Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teenage Bottlerocket - Freak Out

As member of the third, at the very least, wave of Ramone clone bands, it's particularly interesting to me that my inner hater hasn't driven a gi-normous wedge between me and Laramie, WY awesome purveyors of said same Teenage Bottlerocket. There is the bizarre eventuality of their playing the infamous Chixdiggit show at the Leonard St. Knit a million years ago and my being totally bored, and my having missed their sets at a couple Insubordination Fests in a row, but luckily I have come to my senses in more recent years and signed on heavy. Freak Out is record number five for the foursome, and their second for Fat. All parties involved can rest assured that if you like(d) yourself some Teenage Bottlerocket, there is nothing here to bring the love affair to a screeching halt. Still sounds like they fell for Screeching Weasel before they found about The Ramones, but that ain't the worst thing in the world, especially as the gents are some youngsters and all.

Fourteen songs on Freak Out, but still things wrap tidily in under a half-hour. It's not without its cheesiness (I give to the court: Necrocomicon and Punk House Of Horror) and the swagger on tracks like Cruising For Chicks does not exist without the heady air of nerdiness, but Freak Out is far from a bad time, and if you are lacking enough in taste that you don't like it, things are over in short enough order that you'll have ample time to get on with your lesser musical selections. TBR are touring, so step lively and look out for JS-NYC to be very much in the house next month when they hit Santos.

In the interim, keep track of Teenage Bottlerocket here and get Freak Out here from your buddies over at the Fat.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Karl Hendricks Trio - The Adult Section

It's always a good day at JS-NYC HQ when there is word of a new record from Karl Hendricks. Coming, as is becoming the norm, courtesy of the estimable Mr. Jon Solomon and the good folk of Comedy Minus One records, The Adult Section weighs in with nine shots of the hooky, guitar-driven indie rock we have come to expect from the proud son of Pittsburgh and whomever is backing him at the time.

The Adult Section finds Jake Leger entering his tenth year as KH3 skinsman and Corey Laman entering his seventh, making this one of the more stable Trio lineups. The songs are damn strong. Hendricks hasn't lost a beat, and while I miss the old school Wayno vibe of the past releases, the aces songs more than make up for any (mis) perceived shortcomings. I'd call the opening The Men's Room At The Airport and closing Hold On Cool Breeze the top honors, but the simmering mid-tempo After Four Beers shouldn't be give short shrift. Trust me, you want this.

Keep track of Trio tour dates and day-to-day goings-on at their social media interface here. Buy The Adult Section and everything else on Comedy Minus One here.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Live: Kind Of Like Spitting @ Knitting Factory 7.25.12

Depending on my level of crazy at any given time, Ben Barnett and/or Kind Of Like Spitting can be sublime or facilitate a hole lot of personal spiraling. Life has been as decent as could be expected of late, so it was more of a a pleasure than usual to ride over the bridge and see Barnett play a solo KOLS show at The Knit.

Ben is a lot like Mark Eitzel in that he can spend a lot of time meandering through nervous banter and indulging his neuroses when the average punter would prefer him to be singing, especially when he's playing solo. Springsteen and Phil Ochs were covered, as were many of the high points of the now almost-twenty year deep Kind Of Like Spitting canon. A fair amount of asides came into play, facilitated by a broken b string and a friend on her phone, as well as a far-too-extended exchange with some drunk guy, but the hour plus that we did get was pretty aces.  I've got a pretty decent recording, should any one of you be interested. Hit me up on the JS-NYC corporate e-mail and I'll send you a link.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Ceremony - Zoo

Ah, Ceremony. Always liked the gents, and sure have seen a lot of them recently. Much like their new label mates Fucked Up, it continues to be a little weird to see them on Matador. I've always admired the Gotham toreadors thinking outside the box (i.e. signing Large Professor), harder for me is wrapping my head around their aesthetic post-Superchunk. The move has certainly precipitated a less hardcore Ceremony record than we had encountered previously on their Bridge 9 tenure. Not shocking, as Ceremony are definitely a weird bunch of dudes (meant in the best possible way). It's not every band that has a jailbird and a make-up artist in the same band, but Rohnert Park's finest are not your average bunch of crucial dudes.

Zoo definitely reps the West Coast, sporting some serious Rollins/Morris vocal action, backed with an interesting Agent Orange meets garage rock vibe. Production is a little spartan and reserved, but the Zoo tracks get a lot more teeth to them live. I get the impression the hardcore kids have their boxer briefs in a bit of a bunch over the direction of this record, but it definitely stands to garner them two fans for every one they have lost. Perhaps not the best first record to get into Ceremony with, but definitely one of the best this year.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Old, in so very many ways

Hey, lookee here. 1000 posts. Thanks to everyone for the ride.



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Live: Codeine at Le Poisson Rouge 7.15.12

Back in the day, when I was but a merely cynical showgoer in upstate NY, I really liked me some Codeine. I had recently fallen head over heels for Seam and American Music Club (R.I.P. Tim Mooney) and Eitzel had mentioned that The White Birch was his current favorite record. I checked it out and it did yeoman duty soundtracking my early days in NYC. The trio split before I could see them around town and I relegated the trio to the increasingly large cadre of bands I had missed where bootleg video would have to suffice.

The early part of this year brought news from Henry Owings that he would be designing a new Codeine box set called When I See The Sun for The Numero Group. Even better, word was that Codeine were going to play some shows behind it. This LPR show is/was ostensibly their last show ever and bizarrely enough did not appear to be to a full room, but there was  a Brooklyn show that started these dates, so maybe that accounted for it. Regardless, Codeine made the most of their twelve songs set (see below) before returning for a Joy Division cover (Atmosphere) and a closing Broken-Hearted Wine.

Codeine are an earnest bunch, especially Stephen, something that made fine records, but perhaps can be somewhat less than great in a small van on tour pre-Internet. Regardless of time passed and the Codeine members present more positive life and mindstates, the gents do not seem to be overstaying their welcome. The box set is selling well, if not out, and I would expect that we'll see some video coming down the pike, but at present it seems that Codeine, as grateful as they seem for the shine almost two decades later, is staying an ex-band. Another classy turn from a classy band, but it is sad to see them go again.

Get When I See The Sun or each of the three Codeine releases in individual expanded form here from your new best friends at The Numero Group.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Restorations: A/B 7"

Restorations have been among my few favorite local(ish) band discoveries in the recent years. Philly has always had an enviable scene for the cinematic post-hardcore set. Luckily for us, The City That Loves You Back is close enough that the gents have made it into our fair Gotham with some regularity in recent months. There are a larger than average number of acoustic Restorations shows that I have yet to be particularly crazy about, but in their full-on electric (normal) incarnation they are more than a force to be reckoned with.

This 7" comes courtesy of your friends at Tiny Engines. Two songs, called A and B, the former sporting a little late period Chamberlain intro before simmering into so post-Hum indie rockery heavy on the reverb and glissando. The obverse starts things off with a gritty rhythm section throwdown before taking flight for six minutes of epic bliss.  You want this. I'm damn excited to see them come through and play this live.

Buy it here.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Superchunk - This Summer 7"

Any time that a new Chunk track comes down the pike is cause for much celebration at JS-NYC HQ and the good folk of Merge have seen fit to give us this new virtual/actual 7".

This Summer sounds like a late-period Superchunk track, mid-tempo with a hooky as hell chorus. Win. There is an acoustic version as well, along with a fun romp through the Bananarama track Cruel Summer.

I'd pick it up.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Live: Superchunk and The Hold Steady at CBGB Fest Times Square 10.7.12

Day three of the exceedingly poor planned CBGB Fest started with prospective triple digit temperatures in the announced Times Square area and still no sense of the schedule, one that inexplicably seemed to be headlined by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

Superchunk had been moved from a show at the Seaport to Times Square, formally negating any equity in my CBGB pass, and no end of investigation could ferret out what their set time would be. Only a cryptic Wurster tweet revealed the 1pm set time. Eric and I posted up with a handful of other to see the mighty Chunk tear through forty minutes or so of heat-stroke rock, highlighted by Jon's pronounced amusement at Mac almost busting his ass jumping off the drum riser. Ten songs all told, including a romp through the new This Summer. I didn't get heat stroke, so a win was called.

Post-set, we chatted and grabbed drinks to eat up the couple hours between the Chunk and The Hold Steady and returned to sweltering heat and maybe 60 people. Short set, but one that featured the pretty ok new Wait A While. The gents are evidently wrapping a new record with Agnello in Jersey, so I expect we'll be seeing a new tour in the Spring.


Monday, July 9, 2012

Live: Cro-Mags and Sick Of It All at Webster Hall 7.6.12

Night two of the hardcore nostalgia fest again found JS-NYC posted up at the Webster Hall ready to get my old guy on. I rolled in as V.O.D played their last song to most of Long Island going batshit. I had noticed what I thought was an ex-member of one of the bands outside, but figured I was mistaken, as it seemed profoundly unlikely that said gent had been invited.

Mackie was in the middle of setting up when the lights came up to some eyebrow raising. After 10 or 15 minutes and some conspicuous stage clearing, word came down that the show was over. Eventually John Joseph came out and explained that the aforementioned ex-member had stabbed a couple people and sent us home. Arguably the quintessentially CBGB experience, but one that left my outlay at about $70 to see Madball and AF. Signs were pointing towards JS-NYC coming out formally anti-CBGB Fest.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Live: Agnostic Front and Madball with Murphy's Law at Webster Hall 7.5.12

Post- Color Me Obsessed, I ran up to Webster (aka the old Ritz) and rolled in just as Murphy's Law were wrapping things up. The early part of the day was spent roaming around the city fielding misinformation to get my pass for said CBGB Fest, a pass that I was far from pleased to find was less than relevant, as all the bands I wanted to see (GbV, Superchunk, The Hold Steady) were now free. I like me a hardcore show, and all three of the bands on this bill are solid, but it's not like I hadn't been seeing this bill for literally a couple decades.

Madball came out and leveled the place. Freddy was in good spirits and seemed to be in a good place. Mitts was absent, owing to some road work with H20 and Joe AF filled in as the boys romped through 40 minutes or so of classics that had kids of all ages flying off the stage with wild abandon.  Save for the fact that its been 30 years since Live at CBGB, the set was a nice bit of nostalgia. Stigma sure is old, as was much of the crowd, but sprits seemed to be high all around and the guy who got himself and his wheelchair passed up on stage for some impromptu stage work definitely gets my nod for 'that guy' of the Fest. All in all, a good time and a good show, and most importantly indisputably more CBGB than 90% of the rest of the bands on the Fest.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Color Me Obsessed: A Film About The Replacements

Color Me Obsessed was on my radar in its nascent Kickstarter phase, but sadly flew under the radar for me when it played for one night only last Winter at Bowery Electric. I was far from pleased, so when word came down that the doc would be part of the inaugural CBGB Festival, I stepped lively and got me a ticket. I was a little taken aback to see a less than capacity crowd for the official US release. The director, one Gorman Bechard, was there to introduce the film and do a Q&A that I bailed on afterward. Bechard mentioned in his introduction not to ask why there wasn't any music in the film, which did not bode well for the next two hours or so.

Color Me Obsessed covers the rise and fall of The Mats chronologically by record, courtesy of a gang of talking heads. Much like the recent Husker Du book, the participants are not nearly as conspicuous as those that are absent from the proceedings. None of the ex-Replacements appear in the film. Grant and Greg Husker do appear, yet no Mould. Tom Arnold does, however. No Peter Jesperson either, so it sure is an interesting perspective on the life of America's Best Ever Rock BandTM. I enjoyed the hell out of CMO and will definitely buy it when it becomes available, but those not already under the spell of The Replacements will definitely be wanting for something to latch on to.

Keep track of all things Color Me Obsessed here.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lungfish - A.C.R 1999

There are many unfuckwithable bands from the Greater DC area, but Lungfish may very well be the top of the heap. And that's saying something. It's been far too long since 2005's Feral Hymns, begging the question as to whether we can really call Charm City's finest a truly active franchise. No live shows on the horizon, but we can at least take small consolation with this new recording. Or new collection, really. A.C.R. 1999 captures demos from a 1999 session at Baltimore studio A.C.R that preceded the recording of Necrophones at the start of the new millennium. Six of the tracks here were re-recorded for that record and demarcated but the other four are far from cast-offs, treading the same angular path we have come to know and love from Lungfish. I'll give Screams Of Joy the nod for the best of the 'new' tracks. Come for the new stuff and stay for the aces versions of Hanging Bird and Sex War.

It would be probably foolhardy to think that the release of A.C.R. 1999 will precipitate some live dates, but Moss Icon and Bitch Magnet have made a return to the live stage in 2012, so I'll leave that as a faint alluring possibility in my own personal world of delusion and hope for the best. Pick it up here from your friends at Dischord.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Jim Norton - Please Be Offended

Jim Norton has been rapidly approaching mainstream success in recent years, on a trajectory only eclipsed by the great Louis C.K. His presence on O&A has certainly not hurt anything, nor has his relentless stand-up touring. I wasn't crazy about his last recording, owing mostly to it being material I was already familiar with, but he's cleared the slate and stepped up with a new hour courtesy of upstart cable channel Epix, who you may remember did Bigger & Blackerer with David Cross a year or so ago.

Please Be Offended is a nice follow-up. Well, not nice, but definitely good. The opening segment that features both a transsexual and Ozzy Osbourne on the toilet (in separate vignettes) sets the tone for what you'll be getting for the next hour: namely commentary on a litany of topics including, but not limited to: Al Sharpton, prison rape dynamics, and The Dog Whisperer along with a laundry list of deviant sexual proclivities. You (hopefully) won't watch Please Be Offended with your Mom, but you do stand a very good chance of laughing your ass off.

Check it out here.