Monday, November 30, 2009

Visqueen - Message To Garcia

A couple of years ago, it seemed like Rachel Flotard and her rock franchise Visqueen would be the next big thing in rock. They had Kim Warnick of the mighty, mighty Fastbacks in the bass position, quality shows with GbV and Cheap Trick and, most importantly, songs for days. There was (and is) also the small matter of Ms. Flotard being utterly, knee-weakeningly lovely. As the pendulum swung in the opposite direction, there were line-up changes, a couple less than successful tours, and most horribly the news that her father had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Priorities were realigned accordingly and Flotard decided to spend as much time as humanly possible with her father until his passing.

George Flotard passed at home in April of this year with his daughter at his side. While he no longer occupies a space on this temporal plane, the paternal Flotard's legacy looms large on Message To Garcia. The title comes from a short story of the same name that was recommended to Rachel by her father during the time that they lived together. Garcia is a soldier who is notable for simply doing his job, neither asking for help nor complaining for the duration. It's a work ethic that was embraced by the older Flotard and one that lives on through his daughter and the other members of Visqueen. Message To Garcia is also the first release on Local 638 Records, named for the steamfitters union that her father maintained membership in until his passing.

Tragic backstory aside, Message To Garcia is one hell of of a rocking power-pop record. It is not without it's melancholia, but fast or slow there is really not a bad song here. Few bands can claim in this day and age. During the time that Visqueen has been on blocks, you may have espied Flotard singing backing vocals on various Neko Case records and tours in recent years or perhaps fronting the ensemble that pedal steel master Jon Rauhouse put together to record his last record. Both former bosses repay the favor by appearing on Message To Garcia. Case and Flotard are a powerful combination that rivals the current Neko/Kelly Hogan musical pairing. Flotard sings like an angel throughout and while I find the vocals to be a little lush for my taste, it does nothing to diminish Message To Garcia's place as being one of the best records of 2009. Walk, don't run to Local 638 Records and pick this up stat. Those that do not like it are stone cold idiots to whom I would suggest severing your ears with something dull. But that's just me.


Friday, November 27, 2009

No Friends

Time to set off the pit. No Friends is the new band that is setting the hardcore world on it's ear. Featuring 3/4 of the pretty much dormant New Mexican Disaster Squad, you'll dig this if you liked them or their current franchises Gatorface and Virgins. Oh, wait! Did I mention that Tony from Municipal Waste is fronting this little combo? While I never really got NMDS, I fucking love The Waste. They have been getting serious play at JS-NYC HQ of late, much to the delight to the my neighbors. It's important to point out that while Municipal Waste thrash with wild abandon, No Friends take the hardcore road that bands like Paint It Black do so well. It's definitely on some Dag Nasty/Descendents/GBs shit and most assuredly awesome. No Idea is the label that pays them and Var and Tony must be stoked. It's not just a recording/project band either. The Waste are pushing their new record Massive Aggressive hard, but No Friends are still trying to do some shows around various Fests and whatnot. I'd go out of my way to see them live when and if you could, but in the meantime pick up No Friends here from the lovable men and women of No Idea.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Jeff Klein - 33

I'm far from a MySpace guy, but clicked the link when I got the alert that Jeff Klein had updated his little blog presence there. Jeff is from my hometown, inexplicably, and after catching his set at a Guitartown party a couple SXSWs ago, I've gone out of my way to keep him on my radar. He's been touring as a member of the Twilight Singers in recent years and has popped up in various live ensembles Msrrs. Dulli and Lanegan have put together to promote their myriad projects as well as playing with some TS compatriots in the My Jerusalem ensemble. This rolling stone is gathering no moss. To commemorate the start of his 33rd year, he posted a 23 minute track that has got a bunch of new material along with some wankery. The threat was that it would be available for 24 hours only. Luckily, I'm a nerd and snapped it up quick. It seems like the threat is a valid one, as the link is now dead, but I would expect that a little internet prospecting will turn 33 up. It's worth it. I'm not sure whether any of this stuff will ever see a formal release, but the best place to find out (and check out some other quality tracks) would probably be here.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

NOFX - Cokie The Clown 7"

More choir-preaching from Fat Mike and Co. Five songs, including an acoustic version of My Orphan Year from the most recent record. Not going to win over any new fans, but if you like the boys, you certainly won't be disappointed by the proceedings. You'll probably also want to peep the video, where Fat Mike punks punks like Matty Skiba and Tim Rise Against. Buy the 7" here and enjoy the video shenanigans here.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Another Patterson Hood live set at Southern Shelter

Man, Southern Shelter is definitely giving us something to be thankful for this year. I guess we can probably thank Patterson, too. Is typical JS-NYC bass-ackwards fashion, here's a link to the first of the three Wednesday night hometown residency shows at The Caledonia. The opening night was billed as "Onward Out The Window (New And Used Songs - Stripped Down To Piano and Guitar)". Newish DBT cohort Jay Gonzales holds the piano role down for the most part, but Patterson does tickle the ivories for a song or two. Solid all around, with the inimitable Patterson banter in full effect. Peep it here.


Friday, November 20, 2009

The Copyrights and The Brokedowns split 7"

So this is the 7" that I alluded to in my cursory coverage of the recent Copyrights shows. The Brokedowns have been getting a lot of notice lately, playing most of the good Midwestern punk shows with D4, The Dopamines and our heroes, The Copyrights. They have two songs here, none of which really rock my world, but I suspect that if I had a handful of Old Styles in me, I might very well feel differently. I'm not prepared to relegate them to full-on Cobra Skulls over-rateddom yet. Pairing themselves with The Copyrights will certainly get them some shine, but they sure do pale in comparison from where this asshole is sitting. The Copyrights lead off with the banging I'd Rather Die Than Be Alone and seal the deal with Get Got, another number that will enrich your life in many ways. No Idea is the bestest, so why not drink one less beer and help all the parties involved keep the lights on. Here's a link to enable your expenditure.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Patterson Hood live set at Southern Shelter

Hey Kids:

The good folk of Southern Shelter have been posting the live shows Patterson and his Athens auxiliary have been playing during their month-long residency at Caledonia Lounge. This one features some of his more country oriented material. Patterson was sick, but still managed to deliver the goods. Get the skinny on the two new DBT records coming next year and hear some rare stuff via this handy link.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Live: The Copyrights @ Fontana's 11.7.9

If there's any band worth seeing a bunch of nights in a row, it's The Copyrights. Fontanas was the venue for one of the best shows of the year last June with House Boat, Dear Landlord and The Unlovables and our heroes, so it seemed promising that the boys would return, albeit with a hodge-podge of random crappy bands.

They were second, listed as going on at 10, so it seemed to make sense
that I showed up at five of to find them halfway through their set and playing to maybe 10 people. When they drew easily 50 heavy drinkers the last time and played to a rabid crowd the night before, it confounds me that Fontana's would put them on early. The seven or eight songs I did catch were as awesome as you might expect, but fuck Fontana's anyway. Keep track of where The Copyrights are here and pick up the new 7" from No Idea.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Live: The Copyrights, Jonesin' @ Tommy's Tavern 11.6.9

An early Fall night and The Copyrights are two of the great tastes that go great together. I stopped off for a pre-game with 2/3 of the aldenbarton rock franchise and posted up in time to hear the end of Nude Beach. Literally, but I ran into the newlywed Dan of Deadly Board Games and Dirtbike Annie and whiled away the dead time til what I assume was Jonesin' played. They played in the punk-optimized power trio format and rocked some noisy gems that crossed Husker Du with newer NYC indie-punk upstarts like Get Bent and Iron Chic are putting out. They were good, but sadly in the unenviable role of opening for The Copyrights, who are definitely the top tier of the current Mid-Weas-tern punk bands. They have a new 7" on No Idea that I guess they are touring behind. I could have cared less, as anytime The Copyrights are playing, one would be smart to be there. They were without one of their guitar dudes and somewhat limited in their selections but still knocked out a solid 10 or 15 tracks, including the delightfully appropriate (and JS-NYC euphoria inducing) This Ain't Broadway. They managed to cough up a couple more tunes as an encore at the behest of Dan and what appeared to be some rogue Steinways, but as awesome as it was, it was over way too soon. Big up to Tommy's and their bizarro smoke/light treatments. It reminds me of old times at The Charleston. Keep tabs on the tail end of this post-Fest junket and other Copyrights goings-on here. Snatch up the new record (a split with The Brokedowns) from No Idea here.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

R.A. The Rugged Man - Legendary Classics Vol. 1

As the leaves turn and we look forward to giving thanks, let us not forget to make a joyful noise about the fact that R.A The Rugged Man has deigned to grace us with another release. The former Crustified Dibbs has defied the odds (as well as label blacklisting and companion lawsuits) and undergone quite the renaissance in recent years. Sadly, his contributions to Mass Appeal are no more, but the digital age has proven to be a great medium for established indie artists like R.A. He claims that his last release, the pretty damn good American Low Life was recorded for under $5K and sold 400 thousand. Do the math. Thems is some Freddie Foxxx numbers. Even if he did half those numbers, it would be a better showing than most of the hip-hop records that have dropped in the last couple years.

It's been a minute since ALL dropped, but R.A is most definitely back for the attack. Displaying his customary lack of self-confidence, R.A has seen fit to release Legendary Classics Vol. 1 for our pleasure, a limited edition release that compiles a lot of The Rugged Man's early singles from way-out-if-it-was-ever-actually-really-in-print records like Night Of The Bloody Apes. Smithhaven Mall is here, as is Stanley Kubrick. The solo tracks are good, but pair R.A. with fellow grimesmiths Akineyle or Kool G. Rap and you have total magic, if you consider tales of whoring, drugging and otherwise being unproductive to the populace at large to be magical. I sure do. Legendary Classics Vol. 1 adds the legendary Cunt Renaissance duet with Biggie as well as the straight banger 50,000 Heads with Sadat X and a gang of other songs you'll be embarassed to play around your Mom. Any guilt you might feel after listening probably won't keep the Nate Dogg-esque hook from Fucking Your Bitch (When You're Not Around) from haunting you for days afterward. Maybe just hum it to yourself, or consider investing in a better set of noise-canceling headphones. Whatever it takes, you owe it to yourself to check out R.A. and Legendary Classics Vol. 1. Grab it from Nature Sounds here and maybe spring for the limited edition with the DVD and unreleased tracks. Keep track of where the women in your life should be far away from via the Rugged Man web presence here.

Rugged Man? What The Fuck!


Monday, November 9, 2009

Iron Chic - Shitty Rambo EP

Iron Chic is another reshuffling of the Long Island punk rock deck, featuring ex-Latterman dude / engineer / cigarette aficionado Phil Douglas and Lubrano from Small Arms Dealer as well as three other whoa-ohing miscreants that like themselves some pop-punk mixed with Braid-y Midwestern 90s rock (who themselves were jocking Chapel Hill pretty hard).

The Iron Chic demo got a lot of love from JS-NYC to Bloomington. I could have sworn that Iron Chic went the way of the Potboiler and the Get Bent, but if they have songs this good I hope they stick around for a bit. All four songs are bangers, but Don't Tell Me Stupid, Don't Show Me Fuck You and Shit/Giggles occupy the number 1 & 2 slots for now, but I'm just into the double digits with playing Shitty Rambo so standings may very well change. My ranking aside, pick this EP up here immediately from Dead Broke Rekerds. Nerds may be excited to hear of limited vinyl options. Yippee.



Sunday, November 8, 2009

MC Ren - Renincarnated

Of all the NWA members, Ren always was my favorite. He had better tone and flow than most of the other cats, but still always seemed to be batting behind Cube, Dre and Eazy. The first two I could see, but being considered behind Eazy as a rapper is a place in life I wouldn't wish on most people. Not that Eazy isn't head and shoulders above 90% of the shitty rappers that are out today, but the point is that Ren deserves a lot better than that. His skills are definitely on par with Cube and outclass the rest of his former franchise. His solo records haven't sold on the level of Cube or Dre, but are still extremely solid efforts, especially for a West Coast artist. There are equal parts misogyny and spirituality, with the odd weed smoking reference to mix it up. Villianist Tales (sadly, indeed a revisitation of Too Short's Freaky Tales) is a bit of a misstep, but by and large Renincarnated is well worth picking up. Get it here from Ren and Villain Entertainment and check out videos and movies starring the Villain himself. Cops and mark ass bustas need not apply.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sean Price presents Kimbo Price: The Prelude To Mic Tyson

Read the title. Kimbo Price? Come on, you can't front: admit the title is pretty brilliant, especially as a mixtape precursor to a full-length entitled Mic Tyson. I guess that you might be all souped up on the new Jay-Z or Rick Ross records to the point that you might doubt this record's awesomeness, but anyone with even a passing ownership of a set of ears would be an idiot to deny how good this. Interspersed with sound clips from the aforementioned pugilists, Sean gets ridiculous on 23 tracks, mostly for delf but sometimes with the help of old comrades like Ruck, Buckshot and Rusty Juxx but also with newcomers like Flood Diesel, Skyzoo and Torae. If you like hip-hop, you should be picking Kimbo Price up immediately from Duck Down. Here's a link.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Price Is Right

So your man Sean P has got a new mixtape dropping. It's called Kimbo Price and is the precursor to the new full-length (on Duck Down, of course) called Mic Tyson. While Sean comes hard body with it, he still keeps it real on the family and shopping tip. See it firsthand via The Price Is Right, video that may very well be the best thing on the interwebs. Here's a link. Thanks to the mighty Unkut for hipping me to this and big up Dallas Penn for digitizing. Look for a review of Kimbo Price tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Hold Steady - live Southern Comfort show download

Hey Kids:

I don't drink it, but maybe you're into idea of seeing one of your favorite bands and swilling some SoCo while you do so?

Evidently it makes The Hold Steady play a bunch of covers, which I guess may have been the point. Hit the link below and hear a couple new tracks taped live this past Sunday at The Crocodile in Seattle, along with old favorites and/or Steve Earle, ZZ Top and Minutemen covers.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Live: Dethklok, Mastodon, Converge and High On Fire @ Hammerstein Ballroom 10.29.9

Life is funny. In a genre as inherently cartoonish as metal (both to the positive and negative), I guess it was inevitable that a metal cartoon band would exist. The idea that they would tour with legitimate bands in big rooms all around this great nation of ours is a little bit more mindboggling.

Presentation was another issue. Was there going to be a live band? Were they going to kick it Gorillaz style and play behind a screen that the animation was projected against? Or maybe split the difference? Metalocalypse musical mastermind Brendon Small plays guitar in the live band and does the Nathan Explosion vocals (as he does on the cartoon), so you would figure that there would be a live band and it would at least get a little bit of shine. I'm told the first tour had the band behind the screen, but this tour had the band backlit enough to see the band a bit. I'll get into the rest of the crew in a sec.

So the crew primed the pump a bit before we headed uptown. For the first time in a while, I (and we) was interested in seeing the entire bill. We circled the wagons at Hammerstein a little after seven and got inside to see the last four or five songs of the Converge set. I've never thought that Converge were the tightest live band and the prospect of seeing them in a place as cavernous as as Hammerstein was not one that bode well. Jake was all over the limited amount of place openers were afforded and there we definitely fans in the room, but I wasn't crazy about the set. I'm sure they are crushed.

Co-headliners Mastodon were up next. While my state of inebriation at the beginning of the set was well into the realms of shithouse drunk, I figured that maybe they would light a fire under my ass. Sadly, I couldn't have been more wrong. Very, very boring. There were pretty decent visuals, but the most striking ones were the stars I'd see when I'd almost fall asleep on my feet and smash face first into Eric or Paul's back. (Apologies, gents). Mastodon played the new record in it's entirety and followed up with some chestnuts at the end, but I was profoundly underwhelmed with the whole set. Suffice to say, Mastodon are not this man's kind of red wine band.

Dethklok were up in short order. If you're a nerd, and I am, the live band is kind of a Stats-Pro wet dream. As I mentioned, Brendon Small helms the band, but he's got ex-Zappa sideguy Mike Keneally backing him up on guitar. Drum God Of Thunder Gene Hoglan is on the stool, paired with SWR product rep/ex-Zappa dude Bryan Beller on bass. Lots of times these fantasy parings seem better on paper, but understand that they fucking killed it. The animation was typical Metalocalypse, but as consistently hysterical. It wasn't synched hard to the music, but the synergy was pretty bad ass. I felt like a fucking 12 year old and loved every minute of it. Plus, they played the Duncan Hills Coffee Jingle and, as luck would have it, I like coffee, so it was pretty win-win all around. See this tour any way you can. If it's a real big room, maybe think about showing up a little late.



Sunday, November 1, 2009

Live: OnPoint at Karma Lounge 10.26.9

Despite the less than ideal environs, OnPoint rocked the hell out of the Karma Lounge basement the other night. I've been tied up in So Hideous mixing and hating my job, so apologies to the OnPoint kids (and their rabid fans) for the lack of timely coverage.

Evidently, the people booking Karma are/were looking to expand their demographic a little bit by bringing in Team OP. Not sure how the not-especially-good opening singer-songwriter dude felt, but it sure brought more people in the room than the maybe one person who might have been there to see them. He did win over the guy whose job for the night seemed to be to play incidental cocktail jazz for 2 to 5 minutes between sets and then be in the way of everybody loading in, which may have been a small consolation.

OnPoint followed the songwriter guy and pretty much killed it. Olga sure can sing (and is far from un-easy on the eyes). Paired with Dylan and Matt, it's a good time. They need to get some recordings out, but in the interim they have added a bass player. He played on the last three or four tracks on the set, firing the already excited crowd up into the most spirited display of headbanging I've seen in some time. Keep up on the integration of the new guy in the franchise and hear about upcoming shows at the OnPoint web presence here. Watch out for the robots.