this must be the place....goin strong , yeah baby!!!

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

showblog stardate...

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.

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

2013 top ten pt. 2 - 6 - 10

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.

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Merry Krampus -- Basketball Shorts // Party Plants 12-6-13

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.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

2013 Top Ten, pt. 1. 1 -5

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!

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