a blog about stuff. random stuff. rad stuff. stuff i like. art stuff. music stuff. stuff i'm involved in. good stuff.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

hole


HOLE

[the band in 1995, frankly, the only line-up of this band that matters. okay, yeah the lineup that included kristen pfaff mattered too, of course it did, but after she passed away in 1994, melissa auf der maur, fit right into the band like she had always been there to create the "classic era" lineup that dominated my world as a kid]

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i mentioned several times over the course of this '31 days, 31 bands' adventure that either this band or that band would be "impossible" to leave off of this list, and there were many bands that fit that criteria. but more than any other band, it would not be only impossible to leave hole off of this list, it would be unacceptable and inexcusable. to ignore a band that influenced me so much just couldn't be possible. more than any band i listen to, more than any band i ever have, or ever will listen to, i owe this band an extreme debt of gratitude. they showed me that chicks could ROCK THE FUKK OUT with zero compromises and that was awesome to me at that age cuz i had never seen anything like it. additionally, i owe even more of a debt to their drummer patty schemel because without her, i wouldn't have picked up the sticks myself, or i would have been less insistent about it and would have done it later, because i didn't know any other female drummers besides her at the time [i didn't have then the volume-ous knowledge of bands and music that i do now so some of the previous female bands i've mentioned in this series were not on my radar at all]. the instant i saw her play, i was hooked, i had a revelation at thirteen years old and i KNEW, without a single shade of a doubt, that i was nothing short of DESTINED to be a drummer. it took a lot, a lot, A LOT of convincing my parents that i was serious about it; it was a very tough sell. in my working over of my parents, i also won over my school music teacher with my complete 180 in her class. i went from being a pest who acted out and disrupted our weekly classes like it was a full time job with benefits to being her best and most dedicated student. i wanted it, and i wanted it bad. i've never wanted something so bad in my life, ever. i felt like i had been called from the heavens to be a drummer, in some divine message, i felt it that deep in my bones. fortunately after a few months of trying my thirteen year old ass off, and with the solid endorsement of my music teacher, i was able to show my parents that i was in fact very serious. they went out the spring i was in eighth grade [1995] and surprised me with my very own practice pad, instruction book, and set of sticks which i thought was rad. it wasn't the wicked DW drumkit with shiny zildjian cymbals i had longed for [the kind patty played of course] but it was a start. the super nice music teacher also helped facilitate my entry into the high school band the following year. i was so excited i was going to get to be in the highlander band and my mom thought it would be a good idea for me to go to their final concert of the year that spring to show my support and so i could meet some of the kids i would be playing with in the drumline starting as soon as the school year ended. it was awesome! it may not have been rock n roll drumming, but it was drumming just the same to me and a way i could learn and express myself. anyway, i digress. i could go on and on about the start of my drumming career, but it all boils down that one inspiration, that one moment of fury. read on for thoughts, notes, randomness, and shit all pointing back to this amazing period in time.

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randomy...

-in violet hour's bio, we list as one of our influences live through this era HOLE, which is true for all three of us, but particularly for julie and i because well, we did live through that really exciting time as newby music aficionados and beginning musicians [she is a year younger than me and to date one of the very few people who can keep pace with me when talking tunes]. we've been talking about it for a while and are finally going to be including "violet" [go figure! hahaha] in our set hopefully very soon at our upcoming shows. though of course i will be drumming on it when we play it, i did learn the guitar part to it as part of my "guitar renaissance" i've had since i launched my solo project. its been really nice to revisit some of the truly classic records of my early days and view them in a new light, as a budding guitarist, and learn from them all over again.
-interestingly enough, though i mentioned before about admiring patty's choice of drums and cymbals, i have never played either brand for my own personal kit. i have played sabian cymbals for the entirety of my career and have played premier drums for just about as long [starting with their marching drums in high school, later purchasing my own scottish marching snare drum-which is so signified by the additional set of snares underneath the batter head. finally in 2005, i was able to obtain one of their drumkits and i have played it ever since] though i guess that's not 100% true cuz i do use a DW bass drum pedal and have for more than 15 years.
-i received my first drumkit, some random ass no-name kit [it didn't even have name plates on it], for christmas in 1995. i was so fukkin excited i almost did a back flip in front of the tree. though it was a real pile of crap, i cherished it and felt so fortunate to have it. i ended up replacing almost everything on it over the years, but i kept and played the shells for more than ten years, finally letting them go around 2006ish. my parents had gotten me three months of drumset lessons for my eighth grade graduation, but i had a stoner, lenny, for a teacher and he wasn't what you'd call the "engaged" type. he showed me the basics and how to make my way around a drumset, but righthanded and i didn't do that well at it. i mean i was alright, and could play some stuff, but i just felt like i was getting in the way of myself when i was playing. it felt clumsy and awkward. when i finally got that coveted kit of my very own, i was free to set it up however i wanted. despite that, i set it up traditionally at first and i played that way for about a week. i still didn't like it and felt something was somehow "off" so then i tried playing open-handed. i didn't have a lot of luck with it because it was confusing leading with my left but using my right foot on the bass drum. after another week or so i was like...."hark! i know what i'll do!" and i whipped the entire kit around the other way for a complete left-handed set up. i sat down and started to play and the entire kit opened up before me for the first time. i never looked back. [it worked to my advantage playing marching snare drum later on because at my school, we played traditional or "crossed" grip and while other players struggled with power and control in their left hands, mine was always strong and in tip top shape. the opposite effect was true for my right side because thanks to my traditional training, it strengthened my right hand and i was able to lead off on either hand when i was playing my set. i never mastered my right foot though. to this day, i struggle to play a bass drum with it and actually can't do it at all. hahaha]
-to further comment on the above, i have been criticized many, many times over the years for playing left handed by loud mouthed people and i find it extremely disrespectful and downright irritating. i won't go into it here, but it is something i plan to address at some point on this bloggy blog [this stemming from a particularly annoying holier than thou IDIOT who i got into a heated and absolutely absurd fb argument with about me playing lefty. like anyone asked you or it's any of your business asswad. ew]
-i think i probably saw the video of "dolls parts" at some point in 1994, because i certainly knew the song [and didn't like it at first! hahaha] but it wasn't until i saw them play on SNL on december 17th 1994 that it registered that they had a female drummer. it was viewing that that directly led to the start of my drumming career. i was up late and my uncle roger was staying with us for the weekend and we watched the show together,] and i remember being like "rog! look at that, a girl drummer!" and he was like "oh cool" but in a totally uninterested way. hahahaha
-i got a chance to meet patty briefly in nyc last year during a screening of hit so hard, the documentary on her. i gave her a VH sticker and complimented the star tattoo she has on her hand and showed her mine [i had no idea she had one there and i didn't get it cuz of her] and she replied "wonder twin powers activate!" soooo rad!!!! i highly recommend the documentary and it is now streaming on netflix
-speaking of patty, she has a new band, the cold and lovely. they have some vids up on youtube so i checked em out, i dig their sound! i hope they tour out this way, i'd be there in a hot second!
-i really don't acknowledge anything they did after live through this. and i certainly have no interest in the fake hole that is out there now with none of the classic members in it. bassist melissa auf der maur weighs in on the subject here
-the wikipedia entry on LTT is pretty interesting and in depth. check it yo
-the final song nirvana recorded was "you know you're right," laid down in january 1993. it remained officially unreleased until 2002 and was only available as a live bootleg. interestingly enough, hole, performed it at their 1995 mtv unplugged performance and that is how a lot of people knew the song until 2002. it is a hauntingly good version.

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together with two green day records [1,000 hours and slappy] these were the 7" records that launched my collection. i bought them in the spring of 1995 [you know, not counting my star wars and humpty dumpty/fairy tale storybook records i had as a kid]

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just in case any one had any doubt in their mind about this I DO NOT NOW BELIEVE, NOR HAVE I EVER BELIEVED THAT KURT COBAIN "WROTE" LIVE THROUGH THIS. HE DID NOT WRITE THAT RECORD. PERIOD. THE END. the only involvement he had with the record was that he sang backup on "asking for it," and "softer, softest" though he is so low in the mix, it's hard to hear him [though there is a version of "asking for it" with him much more audible out there on youtube] that being said, did he have an influence on courtney? of course, when you live with another musician and songwriter, they are bound to have an effect on you, just as she undoubtedly influenced him. but you mean to tell me, that fukkin eric, kristen, and patty just idly sat back and let him assume creative control of a record for THEIR band? that notion is ridiculous and it never happened. and this supposedly all occurred at the same time he was out promoting and touring behind in utero [which was released on 9/13/1993. live through this was recorded in october of 1993] his own band had just released their highly anticipated third album, yet you mean to tell me that instead of doing any press or touring for it [yeah, right] he was busying himself writing all of hole's material for them and in the studio calling the shots on the production of their album? really? hmmm....interesting. but yeah, not exactly true cuz he WAS on tour and doing said press while LTT was being recorded, but alas, minor details, right? hole and nirvana were SIMILAR bands, as were many bands of that era, and were in arguably the same genre, but they however were not the SAME band. more than anything i can think of [and it's what i hear most when i listen to them actually] hole had very distinctive strumming patterns in their material, a pattern that was never present in kurt cobain's guitar playing [and trust me, i've listened to both bands enough over the last nearly twenty years to know the difference]. not only that, lyrically, love and cobain wrote very distinct material in their own rights, and overall, the two bands had completely different feels sonically. additionally, many of the songs on live through this were being performed early in hole's career, while they were touring behind pretty on the inside in 1991. this would mean that those particular songs were written in 1990 or 91, and gee that was BEFORE kurt and courtney were together [they certainly knew each other but were not married or living together] i have a friend who just blindly dismissed me one day recently when i mentioned live through this and just offhandedly stated "oh well he wrote that record anyway" really? firstly, to anyone who thinks that, have you ever actually listened to live through this??? and secondly have you really ever listened to any NIRVANA?!?!?!?! you'd have to be a horses ass to think the same song writer was responsible for both bands or at least into some preposterous thinking.

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i choose not to go into any of the craziness and traveling freak show antics surrounding courtney love. i just can't be bothered with it really.

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escucha!


"where did you sleep last night?" [this was the final song from nirvana unplugged and extremely powerful. i never knew hole had a version of this song too]


"teenage whore" [raw. nasty. dirty. julie and i were talking about what this entire record would sound like had it been recorded with the same production values as live through this. we just decided that we're going to work on a cover of this song and aim for a smoother sound which should be HOT. i can't wait]


"gutless" [hell yeah! love this shit]

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fin -xo hoos!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

it had to start somewhere!


green jelly

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oh boy did it! hahahahaha. i hemmed and hawed over this one and was like "how far back do i wanna go with this?" cuz i certainly could've gone pretty far back, but i decided that i'd stick to the first rock record i ever bought with my own money and that would be none other than the cereal killer soundtrack by green jelly. i got it for five dollars at some random store during a sidewalk sale down the shore when i think i was....um....twelve? so we're talking 1993. i had seen the "three little pigs" video at some point and remembered it so i was like "cool! five bucks?! i'll buy this!!!" i think i was also attracted to the comic-bookesque artwork on the cover, i mean come on, i hadn't yet finished puberty, so yeah, i DEF was attracted to the comicness of it. hahahaha. it's actually a pretty cool record surprisingly, with interesting [and hilarious] hard rock, metel-twinged songs that are well executed and have good production values. but yeah, everything has to start somewhere and for hoosy, it all started here. hahahahahahahahahahaaaaa!!!! i listened to this album before writing this post so i could get myself into the mood and i rocked the fukk out to my old favs "three little pigs," "cereal killer [toucan son of sam]" "rock n roll pumpkhin," and "flight of the skajaquada" hahahahahaha. oh and who can forget "house me teenage rave" amazing shit there! and my absolute favorite, the opening track, "obey the cowgod" FUKKKKKKKKIN LOOOOOVEEEEEEEE THAT SHIT 4EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! haahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAA!!!!!

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hoosy's musicky beginnings and other bits of randomy....

-their name is pronounced GREEN JELLO, but they changed the spelling to avoid legal wrangling with the owners of the jello brand, kraft foods.
-they have a much more extensive history than i realized and date back to 1980. they also apparently have more than a few connections to TOOL. read more about it here at their wikipedia page [which is not too shabby]
-they released an album in 1994 called 333 which is a pretty solid disc as well. this collection is slightly [but only ever so] less schticky than its predecessor, with a song or two even delving completely away from the comedy vein.
-i got my very first cd player in 1991 for my tenth birthday and i was quite the envy of my fourth grade class cuz like noooooo one my age had their own cd player back then. along with the player, my parents gave me two albums....see below for pics. hahahahaha
-i grew up listening to a lot of 60s and motown because of my parent's tastes. i also had a deep love of 50s music, which i actually discovered on my own cuz my parents didn't listen to it. i had a pretty healthy ritchie valens obsession for upwards of two years from when i was like nine to eleven. he was really the first musical role model i had, i wanted to be just like him as a kid at that age. but yeah, i used to come home from school when i was in fourth grade and do my homework while listening to my mom's old 45s on my fischer-price record player [that i had received for my fifth birthday in 1986]
-after i decided that i should try to be "cool" i kind of shunned the oldies music i had grown up with thanks to my parents [mostly my mom really] and i thought it'd be good to listen to the popular r&b and hip hop of the early 90s. ouuuuch. hahaha. i like to forget that time ever existed in my life. i also thank god every so often that i grew out of it quickly hahaha. though when i did, i went straight to alternative and grunge, and it took me some time to realize the horrible error of my ways and get back to my oldies infused past [totally missing the correlation of that older music with what i was listening to by contemporary rock bands]. i thank god i recovered my love of that music.
-my parents had a some weird friends including a guy i called "uncle mike" he was really nice and super generous, but had a few screws loose in his noggin. hahaha. good old uncle mike! haha soooo he came to me once when i was prob about nine or ten and handed me a cassette tape and said "you left this in my car" and i was like "no i didn't leave any tapes in there" to which he said "man, i hate when people do that!" and i was like "when people do what, mike?" and he said "oh you know when people break into your car and steal the good tapes and leave bad ones in their place!!! i hate that!!!" i was a little dumbfounded at that revelation so i just smiled and nodded, also needless to say, he let me keep the strange errant tape. i took it home with me and played it and it was the craziest sounding thing i ever heard. it was some pulsing, hard, strange kind of rock music the likes of which i had never heard and didn't even have a concept of what it could be. mind you again, i was all of nine, maybe ten at the time. see below to see who it was....
-why did ugly kid joe just come to mind? ew. hahaha.

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there you have it! the two albums my parents thought i would enjoy to go along with my new cd player, vanilla ice's to the extreme and the simpsons sing the blues i have to say, they did a pretty good job in terms of ball parking what a ten year old in 1991 would like. i listened to both albums rather frequently and enjoyed them both [yeah, i know!!!! i just included the words "enjoyed" and "listened to frequently" in a paragraph about vanilla ice, total insanity!]



as for uncle mike's mystery tape???? hahahahahahahahaaaaaa!!!! yep, i was nine year old kid and i had a copy of nine inch nail's 1989 debut album, pretty hate machine. hahahahahhahaha. not exactly third grade easy listening. hahaha. of course, i had no idea what the hell i had my hands on [until 1995 when i heard the downward spiral] and thought it was jarring to the senses, and i had no frame of reference for it, so i kind of just put it in a box and forgot about it [i may have even pitched it]. i also don't know how crazy uncle mike came to possess this tape or why he was convinced someone stole a sunny 60s pop mix from him and replaced it with this, but that was his story. hahahaha. kind of makes for a funny tale more than twenty years later. hahaha.

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escucha!


"three little pigs" [mutha-fukkin-klassic ass shit right here!!!! and the moral of the story is that bands with no talent can easily amuse idiots with a stupid puppet show hahahahahahahaaaaaa]


"flight of the skajaquada" [what in satan's fukkin name {no, i can't say god here! haha} is a friggen skajaquada??????? i don't know, but i think i kinda love it. the next project i'm a part of i want to call us the skajaquada's hahahahahahaaaaa!!!!]

 
 
"jump" [from 333 is this kind of like a serious sort of song? i guess for them it is even if the subject matter borders on the dark]

 
 
"obey the cowgod" [awww dopey, dopey, dopey, dopey i'm a COW and i'm gonna roam through your village...and i'm gonna eat....all of your food, but you don't care, because i'm a, i'm a, SACRED....COW. OBEY THE COW GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!!! hahahahaha. looooooove it tooooooooo toooooooooooooooo much!!!]


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fin xo- hoos

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Monday, January 28, 2013

one hitters


premier percussion

i've been playing premier since 1995. i own a premier marching scottish snare drum [so distinguished by the additional set of snares set underneath the batter head] as well as my drumset. they make quality products and i stand behind them 100% [and no i don't have an endorsement with them so they're not paying me to say that! hahaha. but i wish i did yo. that'd be awesome!]

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alright i'm TOTES exhausted. i had a really long day [and didn't sleep at all last night] so i've been up for many, many hours now. i had a bunch of shit to do and art to prepare for a gallery opening that i'm hopefully going to be a part of [details to come if i get in] i am fried to say the least so i don't have it in me to do the post i had planned for today [that will come after i get some sleep] instead i thought it would be fun to just include some assorted songs that i've been jamming on tons lately. a lot of one-off stuff by random artists, some really big, some super indie, and some in between. i'm all over the place, it's just how i roll. so yeah, have fun with it peeps. shit yeah!

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escucha!


washed out "feel it all around" [you kiddies know this one, it's the theme to portlandia. it also happens to have incredible staying power as it gets jammed in my brain and i want to keep listening to it over and over and over. especially in the car]


bruno mars "locked out of heaven" [i def knew who he was, but hell if i could pin point any of his music. hahaha. i rarely, if ever, listen to the radio these days, but my ipod player tends to act up when i'm in or near NYC-idk why-which blows cuz i'm there all the freakin time. but yeah, one night when i was heading back to jersey, true to form, my ipod was being fritzy, and i didn't have any cd's with me so i flipped on the radio and this tune came on. i thought it was super fun and catchy and went home and immediately DLd it. still don't know any of his other shit but haha, this one is awesome! hahaha]

 
raja "sublime" [i'm your fantasy go ahead and take a picture, you're in love with me, i can see into the future. DJ turn the music up, i'm out of control oooooooooh!!! love this sassy ass shit!!!! you may know raja as the winner of rupaul's drag race season three. i love her, she's a really different kind of queen than i had ever seen before. she is NOT campy or remotely traditional in any sense of the word. she's a sleek, sexy, badass rocker inspired kind of a chick. she struts down the runway like she fukkin owns the entire place and you're privileged to be in her presence and really, you are. i was really happy to find this song and got toooootally hooked on it after just one listen. hot friggen shit yo!]


whitest boy alive "burning" [caught in a motion i don't wanna stop love that line but even more so, i love the guitar lick on this, sticky and stretchy like a spiderweb aka just like i like it! i def need to get on learning how to play it. someone randomly posted these guys on fb a while back and i gave it a listen and loved it. oddly though i didn't really jive with their other stuff that i heard at the same time. hmmm. maybe i just need to give it another listen. also i find myself dancing in my room whenever this comes on and if one of my cats happens to be there-and there usually are at least one of them around at all times-i pick them up and they dance too! hahahah]


tom flair "splendid" [i've been obsessed with this song on and off since 2009-when i went through a highly addicted electroclash phase in which i could not get enough of it and would listen to it all day and all night. this is the only song i've ever heard by him but i just adore it. i recently made a loop based off of a sample of the last six seconds of this song for my solo project and a song i did called "take me to mars" but yeah this song just creeps and crawls and pulls you right along with it. love it. period]


white wires "ha ha holiday" [i don't know exactly how i came across these cats. one day i was listening to my "random" playlist of onesy twosy tracks by different artists and they popped up to snare me! its a super fun and catchy ditty, one that begs me to play it again and again. i have one other track by them and i need to get on looking up more. also cool, the band is two dudes and a girl and the girl is the drummer! not all that typical really. def rad in my book for sure]


peter, bjorn, & john "up against the wall" [these guys are far more popular for other songs on this record, but this one stands out as my tried and true favorite. it speaks of a pain and desperation a lot of people can relate to, and it brings to mind a rather difficult situation i'd sometimes like to just give up on and wash my hands of....as well as a past emotional quagmire that was very similar. *sigh*]

guess i should have caught your call
 but i just had to waste the phone forget it all
 bones are trembling hands are cold
 you don't know how it feels you've got me up against the wall

 maybe we could make this work
 but now you start to leave before it's getting worse
 i don't know what you came here for
 it's almost that I wish we hadn't met at all

 you slap just like a wake-up call
 the bruises on the face don't bother me at all
 bones are trembling hands are cold
 it's almost that I wish you had me up against the wall


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fin -xo hoos!

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

pinback


pinback


and i miss you, not in a sad way....

[sometimes there really is no other way to sum it all up]

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hey hookers! only a feeeeew more days left of the series!!! it is down to the wire and there are just a scant few more bands i'll be profiling [though there are tons and tons i would love to do] with that deadline in mind, i have to say i'm sorry i took a day off from posting yesterday, but i needed a little break. despite taking a week off cuz of the flu at the beginning of the month, i've long since surpassed the "31 bands" i committed to writing about. i felt really lousy [a yucked out narsty sinus headache with grossy gross nausea as the cherry on top] and not like thinking or writing or prepping photos at all. i needed to sleep it off and i did, so i'm back at it now and going to feature a band that absolutely must be on this list. no question about it, i wouldn't feel right leaving them off, and that band is pinback. they are more of a duo really, made up of extraordinarily gifted bassist armistead burwell smith IV aka zack and the highly prolific rob crow [who really needs a post of his own with all of his myriad projects and involvements] they make music that defies description or logic, i just know it gets into my cells when i listen to it and affects me deeply at the level of my soul. i can listen to them for hours on end and never tire of it. their music is on the mellow side and has a groove all its own. they also both have soft voices in the tenor range, which is my favorite place for men [it's alto for the ladies. i'm a HUGE sucker for a great alto and always have been], and their singing, either separately or together, has a tendency to melt my heart. i was introduced to them via a mix cd that i received in 2003 from a friend in college who got me into some really great music [i really should look him up]. i don't remember all of the cd but i distinctly recall the pinback song "loro" being included [as well as "sine wave" by mogwai] and i was captivated from first listen. i listened to that cd over and over again for the remainder of 2003, and all the while craved more of their material [the friend transferred to another school after one semester together and we foolishly didn't trade contact info so i couldn't ask for more stuff] in an early DLing foray [i didn't do digital music much at all in those days. i was a surprisingly late convert as i was NOT tech savvy at all back then and didn't care much for computers] in the spring of 2004, i was able to obtain a few more songs by them [legally i will add! hahaha] and played them repeatedly until i was able to get some of their cds. i first got the ep offcell and then quickly added long player, summer in abaddon. these two discs alone made me swoon, and i eventually tracked down the rest of their material digitally and stayed on top of future releases like a hungry dog on a meaty bone. and true to my curious form, i also looked into other projects and prior bands as well and discovered a total treasure trove of other material, mostly from rob crow. this band, and all it has to offer in the way that these two musicians come together to create something bigger than themselves, is a thing of true beauty.

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randomy...

-the basses zack plays are made by alembic, a california based company that specializes in high-end, custom, and handmade instruments [they have crafted some truly incredibly made instruments with insane features] they are worth several thousand dollars each [i saw a used one once at guitar center for $5,000] and the company does not sponsor any players, so he's paying out of pocket for all of his instruments. i've seen him on stage with two different basses before, so i would estimate [based on the price tag for the one i saw used] that he was packing minimum twelve if not closer to fifteen grand with him. and that isn't counting his amp or his well stacked pedal board. i can't imagine having a single instrument that costs that much, in fact, i don't think all of my gear combined would equal the cost of one of his basses. damn.
-speaking of his pedal board, i've never gotten a close look at it and i'd really like to. or better yet, just steal it for an afternoon and fukk around with it.
-and while we're on the subject of zack and his bass playing, i don't know the ins and out of it, meaning i don't know if he plays in alternate tunings or stuff like that, but i do know that he def showed me a whole new way to look at the instrument. i've never seen anyone play like him before and it is a rare band that arguably has the bass as the lead instrument [another example that comes to mind is flin flon whose bassist, nattles, plays driving rhythms that force the band along while the guitar takes a back-seat. it is an incredibly interesting dynamic] when i saw them live for the first time i just stood there in amazement when i realized that A LOT of what i hadn't realized was bass on the recordings actually was and the songs took on a new life to me. whenever i go to see them play, i  make sure to be on his side of the stage [he's always stage-right] so i can watch him closely, even though i'm nothing more than a dabbling bassist and don't have a prayer of ever holding a candle to him even on his worst day.
-rob crow's younger son has the same b-day as me. rc is also from new jersey. represent! i know this cuz i was on his myspace page back in the day and he posted a blog when his younger son was born. i of course left a comment congratulating rob and informing him that i had the same bday. hahaha
-i once had a super lofi bedroom pop project named LORO with my very bestest friend, shaina cokes. it was the spring of 2006 and she was about to move to florida in a few weeks time, so we got together and wrote five or so songs [and did one screeching weasel cover] and recorded them in my parents basement late one night on an analog 4-track [i digitized them and they do still exist out there on a myspace page actually] i played guitar/keyboards and she sang and played keys. we also wrote one or two songs on the road when i was driving her down to florida during her move. we were in a motel 6 in north carolina and i borrowed a right handed guitar [from julie singer of my current band violet hour who was also on the trip with us] and played it upside down and s.cokes made up lyrics on the spot based on a science magazine i had with me. we recorded them on a shitty tape-recorder and i later digitized them as well. we like to joke that we were the biggest band in the world and in that spirit, our biggest "hit" was a sexy keyboard driven number called "laura bush is a robot" which describes the follys of our former first lady drinking battery acid, taking fertility drugs, and poisoning the water supply. that shaina, she's a lyrical mastermind yo!
-though i owned a little of their stuff on cd at one point [i sold some of my collection, gave away a bunch more of it, and then lost the rest in a flood in 2011] i consider them a "second era" band in my collecting, in that i've only ever really had their stuff in digital form.
-i mentioned that rob had/has a plethora of other projects [read below] and zack has some too. he was tied to the band three mile pilot and also to systems officer which is actually largely a solo venture. i absolutely adore his first ep systems officer. he did put together a band in 2011 to tour behind the project and they appeared on the KEXP radio live studio program which is on youtube. i watched it today, highly recommended! [they've had some really awesome bands on there. check their archives for great shit]
-i love that when they go on tour, they sell merch for a lot of their other projects as well. i was able to get a systems officer tshirt the last time i saw them. maybe next time i'll score a goblin cock shirt. hahaha.

+++++

rob crow has worked with so many other artists and in so many projects that i could easily write a number of posts about him and never run out of material. i wish i had the time or wear-with-all to do it, but i just don't right now. instead, i'll include a list of his copious amounts of other bands/projects of which i have heard and have music by almost all of them. you can also go here to read rob talking about it himself. in addition to releasing a number of solo records, he has also recorded with....

heavy vegetable
optiganally yours [love love love this project!]
thingy [likewise!]
goblin cock [meeeeeeetaaaaalllllll!!!!!! i love that their second record is called come with me if you want to live hahahahahahaaaaaa]
aspects of physics
other men
snot nose
physics
creedle
the ladies [with zach hill of the spastically genius hella and who himself is uber prolific]
alpha males [just discovered their myspace page]
cthugha [one of the few of his projects i have not actually heard]
altron tube
fantasy mission force
remote action sequence project
holy smokes
advertising [also have not heard this]

-he has a record label, robcore, but thus far, only two releases have come out on it
-additionally, he contributed vocals to four tracks on the sole self titled 2005 release by team sleep  which is the side project of deftones front man, chino mereno. mary timony appeared on this record as well. i saw them play, i think in 2006, and they were pretty decent live. i could tell someone "big" was there cuz of the ginormous tour bus parked outside the very small venue. hahaha
-and for the record, i would LOVE to jam with mr. crow. i'm generally not the type to get my picture taken with band members, i really don't care that much to be honest. which is weird i guess, cuz as much as i love music you'd think i'd want pics with artists but yeah, idk. i guess it's not that i "don't care" it's more that it's not that important to me. incidentally, i don't do autographs either. but yeah as far as pics go, i just had to with him so here ya go! [btw i've only ever had my pic taken with two other artists: the lunachicks and mc chris]

 
 robertdale rulon crow, jr and hoos, sr new york city, 2005




"kill all the humans" [this is my fav solo track of his]


+++++



 
11-23-2012 irving plaza, nyc [shot with my phone. weird bendy effect also done with my phone]

another phone shot

[i shot this with my phone and then applied an invert, severe contrast increase, the "cutout" filter, and paint bucket [for the blue] in photoshop]

2006 irving plaza  [this is a really great place to see shows with bigger artists. i have seen so many great bands there over the years, and that is about as big a venue as i feel comfortable in. i shot this-and the remainder of the ones in the post-with my dSLR, or rather the old one i used to have. hahaha]

2006 irving plaza
 
2006 irving plaza

2005 irving plaza

 
 
there are also two or three "lost" shows from philadelphia [from def 2007 and 2009, and possibly 2005/2006] from which i know i have pictures, but i couldn't seem to find them in my archives. i'll have to dig deeper cuz i know i have them somewhere.


++++++

escusha!


"loro" [as i said, the first pinback song i ever heard and it made me weak in the knees. in fact, it still has that effect on me today, ten years after initially hearing it]


"grey machine" [an eleven minute and eight second slice of heaven]

+++++

bands interested in me coming to shoot you live, contact me for rates. i work primarily in nj, nyc, and every so often in philly

+++++

fin -xo hoos!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Friday, January 25, 2013

lunachicks

 
 
c.i.l.l. 7" [you know, like "kill" hahaha. love that schmexy clear vinyl. yum yum!] 

luna-fukkin-chicks

+++++

oh hell yes! i realized i was almost at the end of the run of this series and  hadn't included these chicks yet; i knew i had to get on that shit IMMEDIATELY! i friggen LOVE the lunachicks SO fukkin much!!!! always have, always will! now a little history: these badass bitches took me totally by storm when i was sixteen in the fall of 1997 when a fellow marching band friend played them for me at some point on the band bus. he had discovered them after seeing them live the preceding summer when they opened for some other band. he gave me a tape of them and it was love at first listen. i had heard other women musicians, plenty by that point, and loved quite a few of them. despite there being strong women out there, there were not many 100% female bands around that i knew of, and none of them played music like THIS. fast paced, hard-edged crisp punk rock, with an ever-so-slightest dash of metalness, and with lyrics ranging in subject matter from snacks/donuts, animals--both living and deceased, playing ding dong ditch, and babysitting while on acid, coupled with songs told from the perspective of a male-to-female transsexual ["mr. lady"], a mean old barbie doll ["bitterness barbie"] and jan brady ["jan brady"] these fierce females were funny as hell, they had the chops to back themselves up, and had worked hard in the new york scene for many years to build a reputation as a band to be reckoned with. what was not to love?

+++++

randomy....

-first and foremost, just because they were a band of all strong, kickass women who played in the early 90s, THEY WERE NOT A RIOT GRRRL BAND!!!! so many bands with women who played in the early 90s get lumped into that movement and for the vast majority of them, it is simply not true. there were very few "true" riot grrrl bands, and the lunachicks were not one of them [i may do a post at some point in the future to address this...we shall see]
-cool to note, they started out in 1987 while the members were still in high school. wonder if they got asked to play the prom? hahahaha
-i look at them in kind of three eras.....their first two records babysitters on acid [1990] and binge and purge [1992] represent the first, roughest sounding era. the songs in this era were harder and didn't quite have the catchiness to them yet. the records also don't have a sharp production or recording quality to them [incidentally, this is my least favorite of their material] the next era is defined by their third and fourth albums, jerk of all trades [1995] and pretty ugly [1997] which saw them really hit their stride as songsmiths and in terms of production values [this is their "classic period" and my favorite time frame for them] their last stage brought us their fifth and final album luxury problem [1999] by this point they had been reduced to a four piece after rhythm guitarist sindi left the band in 1998, but they actually seemed to get an even bigger boost in production and sound quality, and really not so much for the better. this record has always sounded overdone to me, it's got some great songs on it, but the slickness and polish of them kind of killed it for me [i'm fifty-fifty with this collection]
-i got a chance to see them once, in the summer of 1999 at the warped tour. they also did a meet and greet and i was a little fan girl and totally just like stayed after it was my turn and hung out. i mean, i did walk up to the table and declare "i don't want any autographs, i just want to hang with you for a little bit" so my intentions were laid out and clear! hahahahahaha. they were completely fine with it and really nice to me, especially their drummer, chip [i bumped into her after their set and she was like "no autographs! but seriously, what'd ya think?" and clapped me on the back. uh i was in heaven! hahaha] there is a pic of me with them and all of us flipping the bird to the camera, but hell if i know where it is now.
-they did have an absolute irreverent-ness to them, i mean, they did sing about snack food, sporks, and dead gerbils [and have a hidden track of a burping montage] but there is no doubt they stood for feminist causes. they let their political side show on some songs as well, including the pair "fallopian rhapsody" and "spoilt" from  jerk of all trades
-i did a lame-ass experiment in my junior year chemistry class, one in which i took different kinds of chocolate donuts and did tests on them to determine different properties [i don't even remember what, and i certainly don't know how the teacher let me get away with such a weak assessment. i specifically remember her, she had a particular soft spot for me, i don't know why, but she did. probably cuz the rest of the people in my class were douche bags and would never work with me cuz they thought i was so freakin weird, so i never had a lab partner and did all the pairs assignments on my own. in any case, she was a very nice lady and i very much appreciated her kindness to me. i really needed it at that stage in my development] but yeah, i decided my presentation should have a soundtrack, and who better to provide that than, you guessed it, our very own lunachicks! hahaha. they of course had the perfect song to use, the thirteenth track on pretty ugly "MMM donuts!" hahahahahahahahahahahaha
-theo and squid were the first tattooed women i really ever saw. and more than that, the first heavily tattooed women. it looked so natural on them and friggen rad as all hell. now today all these years later, i'm heavily tattooed and i can give a nod to them for showing me that it was a completely normal way to look/present yourself, even if you had a vagina.

+++++

since the band has ended, none of the members have attainted the level they did while together. according to wikipedia [with heavy edits from me] this is what post chicks life has looked like for the various members of the band:

singer theo married toilet böys-guitarist sean pierce, with whom she formed the band , theo & the skyscrapers. she occasionally works as a fashion model [she modeled most recently for kenneth cole] and actress. lead guitarist gina volpe is now the singer and guitar player for the rock band bantam. helen destroy [their final touring drummer who did not appear on any of their recordings] played drums in the all-female led zeppelin tribute band, lez zeppelin, but her whereabouts are now unknown. bassist squid used to work as a tattoo artist, but now she is the owner/proprietor of the the roebling tearoom, a popular eatery in williamsburg, brooklyn. original drummer becky wreck was the drummer for the blare bitch project back in 2000 but her whereabouts are also currently unknown. "classic era" drummer, chip, plays drums for suicide king.

-the blurb makes no mention of original rhythm guitarist, sindi, though there is a quick mention in a separate section of the page of a 2002 reunion that she participated in.
-i want to go to the roebling tearoom yo! i'll have to look into that shit soon. i'll be in bk soon for a two day fest [details, pics, etc to come] so perhaps then! [tho i just scoped the menu and it is a wee bit pricey....but i mean, sometimes you gotta splurge a little in life! hahaha]
-i went on ebay and searched them and there was a fair amount of stuff up there for them. including this flier for $20


no thanks, i don't need to buy it, i'll just screen shot it and photoshop off your watermark. can you tell? hahahahahaha [to quote a friend of mine, i'm a FAWKING THEIF!!!!! hahahahahaha]


+++++









here's a few shots i took of them at warped tour 99. they are alright, but could have been better cuz i took them with a point and shoot camera cuz i didn't wanna be bothered with my slr [though i'm kind of wishing i had brought it now!] they were of course also shot on film. i only got a few shots that i thought were decent enough so that is all i included here. as you can see i had a little fun playing with shit in photoshop too. hahaha.

 
FDS 7" [these versions of "shit finger dick" and " light as a feather" are earlier and different versions than the ones that appeared on jerk of all trades]
 
 



cookie moshster 7" [this came with a big fold out, full color poster. notice the record says "lunachips" hahahaha]


a time before tattoos! hahaha. me, age eighteen, in one of my lunachicks shirts [i think i had like four different ones. i def had a "mechanics" one that had their logo on the back, a patch on the front with the dead gerbil logo, and a "raphael" name patch. hahaha] this was from my first band the okfl in which i did play drums, but there were a few songs that we switched for. also scope the bikini kill sticker on the ol axe. hahahahaha. i have noooo clue who that random kid in the background is. hahahaha.


bassist sid "squid" silver. this portrait was part of the book/series/exhibit women by annie leibovitz. it was on display in washington dc during the spring of 2000 and my mom took me to see it. imagine my surprise at seeing this shot on the gallery wall.

+++++

escucha!


"drop dead" [the okfl covered this song and i LOVED to play it, particularly the opening drum part and the middle "OLE!" breakdown. i also sang on it cuz like yo, how could i not with awesome lyrics like i like you better when you're deader!!! also keep in mind that we were just drums and bass {albeit a very heavily distorted bass that he played almost exclusively chords on} and then imagine the sheer glory of that version! hahaha i recently uncovered a tape of us that says "master" on it so i'm thinking its the "album" we self recorded on the shitty radio-shack tape recorder we had and should include all of our songs, including this one. i will eventually get around to digitizing it and maybe even getting it up on here. we shalt see]


"less teeth more tits" [am i smiling enough? am i smiling too much? am i tucked in and buckled? do my tits touch? hi how are you? how high are you? less teeth and more tits, it's never enough]


"fallopian rhapsody" [you support the death penalty, but who will support my baby and me? kill the doctors while you're praying, how many rosaries are you saying? i bleed to death from a botched abortion, gotta have choices the only solution. the ending is particularly powerful, when theo snarls so take that hanger, take that hanger, take that hanger and SCRATCH YOUR BACK, SCRATCH YOUR BACK, SCRATCH YOUR BACK, WATCH YOUR BACK, NEVER GO BACK, NEVER GO BACK, NEEE-VER GOOOO BAAAAAAAAACK!!! the emotion is palpable and the anger is real. i wish they had delved more into this kind of territory, but they didn't skirt this kind of subject that often unfortunately]


+++++

fin -xo hoos!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Thursday, January 24, 2013

jawbreaker


jawbreaker when it pains, it roars

+++++

i came by way of this trio at some point in 1996 thanks to the revered 120 minutes  show on MTV. back in the day, there was some real quality and interesting music on that program and i discovered a number of acts that i still listen to today. it aired late on sunday nights so i had to tape it and then watch it later cuz i had to be up early for school the next morning. during one of the tapes, i came across the jb video for "fireman" [from the 1995 album, dear you] i at first noticed that guitarist blake schwarzenbach played left handed so that got my attention and as i listened to the song, i really got into it. i came across them probably in the fall of that year and was pretty quickly able to find a copy of the record [i think with my christmas cash that winter]. i remember sitting there reading the booklet of the cd in my sophomore biology class once and the teacher [who HATED me] yelling at me that i wouldn't find anything about biology in it. hahaha [interestingly enough, years later she would become friends with my mom via her majong circle so i had to see her into my early 20s and play nice with her hahahaha] as time went by, i became pretty consumed with listening to them and i tracked down their other three albums, unfun, bivouac, and, 24hour revenge therapy, though i always loved dear you the best. i still adore them to this day and count them among the classics of my collection.

+++++

randomy...

-i never got to see them play live, but i did see blake's post jb project jets to brazil [who i could never fully get into] in 2000 and his most recent project, forgetters, just last month
-i haven't been able to track down a pic of it [yet], but circa early to mid-nineties, on billie joe armstrong's now iconic fernandes stratocaster copy "blue," there was a jawbreaker sticker visible on the front of the guitar. makes sense considering both bands played in the same scene for a while.
-i used to write about jawbreaker in every issue of my old zine, frump. i gave blake a copy of it when i saw jtb in 2000 and insisted on shaking his left hand, to which he gladly obliged. he was pretty friendly and also thanked me for writing about his band.
-blake is in less of a mood to humour his fans these days, as my good friend jon and i learned when we went to the forgetters show. we went to the merch table and there was blake, so he approached and introduced himself and shook blake's hand. jon then showed him the jb tattoo he has on his arm [of the above salt girl image] but he barely received an acknowledgement. blake nodded and smiled but looked bored and tired of hearing it honestly. very disinterested to say the least. it was a bit of a let-down to see he obviously didn't really care. i mean, if someone got a tattoo of my band, i'd be overjoyed about it and would thank them for doing so, probably even would have asked to take a pic of it. but i guess i can see it from blake's  viewpoint though cuz he has prob been approached literally hundreds of times by people with tats of his now legendary band, and he's gotta be kinda sick of it at this point. i can see that he might feel that way, but a little politeness and a simple "thank you" never hurt anyone.
-when i was learning to play drums, and progressed beyond just simple stuff, i played along to these guys A LOT. i count adam pfahler among my biggest drum influences.
-because i came to them later, really after the fact of their breakup, and didn't know any of their earlier stuff beforehand, i love dear you the most. there are so many reasons i love it, but a random one that just popped into my head is that they were the first band i heard that used samples, meaning dialog tracks from programs and movies that tied into the songs. it was really interesting and i was taken aback cuz i'd never heard it before. anyway, i found out later that there was quite a bit of controversy surrounding the band and DY [as well as in response to them playing six opening dates for nirvana in the fall of 1993 on the in utero tour] because it had seen the band sign to a major label, and use production values that it had not before. many bemoaned the fact that it sounded a lot more polished than their older material and that the vocals were so slick in comparison to the older shit [even including the other members of the band] . i'm kind of glad that i missed this debate all together because it didn't skew my perception of this classic disc and didn't sway me from loving it start to finish, top to bottom. and in response to playing with nirvana, yo, if violet hour had been around back then, and we were a beloved indie/punk rock band, and fukkin KURT FUKKIN COBAIN came calling and said "hey, will you play with my band?" there is NO QUESTION that the three of us would literally have fallen all over each other trying to run and tell him "YES, YES, YES!!!!!!" no matter how "un-punk rock" it may have seemed. you just don't let an opportunity like that go by and good for jawbreaker for taking it. and the opportunity not being to play with a major label band, or to huge audiences, the opportunity being to play with a band of nirvana's caliber and level of talent and yeah, to expand your audience [and super cool, kurt and blake could have shared guitars! hahaha] to respond to all of the discontent and criticism swirling around them, they penned the song "friendly fire," [walked beyond the fence, played outside our yard. i like my clothes, don't want to grow i'll wait around til you say go] which was released on a comp at the time [i think....i'd have to double check that] and later went on to be included as a bonus track on the 2004 dear you reissue.

+++++




some shots from the forgetters show. i've still got my old touch for band photography, eh? yeah! haha. but yeah, i really need to break my actual camera back out and do this shit for realz. i've been getting good results with my phone, but i can get much better resolution with a good camera. [bands who like what they see, don't hesitate to get in touch, i will come shoot you playing live. you'll have to pay me of course, but i'm fair, i won't rip you off] [click on pics to see them larger]
 



mr. cobain sporting a jawbreaker shirt [and a fender mustang. hot damn do i want one of those guitars]


 busy 7" [this is the only jawbreaker release i have on vinyl. i think this cover was available in different colors depending on pressing]


 

the jawbreaker/jawbox split 7" [i searched for this for years and years. then i finally cracked and bought two copies on ebay. when i do find myself in a record store now, old habits die hard, cuz i always make sure i head to the 7" section and do a quick look for this release regardless of the fact that i have it already. it's the pure thrill of the hunt!]




the liner notes from jawbreaker's side of the split


+++++

escucha!


"fireman" [my introduction to this band]


"million" [i would kill for more, i haven't killed before, i could set this heart on stun]



"parabola" [from bivouac i love the drive of this song, but the fuzzy vocals just do it for me]

 
 
"incomplete" [from their first record unfun i loved to play drums to this album]
 
 
                                     
 
"softcore" [i considered it an accomplishment to be able to play along to this song cuz it had a lot of different shit going on and was on the difficult side. this entire record represents some of the most interesting drumming adam pfahler had to offer]
 
 
+++++
 
fin -xo hoos!
 
 
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++