Chris Clavin on Plan-It-X’s new book, “Tour Sucks”

book cover - tour sucksIn addition to being the man behind Operation: Cliff Clavin, Ghost Mice, and The Devil Is Electric, plus running record label Plan-It-X, Chris Clavin is a damned fine author. The latest book he’s masterminded only features a short piece from him — but all of the pieces in it are short, because it’s a collection of tour stories, entitled Tour Sucks.

Some of the worst things happen: tire blow-outs on a busy interstate, dog shit onstage, various attempted sexual molestations, bad weather, and more. The book’s a great read, and the perfect size to fit in a backpack and take with you. Clavin was cool enough to answer some of our questions via e-mail about the book and the possibility of another volume.
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New Bruises’ “Chock Full of Misery” out now

cover-new-brusies-chockOriginally due out June 5, Chock Full of MiseryNew Bruises‘ first album since their 2006 debut, Transmit! Transmit! — has finally seen release on Kiss of Death and No Idea. One could argue that the delay was due to some of the fantastic stuff band member Byron Lippincott has been releasing, since he’s one of the folks behind Kiss of Death.

Still, the emotive punk rockers have a new album out, and you will love it, because you’ve heard their shit on any number of splits the past five years, and a waterfall of new sounds totally beats the drips and drabs of split singles. You can manage an extra month after six years.
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Podcast #35, “Foggy Basement Breakdown”

the-fogSorry for all the stammering and stuttering in the podcast this week. It’s been a long week, even though it was barely half over when I recorded. I’d spent the prior two days pulling shifts at both my day job and the comic shop a friend runs. He and his wife had their baby this past weekend, and I’m helping out by working when no-one else can, but that’s left me a little spacey.

The tunes from this episode are pretty swank, though. A package came from No Idea (go buy the Lemuria/Cheap Girls split – it slays) this past weekend, and I found some awesome post-punk stuff at Salvation Army, so these super deep cuts ought to provide some stuff for you all to go dig for in clearance bins and bargain rooms yourselves. There’s a bunch of stuff headed this for review (in theory), so some of that might pop up next week.

Podcast #35, “Foggy Basement Breakdown”
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Dirty Tactics’ “Baltimore” ought to be a hit

cover-dirty-tacticsA copy of It Is What It Is, the new album from Philadelphia’s Dirty Tactics showed up in my mailbox a few weeks ago, and it kind of got set aside in favor of the new Gatorface album, which had come in the same package.

That might have been a bit of a mistake. As much as I like that Gatorface record (Wasted Monuments, out now on No Idea), It Is What It Is is so much more a summer album. While structurally kind of weird – sounding more like a label comp of like-minded bands than a cohesive, coherent release from one act – the mix of Killers sing-along choruses, Drive Like Jehu / Hot Snakes style garage guitar, and pop-punk’s sense of fun make this an exuberant record.

The album’s second track, “Baltimore,” is exactly the sort of song that I would expect to blow up modern rock radio this summer. It’s catchy as all hell, with a powerful chorus. It’s a song of longing and wanting to be somewhere else, but stuck in a job you have to do because you need the money – something to which everyone who’s spent a summer apart from their honey can relate.

It Is What It Is is out now on Say-10 Records.

MP3: Dirty Tactics, “Baltimore”