I have to skip a lot of the drama that went on with this show, because i want to follow my own rule of "rock and roll cool" which is that the cool thing to do is to cover someone elses faux pas so that we can all have a good time. There was some things that happened at this show that made me feel really low. To speak in vague generalities, I will only say that when ppl play shows, if they are doing it right, what happens is they are bearing their soul. George Harrison slyly said it best, i dont think i could find the interview, but basically he pointed out that people aren't their corporeal beings, which is what its standard to mistake them for, what people really are are souls. Everyone gets pent up from, well you know how it is, you're a human who ever is reading this, going to work, monotony, responsibilities, running out of money, trying to sign up for health care, etc. Getting caught under the gears of life. Whenever I play a show, especially whenever the band I'm playing in is good, which is def the case with Party Plants right now, by the end of the show i am very exposed emotionally. Its just naturally what happens. And I am a very emotional person, and Ive been accused in the past of always being in a hurry, or being uptight, and you know what, theres some time in my past where I was super uptight, and to the point where I couldn't even have regular interactions with other people, so if anyone is reading this that feels the same way or ever has, solidare! The release of emotion that happens to me at a show is kinda sacred, or at the least, essential to my being, and I dont think Im alone in that, I think thats universal for anyone who gets seriously involved in doing music or art or really any creative pursuit i guess, the whole having an outlet thing. At the end of a night when I have played a show, its like being in a wave in the ocean like I am forced to accept not being in control, and thats also a solid metaphor for life, because, really if we end up in a WWIII scenario or something, or theres an earthquake, I mean, its worth taking a cue from Alcoholics Anonymous that there is a higher power than us. Shit happens way outside of our control. And that's why I'm comfortable putting myself thru a itinerary (playing a show) where the end result is I'm not going to be completely in control, because that's more true to life than thinking you can control everything. So that's what my rant has crystallized into, I think it obliquely captures the essence of why I think its important not to harsh anyones mellow, especially right after they played a show --- because it isnt a corporeal thing you are fucking with, its a soul.
UMM....ok so the show itself. Jagerbumps played first, they went on at 10:20, and holy shit, i did a headcount there were EIGHTY PEOPLE there. For a 3 band local bill on a fucking Wednesday night. Chris Smith brought out a shit ton of people. I was too scared to be up front for their set because I thought I would in some way get pancaked, or something would happen. Jager bumps is a 6 piece --- 3 guitars, 2 members of Basketball Shorts, playing instruments they dont play in that band, Casey on bass and Ben on drums, and then Chris singing and just generally being a badass frontman. I liked some of the genre fills Ben was doing, it gave the band the right flavor. I didnt realize hes a badass drummer, he had a beat like he has a kit set up in his house he can practice on or something. Yeah so 3 guitars, super loud, and . My favorite part was the alternating guitar intro on the last song ("who you gonna fuck tonight? / nobody! nobody!") Chris Smith had good menace and just a good loosing your shit look and was a great frontman. He knows how to rock out from his Dark Meat days, probably before that, but as a guy whose seen a lot of bands, I definitely felt like I was watching a guy with pro level experience, thats a good vibe for their band. Him and me were kinda going at it during the Party Plants set, I tried to lock him in the bathroom by dragging a big ass monitor or subwoofer or something in front of the door. Oh yeah, the soundguy was a super chill dude, he totally thought it was funny and just put the thing back where it went and I went back on stage, and Chris didnt ever see any of it happen, b/c he was in the bathroom, and then I talked a little shit from on stage and hopefully he knew it was a joke too and I wasnt trying to hurt his feelings because he's one of my FUCKIN BESTIES.
The Shiny Voyage set in the middle was cool, they have new songs. A lot of their set was instrumental, which I didn't remember from the last show we did with them at Willard's house. They had some songs that utilized the very highest part of the guitar neck, and also they are doing a thing with an octaver pedal because they play 2 guitars (and a drum kit) but sometimes they make one of the guitars play a bass line. Someone remarked that they raised their game --- personally I remember them being really fucking good at Willard's too, that's why we wanted to do this show with them, but this show was tight as well. They are a hard band to compare to anyone...they had a couple songs that used acoustic guitar that was cool. I was talking with Tessa from that band about Broken Water, I'll bet thats a band they would like, also a 3 piece, but not really that similar in sound to what they are doing. I was just saying I feel like the grunge sound is coming back in vogue or something (even tho Broken Water has been around for a while).
Our set was good. We didnt need to play all of our songs, I think we went on around 12:20, 12:30. Its cool just the different vibe of the 3 band bill, I think people appreciate going to such a show, just to mix it up. I actually like that all the shows at Trailer Space are 3 band bills (mostly, I think). If it had been a 4 band bill I would have felt like the urge to rush the other bands, but for a show that "starts at 10" if people are still showing up, and the bands set is 25 minutes, whats wrong with not starting until 10:20? Some bars will be adamant that you start by 10:10 at the very latest. But just in terms of how the night goes....
More on our set that I can remember, not much in particular, i remember really rocking out, viscerally, physically convulsing while playing the bass. I thought of P-Bo, aka Patrick Boseman the bass player from Quiet Hooves. Something about the bass, i think its cause its less technical in the sense that you only have to play 1 note, but it really lends itself to going nuts with your entire body. I did some singing too which I normally don't do. We didn't play Electric Bill, which was nice, actually I dont like to sing on that one anymore because i think it slows the beat down, takes the other singers out of the moment. I think i sang harmonies on songs that it was like brand new harmonies. Chris was upping his pedal usage pretty significantly. I rolled off a lot of the high end from the bass on the EQ on the amp after playing a few shows with Naked Pictures over sxsw (Louis uses a J-Bass, mine is a P-bass style, thats what most ppl play on IMO), but I think i found a spot where I added back just a little of high end in a particular place, and it was doing good. Finding that sound tweaking it. I think we sounded EXCELLENT at the Chain Drive show, we had a show the night before that was fun, but as far as playing in top form, it was cool the way it was a warm up show for the Chain Drive show. Also I got a girl now, and I met her at that show, thats tight. She didnt actually see us play, she got there right after.....wished she could have been at the show tonight, prob would have made it a lot more fun of a show for me (not that it wasnt already hella fun), but the audience people are like a seed bank buried deep underground, they are really the holders of the vibe keeping everything cool.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Monday, March 31, 2014
This band was from Sacramento, or Portland or S.F. or something, wonder what ever happened to them.
I love you all
Friday, March 28, 2014
uuh, we kicked ass duh.
I love you all
SHOW 1. Previous saturday, a show at Swan Dive .... backlined we played to about 70 ppl. we played at 8 or 9 PM and the Goodhearts played after us. It would be nice to do another show with them, they were good and we liked them. Definitely the juices were flowing, it felt especially good as a first show, but our approach to it was more like just playing a local show in the sense that we were playing for a new crowd in a new venue and we have really been trying to play around town.
SHOW 2. Tuesday night 11:30 @ Club 1808. I was pretty worn down by the time of this set, having already run over 20 bands that day, and couldnt play my parts perfect but we gutted thru it. Lots of guts. Guts everywhere. Take it to the limit.
SHOW 3. Wednesday morning -- Burger Records thing @ Trailer Space. We played at 11:30 in the morning. We played a clean set. I thought we sounded raw as fuck, like as in that would be a selling point, especially to someone interested in bands as a long term nurtured growth type scenario. I like being in a band that sounds raw. There were already people there, ready to drink and to party.
SHOW 4. Thursday @ Sammi and Burgers' House. This was a sick house show, we played around 3 PM. I got there early to set the PA up and stayed til the end of the show to take the PA down. There was a secret path down to jack in the box, and i took many urinations nearby. This show was outside. We played a lot of material that we hadnt played at any of the shows up until that point, and were kinda going in blind as far as we didnt have a dedicated practice to remembering how they went or anything. I think we really won over the crowd, like they could tell something cool was going on, and being ppl in bands they are naturally supportive of looking at certain processes in a particular light, but it was our first open air show and I think the guitars could have been a little louder. Its hard to tell from where you are standing sometimes. I felt like I was overplaying on the bass a little, but all and all this was a great show, in terms of the ppl who saw us and liked us and also in terms of getting experience playing outside the first time.
SHOW 5. Thursday Night @ Willard's House. This was the best set we played, by a mile. If we could perform at that level for all the shows we will have cracked some kind of code. That house has good vibes for us and also for me.....in different bands i may have played there 5 times by now! That was Party Plants' 2nd or 3rd time. Our set was follwed by killer sets from Cloud Becomes Your Hand and Killer Bob and also they had a friends band play who killed it.
SHOW 6. Friday @ Julian's parents house, aka Burger Pool Party. This show was dank. I thought we played well, I dont particularly remember playing anything out of the ordinary, and so it must have had some momentum. It was the right time of day for us to play. I think we took a second shot at a couple songs we had done from our "B" set. Our alt fakey kickslider.
SHOW 7. Saturday night @ Up Collective. We actually had a show at Club 1808 that day that we dropped off because the show was running late and we were getting burnt out, but we prob should have taken it because some ppl would have gotten to see us that in hindsight, I was like assuming they would have seen us at some point, but they didnt and this would have been the show where they did. But we were still playing that night. We were slotted for like 11 or 12 and ended up going on at 2. The party went til 6. Advaeta's set was transcendent. Carol Ann wore something that I didnt know was in her closet. I think it was a good show, ppl really freaked out for Big Bill. We pushed ourselves pretty late in the bill, I think its a sign of respect, or a way of peacing yourself to book yourself to play late and to do a show for less people, not only just so the other bands can play to ppl, but beacuse thats a time when ppl are more bondy. Mercer used to do this all the time, probably still does, but I used to love seeing bubbly mommy gun at 4 am, that was like their favorite time to play.
We got a shit ton of nice offers for April and May, so I guess some good came out of it, or we are now on ppls radars or something
yall may have heard about "rock and roll cool", i wanted to write a little ode to it. Rock and Roll Cool is probably one of the most important philosophical points of rock and roll. Not cool like Obama is gonna keep his blackberry to keep from getting stuck in the bubble gutter, real rock and roll cool, like the Ramones, or the Beets, or Lou Reed. NYC has always had the market on rock and roll cool a little more firmly gripped by the balls than the rest of the country. I think just because how it is there. If you sound like you are going thru your personal journey, and you are at an earlier stop, ppl just tune out.
One enemy of rock and roll cool is the vibe rollercoaster. You feel real great like you played some cool shows or whatever, and then there is an emotional drained period before you build yourself back up again, potentially fraught with self-doubt and lack of perspective. This is the perfect time to send some emails where you dont say what you are trying to say, or at least you are gonna send something counter productive. Being cool in all circumstances regardless of position in the vibe rollercoaster is an indication that you are getting there. Smoothing out those rough edges. Resistance against the dark arts.
My advice for rock and roll cool --- dont ever get mad at ppl except your bandmates in private. someones gotta hold the line, actually its best if you can pawn this responsibility off on another bandmate so then you dont have to deal with it and you can save your vibe capitol for doing shit you wanna do rather than keeping your bandmates from fucking up, but if thats not possible sometimes someone has to be the field general. Obviously good ol fashioned butt chewings should be used as sparingly as possible, that is not rock and roll cool at all and it can easily lead to built up bad vibes, which is your enemy. But definitely dont get mad at bands if they cancel off your shit. Save that existential why for another day. That's what its all about right, the existential why? Its understood. Oh yeah dont bring up stuff thats understood. If I see a girl and her band just played, personally I like to tell her good show, but not with the first comment and also its kinda a joke, bc ppl never tell each other good show, its just a convention that its better to get the conversation going rather than start in on anything mechanical.
Rock and Roll cool exists because the energy of the music is a real thing. Existing simultaniously to commercial considerations, music has the ability to bring out peoples souls a little bit and get people a little closer to each other on a real level. Thats whats up. So if you wanna be cool, remember flash photography and video recording devices kill the vibe, just get in the moment and get on board with whats goin down.
Thus sayeth my ode. Also, there was a reason why Nirvana and everyone liked Neil Young so much, that dude is a badass.
Sunday, March 23, 2014
I love you all
I like to do a recap every year on what went down, mainly so I can remember exactly what happened and save it for posterity, since its all such a blur, but also for other people interested in what is going on with this weirdo rock thing and sharing perspectives, but I think I am going to do it a bit differently this time. SXSW is a major vibe bomb for everyone. Without going to far into it, it was really sad what went down in front of Mohawk this year, and I do think it weighed on everyones conscious a little bit. Before that happened, i noticed people driving like batshit crazy style (as Thor would say "drunk driving is for rich assholes", well sxsw is pretty much the largest rich asshole magnet known to man). Then afterwards it seemed like people were driving with more courtesy. I couldn't help but think of the short story "The Lottery" which like any good middle schooler I read. Basically the town sacrifices one random person to "ensure" a good harvest because they are superstitious or something. At least thats how I remembered the story going.
But yeah, I am very tiptoey, because the whole vibe bomb thing casts a pretty wide net. For example, someone left a mini-Korg at one of the shows I did and I posted it on facebook "is this your mini-korg?" yet I couldnt help but wonder, actually I thought it like this, "probably someone is going to see that post and think i am bragging about what a great guy i am getting ppl their gear back, and they are going to hate me for it." Because people do think like that, trust me. Its weird the ways you can inspire hatred, and its worth being tiptoey about. Some of the best advice I have gotten recently, or maybe it wasnt the best advice so much as it was the advice most applicable to my life, was sort of second hand......I was at dinner with my dad and 2 of his business associates (he is a wine importer) and this dude who is now like the #1 salesman in Austin or Texas or something, his bullshit is real good ol' boy style, but I have met this guy enough times to know its an act, he said something about this woman in the business and he said, authoritatively "she needs to keep her mouth shut." The way he said it sounded real chauvy, but it was a little more nuanced then that --- actually I had been looking over at my dad cause i got confused what to do in this situation (I have no business with these guys obviously, i am just sort of at dinner) and the answer was, hey everythings cool, you just need to keep your mouth shut. Thats what I should have been doing, just watch, learn, and be comfy while these guys do their shit. So I took it to half-mean the guy was talking to me, and actually telling me something really helpful. But also, in a way, this is the liquor sales business in Texas we are talking about, not the fuckin friars club or whatever, this guy would have no trouble saying some other male needed to "keep his mouth shut", it actually is important business information and probably appropriate in a weird way, and he is actually doing his job to talk about this other business actor in the same way, be that actor male of female (as well as being convincing as a salesperson by talking authoritatively in that manner). double edged sword of equality.
And I do have something to say a little later about what women face, especially being in bands, cause I didnt really notice it before this year, but women do have it harder in certain basic regards --- harder getting the soundman to do his fuckin' job, harder because x number of ppl you meet are all trying to get in your pants (at all levels of industry), and if you do you are slut shamed and if you dont they just all get mad at you, and its difficult. like, wow. Or maybe i should say its tricky. As a guy, I face certain things too, but I think all and all humanity would be better served if the average guy had a better understanding of what the average woman goes thru in certain situations.
Peoples gear getting stolen is a major fucking vibe bomb. Its happened to me in years past. This year, miraculously, I lost nothing except my computer charger (who knows, maybe its around here somewhere). But Cloud Becomes Your Hand and Moonsicles definitely got gear stolen and it just puts such a bad taste in your mouth. Moonsicles was down to play this art gallery show I had set up for them at 5 AM, and they had to cancel because they had their gear stolen --- I cant imagine they would have agreed to play at 5 AM unless it was something they were excited about, so think about that for a second. Cloud Becomes Your Hand, I exchanged with those guys this pissed off sideways knowing glance because "its always at the best shows that your gear gets stolen, isn't it?" you let your guard down for one second because you are having such a great time, and the vibe of the place seems legit like you are welcome and at home, etc, and boom, that show just cost you $1000 to play. Fucked up shit. And that aggregates and it matters. CBYH has really nice gear, they are serious musicians from Brooklyn and they have an electric vibrophone and a violin player and a lot of electronics -- some people would probably see all their fancy gear and assume that they are rich or something, but I see it a bit differently -- I assume all musicians are basically broke, so if they have more money invested in their gear it probably will make it even harder for that band to replace. "oh theyre rich, they have all this nice gear, they can probably afford to replace this." bullshit.
SO that was some of the negativity. There was a lot of positivity too -- MAJOR positivity. I met a lot of cool people and psychedelically bonded with some people who stayed at my house. There were some people who legitimately get what I am doing, and why, and that means the world to me, because the status quo basically feels like you do all this shit for other people and then you get misunderstood and people treat you with suspicion. I will say, that when it comes to the Major League Baseball of Rock and Roll, you need to punch your own ticket, and there is no way around that, unless you want to be at the mercy of someone else's beck and call. as Jerry Jeff Walker says, "if you want to be free, you have to be your own boss." So I have been trying to do that, and in a weird way that could be considered an expression of the will, or of the self, but the way I do things is really about other people, thats actually a trick that I think is what makes the whole thing work, and what other people by and large miss.
I got to book a lot of my friends bands and I got to see a lot of my friends from out of town all at once. I got to see my friends in Austin lose their shit on a number of occasions, and I personally got to lose my shit (i mean this in a good way of course, as in "i just saw the most awesome band and the whole crowd was losing their shit"). I had this thought towards the end of the pool party like about the absurdity of the situation is the sense that I was asking myself the question "so is this what it takes to get me off?" Like why should it be going to Herculean lengths, planning something for 3+ months, dealing with a mountain of bullshit, etc, .... why cant i just be a normal person?! ha. But it all works --- the best things that happened to me over sxsw are weirdly mundane in a way --- my parent's told me they loved me, my best friend's dad called me a man, and I went on a sikk ass date, which I have no idea how that happened, first of all people dont even go on dates any more, and second of all I am typically retarded when I try to talk to a woman I am attracted to.
The thing about rock and roll is it really expressed the peak of what humans are capable of, the individual and also as an aggregate, and most people dont have that much of a reference point with peak experiences. Anyways, more blogging recap to follow but I am going to keep it brief to the point of being curt and also not really talk about Austin bands since that would turn into a circle jerk real fast, obviously I only went to see or booked Austin bands that I really like and also that I want to support their music because I believe in it.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
FBOOK EVENT PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1427669520805245/ I love you all
Escapes is going down this year. I am in full on rock promoter mode. i get up in the morning, smoke some herb, make breakfast, life weights, shower, and get involved deep in email land. its fun to talk to all these super cool ppl in awesome bands. theres other stuff too. I cant wait for this to go down in real life. Plz RSVP and help spread the word if you can.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
This was a really fun bill to play, and I think a very interesting bill as well. It came together as 2 bills being mashed together, but i think if you look at it from an obtuse angle the common punk thread runs straight thru. I dont know how I am even defining punk for myself these days, other than to say seemingly arbitrarily. pretty much whatever i say is punk is punk, hahaha.
XXXPRSNXXX ("expressions") was from New Orleans. That makes them punk right there, practically. I had seen 2 of their members play in different bands, Dark Dark Dark and The Back Pockets, who I am getting confused with other good band from Atlanta (the other band im thinking of, im sure theyve played bills together). I think the lead singer painted my face during Escapes one year when she was with Back Pockets. Very battle hardened musicians, and they were doing some funky shit -- the guy from Dark Dark Dark was playing a pattern on a foot organ the same time he was playing i think electric banjo, and the drummer had a lot of pad things and electronic looping things he could do, but his style was mainly the thing that stood out --- kinda hard for me to put my finger on it, but he definitely had his own style, his own patterns and stuff. It kinda reminded me of Smashing Pumpkins, in terms of heaviness, or Trent Reznor, but very musical, a light touch at times. They had a bitchin smoke machine strobe light combo going and there were a lot of electronics. They were playing as a 3 piece most the set and then a guy joined them at the end with a moog like synthesizer, with a lot of non keyboard knobs, and maybe a patch bay.
All the first 3 bands got to set up during load in, across the venue, and then Party Girl played on the stage to close the night out. Party Plants played second and we set up behind the semi-portable L shaped bar, with the mics coming over the front of the bar. All the musicians stood basically in between that and the crux of where the stage met the wall, and then we set all the amps up on the stage, and boosted on these other speaker cabinets. I busted out my Sunn bass rig for this show, and both the guitar amps we used were of decent enough size for the space. Charlie was offset so that his drum kit could be heard without being obstructed by the audience from one side and by the band as well from the other side of the bar. We got a lot of nice compliments after the show.....it was our biggest crowd yet, and it felt like we naturally rose to the occasion, so thats a good feeling. Also we debuted 4 new songs, The Grey, Hipster Stew, Voyeur, and Who Forgot to Pay the Electric Bill, so that always makes the band feel a posi-nervous energy that I think is the kind of thing that is fun to translate to an audience.
It was my first time seeing Party Girl.....my buddy had played their record off his computer for me, and I knew a few of them from The Carrots and other bands. I danced the whole time....a lot of it reminded me of Gary Newman at times. I was expecting it to remind me of Blondie, I guess it did a little. Towards the end it wasnt really reminding me of anything, it was just fun. The lead guitar was painted so it was glow in the dark green. I like that song "Romeo" it got stuck in my head. It was cool to see Trotter rock the bass.
Horne + Holt was awesome to open the show, they were the ones who originally it was their show. Jonathan left his like ten thousand dollar amp set up on top of a cabinet about 1 foot wide and 6 feet tall, and i almost bumped into it during our set, i was like wtf is this even doing here still?!? he would have hated me forever if something had happened to that gear I know it ! I had seen the Horne + Holt duo before, but it had been a while.....Randall Holt is a cool musician straddling the line of punk and classical/experimental, and he also used electronics...I think what he was playing was a cello, I guess it might have been a stand up bass, but pretty sure it was a cello. I had a good angle on him for part of his set and he really has some serious bow precision, cool stuff.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Yo! We released our tape, the Party Plants EP. It was a rush getting it together, not in the sense that we rushed it, but we really set out to do a lot from the get-go and we were just in power mode getting it done with deadlines 'n stuff. superstitious about momentum with bands, superstitious about energy....we played our first show in September, and we put out a tape by January! Pretty good! Its a 4 track tape, we did tracking on 11 tracks, so we have a lot in the can already, we just need to have a couple fun overdub / mixing days. The plan is to record a few more songs that we already have written the 2nd half of March, when its kinda a dead time in town as far as taking shows, because everyone is hung over from sxsw still. We will prob be around 16 tracks total at that point and make an LP out of it, goody goody~~!! ....A lot of hard work and a sprinkling of stress, and i think it led to a great success! Special props to Courtney for helping us with the artwork, she knows graphic design, yall! It was engineered by none other than Paul Millar, base band tracking at Flabby Road and then with overdubs and mixing done at Paul's house aka Bug Sound. THE SHOW: The show itself was on an ice day at Beerland! It was freezing! Everyone was worried about driving, i think there were something like over 150 accidents that night. One of those classic cool beerland shows where its cold outside so everyone stays inside the club, mostly. The bill was set for Party Plants // Big Bill // Naked Pictures // Hamburger Kisses // Spiked Punch, and it ended up going down Party Plants // Big Bill // Hamburger Kisses // Naked Pictures // EMHU/S.P. solo. My solo set was fun, just me and a barstool and an acoustic guitar killing some time for the show to go on. I could hear my country bass voice come out a couple times, it was fun to do with monitors, what a feeling of crazy power! ha. Naked Pictures killed it, I didnt realize Lewis is mostly the singer in that band, he is also mostly the singer in Rattlesnake Milk which Chavez plays guitar on (whereas Chavez plays drums in Naked Pictures). Those guys just have an amazing creative output. I saw some video of Rattlesnake Milk from when they played in Lubbock, and man they really put on a show, that bar was feeling it. It was one of those shows that I have the minority opinion on are "good shows to play", that they some how help you long term. I like shows where , hey theres a date and a place and here are the bands and whatever happens happens. Hey it iced out that show, thats what happened. We prob would have had a huge crowd, but as it was it worked out....the ppl there are like our best friends thanks for playing yall!!! Hamburger Kisses I should mention is a new band from the guys who do the band Fellows. It was really awesome to get to play a show with them, it just sucked about the weather because I would have loved to get to play for their crowd some. Naked Pictures probably played best on the night...i know at least i wasnt drinking and to play at 1 AM after not drinking all night, lets just say I played a lot better 2 nights later when we played a show for Willard's birthday. -------------- In other news Spiked Punch - Chill out and Eat a Mango is seeing re-release in Argentina! There will be a bonus track on it, I cant wait to have one mailed to me and post pictures.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Waco Girls // Bottom Chef // Party Plants // The Cocker Spaniels // S T I C K E R S // Spiked Punch, 12/13/13
We played a truly great show tonight. Me and Chris Wigington played in 3 bands --- Spiked Punch, Party Plants, and Bottom Chef. I was asked to play during Bottom Chef earlier in the show, and I was also informed that it was going to be a secret Waco Girls show. The entire bill in that regard was Waco Girls // Bottom Chef // Party Plants // The Cocker Spaniels // S T I C K E R S // Spiked Punch. It was a pretty special show --- there were people there and the bands got paid. Im not sure why thats important to me in my old age, but fuck it, it is so it is. Hey we are doing good. Get paid is a relative term, once the bands split the money up, but at least something to offset our recording. Hey we gotta eat too! My ears are ringing right now and even though it was pretty loud all night, its from one moment (isnt it always) where I spilled Joey's cymbal over on the ground while wrecking his drum kit. I never would have done it except Shane Wood was there and i just had to act the fool for that guy. The night I got arrested I wrecked the drumkit and he was there so its kinda an inside joke between me and him. Joey for his part told me if I did that again he would punch me in the face, so I assured him I wouldnt and I was sorry and I wouldnt do it again, and I didnt.
Spiked Punch practiced yesterday for the first time in a month and Eddy wasnt there, so we played the show without having practiced with him. We played everything perfect. Writing out a setlist and not playing Buddy Cop movie probably had something to do with it, but there was the perfect amount of nervous energy or something, because we were like fucking note perfect the whole show. It helped having Ricky and Casey rocking out in the front row. Ricky stood right in front of me and i was like "oh." Its easier to play a show with someone right in front of you like that, its like youre playing to a whole room because you dont really think past that person, but also you are on full on 100% front row energy. That band really needs to record, hopefully in January. Its comical how good we are and what we are doing right now I think we hit a spot that says "what crack were these guys smoking? these guys are from the future" because I think we really did that, mfuckers! I want to tour with that band this summer really badly.
Party Plants is recording right now, so we unloaded a bunch of shit at the studio with Paul Millar (aka Slugbug) on 4th street. Its some dudes house and his dads, they have it tricked out to only be a studio. It smells like gas on the side of the house in a way thats disconcerting, but the control room and the live room are both sick as fuck. there is a room with all mirrors, Paul said for Reverb. Genius. We start recording tomorrow at 2 PMish. Paul has a beautiful 1" 16 track tape machine and today, to all of our joys, a part came in the mail that allowed us to solve this minor but still noteworthy flutter issue he was having.
So we dropped some shit off before the show(to circle back, this is why we were using Joey's drums the whole night.) After the show, I went back there, had a beer, and we fucked around to try and get the perfect drum sound until 4:30. It was sick. It would have been a good date for my crush, kinda dorky, but arent you supposed to try and impress chicks, whats more impressive to a chick that likes music than having a beer and getting the perfect drum sound with me and Paul? Its kinda cliche, thats what I hate about meeting someone -- anything you do seems cliche, like "oh this is something about me! wow its like my hobby but its really filled with meaning for me, isnt that great?!" im the guy that digs music, get it? dude, that shits not gonna cut it, you gotta get some better looking clothes and some stuff from Ikea before you fall behind the heard. such a psychological trap....anywho, Im looking forward to this recording session, the show tonight was a big show for us....ppl were gonna be there, it was somewhat on our draw, at least we put the show together, but just we needed to play a show where afterwards we could have a consensus that we played well going into this recording session. Especially because we have all been stressing a little bit -- its kinda cool, its a flashpoint, but I think we bit off something manageable and I think we are gonna pull it off, so thats how you do it.
so the rest of the show, i just wanted to blab about my shit, ha, thanks for reading this far, but I watched all the bands and everyone played really good. Stickers, all caps, all spaces, played their first show with a new drummer. he is still figuring out the songs but you wouldnt have guessed, you would have thought he was just playing real minimal. he has a good feel on the open high hat tension buildup. They are doing good, they just need to keep doing it. Thanks for playing with us!! Cockerspaniels killed it --- I have seen Alan like a lot lately playing with Big Bill, and his style in Cockerspaniels is pretty much the same, but it fits the music and the music is a different style. I dont know if those guys practice or if we are all juts getting old, but they were extremely tight. It was really good. Bottom Chef was a fucking wreck....I had no idea who was going to be in the band and it turned out to be Nick Hennies, Chris Smith, Chris Wigington, and me. I dont even know what we did but I talked a lot of shit into the muc for fun at the beginning of the set and tried to make Shane laugh. I think I got some fake laughter from the back of the room from one of my bandmates or something. We played "Makeout party" and "Style Points" (which is really a Coach song) and "Wah Wah" (the lyrics to the whole show were Wah Wah), and then i think that was it, and then the Waco Girls came on stage and kicked us off and those guys did a set. It was really noisey but at least they didnt break the PA this time!! Ha! There was a part where I was leaning on a monitor and I looked at Nick and groaned because I was gonna miss him and it was that time of the show where you think about how youre gonna miss your friend whose been a part of your life for like a while. But he is such a good musician that that moment was mercifully short, I let him know after the show. There was definitely a war whoop coming out of the stage at different points of the night. Anyways the whole show was just great, its the first time ive actually felt like i accomplished something tangible by putting a show together in a while.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
so these arent really ordered at all, other than to say that Cyclops Reap was my favorite record of the year. Heres the other 5.
6. The Growlers / The Coathangers live. I saw these 2 shows pretty close to each other, like 2 weeks apart. The Growlers were headlining a Burger Records tour. This was just the year of west coast music for me I guess. Ive kinda been feeling the tide bring me in that direction for like 2 years, after being a lot into East Coast bands. I still think that shit is cool....Guerilla Toss, etcetc i wont even attempt to name bands, but the DIY circuit over there is probably the most alive and well of anywhere as far as being a circuit. From Toronto and Montreal and Chicago to New York and down the east coast. The Growlers really got the crowd into it. Their music is hypnotic, but it seemed they were also trying to hypnotize the crowd. It was their last show of tour and they said something from stage about wanting to hang out, but I had to dance with the one that brought me. Oh it was pouring rain. Joey gave me an extra ticket. It was really fun going out with him, it reminded me of being on tour some. I like not being the lead guy, like just walking. He is a credible dude as far as having a beard and misfits tattoo as far as if I'm walking in a group with him I feel impervious against random attack or muggings. Im sure some Zetas could take us down, but I try and stay away from anywhere that might happen. Anyways, they were sick. I saw The Coathangers later, which I wrote about at the time (fairly recently). I suspect someone in the Growlers and someone in the Coathangers are in love, but its a pretty vague hunch. They have a lot of photos online where they are wearing eachothers shirts and the person wearing the shirt always looks like they are shrugging like "i know its crazy right, we fell in love with each other". --but im probably reading into something thats not there. Yeah The Coathangers were good in a way that made me want to root for them. They used to be a 4 piece and now they are a 3 piece. They still sounded tight to me making the adjustment on some songs, like as in instrumentalists were having to work too hard, but they just have this survivor aura, and the sound was mellowing out on some songs already for sure, like "aahh, thats it". One track that sounded like the Delta 5 I would say that was true of. I think the 4th chick from that band might have felt like she was the worst musician out of the bunch (<---total speculation) but even tho she was the ditziest one, she was probably super smart. I heard she got married, so good for her. Maybe the "smart" move. Its weird what makes bands tick or what makes bands good. Personality combos that sparkle together. I do reserve the right to say something negative about this bands early career if i ever get drunk enough to be so tactless and unpromoterly, but i guess if you believe in yourself that you should just stick to it, then finding out what you turn into becomes its own reward, which is kinda the same no matter who you are. At the end of the day, the exasperated crush proclaimed "the craziest thing about these chicks is, you might not guess it, but they are like the most solid dudes ever."
7. Spray Paint, the band. -- This band is really writing the book of underground rock history and I completely admire them. They just have always been so into it and now they really know what they are doing. You can tell from what they are doing --- get back from tour do a show at beerland, do another beerland show 2 weeks later, then 4 weeks later play the biggest local show of the summer at hotel vegas, totally off their own draw, then go on tour, record at the right time, and then also they have written a shit ton of music, because they released 2 full LPs on Vinyl this year. Stoke the flames on a steady drumbeat of press. I mean this shit is old shit for them by now, all they have done is throw rock shows since they were at least in college and there have always been people who go to their shows consistently at least since the Tuxedo Killers were on the cover of the Chronicle with bags over their heads, which was like 10 years ago practically. In terms of how to promote your own band, when you should take a show and when you should put your own bill together, I feel like I just try and copy these guys. Their band really nails it on 1) having a good concept for what sound they are going for, 2) writing insanely good music, 3) doing their own promotional scheme and 4) hustling hard. I wish these guys continued success. Hope I dont bug you too much fellas!! I act like an idiot around this band because they get me so pumped up it makes me feel super familiar, but I try to notice that about myself and act somewhat cool.
8. The SXSW party at Julian's parents house -- This show was megalooney and the only show i did over sxsw this year, on account of the "I have to work to save up money so i can be a musician" stage of musician-logic. This show was retarded and went from about 9 PM - 4:15 AM. The show was still going there were like 15 guests left who needed to pass out and everyone was in a state of half passing out. Bubbly Mommy Gun played last. This was supposed to be a day show, so it basically started 9 hours late, and it was cancelled for part of the day and then "back on". At that point it was being run on maybe the tiniest margin of error that I have ever run a show on, which I kinda decided half way thru was gonna be the point, or at least it turned out that way. I basically ran it by being able to anticipate the scene -- when Julian's parents were gonna cut us off from doing something, when the neighbors were gonna come by and yell at us, bands acting a certain way. Its not that hard if youve done it a million times ---its more like being at a dinner party at my grandparents how I know that its time my grandmother comes over and tells everyone they have to get seconds -- It was really fun for me. The level of talent was thru the roof, and running that back to back made everyone feel comfortable. At first it seemed like people didnt know what was going on like they were at a sham party at a sham house. Was it safe here? Is this a Scarface mansion? I actually heard 2 separate references to Scarface. Then it kinda turned into a covered atmosphere, like a professional atmosphere, like the room seemed non-nefarious but clear and empty for bullshitting, but i didnt really hear anyone bullshitting -- basically people were just tired from the whole week and were resting up. And it just happened that there was this crazy show going on. Some guy did a cannonball from the hottub to the pool and it had the potential energy of shattering a pane of glass. Im looking forward to the reprise this year, its kinda gonna be a secret, but I think it will be a more fun vibe from the beginning because we will have some return guests who get the drill better.
9. Rooommates -- my roommates were a big part of my life this year. I got to live with Julian, Paloma, Shelby, Melissa, Cole, Peter, and Colin. The changing of roommates has been one major way I mark time-periods in my life. I have fond memories of them all, and I learned a shit ton from all of them, mainly just to hear their different perspectives. In addition, some of these folks made it into the vaunted category of "someone who was there for me at a time when i needed it" and thats something that's going on their permanent records, at least in my book!!
10. Death of Lou Reed -- Lou Reed died close to my birthday. I spent a lot of time with his music right after that, and did a lot of reflection. I ventured into Tai Chi Intro videos on Youtube. I listened to a lot of velvet underground off Youtube that I had never heard before, different concerts etc. Not much I could say about this as sucinct as some of the stuff I read or that Lou Reed contributed, but I recommend everyone check out his life's work.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Party Plants had the rare and distinct honor of playing at the bequest of the Basketball Shorts Krampus Party at Susan's house last night. The party vibe was really good, they hung a pentagram from the roof and all these streamers were coming down too. Very festive. There was like a smashed Santa. A sweet fire going on in the backyard. It was a lot of old friends, and I was psyched to get to play for them. Basketball Shorts wrote 2 or 3 songs just for Krampus, my favorite was Krampus II.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
1. White Fence - Cyclops Reap
I think this is the best record that came out last year, at least that I heard. I didnt hear that many records, but whatever, this one stands up to any record ive ever heard so i guess its good enough!! I like that this record is beautiful, like it sounds beautiful. It reminds me of the Rolling Stones, whatever their first show with Mick Taylor was where he is playing like really ornate frilly lines, kinda regal. I like all the different types of effects and how there is different ideas on each song -- like this ones the Silver Apples one, this ones the MBV one, obviously some Syd Barrett in there, etc. I like the chords, its like basically 5 chords, E A D G B, minors, kinda like the Black Lips, but way more complicated/less obvious. Also the drummers playing are really good, i think there might be 2 different drummers depending on the track, might want to check.
2. Youthbitch Live - 2013 was the year Youthbitch made it down to play Texas for the first time. They had 2 releases last year (2012), a tape, and then an LP on Dirtnap. I bought the LP but left it their van on accident :(. These guys are classic, they are super fun. The main guy reminds me I wanna say of John Spenser Blues Explosion in a fun showmanship way. The lead guitarist reminds me of Flea. The singer (bassist) reminds me of my friend Paloma, like a dude version, and the drummer reminds me of the drummer from the Oh Sees. I think they are all originally from different places, like Idaho and Ohio, maybe one guy from California and they met in Portland where they all went to try and do a band. I like that they have 2 guitarists who can really play the shit out of a guitar and compliment each other nicely in a couple styles -- they can both shred at lead guitar as well. They couldn't play "Cool California" which was on their tape because they had a new drummer and he didnt know those old songs. There is good video of them I posted a while back playing "House of Prebon" if you wanna youtube that, I think its with the old drummer.
3. Pau Wau Summer Boat Party - I played the boat party playing guitar as a member of Bill Baird's band/ensemble. On the bill were Living Grateful, us, Cartright at the very end, Chris Catelina, and pardon me, i forget, there may have been one more band. Gotta stop a sec and give it up to Nick Cornetti who put the whole thing together. I feel like that guys only real reward on the show is that the show exists, and that is truly altruistic. After the rental of the boat ('spensive), paying the bands, kegs , etc , the show is basically geared to where its obviously impossible to make money, bets case scenario is breaking even and worse case scenario i would say is you fuck something up and it ends up being really expensive for you, and yet I think the general misconception is that someone would do that because they were trying to make money, when really the only reason is they wanted to make someone incredibly sweet happen. Those guys werent pussying out about the fact that the way to do that would be to do a shit ton of work and a bunch of organizing and putting your ass on the line. Cartright almost didnt get to play also, his band would have been the first one to get cut if things hadnt gone on time enough. He played drums in Bill's band and it was really fun to practice and play with him. I felt a little bad, because we disappeared to get tacos during practice the morning of the show and he was on a schedule, but it all worked out. Or the story was something like that. Was Sam Sanford involved? I think taco window was closed so we had to go the other Taco Window and it was like 2:50 and they close at 3, its not really important. What is important is that it was the most fun I had all summer, and the time i got to have special memories with some of my friends, the kind where you look back at life and if you dont have any of those memories you just feel like shit, like you wasted your life. So thx Nick. Also it may have been Living Grateful's first show, or one of their first ones ... I remember telling Greg "you got me all pumped up" and I jumped off the high dive a few times, it was really fun. Those guys are really good, even if one of their songs does go "stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues again," I love the slow quarter notes the drummer can do, hes got a great hand, and having Gina who I met on that boat party on bass is really good. I like Catelina going with the Fear and Loathing look, he seems to be enjoying it. The piano man. Greg and Ryan its cool to see how those guys sticked together, they are kinda like the survivors, the dudes who are left in a way (really everyone is still left in that band, I just think its cool they have a longtime musical bond and you can tell by the way they play together it just conveys joy and fun and other cool shit that i associate with those guys's vibe.)
4. Shooting BB Guns at the Owl during E.A.S.T -- The Owl was a funny place to be in 2013. I wonder what the vibe there will do coming up. Red is a hilarious host. I hope that place still goes strong. Red posted online that there would be free margaritas for E.A.S.T. Sunday the first week that E.A.S.T was going on (when the weather was good). Whats with everything in town having to be 2 weekends in a row, huh? Anyways, that was an aside, the I think i smoked some weed and cleaned up my house in the morning and headed over there around 2:30 or 3. I forget if anyone was even there yet, i just started loitering and meeting whoever was there, since I just biked down by myself. I had a really awesome day at EAST the day before...I stumbled into it, i was just on Caesar Chavez at 9 AM on a Saturday to get my fucking car door fixed :) :). I should start a top 10 hassles of 2013 list, that would be on there. Anyways, there were indeed free margaritas. This was right after I got out of jail for a PI on my birthday and it was my first time going back out and having fun, because you gotta get back up when life kicks you down, am i not right? Just Im gonna try to hold myself a little closer to a standard of common sense, i guess. Builds character, as my cousin said. We played some poker for no money and got into some really "all in" hands, it was a cool way to meet some strangers, and then we ended up shooting a BB gun at cans on the wall. It was really awesome, every time we made a shot we felt so manly (there were a bunch of chicks setting up for a show while we were doing this). Just goofy, dorky fun.
5. The Memories - Love Is the Law - The Memories are still all young dudes, and they play clean lines like they are carving up a wave. hahaaa. Put that to copy. I like their style, I think this band might hit a slump, but they might not, ive been wrong on that before. Sometimes I have thought a band was in a slump at a time and it turned out they were making cool shit all along, i just didnt get what was happening at the time because my ear heard their logical progression as something different or something, so I didnt get their music? Whatever, not important. I like these guys perspective, like they are perched in a tree overlooking a canyon. If I were to guess, I think the Memories came about as like a conception in opposition to White Fang, like it was softer, but just as West Coast, but also going for a specific wanderlust of love emotion. Sometimes bands that are made up in opposition like that, its like, well what are you gonna do for the next album (they have a few releases as The Memories already, but only one LP, I believe), like what direction does the music have to take? Or that it changes sound more slowly, I guess is another way to put it, especially if you are younger. And those guys are doing a lot of touring, I believe. Its hard to say as an outsider really, but I really liked this record alot as evidenced by the fact that I listened to the shit out of it.
stay tuned for part 2!
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Thursday, November 14, 2013
yo. so I put on a show tonight at Beerland. The bill was Polio Club // Ruby Fray // Spiked Punch // Party Plants // David Israel and the Israelites. It was really enjoyable for me. It was a lot of work to put it together, but it was just nice. all the door went to the bands, all the bands were good (5 good bands in a row), I had fun playing in both bands I played in. A bunch of people watched Party Plants. I dont mean to sound cocky, but i feel like people are catching on.
I hadnt seen Emily Beanblossom since we played with her band Christmas 2 years ago. Joey Reyes and 2 of the guys from Ghetto Ghouls were in her band Ruby Fray and they really kicked ass. Shes talented, but also shes really gotten a band together too. David Israel is playing with the pedal steel guitar player from John Wesley Coleman and you can tell that guy is getting better from playing a bunch of pedal steel in good bands. Thats the best way to get better, is to have your bands be putting a lot of energy into their bands in a way where you are able to just lay back and play, <---personal opinion. A shit ton of people had to work tomorrow, but I didnt have to, so I got to see Polio Club. They played their set in backwards order, it was cool. The show basically went until 2 AM real time, not bar time. I think this guy was supposed to record us off the board, but it never happened. But hopefully next time!