You pays your money and you takes your choice.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Beyond Race Winter Issue Hits the Streets

Another rich, creamy issue of Beyond Race Magazine will be served up on January 28, featuring news, interviews, and a couple of reviews written by me, many for bands that I have been/will be writing about here, including A.C Newman, Say Hi, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Titus Andronicus, Vetiver and Phosphorescent.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Shakespeah made proud

Titus Andronicus: Titus Andronicus
(Yes, they have a song named after themselves. You don't?)

Titus Andronicus played like a million free shows in NYC this summer, and they were probably the one band I really wanted to see that I never got a chance to. (Come back from Jersey, guys! We miss you!) The rumor was that they put on a hell of a show, and listening to their first album, this doesn't surprise me. Poor me. Luckily, they're touring again:

Jan 15 Ottobar w/Los Campesinos! Baltimore, Maryland
Jan 16 Cat's Cradle w/Los Campesinos! Carrboro, North Carolina
Jan 17 The Earl w/Los Campesinos! Atlanta, Georgia
Jan 19 Jack Rabbits w/Los Campesinos! Jacksonville, Florida
Jan 21 Club Downunder w/Los Campesinos! Tallahassee, Florida
Jan 24 Exit-In w/Los Campesinos! Nashville, Tennessee
Jan 25 Hi Tone w/Los Campesinos! Memphis, Tennessee
Jan 27 One Eyed Jack's w/Los Campesinos! New Orleans, Louisiana
Jan 29 Walter's on Washington w/Los Campesinos! Houston, Texas
Jan 30 The Parish w/Los Campesinos! Austin, Texas
Jan 31 Club Dada w/Los Campesinos! Dallas, Texas
Feb 3 The Bottleneck w/Los Campesinos! Lawrence, Kansas
Feb 3 The Bottleneck w/Los Campesinos! Lawrence, Kansas
Feb 4 The Gargoyle w/Los Campesinos! St. Louis, Missouri
Feb 6 Der Rathskeller w/Los Campesinos! Madison, Wisconsin
Feb 7 Logan Square Auditorium w/Los Campesinos! Chicago, Illinois
Feb 10 Calvin College Ladies Literary Club w/Los Campesinos! Grand Rapids, Michigan
Feb 11 Wexner Center for the Arts w/Los Campesinos! Columbus, Ohio
Feb 12 Swarthmore College Olde Club w/Los Campesinos! Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Feb 13 Paradise Rock Club w/Los Campesinos! Boston, Massachusetts
Feb 14 Bowery Ballroom w/Los Campesinos! New York, New York
Feb 15 Bowery Ballroom w/Los Campesinos! New York, New York

The whole album, The Airing of Grievances, is pretty much what the title suggests, although thankfully it's not just a pack of angry young jerks screaming at you for 40 minutes (well, it is, but in the good Ramones way, and not in the bad Limp Bizkit way.) (BTW, the link above may be broken. I'm working on it, and it's Blogger, not me). It is, more than anything, instead of anger and hopelessness, a fuck-it-all celebration of anger and hopelessness, it that were possible: their are chimes, cowbells, harmonicas, and all in all, it resembles a kind of Biblical block party -- there are ancient references up the wazoo, a la the Thermals. Plus an excerpt from Camus. Holy crap, these guys read. I think I'm in love.

Titus Andronicus on Myspace

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Vetiver

Vetiver: Everyday

When I interviewed Andy Cabic last summer at the Music Hall of Williamsburg before his show with Phosphorescent (sit tight, Matthew Houck, I'm getting to you), he was well-spoken and took himself very, very seriously. He offered me a bottle of Poland Spring from the green room and readily confessed to not having a clue about what was going on in the New York scene, which was more refreshing to me than I like to admit. He also claimed to bear no ill will toward his more well-known cronies, Devendra Barnhardt and Joanna Newsom, with whom he shares of the meaningless-and-hopfully-getting-to-be-irrelevent freak folk label. He lives in San Francisco, for god's sake. He's one of these guys who drives up and down Highway 1 pretending to be Roger McGuinn or one or more members of America, and periodically gets together to jam with people who are so old they can't help but be hip, like Michael "Snocko" Hurley. Eat it, New York suckers.

If only Cabic hadcome up with Tight Knit, out this month and featuring Everday, sooner. It's a shame that some cynics won't pay it any mind because they don't go for that hummy-strummy-hippy-dippy folk. (You know, you got some nerve, mister.) Tight Knit actually owes more to George Harrison than James Taylor.

The reason I was interviewing him was because I'd recently fallen in love, accidentally, with the band's obscure-covers album Thing of the Past, mostly because it contained no Beatles or Dylan and yet still managed to sound great, and Sanders Trippe, who can go, on the same album, from being one of those old-fashioned Bill-Haley style rock-around-the-clockers to kind of trippy distortion the kids go for. He's pretty much become my new Favorite Guitarist of the Hour (he's criminally undrecognized, naturally, but considering he's chosen to play with Cabic the Great Unknown, I suppose that's not too surprising.) In fact, probably the reason Tight Knit is the band's best album of originals so far is that Trippe actually gets a chance to stretch himself.

My full review of Tight Knit is scheduled to appear in the winter edition of Beyond Race Magazine. Unless they bump it for an interview with Tricky.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

This recap is so punk rock

UPDATE: We've tracked down one photo (shout-out to Tim and Monica Marx). Unfortunately, it's of me.

Punk Rock Fiction is over, with a minimum of hitches, and I'm really not exaggerating here, considering I'd flown in from Minnesota only a little over 24 hours earlier, only to be dropping into the beehive which is the Curse of the Promoter. (I guess I'm a promoter now, and Jason Amos would know). It shows that I'm a first-timer, since it was only today that I realized I forgot to do two crucial things at the reading, basics which any shameless huckster worth her salt would have known: send around an e-mail list, and take pictures, which explains why the space above this post is a boring blank void of nothingness and I fail at life. People are visual learners, after all, and we musn't disappoint them. Arianna Huffington said it, not me.

It's a shame, too: I could have gotten some good ones of Jason lighting his novel manuscript on fire and stepping on it.If I track down one of my dutiful staff photographers, perhaps I'll have some to post after all.

There'll probably be another one, probably not for several months, and not until I stop hyperventilating over this one and make some progress on my own novel. But anyway, I'd like to send out one more blogospheric thank you to Jason, Marina Kaganova, Amy Dupcak and especially David Hollander, whose 8-minute alliterative masterpiece about the F train was a literary freak-out. I'm lucky to know you all.