Podcast #133, “Cover Your Ears”

Posted in podcast on May 26th, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
plug your ears This marks the first actual mixtape-style podcast in months. Guess I've just been too busy talking to people about their favorite music to actually play any of my own. That means I've a whole bunch of stuff that's accumulated, going all the way back to Record Store Day and before. Starting off the podcast is the latest installment of the Too Much Rock single series, from Kansas City's the Uncouth!. It's been a year since Sid's last installment, and it's worth the wait. Good, solid streetpunk, the likes of which hasn't come out of KC since the heyday of the Main Street Saints and Tanka Ray. And, continuing Sid's ability to read my mind, the b-side cover is my absolute favorite Slade song, so go grab it, because there's no finer slab of blue-collar rock 'n' roll you'll hear all year. You can pick up copies from Teenage Heart Distro. Usually, I don't write a lot in these intros, but that's a pretty sweet release you needed to know more about. Also on the podcast: new music from Magnetic South Recordings, Fat Wreck, and more. Podcast #133, "Cover Your Ears" The Uncouth, "Gudbuy T'Jane" (Too Much Rock Single Series #4) The Saints, "Lost and Found" (Eternally Yours) Zero Boys, "I'm Absent" (Crazy Al's Indiana Punk & New Wave '76-'83) Thee Tsunamis, "Saturday Night Sweetheart" (Saturday Night Sweetheart) --- Western Addiction, "Clatter and Hiss (demo)" ("I'm Not the Man That I Thought I'd Be" single) Radioactivity, "Silent" (Silent Kill) The Flatliners, "Fangs" ("Resucitation of the Year" single) Sad Boys, "Turds On A China Plate" (Cry Now, Cry Later) --- Exhumed, "Gravewalker" (split with Iron Reagan) Iron Reagan, "Pay Check" (Demo 2012) Raw Distractions, "No. 7" (Japan 2014) --- The Swan King, "Invisible Hands" (Eyes Like Knives) Meat Wave, "Keep Smoking" (Meat Wave) Thou, "Even In His Youth" (Whatever Nevermind) Off With Their Heads, "On the Attack" (Flexi Series #3)

Various Artists, “Crazy Al’s Indiana Punk and New Wave 76-83″ cassette

Posted in cassettes, punk, reviews on May 20th, 2015 by Nick – 1 Comment
cover - crazy als indiana punk cassette My review of Crazy Al's Indiana Punk & New Wave '76 - '83 on Twitter consisted mainly of "BUY IT" repeated a dozen times, and I stand by that. Hell, even if the majority of the bands and songs were mediocre, I'd probably recommend you snag this cassette just for the previously unreleased Zero Boys song, "I'm Absent." However, it also has the amazing compilation staple of Dow Jones and the Industrials' "Can't Stand the Midwest," and it's just crazy good across the board. The advantage of this being punk and new wave is that we're not limited to three-chord bangers for two sides. There's weird synthesizer and keyboard cuts like the Dancing Cigarettes' "Pop Doormat," which is one of those things you discover and wonder why it's not getting played during those retro radio lunches instead of another run through "Take On Me." There's also the electro-punk of We're Jimmy Hoffa, whose "Rock 'n Roll" seethes and oozes like the nastiest underground goth, only to blast through with razor-edged guitars. It's the sort of thing that counterbalances the snotty basics of Panics' "I Wanna Kill My Mom," which is exactly the sort of thing the Killed By Death crowd adores (having appeared on volumes 9 and 15 ½ of that compilation series). Crazy Al's even dips into power-pop with Latex Novelties. Their "Kiss and MakeUp" is a perfectly Midwestern take on early UK underground pop: Boy-era U2 or the Skids, for instance (although both of them are actually Irish, come to think of it). There's a two-disc CD version of this comp that has another unreleased Zero Boys song, "Commies." The CD version is about double the length of this cassette, and some artists have more tracks than are on the tape, while others have the same, and there are even bands on the CD that don't make it onto the tape. I don't know enough about the Indiana punk scene to say whether the bands on the Magnetic South cassette are more notable or they're better cuts, though. You can buy the cassette version of Crazy Al's Indiana Punk and New Wave 76-83 from the Magnetic South store, or the double CD version from Time Change Records.

Psychic Heat signs with High Dive Records

Posted in garage rock, local, rock 'n' roll on May 19th, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
psychic heat Oh, shit. Lawrence's premiere psychedelic garage-rockers (we have enough of them for that to be a thing) Psychic Heat signed with Kansas City label High Dive Records. The label and band both announced that info today via their respective social media pages, along with this tasty jam called "Stargazer." The track's not new: you've been hearing it in promos for KJHK all semester, and it comes from last year's Brighter and Lighter EP, but it's definitely a solid taste of what you can expect from their debut full-length, out later this year. [embed]https://soundcloud.com/high-dive/psychic-heat-stargazer[/embed] That full-length, by the way, was recorded by Kid Congo and the Pink Money Birds' Ron Miller, and mixed and mastered by Kliph Scurlock, so I've no doubt it's going to sound bonkers. High Dive's been signing every local band worth knowing lately -- we're eagerly awaiting Bummer's Spank EP -- so here's to hoping for some kind of label showcase soon. I'm sure it's warp minds and melt faces. Speaking of shows, Oh! Snap! Photography shot some video of Psychic Heat at the Replay Lounge in Lawrence this past weekend, and you should totally watch it. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVdh69Fhd84[/embed]

Spoon / Sweet Spirit at the Midland

Posted in photos, rock 'n' roll on May 19th, 2015 by Nick – 1 Comment
spoon header Last night, I went and saw Spoon, with openers Sweet Spirit at the Midland in Kansas City. For all the things I thought about the show, you can read my review over at the Pitch. However, I ended up with a ton of good shots that didn't make it up over there, so check out the galleries below. Spoon [gallery ids="18390,18391,18392,18393,18394,18395,18396,18397,18398,18399,18400,18401"] Sweet Spirit [gallery ids="18402,18403,18404,18405,18406,18407,18408,18409,18410"] Spoon and Sweet Spirit are on tour together through June 2. You can find tour dates at Spoon's website.

Podcast #132, “Jordan Smith of Diarrhea Planet”

Posted in interview, podcast on May 11th, 2015 by Nick – 1 Comment
diarrhea planet Apologies for the break. Life once again got in the way of the podcast, but this new episode is a fantastic guest DJ set from Jordan Smith of Diarrhea Planet. We interviewed him for the Runout, where we did a kind of oral history of the Nashville sextet. You'll be able to read that later this week at The Runout, but in the meantime, let's go take a listen to what Jordan has to play for us. Podcast #132, "Jordan Smith of Diarrhea Planet" Bob Seger, "Old Time Rock 'n' Roll" (Stranger In Town) Smashing Pumpkins, "Cherub Rock" (Siamese Dream) --- Nirvana, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (Nevermind --- Jimi Hendrix, "Manic Depression" (Are You Experienced?) Twin Peaks, "Flavor" (Wild Onion) Taylor Swift, "You Are In Love" (1989) --- The Who, "Baba O'Reilly" (Who's Next) The Darkness, "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" (Permission to Land) Diarrhea Planet, "Hammer of the Gods" (I'm Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams) --- Roy Orbison, "She's a Mystery to Me" (Mystery Girl) David Ball, "Thinkin' Problem" (Thinkin' Problem) Wipers, "Mystery" (Is This Real?) Diarrhea Planet is currently on tour, and you can find their tour dates at the band's website.

“VHS Video Cover Art” both a nostalgic trip & celebration of under-appreciated artists

Posted in art, books, movies, reviews on May 4th, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
vhs - cover art I'm not the biggest fan of Tom 'The Dude Designs' Hodge's work on posters – the bubbly, neon '80s stuff has always felt far too busy to me. He's basically the antithesis to Drew Struzan. Struzan's work is clean, uncluttered, and offers up just enough to stir your interest, whereas I've always felt that Hodge's art tries to fit the entire plot to the movie within a one-sheet's 27x40 dimensions. That said: the work from which Hodge draws his inspiration shows that the artist has deep taste. His new book for Schiffer Publishing, VHS Video Cover Art, is a treasure trove of astounding and astonishing VHS cover art from the '80s and early '90s. These painted covers are what drew so many of us into the stranger sections of the video store as kids. As so many documentarians have pointed out, VHS covers needed something to make them stand out, and those covers were a prime way of maximizing their appeal on the video store shelf. VHS - BlackRoses What makes this book interesting is that it's a collection of VHS art from UK releases, meaning that while some of the titles might be familiar to Americans, the covers are totally different. There's a lot of work by the likes of Graham Humphreys, whose work is bonkers in terms of quality and detail, and only stands to be the stick by which all of the other art is measured. Given that so many of these VHS cassettes had artwork with bad perspective, strange homages to movies to which they weren't at all related, and just perplexing choices overall (for instance, I cannot believe that so many sex comedies featured nudity on the covers), this is the sort of book over which you can repeatedly pore. Given that these aren't just the covers, but the entire VHS box, in addition to admiring the art, you can admire the way some copywriter sums up a film in just a short paragraph. Some are dead on the money, while others are out-and-out lies – a lesson many of us learned the hard way. It's great that all this text is included, because otherwise, you'd just be staring at images with little to no context for them, aside from Justin Ishmael's introduction and Hodge's opening reminisces. A big hand must go to Hodge for the way in which the book is organized. While the titles are arranged alphabetically, it's done so under a series of categories, making VHS Video Cover Art the coffee table equivalent of a trip back in time. You want to wander the horror section? Let's try and choose between The Evil Dead and Annihilator. Also, you start to notice certain trends. There are quite a few images which look an awful lot like other films. I know that Enforcer II isn't related to Cobra at all – nor does the star look anything like Sly Stallone – but damned if you wouldn't have rented the film if you liked Cobra. Similar things occur when you have facing pages showing the career trajectory of stars. Linda Blair in both Savage Streets and Savage Island? Obviously, she's found a trend. In the end, this is a wonderful collection, showcasing these VHS boxes just as one would have found them in the UK video shops during their heyday. For the connoisseur, there's a lot into which you can delve, recollecting over your youth. For the novice, there are quite a few films of which you've likely never heard, and a definite starting point for obscurities over which to obsess and search. Samples of some of VHS Video Cover Art's images, including the Black Roses cover pictured about, can be found at the book's website. You can also read an excellently in-depth interview with Graham Humphreys over at Film On Paper, which goes into great detail about his video cover art, as well as the rest of his career. VHS Video Cover Art isn't out until May 28, but you can pre-order it from Amazon by clicking here.

Podcast #131, “Karina Denike”

Posted in interview, podcast on April 15th, 2015 by Nick – 3 Comments
karina denike header Just in time for her album release shows this week, we have an interview with Karina Denike. You likely know her best for her tenure with ska-punks Dance Hall Crashers, but her new album Under Glass, is anything but. A wonderful melange of torch songs, indie pop, and the slightest hints of reggae, Under Glass is that most wonderful kind of album, revealing further details the more you listen. The album came out this week, and you can buy it from Denike's website while you listen to our interview with her. Podcast #131, "Karina Denike" Interview with Karina Denike --- Dance Hall Crashers, "Don't Call" (The Show Must Go Off!) --- Interview with Karina Denike --- Karina Denike, "Anchors Away" (Under Glass) --- Interview with Karina Denike --- Karina Denike, "Golden Kimonos" (Under Glass) --- Interview with Karina Denike --- X, "The World's A Mess, It's In My Kiss" (Los Angeles) --- Interview with Karina Denike --- Karina Denike, "Az Budes Velky" (Under Glass) Release shows for Karina Denike's Under Glass are this weekend in California: Thursday, 4/16 - Amnesia, San Franciso w/ Lily Taylor, Cosimo Lissy Friday, 4/17 - Awaken Cafe, Oakland w/ Lily Taylor and more TBA Saturday 4/18 - Dave's Record Store, Berkeley w/ bunches of others for Record Store Day

Earl Sweatshirt / Vince Staples / Remy Banks at the Granada

Posted in hip-hop, live music, photos on March 26th, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
Earl Sweatshirt [gallery ids="18337,18338,18339,18340,18341,18342,18343,18344"] Vince Staples [gallery ids="18345,18346,18347,18348,18349"] Remy Banks [gallery ids="18352,18351,18350"]

Podcast #130, “Jeff Rosenstock”

Posted in interview, podcast on March 23rd, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
jeff rosenstock Jeff Rosenstock's new album for SideOne Dummy, We Cool?, debuted on the Billbroard Heatseeker Charts at #7. Not a bad accomplishment for a guy I once saw play a basement three blocks from my house. We interviewed the former Bomb the Music Industry frontman for The Pitch and took the opportunity to get Rosenstock to chat with us about songs he likes for this latest installment of the podcast. Podcast #130, "Jeff Rosenstock" Michael Damian, "Rock On" (Where Do We Go From Here) Bobby Brown, "My Prerogative" (Don't Be Cruel) --- Everclear, "Heroin Girl" (Sparkle and Fade) --- Shinobu, "Violence House" (10 Thermidor) Father John Misty, "Bored in the USA" (I Love You, Honeybear) Sleater-Kinney, "A New Wave" (No Cities to Love) Alvvays, "Adult Diversion" (Alvvays) --- MU330, "Got Caught" (Chumps On Parade) Chinkees, "Another Angry Man He Goes to War" (Bay Area Ska Volume 2) Operation Ivy, "Sound System" (Energy) --- Jeff Rosenstock, "You, In Weird Cities" (We Cool?) Jeff Rosenstock is currently on tour with with Andrew Jackson Jihad, The Smith Street Band and Chumped You can find tour dates and more info at his Tumblr.

Podcast #129, “Miguel Chen of Teenage Bottlerocket”

Posted in interview, podcast, punk on March 9th, 2015 by Nick – 1 Comment
miguel chen teenage bottlerocket It's another installment of "special guest DJ" on Sunglasses After Dark. This go-round, we have Miguel Chen, bassist for Teenage Bottlerocket. The pop-punk road warriors' seventh album, Tales From Wyoming, is due out March 31 on Rise Records, so after we interviewed Chen about the new record, we asked him the litany of questions we have for any artist willing to answer them. His answers are interesting. I suggest not looking at the playlist until afterward. The surprise is worth it. Podcast #129, "Miguel Chen of Teenage Bottlerocket" Green Day, "Having A Blast" (Dookie) NOFX, "Whatever Didi Wants" (Heavy Petting Zoo) --- Voodoo Glow Skulls, "Human Piñata" (Band Geek Mafia) --- Ramones, "Listen To My Heart" (Ramones) --- Teenage Bottlerocket, "Skate or Die" () Teenage Bottlerocket, "Don't Want to Go" () --- Pears, "Terrible" (Go to Prison) The 20Belows, "In Heavy Rain" (Wreckage) Taylor Swift, "Shake It Off" (1989) --- Teenage Bottlerocket, "Nothing Else Matters (When I'm With You)" (Tales From Wyoming) Thanks again to Miguel for taking time to do the podcast. Teenage Bottlerocket's new album, Tales From Wyoming, is due out March 31 on Rise Records. You can pre-order it in a variety of formats and bundles at the Teenage Bottlerocket store.