Thursday, October 30, 2008

Record Reviews: Of Montreal and Electric Six

Tomorrow is Halloween! Do you know what you are going to be? You have had all year to think about and plan it, so please do not tell me you are going to make a rush for one of those fly-by-night Halloween stores so you can grab a whore-in-a-bag costume. But even if that is your sad choice, I hope you are planning to do something fun seeing as Satan's birthday (unofficial) falls on a Friday night this year. I will be at The Crofoot for what is shaping up to be a music geek's Halloween fantasy show. You should highly consider it.

Speaking of costumes, those kids in Of Montreal sure like to wear 'em all the time. But when your music sounds like a psychedelic bag of candy mixed with a handful of prescription pills, you are allowed. Their last album, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? was brilliant. I don't usually get "stuck" on a record seeing as I'm always trying to hear everything that was released in any given week, plus all the other music from the beginning of history that I missed out on by not being born yet or by being a stupid baby at the time of its release (thanks OCD!). But if there was a Hissing Fauna support group, I would've joined. Suffice to say, I was VERY excited about Skeletal Lamping but also recognized that it could be downright dangerous should it actually manage to meet or indeed surpass Hissing in greatness. But although Skeletal Lamping is a really good album, it won't be putting me in the nut house anytime soon. Whew. Detour has my review.

Also in this week's Metro Times is my review of the new Electric Six album Flashy. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like if you could get a glimpse into the future - nothing huge like when you'll die or when McDonald's will bring back the McRib, but just odd little slivers of future information that would be hard to put into context. For instance, if five years ago you told me someday I would be modestly compensated for a written piece in which I use the word "cock-rockable," I think I would've been alarmed. I'm just saying, you never know what the future is going to bring.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Wonder Twins Review: New Kids on the Block @ The Palace, Saturday Oct. 25

It's the show we were born to review! Okay, that might be a stretch... But one thing is for sure - seeing Danny, Donnie, Joe, Jon and Jordan again was a strange and kind of cathartic experience. I remember during our formative years (the bad years of that period, as we fondly refer to them) camping out for tickets to a show that was to take place on our birthday only to end up with tickets behind the stage in a section that was totally empty besides our little group which consisted of the two of us, my mom and some equally obsessed friends. We were the NKOTB devout - whenever had we done to deserve such crappy tickets? Twenty years later here we are in a fancy executive suite right next to the stage... If only we were still as obsessed and filled with anticipation - no, I take that back. Thank god we are not those girls.

Tomorrow we'll be going to Jolie Holland at The Pike Room in Pontiac, which should be a great show... After that there is no telling when I'll get D'Anne out of her sweat pants and to another show... So you'll just have to hang tight - or hang tough (zing!).

Friday, October 24, 2008

Wonder Twins Review: Mates of State, Javelins @ The Magic Stick Sunday Oct. 19

D'Anne and I went to another show recently, and now you can read all about it. I actually talked to somebody in real life who is outside of the realm of people I know, and she knew about and claimed to enjoy The Wonder Twins Reviews from The Metro Times "Music Blahg." That was pretty awesome. Anyway, here's our breakdown from the Mates of State/Javelins show if you haven't read it already. You may have already seen it, as I have been crazy busy in real life, getting ready to start a new job (awesome!), find a place to live and all that stressful, life changing stuff. But I'll try to pick up the pace soon enough people. Just bear with me. Notice I didn't ask you to "bare with me" as that would be an invitation to undress, and I just need you to know that such an invitation will not be forthcoming. Thank you for understanding.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Record Reviews: Jolie Holland and Ten Kens

For the last Obama/McCain debate, I bring you two reviews to read when the debate gets too terribly intense and you need a breather. But be sure you don't look away for too long - you will be sorry if you avert your attention at the very moment that John McCain loses his mind and does a mocking "Stepin Fetchit shuffle" instead of responding to a question about his economic policies and falls off the stage and breaks his hip.* Yes, you'll be able to see it on You Tube the next day set to the tune of "Chocolate Rain," but you will rob yourself of the opportunity to tell your children, "I saw that historical moment live on the television." So just keep that in mind.

Tiny Mix Tapes has my review of the new Jolie Holland. I like this review, because I managed to use both the phrase "Vagina Americans" and "Vagina Canadian." That has been a personal record review goal of mine for some time now. Ms. Holland is coming to Pontiac on Tuesday October 28th, by the way. She's playing the Pike Room, which means a super intimate setting in which to see her. I am excited. You should come out. This last sentence is a plea to both concert goers and closeted homosexuals.

Detour has my review of the debut by Ten Kens which led to me fulfilling yet another one of my record review goals: finding some way to mention Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in the context of an indie rock review. I feel that even though Ten Kens are Canadian (Penis Canadians, sorry) this should still count as successful inclusion.

So, so many shows this weekend and into next week. If you are still unsure as to if you want to go out tomorrow, let me assist you. Yes. You do. Also, more specifically, you want to go see Jennifer O'Connor and The New Year at The Pike Room in Pontiac. It should be a very, very good show... School of Seven Bells w/ Deastro on Friday, Deerhoof Saturday, Mates of State w/ Javelins Sunday, Elephant 6 Holiday Surprise Tour Monday... that's just a small sampling. Wow. Go have some fun soon or it is your own fault.

*I will have you know that I wrote the above portion before I read the news that Nancy Reagan recently fell and fractured her pelvis. I wish Nancy Reagan a speedy recovery, and will even refrain from trying to figure out how to make a "just say no" joke. That is disrespectful. Grow up.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Record Reviews: Deerhoof, Lambchop, Stereolab

Oh, my it's been a little bit since I last posted. But I will not waste your time by pretending this has negatively impacted your life. Sure, I could make up some story about how busy and awesome my life is, or even tell you I was in a coma, but those things are only partly true - even the coma.

But alas, those reviews don't write themselves, so here I am. Though considering some of the garbage PR companies send along with promos, they COULD write themselves and be very terrible. Now, some of the PR companies out there I've interacted with are awesome (what up Four Paws Media??) and clearly deserve cash dollars in exchange for their services, some are questionable even on the basic level of literacy and should be ashamed to charge any band money for sending out the hyperbolic, typographical-error-filled bullshit they pass off as "PR." So there's that.

Thankfully, all three of these reviews feature bands who have good PR folk in their corner. Deerhoof seems pretty good at making PR easy though, what with their "here's some sheet music go play our song" stunt and the awesome "hey why don't you guys vote on the nonprofit you want us to donate dollars from our online sales to?" idea. I do so love this band and was highly anticipating Offend Maggie, creative PR or not. Detour has my review.

Lambchop and I go back a long, long way - basically thanks to my friend Meghan who turned me onto them back in high school with 1994's I Hope You're Sitting Down. This album was also apparently called Jack's Tulips, but I don't have that part in my happy memories bank. When she got married a handful of years ago, her and her husband chose the Lambchop track "The├Âne" as "their song." I never knew a song could mention "Gomer Pyle" and still be so achingly romantic. But leave it to Lambchop. Anyway, my fondness for them has only grown over the years, and their newest album OH (Ohio) is really great. Tiny Mix Tapes has my review.

Finally, though I wrote it back in the "olden days" of August when it was originally released, The Metro Times ran my review of Stereolab's Chemical Chords this week to coincide with their Detroit area appearance last evening. I was unable to attend the show, but I hope it was as fun as their new album is.

Tomorrow I'm going to Northern Lights Lounge for the first time in a long time - I really like that venue. Even better that Prussia, Mick Bassett & The Marthas and Croff Family Band (that's what it's called, right?) are all playing. Since I am most likely going by my own self, if you're there say "hey" or buy me a Miller High Life or something. I was just informed yesterday that Miller High Life is "a total lesbian beer." I love this seeing as I do not like it, and most all the indie rocker boys I know drink it. They are drinking lesbian elixir. And I am not. No wonder they get more girls than me.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Record Reviews: Brightblack Morning Light and Friendly Foes

Brightblack Morning Light... I have a hard time saying that name right - kind of like the tongue-twister "rubber baby buggy bumpers." Although I never had a problem with "How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?" I will admit to not really knowing the answer to this question, but if I had to venture a guess, I would say that only a little amount of wood would be chucked, because wood chucks are fairly small. Then again, Wikipedia tells me that they are about 4 and a half to 9 pounds, BUT that in areas with fewer natural predators and large quantities of alfalfa, woodchucks (which is just an alias for a groundhog - did you know?) can grow to 30 pounds. Nature is so wacky. Can you tell I did not get a lot of sleep last night? Maybe if I would've put on BML's Motion To Rejoin, I would not be saying this, as I would have quickly fallen into a psychedelic hazy dream state. Anyway, Detour has my review here.

And although you can certainly learn everything you ever needed to know about Friendly Foes here, Metro Times has my review of their debut Born Radical in this week's issue, which you can also read on the internets. I would be lying if I said anything less than I love this album. I also love candy. Since the Chinese have made me suspicious of candy for the time being, I am supplementing my candy intake with repeated listens of Born Radical. I think my dentist will be happy with this news.

I'm heading to the city of Pontiac tonight to see Born Ruffians, Thunderbirds Are Now!, Plants And Animals and Rahim (not to be confused with "Rakim" as in "Eric B. &..."). My date is a slender bearded drummer and he is picking me up at 8ish. Should the show start at 8pm as it says it will on the Crofoot webisite, we'll most likely miss most of the first band. For that reason, I hope it is not Plants And Animals, as I have heard lots of good stuff about them and didn't even realize they were on the bill until today. I obviously don't want it to be TAN! either, and Born Ruffians are headlining... So I guess that means I hope I miss Rahim - which sounds mean. But it is not meant to be. When push comes to shove, I always choose Canadians over New Yorkers. That's just the way I roll.

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