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.

Josh Berwanger on his new split with Dwight Twilley

Posted in interview, pop, rock 'n' roll, upcoming events on March 3rd, 2015 by Nick – 5 Comments
[caption id="attachment_4776" align="aligncenter" width="560"]Berwanger Berwanger[/caption] At this point, the output of the Josh Berwanger Band is starting to rival that of the bands for which Berwanger was formerly best-know, the Anniversary and Only Children. The band's just finished recording their second LP, and just release their third single -- a split with power-pop idol Dwight Twilley -- on Good Land Records. We asked Berwanger a few questions via e-mail about the split and his upcoming plans. The Josh Berwanger Band seems to follow an older release model: several singles, then an LP. What's the rationale behind that? I want to consistently have something coming out on a format to keep people interested until the next LP comes out. Back in the day, bands were able to put out a record a year and still be relevant. Nowadays, from recording the record to the time a label needs to set it up properly it takes nearly a year. cover - berwanger twilley split sinleWhose idea was it to do a split with Dwight Twilley? This was something I was talking to Jonny Phillip of Good Land Records about one day. We often talk on the phone about what albums we've been listening to, and then I mentioned how much I love Twilley's Jungle LP. Then from there the idea of doing a split with him spawned. Where does "Some Other Guy" come from -- was it recorded for this split, or a leftover from something else? We were in rehearsals for an upcoming tour, and in-between songs in our setlist Ricky started playing "Crazy Horses" by The Osmonds. After 15 minutes of jamming on it, we had the song down. The first day on tour, I thought when we get back we should record "Crazy Horses" at Element Studios. I booked the studio. As we were on the road we started listening to all the layers that song had and thought to do it right, we would need more then a day. So, we ended up recording "Some Other Guy" instead. When's the next album coming out? It's done. No word on when its coming out yet. The plan now is to play all new songs at SXSW and then we have a tour with Field Mouse and Lithuania (a Dr. Dog side band) in May and June. In that time, there should be a better idea on the release date. How did you come to work with Jay Shaw for all your releases? I've been a huge fan of Jay's work for some years now. When I was halfway done recording Strange Stains, I sent him an email with some songs as well as some images of early Eastern European movie poster art that I love. I figured he wouldn't respond or not have the time to work with me. But he wrote back and said he dug the tunes and also loved those posters, as well. We just kept talking and from there have developed a great friendship. It's very true: if you don't ask, the answer is always no. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6oMHHmm_Pw[/embed] The Josh Berwanger Band plays an electric, full band set and Dwight Twilley plays acoustic as part of the release party for their split 7-inch this Saturday, March 7, at Love Garen Sounds in Lawrence. You can also purchase the Twilley / Berwanger split from Good Land Records on some gorgeous splatter vinyl, limited to 100 copies.

Podcast #128, “Whether the Weather”

Posted in podcast on February 23rd, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
thundersnow It's cold. It's overcast. I'm as tired of grousing about the weather as you are of hearing about it. Let's have the music reflect some dour moods, and then try to redeem things with a bunch of pop. Podcast #128, "Whether the Weather" Louder, "Secret Fiction" (Louder) The Spits, "Come With Me (Yeah Wontcha)" (split with Dan Melchior) Sheer Mag, "Hard Lovin'" (Sheer Mag) Sam Vicari, "Mad At You" (Giving Up) --- Viet Cong, "Bunker Buster" (Viet Cong) The Smiths, "The Headmaster Ritual" (Meat Is Murder) Jeff Ament, "Pendulumorphosis" (Ten Club 2014 single) Grizzly Bear, "Two Weeks" (Veckatimest) --- Josh Berwanger, "Some Other Guy" (split with Dwight Twilley) Pushin' it 2 the Limit, "Pushin' it 2 the Limit Saves the Fish" (Pushin' it 2 the Limit) No Love, "Dogs//Wolves" (North Carolina Singles Series) John Wesley Coleman III, "I Found A Home" (Windian Subscription Series #3)

Celebrity Art Party with Krysztof Nemeth

Posted in art, interview, rock 'n' roll on February 20th, 2015 by Nick – Be the first to comment
Celebrity Art Party is a semi-occurring feature, wherein the artists we enjoy interpret their favorite song. This installment features Krysztof Nemeth. Anyone else think it's weird that both installments of Celebrity Art Party have been by people in bands? I find that odd. Anyhow, Nemeth is guitarist for the noir rockers the Latenight Callers, as well as a very excellent pinup artist in his own right, so it was natural that he was one of the people we reached out to for this (very) occasional series. Krysztof Nemeth - The Cure 'A Forest' web Song title: "A Forest" Artist: The Cure Version of song (live, album, remix, etc.): Regular album version from Seventeen Seconds [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QqgIUq5SkQM[/embed] Why this song? It's sort of the perfect late night driving song... When did you first hear it? 14, probably ... as a budding young goth kid in Southern California. How does music such as this inspire you in your work? As far as my artwork, The Cure is great to have playing in the background while I'm drawing. As far as my music, it was instrumental in helping me become the musician I am, today. How has this song changed for you since you first heard it? As a song to listen to, it still holds up! I play this song live in Magnfuckingnificent, KC's The Cure cover band ... so it's only changed in as much as what I can now contribute to it as a live song. I suppose that means that I can give it a regular go out in public where others can appreciate it as well! What upcoming projects do you have? I continue to explore the world of pin-up art as the definition continues to evolve, and I continue to explore the world of dark storytelling in my full-time band The Latenight Callers. You can find out more information on Nemeth's artwork at the Pin-Up Art of Krysztof Nemeth, and on the music he makes via the Latenight Callers' Facebook page..