Long live rock, I need it every night

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Final Trip: RIP Albert Hoffman

The chemist who discovered LSD died yesterday at the age of 102, at his home in Switzerland. Here is the whole story.

How is this rock related? I think the answer is obvious.

Also, I remember the first time Jimbromski and I did the windowpane. We ran around his house listening to "Fools Gold" by the Stone Roses. I am glad my mom doesn't read this blog.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Are You Experienced?

First, a previously unknown sex tape of Marilyn Monroe was sold for $1.5 million. Now comes the Jimi Hendrix video. My first thought when seeing the headline was, "is he having sex with a guy or girl"? Turns out it's not one Foxey Lady but two. Maybe this will debunk all those "Excuse me while I kiss this guy" rumors.

The article describes the video as such:

The film shows a naked man who resembles Hendrix, the guitar legend who died in 1970, wearing a bandanna in his Afro, having sex with two brunettes in a dimly lighted bedroom. His full face appears on screen for only a few seconds, with his eyes closed. In other portions there are flashes of his profile. But his hands, bedecked with rings, roam large on the screen at times. The film has no audio.

It goes on to say:

the film surfaced when a collector discovered a tin labeled “Black Man” in a box of rock memorabilia bought at an unidentified auction in London. Upon recognizing Hendrix, Mr. Klein said, the collector decided to sell the tape.

So, is it Jimi? I mean, who doesn't have tins of porn labeled "Black Man" laying around the house? Let's review the description. Bandanna? Check. Afro? Check. Hands bedecked with rings? Check. Good enough for me. Some friends of Hendrix aren't so sure though. Their main contention is the width of his nostrils. Seriously.

One fan felt the film was “horrible to watch” because Hendrix appears to be on drugs or heavily intoxicated. “I don’t want that to be what I think about when I think about Jimi Hendrix,” he said.

Really?! What fucking world is this guy living on? Everyone thinks of Jimi as drunk/high at all times. It's part of his appeal. I'd be more disturbed if a video of him doing arts and crafts surfaced.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Remember Ye The Laws of Moses

Elbow (w/Jesca Hoop)
April 27, 2008

6th & I Synagogue

Potsy, Sacklunch, guest Rock Clubber Pattack and I found ourselves at the 6th & I Synagogue on Sunday night. We had prepared for a night dedicated to debating Talmudic Law versus the Chabad Lubavitchers, led by Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson. We were going to take the affirmative position on the statement “Talmudic Law is a crock and anyone who follows it is a jackass,” while Schneerson, predictably, was going to argue the negative.

To no one’s surprise Schneerson wimped the fuck out and sent Manchester UK rock group Elbow to play a concert instead. This disgraceful surrender would never have happened during the reign of the last rebbe, Yosef Yitzchok Schneerson. The man was a giant and when he debated you, you fucking stayed debated. Much respeck to a mensch and a badass.

What's that, Schneerson? You can't make it down from Brooklyn? Yeah, that's what I thought.

We were all excited to see a show at a new venue, as none of us had been to 6th & I before. The door staff and will call people were friendly and after a quick security check we headed up to the balcony. I believe I was sitting in the same spot where Sammy Davis, Jr. used to attend services. The musicians set up directly in front of two wooden doors, behind which I assumed were the Torah scrolls (I’m guessing here, despite my earlier bluster I am a Catholic and know nothing about Talmudic Law). The doors are flanked by large golden menorahs, each roughly five feet high. Above the sanctuary is a large dome that provided some nice acoustics.

Before Elbow came on, opening act Jesca Hoop played a set. This woman has a wonderful voice and her a capella opener was dreamy. It was just her, and an acoustic guitar—they didn’t even dim the house lights. She certainly grabbed everyone’s attention. Unfortunately (for her, anyway) I really don’t care for the sort of folky shit she was playing, no matter how well executed. She was barefoot and wearing a baggy Laura Ingall Wilders-type dress, and had the type of look that would make most women think to themselves “what a cute, pixie-ish girl,” and most guys thinking, “she reminds me of that lesbian that lived in my dorm sophomore year.” After three or four songs I started to feel like I was listening to music at Potbelly, except I was being denied access to a sandwich, which made me grumpy. I don't mean to be too hard on her because, as I mentioned, she really had a great voice, but it wasn't my bag, baby.

Jesca wrapped it up and the houselights dimmed. I thought it would have been a nice touch if the golden menorahs started spinning and the wooden doors would slid open to reveal a scantily-clad Jewess go-go dancer, but apparently there are rules, even for Reform congregations. Enter Elbow.

Elbow were pretty good, but as the ever-insightful Sacklunch put it, they had too many adult contemporary moments where they sounded like spawn of Coldplay. They rocked it out at times and it sounded great—“Leaders of the Free World” and “Grounds For Divorce” in particular stood out, but at times they sounded like Glenn Hansard and the Slav chick from “Once”, which was a good movie, but again, I had access to a sandwich, not to mention a couch, when I watched that one. This time around I was in a hard wooden pew. We were lame and bailed at 11:00 pm, seeing how it was Sunday and we all had work the next day.

The Elbows get a rating of 5.9, Jesca the Pixie Folk Singer gets a 5.1. The venue gets a rating of 8.0—nice architecture, good sound, and seats for sore-backed 30somethings. Minus one point for lack of beer and deduct one more point for the palpable presence of Yahweh, which forced me to watch my language.

PS: It’s only April but I think we have a solid frontrunner for heckle-of-the-year. Folkie Jesca was big on banter and was veering into insufferability when she started praising the venue for being geared towards songs for “active listeners” (fuck). Anyway, she had finished a number and was tuning up and wondering aloud what song she should play next, when some guy on the floor mumbled something. Jesca apparently heard it and said something to the effect of “care to share with the rest of the class?” (not really in a chastising tone, I might add) and the guy said “In A Gadda Da Vida.” Maybe you had to be there but it was pretty funny. Not technically a heckle as he never yelled it out, but simply repeated it at louder volume when Jesca called him out. Well done, sir.

PSS: Title of the post (“Remember Ye The Laws Of Moses”) was inscribed on the wall above one of the menorahs.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Concert Preview: Elbow

On Sunday night Rock Club will be attending the Elbow show at the 6th & I Synagogue. Everyone knows that the Jews control show business so we consider it a mitzvah that the Elders of Zion have decided to bring Elbow to Washington DC.

Did I mention that we're seeing this show in a synagogue?

/jew joke

Okay, that's out of my system. None of us have been to 6th & I before so there's an element of anticipation around the venue as well as the band. Apparently the sound is good, that's about all I know. As the selector of this week's show I was responsible for getting tickets and I was initially disappointed that the 6th & I website routed me into a ticket purchase via Ticketmaster. I called them and left a voice mail asking if I could buy the tickets directly from their box office and avoid the extortionate service charges, and to my surprise someone (1) returned my call the next day and (2) let me purchase the tickets over the phone, thus avoiding the service charge. Nice.

Elbow should be good too. We're all worried they'll be too slow but I am confident they'll deliver. And if they are slow, who cares? I'm sitting in a pew.

Here's a link to the band covering "Independent Woman" by Destiny's Child. It's a video with kittens in flat caps playing the song. It has kind of a klezmer sound--maybe this is what 6th & I heard before they booked the band.

This is "Leaders of the Free World":

Friday, April 25, 2008

Hand Jive

Here's another attempt to debase our glorious blog with YouTube clips from yesteryear. Jimbromski has this fear that I'm going to post some dancing baby thing from Ally McBeal or something. I don't know why. Truth is, I don't get out much so I'm not as hip to all the viral videos. Actually, I don't stay in much where I can cruise YouTube all night. Unmarried and childless...look at what I am missing as a result:

These are the guys that did the Mantage video you all hated.

It was inspired, I guess, by this clip:

While the first one (top) is slicker, I like the earlier version (bottom) better. It's like the original King Kong the original and the Jack Black King Kong. The early version gets points for innovation.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Big Man Japan

Tonight I'm off to see Big Man Japan at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. Check out this trailer. This is going to be one fucked up movie.

It's a comedy about a regular Joe whose job is to turn into a giant and fend off monsters that attack Japan. Based on the trailer it's going to be awesome. I'm guessing it'll become even better as I pound some tacos and numerous Shiner Bocks. Wait, pound some tacos? That doesn't sound quite right...

It Has Music in the Background

So it counts.

Yeah, I'm sure Jimbromski's already seen this. Especially since my sister turned me on to these guys. Okay, that doesn't read quite right... but whatever.

Soft Focus

A little while back Jimbromski mentioned Mark E. Smith and VBS.tv. And I'm here to not only relate the two but also mention one of my favorite people to see at DC shows - Ian Svenonius. Typically, when I see a celebrity I leave them alone. Doesn't matter if they're A-Listers like Harrison Ford or D-Listers like the local weatherman. I may be the "jock sniffer" of Rock Club but I'm polite enough not to bug people. Usually. After seeing Ian at a number of shows, I finally broke down and introduced myself, said how much I enojyed his music and his talk show. Then I asked to massage his balls. He graciously accepted the offer.

Ian's show on VBS.tv is called Soft Focus. He has interviewed musicians such as Ian Mackaye, Henry Rollins, Will Oldham, Chan Marshall (Cat Power), Bobby Gillespie (The Jesus and Mary Chain), and famous animal lover, Mark E. Smith from The Fall. In part 1 of the interview he explains why he's no longer a soccer fan:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Notes From The Overground

Hello, everyone. I was on vacation last week, so you may have noticed that this site contained 42% less bile, misogyny and general douchebaggery than usual. A few things took place while I was gone that I wanted to touch on:

--Blogger Fired For Blogging: I don't know if any of you jerk-offs ever bother to click any of the links in the "Sites We Like" section to the right, but there was some drama regarding the NFL-related blog Kissing Suzy Kolber last week. KSK is a lot like our site, except better-written, funnier, widely read, and about interesting topics, i.e., large men beating the piss out of each other. Like us, the staff blogs under assumed names. Anyway, a few of these guys are local. One of them, who calls himself Christmas Ape, was (note the verb tense) working as a reporter for the Washington Post Metro section. When he wasn't writing dick jokes for Kissing Suzy Kolber, he was producing the sort of stories ("Local Elementary School Play Enjoyed By All") that make the Metro section a must-read. Anyway, long story short, he decided to come out of the closet as it were, and reveal his secret identity. And would you fucking believe it, the Post actually fired him for--wait for it--bringing discredit upon the paper by "choosing to drink at bars in [his] free time." That's like firing Edward R. Murrow for smoking. All because of this photo and accompanying post:

Well, the photo, plus the aforementioned thousands of dick jokes and profanities and such. But allow me to channel my inner Chris Rock: can you believe that shit? Trust me, the stuff Christmas Ape wrote at KSK was billions of times more entertaining than any of the drivel written at the Post. And, as noted here, the Post basically fired a writer for writing. Also, reporters are fucking supposed to be soused, all the time.

Anyway, all's well the ends well, because according to Ape, KSK has gotten big enough that he can make the money from doing his blog as he did at the Post. Good for him. A big middle digit to the Post for being stiffdicks and to our brother -in-arms Christmas Ape, solidarity. Here's more from Deadspin.com on the topic.

--Happy Earth Day: Last week Mrs. Jimbromski and I dumped Junior at his grandparents' and went to Miami for the week. There were six bikini models staying at our hotel and they were doing shoots in the pool. When they weren't working, they were sunbathing topless on the beach. I couldn't walk 10 feet without a breast nearly hitting me in the face. I tried to hang around the photo shoots and look smoldering because I was hoping someone would say, hey, you've got a really unique look, ever considered modeling? No? Well, here's $10,000, put on this Speedo and make out with this girl. And my wife wouldn't be able to say boo because it would be my job. But no dice. Anyway, there was a realtor's office down the street from our hotel and they had their listings taped to their window. I think the real estate crunch has hit Miami hard because they had a studio in one the buildings right on the beach listed for $185,000 (it said "Motivated Seller", which means "Idiot Flipper Who Overextended Himself and Now is Shitting Himself"). I was discussing this with my pal Stutts and both he and his wife said that $185,000 isn't a good deal because "Miami will be under water in 50 years." My thoughts are, (1) no fucking way, and (2) even if true, America would find a way to save Miami, maybe at the expense of dumps like Ocean City, because a large proportion of the country's soft-core pornography and bikini modeling takes place there. It's too important to the economy to let it sink.

--Watch This Space: We're working an interview with up-and-coming band Rosewood Thieves that should be up soon. They're playing DC9 on April 28 in support of their new album, Rise & Shine. We're trying to do more real journalism type shit instead of aimless musings like this post.

Friday, April 18, 2008

What To Do Tonight

Prior to leaving DC I was going post the top 10 things I'll miss about the music scene.* Ranking very on that nonexistent list was seeing Imperial China perform "Rådhus". Odd name for a song, isn't it? It's actually Danish for "Roadhouse". The guys are big Patrick Swayze fans (who isn't?). I think they dedicated the show tonight to him. I might be wrong about that. Anyway...

Tonight Imperial China is having CD release show at the Rock & Roll Hotel. The debut CD/EP recording (pictured above) is Methods: and it includes the aforementioned "Rådhus". Also on the bill tonight is Double Dagger, a trio out of Baltimore. I've read a lot about these guys and the praise for their live shows is universal. Zulu Pearls and Black & White Jacksons are also on the bill. All for $10. You're not going to get a better deal for your entertainment dollar this weekend.

* Coming in at #1 on that list the reformation of The Fake Accents. I'm not exactly what's going on but it's been long enough. I demand a new album and new shows, one of which must take place in Austin, TX. I'm looking at you DM!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Sort of Homecoming

These United States - w/ Wye Oak - April 13 2008, The Black Cat - Back Stage $10

I have been chasing this band for a bit. sacklunch first suggested that I would like them a while ago. I'm not sure where I was the first time he saw them play, but he came back saying that this was an act I would enjoy. sacklunch is good for that. He can be an observant fellow when he wants to be, and he'll give you the heads up from time to time. Though sometimes you can be speaking directly to him and he is completely oblivious. Like one of those semi-comatose guys from "Awakenings." Anyhow, for the past 5 months, I've been curious to see if sacklunch would accurately match my tastes to this act.

I think I managed to miss the second time sacklunch saw them play too. This is a theme for me. The same thing with the Gossip. I wanted to see them. I missed the show. It was "awesome," I am told. They schedule a return to DC, I buy tickets again, and they cancel the show this time. Such was the vibe with These United States (TUS). I had missed them a couple of times, heard good things both times, and decided to pay closer attention.

The next opportunity to see TUS was at the DC Auto Show at the Convention Center. I had never been to an auto show, that's not my kinda thing normally. But I was willing to shell out the $10 to see the afternoon concert that These United States were offering (as well as sneak a peak at the car of the future). So I made it down to the DC Convention Center in plenty of time to check out their 1pm show, but again was thwarted, this time because my date had to tend to a friend in crisis so we made a quick exit (thankfully before we dropped the $10). Oddly enough, having given up on seeing TUS that Saturday, I discovered they were playing at an art show that same night (a Meat Market exhibit at the corner of 14th & T). So my date and I reconvened to try again, and this time, we had no crisis and only had to endure the cold winter chill as this art exhibit was held in a vacant 4 story building without windows and without heat. Still, I had my first glimpse of TUS. It was just Jesse Elliott (and maybe Tom Hnatow) and I waited an hour in the cold before they played 3 songs and stopped. There were other musicians on the bill, and apparently they were taking turns, so that was all I caught. My nads were freezing, so we left.

Fast forward 3 months and when it came to picking a show for this week, it was a toss up between TUS and Dead Meadow. Since Jimbromski was enjoying Miami - complete with topless models sunbathing at the same hotel (so he says), and Jumboslice of course is in Texas now, it was just me and sacklunch. We settled on TUS, though sacklunch had seen them several times by then.

We found our way into a surprisingly full backstage at the Black Cat - surprising for a Sunday night any way. But it was the homecoming for some local favorites, so it should not have come as any real surprise. TUS had just returned from a road tour that saw them play 33 gigs in 33 different cities. According to Jesse, he managed to convince bandmates, Robby Cosenza (drums) and Tom Hnatow (bass/other) to join him on the road, sleeping on cold floors in strangers' homes, enduring strained personal relationships, and coming back with less money than when the left. "My two dumbest friends," Jesse said, as he described the "bitter-sweet" end to the evidently arduous tour.

When Jesse recounted the fact that they had returned home for the 33rd gig and that DC was the 33rd city on their tour, opening act Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner remarked that Jesus was crucified when he was 33 years old.... Jeesh. That's kinda ominous, no? Not so fast, said Josh Read (of Revival "fame") from the crowd. "He was 36." Hmmm. I googled this and most folks say he was 33, but Josh has this British-like accent that makes him sound smart, and I think most everyone left believing him (Josh is apparently South African for the record, and therefore not British, and therefore not smarter than we are).

I was excited to finally see TUS perform for real. I don't count the Meat Market show. For having just come back from a tiring tour, you wouldn't know it from their performance. Starting off a bit mellow, TUS found their groove mid way through and with vein popping enthusiasm, brought appreciative applause from the crowd. sacklunch was right, this is the kind of act I like. A bit of roots rock, hippie folk, and pop all mixed together and performed with sincerity. This is yet another band that I would want to play at my birthday party/pig roast/campfire. It's been too long since I saw this act to give you anything more specific.

Although there was an interesting point in the night (for me anyway) that I'll share. sacklunch referenced Hnatow's use of the lap & pedal steel, saying something like, "that thing is weird." And then I said, "not as weird as that instrument where the guy waves his hand in the air and makes the whooo-eee-aaa-oooo-urr noise." sacklunch was like, "huh?" And I was like, "ya know, I think the Polyphonic Spree have one of those." I obviously couldn't explain it very well, especially when there was a concert in full effect. And then, wouldn't you know it? Out of no where appears Arthur Harrison. And with a waggle of his hand, Art illustrated what I could not describe with simple words. I really didn't know that this was coming. It was a complete surprise to us both. Who is Arthur Harrison? I don't really know. But when I googled "electronic instrument hand wave," I found at the top of the list a link to an article about Arthur and the Theremin. Arthur plays with local band, The Cassettes. There are too many coincidences surrounding this crazy-assed pseudo instrument.

I nearly set my drink on this thing.

can you dig it?

So the fellas from The Dig have been hard at work pushing their appearance at the Red and the Black this week. Honestly, we're not good at responding to emails, in fact we set up this blog as a way to cut down on emails.

But Rock Club was more or less pleased to be directed to the online catalog from NYC's The Dig. The Dig have a newly released EP entitled "Good Luck and Games," produced by Bryce Goggin (Pavement and The Ramones) by the way.

Rock Club's reaction to the invitation to see them April 17th:

>I have class until 10 that night... too bad. I kinda like their Beatle/Oasis sound...
>yeah, they're not bad, I'm listening right now
>As am I. I'd go see them if they came to Austin. One song reminds me of The Vines.
>Let me remove the Oasis reference and insert a Blur/Supergrass reference for the "Lovesick Woman" track.
>sounds like two rats fucking in a dirty sweatsock in July in Kansas City (guess who offered that feedback)

Conclusion, we'd check them out, but Thursday doesn't work for us this week. If you don't have a conflict and want a face full of rock Thursday, go check them out.

If they come back in June, we'll try again.

Video Games Killed the Radio Star

Another sign that I am quickly losing touch.

First this:

All Things Considered, April 12, 2008 - In May 2004, a composer named Nobuo Uematsu joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a single performance of his most famous work. The show sold out in three days. In fact, there was almost a riot at the box office when people couldn't get tickets.

What was the music? Uematsu's soundtrack for the popular video game Final Fantasy. [Read More].

And now this:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters), April 16, 2008 - In a nod to the ascendancy of video games, rock 'n' roll bad boys Motley Crue became the first group to release a new single through Rock Band, said the developer of the wildly popular game.

"Saints of Los Angeles," the first single from the group's upcoming album, became available for download for 99 cents this week via Microsoft Corp's Xbox Live Marketplace and on Thursday via Sony Corp's PlayStation store, said Viacom Inc's MTV Games. [Read More]

Apparently, I need to play more video games or risk missing out on some new music. So for the philanthropic, please send me a Wii ASAP. No XBox360, or PlayStation8. Too many confusing buttons. If the AARP endorses the Wii, it seems like the perfect fit for me.

Though I can be convinced to go back to playing SuperNintendo too...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wubba wubba wubba

I have been living under a rock. I basically gave up on music videos about the same time MTV did. I didn't get MTV2 until it was too late, and it had already forgotten its whole reason for being (doing what MTV used to do). So if I were to name the last four videos I saw in one sitting, actually taking time to tune in to >25 minutes of music videos, it probably consisted of the following: Sheryl Crow; Matchbox 20; Creed; and Busta Rhymes featuring Smash Mouth with Destiny's Child... introducing Lil' Romeo. I couldn't have been the only person to have suffered through that. Anyhow, I just gave up on it. And I won't lie, I found comfort in Vh1 and was later hooked by the rather addictive I love the 80s-type programming. So instead of music videos, I wasted 13 hours on my couch with some B rate comedian reminiscing about what s/he was wearing two months ago...

What was I talking about again? Oh yeah. I've been living under a rock. I happened across Spoon's "You Got Yr Cherry Bomb" last week (I'm sure I'm the last to have seen it) and was reminded how cool music videos can be. This video was a great reintroduction as it recalled for me the early days when videos were full of abstract images and the music was more of the focus. The video would be even better if Britt and the other fellows were left out altogether. Their appearance seems forced and unnecessary. The Monty Python-esque quality of the video has a nice familiarity to it as well.

Have a look:

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down - Austin, TX

Mrs. Slice and I couldn't wait for this show. Not only was it our first night out in Austin (after a week of unpacking) but one of our favorite artist was playing. We're big fans of Thao Nguyen and were anxious to see her play with The Get Down Stay Down. Also on the bill were locals Weird Weeds. Headlining the show was Xiu Xiu. That's pronounce Shoo-Shoo in case you didn't know (which I didn't).

Weird Weeds had an unusual set up. The drummer was front and center AND manning the vocals. Phil Collins this guy was not. [wait - is that a good or bad thing?] While a decent drummer his singing was umm, lets say unspectacular. Not a big deal since Weird Weeds aren't exactly appealing to the American Idol crowd. They had an art rock/no wave sound which at times reminded me of Deerhoof and other times The Velvet Underground. The guitarist sat the entire show. She had a unique style which included playing the guitar with a bow. It didn't sound great but it was better than her Joanna Newsom-esque vocals.

Now, I didn't hate Weird Weeds but I didn't loved them either. I give credit to bands for doing something new or different. I enjoyed the layered sounds. They don't write songs with catchy lyrics or big hooks so nothing really grabbed me. There were parts I enjoyed but overall I was underwhelmed.

Before I get to Thao's set, a word about the venue - The Mohawk. You can't swing a dead cat in Austin without hitting a music venue. Most restaurants and bars have some space set aside for a band. I've decided that instead of going to see certain bands I'm going to check out the various venues first. I'll listen to whoever is on the bill that night. The Mohawk has one indoor stage and a large outdoor stage. The main stage has two large decks that look down on the stage. You get a great view and can even pull up a seat. DC doesn't really have any outdoor venues like that. The beer was cheap too which is always a plus. Chilled cans of Lone Star go for $3. I helped myself to plenty.

Okay, back to the concert. Next up was Thao & The Get Down stay Down. They kicked off with three new songs including "Beat (Health, Life, and Fire)" and "Geography" off We Brave Bee Stings And All. After a few songs, Thao recalled how they spent their day in Austin. Frank, the guitarist, had spent 3 semesters at University of Texas here in Austin. He insisted they go see the bats as they fly from the Congress Bridge at dusk. The band skipped dinner and waited over an hour only to see about 16 bats flutter off into the night. Not exactly an awe inspiring event. Thao's advice to those considering watching the bats: Don't go.

The show highlights were a foot stomping version of "Bag of Hammers" and "Tallymarks", the best song off Thao's debut album "Like The Linen". I also enjoyed their closer "Fear And Convenience". I was impressed at the skill of the The Get Down Stay Down. Thao couldn't ask for a better backing band. I was especially impressed by Frank's work on the guitar. It's a far cry from the style he played in Verbal (one of my favorite DC bands). Here's Thao and the guys playing "Bag of Hammers":

After Thao's set we stuck around for a bit of Xiu Xiu's set. It was okay but as with most art rock it was hit or miss. It didn't take long for Mrs. Slice, eight months pregnant, to say it was time to go.

Thao and The Get Down Stay Down get a Rock Club Rating of 8.0. They put on a rousing set for an enthusiastic crowd. I loved the venue and was amazed at how friendly everyone was - we must have talked with 20 different people. All in all a great way to start our time here in Texas.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mark E. Smith, Lover of Wildlife

Mark E. Smith, frontman for The Fall, hates squirrels. Said Mark:

[I] would happily set about an endangered red squirrel with a set of professional hedge-clippers...Squirrels mean nothing to me. I killed a couple last weekend actually. They were eating my garden fence.

Wait, it gets worse. He'd kill seagulls as well:

The maverick frontman went on to boast that he "wouldn't have a problem" with running over seagulls for fun.

Not a big deal here in America but in England they sport giant hard-ons for animal protection. They care more about animals than, say, edible food and personal hygiene for humans.

I'm with Smith on this one. My views on animal killing are based on (1) how many of said animals-marked-for-death do we have, and (2) how cute/fuzzy/huggable are they?

So we have a shitload of squirrels, and they're all bony and unhuggable, so bombs away. Don't care if the red ones are endangered, we got plenty of brown and black and gray ones to pick up the slack.

Here are two funny Mark E. Smith video clips. In this first one he just blinks a lot (the video is helpfully entitled "Mark E. Smith blinks a lot":

Clip 2: Mark E. Smith reads the soccer results on the news. This one takes a while to get going, but stick with it, it's funny:

Here's a good Fall song, about soccer (Sparta FC):

Monday, April 07, 2008

Anarchy in the NK

I don't read Vice magazine that often as I'm usually busy eating, masturbating or watching TV, or doing all three of those things simultaneously. However, when I do read it I am usually left with a feeling of well-being and mirth.

They have a "television network" now, which is actually a bunch of videos posted to a website (www.vbs.tv). I came across this 14-part series detailing a trip to the 23-million-patient-psych-ward-that-is-North Korea by one of their intrepid correspondents. The whole thing is worth watching if you have the time, but I especially appreciated episode 14. If you go to North Korea, you're assigned a government minder, who lets you see only that which Dear Leader wants you to see. The Vice crew understandably chafed against these restrictions throughout their trip, so the trip to the Communist karaoke bar at the end of their itinerary was probably a chance to blow off some steam. Watch the horrified looks as this chubby gaijin blows through "Anarchy in the UK":

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Celebrity Doppelganger (Family Edition)

It's been a while since an edition of celebrity doppleganger, so...

Rock Club offspring JIMBROMSKI JR. and Irish pop superstar BONO

Friday, April 04, 2008

Why the Super 8 Isn't So Super

Now that the we're (almost) settled into our new place we're getting ready for our first show. Tomorrow night Thao & The Get Down Stay Down are playing The Mohawk here in Austin. Mrs. Slice and I don't exactly have the same taste in music. I'm your typical hipster doofus while she has an extensive background in classical music. We both like Thao though. We saw her 4 or 5 years ago opening for Verbal at the Galaxy Hut. In May of 2005 we asked her to play our wedding reception. We even offered to fly her in from London but it wasn't meant to be. In the years since, Thao has blown up and shit, signing to Kill Rock Stars. It's the home of such bands as The Gossip, Erase Errata, Deerhoof, Elliott Smith, and a little band called Sleater-Fucking-Kinney. Not bad company.

As the resident jock sniffer of Rock Club, I love free stuff. Especially getting on the guest list. We managed to get on the list for tomorrow's show by offering Thao and the guys a place to stay. The free tickets are nice but it definitely wasn't our motivation. Below are two posts taken from Thao's mySpace blog. You'll soon see why we wanted to offer them comfy beds and clean sheets:

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Super 8 our faith in corporate motel chains

Morning time. Super 8. Kearney Nebraska.

Thao comes into the room with tea.

Adam: Are you bleeding?

Thao (in her mind: ummm)

Thao(out loud) : umm. Nope.

Adam (impassioned gesticulation): Then whose is this!?!?!

(thao follows his pointing to a large, not so dried looking blood stain on the sheet, located right where his knees would have been resting the ENTIRE night)

Adam: I TOUCHED IT!!! I HAVE BEEN SLEEPING IN IT!! I’m going to take a shower.

Thao gingerly takes sheet down to front desk.

Marilyn (the manager on duty): How can i help you.

Thao: well, there’s blood on this sheet.

Marilyn (takes some time with the soiled sheet in the back): it’s not blood.

Thao: what is it?

Marilyn: feces.

Thao: feces.

Marilyn: yes.

Thao: so. what happens next?

Marilyn: i can give you 20 dollars back. but it will be in check rebate form. You’ll get it in a couple weeks.

Thao: it’s feces.

Marilyn: Well, it’s not blood.

Thao (laughs for lack of anything more appropriate)

Marilyn: come by when you’re checking out.

Thao returns to the room, shocked into submission by absurdity.

she reports back to adam, who has just take as hot of a shower as possible.


ADAM: WHAT THE FUCK?!?! YOU ARE TELLING ME WE PAID 40 DOLLARS TO SLEEP IN BLOODY SHIT?!?!?! ( starts to pace, continues ranting while getting dressed. Frank, Willis, and Thao kind of laugh, kind of sympathize, kind of feel gross too)

Adam: I’m going down there. we have to go down there. shit. bloody shit.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

culmination of Super Gr8 and canada and cold vs. tired

So anyway Adam and I go downstairs and he demands to talk to Marilyn the manager but she conveniently leaves to go to the bank so then Adam demands to talk to Jim her supervisor, who is in an office somewhere very far away doing a pretty shitty job of making sure Marilyn does her job, and I stand in front of the receptionist and smile semi-apologetically as Adam paces around on their cordless telephone and says things like :

Jim. Jim. It was bloody fecal matter, Jim.

(jim responds with something. apparently insulting.)

Adam: Don’t insult me Jim, don’t insult me. I am insulted.

And at the end of the exchange we get a full refund and Adam obtains everyone’s business cards and we swear, as a band, upon all we hold sacred, that incredibly strongly worded letters will be written and dispatched posthaste and heads will figuratively roll.

Epilogue: of course we didn’t write any letters. and we stayed at another super 8 the next night.

Concert (P)review- The Dodos/The Big Sleep/Les Savy Fav @ The Black Cat 4/4/08

I actually had the luxury of seeing The Dodos at DC9 this past Monday, so this post will act as both a review AND a preview.

I am going to cut to the chase and not even discuss the opening bands at the DC9 show, but if you need more info you can always check here. The Dodos hit the stage around 11:45 on a Sunday night, so the crowd was fairly sparse, maybe 50 people at the most. The band consists mainly of two guys, one on drums and one on guitar (both acoustic and electric). They also had this other dude in the band that would come up every so often to play xylophone or this mini-piano thing. The music is a bit hard to peg, but some songs had a great John Fahey finger-picking vibe (acoustic), and others rocked hard, channeling early Jack White blues guitar. Oh yeah, he stayed seated for every song (except when he played the trombone, I think). This is definitely a band worth checking out and I suggest arriving early tonight ot see them open for Les Savy Fav.

I will honestly say I don't know a whole lot by Les Savy Fav, except for that tune "Patty Lee" which has a great opening riff and groovy vibe. I have checked out some of their live performances on YouTube and I must say, it looks pretty entertaining. I can't say much about Th Big Sleep. We saw them open for The Thermals last year and thought they were okay. Mostly instrumental tunes, heavy guitar, etc.. It wears thin pretty quickly and when the chick sings, it is pretty bad. So my suggestion, get there early and check out The Dodos, listen to a few songs by The Big Sleep and then go downstairs for a drink or a smoke. Come back up for Les Savy Fav. That sounds like an enjoyable Friday evening to me, see you there.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The First Rule of Rock Is, There Are No Rules

The second rule of rock is that there are no rules, except for the 10 new rules below. As I mentioned here, Jumbo Slice moved to Texas last week so we're now three members plus one in exile. Seeing as how we've been doing this for over a year now we thought it would be a good point to reevaluate where we're at and where we're going.

Speaking of Jumbo Slice and his last show (Blitzen Trapper), we saw that blind dude again. His name is Ahmed and he lives in Germantown. He takes the Metro Shuttle Van to shows. Nice. I'm thinking of pretending to be disabled so I can ride the shuttle as well. My other idea was to figure out how to hook up a seeing eye dog's brain to Google Maps so the blind guy could just give an address to the German Shepherd, and bam, the dog leads you there. If we could reach the point where we could synch up a dog brain to an online database, we could probably also train the dog to drive as well, and have him wait outside the venue while the blind guy rocked out inside. I predict this will happen soon.

Okay, here are the new Rules of Rock. These have been generally accepted by all RC members. If you're thinking of starting your own rock club, feel free to use these.

  1. We are required to attend at least one show every two weeks. This will constitute the official' RC show for that period.
  2. Official shows require 2 out of 3 members attending to be considered “official.”
  3. Official shows will be selected by the RC member responsible for the applicable bi-weekly period.
  4. Official shows will be reviewed on the blog by the RC member responsible for the bi-weekly period.
  5. Reviews will be posted to the blog as soon as possible and no later than one week after the show took place.
  6. The RC member responsible for picking the official show shall poll the other members as to their preference and availability, but will have the final say in picking the show. Shows that cost more than $25 will require a special vote.
  7. Any/all RC members can attend non-official shows in the bi-weekly period, above and beyond the official show during the same period.
  8. Reviews of non-official shows are not required but are encouraged.
  9. RC members may trade time slots amongst themselves if necessary.
  10. Jumbo Slice is a perpetual RC Member Emeritus although he fucked off to Texas and as such retains posting rights on the blog. After he settles in he will be expected to do the following:
  1. Attend a show every two weeks
  2. Post a review of the show
  3. Promulgate and disseminate the RC concept to Austinites
  4. Form an Austin Rock Club, which will swear eternal loyalty to us and will obey us just like Catholics obey the Pope in Rome
  5. Maintain and update the aesthetics of our blog because none of us really know how to do that
  6. Continue being a jock-sniffer in the music world and answering e-mails and initiating contacts with dead-end indie bands that may some day bear fruit for us in the form of free shit and exposure

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Peaced Out

Blitzen Trapper (with Fleet Foxes)
Black Cat Backstage

Okay, I can't really remember a lot specifics from this show, mainly because I had to wait to post this while Sacklunch dicked around for weeks without posting the Sons & Daughters review. So blame him for the low quality of this review.

This show was important as it was Jumbo Slice's final show with DC Rock Club before moving the Austin, Texas. True to form, Mr. Malaprop blessed us with one final goof, referring to opening band Fleet Foxes as "Fleet Feet." Yes, Jumbo, the employees of the running shoe store on Columbia Road formed a band, and tonight they're playing at the Black Cat. All the songs are about jogging. Sometimes I think he says these things on purpose to get a laugh out of us, but then I look into his blank golden retriever eyes and see that he doesn't realize that he made a mistake.

Fleet Feet were pretty good, I thought. I've heard them compared to Crosby, Stills, Nash and/or Young. Makes sense to me. They looked and sounded crunchy and did lots of harmonizing that was nice. I never really noticed the sound quality at Black Cat/Backstage but the audio really came through clearly. Jumbo Slice claimed that lead singer looked like Perry Farrell, which was ludicrous. Dude, leave the celebrity doppelgangers to me.

Headliners Blitzen Trapper followed Fleet Foxes with an hour of desultory hippie crap. I gotta say, I'm getting tired of beards. It's the new goatee. Our own Sacklunch sports one but I think he gets a pass because his beard is more of a middle-aged Jewey/rabbinical beard, than a hipster beard. Back when I was coming up there was a clear division between hippie music and indie music, and now it looks like they've made peace with each other. Actually, they've done more than make peace, it looks like an unconditional surrender to the hippies. How the fuck is some furball wearing a North Face fleece considered "alternative"? What happened here? In my college dorm I was shouted down 100% of the time whenever I tried to play the Smiths by all the Deadheads in the dorm. Can you believe that shit? And this is what I fought for? Tell me I'm dreaming. Tell me there's a hidden camera somewhere in this bitch. Every time I turn around there's some new treehugger Band of Horses-type outfit up on stage playing gentle acoustic numbers.

It's not that I don't like the music. The aforementioned Fleet Foxes were pretty good. I thought Blizten Trapper were a little boring but I can see the appeal, particularly when they played fast. But is this alternative? I mean, "alternative" to me, fuck, to everyone, means "something alternate to something else." In this case it should be, "alternative to shit we hear all the time on VH1." There's a place for this sort of music in the indie world but what say we just pick two or three bands to fill that role, and euthanize the rest, if they refuse to get haircuts, buy proper clothes, and play loud and fast rock and roll?

Rant over. Fleet Foxes get a 6.8 while Blitzen Trapper receive a 5.0. See the Black Lips or the Hall Monitors instead. See Blonde Redhead. Fight the hippie invasion, friends.