27 April 2011

Lightning Bolt, YACHT @ First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, 4/26/11

Two shows became one. Lightning Bolt was slated to support Dan Deacon at the Starlight Ballroom last night, but something happened and Deacon cancelled. The official reason given was that he was sick, but based on the chatter outside no one seemed to be buying it. I'm inclined to believe that he was in fact ill because why else would someone whose live act is nothing short of legendary, just bail on a show. Unless of course, he like really really hates Philly.
Anyway, YACHT was already booked for the First Unitarian so R5 merged the two as opposed to having two partial shows going on in different parts of the city. That being said, at 8 PM the official bill read Lighting Bolt, YACHT, Jeffrey Jerusalem, and Ed Schrader's Music Beat.
I saw Ed Schrader two summers back in Baltimore, and then it was just him and a drum. He's added a bass player since then. There was some gnarly distortion coming off the bass, and the alteration between shouting and off-kilter falsetto made me smile. Jeffrey Jerusalem is based out of Portland, but is originally from West Philadelphia so that was cool. His collection of beats got the crowd moving, partly because most of the crowd was relieved that the first band was done and partly because his beats have this nice springy quality to them that causes co-motion.
I'm a poor blogger, and an even worse critic. I willfully ignore bands for reasons that are completely beyond my comprehension. Until last night, YACHT was one of those groups. I knew they were under the DFA umbrella, so I had an idea of what could occur but I knew very little beyond that. HOLY SHIT. I really dug the set, from start to finish. Granted I had a few pints as well, but still. The woman who does the vocals, (Note: I told you I was a poor reporter I don't know anyone's fucking name.), was climbing on top of the amps, fielding questions from the audience, and at one point asked if anyone believed in aliens. They also covered Judas Priest. This was also about the time where everyone started taking their shirts off. It was grossly hot in the basement, not that it mattered but it had a serious furnace feel to it. Moral of the story, it was a tremendous set and not only that but they have a new record dropping some time in July.
When Lightning Bolt began to play, the YACHT only fans began to flee. One of my favorite things about seeing Lightning Bolt is watching the unsuspecting run for their lives. It happened over the summer in Chicago when they came on after Beach House, and it happened again last night. Predictably the sound was deafening, and the crowd fired up. There was a good pit going that I didn't want to leave, but for whatever reason there was some slam dancing as well and to be perfectly honest I have very little tolerance for that sort of nonsense. I'm game for throwing down, but once flailing arms are involved I'm out. At least one dude I know of got punched in the face. As for the set itself, Lightning Bolt owned. Bass, drums, and ten amps is to my ears what cigarettes and lager are for my body. Exactly what I need.

23 April 2011

State of Affairs

I had a nightmare last night that this space had been taken away from me, and replaced with smut. All the writing from the last two plus years had been removed, and was lost forever. There was a subplot where I had lost my brother in the city, but what really troubled me was the idea of this disappearing. Admittedly, I've been negligent. Not by choice, but rather work had become an entity that was consuming everything and sucking my very essence out of me. For the last six months, my days have been filled with speaking an obsolete vernacular and being told that I'm not particularly bright. Additionally, I was informed over and over again that I did not instill confidence in the people I spoke with and my superiors said I was too quiet. That all comes to an end on Monday, so it's officially time to move forward.
Yesterday, on the train I tried writing. I got one line down. "The DJ was drunk, and the bartender bored." Everything may have to be retooled. Perhaps there should only be short stories here, or maybe I should go back to trying and cover hip hop. My preference still lies with rock and roll, but all it makes me want to do is smoke cigarettes and drink draft beer. Maybe I should just log on every day, and write whatever lurid things pop into my head. There's still no solid internet connection, but there are ways around that.
Needless to say, I've being doing a lot of thinking. I just wanted to swing by, and let all six of you know that I'm still here. Everything is fine. I'm not just not entirely certain of the next move. I might end up listening to the Shins at some point tonight.

19 April 2011

Album Art

The alleged album cover for the new Wayne record. (via nah right)

10 April 2011

Black Lips, Vivian Girls, Moon Women @ the Trocadero, Philadelphia, 4/9/11

There was drinking involved, and if it had been possible chain-smoking. There was also shouting, and that thing I do where I sashay my torso from side to side while nodding my head vigorously. I also remember hugging several people. The Black Lips came to town and awoke something inside of me that had long been dormant, and today they're going to the Mutter Museum.
Moon Women opened, and after about thirty seconds it occurred to me that this was the same band I saw open for Tyvek back in January. The singer wears sunglasses indoors, and I never forget that for some reason. He also had one of the best lines of the night when he said, "This is a new song, not like any of you would no anyway." At this point, they have a cassette and a 7" to their name and after seeing them twice now I feel comfortable in saying that a long player would be rad. The other thing they got going on is that they're loud. The vocals echoed through the walls of guitar ruckus, and yet it still seemed like a very lean set. It's three guys, but the force is strong within.
The Vivian Girls said very little, but there were no moments of silence or quiet. There was guitar, and a new drummer who may or may not be seeing the guy who runs the merch table. A rough approximation of the text messages sent to myself indicate that the set consisted of about sixty percent cuts from the new record and forty percent old joints. It was dug, and the cup was never empty.
From the first time I heard Valientes Del Mundo Neuva it was apparent that this was a band that had to be seen live. It had been attempted before, but misfortune always seemed to strike. Whether it was a scheduling conflict, a location issue, or my deeply held belief that I would be unable to see this band and then drive home. After last night, I was right about that last part but that's why I moved. More shows, and no driving. I can reduce my carbon footprint, and get dirty in the process.
As far as the show itself, I stayed in the drinking stable for obvious reasons. Citizens were throwing themselves upwards, and doing other things that can only be described as going god damn berserk. It was the scene, but every time the notion came to move forward the rationalization came through that I could accomplish the same thing while keeping a drink in my hand. It's hard to say whether the move paid off, but I faintly recall being kissed on the forehead by a being larger than myself. The most iron clad memory is when they played "Bad Kids". If one didn't know any better, and just walked in they would have thought they were this time's 'Like A Rolling Stone'. It was wild, and there was a sense of community that I couldn't shake. It may have been manufactured entirely in my mind I realize. The sound translates, and in a room full of like minded individuals it becomes something. A real actual rock and roll band playing live music.
(Writer's Note: They played "Dirty Hands", and I liked it a lot.)

02 April 2011

Even you

Breakneck leather jackets, and stubbed out cigarettes. Not fazed by rain, sleet, or snow. The sun is kind of a bitch, though. Pitchers of beer to get through the day normally, but today a whiskey and something out of a can. Relentless shit swirls. The one nice part of being detached is that you don't miss. Now your life will probably still be a overwhelming failure so strikeouts will still occur, but there's no longing.
The train is late, and the coffee room temperature. Everything and nothing happen at the same time. Fatigue sets in, along with doubt. It's only for a moment though. The focus becomes readjusted, and it continues. You don't like this band. I don't like that band. Change clothes, and fuck it. I've done bad things. We all have, I hope. It seems viciousness never sleeps, and there's a malicious mail man around every corner. Speak with someone, and see what happens.

Make the most of it

It's not very often that it occurs, but its certainly a nice change of pace. There's the squall, and that's it. A mighty incident, indeed, and all because today has been deemed unbearable by the masses. It's not what they thought it would be, so action is being taken at generally sparsely frequented taverns and book stores that are going out of business. Everyone needs something, whether it be a signature or a sandwich. This would all probably be easier if the sky were really falling. It rains on certain corners and leaves the West side dry, which may seem strange but some blocks just have it coming. The air is heavy, and the outlook bleak but it continues. No subway cars are empty as everyone has somewhere to be, and again needs something.