December 30, 2012 § Leave a comment
Hey kids! Tonight there’s a show at the VFW, looks to be an old-fashioned country/bluesy affair. Go check out the show calendar on your left.
In other news, now that the holidays are over (and I will stop complaining about Christmas knitting now! aren’t you pleased) is anybody feeling a little case of the winter blues? Like, holy God could I ever go for some sunshine and palm trees. My nose won’t stop running, my hands are perpetually dry, I feel like sleeping for 12 hours, drinking whiskeyed cocoa for breakfast and going back to bed. So…. I need to get off my butt and party, I reckon. Who’s with me?
December 28, 2012 § Leave a comment
Everyone’s favorite curmudgeon Tim, of Bird’s Mile Home and Buddy Jackson, speaks on his favorite tunes of this year…
10. Damage Done, Nothing is Over:
So what can I say about these guys that won’t be like kissing their asses? One of my favorite bands. Best described as triumphant, heart-on-the-sleeve exultant punk rock. Four sweet, engaging friends and brothers making a tight, joyful racket. This is what I listen to when I need to be jolted off my ass, snapped awake. When I need to have more optimism in my life. When I need a certain something of I don’t know what. They sing about friends, family, Star Wars, and the daily life of your everyday average punk rocker who works, loves, creates and has fun fun fun. Hey! That’s like, me! Listen to Damage Done on Bandcamp.
9. Cory Branan, Mutt:
This guy is a Radish Cake. I mean a Caddish Rake. Southern fella who knows what he’s got here. Songs full of lyrical repose and mint juleps n’shit. Also cigarettes, booze, restlessness, traveling, women and the chase of all that with a gleamy southern twinkle in the eye. This collection of songs runs the gamut from Springsteen E-Street Band style rockers to John Prine inspired folk songs to Tom Waits-ian drunk ballads. Good road music, makes you feel like never getting anywhere. Like a hot, southern cakewalk. mmm-mmm. Cory Branan’s official site.
8. Bob Mould, Silver Age:
I wonder if this album is called Silver Age cause he’s such a goddamn silver fox? Motherfucker looks good. Especially compared to his Husker Du days when he was all doughy and frowny looking. In any case this album reflects that well. The best melodicism of Husker Du mixed with Sugar’s Beaster EP and his aforementioned “distinguished older gentleman” quality. It’s all here folks, and that means he’s basically outdid his younger self in my opine. So fucking good.
7. Hot Water Music, Exister:
This is another band that has been around forever and I’ve always had a healthy admiration for. I’m not the hugest fan of this band by far and I don’t necessarily like everything they’ve released but when they hit that high mark there is nothing better. Tightly wound, technical driving rhythms and guitar work, personal no-nonsense lyrics, sing-along choruses. Daddy likes! A return to form for these guys and all that shit.
6. Cheap Girls, Giant Orange:
Another Mid-West band of three vaguely nerdy looking fellas playing beautiful mid-tempo power pop punk rock. Reminiscent of mid-eighties to mid-nineties college rock. This is the kind of band where I pop their cassette into my car’s deck and drive all over town pointing at all the things that they could be singing about, where the scenes of their songs take place. And after three or four flips of the tape and no fast-forward (A rarity for I, believe me), I’m out of cigarettes and glad for it. There’s an optimism here that makes each verse about loneliness and heartbreak seem like no big deal and holy fuck do I need to hear that sometimes just cause, man. And I’ve realized I’ve listened to this record so much that I can’t believe it only came out this year. I feel like I’ve been listening to this for years. Or maybe it’s the songs. Old friends or some shit. I dunno.
5. King Tuff, S/T:
I was on tour when these guys played Missoula and I had no idea. I had no idea who the hell they were actually, which means if I was in town I probably wouldn’t have gone, ha! This was an impulse buy at Ear Candy Music because Adelaide and John were playing it on the stereo. It was catchy, relaxed and well played poppy garage rock and not usually what I listen to or buy. Kinda flavor-of-the-weekish and hipstery (whatever that means) to me but! sometimes flavors be tasty enough and I don’t fucking give a shit no more so fuck it!… I see that these guys are extensively reviewed on Pitchfork.com if that gives you any idea of what they’re like. Either way read their reviews there cause I’m done describing something that’s already extensively written about.
4. Waxahatchee, American Weekend:
I listen to this record over and over and I keep hearing new things. I can’t pin anything on it. I’ve always been all ‘squee squee!’ about that melancholy tight chest feeling and after attempting to squirt out a tear or two I end up just sitting there as the turntable needle crackles and spins on the finishing groove. Well, this is a resonant, assured collection of songs about things, optimistically heartbreaking things, things that sure sound good-like. Lo-fi guitar and voice has always had a place in this guy’s tiny charred broken heart and yeah… you know what? These songs remind me of dust particles floating around in sun rays shining through a window. Take that as you will. I’ll take two please. Waxahatchee on Bandcamp.
3. Al Scorch & The Country Soul Ensemble, Tired Ghostly Town:
This guy has been a huge influence on my music making for a number of years now and recently seeing him live, solo with just his banjo was a privilege-treat-thing or something, and being able to play a number of shows with him on tour was transcendent, mmm yes. Pretty goddamn funny and charismatic guy too. This record is a collection of songs with a large group of people playing lyrically specific, smart, folk songs about a myriad cast of characters from all over the goddamn place but it’s very mid-west to mine ears. Like a goddamn Chicago Dog with all the fixin’s! Tired Ghostly Town on Bandcamp.
2. Tim Blood & The Gut Panthers, The Fall of:
We got lost trying to drive to Moscow, Idaho. We finally pull into town, it’s late out and we can’t find the venue we’re supposed to play at. It was next to an RV dealership behind a billboard. This is all true but also allegorical in regards to this band being that they’re from this sleepy little town. It turned out to be one of the funnest shows we played on tour and easiest, and if it’s both of those things it makes traveling very enjoyable. And Tim Blood & The Gut Panthers, they’re so hidden, cloistered in the inner Northwest and the music they play because of this is like the freshest breath of air after living and breathing van filth and cigarette fart air.
Fun, spastic punk rock, evocative, smart lyrics, effortless they be. If I had this record playing in the stereo that night, I would have found Moscow, Idaho with my eyes closed. Tim Blood and the Gutpanthers on Bandcamp.
1. Propagandhi, Failed States:
I was thirteen, smoking a Marlboro red in an old, yellowed 1974 GMC pick-up and my cousin Ron put in a cassette of Propagandhi’s first album. I think I pooped a little. Fifteen years later and I’m drinking a cheap beer in my apartment and I push play on Propagandhi’s newest album. I think I pooped a lot. For me anyway, and I say this either because of my advanced age and subsequent pooping prowess, these Canadian mad men’s albums keep getting better, more brutal, angrier more ‘real’. A close, almost sequel to 2009’s Supporting Caste, this record slays so hard. SO FUCKING HARD! Best record of 2011 and 2013 too! I guarantee!
Other things I enjoyed this year? Mike Watt at Zoo City Apparel, Rites of Spring’s six song demo EP, Lucero’s new album, pretty much all of Swearin’s stuff, awesome live too. Nato Coles and The Blue Diamond Band. Seeing Johnny from The Reddmen, Nels and Kelly from Noise Noise Noise butcher Guided By Voices songs to a bunch of soaking wet and drunk half naked punks in a tiny garage in Billings Montana. Tenement and Iron Lung at Totalfest. Tenement and Iron Lung at The Lab, Forgetters’ new full length, Nick Knockoff locking the keys inside our van right before load-in at The Charleston in Bremerton, Washington. My son’s birthday, and his first time saying ‘Shit’ (can’t say I’m proud of that one.)
Happy New Year and all that horseshit. Don’t die, stay alive.
December 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
So tonight’s a show at ye olde VFW with locals Shahs, the Magpies and
King Elephant, and a touring band called Sioux City Pete and the Beggars, a “wrecked-ass satanic Blues outfit,” according to the interwebs. Hot giggity. You can listen to their album on Bandcamp. I was skeptical… but they actually sound pretty fucking cool.
ETA: The cover is $3, and King Elephant can’t make it since half the band can’t get here yet.
December 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
Everyone’s favorite Magic City punks Noise Noise Noise have their last album online! Stream Buck Kuts on Bandcamp.
So cool they got a Razorcake review, even:
“The tunes have moved a wee bit more down the Ramones end of the street since last we met—though that might also be a result of the better sound here, which is less “garage” than the last—but they have enough sense to avoid the pop punk clone trappings by keeping the songs a bit more creative in construction, dropping in other influences, and even being so bold as to drop in a full on “rock” tune now and again. Another solid outing from these cats. –Jimmy Alvarado (Noise Noise Noise)”
December 26, 2012 § Leave a comment
Ah, crap. I meant to post this back on Dec. 22, obviously. I’m still in Holiday Busy Mode for a little while and then posting will resume. In the meantime, enjoy this song since we all survived.
December 22, 2012 § Leave a comment