Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 107: “The Gammys or Awards of Authentic Authenticity in an Otherwise Insincere World of Sincerity”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 107: “The Gammys or Awards of Authentic Authenticity in an Otherwise Insincere World of Sincerity”

“Roses” by OutKast

Set 1
“So Easy” by the Blakes
“Mahalia” by the Mean
“All of the Fire” by Acrylics
“In Ruins” by Fol Chen
“If I Ever Had a Dream” by Nellie McKay

Set 2
“Dream About Changing” by Sally Seltmann
“What Does the Wind (Ewan Pearson Radio Edit)” by Tracey Thorn
“Slow Poison” by the Bravery
“Harry and Bess” by Ferraby Lionheart
“Let Me Take You Out” by Class Actress

Set 3
“Kaleidoscope” by Katie Costello
“Church on the Cumberland Road” by Shenandoah
“Up to Our Nex” by Robyn Hitchcock
“Heavy Mood” by Tilly and the Wall
“Eulogy” by Frank Turner

“No Way to Treat a Lady” by Bonnie Raitt

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Los Campesinos! @ Irving Plaza

Los Campesinos!; Speedy Ortiz
@ Irving Plaza
New York, NY - January 22, 2014

The Cardiff-based platoon known as Los Campesinos! are making a quick jaunt through a few American cities before they head back to their day jobs in the UK. With crowd reaction at fever pitch in a venue such as Irving Plaza, one is surprised that such a band would still require real work but if that's really the case, then that's how it is in rock n roll these days and in a way that's sort of cool. In fact I hope they all have jobs with the civil service!

The enthusiasm for the band makes sense. The deranged-happiness of Los Campesinos! music mixed with their frequently serious lyrics has all the markings of a big time deal. They've been around long enough now that they should be this big if not bigger. From the first time I heard "You! Me! Dancing!" (not surprisingly the punk-dance-stadium-blockbuster hit of the night), there were inklings this band could outlast their peers from both sides of the Atlantic. When "By Your Hand" came around a few years later, there were signs the band was making a progression into other modes of moods and it paid off (and as the second song of the night, it set the tone for the back-and-forth, give-and-take style of the songs played). And now with "What Death Leaves Behind" (which really set the crowd going, indicating the band's recent release, No Blues, might prove to be "the breakthrough record" but you never know with these things), the band is a full fledged musical monster. "What Death Leaves Behind" is very pop, exactly the kind of good version of what kids and overgrown kids like to make Top 10 Hot 100 hits out of, though it is usually cruddier stuff than this. This song is a work of pop art. Equal parts serious and escapist, the band's essence all in one song. And in this live setting, it came off as a rocker, another boost to its credibility.

Speedy Ortiz work from the school of 90's alternative. Pixies personified. Raw Superchunk. It is also completely accessible. Their love of middling network television, however, I cannot acccount for.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Bomb Turks @ The Bell House

New Bomb Turks; Nervosas; Born Loose
@ the Bell House
Brooklyn, NY - January 18, 2014

"The Chin" AKA "The Art Deco Soviet Propaganda Jaw" AKA Hatty McHatStealer, AKA Eric Davidson has been more known to me lately as leader of local punks Livids and as an accomplished world-class author. But tonight he was back in the digs that made him known to those who know him, with the New Bomb Turks. Even in the aging graying spectre of the conclusion of existence, there is no end to the madcap litany of out-of-control-rock-n-roll and hijinks. If the Marx Brothers were punks from Ohio, they'd have become the New Bomb Turks (and it means Zeppo wouldn't have quit, the schnook).
From the rampaging kick-off of "Born Toulouse-Lautrec" on a night train to "Lone Gone Sister", this was one of those "barn-burners" children like to talk about, even though they don't quite understand what burning a barn is all about. But Davidson knows.

Nervosas are frill-less (sad to say maybe even thrill-less) thrash-core also out of Ohio. Once can tell they still live there. But what do I know?

Born Loose are classically defined manic garage punk. With a frontman who reminds me of a young Steve Martin (wild, nonsensical, and refusing to leave the stage), this band was the sonic equivalent of a fun but had-a-little-too-much boozer. I enjoyed them with a distinct pleasantness.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 106: “Instrumental in the Background”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 106: “Instrumental in the Background”

“Better Get Hit in Your Soul” by Charles Mingus

Set 1
“Rebel Rouser” by Duane Eddy
“Teen Beast” by Los Straitjackets
“Last Night” by the Mar-Keys
“Slave to Love” by the Bryan Ferry Orchestra
“The Swag” by Link Wray and His Ray Men

Set 2
“Walk Don’t Run” by the Ventures
“Patricia” by Perez Prado
“George Valentin” by Ludovic Bource
“Laika” by the Cactus Channel

Set 3
“Steaming Blues” by the Hot 8 Brass Band
“Sweet Georgia Brown” by Django Reinhardt
“Powerhouse” by Raymond Scott
“Memories of You” by Ben Webster
“Flying Home” by Lionel Hampton

“Old-Fashioned Love” by the Dick Hyman Group featuring Howard Alden

Sunday, January 05, 2014

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 105: “Between the NFL and Downton Abbey”

The Sonic Parthenon Show – Episode 105: “Between the NFL and Downton Abbey”

“Winter Weather” by Squirrel Nut Zippers

Set 1
“Frozen Nose” by the Sights
“Ice” by Sarah Mclachlan
“Black Ice” by AC/DC
“Tropical Iceland” by the Fiery Furnaces

Set 2
“All Tensed Up” by Husker Du
“Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow” by Frank Zappa
“Cold Hands Warm Heart” by Brendan Benson
“Keep Me Warm” by Ida Maria

Set 3
“Go Outside” by Cults*
“Wait Up (Boots of Danger)” by Tokyo Police Club*
“Rain Street” by the Pogues*
“Down in the Flood” by Bob Dylan

“Heavy Weather” by Jarvis Cocker

*Felled by strange technical glitches but I have no patience to redo this episode.