Tuesday, January 31, 2006
If You Can't Rock Me....
Scoff all you want, indie-hipsters. We're going to see the mother-f---ing Rolling Stones tomorrow night. The new record kicks serious ass. They still put on one of the best rock and roll shows out there. I've purposely avoided looking up setlists, but I know it's gonna be chock full o' hits, a couple songs from the new record, a Keith song (or two) and a coupla nuggets I wouldn't expect. According to It's Only Rock 'n' Roll , Baltimore appears to be the smallest show of the tour (excepting a few rumored dates). It's gonna f-ing ROCK!
My first Stones show. The Tattoo You tour. The one where I got to pat Mick on the head. The one where Keith could barely stand up and kept running into the microphone during "Little T & A". The one that cost 1/10th of what we paid for tomorrow night. One of my top 5 concerts ever. I still have my shirt from that night. Setlist here.
I can't get Gilda Radner's "Gimme Mick" out of my head.
So. Very. Excited.
Monday, January 30, 2006
Teenbeat's 21st Anniversary
Teenbeat is having another anniversary celebration. It doesn't look quite as exciting as last year's, but it still looks pretty happening:
The Galaxy Hut
Flin Flon (record release party)
Dave Park (Eggs, Sexual Milkshake, Unrest)
MMM's Live Archive (live via satellite from Paris)
William & Vivian (first performance! ex-Eggs, Unrest)
Phil Krauth (Unrest, Tone)
Latin Hustle (John from True Love Always & co. do bossa-nova)
Evelyn Hurley (Blast Off Country Style)
Mark Robinson (King of all things Teenbeat)
plus tour stories from Jeff Gramm and Matt Datesman
Phil Krauth - Cold Gray Morning
Mark Robinson - Tasty Black Licorice
Flin Flon - Flatbush
These songs came from a couple of Teenbeat samplers. They cost a whopping $5 each. Don't be a cheap bastard. If you like what you hear, go buy something. Teenbeat was supporting local music in DC when you were still learning how to fingerpaint. Show 'em some love. These are only up for a few days.
Local Music Night @ 9:30
As for the bands...Nethers took me a bit by surprise. They've got a definite Velvet Underground kind of thing going. A thumpy-droney-darkly psychedelic-jammy thing. Completely different sound from The Carlsonics. Fantastic. The singer's sweet voice on top of the fairly simple music, which would eventually devolve into this droning noise-fest. Love. It. Can't wait to see them again. (FYI - You can stream their whole album from a link on their website.)
Cedars was easily the best band of the night. They just get better and better every time I see them. They're branching out a lot from the sound from their EP. They're rocking a little harder and sounding a little tighter. Good to see them on a bigger stage with a light show and everything.
Bicycle Thieves...well....they just don't do it for me. I seem to be in the minority here though. Everyone else seems to dig 'em. I just hear by-the-numbers indie pop. They're very good at it, but it's just not my thing. I found myself bored by the time they were done. Frankly, I thought their cover of "Radio Radio" was a total drag. They sounded as bored as I felt. Why bother? I picked up their EP anyway, and it doesn't really change my mind. "Loser of the Year" is a good song, but the rest of the EP doesn't live up to that one, in my opinion. Still, if they can pack the 9:30 Club for an all-local gig, I'm all for 'em. Keep it up.
At first I was bummed that I forgot my camera, but I saw that he was there snapping away, so I figured any pics I would take would be sub-par anyway. I was correct.
Kudos to 9:30 for supporting local bands again.
Bicycle Thieves - Encore
Cedars - Mercury
Nethers - Breastfeathers
Saturday, January 28, 2006
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Sunday, January 22, 2006
My Napster Days
I have exactly 4 cds worth of material I grabbed from Napster:
Fuzzbox - We've Got A Fuzzbox and We're Gonna Use It
Tom Tom Club - Close To The Bone
The Slickee Boys - Cybernetic Dreams Of Pi
and one compilation cd of random songs.
The Fuzzbox and Tom Tom Club cds are still out of print. Actually, I don't think they were ever available on cd. The Slickees cd is now available as a cd-r from Twin-Tone, or directly from the band (if you happen to catch them at one of their annual reunion shows). I've since bought both versions of that one.
As for the compilation cd...some of those tracks are available in some form or another now, either on re-issues of the original discs or on compilations of some sort. Some of them I've gone back and purchased. But I admit - not all of them.
Anyway....Here are a few of the songs I stole off of Napster. I have all of these on vinyl though, so there's no real guilt :-)
Skafish - Joan Fan Club
If I could find the first Skafish (pronounced SKAY-fish) record on cd I'd buy it in a heartbeat. What a crazy record. One of those early, quirky IRS records. Skafish can be seen in Urgh! A Music War , but I've never seen it. Even the VHS version is hard to find and expensive once you do. I hear it's quite the treat. Please release that on DVD. Thanks.
Monks - Nice Legs, Shame About Her Face
Old school wackiness. It's available at Amazon, but it's a pricey import. They sound a bit like the old Stiff pub-rock bands. From the record Bad Habits.
They Might Be Giants - We're The Replacements
Once upon a time I thought TMBG were funny. That was about 20 years ago. My friends and I used to call their dial-a-song hotline every few days to hear their new songs. I lost interest after the first record though. I still think this song is cute. This was eventually released on a comp or two.
The Soft Boys - Give It To The Soft Boys
My introduction to this song was actually by The Young Fresh Fellows. They were playing at 9:30 as the opening act for...ummm....The Soft Boys. They covered one of the headliner's songs. How cool is that? From the long out-of-print Can Of Bees.
Did I mention that Robyn Hitchcock is the leader of The Soft Boys? He doesn't suck, you know.
Monday, January 16, 2006
MAL / Blowoff
If you'd like to see me devolve into a stammering mess, just put me in a room full of hot guys with mohawks. I'll be useless for a bit, while my dirty little mind just goes into overdrive. Such was the case at MAL this weekend, where the eye-candy was just everywhere. So much to see...so little time. But enough about my fetishes...
MAL was a blast, as always, but the highlight of the weekend was Blowoff. This was the big move from the basement of the 9:30 Club to the main room upstairs, where capacity moves from about 50 people to around 1000. We got there about an hour after doors opened and the place was already PACKED. There was a bit of a crossover from the MAL crowd, but it looked more like a local crowd than anything else. Bob and Rich kept everyone dancing all night and gave us a 5-song (or was it 6?) live set, which I assume consisted of songs from the upcoming Blowoff cd. Killer. That's definitely one not to be missed. Those guys definitely know how to throw a party.
It seemed like everyone was out for this one. Pick a gay DC blogger from the list on the left and I probably ran into them. I'll admit I was a little concerned about losing the vibe with the big move upstairs, I quickly forgot all about that, once I surrounded myself with a bunch of our friends. The music was as good as always and it was nice to have a little extra room to move about. I'm already looking forward next month's edition.
I'll keep all the dirty little secrets about both MAL and Blowoff to myself, but trust me - they were both fun :-)
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Sony Goes Gay
New Sony Label Geared Toward Gay Artists
I suppose I should be glad about this, but to be honest, it just irks me. Just what the music business needs - a gay ghetto. Someplace we can tuck away the gays, but still get some money out of them and get a little good PR out of it.
"It's a home that says to artists, 'We not only are OK with who you are, but we embrace that as part of your identity'"
Well, why aren't you embracing it on a regular non-gay label? Answer: You don't think gay musicians are marketable to anyone but other gay people. What you're looking to embrace is my wallet.
I think it's insulting to the artist to slap the "gay music" tag on them, implying that their music doesn't fit in in the real world. Unless someone's singing about b*tt-sex, "gay music" is nothing more than changing a few pronouns around. It bothers me to think that someone's going to be banished to the gay label just because he said "him" instead of "her".
I wonder how eager Wal*Mart is going to be to stock the titles on this label?
There's another article here that mentions targeting bisexuals. How the hell do you do that? Unless every song is about mixed-3-ways that doesn't make any sense.
There's also this quote:
The label also plans to release various compilations geared toward gay and bisexual audiences, as well as music fans everywhere, featuring hit songs by established artists that have been embraced by gay, bisexual and trans-gendered audiences as well as tracks from emerging gay artists.
To me that sounds like they're trying to attract non-gay audiences by throwing on a couple of Madonna tracks (you know the gays can't resist that) and a few gay artists as an afterthought. I can tell you exactly what these compilations will include: A Madonna track (or some similarly straight-but-the-gays-love-'em artist), some Sandra Bernhard, a bunch of lounge/cabaret singers, a token country track, a couple of rockin' (but not too threatening) lesbian songs and some circuit party music. Blech.
Nothing bothers me more than being told what kind of music gay people like. As I type this, AC/DC is playing in the background. Will there be any metal on these comps? A little Judas Priest, perhaps? I seriously doubt it. Is Sony going to pick up Pansy Division? Doubtful. I'll bet they're just a little too gay for the execs at Sony.
I know I'm just cynical, but this gets on my nerves. I think Logo probably has their heart in the right place. I think Sony sees the opportunity to go for the almighty gay dollar without dirtying up any of their regular labels.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Coulda Shoulda Woulda
I forgot to mention another CD getting released today.
Old-school DC punks Black Market Baby just released an comp of old singles, album tracks, compilation songs, etc. It's called Coulda... Shoulda... Woulda...: The Black Market Baby Collection and it's being distributed by Dr. Strange Records.
Black Market Baby was an odd beast. Not exactly punks, but definitely loud and fast. Straight-Edge they definitely weren't. Loud, fast, drunk and often a bit of an attitude...but always a good time.
Buy this compilation so you don't have to spend $60+ for a copy of Senseless Offerings on Ebay. It's only $8. Sounds like a no-brainer to me.
World at War
Downward Christian Soldiers
White Boy Funeral
This Year's Prophet
Drunk and Disorderly
Just Like All the Others
Back Seat Sally
Which One Am I?
It's Too Late
Nobody Wanted Us (live)
The pic, tracklist and songs are all pulled from their officially unofficial website. The song links are only up for a few days (unless they tell me I can leave them up forever.) This is a good comp. Go pick yourself up a chunk of DC punk history.
Monday, January 09, 2006
First completely rambling post of 2006
Teenbeat is digging into their archives and releasing CD-R's of some of their earliest and rarest stuff. Things that were released back when they were a cassette-only label advertising in the back of fanzines. They come packaged with the original cassette covers along with a "six-panel custom digipak." The first batch of the "Teenbeat Originals" reissues includes Extremism In The Defense Of Liberty Is No Vice (the very first Teenbeat compilation cassette), the first Unrest cassette and William and Vivian - a group comprised of Mark and Phil from Unrest, plus Andrew from Eggs. All for a super-reasonable $8.99. Dig it!
Speaking of Teenbeat, they're supposedly doing at least one more anniversary show this year on 2/24 at The Galaxy Hut. No word on who's playing though.
I caught French Toast at The Black Cat on Saturday. As usual, they did not disappoint. They're a trio now, which gives them a more powerful sound and a bit more freedom in their playing. That being said, their newer stuff seems to be a bit more straightforward than the songs on In A Cave. It's a bit early to be making any judgments though. They're still a kick-ass band. Go buy their record.
The new We Are Scientists record comes out tomorrow. They totally blew me away when I saw them a couple months ago opening for Ambulance, Ltd. I hope the record holds up. Regardless, I'll be catching them in Baltimore next week.
Travis Morrison tomorrow at backstage at The Cat. Come show Travis some love.
Crazy week coming up. Travis, the probably-not-safe-for-work MAL , Blowoff at 9:30 (complete with Bob and Rich playing some tunes), Bluestate's first anniversary and Taint on Sunday. Yowza. The BF and I decided to just give-in and get a room downtown for the weekend. Let the trouble commence.
I fulfilled my homo-ly duty and saw Brokeback Mountain. Twice. The first time we found ourselves sitting in the very front row, which totally sucked. Not that I don't like the idea of being as close as possible to a larger than life naked Jake, but it was just physically difficult to watch from that vantage point. We went again last night to a nearly empty theater. Wow. Great flick. So very sad. Gene Shalit can kiss my ass. You can see Gene's review from a link on GLAAD's site.
I bought new sneakers this weekend. They're white. WHITE. Oh boy are they white. They're whiter than the Cleavers. I'm surprised you can't see the glow from where you're sitting. The BF tells me I look like a nurse. Dick. Feel free to step on my shoes the next time you see me.
And enough with the Sharon death-watch already. I don't need a special news bulletin telling me he moved a finger or his leg. Same goes for that guy who survived the mine thing. Let them be. The media attention is bordering on morbid. Stop it.
We Are Scientists on Letterman (buy their new CD)
French Toast - Breakfast (buy it)
Travis Morrison - Born In '72 (buy me)
These songs aren't going to stay up too long, even though they're links directly from the band's and label's websites. If you like what you hear, go buy something or check them out live.