Seriously. Boston makes Springfield look like that island where brilliant scientists are forced to develop new improbably high-tech weapons for their evil supervillain captors. I just watched the city's press conference, where both the mayor and the governor reiterated that whoever put these "suspicious devices" around town will face federal charges and be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Even though they aren't explosive, have been up for two to three weeks, and can also currently be found in nine other cities. William Street and Cartoon Network could pretty much be fucked because of this town's complete idiocy.
Faust “It's a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl” Edip Akbayram “Affetmem Seni” Of Montreal “Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse” Iran “Spherical Cockpit” Boris With Michio Kurihara “Rafflesia” Wire “In The Art Of Stopping” Nurse and Soldier “Satellightning” The Bats “Dancing As The Boat Goes Down” Hawkwind “Uncle Sam's On Mars” Panda Bear “Bro's” Deerhunter “Lake Somerset” * Tom Verlaine “Penetration” Built to Spill “So & So So & So From Wherever Wherever” Bunnybrains “Left Alive” Love Tractor “Three and Nine” Psychic Ills “Days” Camera Obscura “Eighties Fan” Yellow Swans “Psychic Secession” Folklore “The Father” Deerhoof “Kidz Are So Smal'” Superchunk “Detroit Has a Skyline (acoustic)” The Field Mice “Below The Stars”
*: I added the Deerhunter record to the station's playlist last Wednesday. It's been played more than once a day since. Folks love it. And after this review, I'm sure the number of those folks will grow exponentially.
¶ posted by darkness at 3:13 PM
Monday, January 29, 2007
content-free movie reviews
IDIOCRACY: amazing; even better than POOTIE TANG. STRANGERS WITH CANDY: funny, but almost identical to the show. THE ILLUSIONIST: fine acting, but the "gotcha!" ending is kind of lame. TALLADEGA NIGHTS: I probably wrote about this back in August, but still, man, what a great movie. I like it more every time I see it. I won't go so far as to call it better than Anchorman, but it's easily just as good.
¶ posted by darkness at 4:21 PM
Dark and I are old buds with the dude who co-directed this movie (Jacob Gentry). Its playing at Sundance right now and based on THIS REVIEW, from Aint It Cool News it sounds like it was a massive hit. A darling of the fest the way he describes it.
sara and i showed up at bren's house at three. this was by far the best idea any of us had come up with, and when i say any of us, i mean me. we ate our burritos and fish tacos and smoked a joint. joint number one. this joint made it hard to transcribe the directions to the table mountain casino in friannasburg, where we'd be seeing steely dan in about 5 hours. bren meanwhile was busy in the kitchen grinding and baking weed for sandwiches and more joints. by the time i came back in to the kitchen we had about seven joints and a nice peanut butter sandwich that we would ask to perform the same task. alison gave sara's cut that should have had at least five stitches in it a few more band aids and we left. we took the red truck and we all sat up front. it was tight but nice. the company dictated the comfort. i had made a handful of new tapes for the drive. the first one was good...it got us to the five, where we then smoked joint number two and headed south. few things are better than driving slow and listening to tunes and being stoned. maybe being a passenger ranks a little higher. talking and jamming the whole way down. refusing to let sara sleep in the bed in the back of the truck the whole way down. getting excited about the dan the whole way down. not wanting to lose any money gambling the whole way down. the sun is setting and we're getting closer to table mountain. it's dark and we're trying to find the way. we're starting to talk about how nice a drink will be and when we wanna get joint number three happening. do we eat those sandwiches yet?...yes. we do. we eat them. we're listening to some dan jams to get us in the mood now. we park and smoke joint number three. we are all severley stoned....or maybe it's just me. bren seems pretty good...sara's got a handle on things. i am glad to be out of the car at this point. we head to the door but we can't find our way in. wait a minute...we found it...this hallway leads us in. weird venue. pretty small. bleachers like a high school pep rally. let's get a beer...i spot a table with a tip jar.......must be the bar. sara heads over to order but comes back empty handed .no can do. soda only. not a drink in the house. a "dry" casino, as some on reservations are. what a bummer. we are parched. bren offers me a sprite and i decline. we set out for our new mission. avoiding security and the ushers. we wanna stand during the show so we can dance or hang out but they need every one in a seat we are informed. our new mission is impossible...or so it seems but we wind up with a pretty good spot by the merch table in the dark...nice view. we are standing...the dan kicks it in with "bodhisattva". same as last time i saw 'em. an usher spots us standing and can tell we are on the verge of dancing so he comes by and says.."they didn't give you a seat yet?".."no", we reply. "we are fine here and actually even like it and wanna stay, thanks"....."no, i'll get you some seats"...."no thanks, it's cool" we explain then wham!, just like this..."front row? you don't want front row?"...whooaa, no one said nothing about front row. "hell yeah, we'll take front row.". he leads us up to the front...okay, maybe like sixth row, but shit is nice. three seats with our names on it. awesome. we spend the rest of the show dancing in our seats cuz it's clear by now that if you stand up you will be politely escorted out and tasered repeatedly. the show is good and for me, the highlight is without a doubt "peg". well okay,... that and fagen repeatedly throughout the show saying "walter becker....walter....becker" and gesturing towards the man. "kid charlemagne" and "my old school" are great and they play most of gaucho and aja..nice. low light is my favorite song unfortunately, "do it again". no bongos. bad move. none of us get up to piss at any point. the only good part i can think of about no beers in our hands. the show ends.......time to think about gambling again. bren sets out for nickel slots...sara resists the free coffee cart and i blow twenty bucks on blackjack....the equivalent of winning sixty i rationalize to myself. we get the hell out of there cuz we need a room and couple beers and a cocktail. we head back towards downtown fresno and go with our gut. we find a nice, dark, local bar after twenty minutes of searching in the truck. the beers seems a little colder than i have ever had in my life and the gin and tonics look big and strong. i put "thunderstruck" on the juke box and we order round two and ask the bartender for some advice about a motel. he is nice as could be and we leave after a couple of drinks...feeling pretty good. our choice for motels is easy. we find the one right next to the in and out that still looks open...it's 12:30 i think. me and sara approach the office to check in and when we get to the desk we ask for a room with two double beds and then we high five and talk about how we are such good buddies, not wanting to blow it for bren out there in the red truck. probably saved our selves five to fifteen bucks. another good way to rationalize losing money at gambling. we find our way to our room. upon arrival bren pulls joint number four out of his joint box and we smoke it. the food network is on. sara immediately goes into a near state of catatonia. no one is exactly sure how stoned they are but we imagine it to be very. bren and i leave for the in and out and sara stays behind to guard our stuff. from the hotel balcony it seems as though the place is closed but we head over anyway. the lights look dim. our hearts are sinking. upon arriving at the front door of the place we realize our worst fears will not be realized this evening. the place is open and we go in and order...for me, grilled cheese animal style and fries....i get sara a sandwich just in case. this turns out to be a good move in about fifteen minutes. bren,.... i don't know what he got but i know it wasn't a burger and i know it had no cheese in it. we head back. sara does an expert job guarding our stuff...everything is just how we left it. we eat and talk about how great in and out is and wonder why they are always so nice. sara comes to for a few minutes and she eats. she will thank herself for this tomorrow. we all go to bed. i don't think anyone brushes their teeth. bren wakes us up in the morning by shoving the shades open with a beautifully graceful, triumphant move. the sun is shining. the red truck is still there. we brush our teeth, wash our faces and take some time out to smoke joint number five. this day will be good too, i can feel it. we bring the keys back to the desk, highfiving the whole way. we need gas and coffee. in that order. we get what we need and at the gas station we are all mesmerized by an old seeming lady with a cigarette in her mouth. she reminds me of a simpsons character...maybe the lunch lady. we saw a starbucks the night before and agree, as bad as the idea is, that it is the best place for a decent cup of coffee in a place like fresno. exceptions need to be made to certain rules when in a pinch. we get some coffee and wander around a cost plus in the same strip mall for an hour. i kind of love cost plus. bren and sara make minor purchases. we leave and i get a bagel with egg and spinach from another strip mall convenience. the sun is shining. it is a good day. we hit another shoportunity on the way out of town in the form of a salvation army. i buy a wood carving and carry around a disturbing helmet before deciding it's pretty gross. i set it down where i found it. we leave. time to begin the drive home. thirty minutes into the drive we hit the five north and smoke what seems like joint number seven. the ride home is gonna be nice. more tune jamming....more talking....more trail mix eating. the tape deck dies or my tapes are dead and we get bren home by three. it is a beautiful day. we took no pictures.
¶ posted by briancircus at 1:26 PM
Only One Game Left In Man Season...
Sunday was good and bad. I think pretty much everyone in the world was rooting against Chicago but the Saints just couldnt get it done. Sucks. I dont know what happened there - the Bears didnt look good at all. Turnovers killed the saints. You cant be productive when shit is falling apart like that. Hindsight is 20/20 but I think they should have used Deuce more and gone back to that gritty play style when they scored those 14 unanswered points. That safety was retarded too, a bad misstep by a strong brain. I wonder if Lil' Matrix taunting Urlacher made the football gods pissed and cut the Saints short. That TD was amazing though. Bears D showed up and so did TJ, but you know who can still kiss the tip - Grossman. He's so fuckin lame. Good run for the Saints though, thats hard for a Falcons fan to say. I hate the Saints, but I LOVE Lil' Matrix. There. Good season.
Horse face finally wins the big game. Good win for the Colts. Only thing that could have made it better was if it was in Foxboro. The biggest comeback in NFL Conference Championship Game History and Boston must be so pissed. The Colts looked like shit too - i think pretty much everyone thought the game was over after that Peyton INT that was run back. Fuck naw though. Stayed with it - Addai (what you know about dat?!) and Rhodes got their shit together and Peyton finally upped his arch rival in January. (what was up with that last minute intense pray sesh?!) Oh yeah, and ELI - how was that koosh ass Skybox, dogg? Guess what, your ass got cut by team Excalibrah. (more on my amazing season coming soon)
I cant decide if the Superbowl is going to be a runaway or not. Bears O sucks, D rules. Colts D is questionable, and O is the best there is. I think the Colts have it. My regular pick em was fucked beyond belief so again, I dont know shit.
¶ posted by Zazz at 10:25 AM
Boris With Michio Kurihara “Sweet No. 1” Devo “Auto Modown / Space Girl Blues” Blue Oyster Cult “Transmaniacon MC” Comets on Fire “Beneath The Ice Age” Henry Grady Terrell “Old John Henry Died On the Mountain” Volcano the Bear “The Last Song of Norway” Sonic Youth “Fire Engine Dream” Television “Days” Oneida “All Arounder” James Luther Dickinson “John Brown” Mission of Burma “Let Yourself Go” Deerhunter “Strange Lights” The Red Crayola “Hurricane Fighter Pilot” Circulatory System “A Peek” Holy Moses “The Sad Cafe” Capsize 7 “Column Shifter” Mendoza Line “If You Knew Her As I Know Her” Mekons “Blow Your Tuneless Trumpet” Burning Star Core “Benjamin” The Tower Recordings “Forum” Small 23 “Finding It Hard To Believe That There Was a Floor” Starship Beer “You Fly In My Brain Like An Airplane” Il Balletto Di Bronzo “Terzo Incontro” Big Star “Blue Moon” Faust “Don't Take Root”
¶ posted by darkness at 9:19 AM
Our puppy is kind of an asshole. He's the sweetest asshole EVER. He chews the hell out of everything, including us. Still, he's just about the cutest goddamn thing I've ever seen. I'll try to get some new pictures of Oscar up tonight.
¶ posted by darkness at 9:27 AM
Heldon “Lady From the North” Deerhunter “Cryptograms” Love Tractor “Three and Nine” Polvo “City Spirit” Major Stars “The Ravager” Refrigerator Mothers “Arab National Anthem” Unrest “Cherry Cherry” The Trap “I Desire” Night Rally “"remember, november, ember"” Jackie and Roy “Winds of Heaven” Time Toy “Fangs” Les Savy Fav “Asleepers Union” Tasavallan Presidentti “Milky Way Moses” Edip Akbayram “Deniz Ustu Kopurur” Of Montreal “Bunny Ain't No Kind of Rider” Iltar “You Don't Know Ne, Dying In The Subway” The Monks “I Hate You” Brian Eno “Baby's On Fire” Trans Am “Strong Sensations” Silkworm “Couldn't You Wait” Ut “Wailhouse”
¶ posted by darkness at 10:01 AM
Thursday, January 11, 2007
2006 - JAMS RUN FREE!!!!
A Bunch Of Bullshit:
***Caveat- I was slippin' with my hip hop listening this year so thus not a lot appears on this list. I know records like TI and Ghostface should have been on here, but I just hadn't listened to them enough. So that being said...
10. Ladyhawk - S/T These dudes love to drink beer and hang out. Perfection. They come from the same camp that spawned Black Mountain way up in Vancouver except these dudes aren't quite as druggy. They're beery. A lot of the sound revolves around standard progressions but they are quite moody and are up one minute, down the next. Which works well on this record. Songs like "The Dugout" have a real feeling of unity. I don't know what the fuck that means, but when you hear songs like this you want to follow this band to the ends of the earth. A lot of critics of this band slam them b/c they wear their influences directly on their sleeve - Neil Young being one of them. So yeah imagine a singer who can leave it all out on the table with a backing band that has you jammin' with some bros at a cookout in the summer behind him one song. Next song he'll humble you up and make you ask youself why you cracked that 14th beer...oh yeah b/c you're partyin'. Great ol' indie stuff.
9. Oneida - Happy New Year - It wouldn't be a Mezzy list without these dudes. What can we say - love them. This record wasn't wall to wall awesome like most everything else they touch, but it was close. Very organic pita recording for them - not a lot of blast you in the face with a organ riff pulverized. More like, hey lets strum on this lute and Kid you play bongos sitting on this buffalo hide. A lot of the themes on this record revolve around renewal and reinventing which in a nutshell is what this band is all about. Constantly turning on its heel in a new direction. My wife HATES this band, and I can see why, they test your mind a lot - however this could be a record (much like The Wedding) that I could see her liking. Its not as abrasive and has some true magical moments buried in here. "Up With People" could have been a jam on MTV's The Grind - and "The Adversary" seriously might be in their top 3 best songs of all time. I will follow these guys anywhere.
8. Brightblack Morning Light - S/T To give you a little background on these hippies (Nabob & Rabob!!!) - pep this: they are nomads who don't really have a set place where they live. Matador signed them when they were living in a National Park in California playing shows to animals on deserted beaches. Arthur Magazine did an article/interview with them a few months back and the interviewer met them for a week long camping trip in New Mexico where they got him higher than he has ever been in his life. They are animal activists and smoke so much pot they have Indians living in their brains. BUT WAIT, before you write them off as some hippy jam band bullshit, give them a listen. These dudes are groove masters. They find a tasty jam and ride that shit constantly evolving and oozing warm melodies and tractor beam riffs that float off into the atmosphere. The cd packaging comes with these 3d type glasses covered in wolf heads, rainbows, feathers, and pot leafs. I let Ice wear them on a road trip this year and he didn't want to give them back - insta-awesome life. You put them on, slide the record on - and you are immediately feelin' right. Transportation into a new realm, swear on it. Great summer evening jammer as the sun is going down and the brews are coooold. Best song title: "We Share Our Blanket With The Owl". Enough said.
7. The Rapture - Pieces of The People We Love I liked this band early on when they were a Gang of Four rip, then I hated this band when they changed to dance punk, then I liked them again after I relistened to the said dance punk album, and now I will continue to like em with this release. There was a LONG time between this record and their last and I was very interested to see if they could hang. They can. A more cohesive record here - they have found ways to meld the dancy parts and the rocking parts into one tight jam. Two songs on here were produced by Danger Mouse, but to be honest - they are the two worst tracks on the album. Just don't hit. A lot of the jams here benefit from the time spent on the recording. Their influences are far and wide and somehow they make Rocket From The Crypt, James Brown, and The Cure roll into one. Hits like "Gonna Get Myself Into It" and "Whoo! Alright, Yeah...Uh Huh" (gay title) give off a sound of ESG-esque melodica jammin. Its hard not to move when you hear them. I am going to see these guys in a few weeks, I'm sure it will be a party.
6. Comets On Fire - Avatar / Howlin' Rain - S/T I put these records together because they are all the same people essentially and they came out within a month of each other, I think. And trust me, both are bad to the bad bone. Comets are known as the bombastic ax grunge grinders from the San Fran area who will melt your face off with the blistering Big Muff frenzy. Well on Avatar Comets' truly come into their own. Blue Cathedral was my #1 record a few years back because it was just flat out insane to listen to - what sounded like 90 guitars soloing at the same time with Ethan Miller screaming magic through an echoplex - it sounded like heaven on earth to this long ago Mudhoney fan. Despite my love for that release - Avatar feels more like a complete record to me. Some freakouts are still there but the songwriting has stepped into the forefront and shows what talent they have. They arent just cosmic swirls, gigantic bass balls, and cocksure winks - these dudes have spirit and an identity. Howlin' Rain sounds like it was recorded much at the same time. Songwriting is amazing and here you can actually hear every word of Ethan's lyrics. Acid country stomp is a good way to describe it. The cover art shows a wooded cabin with a gigantic smoke cloud exiting from the front door - fitting. Side projects are weird, and usually not as good - but here it stands along side the Comets' release shoulder to shoulder. Headstrong and buzzin, this record takes you back to late 60s afternoon park concerts with some psychedelic country band hammjammin' you through the afternoon. I could see them and Oakley Hall touring together.
5. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass Best album title of the year. What more can you really type on YLT? They fucking dominate. This is the band you always root for because, since their inception, they seem to always do things exactly right. I agree with dark - this is their best record in 10 years. The first track immediately sets the stage - 10 minute backbreaker! Steady as she goes rhythm section with Ira channeling magma from his fingertips, free willed rock school . YLT is rocking again boys, grab a twelver. Upbeat and shining forth with the smarts of a tongue in cheeky valedictorian, YLT does what they do best - craft songs that wrought emotion, make you laugh, and make you smile all within the confines of one song. Amazing. "Mr. Tough" is one of my favorite songs of the year.
4. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped Another stalwart coming through huge in ‘06. Shit these dudes are hott. 3 albums in a row of sheer awesomeness. This one might be their most on a whole stellar work since Dirty. Shit, I mean this shit just jams. I think this is the first reocrd without O'Rourke since he joined a few years back - and with that they further slimmed down their sound. This is almost Sonic Youth Lite, not in a bad way, I swear. The longest songs on here are in the 6's but a majority of them are 3 minutes or under, which for a SY record - that's a feat. The open ended mind expansion is not lost though - simply condensed and more potent. Jams like "Incenerate" and "Jams Run Free" - Thurston just scolds you with. Ass tight rhythms, detuned madness, and peace flow straight out the speakers into your lap. You pet that shit and your hand doesnt smell funky like shit. You listen to this and it reconfirms your all time top 5 love for them.
3. Still Flyin' - Time Wrinkle EJ Partial? Aw who gives a flying fuck? Finally a hammjamm you can hold in your hands. Its hard to describe how much I like Still Flyin' because I'm bros with them, but seriously we all know how it feels when you hear a band that just encapsulates everything you love about music. If its not fun, why do it? While some songs come off as comical as you listen to laughing at how absurdly amazing the songs are - shit settles in and you realize how well crafted songs these are. SA fucking knows what he is doing, no hog shit. All of them are my favorite songs. This band makes you wish you lived in the same town as them, not only b/c you can probably jam with them if you bring some steel drums, but also because you get to be the lucky ones hearing the new jams. Coupla Smokies blows my brain every single time. I feel like these dudes are on the edge of the gigantic catapult slam to stardom. I mean shit, you give me one person who listens to this cd, this band, these songs, this ideology and doesnt fucking fall in love with them. That person is a dildo. I don't know if I am ready for a full length, I would die. Oh yeah, killer artwork!
2. Keene Brothers - Blues And Boogie Shoes I havent been this excited about a Pollard release in a long ass time. I've written it here before - this is like having a best of Pollard disc choc full of NEW HITS that perfectly illustrate what an amazing songwriter he is. Funny thing is, Tommy Keene (power pop grandfather) wrote all the music and Pollard just did the lyrics. This is fucking magical. I listened to this record probably 100 times this year. I once told Crog this record sounds like Pollard playing in front of the Connells. It works b/c it's the sound of early 90s guilty pleasures on Power 99 with your favorite singer ever working the hooks. Buy this record, I swear to you - you will like it, even if you are only a remote GBV/Pollard fan. This is one of his best.
1. Flip Scoldjah - Nazgul Please Did this dude invent fantasy prog rap? What the fuck? This record destroyed me, I mean fucking obliterated my brain. I don't give a shit if I'm close bros with this dude - this hands down is the best record I have heard in YEARS. Constantly (gardening) jamming this disc over and over and over and over and never once getting sick of it or forwarding past a song. Now one of the ESSENTIAL albums in my collection. You can quote me on this - Jon is the most fucking creative person I know and I emulate (aka gank ass gank) his shit in 99% of the Brah shit that I do. If there was no him, there is no me. Ok pep this example - imagine this imaginary band lets call "The Beatles" come out with the greatest record known to man - lets call it oh - "Revolver". Cant be touched, can't and won't even be fully realized until 30 years pass - THEN just a short time later they fucking top that shit with a layer of icing called "Sgt. Peppers". BRAIN SHATTER! Well that's what Flip did with "Out Francin' Yall" & "Nazgul Please". Not only does this new record slay, but unexplainably it blows the first record out of the water. I don't know if you can fully grasp the concept of that - because his first record is so dominant. The production - fucking forget about it - dude could produce fucking tracks for Outkast. Shit is that good. Rhymes - fucking forget about it part 2 - there are countless lines that are so good they make you feel honored to know someone who came up with that mind expanding shit. What is High....What is LEARNING....WHAT IS HIGHER LEARNING!!! Seriously. You are so fucking geeked up when you put this bitch on that you sit there with the liner notes reading along with every lyric anticipating what's next like a 12 year old prepubescent boy eagerly awaiting his first glance at a boob...then he sees it - and its like 100 times cooler than he could have expected. Cold ass mind slayer, yall.
11-20 (Honorable Mentions): Sonic Youth - The Destroyed Room - All you need to know is the full 25 minute version of The Diamond Sea is on here + SY just riffin thoughts. Loose Fur - Born Again In The USA - Tweedy's songs here are way better than ORourke's that's the only problem. Some of his best work is found here. Pink Mountaintops - Axis of Evol - Black Mountain dude's second solo record. Short but sweet. A little too short/half assed. Some great ass jams here tho. Sunn O))) / Boris - ALTAR - Perfect collaboration b/w these two. Heavy as shit but beautiful and lush sounding. You'll be surprised at the elevation of this past the individual parts. Awesome Color - S/T - People rip this band for being a Stooges rip off. Fuck them, this album is great and a raunchy sweaty look at brooklyn garage power blues. Liars - Drums Not Dead - Didn't like this as much as their last one, but still light years ahead of other shit. They know how to craft amazing songs out of bleak space and sound nuggets. Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO - Myth of the Love Electrique - The UFO returned this year with two releases, this one is much better than the other (Other side of the sky). What is cool is that the UFO bring more diversity to the songs. Flute jams even. Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno - Starless and Black Bible Sabbath - This is the heavy shit. 2 songs - first one is just under 35 minutes long. This is their ode to Sabbath here, sludge riff bong load. Little Brother - Commercial EP - This is a live hip hop record. Hard to imagine, but storytelling hip hop like this translates well in the live setting, not just chanting. These dudes are funny as shit too - best between song banter since Griggs. ExcaliBrah - ExcaliBrah & The Poon Tang Clan Vol. 1.75 - Have you ever really been this gangsta? No. The Killers - Sam's Town - Who doesnt like them now? Got this for Christmas from L and listened to it on repeat for a week straight. Bones, better song that When You Were Young. Young Jeezy - The Inspiration - He's the mutherfuckin realist.
Disappointments: Jay Z - Kingdom Come Psycho & The Birds Outkast - Idlewild
2007 Lookaheads: Still Flyin - Za Cloud EJ Ween - ??? RTX - Western Xterminator si, claro - ??? Trans Am - Sex Change Exploding Star Orchestra - We Are All From Somewhere Else Endless Boogie - ?? Ghost - In Stormy Nights & MUTHERFUCKING JE SUIS FRANCE - AFRIKAN MAJIK!!!
Top 10 Shows of 2006: 1. Steely Dan / Michael McDonald - 8/07/06 - Chastain Park 2. Beck *Secret Halloween Show* - 10/31/06 - The Loft 3. Echo & The Bunnymen - 6/20/06 - The Roxy 4. Bachelor Zap Weekend / Twilight Delirum - 4/28/06 5. Ween - 4/10/06 - Tabernacle (what I remember of it, yikes) 6. Wilco / Portastatic - 3/09/06 - Classic Center 7. Animal Collective - 3/19/06 - Variety Playhouse 8. Still Flyin' - 5/05/06 - Hemlock Tavern 9. Yeah Yeah Yeah's / Deerhunter - 10/14/06 - Tabernacle 10. Bob Pollard - 1/26/06 - 40 Watt
¶ posted by Zazz at 2:48 PM
yeah, sorry for the lateness. some lists will be up tomorrow. also want to post some pics from R&C's going away jam.
¶ posted by Zazz at 11:15 AM
This Month In Supermen
The other day I had to ask myself, why is all these Supermen? I went from no Supermans ever (save for ones in which he dies) to FOUR regularly publishized Supermens. I read the classics / old standbys (ACTION COMICS, SUPERMAN), the new continuity filler / retcon hospital SUPERMAN CONFIDENTIAL, and of course the ultimate current hot-shit amazo brillianceness of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's ALL-STAR SUPERMAN. I read them all and I am confounded by it. I never liked a Superman, ever, until this year. I liked the movie Superman, I guess, back when I was but a lad, but the comics and the character hisself always turned me off. Now though I'm turned all the way on Superman, and need the wonderment on a semi-weekly basis.
Anyhow, much Supermanity has occurred of late, and here are some thoughts on some things.
1. ALL-STAR SUPERMAN.
Holy Jesus SHITS this is why comics existed. Grant Morrison is perhaps the finest writer of superhero comics EVER, and his artistic companion "Frank Quitely" is up there with Darwyn Cooke and Tim Sale as modern masters of the form. The form of comic book art, fool! The eternal knock against Quitely has been his complete timelinessless; monthly books become biennial with this man. DC's addressed this issue by making ASS semi-sorta-bi-monthly; with six issues in 14 months, I guess it's more like deca-weekly, or something. Anyhow, number six came out last week, and it's another almost perfect 22-page encapsulation of all that is right and beautiful about comic books. Field of Dreams becomes only more poignant to this man's mind when you replace baseball and Shoeless Joe with the Chronovore and the Unknown Superman. Also the scenes with Krypto the Superdog made me infinitely happy. All-Star Superman is hands-down the finest comic currently published by Marvel or DC, and it will be a sad day when the twelfth and final issue finally comes out in 2009.
2. SUPERMAN CONFIDENTIAL
The two best Supes books today aren't the flagship titles, but the out-of-continuity ASS and the hole-filler Superman Confidential. Kinda like the JLA / JSA titles of the same name, Supes Confidential looks at important events in Superman's past that never actually appeared in his other titles. Like this, the book's first storyling, is going back and showing how Superman first encountered / became aware of kryptonite. Basically it's a series of retcons, but thus far what a series it's been. Many were skeptical when Darwyn Cooke, the best comic book artist active today, was announced as the writer, as that'd be kinda like hiring Danger Mouse to write your lyrics but not produce your song. Tim Sale, who does all the art for the semi-not-quite-shitty show HEROES, is certainly no slouch, though, and probably draws the second-best Lois Lane after Cooke, anyway, so all is well. Their arc runs the first six issues of the book, and the halfway point was reached this past week. Superman Confidential #3 isn't revelatory like, well, every issue of ASS, but it is another fine installment in this interesting (and very well-drawn) story. The scene where Lois tells Supes that it could never work between them is a rare not-even-remotely-cringworthy bit of comic-book relationship melodrama, so kudos to Cooke. He does almost as good a job writing Lois as he does drawing her.
This is by Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco. Busiek did a fantastic job with the Up, Up, and Away storyline earlier this year, and his stop-gap threefer Auctioneer storyline in Action was some good, old-school fun. I haven't been enjoying Superman lately as much as either of those, and this issue didn't reverse that course. It's not bad, really, just a competent comic with solid art and a slightly interesting story that feels only a little lived in. Basically some timetravelling guy pops in from some future-past post-apocalyptic renaissance-era Venetian looking town, and tells Supes of the Earth's frighten future. He says some amazingly powerful villain named Khyber will kill Superman and spoil the planet, and that the few humans who survive will struggle through a new ice age in a cave-ridden community overseen by Luthor and Lois Lane. This most recent issue (#640, maybe?) consists almost completely of journal entries from this potential future Lois. It's a grim lot, for real, and at the end future-past fella caps it all off by telling Supes that it might be best if he doesn't try to stop this Khyber fella, 'cuz every time you stave off one swing of destiny the eventual fall will become even worse and harder to come back from, or something like that. Those last couple of pages were a surprise, and a nice springboard into whatever comes next, but nothing in this book is that exceptional, especially in comparison to ASS and Confidential.
4. ACTION COMICS
I actually just dropped this. As I said, Busiek's work on this title over the summer and fall was great. Geoff Johns and Richard Donner took it over in November, though, and it quickly went downhill. Their first issue was amazingly boring, with some lackluster art from (I believe) one of them Kuberts. Basically there's this boy on Earth who might be from Krypton, and Superman's trying to keep the government from turning him into a weapon. They've done a TON of these "omg another kyrptonian wtf!" stories over the years, and almost all of them end with the new Kryptonian being a hoax or dying or leaving forever, or something like that. I'm sure this'll be the same. The second issue was a step up, as it was revealed the boy might be the son of Zod, but still not good enough to keep me dropping three bucks a month on it. So yes, sorry, Mr. Johns, even though you're friends with the awesome Alenders, there's no room in my budget for your work.
¶ posted by darkness at 10:46 AM
UPDATE: I've already been forced to correct a thing or two on the "top songs" list. My formerly bear-trap-tight mind is now a sieve.
Here's what I liked this year. A couple of caveats: I've yet to hear Lil Flip Scoldjah's latest cd, which should no doubt top this and every other such list. Also, I've let a couple of things I first heard in December 2006 slip onto the lists, namely the number one album and the number three single. Just a head's up. Yes.
Top Ten Albums: 1. Love Is All - Nine Times That Same Song Love Is All's debut wins the prize with consistency and all-around excellence. There may not be a single truly amazing song on here, but no other album this year had as many good to great ones. I listened to Nine Times That Same Song a good two or three times more than any other album in 2006, and as of yet am not close to being tired of it. I think this technically came out in 2005, but was mostly unavailable 'til early this year, so I'm counting it. These Swedes are catchy, energetic, clever without being precious, and reminiscent of the best '70's/'80's post-punk (or whatever) without stooping to slavish imitation. They've got tons of potential (their best song isn't even on this record), and let's hope they can continue to realize it in the future.
2. Major Stars - Syntoptikon Home to the best guitar freak-outs of the year, Syntoptikon picks up the psych-bombast slack left by the latest Oneida and Comets on Fire albums. Majorest Stars Wayne Rogers and Kate Village even out-play Ira Kaplan of...
3. Yo La Tengo - I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass Still, Ira's pretty damn amazing. For the first time since '97 they once again split the difference between the noisy jams their fans expect and the quieter material they've largely drifted towards this century. Best YLT album in almost a decade.
4. Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country The best Belle and Sebastian album since If You're Feeling Sinister, and home to at least two of the year's best songs.
5. Oakley Hall - Gypsum Strings The finest practitioners of psychedelic country rock around get extra points for releasing two great records in one calendar year; Gypsum Strings just slightly gets the nod over Second Guessing.
6. Liars - Drum's Not Dead It's not quite as abrasive as 2004's They Were Wrong So We Drowned, and even sports a moment of true grace and beauty as the album-closer. The band's still rooting through all the right cellars to cobble together its contemporary take on experimental art-rock, though, as the various krautrock and noise influences remain at the forefront. Despite greater song-title cohesion, the "concept" is even more fluid and impregnable than They Were Wrong's.
7. TI - King The relative lack of skits is appreciated. "What You Know", "I'm Talkin To You", "Why YOu Wanna", and "You Know Who" are even more appreciated. I don't know if I've ever listened all the way through this in one sitting; I do know that few other albums from '06 had even one song that got played as often as those four mentioned above.
8. Parts and Labor - Stay Afraid Parts and Labor has been combining noise with pop hooks for years, and with Stay Afraid they've finally made a record that completely stays afloat from start to finish. If Surrender to the Night-era Trans Am covered New Day Rising in its entirety, it'd probably sound something like this.
9. Joanna Newsom - Ys You can kinda disappear in this record. Not as listenable as The Milk-Eyed Mender, but richer and more engrossing. If you can get past the song-lengths, you'll be friends for life.
10. Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped I really wanna give this to Still Flyin', but I just can't pick an ep over this record. SY's been on another one of their periodic rolls the last few years, putting out nicely subdued albums that still contain their trademark dissonance and discordant melodies. Rather Ripped is the most noteworthy of these three most recent records, and, with "Incinerate" and the sublime "Jams Run Free", it features perhaps their two best songs since 1995 or so.
Honorable Mentions: Still Flyin' - Time Wrinkle ej Excalibrah - Excalibrah & The Poon-Tang Clan Volume 1.9 Clipse - Hell Hath No Fury Ghostface Killa - Fishscale Dark Meat - Universal Indians Oneida - Happy New Year
Top Songs of the Year: 1. Oneida - The Adversary 2. TI - What You Know 3. Ludacris, Field Mob, and Jamie Foxx - Georgia 4. Oneida - Up With People 5. Killers - When You Were Young 6. Gnarls Barkley - Crazy 7. Art Brut - Emily Kane 8. Camera Obscura - Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken 9. Still Flyin' - Rope Burn 10. Sonic Youth - Jams Run Free 11. Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country 12. Futureheads - Skip To The End
Best Reissues: Ariesta Birawa Group - Ariesta Birawa Group Vol. 1 Pavement - Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition Chavez - Better Days Will Haunt You Animal Collective - Hollinndagain
¶ posted by darkness at 1:40 PM
Is it just me...
or were you also glad to see Tony Romo get a little dose of reality? And the best part was ESPN didn’t know how to fucking handle it. For the past 2-3 months Tony Romo's dick has been firmly planted on the collective tonsils of every single person who works at ESPN. Well guess what, the dude is not your golden child.
Harshin' I know, but I was just getting so sick of turning on NFL Tonight or Sportscenter and hearing ROMO, ROMO, ROMO!
That being said - insane ending to that game. Whoever decided to keep the Seahawks playing outside and not in a dome earned his paycheck on Saturday night.
I went 3-4 on the games this weekend, missing this one. Dallas looked alright but never got Barber in the game, which I think was necessary for them to alternate that Jones/Barber backfield. Glenn and TO were quiet as hell too.
Best game of the weekend was the Giants / Eagles game last night. Felt bad for Tiki, probably his last game - and to get beat by a last second Akers FG, that blowed. Eli navigated that last drive for them and looked great despite what I think was 50 yards worth of pentalties on that drive itself. Garcia was steady, Westbrook is a beast - however the Eagles didn’t look as dominant as I thought they would. NO has a good chance.
INDY looked GOOOOOD, despite Peyton's dismal 3 INTs. Their D was finally hitting on all cylindaz...finally ass finally. Addai (as i fucking called it) is a true stud. Watch out Baltimore, because you know Peyton is going to have his shit together after this Saturday.
Again - the winner of the Pats / Chargers game is going to win the superbowl. I hope the Chargers haven't been sitting on their asses the past two weeks. That game is going to be incredible. This calls for a wing jam, truly.
Albert Ayler Trio “Ghosts - First Version” Dark Meat “Angel of Meth” Wire “Too Late” Kinski “Point that Thing Somewhere Else” Legendary Pink Dots “Feathers at Dawn” Deerhunter “Spring Hall Convert” Heldon “Distribution Deterritorialisation” Blue Orchids “Dumb Magician” Scott Walker “The Escape” Velocity Girl “Forgotten Favorite” Half Japanese “Too Much Adrenaline” Embryo “The Special Trip” Olivia Tremor Control side two from The Tour EP Strawbs “To Be Free” Captain Beefheart “Doctor Dark” Space Needle “Beers In Heaven” Kemialliset Ystavat “Savuavia Harmonia” Je Suis Animal “Fortune Map” Shrimp Boat “Born In A Sour” The Fall “Assume” Henry Cow “Upon Entering The Hotel Adlon” Hototogisu “track four” from Chimarendammerung
¶ posted by darkness at 3:40 PM
*These are my first initial thoughts after just looking at finalized matchups. These picks may change later in the week b/c this scenario is placing a lot of faith in Garcia. Which, yeah the Saints have more talent right now but winning in the playoffs has everything to do with being hot. And thats what the Eagles are right now. I think Chicago has too many questions to go further than they do. If the Saints can beat the Eagles, which is entirely possible - they'll go to the Superbowl. Man, a Chargers/Pats vs. Saints superbowl would be great!
In the AFC, I think the winner of the Patriots / Chargers game will take the superbowl. Thinking more about that game, the Patriots will probably win - however are they too banged up? I still dont believe in the Ravens, their D is incredible but shit, I cant get behind them. Colts flounder again cant make it to the big game.