Sunday, November 29, 2015

80 - "What's Old Is Me..and Maybe to You"

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The Rezillos - "Top of the Pops"
Fast Cars - "The Kids Just Wanna Dance"
Flesh Eaters - "Pray Til You Sweat"
The Dicks - "Off-Duty Sailor"
Champs - "Tequila"*
Bad Brains - "Fearless Vampire Killers"
The Weirdos - "We Got the Neutron Bomb"
Discharge - "Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing"
The Pretenders - "Tattooed Love Boys"
The Adicts - "Viva La Revolution"
The BellRays - "Blue Blue Blue"
The Pogues - "The Rake at the Gates of Hell"
Jesse Dayton - "I'm at Home Getting Hammered (While She's Out Getting Nailed)"
Temple of the Dog - "Say Hello 2 Heaven"
Baltimora - "Tarzan Boy"
Funkadelic - "Maggot Brain"

*Played out of order than when it was referred to in my spiel because of technical difficulties.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

79 - Torch Songs (sort of)

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Avid Dancer - "I Feel It"
Weaves - "Tick"
Albert Hammond Jr. - "Born Slippy"
Barbarita Palacios - "Espejos Rotos"
Khruangbin - "People Everywhere (Still Alive)"
Moving Panoramas - "One"
Benji Swafford - "If There's a Mountain"
Dave Rawlings Machine - "The Weekend"
Laura Stevenson - "Torch Song"
Diane Coffee - "Everyday"
Worriers - "They/Them/Theirs"
The Bird and the Bee - "Recreational Love"
Boy and Bear - "Walk the Wire"
Catsax - "Into the Deep"
Royal Headache - "Carolina"

Friday, November 20, 2015

Tommy Stinson; The So-So Glo's @ Berlin

Tommy Stinson; The So-So Glo's
@ Berlin
New York, NY - November 19, 2015

A full circle. Four years ago, I saw Tommy Stinson play the Bowery Electric, us in the crowd fairly sure in the notion this was as close to "The Replacements" as it was probably going to get. But during the show, in response to someone in the crowd, Tommy hinted that perhaps such a thing was possible if Paul Westerberg ever wanted to. Not too long after, it happened. Over the course of a few years. Reunion, record, tour. Then it imploded. Again. And here we were again. In a basement in the East Village. With Tommy Stinson and a fine backing band (including guitar ace Steve Selvidge, he of the Hold Steady and I do believe Lucero as well) and a run of songs that were a little more amped up than some of the previous solo work. And with that amping up, there was also bit of a city punk edge to the look, a little more in keeping with what we hope for, rather than any slick L.A.-ness.

The So-So Glo's were hammered into my skull most enjoyably last New Year's Eve at the Music Hall of Williamsburg with the aforementioned Hold Steady. A downtown club basement is an even better venue to take in the local lads and their punk anthems. There were chilling whisps of generations gone by, all filtering through this raw, kinetic band.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

78 - "The Songs That We Sing"

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Django Reinhardt - "Tears"
Edit Piaf - "La Vie en Rose"
Sonny Rollins - "The Last Time I Saw Paris"
Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald - "April in Paris"
Elvis Costello and the Attractions - "Crimes of Paris"
The Adicts - "Champ Elysees"
The Black Hollies - "French Blues"
Eagles of Death Metal - "I Only Want You"
Jamaica - "Jericho"
Phoenix - "Countdown (Sick for the Big Sun)"
Justice - "D.A.N.C.E"
Daft Punk - "Beyond"
Charlotte Gainsbourg - "The Songs That We Sing"
Carbon/Silicon - "Why Do Men Fight?"
Tom Waits - "Barcarolle"
Norah Jones - "Peace"

Johnny Two Bags; Scott H. Biram; Jesse Dayton @ Mercury Lounge

Johnny Two Bags; Scott H. Biram; Jesse Dayton
@ Mercury Lounge
New York, NY - November 14, 2015

Who knew that the very act of going to a show could constitute a political act? Well that's a dumb question considering human nature, but it may nevertheless be true. 24 hours after people in Paris found themselves in harm's way just for doing this very thing, some of us took heart in doing that which we want to do. In many respects, there isn't a finer articulation of doing what you want to do than the collection of rebel outlaw off-the-beaten path country-punk-rock genres that came from just one place: America. A lot of it, Texas. Truths, the good kind, were in full display at this gig.

I saw Jesse Dayton not too far back in time when he opened and played with John Doe at a free thing in a loading dock. It may not have happened yesterday but I never forgot his rich voice, or his Rob Zombie Hollywood movie connection story, or his contribution to the American Songbook - "I'm at Home Getting Hammered (While She's Out Getting Nailed)" (all of which thankfully were repeated tonight). But at this gig, we got the full measure - the door-busting stomp and swagger packed with sincerity and 100% natural talent.

The work of Scott H. Biram is no stranger to this place. But speaking of time gone by, his facial hair is gray now, making it starker to remember that first time at CBGB's (the place where I also saw Eagles of Death Metal, if you want some fuller context for why this was a special night to be plain and simple). Scott made fun of his more recent mellowing out, not acknowledging that such music let out the secret - the man has a taste for good sounds where he finds it. Shit, Biram, it can't be "Raising Hell" all the time (though it's good when you do). There's room for Chester Burnett, metal, and gospel all in this crazy world and you're just doing your bit. And thank you for saying what some of us know to be true: Sure, New York City can't do barbecue but that's OK because we have Katz's.

Johnny Two Bags, off duty from Social D, brought his Southern California style (and distaste for temperatures under 50 degrees Fahrenheit) to the proceedings, including making use of his intimacy of The U.S. Bombs and the Swingin' Utters to pump up his productive efforts.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Paris, je t'aime

Two nights ago, on Armistice Day/Veteran's Day, I happened to find myself at the World Trade Center  here in New York City, at the end of a stroll from Penn Station with a friend as we talked our usual ramble that appears to define life for a couple of adequately educated, underemployed, under-ambitious lower middle class American sons-of-immigrant white boys in 2015.

It occurred to me I had never seen the pools before, the pools where the Twin Towers once stood. To see them at night proved extra striking. The sound of the waterfalls and to see the water - the element of life on this planet, rolling into what looked like, in the night, an endless void, the black. It's beautiful. Water, the Earth, and the black, the Universe. A cosmic glimpse writ small upon a spot of land on which a terrible choice was made by a small band of "intelligent" life upon their fellow human beings on a day 14 years ago.  And not just upon any spot of land, my home.

I was going to let this moment stay internal, unremarked. I had no desire to run to my computer screen or call up a social networking application on my Hitchhiker's Guide to tell the world I had thoughts. I was going to do the old fashioned thing and keep a moment to myself.

But 48 hours later I again see human madness. Like that day 14 years ago in New York. Like in London, Madrid, Mumbai, Bali, or at a school in Connecticut. Or in China. Like all the human madness before our time, suffered by our ancestors. Today, Paris. Humans wanting merely to have a meal, enjoy an intoxicating drink, hear music, watch sport. Their lives cut short seemingly because of such desires, as if to do such things with their existence constitutes crime. Their lives cut short by those who cannot take the moment to reconcile the water of life and the black of the universe because they have collectively convinced themselves they achieve fulfillment and happiness by snatching those very feelings away from others for eternity.

And worse yet, like after all these episodes, we say just that. An episode. We go on. And we let go of the daily fear after a short while. And we go back to our comforting daily routines. Including the self-involvement, the self-pity. We remind ourselves every so often that life is precious, it can be gone in a moment - from accident, from design - so savor every moment like it's the last. Except we do that by resorting to that corrupting element - all we know is what we face at that moment and that's all there is. No preciousness of life. No thinking that you might never see your loved ones again. Certainly nothing about the Universe being billions of years old and going to on to be billions of years old after you are gone. Just that you've been mildly insulted or hurt by the machinations of a nearby jerk. Or that you've been inconvenienced in some horrible way. Or you lack what others lack. The Cosmos goes out the window when nothing terrible happens for a few months or years. Then it happens again. A vicious cycle indeed.

It was probably too soon to write this and think of it with some personal import. I am still trying to grasp that part of tonight's horror involved a very nice rock n roll band I once saw play CBGB and of whom I hold some regard, let alone grasp what else has unfolded upon a city of humans trying to do some very nice human things. So all I can do, powerless as I am as we all are in the face of such circumstances, is take solace in those things that give me solace, even if it's a chilling solace - that water of life and the black of the Universe that make the Cosmos, that notion that there can and should be very nice rock and roll bands, that we can and should enjoy a meal, a drink, a game, a book, a dream, a desire or two or three or a million.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Elvis Costello and Roseanne Cash @ BAM

E.C. published the memoirs. Roseanne met him at the Opera House. She had questions. He answered. Including relaying a Q from Sir Elton asking what he really thinks of Steely Dan (A: too busy writing the book to stick around to hear them out on recent tour). He also read and played some clips. There was also tribute to Toussaint. Then he sang a few, including a hypnotic song called "Share Your Love With Me" and then they  sang together on an old collaboration they did with Kristofferson. Magic. 

Sunday, November 08, 2015

77 - "Canadians"

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D.O.A. - "New Age"
Paul Anka - "Lonely Boy"
Neil Young - "Albuquerque"
Metric - "Gimme Sympathy"
The Band - "Ophelia"
Sarah Mclachlan - "Circle"
Barenaked Ladies - "Be My Yoko Ono"
Sloan - "The Other Man"
Rush - "Limelight"
The King Khan and BBQ Show - "Love You So"
The Sadies - "Justine Alright"
Broken Social Scene - "Frightening Lives"
The New Pornographers - "Brill Bruisers"
Feist - "I Feel It All"
Leonard Cohen - "Bird on the Wire"
Tom Cochrane - "Life is a Highway"

Sunday, November 01, 2015

76 - "Mars"

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David Bowie - "Life on Mars?"
Grinderman - "Honey Bee (Life on Mars?)"
The Cramps - "Mojo Man from Mars"
The Misfits - "I Turned Into a Martian"
Man or Astro-Man? - "Everyone's Favorite Martian"
T-Rex - "Ballroom of Mars"
Ash - "Girl from Mars"
The Aquabats - "Martian Girl"
The Pack A.D. - "The Last Martian"
The Boss Martians - "Out of Sight"
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - "Fourth World War"
The Soul Stirrers - "Wade in the Water"
The Jesus and Mary Chain - "Between Planets"
Beulah - "Matter vs Space"
Deep Purple - "Space Truckin'"

Your ears do not deceive you. There's a glitch - the intro and commercial shtick set-ups were reversed.