Sunday, September 30, 2007

Monday Morning Rock



SHOWS OF NOTE THIS WEEK

MON: !!!/The Field/The Party (Palladium Loft)
THUR: Black Lips (Palladium Loft)
THUR: Numbers/Faux Fox/Ghosthustler (Public Trust)
THUR: Low (Palladium)
SAT: Devendra Banhart/Jana Hunter (Granada Theater)
SUN: Sonic Youth/Meat Puppets (House of Blues)
SUN: Suishou no Fune/ST 37/Rahdunes/Zanzibar Snails (Hailey's)

Friday, September 28, 2007

Weekender


Fairly slow Friday night, but a few good things happening this weekend:

FRIDAY

Stereo on Strike Party (Minc): Minc is one of those places that can either be a real blast or a real drag, depending on what's happening there on a given night. And although I have no idea what kind of crowd will show up there this evening (or for any event at that place), Stereo on Strike apparently attracted almost 300 people to their last party, and frankly, you'd be hard pressed to find more variety in a local electronic music show than what you'll get this evening. This event will include DJ performances from CTRL ALT DEL of Central Booking as well at Robert Taylor and Sean Vargas. You'll also be able to catch laptop deathmatch performances between DJ sets as part of their two year anniversary.

SATURDAY

Silver Apples/One Cut Kill/Zanzibar Snails (Hailey's): What a cool show, particularly for psyche heads, stoners, avant garde enthusiasts and record collector dorks. You'll probably see a lot of people representing each category at this show, but I bet you'll be happy you went. Founder Simeon will be in the house, and I honestly have no idea what kind of show this will be, other than to say that you can check out a bunch of Silver Apples live stuff over at One Cut Kill's Myspace page. Serving as a major influence on pretty much every genre of popular music to have emerged since the 1960's, Silver Apples influence cannot be understated. But fortunately, they aren't one of those bands that are more fun to read about than to listen to, and frankly, I find their relative pop accessibility as amazing and interesting as their musical and compositional innovations. Needless to say, I can't wait for this show.

Sean Kirkpatrick/Faux Fox/Chris Garver (Secret Headquarters)

Hot Flash with Killtronix/Schwa/Sober (Fallout Lounge)

Maaster Gaiden/Stymie/The Points/Teenage Cool Kids (715 Panhandle)

Hogpig/Red Monroe/The Angelus (Rubber Gloves): This is NOT the last Angelus show necessarily, but it will be the last for a couple of their band members (not leader Emil Rapstine of course), so this WILL be your last chance to see this incarnation of the band if you're a fan. Also Red Monroe's CD release show for Denton. We'll have that review Monday, promise.

SUNDAY

Kites/Russian Tsarlang/Judascow/Voyant/Dromez/Aunt's Analog (House of Tinnitus): Kites is the name taken by Christopher Forgues, who started producing noise music in Providence, RI in 1999 as part of the Fort Thunder scene that also included names such as Lightning Bolt and Load Records. Forgues utilizes homemade electronic instruments in his sets as a one man band, and from all accounts I've seen around the web (dude), his live show is truly a unique experience. Not that there will be any shortage of unique music to be heard at HOT this weekend, with more harsh noise than you could ever wish for swirling around the living room. Another raw as fuck show for one of the most respectable new institutions in local music.

Maker Maker with Prince William, Kingdom, Sober (Palladium Loft): Prince William's new monthly kicks off this weekend with the much hyped DJ Kingdom from Brooklyn. After seeing several of PW's performances over the years, as well as listening to his fantastic We Shot A Mix several times over the past few weeks, I think I can safely say that there aren't too many other DJs in the area that approach PW's knowledge of the history of electronic music or the stylish eclecticism of his sets. And you know what? He gives enough of a nod to silly top 40 to make his sets one of the best combos of mindless fun and tasteful selections that you'll find around here.

Do Make Say Think/History at Our Disposal (Hailey's)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It List: Thursday 9/27/07



Interpol/Liars (Palladium): FYI for anyone who is going to this show in order to catch Liars-- they'll be taking the stage at 730 according to Palladium's Nancy Shelton, so plan accordingly. I know that there are probably a lot of people like me who really want to see Liars but don't have much of an interest in either Interpol or the price of their concert tickets, but if you can afford to part with the change, you'll probably be really glad that you took the time to check out Liars on such a huge stage. Their new album, though not the coherent conceptual masterpiece that Drums Not Dead might have been, is still highly enjoyable, and contains enough really great songs and moments to keep these guys high on my list of favorite current rock bands. The main difference between their latest album and those previous is that it seems to lack the stylistic and conceptual focus that the other albums had, but by all accounts this was done on purpose, and in many ways it's a good thing. I wouldn't have believed you if you had told me that the new Liars record would sound like Beck on one track, This Heat on another and Jesus and Mary Chain on a third, but that is exactly the way it is, and I can't wait to see what they do with it live.

Atmosphere/Mac Lethal/Grayskul/Lucky Jam (Palladium Loft): I'm not the biggest fan of Atmosphere's stuff, but I guess you're allowed to be if you want. Seems weak and too intentionally "intellectual" for my taste, but then I pretty much can't tolerate 90% of "alternative" hip hop. Yuck.


Stereo on Strike presents Lost Generation (Fallout Lounge): Wanz, Ineka and Pretty Vacant DJs will all be spinning tonight.




Shaolin Death Squad/The Great Tyrant/Addnerim (Wreck Room in Ft. Worth): Yeah, Shaolin Death Squad is pretty bad, but The Great Tyrant is playing and I hear the show is actually free... but don't quote me on that.

SHQ Deal




Denton's Secret Headquarters, which has obviously become one of the longer lasting and most viable DIY spots in the area, needs a little help to get though the month. And fortunately for you, they aren't asking you to give them charity out of the kindness of your hearts (which most of you bastards probably wouldn't do anyway), but are instead offering you a nice little deal--
Starting today and going through the weekend, SHQ will be selling "Show Cards" for $10. The cards will get you into any four shows you want (a $20 value) at any time, and will provide them with the money they need to keep going over the next couple of weeks. Look at it as an investment, and a good one at that, because they have some pretty good shows coming up this this year:

- 2 Eighth Continent Arts Council shows

- 2 Ghosthustler DJ/dance party shows

- Clipd Beaks show December 6th

- Dust Congress show December 1st

And plenty of other stuff that (trust me) you'll be into.

You can buy these things at SHQ this weekend, and I bet you can contact them via their Myspace page if you can't make it up to Denton this weekend.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It List: Wednesday 9/26/07

Life Death Continuum/Best Fwends/Burning Brides (Double Wide): I'm not the biggest fan of Burning Brides' near parody of rock history, but I think it's impressive that Parade Of Flesh snagged them for this bill tonight. Life Death Continuum recall some of the more complicated styles of the 70's prog movement, but they temper it with healthy doses of hardcore and punk influenced outbursts and screaming. WARNING: They are not afraid to use that "Rick Wakeman" sound. Best Fwends are willfully ridiculous DayGlo rap who sometimes incorporate crowd harassment as part of the show. An excellently mixed bag tonight.

High On Fire/Mono/Coliseum/Panthers (Granada): A local music journalist once described Mono as Husker Du finding common ground with Kronos Quartet, and I was really let down to find out that they did not live up to that description. They are yet another "buildup" band, with the rising tension and the obligatory volume climax like all the bands who got name dropped when everyone was arguing about Explosions In The Sky recently. Well, Mono is definitely better than Explosions In The Sky and you'll probably enjoy them if you like that group. Coliseum and High On Fire are two of the best working metal bands today and I hope the Granada's sound system can push this as hard as it needs to go to be convincing. That goes double for Mono.

Taxi Fare with DJ Nature and special guest DJ
Queen Majesty (Zubar):
DJ Nature will be playing his reggae set in the backroom of Zubar tonight along with Queen Majesty, who is part of the venerable archivists, Deadly Dragon Sound System, a group that boasts a collection of over 150,000 slabs of Reggae, dancehall, rocksteady and various splinter genres. There is a very good interview with Queen Majesty over at Central Booking. Ya know, that is much more than a party blog. It's educational and shit.

Last Week's Good Records Sales Charts

LOCAL TOP 5

1. The Polyphonic Spree - Live from Austin, TX (DVD)
2. Mom - Little Brite
3. The Polyphonic Spree - The Fragile Army
4. Red Monroe - ¡Policia! ¡Policia!
5. St. Vincent - Marry Me

OVERALL TOP 20

1. The Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
2. Akron/Family - Love is Simple (+DVD)
3. The Polyphonic Spree - Live from Austin, TX (DVD)
4. Mom - Little Brite
5. Pinback - Autumn of the Seraphs
6. Ghostland Observatory - Paparazzi Lightning
7. Kevin Drew - Spirit If...
8. Les Savy Fav - Let's Stay Friends
9. Go! Team - Proof of Youth
10. The Polyphonic Spree - The Fragile Army
11. Liars - Liars
12. Red Monroe - ¡Policia! ¡Policia!
13. Jamie T. - Panic Prevention
14. Ghostland Observatory - Delete.Delete.I.Eat.Meat
15. Simian Mobile Disco - Attack Decay Sustain Release
16. Department of Eagles - Cold Nose
17. New Pornographers - Challengers
18. High On Fire - Death is This Communion
19. St. Vincent - Marry Me
20. Sorta - Strange & Sad but True

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It List: Tuesday 9/25/07

Record Hop/Sham 69/Flametrick Subs (The Granada): Record Hop will probably suffer from sore thumb syndrome tonight. Even Austin institution/punchline Flametrick Subs are somewhat of a mismatch to open for British punk legends, Sham 69. Flametrick Subs are a psychobilly band that's so weighted down with schtick, they probably can't tell where the pompadours and fuzzy die end and reality begins. They are known for their backup dancers called Satan's Cheerleaders, that make the average roller derby girl seem like Jackie Onassis. Sham 69 are actually one of the worst of the famous British punk bands. Record Hop is great and I've really wanted to hear more of the new material live, but tonight they'll standout simply by not completely sucking. I have my doubts about the crowd for these two acts sharing that sentiment, however.

The Wax Museums/Eddy Current Suppression Ring/Cococoma/The Hipshakes/Stymie (Secret Headquarters): Much younger bands and a much better show for those who are into garage and punk in Denton tonight. I can usually take or leave bands in the garage punk genre unless they completely rock out and are fucked up enough, and these acts seem like they won't disappoint. I've been trying to catch a Wax Museums show for a little while now, they sound really minimal and cool and at least a couple of their songs reminded me of "I'm A Bug" by The Urinals. Eddy Current Suppression Ring is from Australia and they have an international reputation for their engergetic live shows that recall some of Billy Childish's wilder moments, and even Fast Records-era Mekons. The Hipshakes are from England, soak everything with distortion, and hopefully they capture the overloaded fuzz attack live that I've heard online. The Farfisa makes Cococoma sound slightly more antiquated, but not necessarily in a negative way. Most of the groups here have an over-the-top approach that Teengenerate employed, and they certainly were a credit to this style of punk rock. Secret Headquarters once again saves the day by absorbing a five band bill when The City Of Denton said local recording studio Black Bottle Recording couldn't hold this show without a permit. What would we do without you, SHQ?

Monday, September 24, 2007

It List: Monday 9/24/07

Other than the normal Cool Out at the Cavern and Bad Azz Jazz at Amsterdam, don't see much happening today unless you're interested in checking out critically acclaimed hardcore band Modern Life is War at Red Blood Club.

Expect some locally oriented content this week.

And honestly, can you believe the way various political figures and candidates are reacting to the appearance of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University? Are we at a point in this society where we can't even HEAR the opinions of someone else? What happened to the concepts of intellectual and academic freedom? And why are our presidential candidates required to respond to the lowest common denominator in this country every time something even the least bit offensive to ANYONE occurs (such as the Moveon.org ad for example)? Can most adults not distinguish between agreeing with someone and simply providing them a forum to speak? The Iranian government is probably one of the last in the world that I would support, but for fuck's sake, I can at least tolerate knowing that it's leader is speaking to a group of people in my country. I hope you guys can too.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Monday Morning Rock

Got this off Queen Majesty's Myspace page. She'll be playing with DJ Nature on Wednesday at Zubar:




SHOWS OF NOTE THIS WEEK

WED: High On Fire/Mono/Panthers/Coliseum (Granada)
WED: Burning Brides/Life Death Continuum/Best Fwends (Doublewide)
WED: Nature/Queen Majesty (Zubar)
THU: Interpol/Liars (Palladium)
SAT: Silver Apples/One Cut Kill/Zanzibar Snails (Hailey's)
SUN: Kites/Russian Tsarlang/Judascow/Voyant/Dromez/Aunt's Analog (House of Tinnitus)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Weekender 9/21/07-9/23/07


FRIDAY

The Sea and Cake/Meg Baird (House of Blues): I haven't heard the new Sea and Cake album yet, and I wish Wildcat was writing about this show instead of me, but unfortunately, you're stuck with what I have for you. I used to listen to Sea and Cake all the time, right around the time I discovered the fact that you could smoke pot and NOT listen to crappy music while doing so, and frankly I'm glad. In fact, there's even a story involving pyschedelic drugs, Sea and Cake, and me mistakenly believing that I lived in a video game, but I'll save that one for another time. I've never had the chance to see the band live, but various members of the WSJR crew insist that anyone with even a passing interest in the band should really see them live at least once, and my experience with most of these Chicago post-rock groups is that yes, they ARE that talented, and seeing the live show is honestly the best way to appreciate that fact. I'm hoping the play some tracks from my two favorite records, The Fawn and Oui.

The Party (Zubar): I want Nature, Sober and Select to lead Dallas elctro/dance fans in all kinds of new directions, and I think they are up to the task. To me, a good DJ is one who is able to slowly morph his or her set to incorporate exciting new sounds, songs, genres and subgenres, and all the party DJs seem to be as good as anyone in town at digging through virtual record stacks around the world in order to bring Dallas stuff as fast or faster than most people in New York get it. I wonder what kinds of things they'll start finding as the french blog house explosion calms down a bit here at the end of the summer, but I bet I'll like it.

Midlake/Current Leaves (Dan's Silverleaf): This is the swan song for Current Leaves, a band that I've enjoyed despite the various internet related pseudo-personal conflicts we've had with various members of the band.

Strange Boys/Lil Tedly/Teenage Bees (Secret Headquarters)

Pretty Vacant/Wanz Dover (Fallout Lounge): This is for a birthday party for a Wanz and someone else, and should serve as a slightly less hectic alternative to Zubar.

SATURDAY

Wall Of Sound (LaGrave Field- Ft. Worth): As excited as I am about the possibility of seeing Daniel Folmer perform at 11 in the morning in Ft. Worth, I'm probably going to head over late to this thing, but I'll be sure to catch Om and Spectrum, who are 90% of why I am going but probably close to being worth the price of admission on their own. Also wouldn't mind catching the Sword and Midlake as well, and a few of the local acts such as Ghosthustler and Baptist Generals would be worth it too, but I'll just have to see what the weather is like before I decide when to head out there. Frankly I'm not excited about most of the other acts, but I am glad that someone is trying to do something big in Ft. Worth... anything that might eventually steal some thunder from Austin is at least kind of cool in my book.

Bloc Party/Deerhoof/J Versus K (House of Blues): I like Deerhoof and all, but Deerhoof at the stale House of Blues doesn't sound quite as cool as I initially thought... especially with all the 15 year old Bloc Party fans hanging around.

Ebony Black Family Reunion Tour with Doug E. Fresh/Kool Moe Dee/Whodini/Cherrelle/Howard Hewett (Kiest Park--FREE)

Dixie Witch/Mitra/Bexar County Bastards (Doublewide): Doublewide should be a good spot for this show, featuring one of the better sound dudes/systems in Dallas.

Wall of Sound After Party with Car Stereo Wars and Astronautalis (Wreck Room)

SUNDAY
At Zubar, you can see DJ Robert Taylor play classic house and new shit in the front, while Wanz spins minimal in the back. Get high first.

Back to the Future: Current Leaves Broke Up 2 Months Ago


Current Leaves was a band that can’t accurately be described as polarizing, but nevertheless seemed to draw one of two reactions: reverence or indifference.

For me, the allure of CL had a lot to do with the timelessness of their sound. Like most good contemporary country influenced rock music, I thought they were able to maintain a wholesome, throwback quality: they paid homage to their (in this case psychedelic) country heroes but they refrained from casting themselves as twangers of the "fun" over-the-top variety while making no effort to capitalize on irony. All the same, I wonder if their generally straightforward and established approach, rather than gaining them a more universal appeal, instead nudged them in the direction of a niche that’s usually shunned by audiences more preoccupied with the arcane? Contemplating the uneventful expiration of a band that I thought should have been able to really take off around here, I was tempted to draw on that stale old argument that our music scene deserved blame.

I contacted Aaron White to learn more about CL’s decision to throw in the towel, not only because I had my own curiosity about the band, but also because its dissolution provided a great opportunity to—for a change—go easy on the amorphous sociocultural anthro-babble about the local music community and instead allow a muscian to comment first-hand on the factors that can make it difficult for a band to sustain itself in an often underwhelming music scene. Aaron was nice enough to share some thoughts and a bit of history of the band, and in the exchange below, he also explains the decision to pull the plug on what was formerly Current Leaves while recounting a series of struggles that the band encountered.

Those who lament the break up of CL can look forward to the posthumous follow up to Pastense, which according to White should be available in some capacity shortly. What I took to be a defeatist attitude related to CL seems to be somewhat at odds with his enthusiasm for the upcoming material, which you should be able to check out this Friday at Dan’s Silverleaf, where Aaron will be joined by Grady Sandlin, Glen Farris, and Danny Balis.

In general, the new material on Life's a Gash is a little more upbeat than Pastense, but my favorite tracks are the slower ones. If you're at Dan's on Friday, you might listen for: “Cost of Living,” which is currently posted on their myspace; "Never Look Back," which is waltzy like "Golden Waves" and "Someone to Get Close To" from the first album, as well as a cover of Big Star’s “Take Care"; and "You Drank Me Up," the resolution of which is like equal parts southern drinking song and gospel.
...

Wildcat: Can you provide a little background info on the history of Current Leaves and how everything got started in the first place?

Aaron: I moved to Denton to play music under the guise of furthering my minor interest in graphic arts for employment. I met Grady Sandlin when he was running the p.a. at Big Ass Beer/open mic night at Rubber Gloves. We formed a band I had already called Current Leaves. I already had the first album Pastense written so we went through a couple bass players, my best friend on rhythm guitar and a pedal steel player, eventually recording 6 songs at JC Collins' house.

We had given out cdr's of an album of 4-track recordings we did in my apartment. There was a lot of reverb. So I mixed some songs from that and the JC songs and made Pastense. About that I have to say there was no release date. I made cdr's of that shit in my different forms, so the Pastense you hear today is just what caught on so I stopped mixing it up.
Glen and Cory joined around then and we played more. The people at Dada wanted to have us play a "residency" on Wednesdays and we did that. It actually helped to popularize us. I don't know whether it was because of all the amateur booking and music blogs starting up around then though. It was probably in my mind because I was reading the blogs, which a musician should never do! We got put on shows by people who wanted to see us with bigger bands and they actually gave the feeling that they cared. We did well.
But it doesn't matter because the reason I broke up the band is that the way you start a band dictates how far you will go; or rather how far you will let it go. I didn't have a plan to start so we were basically just playing while looking around wondering what to do next.
I firmly believe that it takes a vision stated within the band to take it anywhere. I had none so I thought it best to end it. At the very end we were about to start working with a booking person/manager and I felt that it wasn't a good idea to bring someone in when I didn't have a goal or allegiance to the future of the band.

WC: At what point was Pastense ready to be recorded and packaged up? Did you have it written before Current Leaves was actually formed? Is there like a "Pastense" proper, or are there various versions/mixes that might have been bought at shows, handed out, burned, and whatnot? I first heard it on CD-R in SR’s car.

Aaron
: There is no Pastense proper. What you heard was a version of those apartment demos mixed with studio recordings. Various versions were passed out, mailed, etc. When SR and the Observer got that version and wrote about it, I just stuck with it…The full apartment album and studio recordings will be released along with the new album…On the timing, I did write all the Pastense songs before I formed a band, hence the obsolescence of the band. You can't write psychedelic country songs forever...

WC: When Current Leaves broke up, were there essentially 4 members?

Aaron: Yeah, rotating members. We contemplated being a sit-down 3 piece without bass. Indifference in the band and my lack of leadership contributing to the demise.

WC: And at what point did that become the lineup? Did you guys all write songs together, or was the "band" more or less your live, backing band? Like how did any material develop after you brought Pastense to the table, committed it to tape, and then ostensibly moved on?

Aaron: The final lineup was a mixed bag. Cory (from Record Hop) had been playing bass for 2 years. They were about to start back up and I sensed that I should ask if he was going to have time for CL, since we were talking about nailing down some committed members and working with the booking/management person. He opted out and Danny Balis agreed to play for a couple shows. One of which being Wall of Sound, which we canceled. The band was basically my backing band to a point. I pretty much wrote the songs and brought them in finished and arranged. That said, I had no restriction on anyone. Everyone was encouraged to play their own style and variations on demo's I made. THAT said, I did have the final word on what stayed and what didn't work. In that way I saw a lot of apathy that contributed to a depressing atmosphere of only getting together to practice for a gig. A couple songs were fleshed out with Glen's help, but mostly they were cooked solely by me. The only difference was in how loud or fast we played them live as opposed to recorded. Sometimes. On Pastense I played everything but drums and bass. On this new record, everything but drums and a spare piano part.

WC: Do you want to go more into what happened after Dada? You mentioned that people that acted like they cared about you doing well put you on shows with bigger bands. What were those bigger bands and who was setting you up with them? And why were you skeptical of them?

Aaron: Well, essentially it got us attention in Dallas. I tried to book the bands we played with, bands that would be a good fit in my mind, but the owner thought he could get bands that would draw and get us noticed. One example that still irritates me is that he booked Olospo one night. That in itself is ill-matched to me but, when that night came it was Chris Holt solo playing Radiohead and other 90's cover songs on acoustic guitar. My contributions to the booking were the Backsliders and 100 Damned Guns and those nights worked out great.
After that, Chelsea from the Double-Wide (and friend) was trying to put together package shows with us involved. One was
Cartright and 100DG and that night worked out extremely well. When bands click across the lineup it's a magical thing and I don't think club owners get that. I don't think they can hear music like musicians. One of the major roadblocks to playing there (DW) more was scheduling problems. Every member was in another band, sometimes multiple. That is a major point of contention with me; granted, I play with other bands but CL was always first...You think you just want to be in multiple projects, see which one sticks and go with it. You should really just commit to one thing and make it the best you can and be able to rely on others to do the same.

WC
: And what about the manager thing? How did that come about and why did you worry about being compromised if you were to work with a manager? Was there pressure to do things that you did not want to do?

Aaron: No, that's the wrong idea. I thought it would be a waste of her time and efforts to work with us if I wasn't sure that I wanted to pursue the band's future. She was also my sort-of counselor on things I wasn't knowledgeable about, i.e. industry stuff, modes of operation for success. Things you don't think about when you're playing guitar.

WC
: I'm curious about your take on what a band needs to be able to rely on for success these days—the infrastructure of the scene, for example (which you seem to discount). Personally, I feel like there has been a shift in the last 5-10 years in which our music scene is less about “music” in and of itself and more about just having fun, like there’s a much stronger association between “partying” and live music today than there was 5-10 years ago. I feel like as a result music and bands are consumed much more superficially these days. A band like Ghosthustler, which I really have no interest in, might be a good example of what I’m talking about: how do you account for the buzz that has snowballed around them compared to the interest in Current Leaves before you broke up?

Aaron: I think Ghosthustler is fine, not mind-blowing but damn good at what they do. People around here are absolutely grasping at anything they can wrap a scene or lifestyle around. They desperately want it to be life-affirming in a way they observed Williamsburg parties of the early 00s to be from afar…I know exactly why bands like us and bands like the Theater Fire are not in the same league of perceived success and that's attitude and effort. I don't blame people for not going to a show they like because their friends want to go where their other friends are going…
I discount scenes because if you live in a place of such geographic enormity, such as this, you have to make your own way. You can't rely on some central enigmatic support group to boost you into next level. It all depends on what your idea of success is, but if you want more than what's around you, you can't bitch about how loose your "scene" is, you have to get out of town. Bands like the Strange Boys did that and they will be better for it…Scenes are cool for hanging out but these days you either make your way or you resign to playing Rubber Gloves on Thursday for beer - and don't bitch about it.

WC: There has been much written and talked about lately regarding the "cult of the amateur" and how means of production and distribution have been democratized to an extent that most anyone can get their work out in the open for people to browse. Blogs (including this one) and music are prime examples. So, if you largely operated independent of the scene and you had an album recorded and everything all on your own, how did the DIY paradigm limit you?

Aaron: My personal goal in music is to be included in the catalog of American music. That's it. I can't expect to "make it" I just want as many people as possible to hear it so it will then be documented…Independence to me just means being able to do your thing to the best of your ability without diluting it or rushing the product. That comes through in the production of my music. Basically I want to throw it on the floor and have the listener to appreciate how it fell. Now, of course I will throw it in such a way that it lays how I want but I won't obsess with rearranging it to be perfect.
The DIY paradigm can limit you depending on how much expendable funds you possess, how much you wish to be signed by a major, or just wishing you didn't have to do it yourself. There are bands that have absolutely flourished directly from having complete control, Guided by Voices comes mind. With Undoing of David Wright, you have a group that puts just as much effort into their presentation as their music. I think that's great. How would they do that for a stadium? I don't know.

WC: It sounds like your encounter with the manager precipitated some reflection or made you reconsider what you were doing versus what you wanted to be doing, and that seems perfectly reasonable, but it doesn't seem like subsequently breaking everything off would be a necessary consequence.

Aaron: You're pretty right on about manager dealings causing reflection. Know this, I respect the person in reference a whole hell of a lot. You don't want to exploit someone when you are basically stressing the fuck out and you can't figure out why. There was a nagging anxiety when we would discuss things. At first it was exciting but when I didn't get uniform support from the band I knew there was trouble. So, I quit my job recently and the second day I was decompressing on the couch and realized that I needed to kill the band. A moment of clarity late in the game perhaps but nonetheless it was still a clear revelation. She was supportive of the idea of starting fresh.
The part about doing what I want vs. what I was actually doing, well, that's kind of why it had to end. The parameters were closing in. I'm not a lazy songwriter at all, I just get stumped by the form. If there's no form the idea can grow how it wants to grow.

WC: Maybe your future plans would shed light on things? If Current Leaves was doomed to stagnate because of the way in which it came about (no premise or long term plan other than completing Pastense), what is the grand plan from here on out that will be better off for your music in the long run?

Aaron: The only thing I could say about it is that I have no plans for genre, wardrobe or visual stance for any future project, but that a more honest and put-together band is imminent. I really like how Greg Cartright of Reigning Sound evades genre but always plays small-group simple music. I generally like music from and inspired by the spirit of Memphis, TN and surrounding areas and that's where I've found my deepest inspiration for creating the type of music I want to create.
The final album of Current Leaves material is being mastered as of 9/12/07 and will be available as soon as artwork and packaging is completed. A limited run of vinyl-sized cd packaging will be available for this last album. After that, all recorded CL material will be available for download or CD-R purchase via
http://www.txmfrecords.com/, myspace and/or direct contact on one CD-R.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

It List: Thursday 9/20/07

VHS Or Beta/The Hourly Radio/Walter Meego (The Granada): I hear that VHS Or Beta's DJ sets are superior to their rock performances but you can judge that for yourself at The Granada tonight. Walter Meego seems likes he has more of a handle than they do on the art of the electro-pop single but his music seems less interesting overall if you count VHS Or Beta's earlier work. The Hourly Radio are a Dallas band and Stonedranger seemed to like a single by them that he posted awhile back. I myself am curious about the band's official "VIP message board." Just what exactly goes on there?


Daikaiju/Angry Businessmen/Koji Kondo (1919 Hemphill): Daikaiju is a touring surf band that performs in Kabuki outfits. It's kind of like Shaolin Death Squad but without the late period Rush riffing and atrocious singing. Angry Businessmen play a less traditional surf music, with only a bass guitar, minimal drum kit, and a very active and aggravated lead singer who, judging from the We Shot JR Awards peformance, has a taste for expensive underwear. Koji Kondo had some noisy sax mixed in with their set when I saw them last and it was great.

Dixie WItch (The Wreck Room): Dixie Witch was devastating when I saw them many years ago and I hope that's still the case.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It List: Wednesday 9/19/07


The Roots/MC Lyte/Big Daddy Kane (House Of Blues): The Roots put on kind of a jam band/hip hop show and though I respect them, I don't know if I could endure it. Big Daddy Kane once compiled a list of the greatest all-time rappers and had himself rather high on the list, which I think is hilarious.

Taxi Fare with DJ Naure (Zubar): I've heard nothing but good things about Nature's new reggae weekly, which makes perfect sense since he's somewhat of a scholar of the genre.

Short Attention Span Theatre (Rubber Gloves): Tonight's series of clips will feature "Vintage Lady Love", or what sounds like laughable and exploitative takes on lesbianism from yesteryear. Bring your mom.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Questions with Sonic Boom

Spacemen 3 was one of those bands that just floored me the first time I heard them. I'm not sure what it is about their work, but in addition to becoming one of my favorite bands, they really had a big impact on the way I think about music and the connections I draw between early electronica, psychedelic, avant garde, garage and punk, and how you can do all those things at the same time.

We were lucky enough to get founding Spacemen 3 member Sonic Boom on the phone to answer some questions about his old band, as well as his work as Spectrum and Experimental Audio Research. Much of the conversation evolved into a discussion of his relationship with Spacemen 3 partner Jason Pierce (now of Spiritualized), and he had some pretty interesting things to say. Poor phone reception forced me to cut out a couple questions at the end, but we got a lot of good stuff recorded for you:

So are you on a full fledged tour right now?

Yes, we're three quarters of the way through it.

What was the occasion for the tour?

We've got a new album coming out next year and a new EP coming out at the end of the year, and we haven't done any Spectrum shows for a while, so I wanted to warm up a little bit. I often tour between albums anyway, and the last Spectrum album was like ten years ago.

What was it that made you wait so long between Spectrum releases?

Just timing, alignment of planets and shit like that. It just didn't seem worth it the past few years. It was tough when we released the last album because what people were listening to wasn't in synch with what I was doing, and I've never been one to put what I'm doing in sync with what people are listening to. And there were other things I wanted to do with EAR and playing with other bands and stuff. I didn't stop writing songs, so I've ended up with ten years of material to pick and choose from, so it's really nice.

It's interesting that you say that you held off partially because what you were doing wasn't in synch with what people were listening to.

Yeah, I'm not really one to drag myself about, if people don't give a shit there's no point really. But anyway, there's always a really great hardcore following for us, the fans are very loyal and it's much appreciated. But ultimately, to do large tours, you need to be able to get some of their bodies to come along too basically, and often that happens around album releases. Luckily, there's enough of an audience anyway to be with us.

I saw you in Austin few months ago, and I remember you covered Kraftwerk's "House of Mirrors." Have you been playing that song for a while on tour?

Yeah, nice show, yeah. I've been doing that song for a while, for the past couple years here and there, and I'm doing it at the moment too. I've done some one off Spectrum shows the past couple years in New York and the west coast, and I was doing it then too. Kraftwerk has always been a big influence on Spacemen 3 and all the stuff I've done, and that's one of their more esoteric tracks.

That was the first time I'd seen you live, but I understand that when you play live, you often alternate between playing Spacemen 3 material, EAR material and Spectrum material. Do you like to mix all those up in one set, or do you often decide to play songs from one incarnation of your career in one set and stick with it the whole way?

It's all really Spacemen and Spectrum stuff, but I do a little EAR stuff. It's just more instrumental drone based stuff, and it's more incorporated in between tracks. It's the sort of stuff that doesn't appeal to all the audience, so it's predominantly Spectrum and Spacemen 3 songs.

I was on the Spacemen 3 All Music page the other day, and I read a quote that you wrote in reference to the release of Playing with Fire. You said something to the effect that minimalism was maximalism, and I wonder if you could expound upon that a little more because that is something that interests me too, the way space in music can have an effect on a piece of music.

Yeah, I still believe that. Kraftwerk is probably the classic example of that. There's rarely more than four elements in any of their songs at any one time, and they're all perfectly placed tonally, harmonically and logically for the maximum effect. It's all a matter of elements you can use to get over what you're trying to get over to have a more direct effect.

Who were some of the main influences that inspired you to start playing music in the first place?

You know, Kraftwerk, Suicide, Stooges, Velvet Underground, 13th Floor Elevators, mostly people that are now recognized as being classic, I hope. And that's one of the great things with the internet, it plugs people into the great stuff more easily. In my day, if you came across a 13th Floor Elevators record, you'd have to risk the money to buy it to see what it sounded like, and then you'd have to spend ten years trying to find anything else by them. And now it's all internet, and it's great in some ways.

Yeah, I guess back in the day, finding records by bands like Suicide required a combination of work and luck, and you don't really need that anymore. So it's interesting, on the one hand so many more people can hear that music and be inspired by it, but on the other, some of it may be more disposable to some people than it would have been to the people who found that music 15 years ago.

Well I think that might have a bit more to do with their character rather than the internet. I think you'll always find people who are shallow and happy to be shallow, and you'll always find people who are more interested in delving a bit deeper.

That's true. So I was interested to know how you and Jason Pierce met.

We went to the same art college, and we met in September of 1982.

How did you guys develop a friendship and start playing together?

It was just one of those things, sometimes people click and sometimes they don't. We were both interested in forming a band, and we had some musical taste in common, and that's about as good a start as you can get I guess.

Obviously you guys had some similar taste in music, but there were certainly some different influences that you both brought to the table too.

No, that's not really true. It's just part of your imagination really. It's not actually a fact.

So there weren't a lot of different influences between both of you?

No at all, and in fact, that was one of the things that became very hard towards the end.

But you guys seemed to go in pretty different directions after you split up.

No, I don't know. Either way, one of the things that got really tough was that it seemed that Jason didn't really bring much else to the table. Since then, he's into really strange stuff. Like the drone thing. Somehow he decided to release an album of drone stuff at some point. And I covered a Daniel Johnston song, "Love Will Find You in the End," in my live set most of the time since (Spacemen 3), and now Jason has decided to start doing that song as well in his live set recently. And that's kind of symptomatic of the way things were. I had long discussions with Jason where I told him it would be really cool if he went out and brought some songs with a different pace and other stuff into the mix, but it was always the exact same stuff.

So you kind of grew frustrated with the collaboration process and decided you needed to move on?

Well, the first few albums are written together, but on Playing with Fire, Jason didn't write any songs at all. And I told him, "start writing songs mate, or I'm not splitting the credit with you, that isn't the way it works. You need to write songs, you write great songs, but you're so fucking lazy." Of course, he didn't like that at all. In the end, I think he has two and a half songs that he is credited with on Playing with Fire, and the half credit on "Suicide" was me being nice to him to help him out because we wasn't writing anything. He was also withdrawing himself from the band at that time, and hanging out with his girlfriend the whole time.

So really you just figured you were doing most of it anyway, so why does the band exist?

I was doing most of it anyway, and I didn't mind being the manager and the fucking publicist and the record company liaison and everything else, but when it came to songwriting, I wasn't about to do it all because I liked his songs and I wanted him to write songs. But if I had to do it all, I wasn't about to just split the credit with him and say that he wrote them as well when he hadn't, which is actually what he wanted. It got even weirder than that. There was a lyric that I wrote at some point and decided not to use it, and five years later, Jason dragged it up, so I recognized it and (said something to him), and he was like "prove it, prove you wrote it." That was kind of the way things went. It was kind of why the whole record Recurring was split.

So do you ever talk with Jason Pierce?

I haven't spoken with him in 16 years. It's all really ancient history, but it keeps popping up, like last year with the Daniel Johnston song. I mean, Daniel Johnston has written 100 amazing fucking songs, and it really wouldn't be that hard for him to go out and find one. The Daniel Johnston record came out in 1990, and in 1991 I released a cover of it, and then suddenly, 16 years later, to cover the same song is a really weird thing.

Well if he's blatantly taking from you, don't you think--

Well he's often got away, like exactly what you were thinking, where people think that he must have come up with a larger percentage of it than he actually did. He wrote some great songs, but he was always interested in taking credit beyond that, and it wasn't done in a nice way. He would ask the guys in the studio, "How did you do this, how did you do that" and then go off and do it. Instead of asking them to help him out on a track, it was all very underhanded. None of it surprises me, for years he tired to pass of my ideas as his own, and he gets away with it enough of the time that I suppose he thinks it works.

Well I'm glad you're talking about this because I think you're right, a lot of people--

He even copied my signature. Before I was Sonic Boom I was Peter Gunn, and the way I signed it was a P with a question mark, I mean a P looks like a question mark, and it was the "P" from Peter Gunn with a question mark. And since Spacemen split, people started bringing me records he had signed and he had started signing the same way, making the question mark a "J." Really strange things. Why would you take half of someone else's signature, like you'd never notice that? And "Anyway that you Want Me," the first Spiritualized song, was a cover of a Troggs song that I brought to the band during Playing with Fire, and I was going to do it as one of my songs, and I had trouble singing it, and in the end, Jason sang it and we recorded, but it never made the album. And then with Spiritualized, the big headline in the press was that they needed to do their own thing and that I had too much stay and stuff, and then their first single they did the Troggs cover that I brought in for Spacemen 3 to do. And it's like yeah, you use my ideas, but I have so much say that it's bumming you out? It's ridiculous.

Yeah, I had actually read about that. So I guess you don't see Spacemen 3 coming together again?

It looks highly unlikely to me.

Well that's a shame.

It is a shame, it's a real shame. It's very sad I think. There's a lot about it that's really sad. What sort of personality does it take to do that? Someone who can be perfectly creative in his own right. He's really most creative in a competitive sense, but even still, to steal ideas from other people, it's more than just buying some record that your friend has or something.

So I wanted to ask you about a more pleasant topic. In the past ten years or so, we've seen a lot of newer bands that reference you as a big influence on them, and I wonder how that feels on a personal level.

Yeah, there's been a whole slew of them, and it's really nice. Some are better than others, but there have been some really great ones, and it's nice to get some credit within that.

Any bands in particular that you really like?

I don't want to name any names, but there are a lot of them, yeah. Most of them are good on some level, and the ones which might be better than they are probably will be soon. Not everyones first album is their best album. When we did the Spacemen 3 records, we were writing for an audience that actually didn't exist, or clearly didn't exist where we were living (laughs). And it's weird the way things have evolved over the last 20 years, there are a large percentage of kids who have been tuned in to the stuff that we were doing, there are people in the audience that we always hoped would be out there for our stuff, and they all came out from the bushes somewhere, and it's a lot more visible.

Is it bittersweet for you that people are just now starting to catch up to what you were doing 15 years ago?

No, I wouldn't say people are catching up, there are just continuing waves of it, and this isn't just my job, it's my life, and it's nice that things turned out that way.


(Sonic Boom plays as Spectrum at the Wall of Sound Festival at LaGrave Field in Ft. Worth this Saturday.)

Labels:

It List: Tuesday 9/18/07





I'm glad that nothing is really going on tonight because I wouldn't have time to write about it if there was. However, I will tell you two things:


1. You can go to Sally's flickr to check out several different sets of pictures from this weekend's events, including some from the Cobra Snake stuff. And I heard a funny story about that guy-- the door guy at Suite almost didn't let him in the club on Saturday because of what he was wearing (shorts). Yeah, not letting Cobra Snake into a club that is desperately trying to gain hip cred on a national scale. Nice move jackass. You know, I actually wanted to hate the Cobrasnake guy, but he seemed to be nicer and have a better sense of humor than most of the eye pollution in Suite that night, which I suppose isn't saying much. And one more thing-- the Dallas cops who work the door at Suite-- major assholes. Go fight crime or something, dudes. Did anyone else witness someone having a horrible experience with those guys?

2. I think a lot of you will be glad we had a lot of work to do today when you check back with us this evening or tomorrow morning.

Monday, September 17, 2007

It List: Monday 9/17/07

Not a lot going on this evening, but you can always hit up Cool Out at the Cavern or Bad Azz Jazz at Amsterdam.

More to come soon...

Last Week's Good Records Sales Charts

LOCAL TOP 5

1. Mom - Little Brite
2. Red Monroe - ¡Policia! ¡Policia!
3. Shock of Pleasure - This is a Test
4. The Slack - Wishful Sinking
5. The Polyphonic Spree - The Fragile Army

OVERALL TOP 20

1. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam
2. Caribou - Andorra
3. Pinback - Autumn of the Seraphs
4. Mom - Little Brite
5. Akron/Family - Love is Simple (+DVD)
6. Black Lips - Good Bad Not Evil
7. Red Monroe - Policia! Policia!
8. Black Francis - Bluefinger
9. M.I.A. - Kala
10. National - Boxer
11. Shock of Pleasure - This is a Test
12. Okkervil River - Stage Names
13. Architecture in Helsinki - Places Like This
14. Shout Out Louds - Our Ill Wills
15. Panda Bear - Person Pitch
16. The Slack - Wishful Sinking
17. Cloudland Canyon - Silver Tongued Sisyphus
18. Ateleia - Nightly
19. Dirty Projectors - Rise Above
20. The Polyphonic Spree - The Fragile Army

That Dirty Projectors is really good, btw-- however, the fact that it is a song for song "reinterpretation" of a Black Flag album doesn't necessarily mean that the music has anything to do with Black Flag.

Alan Greenspan Finally Says

A couple things that most of us already knew.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Monday Morning Rock



SHOWS OF NOTE THIS WEEK

WED: The Roots/Big Daddy/MC Lyte (House of Blues)
FRI: The Sea and Cake/Meg Baird (House of Blues)
FRI: The Party (Zubar)
SAT: Wall of Sound (LaGrave Field Ft. Worth)
SAT: Marked Men/Tokyo Electron/Wax Museums (Secret Headquarters)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Weekender 9/14/07-9/16/07


Going to Suite last night really made me wonder something about myself: am I completely out of touch? Do I have no concept of what cool is and what it isn't? Let me tell you what I mean-- first of all, the show was incredible. Diplo was fantastic, throwing together all kinds of great pop mixes, dirty south tracks, Eurotech stuff and anything else you'll probably hear a lot more in next six months. The sound system at Suite is also one of the better ones I've heard in Dallas in a while, and it really seems to help elevate the energy level in the place. And actually, I really like the space Suite is located in. Not to say that it's anything too over the top amazing, but it's fairly comfortable all things considered. The problem I had was seeing all these jock doucheholes wandering around all night, flexing muscles, looking "relevant" and kind of embarrassing themselves all over the place. I kept wondering, "are these the cool people in Dallas? Seriously? This dude with the half unbuttoned dress shirt from Express?" Either way, the over the top hot bitches made up for a lot of it, and it was truthfully a pretty good time overall. And btw, I was just kidding about that "wondering if I'm cool" thing.

For those who were smart enough to skip out on the overrated ACL, here is some local stuff for the weekend:

FRIDAY

Egyptian Lover/Brian Bejarano/Sober (Minc): Already gave you the rundown on this show earlier in the week (scroll down and read, lazy), and I'm wondering how it will turn out. To me, seeing an underappreciated musician like EL who also happens to have added a lot to the genres of dance music that every ad exec is currently hoping they'll eventually be able to understand is certainly worth the trip to the on again off again Minc. Certainly the most interesting dance show happening tonight.

The National/St. Vincent (Granada): I still honestly can't jump aboard the whole St. Vincent train. I just don't see it. And the National, while they can certainly get a bit self important and annoying at times, do have some pretty good indie pop songs that add elements of surprise and musical quality that generally seems to be lacking in bands I lable "indiepop."

Wlico/Dr. Dog (Palladium): So Wilco is, uh..dh3q4t... forget it. I'm not really that interested these days. Dr. Dog is pretty sweet though.

John Vanderslice/Bowerbirds (Palladium Loft): This is the Gorillavsbear afterparty for the Wilco show upstairs at the Loft, and admission is free for anyone with a Wilco stub.

Gore Gore Girls/Record Hop/Switchblade Razors (Rubber Gloves)

SATURDAY

Evan Hecox/The Party/Cobrasnake (Public Trust): Are these events called "openings" or "shows" or what? Anyway, this is going down from 7-10pm and will feature the work of Evan Hecox (I'll spare you my attempt to analyze visual art). There is an after party for this at Suite, but your dumb ass probably isn't invited. I am though. Ha Ha.

Art Show feat. Mark Pease, Nevada Hill, Logan Hill, Josh Reames(Secret Headquarters): This art show will also feature live music performances from members of Nouns Group, Seth Sherman, and Nevada Hill.

Gallery Openings: An/Or Gallery, Barry Whistler, Road Agent (Dallas): All of these are part of the Deep Gallery walk, and I've been told by a trusted source that these places will be the cream of the crop on Saturday... and I'm glad someone told me, because I really don't feel like sifting through a bunch of crap in order to see the good stuff. And/Or events are always fun too.

Last of the Interceptors/Gazelles/Koji Kondo/Heartrapers/The Know/Bangs (XCW Wrestling Arena on 377-Denton): Party being put on by Wemadeoutonce and this guy named Brian who I kind of got into a little fight with in the comments section this week... we kissed and made up though so it's all good. I believe this is happening at the place where the Groovy Mule used to be off 377 in Denton, and if thats the case, then people who go to this show should really watch out for the ghosts of JNCO past trying to haunt the section of the party where the kegs will be. Oh yeah, it's $5, and there will be two free kegs for those who are 21 and up and pay. For a map, click here.

David Bazan/Casiotone for the Painfully Alone (Dan's Sliverleaf)

Magnolia Electric Co./Golden Boots/Tre Orsi (Rubber Gloves)

Oakley Hall/Zykos/Paul Duncan/The Narrator (Hailey's)

SUNDAY

Queens of the Stone Age/Howlin' Rain/Dax Riggs (House of Blues): I just realized that I haven't heard any of the last two QOTSA albums. Are they any good? Somehow I doubt it, but who knows. The association with Kyuss alone is enough to put them on my list. Also, some of you might want to check out Howlin' Rain, especially if you feel like you might be into hearing members of Comets on Fire and Sunburned Hand of the Man playing songs that sound like the Grateful Dead. Unfortunately, I actually AM that kind of person. Oops.

It List: Thursday 9/13/07


Diplo/Switch (Suite): Diplo has had many critically acclaimed releases and remixes for the past few years working on everyone from The Decemberists to Three Six Mafia to more underground baile funk stuff on his own label. He is most famous for his work with M.I.A.. Hopefully this show being at Suite won't be as bad as the recent Kid Sister show where everyone got turned away, but we'll see. Opening act Switch has also worked with M.I.A., and I actually prefer his somewhat more minimal electro approach and lack of world music aesthetic.

Daniel Folmer/My Son The Astronaut!/William Blackett (J & J's Pizza): My Son The Astronaut is the solo acoustic project of one of the 715 Panhandle guys and that crowd's youthful exuberance can usually get me to let my guard down enough to even watch a set of borderline pop-punk. Miraculous. The ever expressive Daniel Folmer is also playing and I wonder if he'll enlighten the crowd with some commentary on how pickup hockey games are like slave labor.

Pleasant Grove/JD Whittenburg/Naptime Shake (Double Wide): Dallas Observer writer Noah Bailey must have totally used his powerful position at the weekly to score this sweet Thursday night show at The Double Wide. Good for him. Do what you gotta do in this highly competitive local music scene, bro! It's dog-eat-dog. Pleasant Grove has been playing music since before my voice completely changed and Clinton was still president.

The Ataris/Thorn VS Side/Brake Vegas (Rubber Gloves): I just posted this so I could put up that unbelievable press-kit gem. Do you think they had to drag that cheap rug like a fucking lake to find the band afterwards? They blend right in!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

M.I.A. @ House of Blues

On November 4th. Tickets go on sale 9/21.

It List: Wednesday 9/12/07


I know we pretty much never post record reviews and stuff when we're supposed to, but we ARE currently working on a couple good features, and you can expect to see them soon. Anyway, there are a few good things going on tonight that you might want to know about. Unfortunately, one of them is NOT the Never4Git Fest, which was supposed to feature Angry Businessmen, Koji Kondo, Best Fwends and several other good acts at Bruce Hall on the UNT campus this evening. Apparently there was a mix up with the college permit paperwork for now. However, the fest's organizers (the same people who run 715 Panhandle) tell me they have some plans for their DIY space that we might just reveal to you soon.
Taxi Fare with DJ Nature (Zubar): Nature is kicking off his new reggae, one drop and dancehall weekly at Zubar tonight, and if anyone in Dallas can make something like that work, it's him. He tells us he'll be playing a lot of classic 80's tracks and dub in the beginning of his set, and will then transition into contemporary dubstep later in the evening. Sounds pretty cool.
Akkolyte/Yells at Eels (Red Blood Club): For me, Akkolyte's performance at SHQ was the highlight of our awards party on Saturday. I honestly don't know a whole hell of a lot about grindcore outside of the basics (yes, I've listened to Napalm Death), but Akkolyte's presence on the scene is one of the best arguments I've ever heard in favor of exploring the genre in more depth. Tonight, the brothers Gonzalez will be celebrating Stefan's birthday by playing an Akkolyte set as well as a set with their father in Yells at Eels.
Oveo/Locks/Dirty Water Disease (The Cavern): A rare chance to see the excellent Oveo in Dallas, and since it appears that they might be playing one of their last shows with the present line-up, you might want to wonder over to the Cavern to give this a try.
Short Attention Span Theatre is now going down at Rubber Gloves rather than Hailey's. Not sure what the video theme is this week.

Free Egyptian Lover Tickets



Egyptian Lover is one of those old names that seems to be popping up in all the right places these days. After a string of highly successful Kraftwerk inspired electrofunk/hip hop 12 inches in the early and mid 80's (somewhat similar in style to the work of Mantronix and Africa Bambaataa, not to mention Giorgio Moroder and a variety of European slow motion disco acts), Egyptian Lover, a Los Angeles based producer, seemed to sink into obscurity for more than a decade.

In the past couple of years however, there has been a reemergence of interest in his work amongst critics and DJs due to the rise of early 80's electrofunk, disco, and early hip as fashionable points of inspiration in electronic music circles. And after one of his records was reissued by the highly respected Warp in 2006, Egyptian Lover hit the road again as a DJ and has apparently been touring constantly since.

Fortunately for us, Egyptian Lover will be performing at Minc on Friday night with Sober, and the people from frescogear.com were nice enough to hook us up with 4 pairs of tickets to the show to give away to you (Oh, and check out this interview with him over at Central Booking's blog for more info on the guy).

Just email weshotjrtix@yahoo.com any time between now and 10am on Thursday if you want to try and win a pair.

Last Week's Good Records Sales Charts

LOCAL TOP 5
1. Mom - Little Brite
2. Red Monroe - Policia! Policia!
3. The Polyphonic Spree - The Fragile Army
4. Sorta - Strange and Sad but True
5. Salim Nourallah - Snowing In My Heart
OVERALL TOP 20
1. Mom - Little Brite
2. Red Monroe - Policia! Policia!
3. Liars - Liars
4. Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals - Lifeline
5. Madlib - Beat Konducta Vol. 3-4
6. Caribou - Andorra
7. New Pornographers - Challengers
8. Department of Eagles - Cold Nose
9. The Polyphonic Spree - The Fragile Army
10. Aesop Rock - None Shall Pass
11. Junior Senior - Hey Hey My My Yo Yo
12. Angels of Light - We Are Him
13. Okkervil River - Stage Names
14. Bryan Ferry - Dylanesque
15. Bat for Lashes - Fur and Gold
16. Bishop Allen - and the Broken String
17. Sorta - Strange and Sad But True
18. Salim Nourallah - Snowing In My Heart
19. Flaming Lips - U.F.O.s at the Zoo
20. National - Boxer

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It List: Tuesday 9/11/07

War Wizards/The Start (Club Dada): I'm proud to say that the War Wizards' live debut was at a We Shot Jr show back in January. That was definitely a highlight of the three shows we've had, though this past one yielded plenty of new good memories. War Wizards are very harsh in every aspect of their setup, whether it's their vocals, guitar, or electronics. With everything pounding full force at all times, it can be a real challenge to focus on any one thing, and that's why I think they're great. I'd like to add that they were picked apart and criticized pretty badly in a review recently that failed to mention them by name. I know we're anonymous and all, but failing to mention a band's name even in a bad review is to deprive them of the one advantage of such situations: having their name in print. History has proven that bad press can work wonders for a band's image, so if you're going to let them have it, at least give them that. Oh, and The Start is from LA and they make the live music sequences from Hannah Montana sound like The Poison Girls.

Monday, September 10, 2007

It List: Monday 9/10/07




Cool Out still seems to be going strong on Monday nights at the Cavern, and I would highly recommend it (especially if they plan on playing sets similar to Prince William's Italo/slow motion disco mix from last week).

Subhumans/Witchhunt/Sacred Shock/Krum Bums (Red Blood Club): Back when I used to listen to a lot of hardcore punk as a kid, I remember Subhumans being one of those bands I think I liked more for their t-shirts and album art than their music (Crass is totally better). However, the cult of followers that they have amassed over the years cannot be denied, and it's pretty cool that Red Blood Club landed this show. I know nothing about the other bands or the potency of Subhumans' current line up, but I'm curious to see what might happen at this show.

Yeah, it was THAT Kind of Night



(The pic on the left, as well as many others from Saturday night, can be seen on Sally Glass' flickr.)

I might be naive or something, but I really didn't think our awards show at Fra House would get shut down by the cops. Maybe I underestimated the number of people who would show up, or maybe I though we'd be able to keep everything relatively calm no matter how many people came. You can call it wishful thinking I guess, but I just figured everything would work out the way we planned.

As more and more people started to arrive on the Fra House grounds early Saturday night, however, it became clear that the party would be difficult to manage to say the least-- by 10, there were already enough people there to make it a fairly epic event, and it seemed that the Denton Police would probably end up taking notice at some point.

And sure enough, right at about 1030, the cops arrived and told everyone to clear out. I never heard whether it was just a noise complaint or something else, but whatever the cause, the party either had to be moved to a new location or killed off completely, because it would not be happening at Fra House. I was pretty freaked out about the possibility that the Fra House guys would all receive tickets, and I was also concerned that many of the bands and DJs would not be able to play. But thanks to the organizational skills of the Fra House crew, the openness of Denton DIY, and the willingness of Dentonites to hear good music and drink shitty keg beer for free, we were able to shift to Plan B and move the party to new locations with a good deal of success.

Since there were too many acts to shove all into one venue (which is why Fra House seemed to be the perfect place for this show), Ed and the rest of the Fra House guys decided to split the party up by sending the DJs to the 8th Continent and the rock bands to Secret Headquarters (who had previously agreed to serve as a back up venue for us in case Fra House was busted). Of course, we never anticipated the party getting busted as early as it did, so it was quite a relief to find that SHQ was willing to accomodate us and let our crowd and our keg into the party for free. And when we arrived at 8th Continent to check out the dance party, we walked in to find Lars of War Wizards and the Undoing of David Wright already DJing some great tracks while the guys from the Party waited on some equipment to start their set. Unfortunately, the 8th Continent party was eventually shut down by the police as well, but I guess that is what happens when you have too much fun. I'm also sad to say that Ghosthustler wasn't able to spin at all, and the Party was only able to play for a limited time-- very unfortunate, sure, but under the circumstances I'm glad that anyone was able to play for any period of time.

Although we were a bit bummed about the events of Saturday night, we still had a great time, and everyone involved with WSJR was very happy to see Denton DIY come through and make the best out of a bad situation. Every performance we saw was fantastic (especially Akkolyte--absolutely punishing), and the fact that the shows were able to continue in new locations within such a short period of time was quite amazing. We want to thank all the bands, venues and individuals who helped us pull this thing off, and we want to thank everyone else for coming out. We'll certainly put more thought into crowd control and security in the future, but I don't regret trying this out at Fra House for a second. We hope everyone had as good a time as we did.

Total Buzzkill



Oops.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Monday Morning Rock



SHOWS OF NOTE THIS WEEK

WED: Akkolyte/Yells at Eels (Red Blood Club)
WED: Taxi Fare with DJ Nature (Zubar)
WED: Oveo/Locks/Dirty Water Disease (The Cavern)
THURS: Diplo/Switch (Suite)
FRI: Egyptian Lover/Brian Bejarano/Sober (Minc)
FRI: The National/St. Vincent (Granda)
FRI: Wilco/Dr Dog (Palladium Ballroom)
FRI: John Vanderslice/Bowerbirds (Palladium Loft)
SAT: Evan Hecox/The Party/Cobrasnake (Public Trust)
SUN: Queens of the Stone Age/Howlin' Rain/Dax Riggs (House of Blues)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Tomorrow Night at Fra House

We might have a surprise guest-- I won't say who because I'm honestly not 100% sure it will happen, but I'll give you a hint: Vice Magazine hates them. Come to Fra House tomorrow and find out.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Weekender 9/7/07-9/9/07


After a few of the normal struggles, we have the party ready to go for you guys on Saturday, and we have a weekender for you to. Expect us to return to our normally stellar content next week: CD reviews and interviews to come. Here we go:

FRIDAY

Hands Up wit Yo Majesty /Nature /Sober /Select (The Loft): I've decided that I'm not a big Yo Majesty guy, but I do have to say that it's great to get a chance to hear Nature, Sober and Select at a big place like the Loft (as long as their security doesn't act like a bunch of doucheholes again). The Loft has a lot of downsides as well, but the balcony is a great place to hang out, the sound system is solid, and there will probably be a lot of drunk party chicks there hanging out tonight. Uh, thats a cool Friday in my book.

The Undoing Of David Wright /The Frenz/Electronik Warfare /Florene (Hailey's): So, awards sweeper Shane English is playing in Electronik Warfare now as well as The Undoing and various other projects. I guess you'd be in demand too if you won something as relevant and important as the We Shot JR popular vote. Keep dreaming, Guitar Center. Anyways, this show is definitely the best live show tonight and even though an A-Trainless Undoing worries me, I've heard they pull it off. This is a thematically coherent lineup, with The Undoing and EW sharing some traits, and The Frenz and Florene being a little milder and generally more influenced by the gentler side of electronic infused rock music. As with any show where this crowd's involved, expect some surprises.

Dub Assembly (Green Elephant): The one year anniversary for the criminally underappreciated Unit One dubstep night. Not that people at SMU give a shit whether or not Mundo has received positive reviews in Wire magazine, but I hope the people of Dallas start to notice the great dubstep we have here before the people in London forget that they ever started it.

Long Attention Span Theater (Strawberry Fields): At 8pm, they'll be showing German film Der Wald Vor Lauter Baumen, which translates to "the forest for the trees." Don't know much about it other than the fact that it's about the struggles of a young teacher.

SATURDAY

WSJR Awards Party with Nature/Sober/Select/Ghosthustler/Farah/Prince William/Akkolyte/Koji Kondo/Angry Businessmen/Lebanon/Zanzibar Snails/Douche (Fra House-FREE): In case you're a total dork and you don't already know, this shit is free and all ages, and there will be free beer for those who are 21 and up. And if you're lucky, we won't get all "Suite" on you and turn away everyone who isn't a hot chick after midnight. Just depends on how sassy we get. You can see we added the mighty Prince William to the list of DJ performances as well. Big thanks to Pancakes for Mattie Records and Strawberry Fields for helping us out btw... many of the bands and entities involved with the party will have CDs and stuff to give away and sell, so you should consider buying something since you won't be paying for cover or drinks.

So The Observer's Jesse Hughey commited a total "bro pax" by not realizing that Sean Kirkpatrick's cover of "Tonight The Bottle Let Me Down" was, well...a cover and even went so far as calling it cliche without realizing it was kind of the source material for cliched drinking songs around the world. In his defense, maybe he only received the album in MP3 format and those don't come with liner notes. I mean, why would anyone in Texas be familiar with Merle Haggard? Kirkpatrick's playing the last of twenty CD release shows tonight with a great lineup featuring the always punishing and powerful Great Tyrant as well as new Denton residents Silk Stocking. Singer/songwriter Will E. Lee opens the show.

Mom/George Neal /Jen Seman /Delphi/Tame...Tame and Quiet/Florene (Secret Headquarters): Fundraiser show for indiewriter.net.

Centro-matic /Tre Orsi /Bridges And Blinking Lights /Handbrake (Rubber Gloves-FREE): I bet it's weird for Dentonites when they realize that the free Centro-matic show is the SECOND best thing going on Saturday night. J/k y'all! Love ya :) I'm not the world's biggest Cetro-matic fan, but they are obviously well respected and good at what they do, and I'm sure this will be a fine show. But other than this free week finale, the RGRS free week has been pretty weak compared to last year's, hasn't it?

Red Monroe/Baboon /Saboteur /Jonathan Tyler And Northern Lights/Odis Odis (Granada): CD release show for Red Monroe, who seem to be making a play for the big time with the release of their sophomore album. We got our hands on an early copy and you'll probably see a review early next week.

SUNDAY