Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 45: “Pretending to Boldly Go Where Over 500 People (and Many Satellites) Have Really Gone Before”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 45: “Pretending to Boldly Go Where Over 500 People (and Many Satellites) Have Really Gone Before”

“Space Oddity” by David Bowie

Set 1
“Space Flight” by I Roy
“Vixens in Space” by the Dirtbombs
“Rock and Roll Babe” by the Cocktail Slippers
 “Beep! Beep!” by Louis Prima

Set 2
“Into the Sun” by Great Northern
“Mercury Blues” by K.C. Douglas
“Venus” by Television
“Planet Earth” by Devo

Set 2
“Man on the Moon” by R.E.M.
“Fire on the Moon” by the BellRays
“Moon Rocks” by Talking Heads
“Whitey on the Moon” by Gil Scott-Heron
“Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra

Set 3
“Honey Bee (Let’s Fly to Mars)” by Grinderman
“Girl from Mars” by Ash
“Teenagers from Mars” by The Misfits

Set 5
“Saturn” by the Prime Ministers
“Father Neptune” by Connie Converse
“Jupiter and Teardrop” by Grant Lee Buffalo*
“Pluto” by Clare & the Reasons
“Comets” by Celebration

Set 6
“Twilight Galaxy” by Metric
“Waiting for UFO’s” by Graham Parker
“Star Dust” by Louis Armstrong
“Shooting Star” by Bob Dylan

“(You Must Fight to Live) on the Planet of the Apes” by The Mummies

*Clearly out of planetary order, thanks to a system glitch.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 44: “Crazy”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 44: “Crazy”

“Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince

Set 1
“Crazy Babies” by Ozzy Osbourne
“Halfway to Crazy” by Jesus and the Mary Chain
“You’re Drivin’ Me Crazy” by Squirrel Nut Zippers
“Crazy” by Patsy Cline

Set 2
“Where Is My Mind?” by Pixies
“Lost My Mind” by Jonny Lives!
“My Mind is Ramblin’” by Howlin’ Wolf
“Outta My Mind” by BBQ

Set 3
“Voices in My Head” by Denis Leary
“Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads
"Psycho" by the New Original Sonic Sound
“They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Ha!” by Napoleon XIV
“Insane Asylum” by the Detroit Cobras
“Psycho Therapy” by the Ramones

Set 4
“I Hate You, I Love You” by the Dead Milkmen
“I Hate My Fucking Job” by M.O.T.O
“My Shit’s Fucked Up” byWarren Zevon
“They Have Us Surrounded” by the Dirtbombs

Set 5
“Screenwriter’s Blues” by Soul Coughing
“Hell Broke Luce” by Tom Waits
“Same Kooks” by the Hold Steady
“Metal Health (Bang Your Head)” by Quiet Riot

Set 6
“I Want to Be Straight” by Ian Dury & the Blockheads
“Pretty Vacant” by the Sex Pistols
“In Bloom” by Nirvana
“You May Be Right” by Billy Joel

“Sanity” by Bad Religion

The Paul Collins Beat; Supertouch @ Generation Records

The Paul Collins Beat; Supertouch
@ Generation Records
New York, NY - April 21, 2012

Hard to believe but this appears to be the first purposeful Record Store Day event touched on by this blog. That's a little weird, suffice it to say, considering the very soul of all the music discussed here is that which found its pulse via the actual physical record, including and maybe especially, that of the still put on circular wax variety found in niche shops that were Churches before they were niche. But never one for following along, this hack has somehow avoided the one day festival that is Record Store Day.

So let it be then that the First Record Store Day for this hanger-on should feature the Paul Collins Beat. At Generation Records - one of the truly last vestiges of a world that will cease to exist in short order - this was the story of Rock n Roll in a nutshell (Lately - over at the old fake-radio program, I've taken to referring to the Rise and Fall of Rock n' Roll as if the Fall is a done deal. Spoiler alert: it probably is.). Way back yonder in a different key, the Paul Collins Beat were exactly what was needed. The sufficient culmination of a punk-affected world, brought around to New Wave, Power Pop, and that odd but nevertheless needed nexus of the Raw Rock n Roll Mayhem meeting the ever-wonderful hook. It was one of those mysteries. By all rights, by all measures, this was exactly the kind of music that should have bridged the purists with the People. But it didn't take, did it? The 80's went one way and the purists went another. To think what could have been in a Just World, where the Paul Collins Beat were kings...

Today, Paul Collins is your Working Man's Musician. That's you up there, see? Yes you're going to see our pal Bruce at the Stadium and think that he is you. And he sort of is but not quite as much as you think. And some of you who can't be bothered with that will instead look to, oh let's say, a Henry Rollins, and you think that cat is you up there. But you're wrong there too. It's this guy. This affable, personable, no-pomposity, no-facade fella is making exactly the kind of music you thought you could make if you just could figure out those three chords. Like a young Elvis Costello with a day job.

Supertouch! Never heard of them before! Guess what? Been around a while. Guess where? New York of course. Hardcore? Yeah technically. Alienating? Nah. And in the back of a record store? Shoot, perfect. Bonus: That LP of Rock n' Roll High School behind the drummer. Like a stage backdrop but by accident.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

JD McPherson; Lucius @ Mercury Lounge

JD McPherson; Lucius
@ Mercury Lounge
New York, NY - April 18, 2012

It has always been a mystery to your obedient Indie rockin' boy how of all the genres to escape the clutches of permanent nostalgia among each generation of youthful rock n' roll discoverers, it's original straight up Rock n' Roll that seems most prominent. Yes, rockabilly has had its druthers among the subsets but that is as much about a distinct style and culture as any music to go with it. A lot of the purists seem to care more about the pomade and the cut of their jib than the music that draw them to said jib in the first place.
The fact remains that original Rock n' Roll - the Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry kind - has never been kept up like the garage rock that came after it. It seems to be too kitschy for too many who could or should be playing it (blame Happy Days or baby-boomers, maybe). Worse than that, it also misses the Music Intelligentsia and Classicst crowds who are focused on pre-Rock n Roll sounds, the kind of otherwise excellent music found on the lower end of what's left of the radio dial, furnished by a local college campus.
So consider then one JD McPherson. A Sooner with the sound of the greats. The Jump Boogie Woogie Blues sped up, to paraphrase Little Richard. The actual original sound of Rock n' Roll. Not repackaged as shtick. Not meant to blend in with any tastemaker crowd. Just a direct devotion to the most basic, most elemental, most essential music to shake up the pop culture of the World in the last 60 years.
And better than that, he's good at this.
With a soulful voice and a touch of shred on the git, McPherson is as legitimate and credible as one would want in this rock n' roll racket. This is sincerity backed with skill. He's complemented by among others, his sharp bass player, Jimmy Sutton - himself possessing a voice taken from the times that made this sound number 1, sending fogies running for the hills - those scared of Brown Eyed Handsome Men, Great Balls of Fire, and the Summertime Blues.
The reason for musical existence is this sound of music. This gang is around to remind us of that.

Lucius is fronted by two dames with pitch-perfect harmonies. They sing as country balladeers but with a mix of 60's sounds behind them - a trio of cats merging the sounds of Dusty Springfield, Rita Moreno, Aretha Franklin, and maybe Loretta Lynn before she was even around. This is a coasting outfit, they play at a steady pace and keep a steady tempo throughout their set. You'll want to listen for those harmonies but you'll also take a peek at what their cooking behind them too.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 43: “Unknown Knowns”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 43: “Unknown Knowns”

sps43 - the mp3

The Sonic Parthenon Show Podcast
Set 1
“Blackmail Man” by Ian Dury
“Blockhead” by Devo
“Red Dress” by TV on the Radio
“Bitches in Tokyo” by Stars
“Counting the Hours” by Ted Leo & the Pharmacists

Set 2
“We’re Comin’ Out” by the Replacements
“Watching You Well” by the National
“Rainy Streets” by Superchunk
“I Love for That Look” by Dinosaur Jr
“Pimento” by Heavy Trash

Set 3
“Three Girl Rhumba” by Wire
“Singapore” by Tom Waits
“Hateful” by the Clash
“Don’t Believe a Word” by Thin Lizzy
“A Reflection” by the Thermals

Set 4
“What Hath God Wraught” by Soledad Brothers
“Strange Girl” by the Airborne Toxic Event
“Bent Out of Shape” by Squirrel Nut Zippers
“Cheap Motels” by Southern Culture on the Skids
“Crossed Out Name” by Ryan Adams & the Cardinals

Set 5
“Hell of a Season” by the Black Keys
“Settin’ the Woods on Fire” by Hank Williams
“Little Anne” by Screaming Females
“Ole Man Trouble” by Otis Redding
“Seductress of Bums” by the Raveonettes

Set 6
“Dissident Agressor” by Judas Priest
“No Class” by Motorhead
“You Can Pack Your Suitcase” by Fats Domino
“Hidden Charms” by Howlin’ Wolf
“Rendezvous” by Bruce Springsteen

 “Sorry Charlie” by Ween

Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Sonic Parthenon Playlist: Early 2012

JD McPherson - North Side Gal
Magnetic Fields - Andrew in Drag
Mountain Man - How'm I Doin'
Bad Sports - Can't Just Be Friends
Nada Surf - Waiting For Something
Ben Kweller - Jealous Girl
The Pica Beats - Palms Will Smoke In Cold Air
Alabama Shakes - Hold On
The Pack A.D. - Haunt You
Meshell Ndegeocello - Oysters
The Rapture - Sail Away
Terry Malts - Nauseous
Birdy - 1901
Selebrities  - Surrounded By You
JC Brooks &The Uptown Sound - I Got High
Wavves - Nodding Off (featuring Best Coast)
Oberhofer - Gotta Go
Howler - Back Of Your Neck
Madi Diaz - Nothing at All
Lana Del Ray - Video Games
Now, Now - Thread
Field Mouse - Glass

The Black Keys - El Camino
Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
Craig Finn - Clear Eyes, Full Heart
Leonard Cohen - Old Ideas
Ryan Adams  - Ashes & Fire

Bryan Dunn @ Rockwood II

Bryan Dunn 
@ Rockwood II
New York, NY - April 6, 2012

Every now and then Gotham can still have one of those nights made just for the windbag hack of a writer that is your obedient servant. Up at the Arena of the Gods, one Bruce S. of Freehold was doing his version of a Night 1 Passover Seder with a Haggadah for a new generation. Over in Brooklyn, the War on Drugs - not an un-Springsteen-like band of fine repute were doing their bit, with the Metric gang boasting of their attendance in the crowd, a call-out for friends to join them. And further south in Brooklyn, the gem of a thunderous rock band, punk-metal wonderkids the Screaming Females bashed out what they do like no one else can.

Where was I? I had the pleasure of being with yet another of those gems, one patented and polished right here in New York City. I was at the record release party for Bryan Dunn, freshly armed with his new document, the extremely wonderfully titled Sweetheart of the Music Hall. As I watched Bryan and his handsome band do what I have known they have done for quite a bit now, I couldn't help but think of these other names I mentioned above and how this fits right in. There is that generational connection, across age and genres, that binds this all together. And there are very few cities that can keep it all together in one place, at one time. The extra benefit of seeing and hearing Bryan Dunn though is that we can say he's ours. He's of this city. And for crusty old "it was better back when" types like yours truly, he's also a refuge. But better than that, he's a reminder of that connection, he's a link in that connection. I can't ask for more than that and frankly, I wouldn't want to.

Monday, April 02, 2012

WILD FLAG; Hospitality @ Webster Hall

WILD FLAG; Hospitality 
@ Webster Hall
New York, NY - April 1, 2012

Was this an April Fool's joke? Did my eyes and ears deceive me or did I actually see and hear the kind of rock band that both Indie Cred Snobs and Classical Enthusiasts can agree upon? Could it actually be the case that you can shed all the labels, judgments, pretexts, and pretenses that come with being in a rock band, being in an indie rock band, being women in an indie rock band, and being ALL women in an indie rock band, and be left with a direct, no muss, no fuss ROCK AND ROLL BAND DONE FINITO ALL CAPITALS LIKE THEIR BAND NAME SUGGESTS?


WILD FLAG has come to save the day. No context required. Whether they are doing their three chord, two minute punk spasms (preferred) or their longer, more psychedelic-prog-metal inclined experiments (not as necessary but appreciated), this is a band that has come to play but doesn't mess around. Of course thinking of Sleater-Kinney is unavoidable with both Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss in the band but so be it - this project is both a continuation and a new chapter. Rebecca Cole's harmonies with Janet are fantastic and, perhaps surprisingly, seal the deal as making WILD FLAG successful beyond doubt. Mary Timoney needs no litany of superlatives as she lets her power and grace speak for her ability.

Hospitality are one of the many buzzed bands of the moment to have a band name based on a simple lazily-descriptive word (think Givers, Waters, Tennis, Yacht). It makes sense since most of those bands, this one included, make somewhat lazy, non-descriptive Indie pop-rock music. And also fitting their name, Hospitality just seem nice, pleasant.  Maybe what they need is to spell their name out in all capital letters. I mean it.