Friday, April 30, 2010

Swing South: Local Natives

Local Natives.

Album is Gorilla Manor. Find more stuff here.

A few southeast dates below (I missed most of them)...

Apr 30 2010 8:00P
The Basement Nashville, TN (door sales only)*

May 1 2010 8:00P
Masquerade -Hell Stage Atlanta, GA *

May 4 2010 8:00P
Local 506 Chapel Hill, NC *

May 5 2010 8:00P
Rock and Roll Hotel Washington DC (sold out) *

More after the jump...

review: De Novo Dahl - Tigerlion

De Novo Dahl
Theory 8 Records
May 25, 2010

<a href="">Two Thirds by De Novo Dahl</a>

Nashville's De Novo Dahl has been reborn in a familiar place. Set loose from the confines of pop-metal label Roadrunner Records, the group is releasing their new record on Nashville's own Theory 8, who released their first album, Cats and Kittens. The joyous pop disco on Move Every Muscle, Make Every Sound has slid into a more morose, subtle downbeat approach.

"We are kind of like Voltron now," lead singer Joel Dahl told the Nashville Scene in February.

According to that article, Joel and his wife Serai were the only two left after the Roadrunner Records debacle and built the band back up.

No matter. It's obvious the return to Theory 8 records is welcome. There's comfort, there's support, there's familiarity. The words "All we want to do/ is just be with you" echo in the first track "Two Thirds," a slow organ-filled(?) plod of honesty, the band asking us for grace, to forgive and forget, and a request to continue on as if nothing happened.

"For Richard Harper" is the first (and really only) super bouncy track, but it takes a surprising, ironic downturn in the chorus with the words "you gotta keep going" sapping some of the energy, but of course, reinforcing the point.

Don't expect much in the way of "Shout" or "Sexy Come Lately." In fact, any leanings to being a 'pop-rock' group are basically gone now, except maybe the mix of new OK Go and Cut Copy hooking up with The Flaming Lips is the new pop.

Definitely think in terms of "Target Practice" or "Rhythm Phd" from
Cats and Kittens. That vibe, that feel--of loose and confident but not over the top--the measure of beats and lyrics valued the same--that's what comes out here.

The first single and total stand out track is "Love Is The Healer"--a nice transition for fans that came to De Novo Dahl via
Muscle. There's plenty to chew on though, "Don't Kill Yourself" feels like its from the corner crate of old R&B and "Dusty Drifter" a road-weary ballad given the De Novo spin.

From this slightly new direction, I'm guessing the matching, outrageous costumes are gone, the effervescent pop traded in for gulp of sobering realism. Like the tiger, like the lion--this album is moody, fierce, contemplative and solid. A different fierceness from a few years ago.

More after the jump...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

mp3: Caddywhompus - "Let The Water Hit The Floor"

mp3: Caddywhompus - "Let The Water Hit the Floor"

New Orleans' Caddywhompus. Crazy name, amazing results.

New album
Remainder from Community Records hits May 11.

More to come after I fully digest this goodness.

More after the jump...

Monday, April 26, 2010

mp3: Everyone Everywhere "Music Work Paper Work"

mp3: Everyone Everywhere "Music Work Paper Work"

Yeah, yeah, my turn on the Everyone Everywhere Blog Tour. 10 blogs, 10 tracks.

I agreed to do the tour before I even heard Everyone Everywhere's new release--perhaps risky on my part or blind faith, but no matter--because mark this down:
this album will be on my end of the year list.

Think Braid, The Promise Ring, Piebald with no gimmicks.

Then try a non sequitur like this from "Music Work Paper Work":
"Look in the mirror/try to raise just one eyebrow/it's pretty weird/makes your head feel like it isn't yours..."
What the...? Yeah, and there's more where that came from.

This is track #6, so find the other tracks from the other blogs here. And check out The Album Project for tomorrow's track. These will be up until May 4, and then PunkNews will be streaming the album.

More after the jump...

Friday, April 23, 2010

review: Shark Speed -- Education EP

Shark Speed
Education EP
Self-released, 2010

mp3: "Killing Kind"

Here's why I like Shark Speed:
1) that's a good band name. Interesting, but it makes sense. Good names are more than half the battle 2) Not math rock, not pop punk, not emo--but something in those cracks. Old Minus The Bear is the best example for Shark Speed, really I'm at a loss after that. But instead of finding divergent idiosyncrasies to exploit, Shark Speed just pumps those melodies. A giddy and excitable mix, as if Sarah Palin was finally allowed to drill for oil in her backyard.

Their debut album, Sea Sick Music was one of my fav albums of 2009, and this EP is primarily more of the same, except a touch deeper. "Killing Kind" goes a beat too long, but its question provokes--"Are my devils the same as any other man?"--without ever brushing off those who can't hang.

The opener "King of The World" probably sounds dynamic live, something like U2 with an edge (that's not an insult)--the song is grand and self-assured. It's the sound of Joe, Thayne and Jared
settling into their identity, like high school kids in rented tuxes after their third hour of prom night.

"Pretend" adds an electronic vice, but it
blends it nice, like ordering a smoothie beyond the regular order. Good to see the trumpet make a reappearance here, backed with a requisite distortion as if the whole operation is rocking with the smoothie machine.
Nice EP, nothing fancy, a little richer, good follow-up. Man, my metaphors suck.

More after the jump...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Swing South: Toro Y Moi

mp3: Toro Y Moi "Blessa"

Don't know why I keep posting about this guy. He's from Columbia, SC of all places. He's like 23.

Just want the South to be trendy. Daniel Gill told me via his huge email list that Toro Y Moi is taking on a full band. Kudos.

Tour dates after the jump / southeast dates in bold...

04/22 - Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse 04/23 - Athens, GA - New Earth Music Hall 04/24 - Charleston, SC - Eye Level Art Gallery
05/03 - Toronto, ON - Phoenix Theatre*
05/04 - Ottawa, ON - Babylon*
05/05 - Montreal, QC - La TuLipe*
05/06 - Cambridge, MA - Middle East Downstairs*
05/07 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg*
05/08 - New York, NY - Bowery Ballroom*
05/09 - Philadelphia, PA - First Unitarian Church*
05/10 - Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel*
05/11 - Charlottesville, VA - Jefferson Theatre* 05/12 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle* 05/13 - Atlanta, GA - The Earl* 05/14 - Baton Rouge, LA - Spanish Moon*
05/15 - Houston, TX - Warehouse Live*
05/16 - Austin, TX - Emo's Alternative Lounge Outside*
05/18 - Tempe, AZ - The Clubhouse*
05/19 - Los Angeles, CA - El Rey Theatre*
05/20 - San Diego, CA - Casbah*
05/21 - Mexico City, ME - Teatro Fru Fru*
05/22 - Monterrey, NL - Escenica
05/24 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent*
05/26 - Portland, OR - Hawthorne Theater*
05/28 - Victoria, BC - Sugar*
05/29 - Vancouver, BC - The Rickshaw Theatre*
05/31 - Calgary, AB - The Republik*
06/01 - Edmonton, AB - The Starlite Room*
06/02 - Saskatoon, SK - Amigos*
06/03 - Winnipeg, MB - Royal Albert Arms*
06/04 - Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry*
06/05 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
06/06 - Lawrence, KS - The Granada Theatre*
06/07 - St. Louis, MO - Firebird*
06/08 - Louisville, KY - Zanzabar*
06/09 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop*
06/10 - Knoxville, TN - Pilot Light 06/11 - Columbia, SC - New Brookland Tavern

* w/ Caribou

More after the jump...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

mp3s: Free Electric State, Ducktails, Ash Reiter, Beach Fossils & more

mp3: Free Electric State "Darkest Hour"

Noisy shoe gaze & slow dazed grunge is what Free Electric State is.

This is true: they're from Durham, they're on Churchkey Records (home of HNMTF!) and their new album Caress was released April 20. Find it, buy it.

Other mp3s:

mp3: Brad Senne "Golden"
mp3: Ducktails "Mirror Image"
mp3: Ash Reiter "Paper Diamonds"
mp3: Gareth Dickson "Noon"
mp3: Indian Jewelry "Oceans"
mp3: Beach Fossils "Youth"

More after the jump...

Monday, April 19, 2010

Everyone Everywhere MP3 blog tour

Philly's Everyone Everywhere is putting on a blog tour for its upcoming album--each blog gets a track, and YOU THE FAITHFUL READER can download a track each day until May 4, then Punk News (you probably know them...) will start streaming.

I'm due next Monday, but The Ripple Effect kicks it off today (Monday) and then moves from there. The blogs and track listing is after the jump...

01. Tiny Planet @ The Ripple Effect - Monday (04/19)
02. Raw Bar OBX 2002 @ Can You See The Sunset? - Tuesday (04/20)
03. From The Beginning To The Tail @ Built On A Weak Spot - Wednesday (04/21)
04. Tiny Town @ Dryvetyme Onlyne - Thursday (04/22)
05. Tiny Boat @ Battle Of The Midwestern Housewives - Friday (04/23)

Side B

06. Music Work Paper Work @ Deckfight - Monday (04/26)
07. Blown Up Grown Up @ The Album Project - Tuesday (04/27)
08. Fld Ovr @ Familiarize Yourself - Wednesday (04/28)
09. I Feel Fine by Everyone Everywhere @ Reviewsic - Thursday (04/29)
10. Obama House, Fukui Prefecture @ Clicky Clicky Music - Friday (04/30)

More after the jump...

Friday, April 16, 2010

review: The Menzingers--Chamberlain Waits

The Menzingers
Chamberlain Waits
Red Scare, 2010

this is a video of an older song...but it's still awesome

Give it up for The Menzingers. Not too many albums that I've been genuinely excited about this year--but this changes all of that. To the untrained ear this is more punk jargon. The Menzingers though hit in all the right places, such as that slight crash right before the chorus in "Tasker-Morris Station." Yes, it may be punk but you still have to use the right tools.

I always like "urgency." I use that word all the time. For the past....shall we say at least 6 years?...punk has lost some of that, once it became a pretty profitable business to be featured on TV shows, be on Guitar Hero and generally come up with the next underground hit. (What...recent Fearless Records releases, what?)

I kind of hope all that stuff comes for The Menzingers, not because I think they're aiming for that--but because they deserve it. The Against Me! inferences on this album are there, but The Menzingers cut that up with some heavier parts while maintaining an accessiblility---contrast "Come Here Often" with "Male Call"

There are some pop songs on here, but maybe the one with the hookiest chorus also has the best lyrics--style and substance don't have to be separate. On "I Was Born," vocalist Greg Barnett sings "I was born but I seem to have forgot it" as the bridge and "Send all my thoughts to the firing squad" is another line. That's good writing, because I have never thought of those words in that order myself.
Depth in the lyrics, a contrast of styles while maintaining the punk rock edge----sounds like punk rock I want to listen to.

I didn't even mention "So It Goes" or "No We Didn't"--love those songs.

Let's give a moment here to give out some props to Philly punk rock right now. Actually I was just going to mention Title Fight too, but I guess they're not in Philly but somewhere else in PA. Well, here's to PA punk...I know there are tons more bands around there, though I just can't think of them right now.

This is my first experience with The Menzingers and I'm a fool for that. I walked out early on one of their shows, because I was too tired. But I'm not going to tire of this anytime soon.

More after the jump...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

mp3: Minus The Bear "My Time"

mp3: Minus The Bear "My Time"

I like Minus The Bear. I once talked to Jake Snider, lead vocalist of Minus The Bear, on the phone for a magazine article like 5 years ago. I think he just bought mineral water before I called him.

If I would've started this blog in 2005, 'things would be different.' Alas.

That article probably made no difference in the career of Minus The Bear...but I have to believe it is part of the 'groundswell' of support Minus The Bear has received.

The above track is from
Minus The Bear's new album
Omni. The album is out May 4 on Dangerbird Records.

But...the album will be streamed at KCRW beginning April 19th.

So listen to it.

Minus The Bear Tour Dates are listed after the jump...

Minus The Bear Tour Dates--
April 19 Knitting Factory Concert House Spokane, WA

April 20 The Railyard Billings, MT

April 22 Slowdown Omaha, NE

April 23 Sandstone Amphitheatre Bonner Springs, KS

April 25 St. Andrew's Hall Detroit, MI April 26 Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH
April 28 Madison Theater Covington, KY
April 29 Town Ballroom Buffalo, NY

April 30 Webster Theatre Hartford, CT

May 2 Bamboozle Festival E. Rutherford, NJ

May 5 Wilbur Theatre Boston, MA

May 6 Trocadero Philadelphia, PA

May 7 9:30 Club Washington, DC

May 8 The National Richmond, VA

May 9 The Fillmore Charlotte Charlotte, NC
May 10 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
May 11 Revolution Ft. Lauderdale, FL

May 12 The Ritz Tampa, FL

May 14 House Of Blues Houston, TX

May 15 Granada Dallas, TX

May 16 La Zona Rosa Austin, TX

May 18 Sunshine Theatre Albuquerque, NM

May 19 House Of Blues Las Vegas, NV

May 20 Mayan Theatre Los Angeles, CA

May 21 Glass House Pomona, CA

May 22 SOMA San Diego, CA

May 23 Marquee Theater Tempe, AZ

May 26 Regency Ballroom San Francisco, CA

May 27 Knitting Factory Reno, NV May 28 Roseland Theatre Portland, OR
May 29 Sasquatch Music Festival George, WA

More after the jump...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

mp3: The Love Language "Heart To Tell"

mp3: The Love Language "Heart To Tell"

Here's the truth kids.

I live in the small-ish beach town where Stu McLamb of The Love Language came to recover and get his musical feet back under him after whatever else he had going on.

Guess this was like 2 years ago.

And...truth, be told: I never saw them play. For awhile they were playing every weekend. They almost had to be avoided. I just thought they'd be around.

These cats at the local record store are friends w/ them...they broke the Merge Records news before anybody. I'll catch them next time was always the reason. Also, the early buzz wasn't that good...but that quickly changed as you can now tell.

Snowed in with The Love Language from Jason Arthurs on Vimeo.

Merge has got them now, of course and
the new album, Libraries is a go for July 13. I'm gonna put this into the category of "highly anticipated." At least Merge finally signed another Carolina band.

Track listing & some Carolina tour dates are after the jump...

Tour Dates:
04-15 Raleigh, NC The Pour House
04-22 Greensboro, NC Earth Day Celebration at Center City Park
04-24 Washington, DC Sweetlife Festival
04-28 Chapel Hill, NC Memorial Hall w/ St. Vincent
09-11 Raleigh, NC Hopscotch Festival w/ Public Enemy

Libraries Track Listing:

1. Pedals
2. Brittany’s Back
3. This Blood Is Our Own
4. Summer Dust
5. Blue Angel
6. Heart to Tell
7. Anthophobia
8. Horophones
9. Wilmont
10. This Room

More after the jump...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Deep Elm needs more emo

Charlotte's Deep Elm Records needs more emo. As if they don't have enough already. Yes The Emo Diaries comp is back--actually it came back a few years ago.

From the press release:

The Emo Diaries unofficially came to rest in 2004 with its tenth chapter. Deep Elm cited the bastardization of the term “emo” in pop culture, as well as mainstream’s stranglehold and subsequent commercialization of the genre, which placed the focus squarely on the aesthetic…not the music, the energy or the passion. But then in 2007, Deep Elm re-opened its doors to the genre they helped to document and expose to the world. The scene heralded the release of Chapter 11 "Taking Back What's Ours" and fans have been asking for another chapter ever since.

Once a punchline, now respectable again (well, maybe...). Not sure if they brought it back from actual demand or just because of marketing or a combination of both.

Jimmy Eat World, Brandtson, Appleseed Cast, Further Seems Forever, Pop Unknown, Cross My friends consumed these Deep Elm bands like Skittles in a movie theater. I liked Claire de Lune and Lock and Key and Latterman too though.

Some of the most recent Deep Elm releases, I haven't been as interested in, but I haven't heard that new She Bears stuff, though that's a crazy name.

Anyway, bands wanting to submit for The Emo Diaries can check out:
More after the jump...

Friday, April 9, 2010

New songs from Schooner

More new songs from Carrboro, NC's Schooner.

You'll know them from the recently released
Duck Kee Sessions and these new songs are part of a larger full-length.

More rockabilly in these I think, or I just can't make up my mind.
Stream these below or download them from the VR Presents

Electronic Press Kit
Quantcast More after the jump...

review: Museum Mouth - Tears In My Beer

Museum Mouth

Tears In My Beer
Self-released, 2010

Bonus: Full album stream of Tears in My Beer at Punk News

Found Southport, NC’s Museum Mouth in the best of ways: through random chance. Showed up too early at an alt-country show only to find Museum Mouth and twenty of their closest friends indulging in lo-fi freakout. I walked in expecting nothing, only to find something great.

It is true--from all accounts Museum Mouth is still in high school and hail from a small southern coastal town--but have no caution or fear in following Museum Mouth, this band is for real.

And when I say “real,” I don’t mean some talented copycat with emo bangs, I mean Savannah Levin, Graham High and Karl Kuehn have got something here. And Tears In My Beer equals a rough cut of Times New Viking, Vivian Girls, No Age, Be Your Own Pet or Jeff the Brotherhood.

Museum Mouth possesses this droll easiness with a talented carelessness that molds pop-punk anthems with garage rock. The bridge of “The End of Days” could be found on the current Titus Andronicus record, a laid-back split in “Outside” casually masks some nice progressive guitar parts with lyrics that apologize to all their literary heroes.

And those songs are at the end--which care progressively more mature than the beginning ones--they all deal with breakup essentially, but instead of pining and regretting these songs are more rumination.

One of my favorite songs is “I Stopped Caring” with the lines: “You’ve broken me down to the point/ where all my maturity has been replaced by insecurity/ since when have I lacked the confidence to say the words/ that I’m thinking” and then there’s Karl’s (I think) lackluster fuzzed out voice adding deadpan lines to head-shaking surf beats.

Full disclosure here--I also live near the beach, so when the band says that “when the going gets tough/ I’m gonna go to the beach,” well I’m an easy make. But with classy garage punk rock that blends honesty without cheesiness, that’s a young band to hold on to. Tears in My Beer is fun, but not flip; it is memorable without being annoying, it is impressive, without being perfect---but it’s so close. Proceed with full confidence.

More after the jump...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Swing South: The Thermals

Portland's The Thermals are launching their east coast tour today, right smack in Orlando. Past Lives are joining them, whose stuff I've enjoyed recently.

Maybe The Thermals will throw in their new tune, "Separate" into the set list. Listen to it on their MySpace.

That track is featured on a split with The Cribs to be released on Record Store Day, April 20.

The new album is supposed to appear this fall--a project they're working on with Chris Walla.

Tour dates with southeast dates in bold are after the jump...

April 2010 EAST COAST US

07 -- Orlando, FL @ Social #
08 -- Tallahassee, FL @ Club Downunder #
09 -- Gainesville, FL @ University of Florida - Rion Ballroom #
10 -- St Augustine, FL @ Cafe Eleven #
12 -- Wilmington, NC @ The Soapbox Laundrolounge #
13 -- Carrboro, NC @ Cat's Cradle #

14 -- Charlottesville, VA @ The Southern #
15 -- Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church #
16 -- Baltimore, MD @ Ottobar #
17 -- Hamden, CT @ The Space #
18 -- Cambridge, MA @ The Middle East #
20 -- Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl #
21 -- Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl #

More after the jump...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Swing South: Red Sparowes

mp3: "Giving Birth To Imagined Saviors"

Red Sparowes has a new album out today called
The Fear Is Excruciating, But Therein Lies The Answer, out from Sargent House Records. Their tour of rock and roll venues begins tonight in Birmingham, AL.

But cool kids Fang Island don't hit the street with them until Washington, DC.

See the dates below with the southern dates in bold,
of course.

Red Sparowes tour:

04/06 Birmingham, AL @ Bottletree **
04/07 Jacksonville, FL @ Jack Rabbits **
04/08 Orlando, FL @ the Social **
04/09 Atlanta, GA @ the Earl **
04/10 Chapel Hill @ Local 506 **
04/11 Washington DC @ Rock & Roll Hotel ** ^
04/13 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge **
04/14 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge **
04/15 Boston, MA @ the Middle East Downstairs ** ^
04/16 Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa ** ^
04/17 Toronto, ON @ the Garrison ** ^
04/18 Cleveland, OH @ The Grog Shop # ^
04/19 Indianapolis, IN @ Radio Radio # ^
04/21 Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall # ^
04/22 Madison, WI @ High Noon # ^
04/23 Minneapolis, MN @ 400 Bar # ^
04/24 Omaha, NE @ Slowdown Jr. # ^
04/26 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge # ^
04/27 Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge # ^
04/29 Seattle, WA @ Neumo's # ^
04/30 Vancouver, BC @ the Biltmore # ^
05/01 Portland, OR @ the Hawthorne # ^
05/02 Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall # ^
05/04 Sacramento, CA @ Blue Lamp ^
05/05 Santa Cruz, CA @ Crepe Place ^
05/06 Santa Cruz, CA @ Crepe Place ^
05/07 San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall ^
05/08 Los Angeles, CA @ the Echoplex ^
05/09 San Diego, CA @ the Casbah ^

** With Doomriders
# With Caspian
^ With Fang Island

More after the jump...

Monday, April 5, 2010

video: Against Me!--"Rapid Decompression"

Gainesville's Against Me! has announced the tracks for their upcoming release, White Crosses and also has thrown out this video for the first single (?) "Rapid Decompression."

White Crosses will be pre-empted with a digital ep release called
I Was A Teenage Anarchist according to their website. The EP will come out on 4/20.

No real surprises--just gritty punkabilly on a major label. Good for them. And dates for the tour that totally skips Florida and track listings for both albums after the jump...

I Was A Teenage Anarchist
Release Date: 4/20/10

I Was A Teenage Anarchist
Rapid Decompression
One By One
Bitter Divisions

White Crosses
Release Date: June 2010

White Crosses
I Was A Teenage Anarchist
Because Of The Shame
We're Breaking Up
High Pressure Low
Ache With Me
Spanish Moss
Rapid Decompression

U.S. Tour Dates

04/16/10 Greenville, SC @ The Handlebar
04/17/10 Richmond, VA @ Alley Katz
04/18/10 Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theater
04/20/10 Newport, KY @ The Historic Southgate House
04/21/10 Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall
04/22/10 Ann Arbor, MI @ Blind Pig
04/23/10 Toledo, OH @ Headliners
04/24/10 Buffalo, NY @ The Town Ballroom
04/25/10 South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
04/26/10 New Haven, CT @ Toad's Place
04/28/10 Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall
04/29/10 Asbury Park, NJ @ Stone Pony
04/30/10 Farmingdale, NY @ The Crazy Donkey
05/02/10 Pittsburgh, PA @ Diesel
05/04/10 Rock Island, IL @ Rock Island Brewing Company
05/05/10 Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
05/06/10 Colorado Springs, CO @ The Black Sheep
05/07/10 Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad
05/08/10 Henderson, NV @ Punk Rock Bowling at Sunset Station Hotel and Casino
05/10/10 Lubbock, TX @ Jake's
05/11/10 San Antonio, TX @ Scout Bar

More after the jump...

missed it the first time: The Hipster Handbook by Robert Lanham

Gawker christened "fauxhemians" as the new word for "hipsters." I agree with the decision; I voted for that word twice.
Font size
But the past without introspection is just...boring. So a few weeks ago, I was reminded of a nice little "hipster" gem: The Hipster Handbook by Robert Lanham (Anchor Books, 2003) which I plucked from the cheap confines of Paperback Swap.

First things first: I shouldn't tread to try and criticize this thing. Not according to the haughty reviews such as this one: "The Hipster Handbook is so comprehensive and so well-done that only a poseur could criticize it without tongue in cheek."

Oh dang. It warded off critics before any critics dared to open the book.

The book is only 7 years ago, but that's at least a decade in faux-hipster-hemian terms. The cover is adorned with a shadow with a faux-hawk. And speaking of hair, the book uses the word "mulletude" with all seriousness.

Otherwise, at an attempt to be sarcastic or to deflect criticism, the book tries to institute two new words---"deck" and "fin."

Astute readers will notice one of those words in the title of my blog, so here's the truth: my blog name is partially derived from this book.

HCD first heard of this book, back when we were in "college" and and learned of Mr. Lanham's continuous "deck" ("cutting edge") vs. "fin" ("similar to outdated terms like 'wack' and 'lame'") debate that runs in the most annoying way possible across the book.

In an attempt to become Williamsburg-cool, HCD would evoke the word "deck" to deride specific corporate attempts to engage him i.e. his money: "This commercial is so deck," HCD would say, while watching a Honda Element commercial. "They are trying to appeal to me. I wish I could buy one right now!"

Hence: DECK-FIGHT (that means I don't like the word "deck" in Lanham's context).

I'm sure Mr. Lanham meant for the word to be mocked (can't everyone tell I'm joking??? he would say) while secretly hoping it would catch on. Here's the final verdict, Mr. Lanham--it did not catch on.

And I'm serious about this deck and fin thing. He uses it almost every page. EVERY PAGE, as if he is afraid "deck" and "fin" and "hipsters" will go out of style...oh wait.

As a history book, then Mr. Lanham's book cannot be fully trusted. Very often, his terms are way-off, but he does find accurate portrayals of SOME type of boho-hipsters. Like fake cowboys and girls in long black skirts with messenger bags on bikes.

But look at this guy:

Yes, that says "bipster." According to accurate Google search results, "bipster" usually refers to a style of UGG boots. Only other self-aware hipster outlets like Urban Dictionary use the word with Lanham's intention.

Lanham also tries to rank past celebrities into hipsters and non-hipsters, using the word "deck" in reference to Amelia Earhart, e.e. cummings and Sitting Bull and Yul Brynner. Those disapproved are Clark Gable, Raymond Chandler and John The Baptist.

I like Raymond Chandler and John The Baptist alright.

Beyond the penchant for bad lingo, Lanham does get a few things right. The hipster literature section hit too close to home. Besides the usual suspects (Dennis Cooper, David Foster Wallace), there's also Jim Thompson's The Killer Inside Me, which I just read for the first time last year and named it the best book I read last year. Guilty as charged.

Surprisingly he named Thomas Pynchon's Mason & Dixon ahead of Gravity's Rainbow...hmmmm, think the hipster prefer the latter...

He also lists Public Enemy's
It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back as the third fave hipster album of the 80s and that's definitely held true for all the non-hipsters in the past 7 years.

Some of the social rules are also accurate, like a section on a hipster dating a non-hipster. "Hipster men often find the forbidden fruit of a sorority girl or a personal trainer to be the sweetest of all" and "[Hipsters] can also find pleasure in being considered the most outrageous person at the party when mingling with their lover's non-Hipster friends."

But now I have a new problem. What do I do with this book now? What are the rules for that?

Bottom line: Am I deck or fin if I use this book to light my grill while drinking a PBR?
More after the jump...

Friday, April 2, 2010

mp3: Mouse Fire "Don't Mess With A Texan" and album details...

mp3: "Don't Mess With A Texan"

Lakeland's Mouse Fire has set a date for their new album.

Big Emotion
will hit June 8th courtesy of the ever awesome Lujo Records and it's about time. Three years since Wooden Teeth is just way too long.

Lead singer Joey Bruce left and lead guitarist Shane Schuch is now in that gap so I guess that's what they call a "transition."

They've already got me with "Don't Mess With A Texan" and "Silly Boy From Tampa Bay."

The "more dance, less prance" chants at the shows really paid off (I JUST MADE THAT UP!)

Album tracks and tour dates after the jump...(hopefully they add some more south dates...)

Tracklisting for Big Emotion:

1. Desert Woman
2. Don't Mess With A Texan
3. Half a World Away
4. True I May Have Lost It
5. A Silly Boy From Tampa Bay
6. The Comedy Of...

7. All My Friends
8. Tic Toc
9. But It's Not What You Think
10. The One That Goes Away

Mouse Fire Tour Dates:

04/01/10 Salt Lake City, UT@ Club Vegas
04/02/10 Sacramento, CA@ Old Ironsides
04/03/10 Oakland, CA@ Mama Buzz Cafe
04/05/10 San Diego, CA@ Tin Can Ale House
04/06/10 San Diego, CA@ X1FM
04/07/10 Scottsdale, AZ@ Rouge
04/08/10 Las Vegas, NV@ Dive Bar
04/09/10 Tuscon, AZ@ The Hagart
04/10/10 Las Cruces, NM@ Equinox
04/13/10 Austin, TX@ Plush
04/14/10 San Antonio, TX@ GIG On The Strip
04/16/10 Houston, TX@ Notsuoh
04/17/10 Lafayette, LA@ Pilots Pub
04/22/10 Pensacola, FL@ The Handelbar
04/28/10 Columbia, SC@ New Brooklyn Tavern
05/03/10 Brooklyn, NY@ Glasslands
05/29/10 Austin, NY@ The Ghost Room
06/03/10 Las Cruces, NM@ Equinox

More after the jump...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

mp3: Snowden "Don't Really Know Me"

mp3: Snowden "Don't Really Know Me"

Snowden's got a new EP and it's different to say the least. No more quick jabs that make you double over with glee. Instead, the fan who just remembers those bouncy jangled jams might be surprised with the turn towards the slo-mo.

In "Don't Know Really Know Me," Jeffares' voice keeps echoing "And you don't want to know...because you don't really know me." Well, maybe we do and maybe we don't.

Back in 2006-07 or something like that, Snowden was one of those bands I was fascinated with. Here was a guy struggling to write a few songs in Athens, GA. But the songs Jordan Jeffares came up with fit the cultural moment as snugly as any Von Dutch hat, popped collar of UGGS shoe ever would.

Snowden churned out an album of bouncy, kind of dancey, new-wave ish songs, like a fuzzier Interpol. And then, bam, Jade Tree Records snatched them up like a fresh Hot Pocket out of the microwave, with a deal that could potentially jolt to them to the top of indie rock. After all this was the label of Alkaline Trio, Pedro The Lion, Jets To Brazil.

And Anti-Anti was released and featured some really awesome songs: title track "Anti-Anti," "Between The Rent" "Like Bullets."

But sometime in 2008 (?), Jeffares wanted out of the three-record deal and he was a free agent. In 2008, he told Creative Loafing:

"I never wanted to write rock songs," Jeffares says. "If anything on Anti-Anti sounds like rock songs, it's because I was trying to get heels to move on the dancefloor in a live setting. When you're a young band, all you have is the live show, and it's hard to win people over with pretty and melodic," he says. "Radiohead had to write The Bends before they could do an album like Kid A, and that's how I've thought of Snowden's albums."
Now a new free EP Slow Soft Syrup has emerged on Noise Trade (download here) and it's a moodier, more introspective, more 80s slow new wave trudge, riding somewhere between The Smiths on synth and Thom Yorke at his saddest.

My hopes are to the highest that Jeffares isn't writing off all of his rock n roll prowess as he indicated above, those were excellent and I could keep perfect time on my steering wheel. Apparently, Jeffares just moved to Brooklyn awhile back, so let's see what comes out of that. Hopefully it doesn't drive him further to "chill-wave" but let's him realize that what
Anti-Anti had wasn't so despicable after all.

We'll soon find out as a new album is set to drop in a few months...

More after the jump...
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