How have you been?

Did you know Bai Ling is weblogging, and it's awesome?

In other news, Jeff passed me an internet chain letter, and I keep waiting for something awful to happen since I'm never going to get around to doing it.

In other news, Rob did go to Film School with me Monday, and maybe I'll unload the pictures later today.

Film School

I can't believe the things that you say

Medium-to-last call: Anyone want my extra ticket to Film School tonight at TT the Bear's? Drop a comment.

Wind-up anger with the endless view of

Black hair and the devil's pitchfork

Before I forget, be sure to spend your weekend indoors watching Coachella. May I suggest skipping Friday and tuning in at 6:50PM EST for Man Man? Other Saturday highlights are

  • VHS or Beta [8:35 PM]
  • Hot Chip [10:25 PM]
  • Animal Collective [11:25 PM]
  • Portishead [Sunday, 12:15 AM]
Sunday night's webcast includes
  • Stars [10:15 PM]
  • Spiritualized [11:10 PM]
  • Love and Rockets [Monday, 2:05 AM]

So last Tuesday Stacie, Rob and I went to the big Sadcore show over at Harper's Ferry in Allston. American Music Club played and some other bands opened.

The night started out strange when almost immediately after we sat down at Le's, Mark Eitzel walked in and sat down at the table-in-progress next to ours, which had Vudi and a bunch of girls. I had the Mi Xao while trying to avoid eye contact.

Everyone seemed to hate Barn Burning, like nails on chalkboard hate them, while I was able to just ignore their Counting Crowsism. Ad Frank & The Fast Easy Women were cute for like half the set - mostly it was like watching Hedwig and the Angry Inch, only without a tranny. It just seemed to go a little long for me.

So American Music Club. Hmm. Well, I've seen Mark Eitzel a bunch of times now, and his shows always have an ACOA vibe to them, and tonight was no exception. Before they started in he proclaimed his love for Boston, but admitted he always gets too drunk here, scowled and started looking like he would fall over. Would he yell at us? Smile? Is this happy Mark or angry Mark? How about poorly-lit Mark?

American Music Club 012

Much like his solo 2007 show, this turned out to be a quick by-the-numbers "I get paid anyway" run through. The first 40 minutes was spent on new material, then a few back catalog numbers and they barely played an hour. Two song encore.

American Music Club 025

What was good about the show? "Hello Amsterdam" and "Wish the World Away" - Mark had banned songs from AMC's final record "San Francisco" up until now. And they were amazing. I realized I actually have never seen Mark in a simple proper rock band set up before, and once I adjusted to the vocals being unusually low in the mix I thought it was great. The merch table was fierce. I had to stop myself. I picked up the "Atwater Afternoon" tour rehearsal disc and the long OOP "Come On Beautiful" tribute record. Apparently someone found a box of them in his basement and gave them to Mark. I stopped short of a shirt because I do not poop money these days, but they were WAY classier than the last batch of shirts, and I might have to order one.

The crowd was super small [I mean, like there couldn't have been more than 50 people, and really only 30 actively watching] and fucked up, and I don't mean drunk. Just a lot of creepy, creepy people - but I suppose I sort of fall into that category a bit myself. My favorite part was how some of them kept turning around, glaring at and SHUSHING the people talking at the bar. AMC could have cared less, they were still getting paid.

No, wait. The saddest part easily was when Vudi asked the bartender for a Guinness, and pleaded "I have money", and pulled a crumpled fiver out of his pocket. Then bartender actually took the money before bringing him the beer. Not one of us in the crowd was classy enough to buy it for him. Not a single one.

And the Upcoming Shows Muxtape has been updated.

American Music Club

We all did drugs in the toilet.


The US festival season kicks off this weekend [SXSW is more of an event than a festival in my eyes] with Coachella, and they finally announced set times so I made up my own weekend. Who knew I would spend like half a day in the Sahara tent?

Coachella was such an adventure in 2006, it'll never be repeated, but I still get insanely tempted every year. I'm considering 2009 already.

But back to the lineup, if I were going. What sucks on Friday? The near crossover between Aphex Twin and The Verve. Previous festival experiences have proved there's no way I would be able to catch both full sets - I'd choose Aphex Twin in the hopes of a tour from The Verve. Plus, I saw The Verve a long time ago in a small club.

Saturday's mess would be Animal Collective vs Akron/Family vs Kraftwerk -> Portishead. I'd choose the bands I haven't seen, Kraftwerk and Portishead.

Sunday's actually not bad at all, but really, do we need two and a half hours of Roger Waters, with not much else to choose from? Really? I can't imagine the crush on the Sahara tent on Sunday night.

ANYWAY, I'm off to Lollapalooza in August, we're told to expect a schedule in June but tonight? It is a SADGASM with American Music Club!

You go out like a riptide

So last night was the big indie pop show at the Somerville Theater. I took Tim to see Laura Gibson and Colin Meloy for his birthday.

Laura Gibson was all kinds of delicate. It was good - above average, but SO quiet. I tried to imagine any kind of live setting where her performance would work well and couldn't. Lots of quiet strumming, vocals just barely above a whisper and plenty of false endings and silent moments. It was real easy to both distract and get distracted.

Colin Meloy 008

Colin Meloy came on at 8:35 and was he dreamy? Stage presence to die for. I bet he tastes like candy. While the Decemberists LOVE to play dress up, last night Colin was quite Saturday afternoon.

The show itself was great. I liked hearing songs like "The Perfect Crime No. 2" stripped down. I liked hearing songs I'd never thought I'd hear live like "Of Angels and Angles". I liked the new song, I liked the banter, I liked the Sam Cooke cover.

Colin Meloy 011

What I didn't like, and this isn't really Colin's fault, were his fans. It reminds me that "fan" is short for "fanatic" and some of those kids ain't right. The best example was when he closed with "The Mariner's Revenge Song", which went on FOREVER and required more audience participation than The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which all the sweatered and bespectacled kids around me were happy to do.

I'm glad I went to the show - if Tim hadn't been such a fan I might not have even bothered. I don't know if I'll go anymore [two Decemberists and now one Colin solo show under my belt] as the weeping teenage girls kind of make my skin crawl. WHO AM I KIDDING I AM TOTALLY A WEEPING TEENAGE GIRL.


Colin Meloy

Elbows and earlobes

So on Friday night I took Rob to a MYSTERY SPOT. Have you ever just put someone in the car and not told them where they are going? It is pretty awesome.

Carnival 001

Earlier in the week I had passed by a carnival in Revere, and even though it was raining and cold, I still decided to drag my boyfriend there, whether he wanted to or not. As we approached and the ferris wheel was off in the distance, I told him that at the very least, we could take sad carnival pictures in the rain.

Carnival 006

It was pretty desolate, especially for a Friday night. The carnies were hungry and barked at us along the midway. I got completely suckered into throwing darts at balloons, resulting in my winning Rob a tiny stuffed snake.

Carnival 005

I was absolutely dying to ride the Zipper, however Rob said we should work up to it and start with the Tilt-a-Hurl.

Carnival 010

The Tilt-a-Whirl was 4 ride tickets, and made me SO GODDAMMED SICK I had to sit down with my head between my knees for 5 minutes afterwards. I'm pretty sure that has officially killed my ability to ride amusements for the rest of my life.

Carnival 013
[Five minutes later I was green]

Cold soda and Fried Dough helped with the tummy trouble, and we used up our remaining ride tickets on the thrill less, however indoor, Haunted Mansion.

Carnival 015

One of the points of this story is that Rob photographs REALLY poorly. He told me this and I laughed it off as some kind of insecurity, but it's true! 9 months of trying and I have YET to take a picture that captures him, it's impossible.

Carnival 017

We hung out by the Sea Dragon because it was BLARING this really gay club music, while some queen rode it by himself and the ride operator just kind of tweaked around dancing.

Carnival 019

Do you know what the highlight of the carnival was? Lance motherfucking Gifford. Again. This time is wasn't so much gay as it was David Lynch. OK I'm lying - it was totally flaming. At one point one of the birds flew off into the Tilt-a-Whirl, and during another part the Thunder Bolt ride to our right had all sorts of strobes and screaming and sirens bleeding into his act, so it really was like Twin Peaks for a few minutes. Plus, only 4 people were watching.

Carnival 025

After 10 minutes he announced out of nowhere that the stage was wet and he couldn't do any more tricks, and he and Jarrod left. I think they were in their trailer with wood paneling, eating Ramen Cup-O-Soups and reading bible passages to each other, but that's just me fantasizing about sad magicians again.

Carnival 030

I assure you, it was a beautiful night.

Elevator is shaky

You might think I wrote this sign, but I didn't. Loves it though.


Tess, motherfuckers.

I'm on a road shaped like a figure 8

Last Wednesday Stacie and I went to the big show at the Somerville Theater, Mike Doughty. It was pretty good. I got mad at my GPS Patsy again, for directing me through only the most congested areas to get to Davis square. I got there just when I said I would and we ate pizza and went in, because I heard that him and his band had been warming up onstage in disguise as an opening act, and I was right. It was seriously warming up improv.

Mike introduced The Panderers, which was half of his band plus one, and they were - an average bar band, which doesn't really translate to theater space well.

The main reason I was at this show was because I went to school with Mike and he is certainly nice enough and I've always thought his music was good. It's really not my thing anymore, but it's certainly not painful. The crowd wasn't nearly as 'DUDE' as I had expected, so that helped. Actually, I don't think I would have gone if Stacie hadn't been such a huge fan.

Mike Doughty 027

The Golden Delicious material sounds just as strong live. The Haughty Melodic material sounds just as 'meh' live. We were threatened with a Soul Coughing MEDLEY at one point, but Stacie and I both agree that two songs does not a medley make. Just hearing half of Sleepless though was enough to make my night.

Mike Doughty 029

I still wasn't sure if I would have preferred a theater or a club though. Normally a fan of the assigned seats, it really felt like the crowd wanted to move around, but no one wanted to make the first move. He DJ'd his aftershow at some bar in the Financial District, but we were too old and tired to go. We did hang out for a few minutes by the stage door but eventually felt weird and left. Would I go see Mike Doughty again? THE ANSWER IS PROBABLY!

Mike Doughty

James Van Der Beek and...

So last Saturday was the big Post Rock show down in Providence RI. Explosions in the Sky played with Lichens, who I learned is actually one of the guys from TV on the Radio.

We go to Lupo's around 6:30, and you know what? It's not the old Lupo's, it's actually The Strand, renamed! Not only did I come this close to getting thrown out of a Cranberries show there [SHUT UP], but I also damn near got my friend Isaac beat up there at a Sugar show. The 1990s. Good times.

ANYWAY, Lichens [Rob Lowe, the bass player from TVOTR] came on about 7:10 and immediately went into his best Michael Brook impersonation by playing a 20 minute infinite guitar piece. It was pretty good.

EitS came on a little after 8 and they were good. I don't know, maybe I'm burning out on the whole instrumental post-rock. I spent a good portion of the show wondering when Mogwai was going to tour again.

Explosions in the Sky 018

I took pictures even though I was a bit of a ways back, and there wasn't much light. Mostly it was to get back into the swing of taking photos at shows again.

Personally, the only thing I found awful was their lack of encore. OKOKOK, I understand not wanting to encore, that's not the point of the story. But to come out and just get really asshatty pretentious about it ["we put all our love into that set"] had me laughing. And it's not like they even played an unusually long set or anything - they just about broke an hour.

And while it didn't bother me, I know there's lots of hate going on about the crowd, the "new" fans due to Friday Night Lights and WHATEVER. At least they were all polite and clean. It just felt so suburban.

ANYWAY, I also updated the muxtape to keep with the shows I'm going to theme, not the shows I went to.

Spent 18 hours waiting stoned for space

Taking a break from a Sunday night World of Warcraft session, it looks like the Lollapalooza full lineup finally leaked.

I don't know if my ear is just closer to the ground this year or what, but I actually am familiar with most of the third tier bands this year. Here's who I've already seen, and would again:

  • Radiohead
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Wilco
  • Love and Rockets
  • Bloc Party
  • Lupe Fiasco
  • Explosions in the Sky
  • Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
  • CSS
  • The Go! Team
  • Grizzly Bear
  • The Octopus Project
Of course, festivals are about trying new things. There's a whole bunch of bands I'd like to see for the first time:
  • Kanye West
  • Gnarls Barkley
  • Cat Power
  • The National
  • Gogol Bordello
  • Okkervil River
  • Girl Talk
  • Bang Camaro
  • Spank Rock
  • The Gutter Twins
And finally, well ugh:
  • Rage Against the Machine

Explosions in the Sky

You aint got nothing till ya know her

Ugh, fine. Here's the Muxtape.

Things I'm listening to:

I picked up this reissue a few weeks ago, based on the post-rock, opening-for-the cure noise. It's not bad - a little digital hardcore sounding in parts.

Holy shit, I get it I get it I get it now. The story of Grizzly Bear is I picked up Yellow House and was kind of meh, and saw them live and was blown away, and now I have their debut album from 2005 and it's easily one of the best things I've heard all year. The delicacy of Iron and Wine, only smashed to pieces. Plus, the remix disc is hot too. Today Grizzly Bear was leaked as a Lollapalooza artist and I certainly hope to catch them there.

Also A++ in the first lineup release? Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Wilco, Bloc Party, Stephen Malkmus, and The Go! Team. B++ artists then include Kanye West, Gnarls Barkley, Cat Power and Girl Talk. And then a bunch of stuff I have very little interest in.

Portishead are headlining Saturday at Coachella - someone was nice enough to pass along a leak of Third to me a month ago and it's fucking brilliant. THE END. No, really - it's just as good as the first one - slighty noisier, industrial sounding even, and that's some kind of progress. Was it worth waiting like 10 years for - actually yes.

Not so much this time. Too much singing, not enough noising. It has some moments, but on a few listens, I actually kind of dislike it [gasp!].


[from 2007, but still awesome.]