Sunday, December 16, 2007

Year In Review

Things that made 2007 totally bitch:

-Entertaining Bauer and Ward when they came to visit Texas.
-Hanging out in Austin with Ben for a SXSW.
-Seeing the Drive-By Truckers play an acoustic show in Austin.
-Getting my juris doctorate (law) degree.
-Moving back to St. Louie, MO.
-Buying a house.
-Road trip to Milwaukee and Chicago to follow the Cardinals around.
-Hangin' with Team Awesome and crashing a party on Tour de Moose day.
-Our trip to Chicago to hang with pals and check out Jason Isbell.
-An awesome season (thus far) for the Green Bay Packers.
-New albums by the Weakerthans, Kanye, Jens Lekman, and the Black Lips [see earlier post].

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

New Music: The Foxboro Hot Tubs

There's a sweet new group out called Foxboro Hot Tubs. The band may or may not be a side project of the members of Green Day. Actually, it most definitely is, however, they're not saying. They pulled this same stunt with the electro-punk, robot-rockin' the Network.

Whoever the heck they are, Foxboro Hot Tubs have an EP available that you can download for FREE. Check it out right HERE.

The 6 song EP has a '60's garage, British Invasion vibe to it. I like it. It's really not too much of a stretch from some of Green Day's previous work. At at least, in my opinion, the influences have always beeen there. All-in-all: lighter on the snotty punk rawk, heavier on the garage-soul.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Top 10 Albums of 2007!

Dude, 2007 is, like, over. That being said, here are my favorites of the year. Feel free to chime in [via comments] and offer your favorite joints of '07. I'll probably post my favorite songs of '07 later, which you'll be able to download.

10.WILCO - Sky Blue Sky

9. SPOON - Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga

8. OAKLEY HALL - I'll Follow You

7. THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE QUEEN - The Good, The Bad & the Queen

6. MODEST MOUSE - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

5. JASON ISBELL - Sirens of the Ditch

4. JENS LEKMAN - Night Falls Over Kortedala

3. THE WEAKERTHANS - Reunion Tour

2. BLACK LIPS - Good Bad Not Evil

1. KANYE WEST - Graduation

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Cover Me: Holland, 1945

I've always loved this Neutral Milk Hotel classic. Whenever I hear it, I feel like I'm swerving around on a roller coaster, drunk as hell, smiling my ass off. Why I get that feeling, I have no idea. It's just one of those captivating tunes that kinda does funny things to ya.

I really didn't know what to think when I picked up Jason Isbell's version this one. If memory serves me correctly, he performed this back in his Truckers days. Probably to start off one of their encores, or maybe during a solo show. Regardless, I still think this is an interesting tune for this particular artist to cover. As odd as [I think] it may be, it friggin' works.

Neutral Milk Hotel - holland, 1945
Jason Isbell - holland, 1945


I'm watching the Patriots steal one from the Ravens on Monday Night Football right now. Talk about a freaking heartbreaker. Brian Billick's a jerk!

Coming off a super-fun weekend which included fun times with THE Michael Bauer [which included sparklers at 3:00 a.m.] and drunken Karaoke with the usual suspects [kudos on "Purple Rain" KBO]. NIZE!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Monads ++ Hot Stove Banter ++ B.B.Jr.

I hope everyone had a nice holiday. Mine was the same as it always is: too much binge drinking/eating. While nothing particularly crazy went off, I did happen catch a pretty cool St. Louis band I'd never heard of, The Monads. They play sweaty bluegrass punk music. You can smell the whiskey seeping from their pores as they abuse their banjo, violin, guitar, harmonicas and upright bass. Head on over to their site and see for yourself.


Also, the baseball season may be over but this is one of my favorite times of the year. The hot stove chitter chatter always interests me [and distracts me when I should be hard at work]. For those interested in every ounce of trade gossip ever whispered, head on over to MLBTraderumors. Odds are the Cardinals won't even make a big move, but it's still fun to hear who's movin' and shakin'. Plus, the winter meetings are right around the corner so there's surely gonna be some juicy gossip.


And I almost forgot, Bloodshot recently sent me the newest Bobby Bare Jr. It's sweet. Snatch the opening track off this rockin' honky-tonk banger below. It rips.

Bobby Bare Jr. - the heart bionic

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"You Can't Kill the Rooster"

[++UPDATE++ Appropriate tune'age has been added below.]
So I picked up Captain Casey from the airport on Saturday morning. We had a pretty low key day. Lunch, relaxing, playing catch-up -- nothing crazy. We were going to save "party mode" until later when we planned on checking out Asbury Park, this Springsteen tribute band. I should mention that he came bearing gifts. Being the nice [and insane] guy he is, he brought me some sort of military-issued *switchblade. Pretty bitch, if ya ask me. I was messing with it all day, only to have Captain Casey bark in my ear every 10 minutes, "dude, be fucking careful with that thing - it's really sharp."

Anyway, we're gearing up for the night; about ready to walk out the door. I throw the Captain this memory card I just bought for my camera and tell him to pry the sucker open. The stooges at Target forgot to pop the lock on the plastic case when they sent me home with it. Thank god I have a new switchblade, right? BAD MOVE. Captain Casey puts the blade through the case... and through his friggin' hand. SERVED! I guess I got served too cos the fountain of blood coming from his paw was now all over my walls and bathroom.

Of course Casey's playing it off like it happens all the time [which may very well be the case considering his past]. "It's cool man, give me a rag. We're fuckin' going to see this Springsteen band." Dan RN was there and confirmed the probably obvious: "That definitely needs stitches man."

We gather our supplies before we head out to the ER. Casey makes a cranberry and vodka, I grab a twelver of The King and we're on our way. He checks in, they process him, do a preliminary wrap on his hand, then he walks right back out. Why wait all night in an ER when you can tailgate in the parking lot?

All said and done, the Captain got 10 stitches, got to catch about an hour of Asbury Park's set, was prescribed pain pills [which made him happy], and a BOSS time was had by all... (except for me when he urinated on my leg in a parking lot at 3 a.m.)

Alkaline Trio - BLOODIED UP
Dillinger Four - NOBLE STABBINGS
Minus the Bear - MONKEY!!!KNIFE!!!FIGHT!!!
Rolling Stones - LET IT BLEED

* Not exact model, but pretty close

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jason Isbell -- Modest Mouse

Last weekend in Chicago was blast. Unfortunately, there's been hell to pay all week as I've been playing catch up on neglected work. At any rate, Jason Isbell and his band, the 400 Unit, friggin' killed it last Saturday at the Cubby Bear. I've been rockin' the hell out of his debut solo effort, Sirens of the Ditch, so I was well prepared to hear them focus on that material. Fortunately, not only did they play the majority of the album, but they broke out some of Isbell's classic Drive-By Trucker tunes. Highlight of the set: hands down, "Decoration Day." Below you can snag that tune and one of my favorites off Sirens of the Ditch.

Jason Isbell - chicago promenade
Drive-By Truckers - decoration day


The rock didn't stop there. I also managed to check out Modest Mouse the other night. It was a long time coming considering I've been a fan of the band for the past 7 years and still hadn't seen them live. They were as awesome as I'd always hoped they'd be. Much more comprehensive of a set than I'd imagined too. Also, that Johnny Marr really held it down on lead guitar. For some [rather stupid] reason, I was under the impression he would just be standing on the side of the stage going through the motions. Not the case. Not at all. Highlight of their set: tough call, but I'm going with the closer, "Spitting Venom."

Modest Mouse - spitting venom

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

We Throw Parties, You Throw Knives

Los Campesinos!: Their name is Spanish (for the Peasants). The band is English. The tunes are PURE FUN.

Back in July they released their Sticking Fingers Into Light Sockets EP and I think they're about to release their first full length here in the states soon. While the first track posted below may be the single off the release, my favorite track is their interpretation of the killer Pavement tune, "Frontwards."

Enjoy these sugar-coated, spazz-pop punk gems:

Los Campesinos! - we throw parties, you throw knives
Los Campesinos! - frontwards
Pavement - frontwards


I may not be able to check in for a couple days; heading up to Chicago. Checking out former Drive-By Trucker, Jason Isbell at a club I've never been to, the Cubby Bear. There are a bunch of other rockin' shows but I'm not sure if we'll have time for 'em. We got a new camera today, so maybe I'll have some pics to share when I get back.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Friggin' Friday

Here's one of those albums that I wigged out over for about a month when it came out and then kinda forgot about. Further proof that these days we [or maybe just I] gobble up music and spit it out sometimes; too disposable. At any rate, The Sunset Tree is a conceptual folk pop masterpiece with a punky spirit.
the Mountain Goats - this year
the Mountain Goats - dance music
the Mountain Goats - song for dennis brown


Here's to friggin' Friday and a friggin' righteous weekend, right. Ha Ha Tonka is playin' a gig here with Meat Puppets on Saturday. Just may have to check it out. Haven't seen H.H.T. since their "Amsterband" days back in Springfield, MO. Cheers folks.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Well I'm just pleased as punch to unveil this Halloween mix for ya. The back porch has swooped some new web space and boy are we ready to kick out some jams... so to speak. That being said, enjoy these spooktacular goodies:

HALLOWEEN - theme music from the movie
the Misfits - halloween
Blue Meanies - creepy
the Specials - ghost town
Matt Skiba - demons away
Murder by Death - i'm afraid of who's afraid of virgina woolf
Tom Waits - what's he building in there
Alkaline Trio - tuck me in
the Black Lips - buried alive
the Addams Family - theme song
the Misfits - cough/cool
Bobby "Boris" Pickett - MONSTER MASH


This one goes out to Team Awesome and Tour De Moose to commemorate a totally awesome Saturday. Cheers!

Bobby "Boris" Pickett - MONSTER MASH

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Freaky Friday

I'm gonna stick with the Halloween theme and share with you some wicked videos:

Oingo Boingo - dead man's party

the Misfits - halloween

Alkaline Trio - we've had enough

Marilyn Manson - dope show

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


My bad... I've neglected the back porch for the past week and for that, I apologize. I do have a pretty sweet post brewin' though [hopefully].

I love this time of the year, musically. Every year when October spookily creeps up, a bunch of old albums find their way into my rotation that are sometimes neglected throughout the remainder of the year [read: misfits, blue meanies, oingo boingo].

Anyway, to hold y'all over, I offer a Halloween masterpiece. The North American Halloween Prevention Initiative may not sound too familiar, when in fact, they really are. Picking up where Band Aid left off, N.A.H.P.I. is a project led by members of the Unicorns with help/cameos by Beck, Arcade Fire, Sonic Youth, David Cross, Feist, Peaches, Devandra Banhart, Jenny Lewis and Blake (Rilo Kiley), Karen O (YYY's), Les Savy Fav, and last but certainly not least, ELVIRA!!!


North American Halloween Prevention Initiative - do they know it's halloween? [via alienhits]

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Ryan Adams & the Cardinals

Got to check out Ryan Adams & the Cardinals last night at the Pageant. Good stuff - He and the Card's sounded spot-on man. I'm not what you would call a well-versed Adams fan, but I do have a couple of his earlier albums and I like pretty much everything I hear by him. Last night was no exception.

Of the 16 tunes he and the Cardinals loosely jammed through, I think I knew about 3 of them ["Cold Roses," "The Rescue Blues," "Bartering Lines"]. There were a handful of songs I would've like to have heard, but I wasn't holding my breath by any means. Truthfully, I was kinda anticipating his crowd interaction as much as I was the music. I'd heard all about his on-stage meltdowns and I was curious to see how much razzing the stl fans may offer. As it turns out, most peeps were on their best behavior. Adams seemed quite appreciative, prompting him declare that we were the nicest fans on the tour so far. Oh Ryan, you tell every city that.

As a sidenote, the show was sold out and I bought tix off some stooge on ebay. Check out his ebay item description:
"By the way, a friend and I (pictured here) will be attending this concert and sitting in the 2 seats next to the 2 for sale. Beware: If you are attractive females thinking about buying these tickets, you are almost guaranteed a few alcoholic beverages on us and a crazy night of barhopping could follow. But hell, you'll get to see Ryan Adams! I've seen him twice personally, and he is amazing!"

Here's the set list.

Here are a couple tunes:
Ryan Adams - to be young (is to be sad, to be high)
Ryan Adams - oh my sweet caroline

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Pick Your Pony!

Alright, baseball playoffs are here. Time to pick your pony ladies and gentlemen. I guess I like Colorado. Also like the Angels. Also, for those keeping score at home, I did bring home the "Dudes Fantasy Baseball League" trophy. Truthfully, I forget what the point of the internet is without fantasy baseball...
[UPDATE: While typing this and watching the Angels v. B'Sox game, I caught news about Card's GM Walt Jocketty leaving St. Louis. Damn. I guess it's not too surprising considering the multiple reports about internal rift. 'Wonder how this will effect Larussa's decsion?]

Speaking of America's favorite pastime, the Boss dropped his new album, Magic. Still haven't bought it - mostly due to the fact that I feel like I've been blowing money like a coke-head. Will pick it up soon and give y'all a report.

Also, I've figured out a way to spruce up the backporch. I think we've determined that I can squat on some Dudes Mag web-host space. This means good things for you, the people. Most importantly it means I can actually offer tunes straight from me. No more redirecting links. Trust me, it'll be neat.

Be well...

Monday, October 01, 2007

Another Weakerthans Post

I've blogged about them before and I assure you this won't be the last time. The Weakerthans are one of my favorite bands around and not only do they have a new website, but they have a new album -- Reunion Tour -- to boot.

In a handful of words: subtle, indie alt-punk'try quirk-pop.

Keep in mind, this is a band who've released only 4 albums in their 10+ years of existence. It's hard to fret over it too much though cos what some may consider a lack prolifcacy is actually the wonderful virtue behind the Weakerthans. Reunion Tour has left me with a very similar feeling as their last effort, Reconstruction Site did. It's no challenge to initially fall in love with the tunes. What's unexpected is how much each song grows on you. They always say the best albums are the ones that keep presenting elements you may've never noticed prior. This is that type album.


HEAR for yourself:

the Weakerthans - sun in an empty room [highly recc'd]
the Weakerthans - night windows


SEE for yourself:

the Weakerthans - diagnosis [1998]

the Weakerthans - psalm for the elks lodge last call [2003]

the Weakerthans - the reasons [2003]

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kanye. Oakley Hall.

Finally got the new Kanye West, Graduation. The dude is on fire. Three albums, three masterpieces. My little bro was dead on: Graduation comes in a solid 2nd place. I don't think anything'll beat College Dropout. Dude came out with beats blazing. Late Registration was dope too but the difference between it and Graduation is that the latter trims out all the fat. No hokey skits; less tracks; straight to the point. Dude utilizes way more electronics this time around also, which works well. This is a must have. See for yourself:

Kanye West - drunk and hot girls [via h.t.f.a.f]

Also swooped the new Oakley Hall, I'll Follow You. If you ask me, they may've just released they're best album. Their two previous efforts were friggin' good too, so it says alot. This time around you can tell the band has really hit their stride. The rootsy psychadelic indie rock is still there, but what sets this one apart is the bands' willingness to lay back in the cut and ride the groove. Seattle Weekly said it best: "Americana they are not. The Hall is onto a whole new thing, and that thing is pure American rock music."

Oakley Hall - angela [via l.a.u.]
[stream the whole album over at merge records]

Hope y'all have a righteous weekend. Mine started off pretty well. Last night I went to the ball game and hit a bar afterwards. Some cougar flipped out on me for throwing rocks into the bonfire and told me (a) i'm reeaallly ugly, and (b) i have man-tits. Honey, I can meet you half way on the ugly deal, but man-tits? I weigh like 160?!? She must've had other shit going on though. She was crying when she was yelling at me. Her poor friends just acted like they didn't know her. Funny shit...

Anyway, I'm hoping to head downtown today to check out Lucero and Soul Asylum. It's flippin' free so you can't beat it...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

"You Win Some, You Lose Alot..."

Sorry for the lack of posts. The past week has been far from awesome but I've managed to scrounge a few reasons to stay amped.

The first one being this Table Tennis [Pong] arcade machine I got. Who would've thought two lines and a dot could produce so much excitement? This sucker's a real treasure and I'm happy to have found it a wicked basement to hang out in. Welcome bud...

Yeah, as it turns out, the fun didn't stop there. Found another steal of a deal on this World Series - The Season baseball arcade game. Oh man, this one is mega sweet. Spring-loaded control panels really add to the wicked-fun gameplay. Soooo boss.

Aside from that, I guess I should pick up where the last post left off: The Cardinals fell on their face and it's really a disappointment for citizens of Cardinal Nation. Whatev's. We've had an amazing run [i.e. playing in 2 out of the last 3 World Series]. This just wasn't our year - didn't have the team.

The big question is whether or not Tony LaRussa will skip town. Honestly, I consider myself as loyal as they get to T-La. Always have been. But I wouldn't be bummed if he left. I'd still back any team he took over and I'd be happy to see a fresh face in the Redbird's dugout. As weird as it may sound, I'm excited to see how this awful season shapes next year's team.

Also, I'd love to hear some predictions on who the next manager will be in the event T-La leaves St. Louis. The most obvious guess would be The Secret Weapon, Jose Oquendo. My pick would be Joe Girardi. The dude proved he could coach last season by winning manager of the year... only to be canned by the Florida Marlins. Seriously Florida, do you really hate winning that much?!?

Have some tunes...
[can you see the sunset... put me on a punk rock trip. can you tell?]

American Steel - shrapnel
Propagandhi - anchorless [via sunset]
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - me and mia
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - leavin' on a jet plane
the Oranges Band - ok apartment
the Weakerthans - plea from a cat named virtue

Sunday, September 09, 2007

How's It Gonna End?

Can the Redbirds experience any more adversity this season. Quick recap:

- LaRuassa gets pinched on a DWI during spring training.
- Josh Hancock dies in an awful car accident
- Scott Spiezio leaves the team and checks himself into rehab for substance abuse issues.
- Juan Encarnacion gets drilled in the face, shattering several bones in his eye socket, which ends his season and quite possibly his career.
- After a fairy-tale comeback story, Rick Ankiel's name gets linked to an HGH (performance enhancing drug) scandal.

Seriously. You can't make this stuff up. It would truly be storybook ending if they managed to sneak into the playoffs and heck - maybe even show up in the World Series. All odds are against them and they're still 2 games behind the Cubbies and Brew-crew. The Cubs will roll into town next weekend and if the Birds can't bring their A-game to this series, they'll be hammering their own coffin shut.

Hopefully, we'll see the same resilience they showcased last October, which would truly be a storybook ending to a tumultuous season.

Enjoy some appropriate tuneage:

TOM WAITS - how's it gonna end?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Interview: Mike Park

Mike Park: musician, activist, record label owner, wedding officiator, father of new little girl, husband, and–most importantly–a downright decent dude. I’m probably leaving something out but regardless, that’s a heck of a resume. We recently had the opportunity chat it up with this righteous dude – check it:

You have recently taken a break from touring due to the birth of your daughter, Maggie. How is she and how has having a child impacted your writing, if it has at all?
It's been a wonderful experience thus far. I realize I'm at the honeymoon stage of child rearing, but hey it's been awesome so far. I've been writing silly songs, singing them to her. Songs about zoo animals and smiley faces. Not sure if I'll ever record them, but who knows? Maybe a children’s album is inevitable.

It seems that as an effect to you taking a little break from touring and whatnot, you've started a push towards picking up more artists. Please give us a little rundown on the new Asian Man artists.
Maybe, but definitely not consciously. I have a ton of music coming out:
-the remainder of the QUEERS re-releases (8 albums total)

As other "indies" have tried to expand and get bigger, you've consistently kept to a smaller operation. What are the biggest advantages this has on the artists on your label and to the livelihood of Asian Man Records?
I don't know if there are any advantages for the artists. I don't do a good job at promoting them at all, but I'm really up front about this fact from the beginning, so they know what they're getting into. It's made the working relationship very open and friendly. People on the outside would ask: why would any band want to work with you under these circumstances? My answer: I have no idea?? I'm puzzled myself.

I've heard you comment on the state of the music industry. CD sales are obviously down. Does this impact the indies as much as it does the huge companies?
I can't say for certain, but I would think not. But first of all, what exactly is an indie record label? Is Drive Thru, Victory, Fueled By Ramen an indie? Compared to Plan-It-X, Very Small Records, or Asian Man. It's hard to say these names in the same breath as an indie. Regardless, I think CD sales are down for everyone and effects them equally, but hurts the bigger companies because hey...let's face it, they’re driven by numbers, money, and success.

You've dedicated alot of time and energy to your Plea For Peace foundation. I understand that you have big things planned for the future. Please tell me a little about what's in store and maybe even shed some light on what you've been doing over the past year or two with the foundation.
Geez, I could write a novel about the trials and tribulations regarding PFP. Basically, San Jose sucks. It's expensive and unaccommodating towards what we are trying to achieve which is a youth based music venue. We've raised $60,000 so far, but this is chump change in this part of the US. Without proper funding we'd be out of business in 6 months. We're trying to learn more about grant proposals, city assistance, etc.. But it's been an uphill battle. And we are smack dab in the middle of going full board with this.

I know you're a huge Oakland A's fan. Have you read Moneyball? If so, is it a stretch to draw comparisons from how you run Asian Man and how Billy Beane runs the A's?
Of course. I'm all about Moneyball. I never thought about the comparisons, but yeah…I can see Moneyball in the Asian Man philosophy.

I'm going to list a few different bands. If you could, share some of your favorite memories/moments with each band:

Slapstick: young midwest kids having too much manic panic in their lives

Angelo Moore: Genius front man, singer, musician, dancer, poet, and overall nice guy

Alkaline Trio: Helped shape an entire generation of punk. Will be regarded as a historic band in future years.

Blue Meanies: Musical prodigies playing hybrid SKA. Taking the sound to new levels.

MU330: The most underrated band in the history of punk/ska whatever you want to call

What Asian Man release have you found yourself listening to the most over
the past 10 years?

Alkaline Trio - Goddamnit. Hands down the most listened to record on Asian Man by me.

If you could pick one album you released that you felt was criminally under-appreciated, what would it be?
Polysics – Hey, My Friend Bob.

Buy Mike Park's albums. Read his fun blog. Check out his record label. Support Plea For Peace.

***This interview is also featured in issue #10 of Dudes Magazine.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Have Some Tunes...

Snoop Dogg - gin & juice [via I.A.]
Dismemberment Plan - what do you want me to say?
Mates of State - proofs
Hot Toddies - wet dream
The Weakerthans - watermark
Andrew Jackson Jihad - rejoice
Lifter Puller - space humping $19.99
Pavement - rattled by the rush
Heavens - another night
Jets To Brazil - resisitance is futile

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Guess I'm Gonna Have to Head to Chicago...

Word on the (E) street is that our man Bruce and the E Street band have a new album coming out on October 2. BOSS! It's their first album in 5 years.You think that's cool, well you can also surf on over to the iTunes store and download the first single off the album for FREE. That's right, f-r-e-e!

The track is totally wicked and I encourage you to check it out. It's kinda got this "867-5309" riff along with that soulful grit Bruce always spits out. Great tune man. Did I mention that it's free at the iTunes store? How often do they give away tunes this sweet? Almost never.

The good news doesn't stop there. Bruce and the E Street band are gonna take their show to the streets. Head over here for the dates. The closest they're coming to the Lou is the City of Wind, so I guess I'm heading up there in late October.


The Dudes Mag party was a blast. All the bands rocked it and a bunch of mags and T-shirts were sold. Make sure you pick up your copy if you haven't already.

On an unrelated note, CBGB founder Hilly Kristal passed away. R.I.P. bud. Thanks for everything (i.e. breaking the Ramones, Television, Talking Heads, and a bunch of others).

Other than that, things are going good around here. I just got a new job with a firm here in St. Louie and I'm workin' at a nice little bar in the heart of Lemay. All is well for now...

Friday, August 24, 2007

"It's the maaag, for Duuudes..."

Quick reminder: Dudes Magazine is throwing a party tonight in honor of their 10th release. Info:

Where: Lemon's - Gravois Rd - StL, MO
When: 9:00pm
Who's Playin': Sex Robots, Devlin's Kids, the Jim Dandies
Buy: Mags = 5$ -- Brand New T-Shirts = 5$
Listen: Dudes Mag Theme Song

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

THE FRONT: Your New Favorite Fuzz Rockers

Fuzzy, contagious indie-grunge that will rock the fuck out of you. If the distortion alone doesn’t barrel you over, the raucous howl and thumping rhythm will surely do the trick. This L.A. trio have officially hit their stride and have been winning fans over all across the nation. After a few successful tours out west, they’re ready to demolish a city near you so be on the lookout. For fans of Sonic Youth, Queens of the Stone Age, Nirvana, Jim Beam and Budweiser.

(This review was written for Dudes Mag #10.)

The Front...
On Myspace
Offical Website

Aug 31 2007 8:00P
JAXart Night at Pehrspace with The Valley Arena Los Angeles, California
Sep 7 2007 8:00P
Mr. Ts Bowl with The Monolators Highland Park, California
Sep 8 2007 8:00P
The Echo w/ The Deadly Syndrome Los Angeles, California
Sep 30 2007 8:00P
The Scene w/Oaks and Bacchus Glendale, California

Monday, August 20, 2007

Well, That Was Fun

Got back last night from what was definitely a rager of a jaunt.

Milwaukee: Thanks for the Blatz, Leinie's, Cardinals sweep, and Wisconsin hospitality in general. Sorry for Mini-Mart trying to jack your inflatable beer bottle at the bowling alley (this dude workin' the door caught him.... even though he only had one arm!). Sorry for having to listen to me play Manson's "dope show" five times in a row on the jukebox. What can I say, it's my jam.

Chicago: We saw a loser but partied like winners. Other than that, pretty typical visit to the Windy.


I surfed upon a real gem this morning. Petra Haden, queen of the cover, has apparently leant her talents to a new comp called Guilt By Association, which can be ordered right here. There's bunch of indie artists covering Top 40 jams, and Haden truly brings it with her interpretation of don't stop believing by Journey.

You can snag it below and I've also included a totally boss cover of her rendition of a Beach Boys classic. When I say classic, I mean one of the best songs ever written. Any takers? Also, I should mention that when Petra covers a jam, it's mostly a capella. Sound interesting? Well it is and I bet you'll love it.

don't stop believing (Journey) [via MOKB]
god only knows (Beach Boys)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

This Train Is Bound For Glory

Whether or not the Cardinals will sneak their way into the playoffs remains to be seen. Regardless, about a month ago I went ahead and told myself that I could give a shit. My goal from that day forward was to just watch 'em battle and enjoy the game. If they somehow find a way in, great. If not, what can ya do?

Tonight I'm heading up to Milwaukee with some other Dudes to catch the NL Central Divsion leaders (it still feels weird saying it), Brew-Crew take on our beloved Birds on Bat. Then we're heading to the Windy to catch the (s)C(r)ubs v. Cards series. What a weekend.

Beers will be drank, beers will be spilled, feelings will be hurt, hearts will be broken, and - most likely - police will be called. Regardless, we're in it to win it and good times will be had. Although I'm staying true to my credo: just watch 'em battle - enjoy the game, it would be nice to see the Birdos beat the Baby Bears. This will be my first time at a game at Wrigley as an enemy. All of the other games I've attended there were against other NL Central teams and honestly, I was pulling for the Cubs just because they we're helping our cause when they'd win. NOT THIS TIME BUD!

So yeah, here are some rockin' tunes by artists from both the Chicago and Milwaukee area. Some new, but mostly older jams. Recognize!

Alkaline Trio - trouble breathing[CHI]
Boris the Sprinkler - ain't no pabst in tijuana[MIL]
Braid - killing a camera[MIL/CHI]
The Broadways - 15 minutes[CHI]
Colossal - embers only[CHI]
Hey Mercedes - eleven to your seven[MIL]
Maritime - guns of naverone[MIL]
Owen = she's a thief[CHI]
the Ponys - double vision[CHI]
Promise Ring - why did we ever meet?[MIL]
Reverend Norb - my drums are cooler than shit[MIL]
Tuesday - my mess[CHI]

Friday, August 10, 2007

All Things Dude

I pulled babysitting duty today for one of my nephews and let me tell ya, kids are a handful. They can't do anything for themselves.

Speaking of dudes, I'm sure very few of you are aware of the fact that Dudes Mag has found a legitimate home on the interweb. Kudos to J-Dub and J-Man on the bang-up job. Aside from the random naked pics of some dude's ex-gal, the site also features all past issues [some are still being uploaded] and all the Dudes Tunes comps in mp3 format.

In honor of such dudeliness, I've put together a mixer that features a few of the old Tunes and some other jams that will help guide you through the sweltering weekend.

Dudes Mag Theme Song
Drag the River - me and joe drove out to california
Old 97's - lonely holiday
MU330 - favorite show
Madd Dog 20/20 & Biff Man [ft. Swoops] - introducing biff & madd dog
Goodnight Ghost - old style [highly rec'd!]
Jolie Holland - old fashioned morphine
Jens Lekman - black cab
Bishop Allen - rain
My Two Moms - bonerkiller
Dudes Song

I'll be sure to remind you again, but mark your calendars for Aug. 24. Dudes Mag will be releasing issue #10 and they're throwing a party at Lemmon's. The Sex Robots, Devlin's Kids, and the Jim Dandies will be delivering the tuneage.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Reunion Tour

Aw man -- I'm sorry about that. Shit got hectic for a couple months on account of relocating roughly 900 miles, moving into the new crib, and preparing for some little quiz I took a couple weeks ago. Rest assured, I'm back now thanks to a little nudging and poking from some righteous folks.

Another good reason to clear out the cobwebs here on the backporch is to hype up easily my most anticipated album of 2007: The Weakerthans - Reunion Tour. The folks at Stereogum have been kind enough to post a tune off the album and you can snag it below--I definitely would if I were you. A laid back number with a toe-tapping backbeat featuring Sampson's eerie croon that makes you feel lost but complacent. I cannot wait to get my hands on this album. I guess there's something to be said for delivering only 3 albums in about 10 years as a band; it's quality not quantity...

The Weakerthans - night windows [new one!!!]
The Weakerthans - plea from a cat named virtue
The Weakerthans - aside
The Weakerthans - the last last one

Also, be very afraid: 'seems that slack-jawed-yokel of a prez we got runnin' this ship has taken another firm stand against that obscure, ancient document known as the constitution. Long and short of it: if you're calling your homegirl in Budapest, China (or ANYWHERE outside of the U.S.) Big Brother don't need no warrant to peep your conversation. It's that easy. Essentially, the legislation legalizes that wack-ass N.S.A. program. So we got that going for us....

Thanks for hangin' in there folks,

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Moving Right Along

I ain't dead. Just been in the process of moving into the confides of our newly acquired StL digs. Expect plenty of posts coming in the near future. Hell, I got plenty of shit to talk about...

In the mean time, head over to the Adult Swim site to swoop a badass mp3 compilation they're giving away for free. The comp features Les Savy Fav, TV On The Radio, The Good, The Bad and The Queen, The Raveonettes, Liars, and many more. Check it out right HERE.

I'll holla at y'all soon...

Monday, May 07, 2007

DBT, G.N.'R., StL

Over the past year I've been happily swimming through the Drive-By Truckers catalog. The Mrs. and I caught their live rock show back in October... well, actually we just posted up at this bar next door to the outdoor venue and kicked back some beers with locals. Regardless, we had a blast and we were pretty amped when the Truckers released the details on their "Dirt Underneath Tour." Essentially, they wanted to do an acoustic "storytellers" type of mini-tour and, fortunately for us, the band was going to be in Austin for a couple nights.

As it turns out, we caught the second night of their Texas stay and we couldn't have been more happy with the set. It was a sit-down event, which definitely made the ol' lady happy, and what an event it was. Just before the show started some nasty storms were a brewing which lead the band to appropriately start the set off with "Tornados" off of The Dirty South. For the following 2+ hours the Truckers intimately steered through a wonderful set. They shared plenty of new jams, stories behind old ones, and passed around a jug of Jack Daniels in between. As if this type of set wasn't enough of a treat, the band brought the legendary Spooner Oldham along for the ride to hold down the keys. Homeboy's played and toured with everyone from Bob Dylan to Aretha Franklin to Wilson Pickett to Neil Young to Frank Black. Dang! Impressive...

Anywho, I'm going to go ahead and share a couple live cuts from their Georgia set, courtesy of radiokgb (very awesome site by the way--check it out). The first track, "Bob," is a Mike Cooley tune and it's wonderful. Humorous and catchy as hell--go figure. Cooley introduced it as a new one, but then confessed that he actually wrote it about 3 years ago. The next, "My Sweet Annette," is a song from Decoration Day, definitely one of the bands strongest albums as far as I'm concerned.
  • D.B.T. - bob
  • D.B.T. - my sweet annette

    While I'm in the spirit of sharing music, idolator posted the title track to mildly anticipated Guns N' Roses album, Chinese Democracy. I'd love to hate it and talk about how Axl is a total white-trash hoser that wears lame-ass hockey jerseys. Unfortunately (I guess), this song fucking rocks. Check it out:
  • Guns N' Roses - chinese democracy

    That's all I got for now. We're moving back to St. Louie this weekend. Feels weird just typing it...
  • Saturday, May 05, 2007

    The Queers - Munki Brain

    After decades of delivering goods to the punk rock masses, Joe Queer is still on top of his game. Honestly, I thought he’d been phoning it in over the past few years, however, Munki Brain erases any doubt I ever had as to whether or not Joe still “had it.” The Beach Boys influence is more prevalent on this release than any other Queers album I’m familiar with. “I Think She’s Starting To Like Me” is a prime example—an upbeat piano-driven pop tune laced with infectious vocal harmonies that would make Brian Wilson weep.

    The instrumentation is noteworthy as well. On top of the speedy power-pop-punk Queers fans are used to, Munki Brain showcases keys, brass, and even an upright bass. An interesting note: Joe sought outside help for a good portion of these songs. He even enlisted the expertise of his infamous pop punk peer on a couple tracks, Ben Weasel. The moral of the story is this: Munki Brain is a damn-fine album and I encourage any dude who’s ever dug a Queers song to swoop this gem.

  • the Queers - houston we have a problem

    Buy the album HERE.

  • Friday, April 27, 2007

    Words = distracting; Tori Hunter = hilarious; Schilling = douche

    I don't think I could be any less motivated to study for the final round of exams of my law school career (...hopefully). To think I'll be done in a week and a half makes me giddy as all get-out. Regardless, because of the aforementioned studying, I've been on the instrumental tip lately. That means jazz, classical, afro-beat, reggae -- hell, anything so long is it doesn't have words.

    Speaking of afro-beat, one of my favorite albums I've recently picked up comes from Brooklyn's own Antibalas. Although in a league of their own, they fall somewhere between Fela Kuti and Tortoise (definitely leaning more towards the former). Here are a couple tracks from their latest release, Security:
  • Antibalas - I.C.E.
  • Antibalas - beaten metal

    It's nearly impossible to talk about instrumental indie music without bringing up Austin, TX's, Explosions In The Sky. Some of you may already be familar with them and not even know it, as they scored the soundtrack to the film Friday Night Lights [yeah, that high school football one--crazy, huh]. Well, here's a whole friggin album to feast on.
    The Rescue:
  • day one
  • day two
  • day three
  • day four
  • day five
  • day six
  • day seven
  • day eight

    If you're looking for a little more fueled up, riff-orriented indie rock, sans words, look no further than Kinski:
  • Kinski - hiding drugs in the temple [part 2]
  • Kinski - semaphore

    In baseball news, Tori Hunter [MN Twins] got drilled in the face yesterday by KC Royls' Zach Greinke. This comes just days after news broke that he may end up getting disciplined for sending the Royals a few bottles of Dom. P. champaign for the Royals sweeping the Detroit Tigers last September, allowing the Twins to come from behind to win the American League Central. KARMA'S A BITCH TORI. Hilarious nonetheless.

    Also, apparently there's speculation that the bloody sock Curt Schilling was wearing in the '05 World Series was a fake. O's announcer Gary Thorne declared, on air, that Doug Mirabelli - Schilling's former teammate - told him it was a publicity stunt. Curt Schilling begging for publicity?!? Get out of town! Now he's betting $1 million clams that it's real blood. As if they'd go to Cooperstown to test that thing. That's all baseball needs: more negative hype. Regardless, Schilling's still a douche and Mirabelli's still average, at best.

    Have a boss weekend!
  • Monday, April 23, 2007

    Indie Bands Still Love You Boris Yeltsin

    So Boris Yeltsin passed away at the ripe of 76 today; heart failure or something. Say what you will about the Ruskie, but he drafted a pretty decent constitution back in 1993, which remains in place today. That's obviously more than you and I could do while drunk on primo vodka.

    Anyway, what a great opportunity this is to say a few words about one of the hottest indie acts to come out of the Show Me State in the past few years: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin.

    Hailing from Springfield, MO, SSLYBY have been kicking up dust in the indie circuit for the better part of this century; touring relentlessly and mostly releasing stuff on their own, embracing DIY ethos. That is until they grabbed the indie critics by the balls and kissed them on the cheek with their 2005 full length, Broom. The buzz picked up and next thing you know, BAM! - Polyvinyl (home of Of Montreal, Mates of State, Braid, Owen) picked them up and gave Broom the proper release it deserved. Since then they've been spreading their infectious indie-pop glow all over the place.

    Here are a couple tracks for ya:

  • oregon girl [from Broom LP]
  • modern mystery [Daytrotter session]
  • yr broom [Daytrotter session]
  • methane river ["a song we recorded in texas"]

  • Catch them on their current U.S. tour, or meet up with them across the pond while they trek through the UK and Germany. No word as to whether they'll be stopping by the Motherland of Russia just yet...

    Wednesday, April 18, 2007

    Feist+Bitching+Mashups+Baseball+Will Ferrell & a Cussing Baby=Banter

    Check out this super fun Feist video for "1 2 3 4" from her upcoming album, The Reminder. I would go on a spiel about how the choreography and costumes are totally awesome, but I am a MAN.

    Anyway, I cannot wait until I'm done with school. Only a couple... more... weeks. Although the end is very near, it's getting tougher to stay motivated. Honestly, it's getting even harder to tolerate my fellow law students. To think that these folks will be my peers in the working world is pretty frightening. They're just such, uh, DORKS. Go figure...

    I've been totally digging this new mp3 blog called The Hood Internet. They post mashups combining all of your favorite indie artists [modest mouse, flaming lips, the shins, broken social scene, etc] with today's hottest hip hop/r&b artists [r. kelly, lil wayne, cam'ron, clipse]. Still confused as to what a "mashup" is? Wiki explains it here. I highly recommend the Broken Social Scene vs. R. Kelly mash of "I'm a Flirt (Shoreline)." Even if you aren't familiar with either track, the tune just grabs ya.

    Re: baseball: Cards fans are on the brink of total panic. I'm not going to piss the bed just yet, but I'm definitely concerned. Practically the whole lineup is asleep at the wheel (maybe not the best analogy, considering our skip'). Anyway, as usual, C-Russ explains our whole debacle over at Bugs and Cranks.

    That's all I got for now. Adios...

    UPDATE: Do think Will Ferrell is funny? How about cussing babies? Yeah, this video's for you:

    Friday, April 13, 2007

    Friggin' Friday!

    I knew today would be a good day when the alarm clock woke me up with "Cover Me" by The Boss followed by "Walk on the Wild Side" by Lou. Not too shabby for a radio station. On top of the righteous tunes, I was even more surprised that I was even able to get out of bed. I played 3 straight soccer games yesterday [we lost in the finals - bunk] and by the time the day was over I felt like I'd been run over by an 18 wheeler. Anyway, here's some randomness:

    Speaking of Lou Reed, head on over here for a live Reed set from 1972 (Hampsted, NY). Big ups to jefito on the post. It may have been recorded 35 years ago, but the quality is great.

    Re: Baseball: It's good to see the Birds on Bat slide into first place in the NL Central. The real test will come this weekend when they face some nasty Brew Crew pitching. We'll face Sheets tonight, Capuano on Saturday, and Sup will make his St. Louis homecoming on Sunday. If we can take 2/3, I'd be more than happy. Also, GET WELL SOON CARP! Is anyone else surprised the national media ain't throwing 'roids accusations at Pujols right now considering his lackluster start? Just sayin'....

    Imus is a friggin' goon. Who the hell is he to make fun of someone's hair?

    Confirmed interviews for the next Dudes Mag: Riverboat Gamblers, Mike Park (activist, musician, owner of Asian Man Records), Against All Authority, to name a few...

    Lastly, I'll leave you with a Mixer for the weekend. I'll keep it short and sweet in hopes of people actually downloading these truly awesome tunes.

    the Promise Ring - best looking boys
    the Coup - we are the ones
    Old 97's - lonely holiday
    the Hold Steady - your littlee hoodrat friend
    the Weakerthans - plea from a cat named virtue
    Yo La Tengo - don't have to be so sad


    Sunday, April 08, 2007

    Interview: THE HOLD STEADY

    This is an excerpt from an interview I conducted for Dudes Magazine, issue #9.

    If you’re still unfamiliar with this hard-drinkin’, Springsteen/Thin Lizzy-lovin barroom battalion, what the fuck are you waiting for? After churning out what was considered one of the best albums of 2006, the Hold Steady hit the road to bring the kids what they’ve been waiting for: a PARTY. I was able to catch up with Craig Finn [vocals/guitar] and Tad Kubler [lead guitar] and chat about their latest release, baseball, and—of course—partying.

    Getting on to the new album, Boys and Girls in America. Would you agree that this probably your most ambitious album, musically?
    CRAIG: Yeah, I think its—musical is exactly what it is. One of the things I tend to concentrate on (in the past) was my vocals. And one of the things I hadn’t focused on as much in the past was what the music was doing. And so what we really tried to do was focus on the music. And this one is more of just five guys listening to each other and playing the music together. And that’s obviously an important part of music.
    TAD: Oh yeah, definitely. I think that was pretty intentional. I think that we wanted to try to do something we hadn’t done before and try to grow a little bit as a band. Also, Franz and Bobby both came in to Separation Sunday kinda right before we went into the studio. So, with all the touring we did up until this album, those two obviously brought a bunch to it. And on top of that, Franz is such a great musician. He and I sat down and did a lot of the arrangements together and he’s a really big part of the writing process.

    Was there anything in particular you guys did this time around, in terms of your approach to this record?
    TAD: One thing that I tried to do was practice these exercises that would improve areas of my playing that I thought I could improve. And I kinda came up with a lot parts for songs in doing that, which I knew in the back of my mind would probably help me do that, but we’ll just say it was serendipitous. And then me bringing pieces in to Franz and then us sitting down and working out arrangements really worked for us. Where as with Separation Sunday it was more just Craig and I bringing in parts and going from there. Basically, we wrote this one a lot more as a band. Also, I think we had a really good idea, from the beginning, of what Craig wanted to kind of be the narrative theme for the record. Its not a linear story like the last one was, but all the songs do touch on the particular them of boys and girls in America.
    CRAIG: Well, I think one of the big things was—we’ve used producers before, but this time we were more interested in finding an “outside” producer. Someone that wasn’t necessarily a peer of ours. The relationship was purely based on Him, and the records he produced.

    This is John Agnello, correct?
    CRAIG: Exactly. He was super enthusiastic about it. We talked to a lot of different producers and his name continued to come up. In seeing our band live you realize how much we communicate to each other, on stage while we’re playing. He saw that connection we have live and one thing he wanted to do was make an effort to create that kind of space in the studio where its not only physically comfortable, but mentally as well. We tracked a lot of this together, whereas with Separation Study we did a lot more of the tracks individually.

    Your lyrics tend to illustrate incidents from your past. Are most of these ideas recollections from your past, or are a lot of them drawn from everyday occurrences.
    CRAIG: I think the more you drift a certain distance away from being 17 or 19, the more you understand being 17 or 19 than you did when being that age. And so a lot of its influenced by that and being able to wrap your head around that time. A lot of these incidents are necessarily things that happen to me, one-on-one with other people. But they are the types of things that would happen when I was growing up. It has certainly influenced my real life, its not just in the recordings.

    What kind of stuff inspires you on a day-to-day basis in writing?
    CRAIG: I think the stuff I tend to write more about is stuff that just comes up in conversation that I find funny. You know, a lot of the things I write down are mostly funny, to me anyways. I like to draw influences from just signs on the street or bits of conversation that I pick up and find humorous. Stuff like that.

    Tell me this, if The Hold Steady were the Minnesota Twins, who would be each player.
    CRAIG: That’s a tough one! I’d say Bobby would be Nick Punto—our drummer, because he kinda small. Galen would probably be…maybe Joe Nathan cos he’s kinda rock solid. And a, Franz would Joe Mauer because he has the most facial hair. Tad would be Morneau because he—I don’t know, just because he’s the loudest and probably the most powerful.

    Couldn’t he be Kuble just for name similarity’s sake? [Tad’s last name is Kubler]
    Oh yeah, I forgot about that. But he doesn’t play that much, so I won’t do that to Tad. And for me, I think I’d be Santana just because I wanna be Johan Santana.

    You guys were just featured in recent Rolling Stone where they eluded to a story about when you were still playing with your previous band, Lifter Puller, and you had an opportunity to kick it with Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros. Can you tell us a little more about that?
    CRAIG: Well Joe Strummer came to a show at the 400 Bar, in Minneapolis. He came with Billie Joe Armstrong, who we knew because he married this girl from the Twin Cities. And he walked in and I thought he was just going to stay for a song or two. Well he ends up staying for the whole set and he really enjoyed it. And eventually he ended up getting his band of the bus because he wanted to show them what a rock’n’roll band looked like. And so all these sleepy Brits come strolling into the club. And then he hung out with us for about an hour or an hour and a half after the show. It was maybe the best night of my life. He kissed me on the lips and we made him speak Spanish a bunch.

    You guys have the reputation of being a hard partying bar band. I’ve read, and heard, a lot of other artists talk about how they don’t drink or get high before their shows. What makes them such pussies and you guys badasses?

    TAD: Well, you gotta dance with who brought ya. And that’s just kinda how we roll. It’s not something we put too much thought into. Its just kinda like, this is how we have a good time. And I don’t want to put a huge emphasis on the fact that we like to get fucked up. I have a two-year-old daughter and I like to think that run a band that’s been fairly successful. There are a lot of responsibilities that go along with this. But you know what, when its happy hour, its happy hour. And that’s that!


    Wednesday, April 04, 2007

    I guess it's official...

    We swooped a crib back in Nellyville. Pretty wild. They threw the "sold" sign up so I guess that really means it's ours. My first project once we move in: cover all of the windows with tin foil, start using crack, and kidnap a white girl to torture for a few days. Nah, just kidding. Besides, who really does that?

    Anyway, most of you are probably aware of my love for The Hold Steady. Well, apparently the dude in charge of music at Minnesota Twins games - where half the band's from - loves 'em too. They recently recorded a fun-as-hell version of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and it's actually being played at the Metrodome during games. If you love baseball and rock'n'roll, you have to agree that this is pretty awesome. Go HERE and have a listen; download it too. Click here for an article explaining how the whole idea came to life.


    Monday, April 02, 2007

    Finally! Baseball...

    Spring has sprung and baseball has begun! Shit yeah! I'll go ahead and warn y'all now that for the next 6, err hopefully 7, months I'll be throwing in baseball banter here and there. This also means that the days of constantly referring to the Cardinals as the World Series Champions are officially numbered. Booo. Anywho, here's an image Viva El Birdos shared that I found pretty nostalgic. It's a screen-shot of the gamecast of the final out of the World Series.

    For more coherent and intelligent Redbird-related posts throughout the season, head over to Viva El Birdos. Also, don't forget to stop by Bugs & Cranks where our buddy C-Russ is holding down all things Cardinal. It's getting pretty heavy over there [see the comments] so go show Chris some love.

    Is it just me, or does this never get old?

    Friday, March 30, 2007

    Farewell: FIFTH HOUR HERO

    Fifth Hour Hero, a truly awesome punk rock outfit from Montreal, just broke up. Kinda sucks cos I was just recently turned on to them and was looking forward to future albums. You can read a lengthy statement as to why they're hanging it up here, but it's basically the same ol' story: it's hard to be an underappreciated punk band; not to mention, financially draining.

    Here's a review of their last album I wrote up for the greatest magazine in the world:

    Fifth Hour Hero - Not Revenge...Just a Vicious Crush (No Idea Records)
    I’d been hearing a lot about this band but never got around to checking them out. I was truly missing out. Not Revenge…is about as good as any punk rock album that’s come out in the past few years. Singer/guitarist Genevieve Tremblay’s guttural, yet soothing, vocals fit perfectly with the rest of the band’s melodic punk rock riffs and upbeat tempos. For fans of Small Brown Bike, Discount, and the Lawrence Arms.

    Fifth Hour Hero - my sympathies
    Fifth Hour Hero - everthing i won't miss
    Fifth Hour Hero - cut me dead

    R.I.P. Fifth Hour Hero.

    Monday, March 26, 2007

    SXSW pt. 2 (of 2)

    I woke up with a blanket of bulldogs covering my legs. The sad part about this: they were probably cleaner than the couch and sleeping bag I was sleeping on.

    Regardless, I was ready to party and the first stop on Friday's agenda was Pok-e-jo's BBQ where the totally awesome Oakley Hall were set to rock the socks off of carnivorous indie rockers. This was truly a perfect start for the day. I was hungover as all get-out and the breezy, sunny weather, complimented by O-Hall's lazy psychedelic folk rock was the perfect setting to nurse a hangover. The free Shiner Bock helped some too. They ran through a pretty comprehensive set; even showcased some new tunes as well. Can't wait to hear their new album that Merge is putting out in the fall. Only complaint: the sound guy had no idea how to deal with their fiddle. Felt bad for the poor girl.

    We stuck around for a little bit of +/-. They didn't necessarily suck, just wasn't really feeling it. I'd heard some of their tunes prior and I remember liking them more on album than what we saw of them live. Electronic indie rock with real soft vocals, if you're interested.

    We left about half way through their set and set sail for the Longbranch Inn, who was hosting the ever-so-popular Vice Magazine party. We rocked the indoor section of the party and the bands we caught were far from memorable. We loaded up on free issues of their newest mag, but aside from that, pretty lame. The real party was outside where Turbonegro was playing. I was indifferent on checking them out. I didn't think that I gave a shit about them, really. As it turns out, they really rock live. It was a friggin' party. Their fans were going ape-shit and everyone else was having a good time as well. We saw "the Pete" from Bouncing Souls there too, which was kinda fun.

    After Turbonegro it was break-time. We posted up at the Sidebar for a few bloody beers. The next show was truly the wild card of the weekend. The lineup: Fucked Up, Jay Reatard, and White Savage. We were primarily going for White Savage cos our buddy from Chin Up Chin Up was playing drums for them. He said it was their first show ever and the band consisted of a group of friends that gig around in different Chicago bands ( Tyrades, Chin Up Chin Up, and the Ponys - who are totally boss).

    White Savage was fucking awesome. As loud and volitale as Big Black, and as fast and piercing as the Hot Snakes. They rocked so frickin' hard they blew the generator that was powering the whole show. Pretty impressive. After some old dudes fixed the generator they came back out and rocked a few more tunes. Easily one of my favorite sets of the weekend. Good luck on finding any more info on them. I couldn't find shit.

    I cut out after White Savage. Dudes Mag allies, No Idea Records, teamed up with Volcom to throw a wicked party. I'd been looking forward to meeting up with the infamous Tony Weinbender from No Idea for a while and, just as suspected, he is truly a dude among dudes. I arrived just as Valient Thorr was about to take the stage. Holy shit, did these dudes kill! On top of a balls-to-the-wall set that was somewhere between Lynyrd Skynyrd, AC/DC, Clutch, and old Metallica, Wayne friggin' Kramer of MC5 came out and jammed with the band on their final song of the set. Truly awesome!

    Up next was Chuck Ragan, former co-frontman of Hot Water Music. He's been doing the solo thing since the H.W.M. split and it was pretty decent. Definitely sounds like a stripped down acoustic H.W.M.; throw in some fiddle and, wha-la, you have Chuck Ragan.

    I was nice and boozed up at this point (no thanks to the multiple whiskey shots provided by Mr. Tony W - see pic). I met a totally boss dude named Aaron from Gainesville, FL's Billy Reese Peters. I knew he was a solid dude cos immediately after meeting him, he agreed with me that there was no reason to be wearing a shirt at this show. We dropped cotton and proceeded to talk about this piece I'm going to do on their band for the next Dudes Mag release. We determined that the only way this piece can go down is if I get the mag to fly me down to FL and we conduct the interview in a hot tub. I'll keep you posted as to how that turns out.

    The Draft, which is the other 3/4 of H.W.M., +1, closed up the evening. Their sound is obviously similar to their former outfit, however, a little more straightforward punk rock with more spaced-out guitar riffs complementing the rhythm guitar. They rocked a great set - oozing with energy and posi-punk rock. Perfect end to a wicked weekend.

    Now, listen:

    Oakley Hall - lazy susan
    Oakley Hall - living in sin in the u.s.a.
    Oakely Hall - eyes, lock and steel

    +/- (Plus Minus) - steal the blueprints

    Turbonegro - all my friends are dead

    Valient Thorr - man behind the curtain" [via rock star journalist]

    The Draft - new eyes open
    The Draft - lo zee rose