Thursday, April 30, 2009

It List: Thursday


First things first. I want to mention that the voting is open in Quick's "Big Thing." The winners will be announced at the annual celebratory show; this year it's June 5th, at The Granada.  I think the nominees, once again, are more comprehensive and accurately representative of the actual state of local music than just about any other local, nominee-based awards event.*  Even though I may not be into everything that Hunter Hauk writes about, that's kind of the point.  He continues to be one of the most objectively apolitical writers in town, even when he is on the receiving end of harsh criticism.  And get this: he can actually name the correct city a venue is in when doing a show preview.  Amazing.  



Fleetwood Mac (American Airlines Center):  So, I recently got tangled up in a stupid music argument, as I so often do, this time about whether or not Lindsay Lohan's interest portraying Stevie Nicks in a film is an unthinkable blasphemy that this seventies icon shouldn't be subjected to. Give me a break. I think Lohan is the perfect pick for such a ghastly rock personality, and the fact that Nicks herself was appalled only strengthens my case.  Is there a more annoyingly shaky and quivering voice in all of popular music?  I love weird voices, but there's something about her singing that's often unbearable.  Ever heard her cover "Silent Night?" And her dreary hippie-witch getup that is often regarded as equally as influential as her music, can really make you grateful to have spent your twenties around day-glo leggings more than anything else.

I probably don't hate Fleetwood Mac as much as I used to, and I guess Lindsey Buckingham is a much less cheesy guitarist than most guys in a huge band from this era have any right to be.  That's probably the best thing I can say about their post-Peter Green work.  Just hope that Stoned Ranger gets them next time, so he can tell you how much he loves to play "Rumours" on his Nano when he's jogging.  

Cake (Palladium): I could pay $35.00 for "cake" at the Palladium. Just not this Cake at this Palladium.

The Enright House/Waterfalls (Mountain House located at 5320 Tremont in Dallas):
Running out of time here, so I'm going to let Mountain House's own Evan Horn describe this in his own words (from his Myspace):

...having a house show this Thursday night, April 30th.
both bands do this ambient, lost at sea, drone thing,
not too different from what Hauschka, Eluvium, or even
local heroes, Mom, are doing. expect the sort of sounds
that you might hear from a beach-front shoemaker shop,
or recordings taken from inside the boobs of a volcano.

very minimal stuff.

The Enright House is from New Zealand, and will play at 10pm.
Waterfalls is Dallas' John Barker's new project and will open at 8pm.
this is a free show. bring your own whatever.








DJ Wild In The Streets (The Amsterdam Bar)




Sun Club (Rubber Gloves)









*Stoned Ranger was one of many qualified panelists. I would like to think that the nominees would be just as diverse, even without our input.

Art List

I should probably start off with an announcement that And/Or Gallery will soon be closing its doors. Keri, the assistant at And/Or, sent us this:

"Yes, And/Or is closing for the moment. Paul is moving to NYC in
September and I'm pretty much going as well. We are thinking about
re-opening the gallery in NYC in 2010. But we have a show with Chad
Hopper
opening May 9th, and we may do one more show after that."

Sniff. It will be a sad day when they finally move out...

Onto the list:

THURSDAY
James Bland: Texas Artists' Portraits, Part 1 (CADD Art Lab) 6-9pm
Portraits of 44 North Texas artists with their work.

Edward Setina Artist's Talk (Centraltrak) 6-8pm

**Charley Harper exhibit closing today at Public Trust. Check out Holly Jefferson's interview with Nick Z, showing at Public Trust next week.

FRIDAY
Cliff Garten: Organic Geometries (William Campbell Contemporary) 6-8pm

SATURDAY

...and so we beat on, ceaselessly: The Photography of Jeff Riley (Firehouse Gallery) 6-8pm
From 8-10:30pm Nick Hennies and Sandy Ewen of the Weird Weeds will perform. Artist's reception is free, the show following is $5.

Christopher French: As the Land and the Air Is (Holly Johnson)6-8pm

Letscher, Lapthisophon, and Ottinger (Conduit)5:30-8:30pm

Spatial Shifts: Jay Shinn and Rupert Deese (Marty Walker)6-8pm

Maysey Craddock & Faith Gay (Pan American) 5-8pm

Wu Jialin: Homelandand Don Schol: Vietnam Remembrances (PDNB)5-8pm

Breaking The Sound Barrier: Music Series #5(Haley-Henman) 7-9pm

Jordan Fein and Desirae Embree: Non-linear Equations (Avenue Arts)



Image courtesy of Metrognome Collective and Jeff Riley.

Interview: Nick Z (by Holly Jefferson)


And A Child Shall Lead Them
An Exhibition of new work by Nick Z
Friday, May 8 | 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Public Trust

Asked to describe his work in five words, Boston native, Nick Z, responded: young, raw, creepy, autobiographical, and subversive. Previously known as a successful street artist with a talent for partnering vibrant colors and simplistic yet endearing characters, Nick would roll his eyes if he was exclusively recognized for his early achievements. The press has been generously respectful in the past few years, recognizing his progression in style, dimension, and scale of projects. His ambitious gallery installations most often incorporate assorted found objects and arrangements, phrases on wall and paper, colorful spray-painted images, cartoonish faces and figures, and videos on monitors.

The first time I saw your work was around four years ago in Boston’s South End, my neighborhood and yours at the time. I saw this smallish piece of bright-blue-painted rectangular plywood affixed with a magic marker sticker featuring one of your cartoon-like characters and zip-tied to a fence of a public garden. I soon went back to steal it and it was already claimed. About a week later I spied a similar piece around ten blocks away and immediately cut it down and put it on my mantle. At that time you were already showing in galleries coast to coast. Why was it, and is it still, compelling to show your work outside of white walls?


The only reason I was putting my work on the street at that time is because I had so much of it. I figured I would put everything I wasn’t showing outside instead of throwing it away. It didn’t mean anything to me at all. Then, it was just like a personal obsession or bad habit. Now, I don’t feel compelled to put anything on the street at all. It’s something I did at one point years ago but don’t feel compelled to now—especially since “street art” has become such a household term. I find it all pretty gross.

Do you think your imprint on the streets of Boston—whether prolifically tagging, creating elaborate, large scale spray-painted murals, or asserting ephemera on any visible surface—helped advance your career as an gallery-showing artist?

In general, gallery shows are hard to get. I would say, at that time it was a nice lil’ spark, good advertising, and that’s it. Even if I attracted someone’s attention and I got a commission or a show as a result, I still had to bring clients to my studio to show them my real work.


Have you ever been arrested because of your art?

No, that would totally be counterproductive for me.

Was there a career turning point when you became less of a graffiti/street artist, terms I know you deplore, and more of an established mixed-media artist?

The goal has always been for my work to been seen in galleries, for people to really engage mentally. I may have once been referred to as a street artist, but that was just something I was doing while waiting to show off my real work.


Having been to a few of your solo shows, I love to see how you completely take over and transform a space. How much planning goes into this beforehand, and how much is improvised once you begin the installation?

How do I prepare for that? I don’t really. Sometimes I will plan which objects I want to be in the show, but when I see the space, I’m already, like, ready to go. But usually it’s all improvised, which I feel is way more honest and harder to accomplish. I consider every space a challenge, and I love to make something happen from nothing.


Almost two years ago you and German artist Kai Altoff, your close friend and mentor, collaborated for a show at the Barbara Gladstone Gallery in Manhattan. It received high accolades in the New York Times, scored a spot in the Best of 2007 issue of Art Forum, and caught the attention of Takashi Murakami, who purchased some of your work. That installation marked a visual departure from your more lighthearted work. It became more advanced and showcased a darker side of your personality that continues to resonate in current projects.

I guess it was a total departure. I am really proud of that growth. Around that time I started seeing life differently—being exposed to new stimuli. I became more truthful to my work and myself. So my style changed and moved forward into heavier concept and content.

You are featured in the current issue of New American Paintings. How does that recognition compare to your other career highlights?

I'm really siked to be in that publication. Since college, I’ve always looked through it each time I saw a new issue on the bookstore shelves. I guess it’s highly personal for me—an incredible accomplishment to get recognized by them.

What inspires you?

My close friends—not only their work but also them personally. But more specifically, my brother Matthew, my mentor Kai, and my good friend and consistent co-collaborator Mister Never routinely inspire me. However, I am also highly affected by music and think a musician’s form of expression really gets me to the core.


Is there anything you want to see or do while you’re in Dallas?

I’d just like to ride a bike around, see what people are up to and how they are living, drink beers, and hit some thrift stores—I love them.






















Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It List: Wednesday

Napalm Death/Kataklysm/Toxic Holocaust/Coliseum/Trap Them/Earthrot/Ebola Zaire (Ridglea Theatre): You've got to hand it to the ever-touring metal/grindcore etc. bands. They have got this merch thing down to a precise science. Go to any band's page from the various death metal/grindcore/d-beat genres and you'll always be bombarded with some insane gif flashing all the black look-a-like hoodies (pictured) these groups are pushing. It kind of ruins the whole effect doesn't it? It's akin to seeing a crust punk use a blackberry or a gang lord return his drink at Starbucks.

Most of these bands have been around for some time, as far back as such unthinkable years as 1991, or even 1982 in the case of Napalm Death. A lot has been lost since then, with Napalm Death peaking around the time of their first Peel Session but having flashes of brilliance here and there in the decades since. Even though die-hards always complain these groups haven't been good for decades, I wouldn't mind seeing a couple of them tonight, but perhaps not all seven. I doubt the crowd that does show up would appreciate Pegasus News calling this show "screamo" however.

Delmore Pilcrow/RTB2/Daniel Folmer/Tex Winters (J & J's Pizza): Portland.

Schwa/Prince Will/Select/Red Sean/Ishi (Tribeca): This is a big lineup for Wednesday night, in celebration of Tony Schwa's 21st Birthday. Oh, I mean it's free for 21 and up. Happy Birthday, Schwa!

Dubbel Dutch/Females/Yeah Def/Killanova (Hailey's)

Collin Rose/DJ PWR/Art by Amy G (The Cavern)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

not new music tuesdays


Bobb Trimble - Iron Curtain Innocence (1980, Vengeance)


Every time I listen to this album I'm overwhelmed by how out of place it sounds. By the time 1980 rolled around there was very little music coming out that could even be considered remotely psychedelic. Apparently Bobb Trimble failed to notice this, or maybe he just didn't give a shit. At a time when his peers in Worcester, MA were neck deep into punk rock, Trimble broke suit by unleashing a whopping 300 copies of this space-psych-folk masterpiece to little or no reception. Instead of the Black Flag/Ramones/Sex Pistols influences that were the norm at the time, the music on Iron Curtain Innocence draws from the Beatles, Tyrannosaurus Rex (Marc Bolan, cool!!), and Love, while the wavering falsetto vocals remind me of the female vocals on Comus' First Utterance.

In the years since it's release, record collectors have paid up to $1500 for original copies of Trimble's albums. Thankfully, Secretly Canadian has reissued both Iron Curtain Innocence and it's follow-up, 1982's Harvest of Dreams on both lp and cd, making them available to people that aren't big enough assholes to spend over a grand on one record!

It List: Tuesday

We have Not New Music Tuesdays coming up for you in just a couple minutes, but for now, here are a few things to do tonight (you can view even more shows on our recently updated show calendar, which can be accessed by clicking the link above or by clicking on "Shows" underneath "sections" in the top left sidebar:

The Gaslight Anthem/Heartless Bastards/A Death in the Family (Granada): Oh great. The Gaslight Anthem. Really shitty band name. I wonder what this shit is going to sound like? Do I have to? Ok, fine. Let's see. I bet they have one of those shitty Myspace pages that takes forever to load. Yep. Oh, and surprise surprise: they're dressed like total douches too. Figures. The first song I'm hearing is called, and I'm not shitting you, "Great Expectations." It sounds like Social Distortion mixed with Uncle Tupelo, the Goo Goo Dolls, and the Boss (if he were a WAY bigger pussy). This isn't going well. The second one is sort of like a John Cougar song minus the youthful nostalgia that makes me not puke every time I hear one of his shitty songs. I wish this sounded more like Don Henley solo. And I'm not kidding. Uh oh, "Old White Lincoln" has an emo intro.... but then it turned into a song just like all these other songs. I'm bored now and out of stuff to make fun of. Can I give up? Sometimes I wonder why people roughly my age, or even younger, write songs reminiscing about stuff that happened before they were born. Do you really miss taking Suzy to the Drive in? Are you sure you aren't thinking of that one time you talked to some chick about At the Drive In on Friendster or whatever? Sometimes it seems like you'd have to try REALLY HARD to make music this predictable and derivative. The Heartless Bastards sound like a dream compared to this Gas whatever band. Their singer has an instantly compelling voice and delivery, and the group's songs are quite good too-- sort of a country influenced and psychedelically dusted garage pop that actually reminds me of the Oh Sees quite a bit, as well as Robyn Hitchcock a little bit less, and a few of the more popular garage rock acts to emerge in recent times a little more. This music is fairly stark, accessible, and just really well done. It's been a while since I've encountered a show where the opening act is THIS much better than the headliner.

Damien Jurado/Laura Gibson (Dan's Silverleaf): Damian Jurado apparently launched his career through a friendship with members of Sunny Day Real Estate over a decade ago, and has been an icon in the Pacific Northwest indie/neo-folk scene for most of the time since. He lists groups like Thanksgiving and Little Wings as "influences" on his website, which is apparently a joke because those groups were probably like 12 when Jurado started, and his stuff is way more straight forward and rock oriented than either of those groups, with more Replacements and less music concrete than the former, and a penchant for pop structures that isn't quite displayed in the latter. If you're in the mood for this kind of music, Jurado is a highly reliable go-to guy, and his local connection as an early champion of Bosque Brown is also something that will probably bring some interested parties out to the show this evening. I'll be in the mood for this if the Mavs lose tonight.

Disqo Disco (Fallout)

90's Night with Yeahdef (Hailey's)

Monday, April 27, 2009

It List: Monday

Mates of State/Black Kids/Sun Bears (Granada): I guess I'm a terrible "indie culture" blogger or whatever, because until earlier this afternoon, I had honestly never listened to the somewhat controversial Black Kids for even a split second. Of course, much like most of you, I had heard all about the group in late 2007 and 2008, as their faces were splattered on just about every cultural barometer one can think of-- Vice, Pitchfork, Leno, Letterman, NME, Spin, Rolling Stone, etc., and the astounding wave of press and critical praise for the band culminated in one of the biggest PR hype campaigns for an "indie rock" group in recent memory, which in turn made the whole thing more than a little difficult to stomach.... hence the whole "never listened to them" thing. And with this kind of rapid commercial success came, of course, the inevitably huge and over-the-top backlash, embodied most notably in Pitchfork's abrupt change of heart between the release of Black Kids' "Best New Music" EP and their debut full length, which fell victim to one of the website's infamously dismissive photo reviews. Aside from concerns that the band wasn't really, uh, all that good, I also read complaints, around the time of their full length release, addressing the supposedly racial undertones behind their name, as well as a variety of other grievances that had nothing to do with the group's music or artistic vision, if they have one. Truth be told, this group isn't terrible, really-- they've written a few decent, dance leaning pop songs that seem to be as close to being "hip" as anything this marketable could possibly be. My first reaction to hearing them related to how much the lead singer tried to emulate Robert Smith, until I realized that he was just ripping off the guy from Hot Hot Heat ripping off Robert Smith, which is clearly worse. Their songs, overall, are a pretty bland mix of dance punk, pop punk and mid 00's catch all indie a la Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Wolf Parade, and it is just mind blowing that this was considered in any way exciting in 2007, after these sounds had largely run their course with everyone other than teenagers. At the end of the day, it seems that Pitchfork and others were so harsh and quick with the backlash not because this band is chronically bad, but because they are nowhere near as good as the omnipotent online hype machine manipulated people into thinking they were. Music "journalists" and bloggers certainly seem to adopt a sort of herd mentality when confronted with bands like this, and the backlash might involve something more subtle than this crowd simply trying to appear as relevant as possible. Instead, it might be an apology of sorts-- "hey guys, we're sorry we told you this band was so great when they weren't. We all got carried away trying to talk about them before everyone else, and with the speed at which MP3 blogs and fashion websites move these days, we had to take a chance and go ahead and praise them just in case they ended up actually being a good band, which would make us look stupid unless we said something great about them right now, which is what we did. We rolled the dice and crapped out. However, as part of our commitment to customer service, we've gone ahead and ripped the band apart for you, just to make extra sure that we never put you through the experience of purchasing anything related to the Black Kids again. Sorry for the inconvenience!" So the public forgets about their free downloads, the websites and magazines continue to look hip and relevant, and the only people who lose any credibility in the long run are the group of young, mediocre musicians who probably should have never been "almost famous" in the first place. Indie rock 4eva!

Cool Out (The Cavern)

Monday Morning Rock




SHOWS OF NOTE THIS WEEK

MON: Mates of State/Black Kids (the Granada)
WED: Napalm Death (Ridglea Theater)
SAT: Sleepytime Gorilla Museum (Longhorn Saloon)
SAT: Convextion/The Great Tyrant/The Watchers/Loop 12/Dj Per (Sons of Hermann Hall)
SAT: Record Hop/Saboteur/Nervous Curtains (Annex House)
SAT: Spinal Tap (Nokia Theater)
SUN: Daniel Francis Doyle/Yells at Eels/Orange Coax/Eat Avery's Bones (Aboca's, 100 S. Central Exp. #63, Richardson)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

We Shot J.R. Records Presents-- Daniel Francis Doyle

Sunday, May 3rd, 6PM @ Aboca's Italian Grill ( 100 S. Central Expwy. #63, Central and Belt Line, Richardson)

Daniel Francis Doyle
Yells at Eels
Orange Coax
Eat Avery's Bones

(Possibly one more act TBA)

So, we have kind of diverted from our original release schedule (something we promised ourselves would not happen), to do a full-length (something we promised ourselves we would not do) which is going to be a limited release of 500 copies (an amount we promised ourselves we would never agree to). Each record comes with a properly manufactured compact disc (non-CDR) of the album as well.

After hearing the demos for this record, Daniel Francis Doyle's We Bet Our Money on You, we were so taken by them that we decided to go ahead and help Doyle rush this out ahead of his current tour of the Northeastern U.S. The tour will end with a stop in North Texas, where we will be hosting a show celebrating the record's release on our own We Shot J.R. Records. The official release date is June 9th, at which point it will be made available at traditional brick-and-mortar record shops and Itunes, as well as through this very site. Doyle's record has already hit #1 on Austin's KVRX Chart, and we think KDGE will follow suit quite soon.

Anyway, the event will be held at a very special venue, Aboca's in Richardson, which we have mentioned holds a DIY show every now and then. There will be refreshments, including pizza by the slice, and we hope you can make it out.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Weekender

By SR and DL.

FRIDAY


Acid Mother's Temple/Sonic Suicide Squad (Hailey's): Japanese Psyche group Acid Mother's Temple combines a wide array of influences, everything from ambient to prog to free jazz to metal to psychedelic pop to guitar god Hendrix/Zeppelin type stuff, releasing material at a very prolific rate over the years and touring quite regularly. I've still not ever had the chance to see this band live, and since their shows are somewhat legendary, this has always made me a little sad. I might change that tonight, as band leader Makoto Kawabata and the Melting Paraiso UFO, my favorite incarnation of the band, come to town yet again.

Man Man/Boom Boom Box/Giggle Party (the Lounge): Man Man is quite well known for their eventful, highly energetic live performances, and I have to say I agree, as I've seen them twice and enjoyed it a great deal each time, even though, to be quite honest, I've never had any desire to listen to any of their records more than once in the privacy of my own home.   I don't know what it is, exactly, but their trash can, Waits/Beefheart influenced Gypsy rock just isn't something I usually seek out on record.  I might be in a smaller minority than I once was, however, as their 2008 release Rabbit Habits actually hit the Billboard Charts, which is probably why this show is very close to selling out, and certainly will before the night is through. I'd get there pretty early if you intend to catch this.

Lite Brite/Heartstring Stranglers/George Neal (Muscle Beach)

New Thrill Parade/Abiku/Christian Teenage Runaways/Zwounds (1919 Hemphill): New Thrill Parade has a dark GSL Records type of sound, a solid group with very imaginative playing on the backing tracks: busy bass-lines, spider-leg guitar parts, and prodding, deliberate rhythms. The most forefront part of their sound, however, is definitely the Birthday Party-descendant, theatrical style of the vocals. The dramatic, humorous style of their music was further and articulately explained by the band in an interview conducted with the Notes Unearthed (link: notesunearthed.com) site:

The humor element in our music comes very naturally to us, as the bands interactions with one another are almost solely humor-based. However, our tone and ideas are serious ones. The humor, we hope, helps some listeners swallow our bitter pill jams with greater ease.

The dramatic aspect was and still is at the forefront of our ideas for the band. There are many reasons for this, but among them is a distaste for traditional notions of masculinity as represented in all realms of entertainment. There is nothing more stale and boring than an otherwise decent, interesting band fronted by some Chad howling and whining about his ex-girlfriend. Our penchant for "drama" lets us skirt, so to speak, that type of banality while wallowing in our own homemade, comfortable brand of banality.


Well put. This should fit in perfectly with the Keytar chaos of Abiku, and the recently (not to mention surprisingly) reformed C!TR. For those of you that might not be familiar with Christian! Teenage Runaway, they are the punk group that existed long before Stereogum said it was okay for the Dallas music establishment to notice little Denton bands.

Book of Belial/Cleric/Lychgate/Ascites (Bike House): Solid noise show tonight kicks off at 730 PM. Great to see the Bike House putting on such a risky and powerful show. Even if you "don't like noise," check out Lychgate. Parties at this house are always a pretty good time.

The Party (Zubar)

Social with Females (The Cavern, upstairs)

Nervous Curtains/Matthew and the Arrogant Sea (City Tavern): Florene is also on the bill.  

SATURDAY

Dust Congress/Tre Orsi/The Make Believers/Drink to Victory (Fra House): This is the official release show for the new Dust Congress release, a one-sided, 12" vinyl record, entitled "Regurgitate Sunshine State." The record had some delays, as they often do, and it's safe to say that a diverse group of local music enthusiasts have been looking forward to it for some time. I hate local music and I'm still looking forward to it. A who's who list of openers will make sure that show will be unbelievably packed.

Hannahmontanatron/Kashioboy/Fizzy Dino Pop/Yeahdef (Hailey's): DJ Yeahdef has put together this all local chiptune line up featuring some of the more regularly discussed names of the genre, including the excellent Fizzy Dino Pop, who we first wrote about over a year ago after we received a few solid tracks via email. As most realize, this genre has been increasing in underground prevalence over the past few years, and was shot straight to the top of many hearts and minds last year with the release of Crystal Castles' debut (Hey did u guyz no they canceled a show last week chek observ r for the deatz!), a record that sort of took a lot of elements of chiptune and welded them with some more standard, pop friendly dance beats and turned the entire concept into a relative commercial smash. Many in the scene will deny that Crystal Castles is even a chiptune group at all, and they really aren't, at least in the most pure sense of the term, but their connection with the sounds and aesthetic of the scene are undeniable. Anyway, should be a quality, high energy show with accompanying visuals

The Horrors/The Kills (Granada): Hey look, it hasn't even been a decade and these band names already look stupid.

Stereo on Strike Label Launch with Blixaboy/Dubbel Dutch/Trademarx (Fallout Lounge): Wanz Dover will be officially launching his Stereo on Strike label, which is looking forward to releases from Blixaboy, Cygnus, and Jack with One Eye, among others. Trademarx is the half of Billingham's Defense System that didn't recently move.

Robert Gomez/Baptist Generals (Secret Location, Denton): See, even some of Denton's most popular bands are now being forced to play these so-called "Fake venue" house shows that many of their own fans seem to be so vocal about hating. Thanks a lot, Lehman Brothers.... JK, DIY 4eva!

Cattle Decapitation/Woe of Tyrants/Rose Funeral/Predominant Mortification (The Lounge)

Trifle Tower/Drink to Victory/Kaboom/Scoff/New Science Projects (J&Js)

SUNDAY

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It List: Thursday and My Bloody Valentine Review

If you've been reading reviews of last night's My Bloody Valentine show on message boards, blogs and blog comment sections today, you've probably noticed two recurring themes amongst all the chatter: the first is the show's sheer volume, which was as overpowering as expected, and the second is the surprisingly physical experience of the band's now signature finale, "You Made Me Realise," which was perhaps the most intense performance of any song I've ever seen live, including the last time I saw the group play. Of course, these two aspects of last night's performance were certainly the most immediately arresting and probably the most important to the vast majority of those in attendance (myself included), but what hasn't been discussed in great detail thus far is how much sense this all makes when you consider My Bloody Valentine's approach to both songwriting and recording.

It should be said at the outset that the performance was truly transcendent, and easily the best large venue show I've ever seen in Dallas. Although concerns about the sometimes muddy sound at the Palladium had me wondering whether the Dallas audience would experience the sheer power and clarity that I had heard during their performance last fall in San Francisco, I discovered that the Palladium's sound actually topped that of the SF Concourse's in both volume and quality, allowing the auditory force to be overwhelming while retaining an admirable amount of the melodic clarity that made My Bloody Valentine perplexing and important in the first place. Although the first couple of songs seemed to be a bit quieter, comparatively speaking, than initially expected, it seemed that the volume increased with every song throughout the set, culminating, of course, in the finale that appeared to be shaking almost all in the audience to their core.

The band covered territory very similar, and in fact almost identical to what they've performed at their other recent North American dates, with Loveless favorites such as "Only Shallow," "When You Sleep," and of course "Soon," which is probably the closest thing the band has ever had to a hit given its pronounced, almost danceable drum beat and the catchy guitar carrying the track all the way through. They also tackled "Slow," from the You Made Me Realize EP, as well as Isn't Anything favorites "Cupid Come" and "(When You Wake) You're Still In a Dream," among others, emphasizing how much more conventional their earlier material was compared to their output on Loveless, as well as how powerfully they can perform such relatively straight forward rock songs in a live setting, rendering even those tracks something other than a straight guitar rock experience. All of these songs bordered on a physical sensation as vibrations filled the room and ears were pressed to their limits, and many hinted at the theme that I couldn't get out of my mind throughout the night-- that the volume level at MBV's live shows is completely necessary, and perhaps the only way to properly convey the fact that much of the group's material seems to be most easily digested not as rock songs, but almost more as the IDEA of rock songs. Melodies are hinted at but not thrown in the listener's face, rhythms are apparent and strong (the drumming on MBV records seems to be wildly underappreciated) but almost never emphasized or maintained as a focal point, and overall song structures are relatively traditional at their core yet given so much room to breathe that the listener can focus on particular parts of a song while losing track of others, allowing the music to fade in and out, bend, change, and then come back around to be appreciated as a complete piece, all at the will of and within the mind of individual listeners. In other words, much of their material straddles a line between form and formless, almost hinting at what the listener should hear or directing the audience instead of dictating to it. And as one sits there, taking it all in, the experience becomes more subjective and almost introverted, and the emotions inspired by the sounds seem like they could be almost as diverse as the faces in the crowd. And of course, without the overwhelming volume and composition of the sound in the venue and the effects and techniques emphasized by the band to create lush atmospheres and beautiful, intimidating walls of sound, the borderline chaos of the event would be lost, and the listener's imagination and subjective listening experience would be limited in where it was permitted to take the music. The beauty of My Bloody Valentine has always been found in their ability to push structure to the limits of chaos, and there is no other way that this could truly be experienced live without the punishing sound and confusing visuals to take the whole package to another level.

All of this, of course, lead up to their now famous 15 minute noise assault during "You Made Me Realize." The sound system absolutely roared at a level that has never, in my experience, been touched by any other band playing in this area, and everyone in the audience could literally feel it throughout their bodies. At first it was violent, harsh and even oppressive as listeners got used to hearing something louder and perhaps more formless than most had ever heard before, but after several minutes, as one WSJR commentator eloquently alluded to earlier, the noise became peaceful and almost reflective, and the experience of hearing it began to border on direct sensory and psychological stimulation rather than some form of consumable entertainment, complete with an essential set of visuals that made parts of the stage appear to move when they weren't, and mimicked the kind of sensory overload that allows the subconscious to move closer to the forefront of the human mind, again allowing the subjective experience of each listener to play a much more important role than it usually does when one hears more traditional forms of music being performed at reasonable volumes.

Yes, this all sounds a little cheesy, and some might even wonder whether it is an exaggeration, but most in attendance will probably confirm a similar experience, and besides, My Bloody Valentine's music, along with the necessarily powerful sound of their live performances, made the entire experience a revelatory and intensely personal one, which seems to go along with everything I felt the first time Loveless played through a pair of my headphones.

(Photos by Layla Blackshear for WSJR. We'll post the full set in our photo section some time this evening.)

As far as shows tonight, here are a few:

Dr. Dog/Cave Singers/Golden Boots (The Loft)

Top Notch Thursdays with Sober and HI-C(The Cavern)

Wild in the Streets (Amsterdam)

Find more on our show calendar.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It List: Wednesday

My Bloody Valentine/Josh T. Pearson (Palladium): One bad thing about reunion shows is that they are a great way to destroy the mystique surrounding certain bands. Maybe its just my personal experience rather than an overarching cultural phenomenon, but this has happened before: seeing the Pixies on a night when the temperature was in the upper 90's at ACL in Austin a few years ago was a fantastic experience that I'll never forget, but it was also far less exciting and pleasurable than I had imagined it to be back when I first discovered the Pixies and had no reason to believe they would ever play live together again. Perhaps I built it up in my head too much, or maybe it was the emerging hangover and the terrible weather that brought me down, but at the end of the evening, all I could say was "man, that was a pretty cool show." I guess on some level the same thing has happened with My Bloody Valentine, at least as far as the unknowable mystique that used to surround frontman Kevin Sheilds-- in just a few short years, I went from never dreaming that I'd get a chance to see one of my all time favorite bands live to tonight, which will be my second MBV show in less than nine months (caught them in San Francisco last fall as well). Fortunately, however, if tonight's performance is anything close to what I witnessed last October, this band' s legend will only grow in the hearts and minds of those in attendance, and anyone who witnesses this performance will likely realize that it is indeed the absolute loudest concert they've ever experienced in their lives. Like, it'll make the Dinosaur Jr show at the Gypsy Tea Room a couple years back sound like The Decemberists on a sitcom or something. Well, maybe not quite that extreme, but volume-wise, nothing I've ever seen has compared, Dinosaur included. Oh, and I'm not normally an ear plugs guy, but for this show, you might want to think about keeping them in at all times-- it is honestly tough to hear anything going on without them, and you'll get them for free, so why not? Former Dentonite and Lift to Experience front man Josh T Pearson will open the show with the Paper Chase's Bobby Weaver on bass and a former member of Lift to Experience on drums. If he plays the same set he reportedly played in Austin last night, you can expect all new material and no Lift to Experience stuff, which seems to simultaneously excite and disappoint his fans. OK guys, My Bloody Valentine is one of the very few overhyped, overblown "musical experiences" that is 100% worth it if you have any interest at all in the group. Getting another full length album from them, however, might remain a fantasy forever.

The Faint/Ladytron/Crocodiles (The Granada): Can we talk about Crocodiles for just a second? I mean, you pretty much KNEW a record like this was going to be released some time soon, didn't you? Crocodiles' debut full length, Summer of Hate, seems to be the poppy, teenage hipster version of what we've been hearing from bands like Blank Dogs, Wavves, Crystal Stilts, Eat Skull, and especially Psychedelic Horseshit, all of which is mixed together with the sounds of newer garage heroes like King Kahn and Jay Reatard, nods to harsh noise, and even a couple tracks that blatantly rip off the Jesus and Mary Chain to an almost laughable extent. Basically, Crocodiles influences are "whatever has been cool for the past couple years, man." This is the streamlined version of this new wave in American underground rock, produced and marketed with just enough cuteness and pop appeal to possibly make this music acceptable to "edgy" teenagers and over the hill professionals who are "losing their edge," so to speak. Don't misunderstand this, though-- there are a couple extremely catchy and well executed tracks on the album, and just because you're a fan of the aforementioned groups doesn't necessarily mean that you'll dismiss this stuff as pure garbage, because although it is certainly poppier than its source material, none of it borders on the posturing offensiveness found with, say, Interpol's borrowing of the "post-punk" aesthetic as a jump off for Carlos D's lame DJ sets. If nothing else, the commercialization of the underground is happening faster than ever these days, and Crocodiles are a timely example of this phenomenon.

Left of the Dial with DJG (Rubber Gloves): G tells us he plays Liaisons Dangereuses at left of the dial, along with a lot of other post-punk, early industrial and classic dance stuff.

Taxi Fare with DJ Nature (Zubar)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

It List: Tuesday


SR hates it when I do this, but there really isn't much going on tonight. I'll list what I could find, but it's not a lot. We'll have more for you later this evening, I think.

90's Night With Yeah Def (Hailey's)

DJ Dirty Cha Cha (Double Wide)

Tommy Keene/Sally Crewe (The Cavern)

Since I don't have much to say, here are a couple of things I've spent a lot of time thinking about in the past 24 hours:

I would really like to read this book, even though I saw a positive review of it on some right-wing site.

The restraint and anti-sentimentality of the post on this site today was surprisingly touching.

not new music tuesdays

Brainticket - Cottonwoodhill (1970, Bellaphon)

I've always found it slightly humourous when a group or artist finds it necessary to put a disclaimer on their record. While these lines can range from the innocent, like Let it Bleed's "This record should be played loud," to the slightly enigmatic "Play twice before listening" of the Silver Apples debut, Cottonwoodhill's come in the form of warnings: "After listening to this record, your friends may not know you anymore" and "Only listen to this once a day. Your brain might be destroyed!" Although I'm fairly certain that no brains have been destroyed by this album, I'm still a bit hesitant to put that second one to the test.

Brainticket is often associated with the krautrock movement, but were actually a Swiss group with members from all over Europe. The first two tracks of this album aren't bad, reflecting the heavy Deep Purple/Pink Floyd influence that was prevalent in most of the more obscure European/kraut groups of the time, but the record is really a vehicle for the final, three part track titled "Brainticket."

I guess you really have to put your all into a song that is named after your band and these guys do a pretty good job of that. They pile a pretty outrageous mix of synth effects, found sounds, and crazy 'female on tons of acid' vocal ramblings about paranoia, sex and God knows what else over a pretty funky, repetitive, almost Can-like backing track. I'll admit that it's pretty overwhelming to listen to very often, but it's pretty nice to dust this one off every now and then.

Monday, April 20, 2009

It List: Monday


Mike Watt & The Missingmen/Lions/The Golden Boys (The Granada): Having seen Watt in a couple of different situations, I definitely think he's at his best overpowering everyone in a supporting role, as opposed to leading a group. That being said, it's still highly enjoyable to watch and listen to one of the most famously unpretentious personalities in the music industry. He's touring for the third installment in a trilogy of punk rock operas, and I'm definitely interested in hearing what West Coast, avant punk, Tom Watson will add to this particular trio's sound. Watson has played with everyone from Slovenly to Overpass to The Red Krayola, and I think he's one of the most underrated and underappreciated guitarists of all time. His skillfully crooked playing on the Wire and Television covers featured on the Missingmen's page only further reinforces this long-held opinion.

Paul Mooney/AwkQuarius (The Lodge...yeah, I know): Well, this is at a "gentleman's club," which I'm not crazy about, but strip clubs have traditionally featured comedians, and Paul Mooney is definitely someone that's worth a little trouble. Aggressively confronting uncomfortable issues of race head on, he tends to make comedians look downright shy when tackling similar material. One of my favorite all-time bits was his take on Tom Cruise being the "Last Samurai." So obvious and so hilarious. Pikahsso and Tahiti's most recent project, AwkQuarius will be opening.

Paul Slavens (Dan's Silver Leaf): I enjoyed Slavens' campy yet dizzying performance in the Chameleon Chamber Group at Good Records this past weekend. Watching the remarkable number of children who were completely enthralled was just as entertaining.

Cool Out (The Cavern)

Free Mike Watt Tickets

The Granada has hooked us up with five pairs of tickets to see the legendary Mike Watt this evening, and since the show is happening tonight, we'll give them away to the first five people who email weshotjrtix@yahoo.com with "Mike Watt" as the subject line and their full name in the body of the email. Good luck, and we'll let you know as soon as we have our five wieners.

The contest has been over for a couple hours... sorry i forgot to update!

Monday Morning Rock




SHOWS OF NOTE THIS WEEK

MON: Mike Watt/Lions/Golden Boys (Granada)
WED: My Bloody Valentine/Lift To Experience (Palladium)
WED: The Faint/Ladytron/Crocodiles (The Granada)
FRI: Acid Mother's Temple/Sonic Suicide Squad (Hailey's)
FRI: Man Man/Boom Boom Box/Giggle Party (the Lounge)
FRI: New Thrill Parade/Orange Coax (Exploding House)
FRI: Lychgate/Ascites (Bike House)
SAT: Hannahmontanatron/Kashioboy/Fizzy Dino Pop/Yeahdef (Hailey's)
SAT: Stereo on Strike Label Launch with Blixaboy/Dubbel Dutch/Trademarx (Fallout Lounge)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

2 Sunday Updates

I was going to bitch about how hard it is to keep track of shows when people tell me about them: 1) in person, 2) via text message, or 3) via email, instead of using our show calendar, but then I realized that at least one of the shows we forgot to add to our weekender was, in fact, on the show calendar, thanks for Firehouse Gallery's Ben Rogers, so then I felt a little stupid. And then I remembered the look on Tim Duncan's pathetic face when he took a seat on the bench in the 4th quarter and watched the Mavs steal home court advantage from his team, and I realized that nothing was going to ruin my day. Anyway, here are a couple things going on tonight that we forgot to tell you about:

Going on for a couple more hours (until sunset), there's a free Disco BBQ party going on at Samuel Grand Park with people playing old school house and disco. It's BYOB and there will be grills if you want to bring food.... we don't know exactly who will be spinning there, but Schwa is the one who let us know about it so I'm guessing he's involved.

Also happening tonight is the premier of the Metrognome Collective's Firehouse Gallery in Ft. Worth, with performances from Yells at Eels, Dave Dove, Sonia Flores and Jason Jackson.  A great night of free and improvised jazz starts at 8pm.  

Friday, April 17, 2009

Weekender

We have a lot more shows listed on our show calendar (including shows at Doc's, 1919 Hemphill, Hailey's and more) for this busy weekend, but here are some things to do:

FRIDAY

Furnace/Finisher/Trifle Tower/Big Fiction (Exploding House): Furnace and Finisher are two touring New England hardcore bands. Despite all of the good things I've heard about Furnace, I think that Finisher might be the more impressive of the two bands. They utilize the growling singer/screaming singer tag-team technique you hear less and less of lately, and they have a more to the point style of rock that avoids the dramatic breakdowns employed by Furnace. Show starts promptly at 8:30.

Hjertestop/Tolar/Wiccans (818 Hickory St.): Though I'm told this show is "so punk that the floor will cave in," I have my doubts about that rather ambitious goal. Hjertestop hails from Copenhagen and they play rhythmically tight punk about throwing rocks at cops and shit; the kind of thing that Europeans tend to pull off more charmingly than anyone else at this point in punk history. Tolar are a known brutal quantity, and the new Wiccans' recordings (now posted) are so good that I was fooled into thinking they weren't analog.

Del The Funky Homosapien/Mike Relm/Bukue One/Serendipity Project (Granada)

Starlight Mints/Dove Hunter/The Crash that Took Me/Burning Hotels (Longhorn Saloon)

Uptown Fridays with Select (Zubar)

UNTmake.org Launch Party with
Yeahdef/DJ G (Hailey's)

Social with Keith P/Females (The Cavern)

No Genres with Blixaboy/Cygnus/PWR (Absinthe Lounge): We're told that Wanz and company will be spinning "challenging" electronic music, which I'm guessing involves the more experimental side of IDM as well as maybe some ambient and things like that. Cygnus is always great. I'd mention more specific genres, but they did say NO genres.

SATURDAY

Dan Deacon & Ensemble/Future Islands/Teeth Mountain/Fight Bite (Fort Worth Modern): A timely, fantastic show put together by Spune as part of the Ft. Worth Modern's Modern Till Midnight series featuring Dan Deacon and his ensemble, which apparently consists of more than a dozen other musicians, mostly from Baltimore, who are involved in some level in the now famous Wham City collective. Baltimore's Future Islands feature a more new wave leaning take on that signature Wham City spazzed synth pop aesthetic, and they do it fairly well, while Teeth Mountain explore highly rhythmic, almost tribal compositions that will probably sound fantastic live. Tickets are available by calling the Modern or at the door before the show. starts promptly at 8pm.

ADD: Pocket Change/Slackbeat/Divorce/Kaboom/2 Mai (1314 Austin St., Denton)

Erykah Badu/White Denim/Starlight Mints/Farah/True Widow and more (Good Records): Good Records will be celebrating "record store day" with what has to be the largest event they've ever held, with a full line up starting at noon and going well into the evening. You can check our show calendar for the full line up of all the bands and start times. The store says that if it ends up raining tomorrow, they will move their outdoor stage next door to the Beagle, while all the indoor performances will continue as scheduled inside the store.

Darktown Strutters/Nana and Popo/The Great Tyrant (Annex House): Probably the best show I've seen at Annex House so far, so stop by and check out Dallas' latest House venue.

Bettie Blood Burlesque/Enemies (Mable Peabody's)

Record Hop/RTB2/The Timeline Post/Drink to Victory (Rubber Gloves)

Dance Your Face Off with Bird Peterson/Prince William/Genova/Yeahdef (Fallout Lounge)

SUNDAY

ANS/Unit 21/Teenage Cool Kids/Opposite of God/Druids on Parade/the Reprehensibles (Rubber Gloves): Teenage Cool Kids will be headlining this one.

Bee's Fifth Benefit with Matthew Gray/Abacus (Dan's Silverleaf)

Free Dan Deacon Tickets

(FUN FACT: We've kind of decided to start a little game here at WSJR hq-- every time we post a ticket give away, we're going to bet on how long it will take for the Observer to post the same exact contest on their blog. To our knowledge, they've done it with just about every contest we've posted in 2009, and it usually seems to take them 2-3 hours. Sometimes they even use the same pictures we do! Glad we can help set their agenda over there, and it also means more free tickets for everyone in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area! Anyway, today it took just under 3 hours.)

Spune has hooked us up with a pair of tickets to see Dan Deacon & Ensemble along with Teeth Mountain, Future Islands and Fight Bite tomorrow evening at 8pm at the Fort Worth Modern. If you'd like to win the tickets, please email weshotjrtix@yahoo.com any time between now and 5pm today with "Dan Deacon" as the subject line and your full name in the email body. Good luck!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It List: Thursday

First things first, here is a little primer from Robert Reich regarding the utter stupidity of the Tea Bagger protests from yesterday. Hey, Billy Bob-- you know your taxes actually went DOWN recently, right? And that we pay LOWER taxes than any country in the industrialized world, right? Ok, go back to your NASCAR now.

Second things second, our beloved Dallas Mavericks will be playing the hated San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs starting Saturday. I have to admit that I've been something of a fair weather fan this year, but man, this has the makings of a great playoff series. The Mavs are playing their best basketball of the season, and the Ginobli-less Spurs aren't looking so hot. There's nothing sweeter than sticking it to Spurs fans either, and I'm saying Mavericks in 6. Don't hate me if I'm wrong. Now for music shows ya'll (and sorry I'm so late... sometimes you have to work, you know?):

Amon Amarth/Goat Whore/Skeleton Witch/Lazarus AD (Granada): Long time Swedish "melodic death metal" band Amon Amarth headlines a show this evening that certainly has the potential to inspire a much tougher and less good looking riot than Crystal Castles. Much more interesting is New Orleans black metal group Goat Whore, who seem to take a lot of inspiration from black metal legends Emperor, albeit with much better production values.... same goes with Skeleton Witch.

Sun Club with Fizzy Dino Pop/VJ Jibu/ OPS ESPONJA w/ XIAOCHUAN LI (Rubber Gloves): Interesting line up at Rubber Gloves this evening, put together by Thursday residents Sun Club. I'm not 100% sure about this, but I believe Fizzy Dino Pop is a former Dentonite who has relocated to Austin, which is a shame because his chip-tune/electro-pop tracks are quite invigorating and almost all rather catchy-- sure, a lot of it is pretty standard chiptune stuff, and the material is certainly influenced by artists operating outside of what you might call the chiptune underground, such as Mr. Quintron, Dan Deacon and the Death Set, but most of this stuff is poppier than the first two and decidedly more dancefloor oriented (not to mention stranger) than Death Set's stuff, and quite frankly, Fizzy Dino Pop is a lot more approachable and enjoyable than a lot of similar artists who are supposed to be "good" or whatever. Elsewhere, Jibu does original video productions, and Ops Esponja performs some sort of "down tempo," although we haven't had a chance to hear any of it.


Keith P/Disqo Disco (The Lounge)

Top Notch with Sober (The Cavern)

80's Night with DJ G (Hailey's)

Art List

THURSDAY

Art Motel: Spring Open Studio Night (Marty Walker) 6-8pm
Beer, burgers, margaritas, a little mystery- start at Marty Walker and go from there.

Re• (Decorazon)6-9pm
A show themed around our favorite prefix.

SATURDAY

Modern 'til Midnight (the Modern) 6pm-midnight
This will probably be a pretty packed event, since Dan Deacon is performing, along with Fight Bite, Teeth Mountain, and Future Islands. There will be a screening of St. Nick from local filmakers David Lowery and James Johnston, and the new Rosson Crow exhibit is up, along with some of the permanent collection.

DADA Spring Gallery Walk 2-8pm
Look here for the participating galleries, who's showing what where, etc. I'm not going to lie, I'm always pretty disappointed by these things

Darryl Lauster Artist's Talk (Barry Whistler) 1pm

Dick Wray: Selected Works 1980-Present (HCG)

SUNDAY

Firehouse Gallery Grand Opening (4147 Meadowbrook, 76103)
A new location for the Metrognome Collective! Here's what they have to say about this Sunday's opening shindig:

"From 5-7pm James Talanmbes will spin music, and we will open the doors for an artist reception featuring the works of Jeru Gabriel in our studio gallery. The Studio Gallery will rotate mixed-media works monthly. The garage gallery will rotate photography works monthly, staggered two weeks from the studio gallery openings. We're currently displaying photography from our permanent collection in the Garage."

From 7pm on there is a $5 cover to see improv from Yells at Eels, Dave Dove, Sonia Flores, and Jason Jackson.

Image courtesy of Rosson Crow and The Modern.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It List: Wednesday

First the list:

Left Of The Dial With DJ G (Rubber Gloves):

Cut Loose with Yeah Def (Hailey's)

The Polycorns/Josh Judkins/Keith P (The Cavern)

And a brief word about last night: It got a little crazy there at the end, after the announcement that the show was canceled. I thought the world's weakest, hippest riot was about to break out. I've never seen so many good looking people so unhappy. Anyways, I think The Granada is doing an excellent job of trying to remedy what is obviously an unpleasant situation, as the following forwarded email shows:



Fans of Granada Theater, and Crystal Castles:

We are very sorry for the unfortunate circumstances of last night's canceled Crystal Castles concert. Refunds are already taking place (04/15/09 10:00 am) It is the policy of The Granada Theater to never cancel shows, but sometimes matters are beyond our control. We pleaded with the band for several hours to play their set, but in the end they refused to perform...or apologize.

To make things right, we are offering something special to the people who bought tickets on our web site for Crystal Castles:

We will let all of you who bought tickets from www.granadatheater.com come FOR FREE to the show of your choice.

There are a lot of you fine folks, so here's how this will work:

Email management@granadatheater.com with a list of the top 5 shows you want to see from our calendar (in order of importance to you).

Include your order number from the Crystal Castles show.

As guestlist space permits, we will give you all tickets (1 ticket for every ticket purchased to Crystal Castles) to one of your 5 specified shows.

Please be understanding with us, we expect to receive 500+ emails with guest list requests, so we will deal with each and every one of you personally in the order we receive your emails.

Please exclude The Faint & Ladytron, Ryan Bingham and Brandi Carlile concerts from your lists as they are almost sold out.

Apologies to our friends Vega, who were very understanding about not being able to play the show last night. As it worked out, they were able to have a successful show of their own last night. We're looking forward to the next opportunity to have Vega here at The Granada!

We're terribly upset about the situation. Our fans have never been inconvenienced so greatly at our venue before, and we're doing everything we can to make it right.

Thanks for being so understanding.

Management @ Granada Theater

Order #: ___________________
Band of Choice:
1-
2-
3-
4-
5-
(Put in order of importance to you, Tickets will be General Admission, if Reserved Seats are available on the show you can upgrade for a couple extra dollars night of show if you desire).
Our response to you will have the name of the band only and the quantity of tickets in the body of the email.
This will be all we will reply with.
You will be on the guest list for the night.
Print the page and bring it with you on the night of the show for extra confirmation. (Not required)


UPDATE: Indie-Verse 105.3 has interviews with Vega's Alan Palomo and Vega's manager, Danny Carissimi bringing even more first-hand insight on the situation.

The Full Story on Crystal Castles

Explanation from Crystal Castles management regarding the cancelation last night (reposted from Gorilla vs Bear):

"a) Vegas (sic) were not kicked off for "petty bullshit", if Vegas want to try to create an internet meme out of this that's fine, whatever.

b) CC obviously did not want to leave 1000+ people hanging outside. The people at Granada pulled the plug on CC during CC's soundcheck, claiming they feared CC would "blow the soundsystem." The people at Granada tried to rent (at the last minute) proper speakers that would not "blow" for the show but it just couldn't happen on short notice. At one point they thought they had found professional speakers but 2 hours later this fell through and the decision was made that the show could not happen. Also of note, a DJ had blown their speakers a few weeks ago and they did not want this to happen again. They said they couldn't afford to repair the speakers again. It would be nice if you knew the truth and were fair to the band since this wasn't their fault. The blame goes to whoever booked this band at this ill-equipped venue."

and finally:

"Vega stole an FX-Pedal from CC. If this is not a good reason to get kicked off a bill and (possibly) get blacklisted by a promoter I don't know what is. Worst part is CC liked the guys and tried to convince us to forgive them."


Of course, we talked with Alan Palomo last night, and he claims that Crystal Castles actually borrowed one of HIS guitars, and that one of their effects pedals ended up bieng placed in the guitar case when Crystal Castles returned it to him. Crystal Castles doesn't deny that they borrowed one of Vega's guitars.

Finally, response from the Granada via press release:

Let me start with a definition:
Prima donna:
Prima donnas cannot help the way they are because their parents spoiled them and they are still developing their personalities.
All a prima donna has to do is whine and their parents give them what they want.

Here's how our day went at the Granada on Tue:
Vega (Alan from Ghosthustler) opened for CC in Austin Monday night.
At 5pm (3 hrs before doors) we received a call from CC that Vega could not be on the bill.
Vega had been approved by CC in advance for the bill.
Early on Tue CC hired a light tech from Austin that is also a DJ to replace Vega.
CC could have communicated with Vega early in the day before they left Austin.
Vega was at the Granada waiting to soundcheck.
CC would not enter the building until Vega was gone from the premise.
Alan was super cool. No prima donna.
We've never seen this request. The other co-promoter out of Austin has never seen this kind of request.
CC whining...
CC soundchecked at 6pm instead of at 4pm.
CC didn't "like the sound of their kickdrum".
CC insists that "more woofers be brought in".
Rental places close at 6pm.
It is now 7pm.
Granada has 16 - 18" sub-woofers and 12 - 15" sub-woofers. Also 32 - 8" midranges. Lots of firepower.
Sound check was great.
CC says they would rather cancel the show than possibly not have enough kick drum.
Granada begs that the show goes on.
Granada even offers to dismantle sub woofer stacks and place them in different places in the room.
Granada was willing to do anything to have the show go on.
CC waits until after 10pm to give final cancellation.

The show must go on. Life is all perception. One person sees the day as beautiful, another sees the day as crap.
Why would any band crap on their fans like this?
Insecurity is a cancer. Love yourself. Love your sound guy and the system at the club you are playing.
Play the show. Then listen to your fans. If you don't like the sound at a club never go back to the club.
We've had every big band imaginable in every genre imaginable and had amazing shows.
Nobody has complained about our sound. This is totally out of left field.
The sound at Granada is amazing...and would have been if CC would have just got on stage and played.

Today Granada is refunding ticket cost and entire service charge to each patron.
No one cares for live music more than we do. We've put together an amazing room, staff and sound system.
We'll see you soon fellow music fans.

Mike Schoder and all the Staff at Granada.



And thats about as close to the full story as we'll probably get, so we're done here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It List: Tuesday

Crystal Castles/Vega (The Granada): Where to begin with Crystal Castles? It's increasingly impossible and even pointless to measure things in terms of album sales at this point, so we'll have to come up with something else. Their Myspace page has over 11 Million hits; you hear their music piped out of every hip clothing botique; you hear their music piped out of every lame-ass, dark wood, dude-bro bar or should I say "pub." Their music is everywhere cool and everywhere lame, so it's just plain everywhere, let's face it. This of course, makes them the stars of this decade's 8-bit revolution, a genre they must resent on some level, specifically after they stopped 8-bit sampling rather early in their career and created the sounds on their own. They symbiotically rose to prominence largely in part to the remix job they did on HEALTH's "Crimewave," which, as much as it helped that group, will probably always annoy them when fans ask why they "didn't play the Crystal Castles version?" Because it's a remix. That's why.

Crystal Castles can however "play a remix" and I'd be surprised if they didn't tonight. They also feature live drums and a wildly interactive live show, which may or may not be partly inspired by the group's metal and noise-punk origins. The excellent Vega opens the show, and I would encourage you to check out the track, "Other End" on his page, for a more subdued Eno-like side to the group if you thought all they did was party.

UPDATE: Vega, aka Alan Palomo, posted via Twitter that he was somehow booted off the Crystal Castles bill tonight, apparently because CC's manager "hates him." Vega is planning to play at Disqo Disco tonight at Fallout Lounge around midnight instead. We'll let you know when we hear more about this.

UPDATE #2: Just got off the phone with Alan Palomo, and he tells us that Crystal Castles asked that they be taken off the bill, but that they officially don't know why this happened and are "awaiting further information." Anyway, they WILL be going ahead with the midnight set at Fallout Lounge for those who would like to see them.

UPDATE #3: Just spoke with some people at the Granada, and apparently Crystal Castles found a new supporting act, Rebel Leaders, Crystal Castles is scheduled to take the stage at 10.
UPDATE #4: So as most people already know, Crystal Castles canceled the show last night, and we were told that the Granada, at least at this point, has plans to refund everyone's money, although their official plans won't be announced until a press release comes out some time in the next few minutes, so wait and see on that. Representatives from the Granada couldn't tell us why the band canceled last night, but we have heard claims that the band did not feel that the Granada's sound system was adequate for their purposes, although we did not speak to the band or any of their representatives regarding those claims. Furthermore, representatives from the Granada seem to feel that the group never had any intention of playing the show at any point during the day, hence the problems with Vega. etc., although they say that they have no official confirmation as to Crystal Castles' reasons for the cancelation. We'll give you more details when we receive the forthcoming press release, but in the meantime, here is an explanation from the band's perspective, and representatives from the Granada defended their sound system quite emphatically to us, stating that no one has ever complained about their sound in the past.

Disqo Disco
(Fallout Lounge): It had been some time since I had been to this weekly event, and I was impressed by how packed it was last week. They certainly have come a long way in the past year.


90's Night With Yeah Def (Hailey's)

Monday, April 13, 2009

not new music tuesdays

The Decayes - Accidental Musik (1979, Imgrat)

I'll be damned if I can find much more information about this album than what is listed on the insert, which is included with the download. Accidental Music is the second release by the LA based group, whose revolving line-up has resulted in them being termed a "collective." This is a term that seems to get thrown around quite a bit these days if more than five people play in a band, so I don't really read much into that. Their debut, 1978's Ich bin ein Spiegelei, piqued the interest of Steven Stapleton, who included them on his now infamous list. Much like the aforementioned list, this record is all over the fucking place. Influences like Stockhausen, Can, Lard Free, and Tangerine Dream are smashed together and beaten into some strange, dark progressive (I use this term loosely) mess that at times recalls several things, but as a whole reminds me of nothing.

It List: Monday

Brian Jonestown Massacre/The Flavor Crystals (The Granada): By pretty much all accounts, Anton Newcombe, founder of Brian Jonestown Massacre, is a fairly ridiculous and troubled individual who is prone to violence, drug addiction and a variety of other irresponsible behaviors. Anyone who attended BJM's last local show at Trees can attest to this-- within literally one minute of being onstage, obviously drunk and intoxicated by any number of other substances, Newcombe got into a shouting match with an audience member, asked that the guy be kicked out by security, and then proceeded to tell the audience that he had "lost his voice" and would be unable to sing that evening. Instead, he lead a pointless 20 minute instrumental "jam" by the band before inviting audience members on to the stage to sing BJM classics to the mostly disappointed fraction of the audience that actually decided to stay through the show. And this was an extremely tame and unenventful night by his standards.

So yes, Newcombe has proven himself to be a hit-or-miss live performer, to put it kindly, and although he might not have come across as quite as much of a douche as the members of the Dandy Warhols in Dig!, the infamous documentary about the two bands, he still seemed like a caricature of a rock n roll cliche, and a pretty poor one at that. Still, the guy can be given a few props-- for starters, his behavior in Dig was highly entertaining, for the most part, and for better or worse, it can probably be said that Newcombe's influence as a songwriter in the American underground has increased quite a bit over the past few years, perhaps because of Dig, or maybe in spite of it. His embrace of 60's psychedelic pop and groups like Spacemen 3, Jesus and Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine was certainly never as revolutionary as many around him seemed to think it was, but the group had a string of great records in the mid and late 90's, perhaps culminating in their underappreciated foray into shoegaze and british psychedelic pop, Bravery, Repitition and Noise, released in 2001. The best of BJM's work is perfectly executed guitar pop that touches on everything from They Byrds to Slowride to Suicide, and you can probably expect to hear a lot of this material this evening. I admittedly don't know much about Newcombe's more recent work (although the little I've heard has been fairly terrible), but if you are willing to roll the dice concerning what kind of mood Newcombe will be in tonight, you could very well see a pretty fantastic show.

Themselves/Yeahdef/Lil Foot (Hailey's): Anticon's Themselves have been around for more than a decade now, and like you might expect from a group on the aforementioned label, they've worked with people like Busdriver, Aesop Rock and Mr. Dibbs... as well as some that you might not expect, such as the Notwist.

Cool Out (The Cavern)