Friday, July 31, 2009

Drakkar Sauna shows

Like adopting a child or rescuing a pet, owning and maintaining facial hair, while an inherently noble act, is not without great responsibility. A dear friend and beard aficionado currently tenuring in Indiana suggested that JS-NYC check out Drakkar Sauna. They are at Union Pool and Cake Shop in the next couple days and Rut's taste is normally well above par. Watt and The Mekons are in town, so I don't believe I'll be able to make the shows, but you all should. The music sounds decent, but in looking at the picture to the left that I so thoughfully stole from their MySpace, I think I see why Rut feels such a kinship for the gents.

There is no obligation to sport extravagant facial topiary, but I would venture it will not be discouraged. Here's a link to the Drakkar Sauna web presence. They are at Cake Shop tonight and Union Pool on Saturday night. Tell em' JS-NYC sent you.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

My Bad (sorta)

Hey Kids:

There have been some technical issues between JS-NYC and the blog -o- sphere, so apologies that the next couple of scheduled posts didn't go up when they were supposed to.



Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Copyrights and The Dopamines - Songs About Fucking Up

Do the math: Take The Copyrights, add the Dopamines, then knock off some Big Black cover design for the artwork? Sold!

The good folk of It's Alive have dropped this four song slab of sonic heaven on us, and for that they should be praised. Highly. The Copyrights kick things off with two new tracks that are as good as their best. The Dopamines and their raggedy asses come in a little rawer with their selections, but trust me, they are the kind of stray dog you'll want to take in. Peep the awesome Braid-y ending of the last tune, too. There is no way you can lose with snapping this bad boy up. Cut to the chase and dip on over to It's Alive with this link. You can thank me later.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

North Lincoln: Midwestern Blood at PopMatters

Hey Kids:

Some punk rock review action of the new North Lincoln record is now available for your perusal over at PopMatters.

Thanks to Sarah Zupko at PopMatters!

Here's a link.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Yesterday's Ring review at PopMatters

Hey Kids:

A small review of the fabulous new Yesterday's Ring record (called Diamonds In The Ditch, for the uninitiated...) is up now at PopMatters. Here's a link. Now will you guys come South of the border?

Thanks to Sarah Zupko at PopMatters!


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Suburban Home 14th Year Extravaganza


The best label in the West, Suburban Home, is having a 14th birthday extravaganza in September out in the wilds of Colorado. Peep that stellar lineup to the left and tell me that SH isn't totally killing it with their signings.

Financially, it looks like JS-NYC won't be making it to the shows, but parties interested in sending me for promotional purposes should contact me ASAP.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Fest 8 Lineup Announced


The lovable beardos of No Idea have released the initial confirmed lineup for The Fest 8. You can peep the skinny here.

Parties interested in sending me for promotional purposes should get in contact immediate-like.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Bowery Boy Blue Blog

Hey Kids:

The men of Bowery Boy Blue have decided to cater to both my love of internet chatter and alliteration by entering the blogosphere. Keep track of new songs, tourdates, and the current level of beardedness of their drummer via this handy link.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Twisted Sister - Stay Hungry 25th Anniversary Edition

Twisted Sister and Stay Hungry were a big part of 1984 for me, but despite being MTV darlings, the band took it as hard as most metal bands did when grunge hit and the band broke up in 88. TS founder and guitarist Jay Jay French was the most successful in the wake of the bands untimely demise, starting a management company that handled Sevendust and a bunch of other acts, but things were pretty bleak for Dee. There were various attempts at new bands like Widowmaker that were ok, but nothing that set the world on fire. I believe at one point he was maybe doing accounting for a radio station he DJ'd at. After a long spell out in the cold, it all changed when Dee started doing voice-over work for Pizza Hut and CNBC and started raking in the cash. The other band members stayed active with various projects, including the first steps toward a reunion for a soundtrack song for Dee's Strangeland movie in 1998. The first live show was with Anthrax for a 9/11 benefit and they've done strong numbers ever since. Dee feels like he can't bring it on the level he wants to, so Team TS is going to tour behind the re-release of Stay Hungry (in full make-up and replica stage production) and then retire the make up for good. Word is that Dee wants to put the band on blocks soon afterward.

Listening to Stay Hungry 25 years on makes me feel pretty fucking old, but the music is far from dated. Far from it. In fact, the band and the record sound absolutely great. Ojeda and French are a team on par with Maiden's Smith and Murray or Def Leppard's Collen and Clark and continue to be. My inner metalhead is stoked to find that Ojeda and French both have replicas of their signature guitars available. Peep the links to bask in the nostalgia. Or perhaps recoil in horror. We're Not Gonna Take It is probably the best known track on the record and while it's great, it's maybe the fifth best track on the record. Stay Hungry is a bona-fide hard rock classic. The reissue throws a bunch of demos stuff that is fun to listen to, but your TS dork quotient has to be pretty high to enjoy them on the regular. That said, Stay Hungry is a record well worth revisiting. Buy it from the gents here and stay for all the other official TS history and merch. Trust me, you don't want French on your ass for buying the bootleg stuff. Also, check out this link with Dee and Jay Jay on the best metal program on TV, That Metal Show. It's on VH1 Classic and Eddie Trunk hosts it with Don Jamieson and Jim Florentine. I'm pretty obsessed with it. Trust me, it's well worth watching over and over again.

Stay Hungry!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Guest Review of Akinyele at Hip Hop Isn't Dead!

Hey Kids:

Once again, I've been done the honor of having one of my reviews published over at what I consider to be one of the pillars of contemporary hip-hop commentary, Hip Hop Isn't Dead. As evinced by my choice of throwback review material in Akinyele's Vagina Diner, it should be obvious that HHIDs success owes very little to this asshole. Max over there does good work and you would do well to go there on the regular. If it wasn't for him and Robbie at Unkut, the web would be a lot bleaker place. You can read the piece here.

Thanks again to Max at Hip Hop Isn't Dead!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Jaded Scenester Turns 1

Hey Kids:

So it's been a year since I started doing this endeavor. Over 300 record reviews, a lot of live rock and no doubt a looming case of carpal tunnel syndrome. It's also been considerably more successful than I ever dreamed. Here's hoping that things continue apace. Thanks again to everybody who has sent a cd, put me on the guest list, linked me off their site or left a comment. Thanks also to Andrew and Peter Bottomley at Skyscraper; Derek Evers, formerly of The Tripwire and now again of Impose, Sarah Zupko at PopMatters and anybody else that publishes my stuff on the regular. I'm taking all comers, so websites, magazines and labels, do get in touch.

Thanks again to everyone, I am truly humbled!


Monday, July 20, 2009

More Free Ice Cream!

Ok, kids. I'm going fishing.

While I'll be away for a couple days, it's not too early to mark your calendars for the next Kats and Domer free ice cream partay. Peep the info below and don't miss the video. How about some hardcore, indeed!

yeah, we like it raw

Hi Friends,

We have lots of exciting news today!

First off, this Sunday July 26 we will be having our Free Ice Cream Sundays at a NEW LOCATION! This time we'll be at the Huckleberry Bar (588 Grand St) just up the block from the Bushwick Country Club. As usual we'll go 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.

Second, we just released our brand new
video! It features pro wrestlers and a stool being smashed over Domer's head, so make sure you watch it ASAP!

And finally, Kats and Domer have each just added their solo albums to the catalogue of free music. So you can now download Domer's "Vaguest Vacation" and Kats's "KatsKills" for FREE at!


Kats, Domer and DJ SmutVillain

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Live: Mark Eitzel Sings American Music Club @ Les Poisson Rouge 7.19.9

When he's on, there are few singers that are as wonderful as Mark Eitzel. You should be aware of him from fronting American Music Club, but I guess there is the odd chance that you maybe got into him via his Peter Buck collaborations. If you are not aware of his greatness, might I suggest you stop reading this babbling and grab a copy of Mark Eitzel: Songs Of Love Live immediately. There are few better solo acoustic records.

Live, especially solo, Eitzel can be a trainwreck, melting down on a level I've rarely encountered this side of crazy women I've taken home. At best, the worst sets can be filled with stopped, repeated, or out and out aborted songs. That's bad, but when he reverts into his second defense mechanism of constant joking, it can get even more wearisome. It was always nicer with Danny Pearson or Vudi around to slap him back into line. This night was just Mark and sometime AMC keysman Mark Cappelle accompanying on piano. Save for a horrific choice of shirts, Mark seemed in good spirits, aborting only one song (The Patriot's Heart), which he redid for the encore. Not too much in the way of old stuff, or much AMC at all, now that I think about it. It was mildly interesting to find that one of the newer songs (I Think Decibels and The Little Pills) was about going to an Earthless show, but I would have liked to have heard a couple more songs and a little less patter, but again it's pretty much par for the course. Mark was pretty candid about being woefully unprepared for the shows, as he's finishing up the new AMC record and a solo record with Peter Buck. Here's hoping that the shows get a little tighter and that those records are more of a return to form. Here's the rest of the dates (they are in Hoboken at Maxwells tomorrow).

Sat 7/18 New York, NY at Le Poisson Rouge
Sun 7/19 Hudson, NY at Jason’s Upstairs
Mon 7/20 Hoboken, NJ at Maxwell’s
Tue 7/21 Boston. MA at Lizard Lounge
Wed 7/22 Albany NY at Lindas at WAMC
Thu 7/23 Rochester, NY at Lovin’ Cup Cafe
Fri 7/24 Buffalo, NY at Marty & Susan’s House
Sat 7/25 Baltimore, MD at Metro Gallery
Sun 7/26 Chapel Hill, NC at Memorial Hall Theatre w/ She&Him & Wye Oak (part of the Merge XX celebration)
Mon 7/27 Arlington, VA at IOTA Club
Tue 7/28 Philadelphia, PA at Johnny Brenda’s
Wed 7/29 Brooklyn, NY at Bell House

AMC is playing Merge Fest next weekend, if you're in the neighborhood. If you're not, here's the AMC web presence and Mark's site.



Friday, July 17, 2009

Del-Lords retrospective at PopMatters

Hey Kids:

While I'm all a-buzz over the prospect of seeing the Superchunk later on this evening, I'm also pleased to report that my review of the new spate of Del-Lords reissues has gone up at PopMatters.

Check it out here.

Thanks to Sarah Zupko and Patrick Schabe at PopMatters!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Alchemist - Chemical Warfare

Album number two from Beverly Hills' hardest, The Alchemist. To the best of my knowledge, he doesn't rhyme on the record, unless that's him on the early part of the song with G. Rap. Granted, G. Rap comes with his for profit flow, but there is no reason why there should even be the illusion of those two trading off verses with any semblance of equality. I always though Al's beats were ok, and granted I'm not as familiar with Dilated Peoples as I should be, but there seemed to be a lot of guys out there coming with better shit, like Marco Polo or Tony Touch. That's just this asshole talking, and I bet the Alchemist doesn't barely make it paycheck to check like us over at JS-NYC.

There are a gang of high profile guest stars on Chemical Warfare. Snoop, KRS-One and Eminem all weigh in, along with up and comers like Kid Cudi and a track that heralds the return of Maxwell (who evidently sold like 350K this week -- whouda thought?). For all the star power, no one really brings their A Game on Chemical Warfare. Even Juvenile, who is normally the MSG of any track he guests on for this guy, didn't do anything for me. If you are an average hip-hop fan looking for a good cross-section of today's top sellers, this might be the record for you, but if you are a boom-bap guy, there's not too much for an old head like me to grab on to. If you want to buy beats from Al or see the lead-off video off the record, you can get it here.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Marshall Crenshaw review up at PopMatters

Hey Kids:

Review of the new Marshall Crenshaw record, Jaggedland is now up at PopMatters. You can check it here

Thanks to Sarah Zupko and Patrick Schabe at PopMatters!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Live: Mission Of Burma, Fucked Up! & Ponytail @ Brooklyn Waterfront 7.12.9

If Brooklyn is good for one thing in the Summertime, it's the free shows. The McCarren pool shows were always a good time, although much the SummerStage benefit shows, the pay shows were way too over-priced to see Ween or Wilco in 2009. JellyNYC has taken the reins for the pool parties that aren't and kicked off a series of pretty decent shows on the East River on Sunday afternoons.

I rolled over in the late afternoon, unfortunately in time to see the end of the Ponytail set. I am rapidly losing faith in the young people and their taste in music. Luckily, while most of the stuff is twice as crappy, it's three times as disposable, making for easy forgetting of the ear-rape that takes place when you have to listen to/watch them. Same old story, no bass, two guitars, sequencing, impish frontwoman of ambiguous sexual orientation/ethnicity, lots of 80s references. Not a fan. Please make it stop.

As the universe works in strange and mysterious ways, Fucked Up! were batting in the middle slot. Cue the reason for my trip across the water. The gents (and lady) were fresh from a Serbian Festival (where the headlined with Korn -- no shit!) and set to removing the specter of retro synth-pop in short order. Pink Eyes was stripped to his boxers and in the crowd by the second song, talking shit and talking about his kid. And there was much rejoicing. Got some quality real estate on the wall next to the stage and had a blast. Man, do Fucked Up! bring it. Was nice to see Lucien of Fiasco taking in the proceedings, too. Hope the acoustic show went smooth.

So even more bizarrely, Mission Of Burma closed the afternoon's proceedings. No Swopes, and I've yet to ascertain whether Bob Weston was doing loops and such, but they were still pretty great. Their set was coincident with my finally hooking up with The Brothers Johnson (not these guys) and their lovely friend Heatherrr. You can't do much better than Burma and the Bros. Prescott still has the most beautiful bass ever and Manning still looks silly with the ear protection, but Burma still have it. I would have preferred to enjoy them in the warm Summer twilight, but it was still a hell of a nice day. Brooklyn people (that aren't EJ) are still very silly though.


Monday, July 13, 2009

South Street Seaport Show Synopsis!

Summer show mini review:

So T Diddy and I took a little bike ride on Friday. On the way back we rode through the Seaport and caught the tail-end of the Ribbons/The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart show.

While Ribbons are awesome, I missed their set. They have some roadwork coming up and a Daytrotter session on the docket soon. You would do well to check them out. Here's their web presence. They have a record called Surprise Attacks you can grab here.

The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are the new darlings here in town, virtually guaranteeing that we will hear nothing of them six months from now. Fine by me, as they are BO-ring. Yikes! If you grew up on John Hughes films and still maintain crushes on Molly Ringwald and/or whoever played that Duckie guy, maybe you'll be into this. Not this guy. The sequencing doesn't help either. There were a couple times where they seemed all too anxious to rock, but were hobbled at every turn by the restrictive tempos. Lose the machines and just rock kids. Here's hoping the TPOBPAH kids are in town for the Superchunk show on Friday so they can get a primer on how the bands with legs do it. I'll be there hating Crazy Tony. Look for me and the crew.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Large Professor - The LP

Save for the mighty Lord Finesse and Joell Ortiz, there are few, save for Sean Price that can do no wrong as JS-NYC HQ. Large Professor is another of the lucky few that make the cut. He's maintained a steady profile, if unobtrusive profile in contemporary hip-hop. Coming up in the classic Main Source, he was the main MC and significant production player on the seminal Breaking Atoms, a record that also introduced Nas, Akinyele and Joe Fatal to the world via Live At The Barbecue. Large Pro made a big enough impression that it was more Main Source's loss than anyone when he bailed over money and creative issues soon after the albums release.

Production dollars kept the lights on, but Xtra P's solo career was somewhat less auspicious. Despite producing any number of hits for heavyweights like Nas and Busta Rhymes, neither Matador nor Geffen could do much with Large Professor solo records. The LP was initially recorded for Geffen, but shelved after the lead singles Mad Scientist and IJUSTWANNACHILL didn't perform to suit Geffen suit standards. When he eventually dropped 1st Class on Matador a bit later, promo copies were allegedly given away when ordered through the Matador web engine. I got a copy through less than legal means and really enjoyed it, despite the fact that I couldn't really see the radio of the early 2000s playing anything, save for perhaps the Nas collabo. Not that 1st Class terrorized the airwaves or the charts, but in neither incarnation was the product anything less than Grade A hip-hop. Now that The LP is finally seeing an official release via Xtra P's Paul Sea records, new jacks should do the stanky leg over to the nearest purveyor and snap this up stat. Most, if not all of The LP is better than anything I've heard on Hot 97 or public access recently (that isn't the new Boot Camp roster, the aforementioned MCs and/or Slaughterhouse) . The aforementioned Nas collabo, One Plus One is straight fire and even the non LP helmed tracks like Large Pro:Verbs are strong as hell. Trust me, if you like real hip-hop, you want The LP.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Maria Bamford - Unwanted Thoughts Syndrome

Maria Bamford came on most of our radars through her spot on the Comedians Of Comedy tour with the unholy trinity of comedy that is Mssrs. Oswalt, Posehn and Galifianakis. She held her own nicely. She may very well be the only comedian, female or male, from whom I will tolerate the regular use of the 'funny voice'. She appears as batshit crazy as Galifianakis, but without the benefit of a beard to use as a jumping off point. I guess it's her apparent normalcy that makes her that much more compelling. You can't go wrong with cute pugs on the cover, either, at least from where I'm sitting. She covers her usual topics: religion, family, workplace stuff. It's all pretty funny, and if it's doesn't actually rock your world outright, it's over in under an hour. I'd check it out. You can buy the record here. Bamford does a fair amount of road work, see if she'll be somewhere near you here.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Red and Meth Blackout! retrospective up at PopMatters

Hey Kids:

The good folk over at PopMatters have been doing a 90's retrospective for a bit now. Here's my piece of the puzzle, by way of a review/revisitation of Red and Meth's first Blackout! record. Ah, nostalgia!

Thanks to Sarah Zupko and Patrick Schabe at PopMatters.


Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Gateway District - Some Days You Get The Thunder

For the uninititated, The Gateway District is a new(ish) band from the Midwestern musical mecca that is Minneapolis. There's a heavy Twin Cities ex-member presence, what with the males in the band being from the dear departed Rivethead and the females coming from The Salteens. In their early trio days a couple years ago, they dropped a 7" that I haven't heard, played a show, then promptly scattered to the four corners. They got back together recently and added a member. The new record Some Days You Get The Thunder is their first as a four-piece and it kicks a whole lot of ass.

Gateway were one of the better sets at Insubordination Fest this year, although when I told Maren that, it was pretty obvious she didn't feel the same way. With Banner Pilot and Dear Landlord both pushing new records, I don't see a lot of touring behind this, so you would do well to grab a hard copy of this. The full-length is on It's Alive for $8. If you like the Twin Cities punk rock, there is really no way that you couldn't not like Some Days You Get The Thunder, unless you're one of those types that don't like females singing in your punk bands. Get over it, as The Gateway District has all the best parts of their previous outfits, along with healthy doses of The Fastbacks and The Gits. Get The Thunder here and keep track of Gateway goings-on here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Austin Lucas and Takers split 7" widget

How about these widgets, huh? Tony and the Suburban Home kids have a new one that will allow you to enjoy the new split 7" with Austin Lucas and The Takers. Have your way with it below.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Jon Snodgrass and Cory Branan widget

Hey Kids:

Wonderfully enough, the good folk of Suburban Home have provided a widget so you can hear the stellar new Jon Snodgrass / Cory Branan split. Look for a review tomorrow, but in the interim, check the awesomeness out below.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Mark Eitzel Plays American Music Club

Hey Kids:

Mr. Mark Eitzel of the mighty American Music Club is going to be playing some intimate duo shows in the coming weeks. Here's the skinny from the man himself:

Here is a tour I am doing this summer with my friend and AMC alumnus Marc Capelle. Its kind of a Tony Bennett thing I guess - but it gives me the chance t do these songs - and really sing them - without the distraction of a guitar.

We are calling the tour
Mark Eitzel performs American Music Club - which I guess is obvious... Also we have a few covers - and some newer songs...

Sat 7/18 New York, NY at Le Poisson Rouge
Sun 7/19 Hudson, NY at Jason’s Upstairs
Mon 7/20 Hoboken, NJ at Maxwell’s
Tue 7/21 Boston. MA at Lizard Lounge
Wed 7/22 Albany NY at Lindas at WAMC
Thu 7/23 Rochester, NY at Lovin’ Cup Cafe
Fri 7/24 Buffalo, NY at Marty & Susan’s House
Sat 7/25 Baltimore, MD at Metro Gallery
Sun 7/26 Chapel Hill, NC at Memorial Hall Theatre w/ She&Him & Wye Oak (part of the Merge XX celebration)
Mon 7/27 Arlington, VA at IOTA Club
Tue 7/28 Philadelphia, PA at Johnny Brenda’s
Wed 7/29 Brooklyn, NY at Bell House

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Chinese Telephones - Democracy (2004-2008)

The Chinese Telephones first came on my radar through various rhapsodic reviews in Razorcake. Milwaukee has always been known to bring the rock, and they have always been good to the mighty Figgs, so I made a mental note to check them out. They played fairly early on Saturday at last year's Insubordination Fest and brought it hard enough that they were one of only two records I picked up at the shows. Think the best part of the Figgs and The Arrivals smashed together. Of course, as soon as I got into them seriously, they broke up earlier this year. Democracy compiles all their split and 7" stuff from their all too short career in chronological order. Most, if not all, of the stuff is remastered and it out and out fucking rips. Buy it immediately. Here's a link. If you still need reassurance, peep the tracklisting below.

1. I Think I Can Breathe Now
2. I'm Doing Fine
3. All Bets are Off
4. The Tank is on the Left
5. thosehotmilwaukeenights
6. Let Me Call You Back; My Stories are On
7. This Time Next Year
8. Magic Beans for the Taking
9. I Tried and Failed and Cleaned Up Afterwards, So It's Your Turn Now
10. Basement-Child Super-Rock Fun, Go!
11. Learning Nothing New
12. Better than the Next
13. Prescription Pills and Medical Bills
14. All Rightith

Saturday, July 4, 2009

So Hideous My Love

Hey Kids:

My band, So Hideous My Love played for the first time the other night at Lit. Thanks again to everybody for making it such a great night.

Peep the video here. Thanks to unARTigNYC for shooting.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Patterson Hood - Murdering Oscar (and other love songs)

Hey Kids:

Patterson Hood, who you should know from the Drive By Truckers, has finally got around to recording another solo record. And there was much rejoicing. Patterson is nothing less than prolific when it comes to the songwriting, perhaps to a fault. So many great songs pop up for a tour or two, never to reappear outside of the live trading set. Murdering Oscar has songs that date as far back as the end of Adam's House Cat (Patterson and Cooley's first band from the 80s) and some as recent as the last couple months. All of them are pretty fabulous. A lot of the material reaffirms Hood's love for all things Big Star. Danborn and Johnson of the mighty Centro-matic guest on a lot of the tracks, as does co-producer Dave Barbe. If you like DBT, there is very little chance that you won't enjoy Murdering Oscar. It may be a little bit less rock, and you may miss Cooley and Shonna a little bit, but realize they aren't going anywhere. There's a DBT odds and sods comp coming down the pike in the Fall, and there's always the Booker T. Jones record to tide you over. Carpe Diem, kids. Murdering Oscar (and other love songs) is out now. You can grab it via this handy link. The live show is pretty fierce , too, so stay more than a second or too and peep the tour dates.


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Live: Insubordination Fest - day two

Day two (or three, if you count the Thursday pre-show) is always the marathon day at Insubordination Fest. Things start early and go late. It's at these junctures where one finds how one can handle the permissive PBR promotions Sonar always drums up for the affair. Having unwisely opted for much wine with Keith the night before, I was more than a little bit damaged by the time I started the day.

Having missed the mighty Banner Pilot the night before, there was no way I was going to catch an o-fer and miss Gateway District. BP mastermind Nate Ganglehoff also tenures in the band, along with Half-Pint from Rivethead/Dear Landlord, Maren from the Soviettes and Carrie from The Salteens. Things were a little shaky, but I thought they were pretty great, even if they played in front of a half-filled room. I haven't had a chance to listen to their new full-length on It's Alive, but it sounds like it's worth checking out. Review soon!

Lemuria were up next. It was the last date of their tour, but the kids hardly mailed it in. Only a twenty minute set, but a damn good one. I didn't get a chance to speak to them to see what the next move is for the crew, as the last record's been out for a bit, but I trust there will be new material soon. I caught the end of the Full Of Fancy set after they wrapped. They are a nice match with the Lemuria. I like those kids more and more. The ladies can sing and the band is tight. I need to get me that record soon.

More Dear Landlord was next. Those guys are so great. Buy the DL records as well as all their other/previous bands records immediately. Sell a Vampire Weekend record or something. They played pretty much all their songs, and had Carrie from Gateway District come out and sing the cover from Dream Homes to sweeten the pot further. So good. The gents are real busy, so go out of your way and see them as soon/much as possible while you can.

I killed time before The Measure (SA) set by catching part of Wimpy from The Queers solo set. He was backed by The Secretions, but that wasn't enough to sway me into listening to more than a song or two. Guess I'm not a Queers fan. So sue me. The Measure were good, though. The guitar player that needs to get canned was still pretty annoying, and evidently drunk and/or on pills, but the rest of the band stepped up nicely. At one point, Drunk stupid tattoo guy mentioned off-handedly that the band wouldn't be playing much while Lauren dealt with some personal issues. Here's hoping that they are handled swiftly and healthily and perhaps revolve around some staffing changes in the Measure (SA) franchise.

Had some time to kill after, so I grabbed an iced coffee and an issue of Go Metric! and relaxed a bit before catching The Arrivals. I hadn't ever intentionally seen The Arrivals and was damn anxious to rectify the situation. Met some lovely female Fastbacks fans beforehand and chatted while the gents set up, then proceeded to lose my shit for the duration of their far-too-short set. The sheer barrage of hits, combined with the knee-weakeningly lovely Hallie Unlovable dancing next to me, made for the set of IF for this guy. I hear that there may be some East Coast shows toward the end of the summer, which makes this shut-in way happy. Great songs, great people. Buy them drinks.

I caught a bit of The Adorkables afterward, but opted for a drink and some sun before local heroes Dead Mechanical took the stage. No lineup changes since the last time I saw them, which is somewhat notable. The newest 12" on Toxic Pop is still getting shine. If you like the first couple of Jawbreaker records, the gents are well worth checking out. They seemed to get a local of local and out-of-town love. Here's hoping they get back up to NYC real soon. I saw a bit of The Parasites beforehand. They sounded decent, but I think I prefer Dave backed by Ergs.

Got back to the main room to see the last couple minutes of The Methadones levelling the room with their pop-punk chestnuts. If you liked Danny's tenure in the Screeching Weasel, you would do well to snap their stuff up post-haste. If you're unfamiliar, you could do a lot worse to start than the split EP with The Copyrights. Toys That Kill were up next, and awesome. They are another band I never had seen live. I had hoped that I wouldn't be as disappointed as I was with Underground Railroad To Candyland and luckily I wasn't. Good, fast, hooky punk rock that had all the old heads in the crowd way happy. I though TTK were no longer a band, but if you can see them in this day and age, I assure you that you should.

TTK were the last band of Insubordination Fest for this asshole, as there was a pretty big void in stuff I wanted to hear and it was easily three hours before Dillinger were going on, so I bailed to be fresh for rehearsal next day. I'm sure D4 were great, but I've seen a lot of them. Even with my not seeing any of the headliners and missing Banner Pilot, Insubordination Fest 2009 was a great time. I can't see not going again next year.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Live: Insubordination Fest - day one

With SXSW having become Bonnaroo for douchebags and the economy being in the proverbial shitter, I've been left scrambling when it comes to economical festival opportunities. Luckily, Baltimore is close and I've got places to stay, so Insubordination Fest has been an easy go-to. There are worse ways to spend a couple days than taking in a truckload of the finest pop-punk franchises the genre has to offer. Dillinger 4 and The Dead Milkmen each headlined one of the nights, and the addition of Banner Pilot and The Arrivals made this junket that much more essential to attend.

So once the schedule was released, it came to light that the mighty Banner Pilot would be playing at 5 goddamn 50 in the afternoon on Friday. All well and good, save for the fact I was due to get into town later than that and that the set was only going to be twenty minutes. I opted for an earlier bus to buy myself more time, but by the time I posted up to get into Sonar, I could hear the BP kids finishing their last tune. A profound bummer, and furthermore, fuck I-95 traffic.

Wristband finally acquired, I strolled into the Sonar punk rock multi-plex and staked out some real estate for The Unlovables. As often happens, they were pretty great. It was another short and early set, but Hallie and the boys brought it, as per usual. No Archers Of Loaf cover in the set this time around, but I seem to remember a new track. Either way, pretty great. We need more live shows from the kids, although with Mikey Erg playing in a hundred bands currently, I'm not sure how they are going to handle these things. I'll keep you posted.

This year, there were as many as three stages going at any given time at Sonar. Next on the docket was a trip to the second stage to see California's The Secretions. They were definitely the most mohawk/dyed/vests with band colors of the bands over the weekend. Very California. They also backed up Wimpy from The Queers for his set later on in the Fest. Nice guys, and while not my favorite set of the Fest, they definitely seem worth checking out further.

Next up on the second stage was Ohio's The Dopamines, featuring Mikey Erg on guitar and marking Mike's third set of the weekend. Note that of the first nine bands that played, he played in three of them, a trend that was more the norm than the exception for the duration. I had never seen The Dopamines before, and frankly thought they were from NJ, but either way they were funny as hell in the D4 end of things and had some great tunes in the Midwestern punk tradition. I definitely need to get their records quick. Lots of beer was thrown, and there was a brief stage invasion by someone who was hell-bent on peeing on the band, but the set was pretty tight and the songs were really great. I'd love to see those guys at a basement show. I went back afterward and caught the end of the Underground Railroad To Candyland set, garnering my first disappointment of the evening. I wasn't familiar with their songs before, but they get a lot of Razorcake love, so I was excited to check them out. Sadly, I was less than impressed. Better luck next time.

The Copyrights were up next in the main room. I opted to make them my last band of the evening so I could attend to some hospitality issues, but they made for a more than adequate capper. Lots of hits and sing-a-longs, as well as a frisky crowd. Why people still care about Green Day when bands this good are around is beyond me, but I'm going to enjoy The Copyrights as much as I can while they are still playing the small rooms.

The Dead Milkmen and Boris The Sprinkler had both gotten line-ups back together to close the night, but both of those bands are enough of a toss-up that I opted for a free dinner and couple bottles of wine. With all respect to Norb, I think I made the right choice.

DAY ONE tally:
bands seen: 5
Mike Erg presence: 5 bands

Stay tuned for Day Two coverage tomorrow!