Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summertime Kickin

Jim Testa's Jersey Beat podcast is back! This week it's all about hailing the advent of Summer, and hating on the burg. Which makes me smile, cuz I'm a hater and I live in Greenpoint :-D

"I don't want to go to Williamsburg" is one of the funniest things I've ever heard. It kinda sounds like Lazlo if I were to imagine him freaking the fuck out.

Last week, Yours Truly's new band made an appearance in the podcast.

Update: wow, this week's jbeat is really good! There's far fewer pop-punk tunes on this one, and some really interesting jams in their place. I think pop-punk has gotten too much uncritical attention over the last TEN YEARS in alternative, punk and DIY outlets. It's nice to see breaks in the damn.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

20-APR-2009 Screaming Females record release at Death By Audio

Wow, what miserable weather we had last night in Brooklyn! The show started a bit late on account of waiting for more people to show up, which they did. Death By Audio seems to always have a decent crowd, even during monsoon season. I need to make this quick because I have rehearsal, but I'm glad I'm finally getting around to posting about a show:

Jeff: The Brotherhood: This band, this pair of gangly, young, messy haired brothers, blew my freaking mind when they opened. The best way to describe it is stoner rock on crack rock, I think. Maybe just "stoner crack"? Guitarist and singer Jake kicked out some intense, hypnotic, and totally rocking riffs with only three strings and a lot of help from a Sunn cabinet and a DBA pedal (Fuzz War, I believe). He and his brother Jamin were absolutely hyper, and really tight. The songs had a lot of really interesting melodic and dynamic changes, nuts riffs, and really fun warbling, garage-rock vocals for the odd poppy chorus here and there. Jamin is an INTENSE drummer.

Jeff may have stolen the whole show, honestly. That is a band pursuing it's own, distinct and dynamic sub-genre of rock. It was two or three songs into it before I realized that the guitarist wasn't just avoiding the higher tembre strings, he'd removed them, and the tuning pegs, to make restoring them no small affair. Changing your boundaries can really change your perspective and inspire you.

Let's not count the run-on sentences when I get excited, shall we? Damn right I bought a t-shirt and a CD.

Shell Shag: always rules. They always seem to end up playing at DBA when I'm there, and the space never serves them well. I mean, aesthetically, yes, Shell Shag and DBA were made for each other. But this pair of characters (another guitar/singer and drummer combo, in a more garage rock / Ramones / sweet pop music / sonic youth circa Dirty kinda way) have vocals. Good vocals, harmonies, lyrics that you really need to hear to complete the experience. First time I saw them was at 58 Gallery in Jersey City where I could hear them, I know it's true! They put on a great show, and I think the girlfriend had the most fun watching them, too. But they need, no, they deserve, to be heard!

Really, really experienced bands know how to play to their strengths, and you could see the guitarist turning his instrument down a little more with each song so they could squeeze every last decibel of vocals out of Death By Audio's total crap PA.

Screaming Females: still got it! I've been going to their shows for a couple of years now and had both their records, so I was looking forward to hearing the new jams on POWER MOVE. Only playing one older jam that I recognized, I'm guessing all that I heard is on the new record, which I picked up last night but haven't listened to just yet. The rhythm section has really gotten a lot tighter with all the touring these characters do. The energy was high, the crowd was dancing to yet more \m/ syncopated rock riffage of the high velocity variety. If you know anything about the band, you probably know that Marissa Paternoster is one of the most shredding guitar players ever.

Their song writing is starting to expand, which I think it has to do, lest they become a one-trick, rock-out pony. I couldn't tell you a damn thing about the lyrics because of the PA, but the tunes blended together a bit despite the incredible musical dexterity. The performance was a lot of fun, but I think my favorite tune of the night was one of the slower, creepier numbers, that still had the Rock Out. Playing to your strengths sometimes means that you're a bitching guitar player, and a great singer, but not always the two at the same time. Marissa is great at ripping it, at ripping it and screaming her head off, and she's a really great singer, but I can't help but think here and there she'd be well served by just singing once in a while.

Marissa told me there's no way in Hell that Ben Franklin will be able to pull off a record in one day of tracking. A CHALLENGE! I will show you, short stuff.

In any event, this was a great show, with some really great, guitar-oriented, Super Riff bands. I don't get enough of that sort of thing.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Statement of Intent

As someone who makes independent DIY music and loves to read about it, I've always felt there are never enough places to read about it and related arts and events, even here in NYC, especially Brooklyn, which is teeming with artists. I also like to run my mouth once in a while. So I've been inspired to start yet another music blog, with a particular bent.

When you're actually a Do-It-Yourself operation, it's really hard to get some press, or to get the time of day -- even if you are really good, you're starting to draw at shows, and you have good recordings. I guess it just comes down to who you know. I've found that the chances a music blog with any readership will even open your e-mail are far less likely than winning the lottery or a trip to the Moon. And ironically when I last ran a music blog I was perversely inundated with crap submissions from labels; rarely did we get submissions from actual DIY artists sending us their own music and asking for a review.

So it's still an industry and PR game out there (it always will be, and that has its place), even in the land of "undergound" or "indie" rock, especially in NYC. So like Mr. McCall, I'm hoping to help retire the term "indie" in favor of DIY, and I hope you'll join us. And I'm only going to write about DIY artists and events. I suspect I'll mostly be writing about things I've listened to or the shows I go to. It won't always be laudatory, and I hope I'll be forgiven for that by always being constructive. It's a tricky thing to be writing about music when you also make it - you're really asking for it, and I realize that. 

If you want to submit music or a tip you can send it to diymydarling@gmail.com, but I'm not going to give time to anybody signed by a label, or read anything sent to me by PR people. Keeping it simple. I know you guys have a place, but it's not here, so save my time and yours, don't add me to your mailing list. You have to write an actual e-mail to me.

The people actually doing this on their own need space, and I'd like to give them some more.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Damn right another blog

More to come as life unfolds.