Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Review: the Milky Ways

The Milky Ways – The Milky Ways [Alive/Bomp Records]
I know very little about this outfit aside from they’re from Montreal and they’ve recently put out an awesome album. Trippy, soulful garage rock with fuzzed-out guitars and plush organ work. Only one beef: incorporate the female's vocals in more tunes. She totally nails it on "Guillotine" and I'd love to hear more from her. Regardless, from the tunes to the artwork, this album is top-shelf stuff. Standout tracks: “Guillotine,” “Lecherous Parasite,” “Got My Mojo Back.”

  • the Milky Ways - got my mojo back

  • The Milky Ways - Alive/Bomp Records

    Monday, January 29, 2007

    Ramones, Baseball, Of Montreal [...again]

    Two Ramones-related tidbits for ya... Good news first: today's Tommy Ramone's 55th birthday. Tommy took over the drumming duties after Joey quit drumming and started singing. He went on to produce a bunch of Ramones albums and the Replacements' Tim. I guess he's the only original Ramone still alive. On a sadder note, Charlotte Lesher, mother of Joey Ramone, passed away the other day.

    On to baseball... I guess you've probably heard the news: Jeff Weaver's a Mariner. Seems like a stupid decision on his part. Did the Cardinals make a mistake on letting him go? As Bernie Miklasz points out, time will tell. Also, check out viva el birdos for his take on the move, and a tribute to the late Card's GM, Bing Devine. For those in the dark, Devine passed away last week and is credited for putting together some excellent Cardinal teams in the 1960's. His most notable trade: the infamous acquisition of Lou Brock from the Cubs in exchange for Ernie Broglio.

    Also, last week I mentioned how wicked Of Montreal's cover of Bowie's "Moonage Daydream" was. Well, you can judge for yourself by heading over to funeral pudding, where the actual live track is posted [or you can just download it here].

    UPDATE: They say death comes in 3's: First Bing Devine, then Charlotte Lesher [J. Ramone's mother], now Barbaro. Good grief...

    Have a rocking Monday!

    Friday, January 26, 2007

    OF MONTREAL [Jan. 21, 2007 - San Antonio, TX]

    I was planning on posting a review of this show and some pics. Unfortunately, for me, my camera is a piece and the pics turned out crappy; failing to do any justice of the spectacle known as Of Montreal's live show. Fortunately, for you, the gatekeepers of cool over at pitchfork posted some photos that manage to capture the insanity.

    To say that they go "all out" live is a gross understatement. I'd heard stories of their over-the-top antics and, honestly, I had low expectations going into the show. As it turned out, they friggin' killed it. Costume-changes, enormous lobster claw, dudes wearing make up, projection screens, singer Kevin Barnes coming out on a 10ft ladder wearing a robe to cover it all up so he looked like some sort of enormous indie-rock goddess aside, Of Montreal seriously delivered the goods.

    Anyone who's heard their albums can vouch for the layers upon layers of swirling sound, dizzying vocal harmonies, and caffeinated disco beats. I figured this would be nearly impossible to effectively transpose in a live setting. Not the case whatsoever. The band pranced through an hour and a half of new and older material alike; completely tearing the roof off of San Antonio's White Rabbit. They even busted out a cover of Bowie's "Moonage Daydream."

    Opening the show was some D.J. whose name I can't recall but he had that 90's mash-up thing going; similar to Pittsburgh's Girl Talk. He was alright. Following that dude was New Mexico's A Hawk and a Hacksaw. This 3-piece freaked-out-folk-gypsy revival featured a dude on the accordian, a woman rockin' the fiddle, and another dude holding down the beat with a marching band style, over-the-shoulder drum "set." All their songs were instrumentals, which usually bores me a bit in the live setting. Not the case here though. They played just long enough to loosen up the indie-pop fashionistas that make up the Of Montreal fanbase.

    I'd definitely reccommend checking out this show when it hits your town. I'm confident they'll stop in your area soon. They just embarked on a 3 month tour that pretty much covers every city in North America.

  • Of Montreal - disconnect the dots
  • [from Satanic Panic in the Attic - Polyvinyl Records]
  • Of Montreal - heimdalsgate like a promethean curse
  • [from (their most recent release) Hissing Fauna, You are the Destroyer - Polyvinyl Records]

    [Photos courtesy of Zach Vowell @ Pitchfork. Go check out some more over here]

    Thursday, January 25, 2007

    Killing it With Toys: TOYS THAT KILL

    Back in September I went to check out, what was supposed to be, a Queers show with Toys That Kill and the Hard-ons (Australia) supporting. After arriving early to chat with Todd (vox/guitar) from Toys That Kill, I learned the Queers had cancelled due to some “van troubles.” BUNK! But as all dudes know: when life hands you a lemon, drink a bunch of Shiner Bock and enjoy yourself anyway. So that’s just what I did.

    “We were actually asked by the Queers to come out and do this tour with them,” explained Todd as to how the plans came about. “Joe just called and asked if we were interested. It’s funny ‘cos I actually bought a Hard-ons album when I was like 15 years old. I remember thinking it kinda sucked but, since then, I’ve had a bunch of friends tell me they’re awesome and I need to check them out.”

    Queers or no Queers, I knew I’d be in for a bitch show because Pedro, CA’s Toys That Kill was on the bill. For those dudes unfamiliar with the band, they were formed out of the ashes of ‘90’s smart-ass snot-punkers, F.Y.P. Since then, they’ve consistently delivered the goods in the form of 3 full lengths and a slew of 7-inchers and eps, mostly released on Todd’s Recess Records.

    While Los Angeles may be the closest major city to these Pedro-punkers, they claim zero affiliation to the city. In fact, while most bands in L.A. thrive to score gigs around town, hoping for some label-head to “notice” them, T.T.K. could give two shits about having an impact on the L.A. “scene.”

    “We had a month-long weekly residency set up at the Echo (reputable L.A. venue) and we only showed up to one of the gigs.” Instead of getting wrapped up in the typical L.A. bullshit, they’re more comfortable in the confides of their own home: “We’d much rather play a house party in Pedro, or this place called Harold’s. What’s nice about playing shows there is that all the people that come out are genuinely excited to be there." Geography plays a part too, “[y]ou don’t just show up to Pedro. The way it’s set up—geographically—its in the middle of nowhere. You have to actually go out of your way to end up there.”

    Todd’s infamous for having many fires burning at once. On top of his full-time gig rocking out with T.T.K., homeboy runs a record label, and fronts another band called the Underground Railroad to Candyland. “Underground Railroad actually has a tour lined up in Japan for March of 2007,” he points out with glee.

    In regards to his other full-time gig: Recess Records is a friggin’ treasure-trove for punk rock goodness. With bands such as the Arrivals, the Bananas, Modern Machines, and Bent Outta Shape, and, of course, Toys That Kill, Recess is always churning out rock’n’roll goodness that’s surely better than most of the shit currently being released.

    As for Toys That Kill’s live show, they do just that: they friggin’ kill! This particular September weeknight was no exception. Not only were they nice enough to sneak in my request for “Brain Attracts Flies,” the T.T.K. dudes shared some curiously delicious brownies and provided a boss night in general. Big ups to Todd and Jimmy for the righteous evening!

    Check out Toys That Kill and spend up some loot at Recess Recordsl

    This piece will be one of many righteous features in the next issue of Dudes Mag.

    Wednesday, January 24, 2007

    Because I'm ready for baseball to start...

    Brace yourself friends. We are about to be bombarded with Super Bowl hoopla. Actually, it's already started to some extent. While I fumble for input when I'm sucked in to a "who you pullin' for?" conversation with people I'd rather ignore, all I can think about is how ready I am for baseball season to start back up. That being said, I thought I'd run through some of the most rediculous offseason transactions that have gone down since last October: [In no particular order]

    Gil Meche - K.C. Royals: 5 years / $55 million
    The last time I checked, homeboy hasn't had an ERA under 4.00 since the turn of the century. In fact, his ERA over the past 3 years is barely under 5.00. Now I understand that ERA's have been on the rise due to juiced balls [and players], but shit. This guy has struggled his whole career to establish himself as an average starter and now he's making more than Johan Santana: arguably the best pitcher in the American League, or even the whole league. Shame on you Kansas City. I know desparate times call for desparate measures, but there's no reason to burn up your payroll just because the ship is sinking.

    Carlos Lee - Houston Astros: 6 years / $100 million
    This one's just a joke. Carlos Lee making more than Sir Albert? You gotta be kidding me! The table was set for Houston to spend some wise money with Petite and Clemens' contracts expiring. Instead, they go and commit $173 million on Lee and Oswalt. Oswalt's a worthy investment. But Carlos Lee? He's a pitiful defensive player, on a good day. Further, I'd argue his best days are behind him. Granted, he'll be able to smack them out of Enron Field [I know, they changed it...I'm sticking with Enron though], but I still don't see him hitting more homeruns than his career high [37]. I'm not arguing Lee is a complete bum, I just don't think he's worth 3/4 of what Houston paid for him. Who knows, maybe I'm just pissed that he's back in the NL Central.

    Daisuke Matsuzaka - Boston Red Sox: 6 years / $52 million + $52 million to acquire negotiating rights!
    What can I say that hasn't been said about this deal. Is Theo Epstein trying to screw over the Red Sox? Good for him if he is. I would speculate as to whether or not he's worth the risk, but who friggin' knows? The dude has never even pitched an inning in MLB. I know I'm not the only one who's convinced he'll go on the DL half-way through the season, which would be funny as hell [sorry Daisuke, don't take it personal - ed. nt. Daisuke is a frequent visitor of backporchbanter...]. Now all players have perks included in their contracts, but check out Mr. Matsuzaka's via mlbcontracts. Perks: physical therapist, massage therapist, interpreter, 8 first-class round-trip airline tickets per year between Boston & Japan, spring training housing allowance of up to $25,000, Boston housing allowance of up to $75,000, one-time moving allowance of up to $35,000, use of Lincoln Town Car or similar car, Red Sox player ticket package, including 2 field box seats, team employee to assist Japanese media, uniform No. 18. The dude's making almost $10 mil a year and he want's a Lincoln Town Car? Part of me thinks this has to do with him embracing the enormousness of the American auto.

    I'll leave it at that for now. Feel free to leave comments on what other teams are throwing away cash like a drunken sailor who just returned from sea. I know someone out there has to find the Jason Marquis signing rediculous. On the other hand, it is fun to see the Cubs piss away their money.

    Saturday, January 20, 2007


    Enjoy the inaugural edition of Mix-Master Michael's Mixtape Madness. [Just right-click to download each track (or ctrl+click for us Mac users)]

    Whiskey & Co. - nightlife
    Oakley Hall - living in sin in the u.s.a
    Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros - johnny appleseed
    Bound Stems - wake up, ma and pa are gone
    The Shins - phantom limb
    The Good, the Bad and the Queen - history song [via sonorama.net]
    Teddybears ft. Iggy Pop - punkrocker [via http://iguessimfloating.blogspot.com/]
    The Thermals - here's your future
    Radon - write back or get smacked
    Cub Country - st. louis
    Neko Case - train from kansas city [live]

    Overlooked/Ignored..songs: BAGHEERA - Long Division

    Here's the first installment of "Overlooked/Igored..." where I'll spotlight overlooked/ignored [duh] bands and tunes. To start the party off we have StL's own, Bagheera. This husband/wife duo put out a decent full-length in "Twelves" back in 2004 via Asian Man Records. Dreamy, low-fi pop that should win over fans of Mates of State, Superchunk, and Grandaddy. While the album peaks at Long Division [below], there are surely other tracks that make "Twelves" a worthy effort. Enjoy!

    Bagheera - long division


    Have been totally diggin' on this dude lately. Gvs.B has provided some cliff notes on the dude, and Aquarium Drunkard has chimed in as well. Everything I've read about Darondo refers to him as "a street-wise Al Green." I've always assumed Green was street-wise himself, but whatever. He definitely has that Al Green vibe; maybe a little more grittier. Apparently, he only released a few 45's in the early '70's. You can swoop those up at Emusic.

  • Darondo - didn't i
  • [courtesy of Gvs.B]

    Big happy b-day ups to my girl Margaret. She knows how to throw a wicked party. Which reminds me: I really need to invest in a margarita machine.

    Friday, January 19, 2007

    Is this thing on?

    Whoa!? I have a blog? I totally forgot. I'll try not to forget anymore...

    Anyway, it's Colbert's world and we're just living it. If you didn't catch Papa Bear on the Report, or Colbert on the Factor, you really fucking dropped the ball, didn't you.

    Currently Lovin':
    -Michelob Light
    -Hot Toddies
    -6 day weekends
    -The cold weather we're finally witnessing down here in South Texas
    -Watching idiots freak out because the roads are wet AND it's cold out [real foreign concept down here, apparently]
    -American Music Club - united kingdom
    -Fattback - briefly a zombie
    -Kid Dynamite - s/t
    -Da Ali G Show
    -Sopranos on A&E [for as big of a fan of cussing as I am, the lack of F-bombs hasn't been too distracting]
  • ickmusic
  • [dude has posted so many Springsteen and Prince bootlegs; it's disgusting]