Thursday, September 28, 2006


I read a bulletin posted by Mastodon on myspace today regarding photographer and Birmingham Alabama native Ryan Russell's work and think I may have found my new favorite contemporary rock photographer. Shooting entirely in non-digital formats (thank god), his images capture a crucial split second of life with resulting images that clearly articulate action, movement, and life. Even his portraits have striking emotive qualities. I strongly recommend bookmarking Ryan Russell's website and seeking out his work wherever possible.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

WEBSTER HALL - 9/22/2006

photo by thisismecl

For a person really low on funds, it was probably pretty stupid of me to spend 36 bucks to see The Killers at Webster Hall friday, 9/22. I rationalized the expenditure by telling myself that, hell, these guys are about to embark on an arena tour; might as well catch what will probably be the last 1400 person gig they'll play in the next few years. At least I went in open-minded.

But the show was a hot, steaming pile of annoying fans and generic, unthrilling pop. I haven't done the research, but I wonder how many other people are as annoyed as I am at how badly the singer blatanly copies Freddy Mercury. Emulation is one thing; rip-offs are another. Something tells me I'd be hard-pressed to find any evidence of the singer giving any credit to Mercury for the stage presence he'll be relying on for this upcoming tour.

I will say that the band DOES have chops though. The tunes themselves were hardly as impressive as the skills wielded by the musicians. Earl Hickey, it turns out, is a fucking incredible drummer. Further, the guitar player had an incredible style that was a total throwback to the old days of anthemic guitar rock. The bass didn't stand out so much, but at least he was cool lookin'.

The show was a clam and it alarms me that this band is about to embark on a large venue tour. Also, there were simply too many dudes with Growin-Up-Gotti-styled hair high-fiving each other between songs and too many girls complaining I'm too tall. I'm not kidding; girls were literally asking their boyfriends to ask me to move because I was too tall. I even heard one guy say "Geez, I don't know honey.... he doesn't seem like the type." This would literally happen no matter where I happened to be standing. Literally. I felt like the Webster Hall pariah. Don't worry people; I am having femur reduction surgery this week.

It was a terrible time all around and I am kicking myself for actually paying for it. I didn't even bother to take pics or grab a set-list. The final CBGB hardcore matinee can't get here quick enough.

More decent pics at flickr.

Monday, September 18, 2006


The Continental's second to last show ever was as close to the early 90's hardcore shows I used to go as you can get. Having taken down all of the famous framed pictures and other decorations that used to be present and also having removed all of those clumsy booths, the Continental was transformed into a dingy hardocre venue of days long gone. What also authenticized the atmosphere was the complete lack of air conditioning and the fact that the guys at the door completely overfilled the place with chain smoking skinheads, punks, Hells Angels, and college kids. The heat, claustrophobia and second hand smoke made me wonder how I ever did this weekend after weekend when I was a wee bit younger.

I got there just in time to see the Turbo ACs who I didn't realize were on the bill. My buddy Tim is their new bass player and I've been wanting to see them for quite awhile. They were good, really good, but not so great that I felt I was listening to something worth writing home about. They are currently set to embark on an enormous world tour, so evidently they're doing something right.

The Turbo ACs were followed by one of my current punk favorites Two Man Advantage . They have by far the most appealing schtick of any band currently in existence; a total committment to hockey, beer, and punk rock. Outfitted with masks, helmets, jerseys, and hockey suspenders, Two Man Advantage tore through a completely beer soaked set of total chaos. It was a sight to behold.

Finally, sometime around 12:15am, Murphy's Law hit the stage to close down the place in true Murphy's Law / Continental fashion. At this point in the night I was absolutely pooped and ready for bed, but the energy they put into going out with a bang really gave me my second wind. Not only did the tunes sound a zillion times tighter than their show at BBs with the Gorilla Biscuits, but the energy was at a peak and the crowd totally ate it up. Whether he was making fun of NYU and straight edge kids or biting into cans of beer and hosing the at that point sweaty and exhausted crowd, Jimmy G and Co. tore the place up.

All in all, it was the perfect send off. It emptimozed and recreated a scene that is more and more becoming nothing but happy memories and nostalgia. Not only is the Continental no more, but Jummy G made many allusions to the band calling it quits after the next album. Without a veteran band like Murphy's Law to rely on for a guaranteed good time and without a place like the Continental or CBGBs to showcase bands like Murphy's Law, a major chapter in underground music is coming to a close and will never be replicated. Everything else will just be a forgery.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

9/15/06 - HOLY SHIT

This year's Comedians of Comedy show at Irving Plaza pretty much blew last year's show away. The line-up this year included Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Eugene Mirman, and Morgan Murphy. But what put this show over the top was the insane roster of special guest which included David Cross, Nick Swardson, Jon Benjamin, and, one of my personal favorites, Jon Glaser (as Johnny Dingdong).

Here's a quick recap that will never do the show justice. The show ran flawlessly but to the dismay of the staff at Irving Plaza went more than 30 minutes over. This was my first time seeing Morgan Murphy and, in addition to thinking I've found my soul mate, may have found a new top 3 comic. I found her super-dry and monotone delivery too charming for words. Eugene as usual tore it up with a few great bits and what will no doubt be regarded as one of his greatest videos ever. Jon Glaser has got to be one of the greatest characters in comedy today. Every time I see him, he is doing a different character. On Friday he came out comedian Johnny Dingdong, a toe-headed stand-up comedian who essentially makes fun of the audience and eats a 12-inch sub. You had to be there, but it was absolutely hilarious. The show then segued into what for me was probably one of the strongest parts of the evening. David Cross came out and entertained us with about 15 minutes of stand-up before giving up the stage to Jon Benjamin who, as it turned, out was a no show. From there it turned into a very Mr. Show-esque video/live action bit where David and Jon Benjamin took turns being on stage or on the video alternately. Brian and Patton closed things off; Posehn lumbering around the stage with a shitload of great material followed by Patton with a ton of new bits.

After that I got invited to the afterparty at B-Sides, and that is really where the night began. B-Sides was jam packed with my favorite comedians. I basically spent my time in the back sitting with Patton, his wife, Brian Posehn, and Scott Ian from Anthrax. While we were back there drinking Rheingold and shots of Whisky, we were visited by the likes of David Cross, Eugene Mirman, Morgan Murphy, Chris Parnell, and Demitri Martin. I was in hog heaven. Luckily I was drunk as a skunk and felt no sense of shame or nervousness. Here are some pics from the evening:

Patton Oswalt
Morgan Murphy
Eugene Mirman
David Cross
David Cross and Jon Benjamin I
David Cross and Jon Benjamin II
Me, Eugene Mirman, Morgan Murphy, Patton Oswalt
Scott Ian, David Cross, Brian Posehn
Scott Ian, Brian Posehn, Me, Patton Oswalt

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Image c/o

Last night's Roger Waters performance at Madison Square Garden was probably one of the most personally fulfilling experiences in recent memory. Waters put on a show that not only wowed the audience with incredible visuals and a classic quadrophonic speaker set-up, but he also had us enthralled with a wonderfully ecclectic set-list spanning his solo career and his career with Pink Floyd. Roger traded in the pompous, Tron-like, laser-crazy stage glam that Floyd has beaten into the ground for a more modern, subtle look that uses wonderful lighting, the occasional pyrotechnics, and a HUGE LCD screen. Yes, we were treated to the floating pig and a floating astronaut (a la 2001), but this show FELT like a Waters show, not a Floyd show.

One thing that makes me respect Roger Waters, besides the enormous breadth and depth of his catalogue, is how he doesn't make these Roger Waters shows all about Roger. When Jon Carin, for example, takes the reigns as vocalist, the spotlight on Roger literally fades away and focuses its attention to Carin pushing Roger into the background and making him, simply, the bass player; not the prolific songwriter we're all there to see. It is this attention and appreciation he regards his band with that really reduces the ego factor that could really plague these shows.

As I said, and as you'll see below, the first half of the set was a great representation of his body of work. But the excitement really picked up after their 15-minute break when they were ready to perform Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety. In one of the greatest surprises I've ever experience, Roger Waters brough out Nick Mason to play the entire album with the band. Having seen Mason and Waters at this show and Gilmour and Wright at Gilmour's solo show at Radio City, I was in shock that within the span of a year I will have seen all original members of the band; except Syd, of course.

There were so many wonderful aspects of this show. His touring band was absolutely incredible and even included his son Harry Waters on keyboards. His tributes to Syd Barrett were surprisingly moving and really brought home to me how prolific he was and how much he will be missed; not that I didn't recognize it before, but seeing one of Syd's oldest friends lament the loss was pretty moving. His political overtures were rather scathing and professed a lot of sympathy towards the opression of Palsetenians and the senseless deaths of allied troops in Iraq. It was just a fantastic evening and I was sober for the whole thing for a change.


First Set

* In The Flesh
* Mother
* Set The Controls For the Heart of the Sun
* Shine on You Crazy Diamond
* Have A Cigar
* Wish You Were Here
* Southampton Dock
* Fletcher Memorial Home
* Perfect Sense Part I (w/ floating astronaut
* Perfect Sense Part II
* Leaving Beirut
* Sheep (w/ floating pig)

Second Set

*Dark Side of the Moon, in its entirety, with NICK MASON


* Another Brick in the Wall Part II (w/ Boys Club of NYC Singers)
* Vera Lynn
* Bring the Boys Back Home
* Comfortably Numb

Saturday, September 09, 2006

WEBSTER HALL - 9/8/2006

Holy shit. From start to finish, the Mastodon/Converge/Bronx show completely kicked my nuts into the roof of my mouth. I had never heard The Bronx and probably never would have had they not opened for Mastodon... for some reason the idea of a Southern California based band naming themselves after a burrough of New York City just seemed really lame. But of course my prejudices were unfounded. They do tend to overuse the styles and hooks of their influences and it does come off a bit obvious, but they still kick serious ass and definitely add their own signature to the genre.

Converge was definitely the band I was eager to see; even more so than Mastodon. The Converge family tree branches out to bands like Cave In, Old Man Gloom, Daltonic and Doomriders and I have always been fond of their style. The intensity of their music is really difficult to sufficiently describe. It is simply some of the most heartfelt agression you can imagine. Imagine having someone scream in one ear while a thunder cla explodes in the other.

And what can I say about Mastodon. The setlist they put together for the show was a really good representation of their overall body of work. From start to finish it was a complete onslaught of some of the finest metal since Master of Puppets or Reign in Blood. Everyone there was so into it that for the whole show it felt as though the entire place was on the brink of exploding into one huge mosh pit. But that never happened. There was some shoving, but no actual pit, thank god. There's nothing more pathetic than a half-assed mosh pit.

The Bronx
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Friday, September 08, 2006


I was browsing around the Melvins Ipecac Page and noticed that they are kicking off an enormous US Tour tonight at WOW Hall in Eugene Oregon. Head over to the Calendar, scroll down to Melvins, and soak it up. They'll be at Maxwell's on 10/16/06 and Warsaw on 10/17/06. Yowza

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Good news from the Robert Pollar front. First off, his new album Normal Happiness is coming out on 10/10/06 and folks who buy it will receive a FREE live CD. The album was recorded at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati Ohio on June 24 2006. The show was part of a two day opening stint for Pearl Jam.

In addition, Pollard will tour the US in November in support of this new record. See dates below

Thursday November 9
Bloomington, IN- Bluebird
w/ Nassau

Friday November 10
Chicago, IL- The Abbey Pub
w/ Nassau

Saturday November 11
Dayton, OH- The Foundry
w/ Mitch Mitchell's Terrifying Experience & Murder Your Darlings

Monday November 13
NYC- Bowery Ballroom
w/ Starling Electric

Tuesday November 14
Philadelphia, PA- World Café Live
w/ Starling Electric

Wednesday November 15
Baltimore, MD- Sonar
w/ Portastatic

Friday November 17
Boston, MA- Paradise
w/ Starling Electric

Saturday November 18
Northampton, MA- Pearl Street
w/ Richard Davies


Williamsburg's Arm Gallery will host what appears to be a pretty heavy duty event on Friday 9/8/06 featuring art, puppets, and loud loud music. From their myspace blog:

This event will feature Japanther, a mixed media performance by Puppet Kabob with marrionettes, shadow puppets, live music, and projections, and a set by High Places. Entry is $5 or free if you bring a plate of home baked anything because we are hungry and the kitchen isn't finished yet... See flyer below for details. Hope you can make it!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Death Cab for Cutie and Ted Leo and the Pharmacists are embarking on a tour of the US this fall. They land at the Theater and Madison Square Garden on 11/08/06. Tickets are a whopping $50, no including the usual fees. Might be worth it though....

Monday, September 04, 2006

Conqueror and US Tour in 2007

For those of us thirsty for more following the release of Jesu's EP Silver, some very good news has been published on Justin K. Broadrick's blog:

The new Jesu album, recently titled 'Conqueror', is currently at the end of the mixing stage and is about to be mastered. There are 8 songs on 'Conqueror', with a running time of just over 60 minutes. Planned for a February 2007 release on Hydra Head, a U.S tour will coincide with the release, shortly followed by tours of Japan and Europe. More details as they come through...

This would mark Justin's first tour of the US since he was with Godflesh and is incredibly welcome news for die-hard fans like myself. He recently toured Europe with his other project, Final, as the opener... let's hope we can expect the same in the US. Also, Justin has a presence on myspace with the Official Jesu Myspace and the Official Final Myspace.

In other Justin K. Broadrick news:

  • Aurora Borealis will be releasing a limited edition 12" vinyl only EP featuring 2 new experimental Jesu compositions

  • Currently being mixed is a limited edition split 12" vinyl EP with Eluvium, this release is a joint venture between Hydra Head and Temporary Residence

  • In other news there is a new Justin instigated band project - GREY MACHINE, the first album is currently in fruition. Expect something vicious, loose, heavy and psychedelic. More news very soon....

  • Justin has been invited to join Sunn0))) as a member of the group on their upcoming October 2006 U.K and Ireland tour

  • Justin recently mixed and produced the Pelican London live show at the Scala from December 2005 from what is to be both a DVD and a limited double vinyl set.

  • Justin will also be mixing and producing an ISIS one off performance of 'Oceanic' in its entirety, performed in London as part of the ATP festival in July 2006