Thursday, September 29, 2011

Black Rob - Game Tested, Streets Approved

So, relatively fresh out the bing for tossing a hotel room for no reason, we have Black Rob back on the scene, and on fucking Duck Down, no less. Sounds good on paper, and not so bad on wax either. I though BR had some situation with Kay Slay, but regardless it seems a good look.

Duck Down is probably the best hip-hop label in NYC, if not the States at this point and Game Tested, Streets Approved is another reason why. More mid-tempo than I'd like, the record is still way solid. For a dude in his 40s, your man BR still can rhyme his ass off and does so all over this. I like him better when he has someone to spar with, like the No Fear joint with Sean Price, but Game Tested, Streets Approved is a solid return for this hip-hop veteran.


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Other F Word at The Friar's Club Comedy Film Festival 2011


It's that time of the year when the good folk of The Friar's Club Comedy Film Festival set it off. This year one of the featured docs is The Other F Word. It features Jim Lindberg of Pennywise and said F Word is fatherhood, for those of you scoring at home. If you are of a mind to see how that gig dovetails with the punk world, click this link for all the skinny.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Direct Hit! - Domesplitter

Direct Hit! are from Milwaukee and make the pop punk. This is a good thing, I would say. The gents like themselves some Twin Cities in their shit: D4, Off With Their Heads and Banner Pilot are all obvious influences, as is Piebald. Sadly, Andrew WK (the 1st, I assume) is as well, resulting in some Tourette-y shouting that seems a lit bit overwrought when the songs are as good as they are on Domesplitter.

Seems like someone called Nick Brooks is the guy behind Direct Hit, along with two or maybe three other dudes depending on where you look on the interwebs. Unless there is some Luke Copyright shit going on and they swap vocals around, I'm going to assume he's the singer, too. I like him more when he sounds like Travis from Piebald rather than when he tries to channel Ryan from OWTH, but neither eventuality is terrible. If you like yourself any of the aforementioned rock franchises and know yourself around a whoa-oh chorus, you would do well to check out Direct Hit! and Domesplitter immediate-like. Get Domesplitter here from the DH! bandcamp. Vinyl nerds can get their jones fixed there, too.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Son Of The Granite State video


Fans of the mighty aldenbarton should be well chuffed at the proposition of seeing AB frontguy Andrew St. Aubin in his new incarnation as Son Of The Granite State. Shellfish Beach is another great tune in an irritatingly great string of great tunes from St. Aubin, with aces video treatment by BreakThru Radio as part of their Hear and There series.

Here's a link to the video. Son Of The Granite State web presence is here.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Superchunk - Foolish reissue

The Superchunk reissue initiative soldiers on. This time around Foolish is the record, packaged with a bumper crop of other delights, including the sixth installment of the Clambakes series (a live show from the period), the Driveway To Driveway 7" and some rehearsal recordings from Wurster's house. The extras are digital only, but you could do a whole lot worse for your indie rock dollar.

Wurster pens new liner notes for the release that are as aces as you might expect them to be, with some nerd gems therein (for instance: the team consulted Jay Farrar about Brian Paulson before selecting him to produce the record and never met him until they picked him up at the airport on the way to the studio. Some are a little more dubious, namely our dear Jon claiming that he saw no signs of tension on the tour, despite the record openly chronicling Mac ('s side thereof) and Laura's split along with the common knowledge that Laura eventually had vocals taken out of her monitors on the tour and that she and Paulson had started dating during the recordings. Such a sweet boy, that Mr. Wurster.

Old TMZ fodder aside, Foolish has aged ridiculously well, and the remaster opens the sound up just enough without gilding the lily. The band tracked seventeen songs in three days, including vocals and overdubs, mixing the record in two days right after. An even dozen grazed Foolish, while the remaining five trickled out over various comps. Eighteen years (?!!) on, Foolish is a little darker than the average Chunk record, but the presence of tracks like Kicked In and Without Blinking is well worth the look inside the fracturing interpersonal core of the band. The bonus tracks make it an almost essential acquisition for any fan, although I still wonder why the five other tracks from the sessions aren't here. Of course, they are all available, but it would have leant just that much more to the proceedings, especially as the title track numbers among them. That miniscule niggle aside, I can think of no reason not to use this link and buy Foolish with the quickness from the good folk of Merge.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Snailhouse at PopMatters


North Of The Border aficionados eager to take a welcome break from JS-NYC relentlessly championing anything and everything associated with The Sainte Catherines can enjoy my take on the new Snailhouse record here, courtesy of the good people at PopMatters.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Small Brown Bike - Fell & Found

I've been embarassingly remiss in writing about this, which is odd, as I really like Small Brown Bike in 2011. I was (and am) a little surprised at how much I like the 7"s and how ridiculously solid Fell & Found is. I wish I could say the same thing for the Braid EP that I'm praying was mislabeled.

But I digress.

Small Brown Bike called it quits in 2004 after a pretty decent eight year run. The projects that the members got into post-SBB (Lasalle, Able Baker Fox) were ok, but they more often than not reminded me that I should bust out the old stuff. SBB were pretty aces at Cake Shop this Spring and while they played a couple of these tunes, most notably In Need Of Everything, I personally didn't see the signs that Fell & Found was going to be so damn aces. But it is. J. Robbins does his usual stellar work with the top-notch material, lending an expansive sound to material that is mature, but not in a played-out Split Lip to Chamberlain sort of way. I would recommend anyone who is a fan of the genre to go out of their way to buy Fell & Found with the quickness.

Find here the linkness.


Monday, September 12, 2011

More Rory Gallagher at PopMatters


The Rory Gallagher retrospective rolls on.

Click here for my take on the reissues of the first four RG records at PopMatters.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Leatherface - Viva La Arthouse

Today (and No Idea) brings us a new live record from Sunderland titans Leatherface. Given their issues at the US border recently, a Leatherface live record might be the best way to see Frankie and Co. on this side of the pond. As more intuitive readers might glean, Viva La Arthouse was recorded at The Arthouse in lovely Melbourne, Australia, although with all the Leatherface jocking that goes on in The Sunshine State, one wouldn't be too off to think it was Florida.

Said Arthouse was a long standing punk-friendly music institution Down Under that I understand is now closed after a couple decades run. Viva La Arthouse comes courtesy of No Idea (shockingly) and was evidently set-up at the last minute through the bass player and recorded unbeknownst to the rest of the crew. Lineup changes have made Leatherface a mercurial proposition in recent years, but the gents sound in good form, not especially surprising as they've toured pretty heavily behind their most recent studio release The Stormy Petrel and this show was the last of an Eastern Rim run. I'd like to see a(nother, more recent) DVD from the gents, but those that love the Leatherface will not be disappointed by Viva La Arthouse.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Seaweed - Service Deck 7"

Lookee here: new Seaweed 7", courtesy of the lovable nerds of No Idea. That bade well, and I'm pleased to be able to say that it sounds like a Seaweed record, with enough of a Four vibe that I loves to put it on repeat. Clint is behind the board working the magic in positive fashion. While Aaron definitely sounds older, but who doesn't really. If you like Seaweed, you'll like this.

Get it here from No Idea.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Punch - Nothing Lasts EP

I hadn't really heard too much of Punch before they came through town with the Paint It Black a couple months ago.

I saw them a couple three times over that weekend, both drunk and sober and had a pretty decent time, but didn't really think I'd fall for Nothing Lasts as hard as I have. Don't get me wrong, Punch is still a fucking hardcore band and the singer screams her face off like you would expect a band of this ilk to do. They sound tight and the drummer is fucking bananas, so if you like yourself some quality young people's hardcore, hie thee thither.

Get Nothing Lasts here from your friends at Deathwish.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Samiam - Trips

Hey now! The rumored new Samiam record is out. That is always a cause for much rejoicing at JS-NYC HQ, but even more surprising is how damn good it is. Now, yes, I am a mark for most things Samiam, but the new Trips has maybe the highest percentage of awesomeness this side of Astray. Not that the records in between were especially bad or anything, but the gents are definitely hitting a new stride here, even if a couple of the more mid-tempo songs have a curious Gin Blossoms tinge to them. Not a bad thing, but nothing I would have anticipated either.

Sergie had mentioned that they were trying to get a new record together. When word came down the pike that they were recording Trips at Green Day's complex in Oakland, my blood ran cold, but luckily they seem to have left untainted. With luck we won't hear about any Samiam theatrical productions and we can get back down to the business of reveling in the Samiam awesomeness. I'd say that 80 West and Dead are the frontrunners, but Trips is one of the rare non-Superchunk/Snodgrass selections that has been getting full album rotation on the regular lately.

Trips is out courtesy of Hopeless Records and the Samiam are out working it currently. Here's a link. Provided Jason is off the Jameson's they are a damn good time. Check the dates here. See you at Santos.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

House Boat - The Thorns Of Life

Post-Ergs, I guess House Boat are NYCs go-to for post-Screeching Weasel pop-punkery around town. That is with all deference to Iron Chic, who to stir it up from the jump, are vastly superior. It's not that House Boat are bad, I guess it's really maybe that Grath seems to be trying too hard. Playing the third tier Paddy card is not a good look for anyone, despite the sheer volume of contenders clamoring for the slot.

I guess we can start with the Thorns Of Life title, which wasn't especially funny when The Offspring pulled the original card on that when they were going to call their last dungheap Chinese Democracy. That kind of snark doesn't look good, especially when it means a lot of songs with titles longer than their namesakes. Think Chixdiggit if they were more depressed and angst ridden. None of the songs are terrible. I like it better when Zack sings and the last one is really nice, but Thorns Of Life won't be my first go-to for post-Weston emo-punkery, even if I read on the interwebs that Mikey Erg said this is the best record he's been on? That seems like it might be a misquote, but hey I don't drink Jameson either. Get Thorns Of Life here from the HB bandcamp or get a hard copy for your hard specie from Traffic Street here.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Dan Andriano In The Emergency Room - Hurrican Season

Alkaline Trio meant a lot to me a decade or so ago. I was spending time in Chicago interpersonally and managed to get friendly-ish with the crew in the Derek years and The Figgs toured with them in the Felumlee era, but the last couple three records have not done so much for me. There's been a weird Dave Vanian meets Christian Death thing going on with Skiba that is bordering on caricature from where I'm sitting, and that combined with the relentless rehashing of Goddamnit has really taken me out of the game about keeping up in any way other than a cursory fashion. It's a shame, having once flown from Panama explicitly to see the gents at Wetlands in the good old days.

My old man bitching aside, it took a bit for me to get around to checking out The Emergency Room stuff. My loss, as Hurricane Season is actually really good. Evidently Danny recorded this himself, calling in the auxiliary for some keys and odds and ends, but evidently calling all the shots. It was a freedom that evidently drove our hero (and, by extrapolation, his wife) a little crazytown. It hasn't resulted in any Syd Barrett-esque or Daniel Johnston psychedelia, but it has got us a record that sounds like a more adult-contemporary version of Andriano, mostly acoustically driven with more Hammond padding than previous. It's nice to hear Danny play guitar again and the songs are all really solid. I'd say On Monday is my favorite, but there really isn't a dud on Hurricane Season, which is a lot more than I can say for the last couple Trio records. It's pretty dark, or perhaps more aptly melancholic, but not unpleasantly (read- whiny) so. Older fans who shudder at the thought of a re-recorded Goddamnit, but still hold the old days in fond regard would do well to check out Hurricane Season.