Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I'll be guest DJing this Sunday at the latest Carolina Rollergirls bout. I've only got 45 minutes, and I haven't totally narrowed down my set list, but here are a few things I'm thinking of playing

Girlschool, "C'Mon Let's Go"
The Damned, "New Rose"
Bad Checks, "Graveyard Tramp"
Gang of Four, "At Home He's a Tourist"
Thin Lizzy, "Waiting for an Alibi"
Gluecifer, "Ducktail Heat"
AC/DC, "Let There Be Rock"
Judas Priest, "Exciter"
Slayer, "Read Between the Lies"
The Jesus Lizard, "Nub"
Valient Thorr, "We Believe in Science"
Alice Cooper, "Muscle of Love"
Carcass, "Corporeal Jigsore Quandary"
Foghat, "Honey Hush"
The Police, "Demolition Man"
At the Drive-In, "Chanbara"
M.I.A., "Bucky Done Gone"
Paris, "Break the Grip of Shame"

Can't wait to see you guys there!
Metal Matinee in Durham

From the Viva La Venus folks:

Saturday, Dec. 3 @ 4:20 PM
@ 305 South - Durham, NC
ALL AGES!!! $3.00
With H.O.W. and The Athenian Mercury.

This one's for the kids! James & Michelle at 305 South are trying to
get this Saturday afternoon Metal Matinee started as an all ages event
for the kids to be able to come out and rock with the best of 'em.
Featuring popular local bands as well as high-school aged bands, it's
an opportunity for the under-21 set to see shows they might not
otherwise be able to check out at bars. We think this is a GREAT
idea, but it needs support... so PLEASE, if you can, come out to this
event and show the love. Tell your friends, tell your kids, tell your
friends' kids and get your butt out there to make it a SUCCESS. If
folks don't come to the shows, it won't last! 305 South is located at
305 South Dillard Street in downtown Durham. For more information,
visit .

Sunday, November 27, 2005

A short review of the new Black Taj CD.

Black Taj
Self-titled (Amish Records)

Yes, it's true that Black Taj guitarist/singer Dave Brylawski and bass player Steve Popson used to be in Polvo. But if you pick up this CD expecting to hear something similar to that band's distorted guitars and Eastern-inspired melodies, you're likely to be disappointed. Certainly there are similarities, especially on the songs "Back to the Bridges" and "Octastone," but if this cd sounds like anything, it's a lot of old classic rock especially Led Zeppelin, The Allman Brothers, Black Sabbath and ZZ Top.

A good part of that has to do with the band's second guitarist, Grant Tennille, who seems to like to riff a lot more than Brylawski, yet fits perfectly with Brylawski's more exotic style.

But that's not to say Black Taj is simply a classic rock band. They're more deep cuts classic, like something that might have gotten played on an FM station in the early '70s when no one cared how long the songs were because there were no commercials to play. A perfect example is "Beyonder," which starts off slow with reverbed guitars and vocals, then builds up to a chugging, multi-layered guitar groove, cut with some serious John Bonham-like snare-drum fills.
Happy Birthday to me! My friend Laura came down from New York to spend Thanksgiving (and my birthday) with me and my family at the beach. We basically did nothing but eat, crochet and watch TV for two solid days, so when we got back to Raleigh on Saturday night, we were ready to go out and actually do something. We picked up Jessica and went to Zely and Ritz, a tapas place on Glenwood, where we had roast quail in cranberry sauce, polenta with truffle oil, rack of lamb, mushrooms, roasted winter squash, creme brulee and a whole lot of wine. I'd never been there before, and I'd never had anything with truffles in it before. I definitely recommend both. I was ready to go back home and go to bed after all that, but we couldn't miss Black Taj at Kings, so we headed downtown and hung out at Poole's before the show. Jessica had forgotten to paint her nails, so she did that while one of the bartenders took our picture. The picture above shows me doing a wonder twins power move with the other bartender, whose birthday is today. Unfortunately my batteries ran out in my camera, so I only got a few pics of TV Knife (below), who really do sound a good bit like Randy Newman (but in a good way -- normally I can't stand Randy Newman) and Hall and Oates. I kept hearing bits and pieces of The Band in there too. I didn't get anything of Birds of Avalon, which really sucks because they put on a great show, and I would have loved to have gotten a movie of it. I was so addled I didn't even get a copy of the Birds of Avalon CD, which was on sale for $5 (though I did get the Black Taj CD, and will finally sit my lazy butt down to review it -- along with The Greatest Hits and Viva La Venus -- tonight). But thanks goodness for Raymond, who gave me a couple of AA batteries (Thanks Raymond!), so I was able to take some photos of Black Taj (Dave Brylawski is pictured above) and make a little movie of them. I love their music (reminds me of a cross between The Allman Brothers and Black Sabbath; my ex said they sounded like AC/DC with more complicated bass), but I must say, they don't have the most exciting stage show in the world. They definitely concentrate on the music itself. Or maybe I'm wrong about that. Check out the movie and tell me what you think.

Black Taj from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Black Taj performing "Red Jr." Flickr set of Black Taj, TV Knife and us hanging out before the show

Monday, November 21, 2005

Link Wray info from The News & Observer
And, finally, the best info of all I've found on Link Wray, including photos and video clips from his last gig, is here.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A little more info on Link Wray:

Blog post with some mp3s

Link's myspace page with some mp3s

English translation of a Danish obit.

Technorati search for Link Wray

A Flickr set


My review of The Mars Volta's "Scabdates"

The Mars Volta

I could sit here and write the most detailed review of this CD ever, with discussions about the chaotic soundscapes that bookend the CD, the new "songs," which are essentially extended jams with a little form to them, and even the fact that the liner notes list 21 people in this ever-growing band. Apparently they decided to include all their roadies and techs in the credits as well, which is sure nice on their part, but a bit confusing for the rest of us.

But the fact is, this CD can be broken down thusly: If you worship the group's guitarist/band leader, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, if you hang on vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala's every utterance, and if you think of their marathon jam session concerts as transcendent experiences, you're going to love the hell out of this CD. I would tell you to go buy it now, but you've probably already downloaded it from Soulseek.

There's plenty of spacy, effects-laden noodling, and unlike at many of the band's live performances, you can actually hear and appreciate the contributions of the other band members, notably keyboard player Isaiah Ikey Owens. Also showcased nicely is Bixler-Zavala's well-known penchant for improvising stream-of-consciousness lyrics about lust and loss while the band jams away behind him.

Unlike the band's 2003 live EP, which was a straight-up live version of studio tracks from that year's "De-Loused in the Comatorium," "Scabdates" is essentially an aural collage of stuff you might hear at a Mars Volta concert, along with stuff you might hear if you're traveling with or hanging out backstage with the band (crying babies, voices in Spanish and English, salsa music, individual instruments).

But if you've long ago written off Rodriguez-Lopez and the band as a bunch of pretentious faux-prog wankers who are trying too hard to be artsy, well, you'll probably actually like this CD too because those soundscapes along with some of the extended noodling will give you ample evidence to make your case.
Another sad passing: Link Wray Via Jessica and Greg. I was at that same Cradle show. He was from North Carolina, btw. Will post more info when it becomes available. sad. i got to see Link Wray several years ago at the cradle, it blew my mind and also made me laugh. His wife (or girlfriend) would intermittenly groom his hair while he played. Odd think is, after reading below, I did a search on google news, nothing. Even on Wikipedia, it just says death date "November 2005" If anyone has any info, please post and/or send it my way... off to rock'n'roll myself, rest in peace link. ----------------- Bulletin Message ----------------- From: ggory Date: Nov 19, 2005 9:30 PM R.I.P. - Link Wray It appears as though rockabilly/surf guitar legend Link Wray has passed away. I'm reposting this from Jason's RESTRICTED page ... The American media is so fucktarded you can't find a story on Link Wray's passing even if you use Google! Rest in peace, Link. Rock music would be ball-less if it were not for you. Check out for a bit of history on this rock 'n' roll legend.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I love discovering new things, especially when I discover them accidentally. Last night I went to Dive Bar in Raleigh (which used to be Mary Lou's) and saw Viva La Venus, which is one of those bands I've heard about for a long time, but never actually seen. It goes without saying that I love female rock bands, but I was surprised to find out how awesome these girls (and guy) really are (they covered both Berlin and Salt 'n' Pepa!). And I was pretty surprised to find out how big Dive Bar really is inside. Here's the Viva La Venus Flickr stream.

Viva la Venus from Mann's World on Vimeo.

And here's the movie (not one of my better ones, but you get an idea of what they're like).

Friday, November 18, 2005

Snatches of Pink, Nov. 17 at Slim's Last night was my first time seeing Snatches of Pink in many years (I'm old enough to remember the Sara Romweber/Andy McMillan days). As always, singer/guitarist Michael Rank (that's his feet, above) has an all-star band backing him up, including John Howie (Two Dollar Pistols, Finger) on drums, Marc Smith of Patty Hurst Shifter on guitar and Nikos Chremos of Allnight in his first show with the band. Nikos was my boss at News & Novels in Greensboro during my grad school days, so for the longest time I just thought of him as a bookstore guy -- until I saw Allnight and realized he is a PHENOMENAL bass player. Anyway, Snatches, just like in the old days, put on a great show of raw, Stones-y rawk. Slim's, as far as the attitude of the place, seemed perfect for them. But, damn that place is small. The next time they play the Cradle I just might have to make a road trip, even though I HATE driving on I-40 at night. Here are some pictures

Snatches of Pink from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Also, I wanted to note that a couple of weeks ago, Miss Tori alerted me that Tiny Mix Tapes was looking for writers. Last night I got an e-mail back from them, so it looks like I'll be doing some band interviews for them!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Omar's new CD, and Triangle bloggers

I'm going to give up on sleep. And that's probably a good thing. I finally got up at 3:15 a.m. to find an e-mail from one of my most devoted Mars Volta buds with a link to download Omar's new CD, which, as far as I know, is so far only available via import or at the shows in Europe. I'm still hoping to get a copy from my Italian pal David, but for right now, I'm enjoying listening to what I can get.

Download it from a post on this Web site.

A note about the Gene Loves Jezebel show from Badger (it's in the comments in the previous post):

"By the way, Raleigh Underground is the name for the goth nights held at Legends. The concert is still being held in the same place. I know several people who've been confused by the name change."

I'll try to spread the word.

Finally, the real reason I finally got up at this awful hour was to write a short recap about the Triangle Bloggers Bash, which took place at the American Tobacco Historic District last night in Durham. Anton Zuiker, one of the prime organizers, wrote his own recap here.

Tonight was great because I finally got to put a couple of faces with names, including Tony from Half-life and Times, and Martin Johnson, who writes music articles for The N&O, but also maintains a blog for the Program on Southern Politics, Media and Public Life at UNC. He filled me in on the fact that Local 506 is doing a podcast, which I will have to check out. He and Anne Bramley of talked to me a bit about podcasting, which I've wanted to start doing for a while now. When I figure out a way to eliminate sleep entirely, maybe I'll get around to doing that.

I also got to meet David Warner, who does a podcast, which, in his words, showcases "the best chillout, trip hop and downtemp music on the Internet." I also met the folks from, and upon browsing their site, found out that one of my favorite interviewees ever, Jim Space (a.k.a. Jim S. Pace, a.k.a. E.T. Rock) has a book out called "My Grandmoter was from Wales." Does anyone know if Jim is still doing E.T. Rock on public access? I just don't even watch TV at all anymore unless I'm at work (where I actually have to watch TV). is apparently starting something called the Blooker prize, which is supposedly a prize where lulu will publish the best book based on a blog. I tried to engage one of the judges, Paul Jones, in a dialog about my idea, which would, of course, be my Rock 'n' Roll Dreamland blog. A couple of problems there: Since I'm apparently in the minority of having weird rock dreams, there's not a whole lot of content there. And I just checked it and realized I made a post there about the Soul Food Potluck, which was intended for this blog. I need to pay better attention to that thing. I wanted to call it Nocturnal Transmission and expand to weird dreams of all types, but that name is taken, so I guess I'm out of luck. Paul, being a judge, didn't want to hear about it, so I guess I've got an opportunity to polish it up and really do something.

OK, I've been listening to this Omar CD while writing this post, and I have to say it's really, really damn good. Better than Scabdates (full review to follow at a later date), which is simultaneously brilliant and completely crappy. Download it.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Pitchfork's "Worst Covers of All Time," is a hilarious talker -- most especially because one of my favorite bands of all time, The Mars Volta, is on the list right above Nantucket, which, of course, is the N.C. band my friends and I first worshipped back in the early '80s.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Gene Loves Jezebel has moved

(Originally This was going to be at Legends
Eccentrik Productions & Raleigh Underground Presents


On Monday, November 28th, 2005

330 West Hargett Street Raleigh, NC


Admission: 18+
$10 Advance, $12 day of Show

Doors Open at 9:30pm
Performance Starts at 11:00pm

For more information:

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Ross is oggcasting.

I've yet to check it out, but according to his site, Triangle Rock, Ross Grady is oggcasting his weekly music show on WXDU. I haven't done anything with the whole pod/ogg casting thing yet, but plan to very soon. In the meantime, you should check it out and tell me how it is.

Hey, The Red Alert ran my review of Lightning Bolt's Hypermagic Mountain.
Check it out.

The Greatest Hits with Dirty Johnny and the Make Believes, Friday, Nov. 11, at Slim's in Raleigh.

Last night I saw The Greatest Hits again. I love their ragged pop harmonies more and more each time I see them. I'm listening to their new CD now, and will give a better review once I've got a better handle on it.

They opened for Athens, Ohio, band Dirty Johnny and the Make Believes, who put on a pretty crazy show that culminated in Johnny himself and the guitar player crashed out on the floor in front of the stage. I spent all night trying to figure out who that guitar player looked like. This morning while going through the photos I realized he is a dead ringer for Robbie Robertson, circa "Songs from Big Pink."

I'm sorry I'm not feeling very descriptive today. I'm kind of tired after going out three nights in a row, and I plan to just stay at home and do nothing tonight (or maybe I'll actually review the Greatest Hits and Black Taj CDs for you). For right now I'll let the pictures and movie do the talking.

I am excited about two things:

I finally got Quicktime Pro, which allows me to compress my little movies so that they're easier for you to download. This one, of the first two songs from The Greatest Hits' set last night, is in .mp4 format. Let me know if it's easier, harder or whatever.

(video removed)

Also, I'm going to actually start putting all my photos up on my flickr account and post the streams here.

Here's the photo set.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Swampstock '05

A whole bunch of death metal bands in an all-day festival in Benson. $5. BYOB. Need I say more?

Read the thread on N.C. Scene
A couple of quick notes about Caspian Sea Monsters/Dude Garden. This was only the second time I've seen Caspian Sea Monsters, but it seems like they got a LOT heavier. I've been enjoying listening to Jessica's Dude Garden CD. I'm glad I finally got to see them live.

But the things that excited me most are this: The Girlschool CDs and buttons that Andy made me, and Joust! my latest band idea, in which Steve P., Jeff, Mike T. and Steve B. have agreed to participate. Ten guitars, one bass player and one tambourine player. It'll be like an aural kick to the throat.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Dexter Romweber and the New Romans

I got a blast from the past last night at Kings. Local legend Dexter Romweber, whom I first saw live more than 20 years ago, was playing with his new band, which includes a variety of folks, including Anthony from Lud, Crowmeat Bob and Chuck Garrison on percussion (even though I've seen the drummer around for years, I still don't know his name -- or maybe I do and just can't remember it; I couldn't remember Anthony's name last night either, even though he's one of my myspace pals).

I also saw Clif Mann, who gave me a CDR of an old Chew Toy show from 1991 or '92. I may put one or two songs on the myspace page.

The first time I saw Flat Duo Jets was at the New Deli when I was a freshman at ECU back in 1985. Afterward, there was a party at Bubba Grant's house, where Dexter played a whole 'nother set, solo, in the kitchen -- one of the most raucous performances I've ever seen by anyone anywhere. If anyone knows where Bubba is these days, please e-mail me or forward him my e-mail (

Last night's show, unfortunately, was sparsely attended. I'm not sure if it just wasn't well-promoted, or if people really just don't like to go out on a Wednesday night. Actually, I know that's not true, because after the show we went to the Jackpot, and there were quite a few folks there. For the vast majority of you who missed it, here are some photos and a movie. As per usual, it takes several minutes to download. (there may be a second one later.)

(Videos removed)

Saturday, November 05, 2005

DMBQ van accident

I just found out that the members of DMBQ, who put on a great show last Saturday at Kings, were in a van accident, and that the drummer died. Here's the latest cobbled together from myspace bulletins:

Todd P:
It is with a lot of grief and weariness that I announce that tonite's DMBQ and friends show @ Club Exit has been cancelled following a tragic car accident today.

DMBQ's van rolled from I-95 in Delaware en route from Baltimore to Brooklyn this afternoon. All members of the band have been hospitalized, as well as Michelle Cable from Panache Magazine and booking, who has been managing their tour.

Mana "China" Nishiura did not survive the accident. China was DMBQ's drummer, as well as the drummer in Shonen Knife. China will be missed.

Michelle Cable is conscious following surgery for a head injury. The other members of DMBQ are stable but sedated and are expected to recover.

That's all the information I have.

None of the bands tonite nor I felt up to a rock show following the news.

We are tentatively planning to continue with tomorrow's show @ Kingsland Tavern as a benefit to cover DMBQ's travel and medical expenses. If the bands and I decide we can't go through with the show, I'll send out a cancellation.