Friday, July 30, 2010

Announcing: The Mann's World Hopscotch Day Party!

On Saturday, Sept. 11, yours truly will present a Hopscotch day party at Kings with four of my favorite heavy local bands! This is going to be a free show, and will take place during the afternoon (start time isn't set, but it will definitely be done by 5:30 p.m. so you can go catch Public Enemy and the Love Language).

I'm proud to announce that the line up will consist of two of my long-time favorites: Black Skies (above) and Caltrop;  plus two bands that have recently blown me away: MAKE and Hog. In fact I'm so impressed with MAKE that I put them on this bill without ever having seen them live. They're that good.

This is a FREE show, and will be a good appetizer for the amazing Hopscotch show to happen at the Berkeley (U.S. Christmas, Kylessa, Weedeater, In the Year of the Pig) and the Pour House (Dungen) that evening. I should also note that this is not an official Hopscotch event, but that Grayson and Greg have been very cool about helping those of us (including Trekky Records, Churchkey and 307 Knox) who are putting on day shows.

I am really excited about this show and hope you all can make it -- and since it's a free show, I hope you drink lots of beer and buy lots of merchandise to make it worthwhile for Kings and the bands.

See you there!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Weekend party favors

I had a lazy weekend that stupidly included golfing in Sunday's 101 degree heat, but I did manage to catch some rock. These videos are from two parties honoring some folks you know if you hang out at Slim's a lot.

The first one, from Friday's birthday party for Slim's bartender Olivia, is the Infamous Sugar doing a very special cover song. I really wish I'd gotten video of Suge's new song, "Coke Zero," about, in his words, the sorry state of cocaine in this town. That was clearly the crowd favorite.

The Infamous Sugar from Mann's World on Vimeo.

The second video is The Loners doing "Soulshaker" at Mike and Allie's wedding party on Sunday, also at Slim's. That was a really fun early show, made even more entertaining by watching Eddie Taylor's little girl dance wildly while watching her daddy play. I didn't capture any of it in this video, but it was very sweet to watch. She's a lucky little girl to grow up with such a cool dad.

On a related note, I did an interview with Eddie not too long ago, and will have it online soon. After doing the 5 questions thing for so long, it was good to sit down and have an in-depth conversation, but I'd forgotten what a pain it is to actually write the thing. Maybe I should just have a video podcast where I interview people, Charlie Rose-style.

"Soulshaker" by The Loners from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

5 questions with Woody Weatherman AND Nate from USX!

OK, there's just no question here. The show of the week (month? year?) is Saturday's C.O.C. reunion at the Pour House, featuring original members Woody Weatherman, Reed Mullin and Mike Dean. According to published reports, the band will be playing songs from "Animosity," "Technocracy" and some new stuff. They've also got some killer opening bands: Righteous Fool (Mike and Reed's band with Jason Browning), Savannah's Black Tusk who blew me away when they opened for Pentagram in May, and Western N.C. space-rock band U.S. Christmas who are kind of everywhere all of a sudden. Also notable: C.O.C. is playing Friday at Stella Blue in Asheville with U.S. Christmas, Righteous Fool and Zoroaster who have an incredible new album of their own.

I asked both Woody and Nate Hall from U.S. Christmas to answer five questions for me. For Woody's interview, I put the word out to people I know, and people who know him, and find out what questions they wanted answered. Just about every single person wanted to ask how he's doing, which I guess is a testament to how much people care about this guy. For those of you who don't get certain questions, Woody's parents owned a jewelry store on Hillsborough Street, which is where Locopops is now located. You'll see his answers below, but first, let's get started with Nate.

1.When is the new album coming out, and what can we expect from it?
The new album “Run Thick in the Night” should be out in in cd form mid- September on Neurot Recordings. It is our strongest album yet, fully realized, and expansive. It is the guitar album I always wanted to make. Sanford Parker recorded it and it sounds great. It is a long, trippy, dark, satisfying record.

2. Where's the best place to go camping in Western N.C.?
Pisgah National forest I guess. I live in the woods, but I prefer a bed. Camping is fun until you try to sleep.

3. How did you and Matt go about re-populating the band, and how did the sound change with the new line-up?
We asked the best musicians we knew and they all said yes. The sound is fuller now, louder, and more complex. There are lots of layers, and tons of drums (two full kits). Meg’s violin sound works really well. She plays stuff that sounds like guitar lines sometimes, at others she gives the songs a very folky feel. Josh uses the bass to create a lot of drone sounds. He is mainly a guitar player, and he has a great overdriven sound. The overall sound is darker, more earthy now. I love it.

4. I'm also including a 5 questions interview with Woody Weatherman, which will be published with yours. If you could ask him an interview question, what would it be?
I would ask him about his guitar and amp setup. He is a killer guitar player and I always pay close attention to guys of his caliber. I would find out about the components in his rig, maybe get him to talk about live sound.

5. According to your Myspace page "the mountains and people of western North Carolina are a primary influence on the band’s sound." Please explain, and tell us also how your surroundings specifically influence your lyrics.

My family has been in WNC for centuries, it is in my blood. Same story with the rest of the band to a large degree. I live in a very pretty, rural place and it feeds the music I write. I have to be here to write music, it is part of the creative process for me. WNC is a very pretty place and I pay close attention to the way it changes with the seasons. A lot of the material on RTITN is rooted in lunar cycles, the night sky, and the mountains themselves. I feel like USX is continuing a tradition in a way, because we don’t deny our culture or our roots. We could move to some major city and probably do pretty well, but that would eventually kill the music.

1. How are you doing?
Simple question with a fairly simple answer and thanks to all for asking. I've been doing pretty good here recently, working on some new tunes with Mike and Reed. Maintaining a decent sized garden this year and running around trying to keep up with our 17 month old little boy, thats the toughest part out of all of it.

2. Why did you, Mike and Reed decide to work together again now, and will you guys continue working together?
I guess it took us a while to realize we needed to jam together again, sometimes we meander around staring into space and it takes a little longer than it should for us to figure these things out. We do have a bunch of shows set up at the moment and a 7" coming out in a couple weeks. Got a pile of songs for a new record so I'm assuming we'll do it as long as it is fun and then take another 10 year or so break.

3. Two for one gemology question: Are you a registered gemologist and can you identify a diamond with the naked eye?
I am indeed not a registered Gemologist and I could never tell you the difference between the Hope Diamond and a broken Pepsi bottle.

4. What's your favorite Locopop?
You caught me on this one, to be honest with you I have not been to that spot on Hillsboro Street since my folks closed up their store a few years ago. Heard the pops are good though.

5. Tell us about your guitar and amp setup, the components of your rig and how you get your live sound (this question came from Nate of US Christmas -- I'm doing a 5 questions interview with him too for that show).
Ok, well my stuff is super simple and it is that way for a reason. I figured out a long ways back that the less junk you rely on the less stuff there is to break down on you. I don't use any effects pedals live except for an occasional Crybaby. Plug straight into a Mesa/Boogie dual rectifier amp and run two 4x12 Marshall cabinets loaded with vintage 30 watt Celestion speakers. I have a few gibson SG guitars and a couple of ESP guitars that look like SG's with Duncan Invader pick-ups in the bridge position and Billy Gibbons Pearly Gates in the neck Position. Just remember sometimes less is indeed more. Thats probably enough info to bore the pants off most folks.

The Rosebuds release two exclusive tracks through Hopscotch

The Rosebuds from tim lytvinenko on Vimeo.

Check it out: The Rosebuds have released two exclusive tracks, "Secret Life of the Rosebuds" and an AWESOME cover of "Stayin' Alive," through Hopscotch. Both tracks have been released before, and are part of the band's plan to release one archival track a week through various outlets through the rest of the year. This is in anticipation of their fifth studio album, which will be released early next year. Check out the tracks on the Hopscotch page, and see the video for "Secret Life of Rosebuds." I just wish they'd done a "Saturday Night Fever" parody, with Ivan struttin down Hargett Street, for "Stayin' Alive."

Monday, July 19, 2010

5 questions with The Butchies! Plus more shows you need to see

After a five-year break, Durham's legendary Queercore innovators The Butchies are reuniting this Wednesday at Cat's Cradle. The occasion? Front woman Kaia Wilson (above right; bass player Alison Martlew is left and drummer Melissa York is center) has become a ping pong goddess, and has been selected to represent the U.S. in ping pong in the upcoming Gay Games in Germany! In fact, Kaia will demonstrate her ping pong prowess at the show. Pink Flag and Tami Hart will open, and The Cuntry Kings will make an appearance too.

Alison, Melissa and Kaia all answered five questions for Mann's World.

1. Does Kaia have any ping pong moves like THIS?

Melissa: It's possible but maybe more Forrest Gump? She will tell you all about her moves or can show you if you get to the show at doors and challenge her to a game of ping pong. There will be a table at Cat's Cradle.

Alison:I don't know yet, but I am excited to find out.  It is pretty amazing to know someone who is a great musician, and on top of that becomes competitive in a sport!

Kaia: well i most certainly do....  (action begins around 2 min. in!)
AND for more videos like these and to read about my table tennis adventures:

2. What's it like playing together again after five years? Is this a one-time deal or are you reuniting for good?

Melissa: Personally... I am so excited! It's gonna be fun. We are going to practice at my house like old times. I'm sure a lot of silly memories will come flooding back. It was initially a one time deal (or 2 times) but who knows. After announcing that we were doing the show at Cat's Cradle (7/21) a lot of people have started to say that they want to book us here or there. It feels super good and people have been so super sweet about the reunion. Can't wait.

Alison: I think that we will do more shows.  As far as reuniting, I don't think it will be like it was before, but it will be super fun!  I am looking forward to playing with those crazy ladies!

Kaia: It's been INCREDIBLE, well, except we haven't played together yet, i do pretend that Al and Mel are in my room when i'm practicing, but the reality is i'm still in portland - until next week! but i expect that when we do play together soon, we'll be at each others throats! it'll be madness and chaos and pure musical melodrama!

Definitely more shows for the Butchies in the future!!!! more re-unions!!! i'm sure of it!

3. Wikipedia quotes a 2003 Toronto Now story that calls you "queercore crusaders". How are you still crusading? And are there any young bands/artists that are taking up the crusade?

Melissa: Well... firstly it's so awesome that that was said about us. That that's how we are seen... as 'crusaders'. I'm just living my life with the good old gay motto 'Silence = Death' so if that makes me a queercore crusader then... cool. It's really that simple. The Butchies were never about silencing ourselves or any other queer voice. Life is too short to not love the person you are... queer or otherwise. So we embraced that and we still live that way everyday either working a 9-5 or playing in the Butchies.

Alison: That is an awesome quote!  I think that being out and living your life in a transparent way is being a queer crusader, and there are a lot of people coming out and making a difference in their communities.

Kaia: for me and my "queercore crusading" it's sort of a little more like "queerpong crusader" these days, I am dreadfully dedicated to table tennis!! I'm still writing songs about girls and cats, which is essentially the definition of "queercore" in my book!

yes there are people carrying the torch, in so many ways, and they are everywhere! we are everywhere!  Like Meredith Baxter!! even though she's not a musician, she's a queercore crusader to me!! where would we be baby without us!!

4. What do you think of Lindsay Lohan's 90-day sentence? Was it fair?

Melissa: Tough question and I have no idea. From what the media tells/shows us... she's a mess. I feel for her. She's got a lot of things stacked against her. Lousy parents, grew up way too quickly and within that is completely stunted. Then on the other side she could be seen as a privileged lil brat and if she wasn't famous she could be in jail for a lot longer than 90 days. But again I have no idea! All I know is that when I see a train wreck I feel for sad for said train wreck.

Alison: I have no idea whether her sentence was fair or not, but it does seem as though she has been a real mess for a while. Maybe it will give her a chance to think about what she is doing. That or she will come out crazy like Britney is now!

Kaia: Because i am a partial ludite, i actually don't know anything about this, sorry!!! i found out that Spain won the World Cup though! so i'm not "totally out of the loop"!

5. Will Mr. Lady start releasing records again?

Melissa: Kaia ran that label with her ex-partner, Tammy Rae Carland. I don't think so but never say never. But she can answer that better.

Alison: No idea. Kaia would be the one to answer that!

Kaia: maybe!!! I might try to bring the label back in a very small scale manner, not full functioning record label but maybe more digital/interweb, since i'm a ludite i should be GREAT at that!!!

Also happening this week: Max Indian at Duke Gardens, also on Wednesday. This is an early show, so you can catch it, then head over to the Cradle to see The Butchies. On Thursday, Midtown Dickens and Kid Future are at Tir na Nog, while  Tom Maxwell is next door at The Pour House. On Friday, author Dan Epstein reads from his book, Big Hair and Plastic Grass, at Slim's; The Infamous Sugar, The Oscar Gambles and The Royal Nites will be on hand for a post-reading celebration. Finally, Bats & Mice, Monsonia, Mr. Free and the Satellite Freakout will be at Local 506 on Sunday.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Superchunk to reissue 'No Pocky', 'On the Mouth'

The press release from Merge pretty much says it all. I will say that "No Pocky for Kitty" is probably my personal favorite Superchunk album.

Superchunk's "No Pocky for Kitty" and "On the Mouth" get remastered & reissued in August!
Full album streams & a free MP3 of "Skip Steps 1 & 3" available now!

Merge Records will reissue Superchunk's No Pocky for Kitty and On the Mouth on CD, LP and digital download on August 17. Remastered by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering Company from the original 1/2" reels, both albums will be available for the first time on 180 gram vinyl (with download coupon), and on CD newly packaged in LP-style cardboard sleeves.

No Pocky for Kitty and On the Mouth are available for full album streaming and pre-order on CD and LP in the Merge store, and download a free MP3 of the newly remastered "Skip Steps 1 & 3" now.

Author Dan Kennedy shared his thoughts on these releases:
No Pocky for Kitty and On the Mouth were originally released about one thousand American Idols ago. There was a time when the most careerist thing a band did was buy their own PA or van, and during that time, Mac McCaughan, Jim Wilbur, Laura Ballance, and Jon Wurster made music that you bought in a store and met like a friend—music that felt like someone a few towns or states over had finally heard how you were feeling. Back then, you bought something like On the Mouth or No Pocky for Kitty and the songs smelled like a van with a gas leak. They sounded like a thousand things you had been saying in your sleep before waking up alone or with friends and almost always realizing you were out of coffee.

Superchunk’s bio during the time these two albums were made could have read: the band was coming together, breaking up, touring, staying home, getting big, sleeping on planes, staying small, staying awake behind the wheel, trying for a taste of what they didn’t get, and learning they loved what they already had. You can hear every note of that.
No Pocky for Kitty track listing:
1. Skip Steps 1 & 3
2. Seed Toss
3. Cast Iron
4. Tower
5. Punch Me Harder
6. Sprung A Leak
7. 30 Xtra
8. Tie A Rope To The Back Of The Bus
9. Press
10. Sidewalk
11. Creek
12. Throwing Things

On the Mouth track listing:
1. Precision Auto
2. From the Curve
3. For Tension
4. Mower
5. Package Thief
6. Swallow That
7. I Guess I Remembered It Wrong
8. New Low
9. Untied
10. The Question is How Fast
11. Trash Heap
12. Flawless
13. The Only Piece That You Get

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Video of Hog, Bastard Sapling and Inter Arma

Since Durham's Hog (above) often plays with Caltrop (one of my local favorites) I thought it possible I might like them too. Turns out I like them a lot. So much so that I'm going to check them out again tomorrow at the July 4 Metal BBQ at Nightlight. This is a daylong event starting at 3 p.m. so get there early!

Here's video of Hog on Thursday night at Slim's. Hog opened the show, followed by Richmond's Bastard Sapling and Inter Arma, both of which shared several members. Bastard Sapling was a little too black metal for my tastes, but I liked the doomier Inter Arma. Caltrop still wasn't on at 1 a.m., so I had to skip them. See more photos.

(Inter Arma)

Hog from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Bastard Sapling from Mann's World on Vimeo.

Inter Arma from Mann's World on Vimeo.