Monday, October 31, 2011

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ZZ Top at PopMatters

JS-NYC Massive:

My review of the new ZZ Top live record is up currently at the PopMatters. Here's a link.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Banner Pilot - Heart Beats Pacific

To say that I'm a mark for the Banner Pilot would be a mild understatement. There have been periods of time where Drew has skewered me decisively over my ability to dress like Banner Pilot's merch guy and there is nothing I can do to defend myself. I would suspect that he takes great satisfaction in not being my neighbor, as he would no doubt be driven as mad as the rest by my constant playing of Heart Beats Pacific.

The recent CMJ shows from the BP crew haven't helped matters as much. The boys killed it at both shows, drilling tunes like Spanish Reds and Western Terminal into my head and necessitating acquisition of Heart Beats Pacific with the quickness. You should do the same. Heart Beats Pacific picks up where Collapser left off, pumping out just shy of a dozen aces pop-punk tracks heavily indebted to the Jawbreaker. This is far from a bad thing.

I can't say I'm crazy about their recent acquisitions, but the Fat/Banner Pilot union is something I can condone unequivocally. I'd like to think of Banner Pilot as a prime example of a new school Fat band and one that may very well have released my favorite pop-punk release of 2011. Get Heart Beats Pacific here from the good folk of Fat and keep track of the Twin Cities finest here.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Live: Restorations at Fifth Estate 10.21.11

This was night three of an unprecedented-in-recent-history JS-NYC CMJ run, with Friday night's proceedings featuring current JS-NYC obsession Restorations playing the Aquatic People CMJ showcase on the second night of an East Coast tour. I had built this show up to the point where it seemed like it could be nothing less than a disappointment, especially when I passed up dinner with a hot chick to barrel ass out Brooklyn way. Twitter had tipped me off to a later start. I locked up and rolled in to a room where the band outnumbered me (the crowd) markedly.

The first song had the room fill up a bit, but I would have liked a crowd that befit my repeated playing. Despite being crammed into a ridiculously small space for a five-piece, the gents soldiered on with the shockingly posi- demeanor that newer Philly bands display. Too short of a set, but one that featured a couple of the high points from their most recent eponymous release. No Linear Notes, but pretty tight. Good show, chaps. Here's hoping we get them back in NYC very, very soon. East Coasters should check for the tour dates Team Restorations are undertaking currently.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Live: Banner Pilot at Union Hall 10.20.11 (late)

So this show was the official Fat showcase for CMJ, and owing to the fact that the lineup they were purveying was fairly meh save for Banner Pilot, I couldn't have been more pleased at the 8:45 slot the gents were afforded, especially as I had just come from seeing them at the Chrome instore.

Union Hall was sold out, as well it should be given its small-ass size and the CMJ masses seemed to be much more into the proceedings (read:drunk) than the crowd for the Chrome set. The boys were tight again, romping through pretty much the same set. The new Spanish Reds and Western Terminal were high points, but there wasn't too much bad stuff in the 40 minutes or so they got. The crowd had a pronounced 'my first beer/CMJ' tinge to it, but I was on the bike a minute after the BP boys bade us adieu, so I hope those tall boys treated everybody real proper for the duration. Banner Pilot are touring down to The Fest and definitely should be seen if you are able. The new Heart Beats Pacific is out on Fat 10/25 and is unequivocally recommended to anyone with working eardrums. Check here for it.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Live: Banner Pilot and Dead To Me at Chrome Store 10.20.11 (early)

I heard about this at the last minute and rushed down to grab some real estate a couple minutes before things jumped off. I guess you can add messenger bag culture to the list of things that make me feel old. I can remember banging on the door to the basement of DeMartini Sail Co. to get mine a million years ago and now bag companies have huge storefronts in trendy NY neighborhoods. Oh, how things change.

So bag/schmag. I was in it for the mighty Banner Pilot. They've got a banger of a new record called Heart Beats Pacific out on Fat and were out for the CMJ showcase with Dead To Me and a bunch of other meh-able Fat bands. More on that later. The boys brought it pretty serious, but they are pretty deadly with a short set. They maximized their potential with a pretty seamless stream of highpoints of the last couple records over maybe 40 minutes. Dead To Me were up shortly after. I like them a lot in theory, but they have never really caught on for me. I stayed for the first five or six songs and bailed to eat something before I headed out to Brooklyn to catch more Banner Pilot. Good time, and had I not been still recovering from the weekend, I would have availed myself of the free open bar. I guess they do this most Thursdays, so keep an eye here to see what the entertainment is like. Banner Pilot and Dead To Me can be found here and here, respectively. Look for a review of Heart Beats Pacific soon.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Live: Sarah Jaffe @ Bowery Poetry Club 10.19.11

CMJ and pouring-ass rain are not normally the two great tastes that go great together. Frankly, CMJ has kind of blown the last couple of years, or more diplomatically I am aging out of the college demographic, but I got off my ass and ran out between deluges to catch Ms. Jaffe. I really enjoyed her opening for the Centro-matic a couple months ago and her debut Suburban Nature has received fair amount of play at JS-NYC.

Upon rolling in, I saw the end of a textbook reason why I'm way over the young people's music, read: two dudes, lots of Line 6 looping and/or delay, yelling, blah blah blah. Don't get me started on the haircuts. The Jaffe band was up in short order and wonderfully enough featured Scott Danborn on keys. Some tuning issues ate up the early part of the set, but once things got underway Jaffe sang the hell out of seven or eight Suburban Nature tunes, including the crowd-pleasing Clementine that set the young lesbian set in attendance into a tizzy. No real reason why Jaffe shouldn't be someone we'll be hearing big things from soon, save for the fact that there's no accounting for taste in this day and age.

In investigating links for you all, I'm intrigued to hear there is a new record out from Sarah. Get all the skinny here at the Sarah Jaffe web presence and look for a review soon.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tyler The Creator - Goblin

Of all the curious signs of my old age that have reared their ugly head in recent years, my uneasiness with the post-Eminem set of rappers might be the most disturbing. Seeing Em in recent years, he seems utterly sociopathic in his spewing of what definitely appears to be bona-fide hate. That is not to be confused with dress-up metal, overly sleeved young hardcore bands, or wanna-be thug rappers of all complexions. I mean real fucking vitriol, not horror-core. On the other side of that coin is the Odd Future crew, a West Coast collective that seems to be ushering in a new genre of Special Ed rap.

Continuing in the tradition of EPMD and Redman (as well as his first record), Goblin from OFWGKTA headguy Tyler The Creator has a theme of Tyler interfacing with his therapist Dr. TC over the frankly shocking and disturbing tracks that comprise Goblin. We've seen that concept in various post-Funkadelic records and it seems to dovetail nicely with our dear Mr. Asperger's Goblin personae. The beats are new school, as is the flow. Lots of blow job talk, too, if that floats your boat. I'm on the fence, but from a beats and rhymes perspective, it's better than a lot of hip hop out today.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Jay-Z & Kanye West - Watch The Throne

Much like the recent NOFX 10" of hardcore covers, Watch The Throne was an inevitable eventuality, but personally the bigger question is whether it is necessary, as neither party is exactly a shrinking violet. The answer is probably not, but rain of haterade aside, Watch The Throne is one hell of a solid record. You would expect that would be the case, as the two players each have a solid resume under their belts. And as you might glean from the album art and title, there is no shortage of ego for these two, either. Nor business acumen. Jay and Yay are the only guys this side of Weezy in this day and age that can actually shift those units, so this seemed a financial inevitability.

I'm an avowed Jay-Z meh-er and as such am more than a little sick of hearing about Yeezy, even if I do think My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is some next shit, but even the inherent hater in me can't dispute that the high points (That's My Bitch, Otis) on Watch The Throne are among the best hip-hop I've heard in recent years. The WTD production crew has some deep crates, resulting in some bizarre Phil Manzanera eventualities and a lot of Euro club flair, but blatantly positioning Jay-Z and Kanye West as purveyors of a much more global hip-hop than the average artist. Watch The Throne is heavy on the ego tip, but that is the foundation of hip-hop after all. Heavy on the hubris, light on the subtlety, Watch The Throne is a serious hip-hop record that should sell just short of a bazillion.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Patton Oswalt - Finest Hour

Showtime has really been stepping their game up recently with their specials. The Nick DiPaolo special recently was pretty aces and this new Patton special is good, too. It's called Finest Hour, and while is somewhat of a misnomer, it's still good. The man has said himself that personal happiness is the death of comedy. It's not 100% the case here, and judging by the anecdote about his brother, someone in the Oswalt clan is carrying the torch, but the new-father stuff leaves me a little cold. Patton is becoming the George Carlin of the Daily Show set, a role that makes me a little uneasy personally, but that's time for you, I guess. Regardless of my issues, fans of Patton will revel in this even if it may be a bit lighter in tone than the pre-papa Patton.

Get Finest Hour and the **ahem** skinny on all things Patton and/or Oswalt here.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

NOFX - Hardcore Covers 7"

Ok, nine minutes of hardcore covers from NOFX. It exists, but should it? I guess it's no harm/no foul for Fat Wreck, but despite the fact that the recording quality is good and the original tunes are long out of print (for the most part), I can't say I could see anyone outside the collector nerd set plumping for this.

Here's the tracklisting:

01 - Agnostic Front - Friend Or Foe

02 - Necros - IQ32

03 - Urban Waste - Police Brutality

04 - Social Unrest - Mental Breakdown

05 - Battalion Of Saints - No More Lies

06 - Unknown

07 - Sin 34 - Say We Suck

08 - Rebel Truth - Child Hosts The Parasite

09 - Stretch Marks - Professional Punk

Get it here from Fat.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Live: Shellac at Bell House 10.4.11

Shellac has been ramping up their live presence in recent years. After a long spate of no shows outside of the odd Chicago show, this set of shows marked at least the third or fourth set of NYC live shows post the release of Excellent Italian Greyhound. Irritatingly enough, the shows were in Brooklyn again, which save for the fact that I got to ride out to the show with Col, continues to be an irritation, even if The Bell House is a great place to see a show.

We missed Helen Money this time around, owing to social issues, but managed to post up front and center for the proceedings. Steve was a bit sick, and crankier than usual, despite the (in my mind, at least) glaring lack of Odd Future heckling was in fine obstreperous form. Luckily some douche managed to step up and piss him off, garnering him a headlock chastising and begging the question what one has to do to get thrown out of a show in this day and age. Douchebaggery aside, the set was aces as usual, with Trainer putting in a clinic on skin-beating. No surprises in the set (or The Rambler Song for that matter) with the gents going maybe an hour before pulling the rip cord and bailing. Good times, good company. No word on any new releases, or any other dates round these parts, but East Coasters (and UKers) can see them at this year's ATP shows.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Aficionado - s/t

Albany, New York's Aficionado have been making a big push of it over the last couple years, dropping a score of demos and other releases and maximizing their road presence with tours with Tim Kasher and Travis from Piebald's new band. Shettel appears on the new record, perhaps skewing the band a wee bit too far into the world of Piebald jocking.

There are two singers in the Aficionado, one of each gender, along with what seems like five other dudes. While this is a good record, I can't for the life of me hear what seven people could be doing on this record. There is a heavy early Cursive (read: Crank era) vibe here, especially in the male singer's voice, with some quirky prog-gy tendencies in the ending of tracks like Confidence Is Intimidating. The female sounds decent, too, although she definitely gets relegated to second singer status in the songs here. The Shettel guest spot on Honesty is well-played and should do well in ingratiating Aficionado and Aficionado to the masses. They are playing a couple CMJ shows mid-month. I'm looking forward to seeing them with the new Travis band at the Saturday Matchless show. Get Aficionado from the good folk of No Sleep here or on tour and keep tabs on them here.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Ceremony - 6 Cover Songs EP

Ok: Ceremony covers EP. Makes sense, right? Bands do them all the time and they are almost always well-received, at least from the average choir that is being preached to. Ceremony has choirs all around the world, owning to their relentless tour schedule and flood of releases. They could thank Bridge Nine for that before, but now in investigating this, it appears that the next next Ceremony record will be on Matador?

Seems odd to me, too, but Matador seem to have done well with Fucked Up recently, better than they did with Large Professor certainly, so maybe the gents are getting a better sense of how to expand the Matador focus while still having the engine to market them properly. Here's hoping, as this cover EP with Pixies and Wire tracks Ceremon-ized is pretty aces, if maybe a wee bit unrepresentative of the band's recorded output. Get 6 Cover Songs here from Bridge Nine and keep track of Ceremony here.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

The Game - The R.E.Demption

It's been a while since he's dropped a formal release, and he sure does seem batshit crazy, but Game sure can rhyme his ass off. He's been overshadowed by the even more crazy and formidable Weezy in recent years, but there are few better in the *ahem* game today than Game.

The R.E.D emption is the pre-cursor to The Red Album. If the guest spots are any indication, The Red Album is going to move some serious units. The 50 Cent dissing is getting as old as it is irrelevant, but Nas, Akon and the good Dr. Dre make appearances, along with Weezy F. Baby and a gang of other heavy hitters on both sides of the boards. Beats are serious, as are the rhymes, so step lively and snap this up with the quickness.