Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tonight: Fragile Porcelain Mice/NIL8

If you like reminiscing, this is the week to do it. Last night the Unconcious played at the Lucas Schoolhouse, rocking their funky college-rock from the early 90's, Pale Divine will be playing a nearly sold-out show on Monday at the Pageant, bringing the drama of their early 90's rock, and tonight. Well, tonight we'll be kicking it old-skool, but with 2 bands that have never really gone away.

NIL8 hail from Springfield, Illinois. Here's what All Music Guide has to say about them:

Powerful foursome from Springfield, IL, N.I.L.8 debuted in 1989 with their first vinyl record featuring "Last Flash of Paisley Pastel" and "Too Loud," followed by the self-produced Six Inch Extension in 1991. Led by brothers Jeff Williams and Bruce Williams, the band signed up to Fundamental Records before issuing Hallelujah I'm Gonna Kill Myself in 1993. N.I.L.8 started getting involved in the U.S. hardcore punk field, performing intense live shows with songs mainly based on social issues. 1995's Eunuch became their first Fuse Records release, followed by the reissue of Hallelujah I'm Gonna Kiss Myself in 1996 and Doug a year later.
~ Drago Bonacich, All Music Guide

Here's what Old Skool has to say about them:

They rock, they are fun, and sometimes they are a little sloppy while they are rocking your ass off. Here they are doing "Basement Show":

Fragile Porcelain Mice have a been a live force for over 15 years. While they no longer tour as extensively as they did in the 90's, they still play 4-5 shows a year, and always bring the rock show. Their shows this year have featured a few new songs, so my hope is that a new recording will be coming in 2009. The best way I can describe them is a cross between Jesus Lizard and Rage Against The Machine, with some Refused thrown in there for good measure. Of course bands hate being compared to other bands, but that's what I hear. Here's a video of the band during their peak of popularity at the late, lamented Mississippi Nights (now a casino parking lot. Ya bastards!). I place this at about 1997 using advanced carbon dating technology:

As I said, the band never went away, but Tim (guitar) left for a while, and the band's popularity waned as band members got married, had kids, and generally played out a whole heck of a lot less. Tim eventually came back into the fold, and FPM have been bringing the same electricity to each live show, but the crowds are more in the 200-300 range, versus the sold out Nights shows, which were around 1,200 people. The live show is great each. and. every. time. Here they are in a basement, summer of '06, no fancy PA, no light show, bringing the raw rock as they cover "Dirty Deeds":

Oh, and look for a rare Old Skool cameo toward the end, rocking with my eyes closed (hey, it was 1 AM! Did I tell you I was old?):

That was a great night, and there have been many seeing these boys. Of course, I should disclose that Tim is my brother, and that I used to help with most of their CD covers. But I would still try to see Fragile as many times as possible even without those facts. Add that to the fact that this is one of Lucas Schoolhouse's last shows before closing, and it's compelling evidence to be there. I hope they don't turn this club into a parking lot. See ya.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Neko Case: New Album Follow-Up, Making-Of Video

I mentioned before that Neko has a new album coming out, and that she will be returning to the Pageant on September 24, 2009. Here's a making-of video for the new one, where she talks about recording in an old barn with abandoned pianos: "And you konw what's extra cool? The frogs!" The meaning of the title Middle Cyclone: "What if a tornado fell in love with you?" And her love of creating, and sound collages: "I really love to Eiffel Tower, but I have popsicle sticks. So I have to make mine out of popsicle sticks rather than steel."

It's an engaging look at the artist:

Merry Christmas, I Hate You

I hope you all do have a Merry Christmas, and that it is filled with good things.

I get the feeling that Josh Weller and Paloma Faith don't really mean what they are saying, since they are smiling and having fun, but this is a good song, Christmas or no. Kinda like a stripped down Asylum Street Spankers. And I kept wishing that when Josh turned around there would be a bald spot behind that fierce windshield of hair:

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying

Going through some top 5 lists, came across this video of a guy lip-syncing this entire Belle & Sebastian song, walking through a party of revelers, some in on what is going on, some not so much. It feels happy and fun, and I thought I would watch it for 15 seconds and turn it off, but something about it is strangely compelling. I'm not sure if I could cast off enough inhibition to do what this guy does, maybe that's why I watched the whole thing:

Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying - New Year's Lip Dub No. 2 from Josh Shayne on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Neko Case: New Album, St. Louis Visit

Here's the new cover of Neko Case's album Middle Cyclone that comes out March 3. Here's what her label Anti has to say about it:

Middle Cyclone was produced by Case with Darryl Neudorf and recorded in Tucson, Brooklyn, Toronto, and Vermont. It features Case backed by her core band - guitarist Paul Rigby, bassist Tom V. Ray, backing vocalist Kelly Hogan, multi-instrumentalist Jon Rauhouse, and drummer Barry Mirochnick - along with numerous guests including M. Ward, Garth Hudson, Sarah Harmer, and members of The New Pornographers, Los Lobos, Calexico, The Sadies, Visqueen, The Lilys, and Giant Sand, among others. In addition to twelve new songs written by Case, Middle Cyclone includes covers of 'Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth' by Sparks, and "Don't Forget Me" by Harry Nilsson.

Complete tour dates below. I'm excited to see that she is coming back to the Pageant for a St. Louis show on September 24, since I couldn't make it the last time.

Neko Case on tour:
Aug 25 - Tucson AZ - the Rialto (Benefit for GAL + Tuscon Dog Protection)
Aug 27 - Reno NV - Robert Hawkins Amphitheater
Aug 28 - Salt Lake City UT - Gallivan Center (Twilight Concert Series)
Aug 29 - Boise ID - Winery at Eagle Knoll
Aug 30 - Seattle WA - Bumbershoot Festival
Aug 31 - Vancouver BC - Stanley Park Singing Exhibition (Neko Case set)
Sept 1 - Vancouver BC - Stanley Park (New Pornographers set)
Sept 12 - Laytonville CA - Earthdance Festival @ Black Oak Ranch
Sept 14 - Morrison CO - Monolith Festival
Sept 15 - Omaha NE - Slow Bar
Sept 16 - Des Moines IA - Hoyt Sherman
Sept 18 - Minneapolis MN - First Avenue
Sept 19 - Madison WI - the Orpheum
Sept 20 - Chicago IL - Hideout Block Party
Sept 21 - Chicago IL - Hideout Block Party – with New Pornographers
Sept 23 - Cleveland OH - Beachland Ballroom
Sept 24 - St Louis MO - the Pageant
Sept 25 - Oxford MS - the Lyric
Sept 26 - Oklahoma City OK - Diamond Ballroom
Sept 27 - Dallas TX - Granada Theater
Sept 28 - Austin TX - Austin City Limits festival

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Here Come The Year End Lists

Here are some of the year-end lists from some of the music rags. If you are releasing your Magnum Opus between now and the end of the year, you are screwed. I've bolded (and italicized, since I could barely tell they were bold) the ones I have heard and think have some merit:

1. Fleet Foxes
2. The Last Shadow Puppets, The Age Of The Understatement
3. Paul Weller, 22 Dreams
4. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
5. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!!
6. The Hold Steady, Stay Positive

7. Glasvegas
8. The Week That Was, The Week That Was
9. The Bug, London Zoo
10. Neil Diamond, Home Before Dark
11. Portishead, Third
12. Don Cavalli, Cryland
13. Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark
14. British Sea Power, Do You Like Rock Music?
15. Eli “Paperboy” Reed & The True Loves, Roll With You
16. Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)
17. Sigur Rós, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
18. Pete Molinari, A Virtual Landslide
19. Beck, Modern Guilt
20. TV on the Radio, Dear Science

Q Magazine
1. Kings of Leon, Only the Night
2. Fleet Foxes
3. Coldplay, Viva La Vida...
4. Vampire Weekend
5. Glasvegas
6. Duffy, Rockferry
7. TV On The Radio, Dear Science
8. Elbow, The Seldom Seen Kid
9. The Raconteurs, Consolers of The Lonely
10. Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Dig!!! Lazarus, Dig!!

11. Sigur Ros, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
12. Keane, Perfect Symmetry
13. MGMT, Oracular Spectacular
14. Kaiser Chiefs, Off With Their Heads
15. Lil Wayne, Tha Carter III
16. Hot Chip, Made In The Dark
17. Adele, 19
18. British Sea Power, Do You Like Rock Music?
19. Goldfrapp, Seventh Tree
20. The Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound

Stephen King, via Entertainment Weekly:
1. Buckcherry, Black Butterfly / The Pretenders, Break Up The Concrete
2. AC/DC, Black Ice
3. James McMurtry, Just Us Kids
4. Girl Talk, Feed The Animals
5. Alejandro Escovedo, Real Animal
6. Coldplay, Viva La Vida
7. Al Green, Lay It Down
8. Lindsey Buckingham, Gift Of Screws
9. Randy Newman, Harps And Angels
10. James, Hey Ma

1. She & Him, Volume One
2. Sigur Rós, Med sud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust
3. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend
4. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
5. Okkervil River - The Stand Ins
6. Fleet Foxes, Fleet Foxes
7. Girl Talk, Feed the Animals
8. Sun Kil Moon, April
9. Lucinda Williams, Little Honey
10. Deerhunter, Microcastle
11. The Hold Steady, Stay Positive
12. Of Montreal, Skeletal Lamping
13. Ida Maria, Fortress Round My Heart
14. Langhorne Slim, Langhorne Slim
15. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!!
16. My Morning Jacket
, Evil Urges
17. Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Lie Down In The Light
18. Death Cab
 for Cutie, Narrow Stairs

19. Gentleman Jesse and His Men, Introducing Gentleman Jesse and His Men
20. Hot Chip, Made In The Dark

1. Lil' Wayne, Tha Carter III
2. Girl Talk, Feed The Animals
3. TV On The Radio, Dear Science
4. Metallica, Death Magnetic
5. Hot Chip, Made In The Dark
6. Robyn
7. Of Montreal, Skeletal Lamping
8. Randy Newman, Harps & Angels
9. Vampire Weekend
10. Fall Out Boy, Folie A Deux
11. Death Cab For Cutie, Narrow Stairs
12. My Morning Jacket, Evil Urges
13. Al Green, Lay It Down
14. Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue
15. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
16. Be Your Own Pet, Get Awkward
17. Conor Oberst
18. Ponytail, Ice Cream Spiritual
19. Katy Perry, One Of The Boys
20. Wale, Mixtape About Nothing

I have not heard everything on these lists. If you say you have I will think you are lying. Anything left out?

Image is Rankin/Bass's version of Baby New Year.

Old Skool Flashback- Osaben

Ah, the the days of my youth. Big thanks to John, my friend and former band-mate, for sending these pics from our college days in Savannah when we were going to the Savannah College Of Art And Design. I do not lie when I say those were good times in large part because of living with him and exploring music and art and life with him there as a part of it.

I'm the one in the striped shirt, John is showing off his sexy man-arms. Yes, the name of the band was "OSABEN", yes, that is my last name. As john told me, if I didn't name our band that, he was going to start another one with that name. I believe he felt it had the right ring, like Van Halen, or Dokken. The shots came from a shared practice space in the basement of a deserted department store. One of the other bands was Suicide Launch Pad, a punk band that got its name from the blowing up of the space shuttle. If I remember correctly, the were fronted by Psycho Jim, and did a great punk cover of "I'm A Little Teapot". A local photographer friend, a guy probably in his late 40's named Teeny would take our photos and we would have parties every so often on the weekends, each band playing a set from their practice area. That's Calvin on drums. He didn't have electricity, or heat or something, so he would heat his apartment in the winter with his stove. I don't recommend that one.

We played mostly originals, and some covers like "Whole Lotta Rosie" by AC/DC and "Lonely Is The Night" by Billy Squire. That last sentence probably best describes why we never got that far, but if you have never been in a band, I suggest you do it. Even if no one comes to see you, you are united with a common purpose. And it's a kick.

Thanks John.