Sunday, September 30, 2012

Show of the Week & new music from The Infamous Sugar

This week's show of the week and .mp3 of the week are by the same artist, The Infamous Sugar, the famously filthy raunchy rock keyboard savant who will have his CD-release party this Saturday, Oct. 6, at Kings. The show is free, and you'll get to see the debut of the new video for his timely new single, "Stop Talkin' Politics," which was filmed on a recent Sunday Funday at Slim's with a cast of usual suspects all holding silly political signs. I was there and got to witness the filming first-hand (the "God Hates Homo Sapiens" sign was my doing). If the finished product is half as funny as the filming then you will not want to miss this. The Bleeding Hearts open the show. To get you in the mood for the show, here's my favorite song on the album (and really my favorite of all Suge's songs), "Sloppy Drunk."

The Infamous Sugar - "Sloppy Drunk"

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New music from WAUMISS

The latest album by WAUMISS, "Subtle for Flames,"is out now on Little Ramona Records, the label run by WAUMISS masterminds Clarque and Carolina Blomquist. Clarque, you probably know, is also in Kingsbury Manx, and has played with other bands, and on other local records (most recently he guested on the latest Spider Bags release).

WAUMISS is a noisier, more electronic beast than Kingsbury Manx, though it does share some of Spider Bags' affinity for lo-fidelity. Collaborators include Eddie Sanchez (Bellafea, Fin Fang Foom) and Dan Partridge (Pine State) playing everything from beer kegs to singing saws. Apparently there's going to be a video for every song, which will be pretty cool to see.

WAUMISS - "Calling Mary Punch"

Friday, September 21, 2012

Photos from Saint Vitus, and an interview with Wino

Here are some photos from Wednesday night's spectacular Saint Vitus show at the Lincoln Theatre. See more here. Excuse the photos of my friend Brandy, who was still jacked up after meeting Wino as he strolled past Slim's earlier in the afternoon. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hopscotch recap!

Now that I've had a few days to reflect on 2012, I can truly say this was the best one yet. I wasn't sure I'd feel that way going into it. All the bands I really wanted to see (meaning the heavy bands) were stacked on Friday night. Baroness, who had to cancel all shows after their horrific bus crash in England, were my original go-to band on Thursday. With that cancellation, I assumed Thursday would be a wash. What that really meant was I was free to just wander around and observe. In the process I found my new favorite band, Hacienda, who were at Tir na Nog. I liked that band so much that I immediately downloaded their album, "Shakedown," as soon as I got home. Unfortunately for me, I found out way too late that the band was playing a day party the next day at Slim's. I managed to get there right as they were loading their equipment out. Also on Thursday I caught the always-entertaining fallen-preacher-man blues of J. Roddy Walston at Tir na Nog and GDFX's electronic trippiness at Kings. 

(Stella Lively at Sadlack's, Thursday)

Most of Thursday was spent at Sadlack's at the Guitartown party. If you remember, last year's Guitartown party was temporarily shut down mid-day for being too loud. This year organizers Jonathan Lee and Greg Rice got around the noise ordinance by having most of the afternoon bands at Sadlack's and Schoolkids. Standouts from that party were the Debonzo Brothers, who closed the party down, and  the dark, bluesy Stella Lively. As you can guess, by the time the party wound down, everyone was pretty well lubricated. 

(Lutie's spot, damnit! Thursday at Sadlack's)

 (Lollipops at CAM, Friday)

Friday I started off at the CAM party, where I nearly wilted from the heat. I ran up front to get a few photos of Lollipops, who were worth enduring the inferno, but afterward retreated -- along with half the people at the party -- over to the one thin strip of shade running along the building. I did get to try a baguette with chorizo and chimichuri sauce from Baguettaboutit, and it was awesome! But on the way to Neptunes for the Thrill Jockey party I truly thought I was going to pass out. 

(Guardian Alien at the Thrill Jockey Party at Neptunes, Friday)

I originally went to Neptunes to catch White Hills, who were playing as a duo, but I was blown away by Guardian Alien (which includes drummer Greg Fox, aka GDFX). Fox is the former drummer for Liturgy, and I've raved before about his insanely quick technique. Guardian Alien was jazzier, chaotic and otherworldly. Singer Alexandra Drewchin spent much of the time in the Neptunes DJ booth, intoning into a microphone. But when she suddenly lept out of the booth and did a crazy dance while chanting in time to Fox's rim shots, I thought I would jump out of my skin. The photo above was totally by accident, but I liked it. 
(MAKE, Friday at Kings)

My strategy for each night was to take a long nap after the day shows, so I basically missed Built to Spill. I started off at Kings, where Scott Endres from MAKE was playing with a possibly broken thumb. Maybe it was a good omen because the band sounded phenomenal. New Hampshire black metallers Vattnet Viskar were up next, and they sounded great from what I heard, but they really did suffer from having a slot that was right before when Pallbearer was scheduled to go on at Pour House. That meant that a bunch of folks cut out halfway through their set, and a bunch of other folks (yours truly included) spent the first half of the set nervously wondering whether or not we should go ahead and head to the Pour House. At least they fared better than Black Tusk, who went up directly against Pallbearer. I love Black Tusk, but there was no way I was missing Pallbearer. 
(Black Skies, Friday at the Pour House)

As it happened, there wasn't much to worry about. I got to the Pour House in plenty of time to get up front, catch the end of Black Skies (who sounded really tight despite the fact they hadn't played in six months) and stake my claim on a spot right in front of Pallbearer leader Brett Campbell. 

(Pallbearer, Friday at the Pour House)

Throughout this entire Hopscotch, as soon as I knew they were booked to play, I had been looking forward to Pallbearer. Their "Sorrow and Extinction" album had been my No. 1 album of the year (followed very closely by Dawnbringer's "Into the Lair of the Sun God"). I was honored to be able to write the description of the band for the Hopscotch website. And wouldn't you know it, they started off with my absolute favorite song from the album, "Devoid of Redemption." Somewhere there is an Instagram, taken during that song, of me holding a "Goblet of Rock," as one commenter put it. It was completely beyond an invisible orange. If I could have built a fire onstage and offered up a human sacrifice of thanks for that one song, I would have done so. 

After Pallbearer, I headed back to Kings for The Atlas Moth, a band I normally love. Their 2011 album "An Ache for the Distance" was my No. 3 album of the year (after Graveyard and Feist), and I was blown away by their show last year at Nighlight. But, man, I just couldn't hang after Pallbearer. I spent a good bit of the show sitting at the bar, thinking, "at some point I'm going to get with this." But I never did, so I went home before the end of the set, totally missing Altar of Plagues. 

(Salvacion, Saturday during the Mann's World party at Dive Bar)

Saturday's big event, as far as I was concerned, was my own Day Party at Dive Bar. This is the third year I've held a heavy music day party, and the second time I've done it at Dive Bar. And each year, when I wake up on Saturday, I think to myself, "why in the hell am I doing this?" I'm always terrified that no one will show up. And I'm always a bit disappointed that I can't walk around and catch the other day parties happening that day. And, like each year before, as soon as it's over, I think "that was awesome. I can't wait to do it again!" This year, with Salvacion, Earthling and Caltrop, was by far the best. The place was packed, the bands were on it (Earthling in particular had a phenomenal set) and everyone seemed happy. There's nothing like pumping your fist to some screaming metal in a dark bar with 70 other smelly metalheads, only to have someone open the door and have daylight flooding in on everyone. That truly made it 10 times better for me. This killer show was happening in the middle of the afternoon, and everyone was happy about it. 

I had no real plans for Saturday, but a good friend (who btw ended up skipping out on Hopscotch altogether) had convinced me that Berkeley was the place to be, particularly because of Charlotte's Young and In the Way). But I'll admit that Saturday's downpour, and the fact that I was pretty much exhausted from the previous two days, meant that by 7 p.m. on Saturday, I really just wanted to hang out at home with a glass of wine. Even with missing a ful day of official Hopscotch shows, I can say that this was the best festival so far. I really can't wait for next year! 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

New music: Lollipops and Beloved Binge

OK, by now you probably know what you're planning to see during Hopscotch. Hopefully you have the CAM/now official day party, taking place Friday, Sept. 7, on your to-do list. The Love Language will headline, but for my money the band to see is the incredibly awesome Lollipops, brainchild of local guitarist Iggy Cosky. Cosky recently finished the band's first album, "Your Royal Masochist & The Love Crusades," and put it on Bandcamp as a free download. Rarely have I heard a band and been absolutely convinced right off the bat that they were destined for greatness. That's the feeling I get from Lollipops. Check them out before they're too big to see at a free day show. Hear "I Hope You're Alone"

Next up is Durham duo  Beloved Binge, who will release their fourth album, "Pockets," on Sept. 22 at the Pinhook. According to drummer Eleni Binge: "Our record release show will include a play in three acts, where improv actors loosely interpret our songs, while in character as Three's Company actors.  I don't know if anyone has done this before, but we'll find out by 9/23 whether or not it's advisable." 

I think that idea is awesome. I can totally see some scheme of Jack and Larry's getting foiled by Mrs. Roper during this song. FYI the Beloved Binge painting is by Bonnie from Sequoya.

Beloved Binge - "Notary"