ruck) exclusively without missing 99 percent of the other fools cluttering the scene and that includes Wayne.

After the big Aftermath splash that wasn't, Joell went back to the grind. Track after track popped up almost weekly, like his Letter To Obama and his Purple Tape tribute. As per usual, they were all bangers. Word was that Joell was dropping a mixtape where he rhymed over nothing but old school beats. The early stuff that leaked, like the T.R.O.Y freestyle, bode well for Ortiz to be bodying most of the competition from the drop. Now that Green Lantern and he have finally released Joell Ortiz Covers The Classics, there is no real need to pick up a mixtape until Sean P drops Kimbo Price later on this Summer, unless Doo Wop gets his 95 Live Anniversary tape out. Peep the tracklisting below. Google the title and you'll find free downloads everywhere. If you can pry yours ears away, check out Ortiz with Royce, Budden and Crooked in their Slaughterhouse project.

01. Intro
02. Rappers Delight (feat. DJ Enuff)
03. Know The BK Ledge
04. Somethin for Hot 97 (feat. DJ Camilo)
05. Strictly the Bizness
06. Treat Me Right
07. Industry Enemy #1
08. Brooklyn Children’s Story
09. I Can’t Go Broke
10. Live At Cooper Day BBQ
11. Uptown Anthem
12. U.N.I.T.Y.
13. T.R.O.Y.
14. Primo Tribute
15. Just To Get A Check
16. Mass Appeal
17. Act Like They Don’t Know
18. The Whut (Animal Shit)
19. BK Get Money
20. Got My Mind Made Up
21. Drop A Gem On ‘Em
22. Intercourse
23. Cell Therapies
24. High Roller
25. Brooklyn Ghetto Child
26. What They Do (Root’s Tribute)
27. Renee’s Revenge
28. Goin To Miami (feat. DJ Khaled)
29. What Happened To Hip Hop
30. 4,3,2,1
31. Recognize
32. 24HRS
33. Rican Ebonics 09

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Live: aldenbarton with Yoni Gordon and Jason Anderson and 57th St @ Cake Shop 5.11.9

For the uninitiated, the mighty aldenbarton have been doing double duty backing fellow Granite State titan Jason Anderson for his live performances. Jason has been the king of the residency of late, playing solo four weeks in a row at Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn and Pianos on Ludlow last month, and now doing the full band thing with aldenbarton at Cake Shop. Band rehearsals have precluded my sticking it out to see the ab/JA pairing, but I was able to pop in early and catch the aldenbarton opening set.

I showed up a little but into their opening set, but it was one of the best ab sets I've ever heard them play. Drew always sings well, but he was absolutely killing it this night. Even Jason, who plays with the gents often, came over to comment on it. Jim and Paul were solid as always. The guys have played together forever, so the midset audible that precipitated the cover of GbV's Teenage FBI was hardly a stumbling block, rather the cherry on top of the set, even prompting Jason to step in early with some backing vocals. I sure would have liked a recording of that and the stellar ab original New England, but it appears we'll have to wait for the gents to finish up their recordings at The Fort for that.

In the interim, you (and I) really need to get down and check out the Jason/aldenbarton pairing next Monday. Each week has a different hand-picked act in the middle slot. This week featured Yoni Gordon, who evidently plies his trade in the Ted Leo/Elvis Costello end of things. Drew gave him high marks and Jason picked him for the show personally, so suffice to say the guy brings it. Check out Yoni here and keep tabs on the last two Cake Shop shows here. They are free, so get off your duff and make it down.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Steve Earle - Townes out today on New West

The new Steve Earle record Townes you read about on JS-NYC a couple weeks ago is out today on New West.


Art Brut vs. Satan out today on Downtown Records

Hey Boys and Girls:

The new Art Brut record Art Brut vs. Satan is out today on Downtown Records.
Pick it up here and look for a review on
the JS-NYC soon.


Dexateens - Singlewide out today on Skybucket

Dexateens - Singlewide is out today on Skybucket.

If you are of a mind to have your ass rocked, check them out tomorrow at Pianos and Sunday at Union Pool.

Looks like a busy day for releases! Don't hesitate to buy them all, willya!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Live: Lamb Of God with As I Lay Dying, Children of Bodom, God Forbid and Municipal Waste @ Roseland 5.13.9

There comes an odd time in a man's life where he is old, yet has to go to a package show sponsored by an energy drink company to see some metal. This is that time. A bunch of guys were buying tickets a while ago and I bought in, just in time for Watt to book a show in town on the same night. This was a severe bummer, even moreso than having to pay a million bucks to No Fear to see Lamb Of God.

As good as the bill was, I was somewhat disconcerted to pop over to the No Fear website and find they were running a promotion to find the hottest No Fear MILF for Mother's Day. That is a Freudian nightmare if ever I saw one, but my concern soon moved to how I was going to see Municipal Waste, yet avoid most of the rest of the set. This really should have been called the walking wounded tour, as it was plagued with all sorts of misfortune for the bands on the bill. Municipal Waste got about 15 minutes for a set, God Forbid was down a guitarist after some Oasis-esque internal turmoil and Alexi for Children Of Bodom 'fell out of his bunk' wink*wink*, breaking his shoulder. COB eventually ended up scrapping the show this night; a bummer as I was hoping to put my ambivalence about them in one camp or the other.

The team rolled in at the end of the God Forbid set. It was nice to see Doc, even though we missed the GF set. Beers were acquired and we staked out some real estate for the As I Lay Dying set. I was pretty sure that AILD were not especially good and this set more than reinforced that for me. They seemed to be dealing with diminished PA privileges, which was more than fine for me as they were Grade A Bor-ing.

The reason for the season was up next, that being RVA metal wunderkinds Lamb Of God. I like their records, and think that Morgan and Adler are the new Downing and Tipton but had never consciously went to check them out. They have definitely mastered the big crowd phenomenon, Randy shouted out all the other bands and some NYC locals like he was running for office, and there was definitely a lot of big room production with giant drums risers, rock ramps and the like. Morgan and Adler definitely earned their guitar hero rep, playing their asses off regardless of whether they were heavy or clean. The crowd went ape-shit for the duration, packing in like sardines and spawning various pits starting at the stage that stretched all the way back to the girl pit at the back bar, where I ended up after being bulldozed halfway to the back in the middle of the first song. Had I remembered that Watt was playing, I probably would have bailed but I stuck around and pretty much enjoyed myself. It wasn't a situation like the Opeth shows last year where I wanted to listen to nothing but them afterward, but props are definitely due. Lamb Of God are definitely Pure American Metal.



Sunday, May 10, 2009

Doug Benson - Professional Humoredian

The great Patton Oswalt had always said good things about Doug Benson, but I had steered clear of him because of the douchebags that had gravitated to his projects like The Marijuana-logues and Super High Me. I also didn't realize that Super High Me was a satire of the premise of Super Size Me. While I'm happy that the SSM guy got a check behind that idea, I find it hard to say that there was anything especially ground-breaking about the idea that a guy would be both unhealthy and hate eating McDonalds after a month of such things. I eat a lot of crap and most of my marvelling came in the idea that anyone would eat that crap. Not because it's McDonald's, but because it just plain tastes bad. Wendy's, son!

But I digress. Professional Humoredian is Doug's first live cd and it's pretty funny. He talks about weed, sure, but he's got a bunch of funny things to say. An off-the-cuff encapsulation would be Patton Oswalt with a weed rather than Jameson's tendency, but that doesn't give Benson the credit that he deserves. It's a little surprising that this wasn't a DVD, but Professional Humoredian is definitely worth a listen. Pick it up here and keep tabs on whether he is actually killed by Canadians in the near future.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rudy Sarzo - Off The Rails

In my eternal quest to avoid stoking my personal flames of outrage with most of today's bound and printed word, I've been devouring any non-fiction music stuff that I can find. In the world of vanity publishing, this can be quite the slippery slope, as it affords anyone with a check to handily don the mantle of authority. Luckily, Rudy Sarzo is a better source of information than your average person who came up in 70s and 80 metal scene. He was the original bassist for Quiet Riot but first came to world-wide notoriety in Ozzy Osborne's first solo band with Randy Rhoads and Tommy Aldridge.

Off The Rails deals mostly with Sarzo's early career. He emigrated from Cuba to Florida as a child, playing in local bands before moving to Los Angeles to try and hit the big time. During these years he joined the first incarnation of Quiet Riot, where he enjoyed the double pleasure of being able to play with Randy Rhoads and live on Kevin DuBrow's floor. Sarzo kept extensive scrapbooks and personal journals during the time and it's this first-hand documentation that makes Off The Rails so compelling. He pulls few punches, but airs little in the way of dirty laundry that couldn't be inferred from the average episode of The Osbornes, save for the fact that maybe Sharon Osborne slept with Randy to make Ozzy jealous.

The rest of Off The Rails is an interesting document of Sarzo's tenure with his dear friend Randy Rhoads in Ozzy's bands. His firsthand recounting of tour events behind Blizzard Of Ozz and Diary Of A Madman, especially the tragic events that led to Rhoads' (as well as the bozo pilot and tour seamstress Rachael Youngblood's) untimely death, make this essential reading for any rock fan. It closes just Sarzo rejoins Quiet Riot as they break through behind 1983's Metal Health, hopefully because our hero has many more memories to share. His tenures with QR, Whitesnake and Yngwie, as well as his current gigs with Blue Oyster Cult and Dio seem ripe for recollections, but in the interim, snatch up a copy of Off The Rails from Rudy here. It's a great read, and you can even get it autographed for a nominal fee. In the meantime, keep tracks of all things Rudy Sarzo here.



Friday, May 8, 2009

Ron White - Behavioral Problems

Ron White is a veteran of the comedy circuit. The average JS-NYC reader is probably familiar with White through his Comedy Central specials or maybe the Blue Collar Comedy Tour. If you're unfamiliar, Ron White is a big belligerent drunk from Texas. Those three sentences will pretty much tell you everything you need to know about Behavioral Problems. It's probably enough to drive most of you away already. Fair enough, but if you've made it this far, you'll probably not be surprised about the content here. White covers his usual topics: incidents he's gotten into while he's drunk, how he's an asshole, his dogs. Toilet humor (literally and figuratively) and some pro-Troops stuff are also addressed, along with a little bit of social commentary. It's all pretty crude, but far from unintelligent. I'm not sure the same thing can be said for his audience. White's kind of like your favorite oft-divorced Uncle after his second whiskey, not exactly politically correct but the kind of guy who will probably make you laugh even if you didn't want to. I wanted to laugh at Ron White, and did. You may feel differently, but you're also probably wrong. Pick up a copy of Behavioral Problems on CD or DVD here and decide for yourself.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Viva Voce - Rose City

Viva Voce are from Portland, Oregon although the band's inception was in Muscle Shoals Alabama. Kevin and Anita Robinson initially played shows as a duo under the Viva Voce moniker, recording four records before swelling the VV ranks by adding Corrina Repp and Evan Railton. Octavio is the first I've heard from the band and I'm pretty impressed. When the vocals are in unison, I don't want to shoot myself and the Robinsons avoid deviances into the horrors of Mates Of State domestic reflection, a sure death knell for this asshole.

Viva Voce have self-recorded and released their material whenever possible, but Rose City is the first record to be recorded in the studio they have fabricated behind their Portland home. VV (not the Kills douche-nozzle) have a pretty strong overseas following built by years of touring, but took a year off to build the studio and work with country side project Blue Giant. Anita also toured and sang with compatriots The Shins, leaving Kevin to record local bands in the new workshop. Over three weeks earlier this year, the Robinsons wrote and recorded Rose City as a sort of aesthetic homage to their home city. The time frame was evidently intentional, although I've yet to ascertain why as yet. Safe money is on avoiding impaling oneself with the double-edged sword of owning your own studio. Either way, nothing about Rose City seems rushed. It's a great sounding record, swathed in reverb but not to a fault. The opening Devotion sounds like Thurston Moore sitting in with The Spinanes, without so much SY freakout. I hear a lot of The Spinanes, as well as a little Lush in some of the more processed drums.

Vocals are shared by the Robinsons, often in unison, but sometimes with a single lead. I'm never crazy about unison vocals, but Viva Voce do it pretty well, even if the best song on the record is sung purely by Anita. That song is Good As Gold. That's an Elastica meets Joan Jett little nugget that seems dangerously likely to be the ill-portended 'somewhat unrepresentative hit'. Internal politics aside, Good As Gold and the following title track are two of the best songs you'll hear this year. Listening to Rose City it's obvious why Europe has taken such a shine to Viva Voce. The expanded VV is touring hard behind Rose City and the record isn't even out yet. Keep tabs on their whereabouts here and pick the record up on May 26th when it drops courtesy of the good folk of Barsuk. You get the first single Octavia free from the Viva Voce web presence here to tide you over in the interim. Stay in the loop on the pre-order for Rose City at Barsuk here.


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Strung Out - Prototypes and Painkillers

I like me some Strung Out. I heard their second record Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues for the first time driving from San Fran to Portland and dug it's punk-metal miscegenation a whole lot. They were fast and tight, and it was pretty obvious that at least one of the guitarists and definitely the drummer were pretty fucking metal. A lot of Fat bands are tighter than the average punk band, but Strung Out really raise the bar. The Peart-ified drummer is Jordan Burns. You may know him from the motocross circuit or his BMX team MotoXXX or maybe you've just heard them on one of the million skate or BMX videos they've been in. I never skated, but Strung Out sure makes me want to.

Prototypes and Painkillers is their second collection of 7" and comp and unreleased tracks from our heroes. If I may digress for a second: to tell tales out of school, Fat sends download cards for promo, or at least to people on the JS-NYC level of things. They work fine, and it's always a pleasure to be serviced by Fat, but either send a PDF of the booklet or just send the damn record. Especially as it regards comps like this. Even if I wasn't going to write up the record, I want to know where the tracks came from and get some background. I can't be the only asshole who is both a dork and wants to write knowlegably about a band. And you've made a big deal about lowering all the prices on all your releases to under $10 and that's 100 percent commendable. So send promo with full art, willya!

That said, this is a great record. If you like Strung Out, that is. There isn't a track here that doesn't sound like Strung Out, so there's very little chance you'll blunder into Prototypes and Painkillers accidently because you liked the unrepresentative slow song. The gents afford you 25 tracks for your consumer dollar, all of them tight, hooky and so Fat these guys must bleed Crisco. Metal leanings are confirmed by the sound in general, but the cover of Bark At The Moon seals the deal. I'm not sure who took the solo (why? no liner notes!) but he Jake E. Lee's the shit out of that track without a hint of irony and I like it very much.  The other tracks tread a nice line between the speediness of the average Fat band and the technicality of a metal outfit. It's all hooks, too. Check out some tracks here then pop on over to Fat Mike's place and see how much under $10 you can get Prototypes and Painkillers for.