Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Five: 5 Favorite Florida Bands

Did this once before with North Carolina bands, but Florida is deep and wide. So all of the bands have the qualifier of "right now." There is no blood from surfers, no people that I'm against! and all of this is subject to change if Further Seems Forever gets back together in the next 24 hours...

5) Have Gun Will Travel

Part St. Pete bar band, part Americana innovators, Have Gun Will Travel's Postcards From A Friendly City was recently adopted by Suburban Home Records. No excuse not to find these guys.

4) Only Thieves

<a href="">Only Thieves - Does This Bus Stop at 8th Avenue? by Tallahassee Compilation</a&gt

Greetings From Levy Park, the Only Thieves rocking debut is so good, but I originally thought they were from Jersey. Guess it was the album title. Have no fear, they rock it right in Tallahassee, snap!

3) Mouse Fire

Mouse Fire: "This Is How I throw My Slider"

I got Wooden Teeth when someone accidentally gave it to me. I soon realized how much Lujo Records and I see eye to eye. Word is, new album from Lakeland's Mouse Fire in May.

2) Look Mexico

Look Mexico: "You're Not Afraid of The Dark Are You?"

This kind of messes up my list, because according to this article most of the band is moving to Texas next week. Surprisingly, their old stuff is lighter and more mature than their new stuff, which is more straight ahead punkish-rock. Soon, indie rock kids at Florida State will say..."Look Mexico was so chill. We used to hang out with them all the time before they were on the radio..." Their new album comes out in March. See their tour dates here.

1) John Ralston

John Ralston: "Fragile"

I just discovered John Ralston in the last few months, but I knew John Ralston. A Legends of Rodeo song popped up on iTunes and I was like, "dang they are so legendary...what happened to them? To where have they RECESSed?"

Soon, I found the John Ralston MySpace page and hooked myself up with the album
Sorry Vampire. It came out a few years ago, and he's had an EP since then...but expect more becaue my THEORY is that he's heating up again.

Honorable Mention: Holiday Shores, Greenland is Melting
More after the jump...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Swing South: Look Mexico

Look Mexico "You Stay. I Go. No Following." from Look Mexico HD on Vimeo.

Almost forgot. Look Mexico is going on a blast of a tour for their new album,
To Bed To Battle in March from Suburban Home. Couple of shows in the FL will be album release parties before embarking on a longer tour. A few of those shows is with Tallahassee's Only Thieves, which I love as well. All signs point to this album as Look Mexico's "breakout" and "crossover." Rawk. Southern dates after the jump...

Feb 25 2010
1982 (To Bed To Battle-CD Release Show) w/Only Thieves & Greenland Is Melting Gainesville,

Feb 26 2010
Backbooth (To Bed To Battle-CD Release Show) w/Only Thieves Orlando, Florida

Feb 27 2010
EARLY - The Porch (To Bed To Battle-CD Release Show) w/Only Thieves Brandon, Florida
Feb 27 2010
LATE - New World Brewery (To Bed To Battle-CD Release Show) w/Only Thieves Tampa,

Feb 28 2010
Doozer’s w/Only Thieves (ALL AGES) Jacksonville, Florida

Mar 2 2010
Caledonia Lounge Athens, Georgia

Mar 3 2010
New Brookland Tavern West Columbia, South Carolina

Mar 4 2010
The Casbah at Tremont Music Hall Charlotte, North Carolina

Mar 5 2010
Tir Na Nog Raleigh, North Carolina

Mar 6 2010
Canal Club Richmond, Virginia

Mar 12 2010
The Soapbox Wilmington, North Carolina

Mar 13 2010
Harvest of Hope St. Augustine, Florida

Mar 14 2010
Harvest of Hope St. Augustine, Florida

Mar 16 2010
Vino’s Little Rock, Arkansas

More after the jump...

Swing South: Flashbulb Fires

Flashbulb Fires: "Ambulance"

I'm not usually a fan of sprawling pop, but Denver's Flashbulb Fires takes pensive melodies and extends them to their farthest ends but with a dash of Americana as if Coldplay got serious about analyzing Jeff Tweedy. Their new album
Glory is out now. The whole thing is worth it just for the opener "Pyramid Schemes." The Southeast dates are below, including a stop in Nashville for the 7th Anniversary of Rocketown...

Feb. 27 2010 3:50P

Rocketown - Rocketown 7th Anniversary Festival Nashville, Tennessee

Mar 1 2010 9:00P
Cave Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Mar 2 2010 8:00P
The Hideaway Johnson City, Tennessee

Mar 3 2010 8:00P
The Evening Muse Charlotte, North Carolina

Mar 4 2010 8:00P
The Rocket Club Asheville, North Carolina

Mar 6 2010 7:00P
The 567 - The Presents w/ Ha Ha Tonka, Austin Crane, Amy Godwin Macon,

Mar 7 2010 8:00P
The Nick Birmingham, Alabama

Mar 9 2010 10:00P
The Buccaneer Memphis, Tennessee

More after the jump...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sleep Bellum Sonno - Judge Us By How We Lived Our lives Not By How We Made Our Living

Sleep Bellum Sonno

Judge Us By How We Lived Our Lives Not By How We Made Our Living
Unsigned, 2009
Review by Josh Rank

Sleep Bellum Sonno: "A House of Spades"

Sleep Bellum Sonno is a trio from New York. Judge Us By How We Lived Our lives Not By How We Made Our Living was recorded live to capture the “rawness” of the group. This, I think, is self-important bullsh** but, hey, more power to ‘em.

Judge Us… is a concept album. Each song is written from a different point of view about a man leaving his wife and kids. This is an interesting idea and I applaud them for having more ambition than a lot of other bands putting out music these days.

The instrumentation on the album is great. Each song drifts from section to section with ease. The guitar lines carry the songs along but don’t necessarily lead them. A crew of background instruments, (horns, harmonica, I think I heard some strings) show up to add to the mood of each song. Each track is as strong as the next in this regard, meaning there are no stand-out “bad” songs.


The vocals. Dear god the vocals kill the album. Two main voices are heard throughout. There’s a lead singer and a backup screamer. The lead singer, guitar player Adam Tomlinson, sounds like a 17-year-old version of a Las Vegas nightclub act. Likewise, the screamer, bass player Jeffrey Ramirez, sounds like a 17-year-old version of Isis (Celestial-era). The poor vocals do more than just annoy, they anger because the music behind them is so good. This band is an inch away from being a top-player in ipods across the country, if they would only hire a new singer or become an instrumental band.

Upon first listen, I thought that maybe I just needed to get used to the vocals. That, eventually, I would “get it” and could appreciate them in this new light. However, that light never turned on. Subsequent listens only proved to intensify my feelings towards the vocals to the point where I breathed a sigh of relief when the album was finally over.

However, I could see the album translating into a great live show. I imagine seeing these songs live would be great and I plan on seeing the group if they happen to come around. The crescendos built into the songs and the tendency to not be able to hear the vocals at local shows could really mean good things for this band.

Once again, the instrumentation is great. Thankfully, there are stretches that are purely instrumental and these sections make the album worth a listen. However, once Tomlinson shows up to the party with a dick in his throat everything goes to hell. On a rating scale of “stay the hell away” to “buy it right now,” I’d put Judge Us By How We Lived Our lives Not By How We Made Our Living at about a “listen to it online or at a friend’s house.”

More after the jump...

Lit Randomness: Stories by Scott Garson, Ben Tanzer, Ryan Bradley & Justin Hyde

"Two Flash Fictions" by Scott Garson:
At 3 AM Magazine.

Small Lockers in the Back of the Factory
by Justin Hyde: At Zygote in My Coffee.

Annalemma Double:

"Goddess" by Ben Tanzer

"Goodbye Ruby" by Ryan Bradley

(Magnum P.I forever).

Shameless self-promotion by the ever shameless people of Deckfight.
Follow that shamelessness here.

More after the jump...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

review: Schooner Duck Kee Sessions

Duck Kee Sessions
CyTunes, 2010

Schooner: "Feel Better"

Schooner is haunting my thoughts, it's got this distant reverb in the vocals, like that Jens Lekman character. Though nothing of Schooner is really haunting--instead it is classic, jangly folk rock, non-cheesy 60s surf with these clear melodies. "Feel Better" is the standout, though "Lose Yourself" is a close second, with its little twangish pull in there.

Schooner is from Carrboro, NC and led by Reid Johnson and that's his voice I can't get out of my head. Some nice bells in "Duck Kee Nights," this time the crickets echo in my mind and the wind rushes, rushes--it's nice for Schooner to carve out a folk-pop niche in all this grandiose noise of the world. "In All Probabililty"--that's a good one, as well.

Duck Kee Sessions can only be purchased at with 100 percent of proceeds going to brain cancer research in memory of Cy Rawls.

Here is the full band lineup I just copied off of CyTunes:
"Maria Albani plays bass, sand blocks, and percussion. Billy Alphin plays drums and percussion. Kathryn Johnson plays keys, djembe, and percussion. Reid Johnson plays guitar, ukulele, xylophone, synthesizer, harmonica, toy piano, vibraphone, and percussion. Jerry Kee plays 2-inch tape machine."
The EP is in collaboration with a bunch of artists who created various artwork for the EP, including my favorite (above) from Shirle Koslowski. All the other art, from peeps like Will Hackney and Catherine Edgerton of Midtown Dickens and John Harrison from North Elementary can be viewed here.

Word is that a full length is coming sometime later this year as well.

Go pick this up.

More after the jump...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lit Randomness: Justin Taylor, Criminal Class Press, Charles Burns, Lorraine Adams

Some questions with Justin Taylor:
At NY Times PaperCuts.
And Vol 1 Brooklyn reviews Taylor's new one.

Sweet interview with Kevin Whitely of Criminal Class Press: At Orange Alert.
Never heard of this guy or press before, but he tells an engaging story just in the first couple of questions...

Q&A w/ Charles Burns & Gary Panter: At Indirect Collaboration (via Vol 1 Brooklyn)

Interview with Lorraine Adams, author of The Room and The Chair: At The Nervous Breakdown.

More after the jump...

Friday, February 19, 2010

review: Worker Bee Tangler

Worker Bee
Side With Us Records, 2009

Worker Bee: "Nesting"
Worker Bee: "No Dreams"

Review by Andrew Jones

I must admit that I wasn't crazy about Tangler at first, but the chorus of the first song, "Come Back," got stuck in my head after a few listens. Seriously, it got really stuck in there, to the point where I just had to listen to the song again. About the second or third re-listen through, I realized that I liked "Come Back" so much because its chorus reminded me of the one in another song called "Come Back," this one by the Misfits. Yeah, kinda weird.

Aside from the fact that the phrase, "come back" is held out during the choruses in both songs, the two tunes have no relation. Also, Worker Bee and the Misfits--in so many ways--have nothing in common. Nevertheless, that chorus pulled me in, got me to listen to Tangler again, and I liked what I heard.

I guess it'd be most accurate to call what Worker Bee is doing post-rock, but they're definitely forging their own way. When I finished listening to the album a few times, I kept thinking about Slint and the Walkmen. So for those keeping score at home, in structure and terms of sonic range, I think these might be fair comparisons.

Returning to the opener of Tangler, "Come Back" struts along on a nice back beat and super catchy guitar riff that is partly pleasant but also a little haunting--suited to the longing in the lyrics. The moody atmosphere of this track sets the stage for the rest of the album, which stays sort of murky and soft at the edges throughout.

One of the stand out tracks on the record, "Nesting," chugs along on a clock tick beat and sinister bass line that sneak along before coming to satisfying crashes over echoing guitar lines. The players create a nice sense of anticipation towards the end of the song as they slow things down, trading measures back and forth between drums and guitars. They even toss in some bells towards the track's close, creating a nice texture, before slamming the music to a halt.

"Lip Service" and "No Dreams" both ride along on dreamy, almost math-y guitar riffs that shine over staccato drum beats. Both of these tracks remind me a bit of Radiohead. The guitars on "No Dreams" are particularly beautiful, but the band interrupts these lilting lines with hard edged sonic smashes before settling into a soothing riff that carries the song to its close.

The vocals on the album are interesting. Singer Evan Jewett has a distinctive and deep voice that is certainly unique, though not particularly versatile. However, the songs are suited sonically and in mood with his vocals. Moreover, throughout the album, he succeeds in making up for this lack of range with how emotive he manages to be (listen: "Cold Rats").

Throughout the album there are hints of great promise and a lot of originality from this San Jose quartet.
Worker Bee has really put together a solid and intriguing effort.

More after the jump...

Friday Five: 5 Best Things Kaya Oakes has read recently

Kaya Oakes is the author of Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture. She's also teaches writing at UC-Berkeley, founded the magazine Kitchen Sink and also has a book of poetry, called Telegraph. She can be found on the interwebs here.

Read our review of Slanted and Enchanted and then buy it here. After doing that, read the five best things Kaya has read recently...

1. Kelefa Sanneh "Revelations", The New Yorker, February 8th, 2010
Saneh's essay on the gay gospel singer Tonex's decision to come out of the closet is a fascinating look at contemporary gospel music, the power struggles within the black church, and an inquiry into our contemporary notions of faith and sexuality.

2. Steven Johnson, The Invention of Air, Riverhead, 2008
I've just started reading this, but Johnson's nonfiction investigation into the life of Joseph Priestly, who discovered oxygen, co-founded the Unitarian church, and hung out with a group of guys called the Lunaticks (they only met during the full moon) is a pretty enjoyable read even for science-phobes like myself. The fact that Priestly was kind of a nutcase helps keep things interesting.

3. College Wriitng R4B essays, UC Berkeley, Spring 2010
I'm teaching two sections of this research writing course. The course topic is "adventures in the musical underground" We began by reading about Dylan's passage from the folk underground into superstardom, segue into American punk and indie rock, and wind up examining the rise of hip hop. My students write a lot of essays. I read all of them. Many of them are quite good.

4. Neutrogena T-Gel Stubborn Itch Shampoo packaging; Scalpicin Extra Strength lotion packaging; Flunocinide Topical Gel packaging
Eczema is a bitch. When will this crap start working?

5. Kaya Oakes, untitled nonfiction book proposal, 2009-2010
Can't tell you what this is about, who might publish it, or when (or if) it'll see the light of day, but like a lot of writers, I find myself opening this document over and over again, going in, tinkering, re-tinkering, sighing, cursing, re-tinkering, cursing a lot more, sighing, closing it, walking around, opening it again, cursing some more.

More after the jump...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Everybody Was in The French Resistance...Now!

Fixin The Charts, Vol. 1

Cooking Vinyl Records, 2009

Review by Quentin Kenny

EWITFR…N is a side-project of Art Brut’s Eddie Argos and The Blood Arm’s Dyan Valdes. The premise is to take well-known pop hits (and a few that remain a mystery even after looking up their origin) and let Argos delve into an alternate point-of-view take on the subject matter.

Unsurprisingly, such a template allows the literary-minded Argos to call forward moments both personable and personal from characters whose opinion you might not have previously considered. The daughter of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”, informing her father that he, and not her, was her mother’s true mistake, for example.

The best moments, though, come when you almost forget that you’ve heard a version of all this before. Buoyed by the interplay between Argos’ spoken-word delivery of stories that demand close attention and Valdes’ beautiful 50s girl-group vocals, “Think Twice (It’s Not Alright)” and “Hey! It’s Jimmie Mack” strike a balance between familiarity and independence.

Perhaps most capable of enduring with the masses is lead single “G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N.”, replete with catchier-than-Avril handclaps and the feeling of superiority that comes with being the pursued without having to feign anything but contempt.

The biggest drawback to something like Fixing the Charts, Vol 1 seems to be that unlike the songs being mocked, which have endured time for reasons that are noble or otherwise, several here feel stale or unnecessary shortly after the novelty wears off. It isn’t for a lack of common truths though.

While the details about and sentiment regarding the star of “He’s a Rebel” are known to anyone who’s ever had a friend date someone they don’t like, he doesn’t make for as alluring a focus from this side of the relationship. A saucy Facebook post to be sure, but not a standalone song.

To dwell on such moments is to miss the point, however. This isn’t meant to be pop history. Rather, it is, but it’s not rewriting or even overshadowing that history, just asking that we take a moment and think about that which we’ve previously assumed. As it turns out, maybe we were singing along with the wrong person all along.

More after the jump...

review: Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture by Kaya Oakes

Friday Five with Kaya Oakes tomorrow!

Slanted and Enchanted: The Evolution of Indie Culture
by Kaya Oakes
Holt McDougal, 2009

As one of the cofounders of indie mag Kitchen Sink, Oakes is undeniably qualified and interested in compiling a book about the modern indie culture. She never delves quite into the specific semantics of “indie” (cue recent Paste Magazine article) but instead provides myriad examples of the indie culture’s growth and transition.

By location and interest, Oakes is west coast specific, but it doesn’t hurt the examples. The Gilman Street, Op Ivy and Lookout Records in Berkeley or the Riot Grrrl, Bikini Kills, Sub Pop and Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington are all appropriate examples, of course. If all good big media ideas come from the east, then all good DIY ideas come from the west. Oakes is suited perfectly to explain all of this--she either experienced it firsthand or has met most of the major players in the various zine, punk and handcrafted scenes from general interest or personal involvement.

The thread through the chapters exploring punk, indie rock, zines, crafts and comics is a homegrown/grassroots newness/isolation. Nobody knew if they had a good or marketable idea at the beginning of Bikini Kills, they just had an idea that seemed fun. No one knew that Operation Ivy was going to revolutionize punk rock they just had a sound that everyone immediately gravitated towards. Sometimes when more “professional” planning came into play, it also killed what had made it great.

As Oakes says in the example of Lookout Records: “anyone who’s been involved in the arts knows that once something goes mainstream, thing can never go back to how they were before” (76). No one gets into labors of love for the money, and if and once the money comes, it often disrupts.

The book is part history lesson and part appreciation. It’s awesome to learn about the history of the zine Cometbus or Fantagraphics comics or how Pavement wandered into indie rock accidentally only to be castigated once they veered towards the arena rock they appreciated.

In addition to mainstream exploitation, another indie pitfall is for fans to build idols out of their favorites then destroy them when something isn’t “indie” enough---but the word itself balances on a treacherous edge.

More from Oakes on contemporary Internet infusion would have been helpful--just in the way that blogs, mp3s, mashups and community boards have influenced the DIY movement, or if that is indie/DIY at all. There is no history lesson here on the first video games or blogs, information that may have been interesting or at least addressed for why or why not they should fall under indie.

Oakes obviously did her homework. There are tons of interviews and first-hand visits and she speaks with a insider’s knowledge, but with a clear head towards objectivity and description.

More after the jump...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

review: Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner

Read Matthew's Friday Five from the archives...

Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music and the Holy Ghost
by Matthew Paul Turner
Waterbrook Press, 2010

If it was 1991 and Hyper Color was still cool, Turner's book would sweat the term "satire" into a different color--this is biting commentary for those that get it, it is controversial for the innocent and it is enlightening for those that think evangelical Christianity is a monolithic block of tea partiers and Palin apologists.

And all of it is centered on the close-knit Christian communities that Turner finds himself a part and apart of. Oh wait, did I say it's funny? It's funny.

On the flip side, this is not theology or a "new way to do church" or anything emerging anywhere, it is in the most clear of terms similar to something Dave Barry or Lewis Grizzard would write in columns and now most closely resembles David Sedaris' funny parts. It's a memoir of music, told in vignettes of chronology.

In that way, we learn that Turner as a young kid has an unhealthy fascination with Sandi Patti, Amy Grant and wonders if George Michael is a Christian (Turner finds out he's not....). Turner grew up in the type of sheltered environment where a devotion to Michael W. Smith (or "Smitty" as Matthew calls him) is grounds for hell. Yes, the Michael W. Smith of "Friends" and "Place In This World" was going to send Turner to hell. We're treated to a secret undercover van ride to a Sandi Patti concert and Matthew's struggle in holding on to an Amy Grant tape.

Besides the obvious humor in Turner's devotion to such pop luminaries, this book also clearly explicates Nashville's OTHER music industry.

He gives many possible slices for YOU'RE SO NASHVILLE can recognize a Christian rocker by their cleanliness, you have a conversion experience to Calvinism, you are a Christian musician "contractually obligated" to faith, or a girl breaks up with you by referencing that she is dating Jesus only to date a Christian keyboardist two months later.

As someone that spent a few years in Nashville and as a Christian, all of these instances are too familiar, hilarious and cringe-worthy. It hits too close to home and nails the bulls eye all in the same throw.

But Turner rarely makes his point too forcefully, it usually goes down with a healthy dose of with. He never has to say that he's skeptical of Pentecostals' healing power, it becomes all too obvious when they try to pray over his burping problem and their prayer fails. But Turner, being gracious, goes to the bathroom and burps instead.

Skepticism is a strength of Turner, but Turner's willingness to overlook flaws trumps it. There are some kind parts such as when Turner takes pity on a woman who wears too many BeDazzler tshirts.

He also has a strong history with music, I was (selfishly) hoping for a few more examples of the Christian music industry gone amok. The ones provided, such as the Amy Grant interview, are outrageous enough, but I was thinking there had to be a funny Christian music fest experience, a GMA meltdown or something with confused Christian punk rockers.

But that is me wanting the gritty gossip and Turner does a fine job in going above and beyond that.

Turner provides a new trove of potent examples about how Christians have it far from figured out and that some of the biases against Christians and Christian music is most definitely true. Thankfully, there is someone like Turner to give it a punch with his tongue usually in his cheek.

Oh wait, did I say it's funny? It's funny.

More after the jump...

Lit Randomness: Steve Almond, Monopoloy, John Hughes

A hybrid lit randomness:

Steve Almond explains why self-publishing doesn't totally suck:
At The Rumpus.

John Hughes wrote some mad fiction in addition to Home Alone: At Vanity Fair.

"The Woman Who Took Off Her Pants" by Jimmy Chen: At Staccato.

"Monopoloy, A Photo Essay" by Roxane Gay:
At Artifice.
Ok, this isn't fiction, or really a link about fiction, but it's sensational.

More after the jump...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Swing South: Surfer Blood/Holiday Shores/Turbo Fruits

Surfer Blood: "Swim"
Holiday Shores: "Phones Don't Feud"
Turbo Fruits: "Know Too Much"

Stepping into the hype machine is Surfer Blood. Perhaps the best thing of their HIT "Swim" is that instead of careening off on its own experimental fuzzed-off axis, it keeps the guitar melody sharp, allowing the vox to instead be all analog-sounding fuzz. There's of course, a lot of this going on--anywhere from Japandroids to Black Lips to Times New Viking, but for a penchant of fun they throw in that "afro-pop" vibe in a few places, allowing them to capitalize on the convergence of multiple trends at once. Just like any good band-of-the-moment.

Dang, there's even a "Twin Peaks" song.

I'm not saying Surfer Blood will fade, I hope the West Palm kids have got in them for the long haul. And Tallahassee's Holiday Shores aren't so shabby either, emphasizing more of the loosey-goosey rhythmic parts though....different boats for different coasts.

And oh, snap! Nashville's Turbo Fruits may blow both of them out of the water. All in all, this would be a fun show to attend, very buzz worthy, alt-cred will skyrocket.

Southern tour dates below....

Feb 16 2010
Backbooth w/Holiday Shores + Turbo Fruits Orlando, Florida

Feb 17 2010
DaVinci w/Holiday Shores + Turbo Fruits Deland, Florida

Feb 18 2010
Engine Room w/Holiday Shores + Turbo Fruits Tallahassee, Florida

Feb 19 2010
Criminal Records (instore) Atlanta, Georgia

Feb 19 2010
Drunken Unicorn w/Holiday Shores Atlanta, Georgia
Feb 20 2010
Grimey’s (Instore) Nashville, Tennessee

Feb 20 2010
The End w/Holiday Shores + Turbo Fruits Nashville, Tennessee
(***this show is too big for this place, will crumble under the weight of Pitchfork)

Feb 22 2010
Snug Harbor w/Holiday Shores + Turbo Fruits Charlotte, North Carolina

More after the jump...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Swing South: Generationals

It's Mardi Gras time and the Generationals are on tour bringing the NOLA love across the south. If you haven't heard of this band, you haven't been reading--Generationals' 2009 release Con Law was one of our faves from 2009.

Punchy soul-inflected dance rock. Southern tour dates (in Nashville tonight!) w/ Hacienda and Floating Action after the jump...

Feb 15 2010
The Basement w/ Hacienda and Floating Action Nashville, Tennessee

Feb 16 2010
The Earl w/ Hacienda and Floating Action Atlanta, Georgia

Feb 17 2010
The Charleston Pourhouse w/ Hacienda and Floating Action Charleston, SC, South Carolina

Feb 18 2010
The Casbah at Tremont Music Hall w/ Hacienda and Floating Action Charlotte, North Carolina

Feb 19 2010
Hub-Bub at The Showroom w/ Hacienda and Floating Action Spartanburg, South Carolina

Feb 21 2010
Cider House w/ Hacienda and Floating Action Knoxville, Tennessee

Feb 22 2010
The Broad Street Cafe w/ Hacienda and Floating Action Durham, North Carolina

Feb 23 2010
The Grey Eagle *w/ Hacienda and Floating Action Asheville, North Carolina

More after the jump...

Swing South: Lucero/Glossary

You know about Lucero. You know about 1372 Overton Park. That it's a homage to Memphis. That there are horns on it. You know the song above is not new, but it's a classic.

Glossary: "The Natural State"
Glossary: "Pretty Things"

But now you should know Glossary. That they are fellow Tennesseans but from further down the road (a ways east) in Murfreesboro . They have a bit softer alt-country sound than Lucero, perhaps poppier, but all their stuff is great. Their new album is Feral Fire. It came out 2 wks ago. Find it. Tour dates for Lucero and Glossary after the jump...


Columbia, SC

New Brookland Tavern

122 State St.
Columbia, SC 29169



Ages: 16+

Other Acts:



Greenville, SC

The Handlebar
304 E Stone Ave
Greenville, SC 29605



Ages: 18+

Other Acts:


Wilmington, NC

The Soapbox Laundro-Lounge

255 North Front St.
Wilmington NC 28401


$15.00 (Adv)

$17.00 (Day of Show)

All Ages

Other Acts:



HighPoint, NC

Aquarius Music Hall
400 English Rd.
HighPoint, NC 27262



All Ages

Other Acts:


Charlottesville VA

Jefferson Theatre
110 E. Main Street Charlottesville VA 22902


$15.00 (Adv)

$18.00 (Day of Show)

All Ages

Other Acts:


Charleston, WV

Cultural Center Theater - Mountain

SGtraegeenbrier & Washington Street

Charleston, WV


$12.50 (Adv)

$18.00 (Day of Show)

Other Acts:


Charlotte, NC

Visulite Theater
1615 Elizabeth Avenue Charlotte, NC



Ages: 16+

Other Acts:


Charleston, SC

The Pour House
1977 Maybank Hwy
Charleston, SC 29412


$13.00 (Adv)

$15.00 (Day of Show)

Ages: 18+

Other Acts:


Augusta, GA

Sky City
1157 Broad Street
Augusta, GA


$10.00 (Adv)

$15.00 (Day of Show)

Ages: 21+

Other Acts:


Macon, GA

The Hummingbird
430 Cherry Street
Macon, GA 31201



Other Acts:


Auburn, AL

The Strutting Duck
124 Tichenor Ave
Auburn, AL



All Ages

Other Acts:


Jackson, MS

Ole Tavern
416 George St.
Jackson, MS




Other Acts:


Huntsville , AL

Crossroads Cafe
115 Clinton Ave
East Huntsville , AL.


$10.00 (Adv)

$15.00 (Day of Show)

Ages: 19+

Other Acts:


Chattanooga , TN

Rhythm and Brews
221 Market Street
Chattanooga , TN. 37402


$12.00 (Adv)

$14.00 (Day of Show)

Ages: 19+

Other Acts:
The Bohannons

03/12/10 &

Nashville, TN

Mercury Lounge
One Cannery Row
Nashville, TN 37203



Ages: 18+

Other Acts:


Hot Springs National Park, AR

Low Key Arts
118 Arbor
Hot Springs National Park, AR 71901



All Ages

Other Acts:


Knoxville , TN

Barley's Taproom
200 East Jackson Knoxville , TN. 37915


$13.00 (Adv)

$15.00 (Day of Show)

Ages: 18+

Other Acts:


Asheville , NC

Grey Eagle Tavern & Music Hall
185 Clingman Ave.
Asheville , NC. 28801


$14.00 (Adv)

$16.00 (Day of Show)

All Ages

Other Acts:

More after the jump...

The Sound and The Fury Update 3

The Sound and The Fury: Update 3 (Final Update)

Finally finished this, but I will declare it "undone."
My copy of The Sound and The Fury does not have the appendix with the explanations of the Compson family and the fate of Caddy, once again I turned to the reliable Wikipedia in this matter. An interesting turn by Faulkner to name Caddy's daughter Quentin after her brother that committed suicide. The fated wild streak of the Miss Quentin comes to bear in the last section where no one has any control over Miss Quentin and she runs away with a carnival barker (was this mentioned in Section 3? Can't remember).

Perhaps the most disturbing of all this is Dilsey's steadfast loyalty to the Compson family and the family's reliance/command over Dilsey. Jason's reasoning for holding onto Caddy's money instead of giving it to Quentin is understandable, but it seems that instead of hoarding it, spending it towards improving his family now, rather than holding it for some uncertain future glory, Quentin's actions seem justifiable in stealing from her Uncle Jason.

On Matt Baker's recommendation, I read a piece in a 2006 issue of Oxford American about The Sound and the Fury by William Caverlee. Though Caverlee says that the Jason section is 'comic relief,' to me it's more like typical family disfunction, desperate moves for a desperate family, once prominent now a failure. But maybe Caverlee is right, normally that would be sadness, but Faulkner sets everything else up before it as so depressing, that Jason becomes semi-sympathetic.

Caverlee also dissects the odd chronological sectioning, but also addresses the first-time readers' discombobulation. There is constant guessing on speaker, timeline, frustration. Caverlee says this about the Quentin-narrated section:
"[Faulkner] pushes--dares--the reader to give up entirely, to throw away one's marked-up text, chartes and timelines with a groan of exasperation at the verbiage, at 'lonely and inviolate sand'--then draws us back in at the last minute with some gesture--the lost Italian girl at the bakery, the boys at the river--some gesture of fineness and bewilderment and human loneliness"
At least I know I'm not alone.

Next up: As I Lay Dying

More after the jump...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Five: 5 Best Things J.A. Tyler has read recently

(I jacked this photo from the awesome interv. w/ J.A. Tyler at The Faster Times. Hope everyone is cool with that).

Like I said yesterday, Mudluscious is awesome and I'm thinking just by association maybe, that editor J.A. Tyler is cool. Though his publishing schedule seems pretty prolific, his own writing is found in a lot of places as well.

J. A.
is the author of Inconceivable Wilson (scrambler books, 2009), Sinatra (vox press, 2010), In Love With a Ghost (willows wept press, 2010), A Man of Glass & All The Ways We Have Failed (fugue state press, 2011) and other upcoming books. His work has also appeared in Diagram, Sleepingfish, Caketrain, Fairy Tale Review, elimae, & Action, Yes among others.

In addition to all that madness, books from Mudluscious can be found at:

Here are the five best things J.A. has read recently:

1. Sleepingfish 8 just released from the always primed & bursting Derek White, this time in editorial-tandem with Gary Lutz, & they turned out an issue that was in the words of Soul Coughing, ‘aesthetically pleasing, in other words, fly’. Works by Sasha Fletcher, Blake Butler, Dennis Cooper, & far too many others to name. I loved that thing.

2. I read a note on the wrapper to a pair of chopsticks – it said: ‘please enjoy this good & delicious, the dynasty of Chinese culture &’. Those words amaze me.

3. Everything I read from Publishing Genius Press including the recent Easter Rabbit by Joseph Young, A Jello Horse by Matthew Simmons, & Mlkng Sckls by Justin Sirois. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with this mad mad press.

4. I am sitting by a sign that says ‘Rob Schneider for America’s Libraries’ – I don’t know, it scares me on many levels.

5. Baby Leg was an enormous book: a hardback version of a formerly serialized (online) story by Brian Evenson & the debut release from the newly formed New York Tyrant Books – covered in Evenson’s own bloodied fingerprints this was a book that I thought about for days after I finished, the images roaming my head & filtering into the rest of me.

More after the jump...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

first-person: Mount Righteous

(Some members of Mount Righteous. Some members of the crowd. I am a horrible photographer).

Mount Righteous/ One Wolf/ Andy Bilinski
Feb. 10, 2010
Wilmington, NC

Mount Righteous: "Sing To Me Tiffany"
Buy the Mount Righteous EP!

Talked to my grandfather on the phone before the show and he started choking on a peppermint but I was in North Carolina and he was in Indiana so I couldn't do anything but call him back 5 minutes later not knowing if he would pick up or not.
He picked up. He told me Indiana had lost their basketball game. I told him North Carolina and Duke were going to play and he asked if I was going to watch it, I said yes, but I knew that might be a lie because I was going to see Mount Righteous and didn't know how much I would see. Luckily, this is North Carolina and the bar had the game on, they were playing Duke and I'm a fan of Duke, not North Carolina but I understand their pain in such a sucky season.

I sat through one alt-country singer, Andy Bilinski who I like well enough and he told a story about the Loretta Lynn cafe, this story I had heard before, the last time I heard Andy play, but I didn't mind much. Then the lead singer of One Wolf had said he had also been to the Loretta Lynn cafe and they talked in front of us and everyone and God about how bad the coffee was at the Loretta Lynn cafe. Meanwhile while listening to all of this, members of Mount Righteous were sitting at a table near me, and I wanted to ask them about their stolen trailer but I heard nothing and they said nothing. So we waited.

On the Duke game and John Scheyer, their point guard three point specialist was making mad three pointers. Kyle Singler was making mad inside-point forward type plays.

One Wolf got on the stage with something like slow-core stuff, then they pulled out a banjo on their next to last and then played a country song and me and my friend Bill decided they would be a better country band than alt-rock band. They were from Lubbock, TX and the guitarist talked a lot but then the bassist said, "What is a frog with no legs?" "Not hoppy." HA!

Duke center Brian Zoubek made this pass to a cutting Singler. Duke won by 10 points.

During One Wolf's set, this girl with short frizzy hair was mad scribbling, making what turned out to be a set list. She then put on some gloves and started stretching. She was Z, Zi, or Zicole from Mount Righteous. Bass drum Joey was hopping and bouncing during the One Wolf show, even though One Wolf wasn't all that great.

And now I have
a new rule: if you see the band stretching before the set, the gauntlet of goodness will be thrown down.

And so it was here as the Mount Righteous 9 gathered all their tuba/ trumpet/melodica stuff and there was bouncy Joey establishing what will be the corollary to the above gauntlet goodness rule: if a band sets up a megaphone instead of a microphone then a double helping of goodness will be thrown down.

Here it goes.

Joey bangs the drum, and Z's cymbals clang and there's Kendall hunched over the bells and the trumpets zoom and the tuba roars, the whole thing buoyed only by Laura's confident melodica playing. Yes, confident melodica playing, and in between Z takes breaks to sing and sing (she probably did musical theater) and sings the most appropriate words for a band that not many people know, from the song "Shake The Rafters Loose":
"You are my favorite band/you write my favorite songs/I come to all your shows to sing along/what you do really agrees with me/we're part of the same scene/it's like it's destiny."
Those words--cursed, stomp and stammer, curse--if I had been eating a peppermint I would have choked--they know my mind and soul our collective mind and soul beyond all gimmicks but HONEST TRUTH with the most ironic knowing wink and nods it all makes me so sick, and they know it makes me sick, they know me, though we didn't meet when our tables were near one another, but those words-- simultaneous genius and snottiness and friendly condescension that we all know and have been apart of---those words.

Mount Righteous doesn't care about those words, they just got all the pretenses out of the way, all the scene posturing, like letting the air out of a balloon, we can just relax instead of being tight.

Mount Righteous says they usually open for One Wolf in Lubbock, TX, but I don't believe them, it's kind of like Kyle Singler starring in that movie while no one looked at John Scheyer and now Scheyer is more important no matter where Singler starred. Mount Righteous is the star, the star being overlooked.

They're off with many creative first person plurals and second person you understood lyrics and at one time Z does this rap/sing with something about turning an elephant into a cow, then this new unreleased "Suburban" song that continues the feeling of the EP more than the polka-dotted inflections of the first album. Then there was "Circle Yes and No" more of that scene-deflating, something else with "uh-oh, uh-ohs." These kids are schooled in the ways of the scene and have thrown if off and thrown it on at the same time.

At the end there's a party on the floor. I came into that place in one condition and came out in an entirely different way.

More after the jump...

review: MLP First Year Edited by J.A. Tyler

(Catch a Friday Five w/ J.A. Tyler tomorrow. Catch his Twitter story going on today from the CCLaP Center.)

MLP: First Year
Editor: J.A. Tyler
Mudluscious Press, 2010

Not going to lie. I was slightly giddy for this release. Don’t usually get that way often, if at all. The myth and legend of such a volume was overwhelming.

Great credit to J.A. Tyler and the Mudluscious Press crew for generating great interest. Or least at I had great interest. The MLP First Year is a collection of MudLuscious’ illustrious roster of chapbooks. Look through this list. See the ones that say "sold out"? They're sold out for a reason. I thought I had missed out.

But then there was this idea: the anthology. And the list of contributors reads like list of a cool kids birthday party for the (post)(post)(post?)modern literati set. So there’s Nick Antosca and Ken Baumann and Ryan Call and Blake Butler or Brian Evenson and Molly Gaudry and Shane Jones and Michael Kimball and Sam Pink. And those are just a few of the few that I recognize from various interweb stations.

Surely the others of the 40 or so contributors are (HTML) giants in their own right, in whatever circle they orbit--because one thing’s for sure, Mr. Tyler has impeccable taste in curating such a volume.

Then there’s that: taste. Or style, rather. Or format. The word “and” in every single case I could find is replaced with an &. There is a lot of CAPS. And what your mom would call “run-on” sentences. I’m assuming these were choices by the authors, which means that MudLuscious has captured that style, perhaps a generational push towards….something, something I'm going to call "urgent absurdist specificity." Rolls off the tongue. Go ahead and get your memes going on that one kids. Create a slideshow in Keynote with those words fading in and out over a spacey background.

Most of the stories have some type of absurdist bent, animals taking on unusual roles, kids turning into rats, people floating in clouds commenting on something or another below. There are bodies and body parts. There is a clown with grease on his forehead giving suggestions about book introductions in a piece by Mark Baumer. There’s a high descriptive quality to the stories. They are not short stories or even flash fiction segments really, but a description of a moment somewhere, part of this world but mostly not of this world where little moves, places and times are captured in fascinating sentences that bend into something about life.

Like in Lily Hoang’s “Mockery of a Cat”:

“The cats, it would seem, are trying to invade the old cat lady’s body. They are trying to replace all her parts, putting cats of various sizes in the spot where a liver or intestine would go.”

And it goes from there, the cat lady slowly becoming like or part of the cats. Body parts, check. Animals, check. Something odd with a realization about life, check.

That's all I got. This anthology is still seeping through my mind. I'm not trying to understand the quirkiness of the stories, but the power of them as a whole.

More after the jump...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Music Blog-o-cide of 2k10

Been on Twitter all day about the great "Music Blog-o-cide of 2k10."

Big music review/ mp3 site Pop Tarts Suck Toasted was unceremoniously ousted off Blogger yesterday for reasons not completely clear yet but is now back up and running.

I Rock Cleveland posted on a Blogger forum that all of their music was licensed.

I was thinking of doing an MP3 post today, Blogger be damned! (Okay, I already downloaded an XML backup file....)

Small Black: "Despicable Dogs" (good song)

Glimr: "Sunburned at Midnight"

Blue Brain: "Ten by Ten"

Linfinity: "MSG"

Southerly: "Trials"

A Weather: "Giant Stairs"

Borrowed Eyes: "Slaves"

Cuckoo Chaos: "Slowly Counting Down to Nothing"

Gobotron: "Never Turn Around"

More after the jump...

Lit Randomness: Stories from Sam Lipsyte, Brian Evenson, McSweeney's & Dogplotz Flash

Here is fiction from various dates and states:

Excerpts from Lipsyte's new book, The Ask: At Five Chapters
I've read this book and it's a good book. More to come on Lipsyte in the next few wks...

"Jack and Jill" by JA Tyler: At CCLaP Center Twitter.
This is a new project from CCLaP and there might be a familiar name appearing on that there Twitter page soon.

Fiction from Brian Evenson and John Sellekaers: At Vice.
Don't think there's a name to this yet...

Dispatches From a Guy Trying Unsuccessfully to Sell a Song in Nashville: At McSweeney's.
I've enjoyed this column thus far...

"Two thousand city and two" by Mimi Vaquer: At Dogplotz Flash Fiction.

More after the jump...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

review: Paper The Operator Goodbye God

Paper The Operator

Goodbye God

Viper Bite Records, 2010

Paper The Operator: "The Pendulum"

Raleigh's Paper The Operator is a beast of fun awesomeness. Goodbye God captures what Jimmy Eat World, Weezer and Nada Surf do best with an understated, humble style.
Whatever Jon Sebastian and his crew touch on this record comes out zany, spunky and pure fun. There's the snappy 60s pop beat on "I Get Around" and "Chemistry Set," programmed beats on "The Pendulum" and 90s modern rock on "Buddy Baby 2." Each of those are distinctive, but they all work together, man do they work.

Paper The Operator is strongest in its confessional tracks such as the intro and lead "Please Proceed" and the heartfelt vote of confidence in "Lefty Lucy." Both are ballads in the mold of their modern rock-power pop but neither becomes contrived, just totally believable.

The pace of the album is very quick, with a few tracks under two minutes. Sebastian has created a formidable album with Goodbye God and has found a recipe that works. Since Paper The Operator is in Raleigh, I hope they hook up with I Was Totally Destroying It for a few show dates; their blend of modern-pop would make an awesome show. I've listened to Goodbye God constantly for over a month and there's no doubt I'll also be listening to it at the end of the year.

Looks like some previous downloads are available off the MySpace page, so hit that up too. And book some more shows, please.

More after the jump...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Swing South: Cold Cave/Nite Jewel

(Ed. note: Cold Cave cancelled their show in Chapel Hill the other night & is canceling their show in Tampa & in Atlanta & I would assume Orlando..I'm not sure about the other southern dates...I think Nite Jewel is still playing...but this letter still stands...)

Mr. Eisold of Cold Cave,

I know that you sued Fall Out Boy, played in a cool hardcore band on Bridge Nine and even started a literary press. Considering what we cover on this site, you should be my hero. But I can't stand Cold Cave, I don't get it, I don't like it. I do listen to some "electronic" music, but this is too much of a new wave-ish ripoff for me.

I guess you knew you would "lose" your old fans, good thing you got Pitchfork & Stereogum to lead you to more.

Anyway, people seem to like your new release, Love Comes Close. I'm just not one of them.

I don't blame you, I don't think you're "selling out" or anything like that. You're doing what you want to do, I hope. Best wishes, I guess we part from here. I might pick up some of your Heartworm zines, though.

Your pals at Deckfight

P.S. Actually I like Nite Jewel better. This video is supposed to be funny, right?....right?

Rest of the southern dates for Nite Jewel after the jump...

Feb 9 2010 8:00P
at Backbooth ORLANDO

Feb 10 2010 8:00P
at Crowbar TAMPA

Feb 11 2010 8:00P
at 529 ATLANTA

Feb 12 2010 8:00P
at Calendonia Lounge w/ NITE JEWEL ATHENS

Feb 13 2010 8:00P

More after the jump...

Lit Randomness: Shane Jones, Cynthia Reeser, Jamie Iredell, John Brandon & Mary Miller, Giant Robot & Zak Sally

Shane Jones, author of Light Boxes:
At Broadset.
There was a lot of buzz and hype surrounding the book and every major press wanted to read it. Three presses ended up "bidding" on the book and I decided to go with Penguin. My agent did all of that work. Again, kind of this surreal and not-in-my-control kind of feeling...
Zak Sally, author of Like a Dog: At Bookmunch.

Jamie Iredell, author of Prose. Poems. A Novel: At The Big Other.

John Brandon, author of Arkansas is now in Oxford, MS. He has a conversation w/ Mary Miller: At HTML Giant.

Giant Robot needs help:
At Jacket Copy.

Cynthia Reeser and the new Aqueous Books: At Orange Alert.

Oh yeah, there's this: At Fictionaut Blog.
More after the jump...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Five: 5 Best Things Matt Baker has read recently

I'm new to Matt Baker's writing. But I've seen his work in bookstores, libraries and in my home--in the form of the printed edition of the Oxford American mag. Baker was the circulation director and is now an associate publisher. His book, Drag The Darkness Down, was published last summer on No Record Press.

Matt lives in Little Rock, Arkansas and here's an interview with him that ran on the OA website.

Here are the five best things Matt has read recently:

1. The Knockout Artist by Harry Crews

Everyone knows that Crews writes about freaks. Eugene is no exception, he’s known for a trick, a self-inflicted knockout. But don’t be fooled, the “freak show” is a Crews trick to get you inside the tent. Once inside he demonstrates with big tent showmanship that the irregularities among us are really the truest human beings. And really, the spit-shined and polished regulars are the biggest suckers among us.

2. “A Pryor Love” by Hilton Als. The New Yorker Sept 13. 1999.

I still have a copy of this issue that I keep stored in my 1976 commemorative centennial wooden Budweiser box. I re-read this article once a year. It’s the best profile I’ve ever read about Richard Pryor. Pryor’s artistic honesty is unrivaled. My hero.

3. Real Unreal: Best American Fantasy 3 Edited by Kevin Brockmeier.

I’m not completely finished with this one yet and that’s intentional. I’m reading these stories slowly, like a twelve-stepper, one day (story) at a time. I don’t want to overindulge too quickly, and wake up the next day feeling like I don’t remember half of it. So easy goes it… and so far the stories are richly written and full of imaginative bursts.

4. The Unknown Knowns by Jeffrey Rotter

I borrow a well-used phrase from my pothead friend, Shane, who likes to say, “Seriously, this is the good shit.” That’s my sentiment exactly. You can take The Unknown Knowns with or without the cannabis, your choice, but you won’t need it. Reading Rotter’s hilarious novel gave me a serious fit of the giggles that stayed with me even after I finished.

5. “Amid the Swirling Ghosts and Other Essays” by William Caverlee

I learned more about on Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury in his ten-page essay than I ever did in literature classes or the fragments of understanding I grasped on my own.
More after the jump...
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