April 2006


ChairmanMeow

Yeah, yeah… been a while. Here's what little I remember about a few shows I saw a ways back.

The National @ The Independent

First off, I'll say this. "Alligator" is one of those albums that you listen to and you meow, "Man! This album is great! Definitely a candidate for Album of the Year. Definitely."

Then, when someone later purrs, "So, do you think 'Alligator' will win album of the year?" You reply, "No fucking way."

It's that good. It's really good. It's just not really that good. It would be the same way with a Sparklehorse album or newer Belle & Sebastian stuff.

Either way, perhaps I was expecting more, but The National were merely decent live. I really was hoping for that whole Galaxie 500/Luna/Dean Wareham push that the band somehow gets associated with at times, but it never really happened.

I will say this though, "Abel" was amazing live. As was "Mr. November." Okay, maybe they were better than decent. Maybe I was on my man-period. Manstruating.

In their defense, the singer was sick. In a related note, the band has a singer. He just sings. I did not know that.

What? You want bad pictures? OK!

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The Brunettes @ Cafe Du Nord

I was lucky to catch The Brunettes during their tour with Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, without having to endure fans drooling all over CYHSY and getting hard-ons over Brooklyn's finest. The Brunettes opened for CYHSY for two nights, then headlined a show at cozy Cafe Du Nord.

A little background on The Brunettes. They're from New Zealand, they're like a five or six-piece, and they've been around longer than you think. A little background on New Zealand. Apparently, not everyone there is blonde, strawberry blonde, or sandy blonde. Some are brunette.

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Someone please Photoshop my face over Jonathan's. I'll have you one way or another, Heather.

One more thing you should know about The Brunettes. Heather is so freaking hot that the front row got sunburn. Seriously, when I saw her sitting at the bar alone, I said to myself, "Hey, I think that's that chick from The Brunettes." I stalked her for about 15 minutes (stalk = stood slackjawed) before I chatted her up (in my mind). We now have three kids and are happily married.

Our imaginary matrimony didn't stop her from turning towards frontman Jonathan every five minutes and gazing adoringly at him, a look I long to receive from her one of these days. The hearts and tweetie birds and lollipops she was sending Jonathan effectively blunted the daggers and dynamite and anthrax that I was sending his way, because he did not dop dead. Some guys get all the luck. You guys just wait.

Oh yeah, they were quite good I thought. And yes, they did do the Mary Kate and Ashley thing with the masks. I can also confirm that "adorable" and "cute" are apt descriptions of the band and its music.

Belle & Sebastian @ A shithole of a venue

Those Scotland kids played a show, I think. I'm not quite sure what happened. They would have been better served playing in my litterbox than that piece of shit venue called the Concourse. If you ever see a show there, don't forget to bring a gun so you can shoot yourself in the face.

If you want more details, check out what my stupid ass owner wrote.

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Farrr fooook's sake! A good band comes along, gets a swig of success, and one of the members bolts!

Such is the sad case with mates Tapes 'n' Tapes. The lot just hit the indie jackpot, being mention in the friggin' Times! The New York friggin' Times! They destroyed SXSW! They swung a second leg of their tour with packed shows!

Now, it's being reported that bass player Shawn Tapes has left the band (yes, the same chap who kindly broke down the band name's origin to us), and has been replaced by Minneapolis band slut Erik Appelwick. I say "band slut" because the man is in a lot of bands. From what I hear the man does not put out.

Tapes
That's him! Second from the left! That's the man who left the band, officer!

They're now touring with the new lineup under the name Elvis vs. Elvis. Yeah, it's a stupid name, but I bet you thought Tapes 'n' Tapes was pretty fooking stupid when you 'eard it tha first time, dintchya? Now look at ya ya daft cunt! You've got "Tapes 'n' Tapes" tattooed on yer arse!

Either way you fuck it, ere's the latest tour dates, 'nicked from Brooklyn Vegan. Thanks, lass.

Fri 04/28/06 Chicago, IL Subterranean
Sat 04/29/06 Chicago, IL Schubas
Fri 05/05/06 Minneapolis 7th St Entry
Sun 05/07/06 Minneapolis Women's Club Theater
Thu 05/18/06 London, UK Metro
Fri 05/19/06 Nottingham, UK The Social
Sat 05/20/06 Brighton, UK Great Escape
Mon 05/22/06 London, UK Barfly
Tue 05/23/06 Leeds, UK Faversham
Wed 05/24/06 Glasgow, UK Nice 'N' Sleazy
Thu 05/25/06 Manchester, UK Music Box
Thu 06/01/06 Madison, WI The Journey
Fri 06/02/06 Chicago, IL Abbey Pub
Mon 06/05/06 Cambridge, MA Middle East Club
Tue 06/06/06 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
Wed 06/07/06 Philadelphia, PA First Unitarian Church
Thu 06/08/06 Baltimore, MD Fletcher's
Sat 06/10/06 Nashville, TN The Basement
Mon 06/12/06 Dallas, TX Gypsy Tea Room / Ballroom
Tue 06/13/06 Austin, TX Stubb's Barbeque
Thu 06/15/06 Tucson, AZ Solar Culture
Fri 06/16/06 Los Angeles, CA Echo
Sat 06/17/06 San Francisco, CA Cafe Du Nord  <– fuck yeah!
Sun 06/18/06 Portland, OR Berbati's Pan
Mon 06/19/06 Seattle, WA Crocodile Cafe
Thu 06/22/06 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge

'Ere's to good mates.

ChairmanMeow

There are so many reasons not to like The M's. Their name, the fact that they're being mentioned a lot because they were featured on The O.C., the fact that aren't exactly a "sexy" band.

Then you listen to them, and it becomes clear…those are almost the exact reasons you come to adore them. The M's name fits them somehow, I'd explain it if I could, but really who gives a shit. It's like meeting some dude named Blake, and all you can think of is, "Man this guy is an asshole. Blake? Ugh." And then a few bong rips and a twelve pack later, you realize he's no longer Blake, he's the Blake-ster, or he's Blake Superior, or Always Bet on Blake. It's the same thing with the M's.

ms
The M's

The O.C. thing, once you get over the initial gag reflex, isn't a problem at all. Whoever puts the tunes together for that show clearly has a decent ear. Among the bands that have been featured on the show (they throw on about four or five songs per episode) are The Dandy Warhols, Dios Malos, Sufjan, The Walkmen, Gomez, Ambulance LTD, Feist, The Black Keys, Rilo Kiley, and The Subways. Not bad company. Besides, bass player Joey King told me that it was only on for like "five seconds."

And of course, the idea of a sexy band is exactly what screws up the music business. I'll take four dudes who look like they could use a haircut and a shower over leggy models any day. That sounded really bad.

The M's are a four-piece from Chicago by way of other places. I left the restroom just before the show began, and behind me waiting to relieve himself was The M's frontman. Then the show began, and I realized he wasn't the requisite frontman. That honor belonged to one of the other guys on the left. Then later I realized he wasn't the frontman either. It was the guy on the far right. Yep, he was the front man. Then Susie Vomit pointed out the drummer, who put on a great show himself. What's the fucking point I'm trying to make? There's no frontman.

I'm finding that a lot of my favorite bands are just that…baaaaands. Gomez and Akron/Family really came to mind when watching The M's. No spotlight, everyone contributing and singing, regular sorta dudes just deciding to rock the fuck out.

I had already made camp at Doc's Clock before the show, where the combination of $1 Pabst Blue Ribbon pints and domination of tabletop shuffleboard put a grin on my face even leprecy couldn't shake off, so my judgment may be a bit clouded. Plus the hot box session in the car didn't hurt. But I'll say this…The M's were gooooooooooooood. Dare I say it? Yes I dare, M-m-m-m-m-m m-m-m-m-m good. get it? M's? Man I kill me.

Their greatest test came when they played Future Women, the title track from their album and the song that Susie Vomit can't stop listening to. I hear she's cut back to about 18 listens a day. With nervous anticipation we sat in a rickshaw (yes you read that correctly) and waited. They nailed it. Exceeded our expectations.

After blasting through a near-flawless one-hour set, we moseyed up to the merch table to buy a shirt. Shirts were $15, but I only had $14. They spotted us the dollar. What a country!

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The Deathray Davies..looking rather unhealthy.

Mad props go to The Deathray Davies, who opened. Though I concluded that they sounded like a combination between the Warlocks, The Dandy Warhols, and *ahem* Blink-182, there's no doubt that they warrant further investigation. Why the fuck aren't either of these bands playing Coachella?

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MP3 – The M's – Future Women

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MP3 – The Deathray Davies – Maggie Doesn't Blink

ChairmanMeow

Every once in a while, life throws you two equally desirable choices that are mutually exclusive.

Sometimes you'll walk down the sidewalk and see a bird with a broken wing flailing about next to a pool of BBQ sauce, and across the street there will be two dogs that just did it and are stuck together, ripe for some teasing. However, by the time your done eating the bird, Rex's pink rocket will have come back to Earth. If you go moon Rex while he's perma-riding Trixie, some other alley cat will be treated to a plate of wounded sparrow.

Like that old dude in the last Indiana Jones movie said, "Choose Wisely." I have such a quandry. There are two shows in the city tonight, the well-proven Birdmonster CD release party and the up-and-coming The M's. Easy food versus doggy-fucking. Birdmonster versus The M's.

pzjyeah.jpg versus ms_bar01.jpg

I've twiddled this around my brain for a while, but I've finally come to a decision. I'm going with The M's at the Rickshaw, for multiple reasons.

  • They're playing at the Rickshaw Stop. Small venue, I've never been there.
  • I've seen Birdmonster twice since February.
  • I've never seen The M's.
  • The M's debut LP, "Future Women" rocks. More than Birdmonster's "No Midnight." It's close though.
  • I like doggy-fucking. And so do you.

So there you go. I'll have pics and a review up sometime before 2008.

susie_vomit
A few years ago, I heard Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's "Acme" album for the first time. Within a few bars it had become the album that most made me want to get down. I'm not talking "get down" as in: "Hey, kids! I like this song. Let's boogie!" I mean it in the ludest possible sense. By the time "Do you wanna get heavy" (song #3) came on, I was already between the sheets with this tom I was hanging out with at the time. That record stayed on the turntable for months. And to this day, any cat who happens to be around when Acme comes on the jukebox is…well, one lucky cat.

That is until today, when I gave the Test Icicles my first good listen. Now I don't know if it's because I happened to be editing a story on teledildonics when I pressed Play on their MySpace page and so sex was already at the top of mind, or if this music really is as hot as I think it is. Either way, the association is burned into my brain for all time. Sorry, Jon Spencer. You'll have to find someone else to get heavy with from now on. I've moved on.

Test Icicles are a three-piece from London. Part Bloc Party, part Mars Volta, part Sepultura, they've got a sound that's all their own. It's a loud, frantic, raunchy union of garage rock, metal, knob twiddling and those guys who wear black and sing like a possessed Rick Moranis (whatever that shit's called). But despite its manic feel, I get the sense that these guys are perfectionists when it comes to playing. They've got some screaming guitar licks that most people can't play unless they've been high on Aquanet fumes since the '80s, beats that are all over the place and all manner of weird, synthesized sounds that I (and my love of rock and aversion to electronica) cannot identify the source of. On top of it all, they play a hot pink guitar. Their name makes me giggle like a qw-year-old every time I see it. They wear tight pants and dirty Converse. They fall down.

Of course, just like life, the minute I fall head over heels for these guys, I get the news that they've broken up. I guess the sold-out shows, shiny new record contract and U.S. tour with one of the most buzzarific indie bands around was just too much. Ah well. There's no chance these boys (Rory Aggwelt, Devonte Hynez, Sam Merrann) won't go on to some other rad project. Keep an eye out. And pick up their neon green 7" now. Maybe it'll help you get laid.

Test Icicles

susie_vomit
Our super incognito spies tell us Pretty Girls Make Graves are putting on a super secret show at the super awesome Bottom of the Hill tonight. The show’s free and starts at 8pm. Super.

susie_vomit
YLT fans who need a fix before the trio’s new album comes out this fall can stop scratching their arms and looking about nervously. The band has released a 70-minute compilation of their annual WFMU radio fundraising show, in which listeners who call¬†and donate money to the indie station can make a request–any request–and YLT will try like the dickens to play the song live, on-the-air and with no preparation whatsoever. As the band’s frontman Ira writes: “It’s more fun than going to the dentist…barely.”

The comp was supposed to come out after last year’s show, but apparently the band ran into problems getting rights for some of the songs. I guess it’s harder to make a proper cover album than to¬†download 15 songs and burn ’em on a disc. Wait. What? Who said that?

Looks like you can really only buy it on their site. And they’re not releasing the song list, but the site says the album draws from shows from 1996 to 2003. Enjoy.

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