Category Archives: musicians

Two Boots

I think that people should have democratic control over the profits that they produce. It is not real democracy until you have that. And the plain and simple definition of communism is people having democratic control over the profits that they create.
Boots Riley (The Coup)

The Coup have long been one of my fave rap groups. They are infamous for largely two reasons. Firstly, because the singer has been a self-defined Communist since the age of 14 (and that is working in a genre which is all about wealth-acquisition)!

And secondly, the are famous (or perhaps infamous) for having created one of the most ill-timed album covers in music history. It was a cover that metaphorically was showing the power of music to destroy the foundations of capitalism. The cd was set to be released in September of 2001…and this is what it looked like:

Ok…do you see a problem with this particular image?
(They decided to ultimately change the cover).

Sure as concept it’s perhaps naive, but then again more than a few people said in the late 80′s that it was the power of music (and in that particular case) it was “rock n roll” that ultimately brought down Communism in Eastern Europe. In other words, the youth wanted a change! So perhaps it’s not naive at all…

Nonetheless, The Coup have always been at the margins of popular culture so I think it’s funny that he should team up with Tom Morello (from Rage Against The Machine) to form a rap/rock band called Street Sweeper Social Club to perform an almost hackneyed form of neo-classic rock.
As much as I want to say that this sound is old news…most the songs on their self-titled disc are pretty catchy and who knew that Riley was so charismatic as a rock n roll frontman?

I once saw Chuck D try do rock n roll and it didn’t really work…because even though his heart is certainly in the right place…he just looks like a schlub.

Boots has got style though. And style and commitment can get you far in this business.

And besides it gives him a new forum to indoctrinate suburban white kids’ minds.
Rock on!

Of Haunted Castles and Loud Sounds

There are tons of shows in town over the next two weeks and I plan on seeing a bunch of them.

Last week, we went to see Manuel Göttsching (of Ash Ra Temple fame) do a live score for Murnau’s SCHLOSS VOGELÖD (The Haunted Castle, 1921).

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As much as I liked the music…I have to admit that this early film of his is pretty boring. This was a year before Nosferatu, and well…the rest is history (or at least film history).

Upcoming shows I have interest in the next week are Eat Skull (Echo Curio), Wavves (Echo), Charlemagne Palestine (First Congregational Church of Los Angeles), Four Tet (Echo), Marnie Stern (Echoplex), Thee Oh Sees (Silverlake Lounge), Tera Melos (Echoplex), Blank Dogs/Naked On The Vague (Pehrspace), Pelican/Tombs (Troubadour) and of course The Homosexuals/Silver Apples show at the (Echoplex)…and this is just in the next week!

I took a sabbatical from seeing shows over the wintertime but…springtime is fast approaching and the hiatus appears to be over.

I guess the big show is Leonard Cohen on April 10-11 in LA. But as much as I love the guy, I just can’t pay those prices.

R.I.P. Lux Interior

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(from Billboard)

Cramps frontman Lux Interior died Wednesday at a Glendale, Calif., hospital as the result of a pre-existing heart condition, the band’s publicist confirmed to Billboard. He was 62.

The Cramps formed in 1976 and were part of the now ‘legendary’ downtown New York punk scene. Their lineup shifted over the years but always included Lux and his wife, Poison Ivy. The band’s rockabilly-infused punk has been credited as an influence by bands including the White Stripes and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion.

Interior, whose real name was Erick Lee Purkhiser, was born October 21, 1946, in Ohio. He met Ivy in 1972 and started the band shortly thereafter.

The Cramps released 14 albums over the course of their career, their latest being 2004′s “How To Make a Monster.” Their best-selling album, 1984′s “Bad Music for Bad People” has sold 95,000 copies.

Monday With Morty

We’re planning to see a concert tonight…featuring the music of Morton Feldman, Alvin Curran and Frederic Rzewski downtown at the Colburn School.

I’ve never been to any of the Monday Evening Concerts series so I am looking forward to it.

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Now that the holidays are over and the house is more or less organized, we are catching up on all the fun stuff happening in and around Los Angeles. As most my weekend was spent building the “third library”. (Incidently, I really think collectively–we have enough books to provide quality reading material for SEVERAL lifetimes). That said, Feldman is just the thing I likely need to soothe my aching muscles and…r e l a x.

R.I.P. Ron Asheton

Oddly enough, I used to work with Asheton’s “best friend”.

He used to call Ron pretty often and one of those times, he handed me the phone and I had an impromptu conversation with him. At the time, I remember thinking at the time “Wow…I’m having a conversation with a guy that has created some of the most famous rock riffs in history”.

I think he still lived with his mom.

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(from BBC NEWS)

The Stooges guitarist found dead

The Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton has been found dead at his home in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Asheton, 60, was an original member of the rock band fronted by Iggy Pop in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His riffing featured on hits including I Wanna Be Your Dog, No Fun and Down On The Street. Police sergeant Brad Hill said there were no signs of foul play, and the musician’s death appeared to be from natural causes. He said officers discovered Asheton after being called to his home on Tuesday by an associate who had been unable to reach him for several days.

The band – which also included Asheton’s brother Scott on drums and the late Dave Alexander on bass – are on the shortlist to enter the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this April. Split and reform Formed in 1967, The Stooges were not well-received by critics or fans in their early days but their records, especially 1973′s Raw Power, were a key influence on punk. A tour in support of that album was overshadowed by Pop’s heroin addiction, and the group disbanded in February 1974.

Pop went on to score solo hits such as Lust for Life, Real Wild Child and The Passenger. Asheton, meanwhile, acted in a series of low-budget horror films in the 1980s and 1990s. He was also ranked as the 29th greatest rock guitarist by Rolling Stone magazine in 2003.

By this time Asheton, his brother Scott and bassist Mike Watt had started playing as The New Stooges. The Stooges officially reformed, along with Iggy Pop, in 2003. Their first album in three decades, The Weirdness, was released in 2007. They played Glastonbury the same summer, and last year headlined the Get Loaded event on Clapham Common, south London.

Groovy Evening

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This Sunday, I have been hanging out over in the Silverlake studio, doing errands while listening to all the bands playing Sunset Junction today (the music is so loud, it just carries right up). The Henry Clay People (who are local) sounded ok, The Germs…not so much, but !!! [Chk Chk Chk] and The Black Keys both sound pretty great! I was at the house on Saturday so I don’t know how Antibalas or Broken Social Scene, etc…turned out.

!!! [chk chk chk] the funky branca
the black keys strange times

Also, I put up a link on the sidebar to Thomas Frank‘s new weekly column at The Wall Street Journal (yes, you read that correctly) called The Turning Yard which has been running for several months now. Apparently, Obama was inspired by reading Frank’s last book What’s The Matter With Kansas which provoked his “bittergate” comments. He has a new book called The Wrecking Crew (of which you can read a lengthy excerpt in this month’s Harper‘s–also available on the sidebar).

This Avant-Garde Spectacle Brought To You By Nike

How to reach the kids today.

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Nike Sportswear presents 88BoaDrum featuring Boredoms at the La Brea Tar Pits-

an unprecedented aural and visual experience.

Beginning precisely at 8:08 PM PST, the 88-minute experience at the historic La Brea Tar Pits will feature 88 drummers selected by Boredoms and 88BoaDrum artistic director, Hisham Bharoocha.

The experience will be commemorated with a very special complimentary Nike Sportswear 88BoaDrum NSW Tee collection. The NSW Tees will be hand-screened at each location with an original graphic of your choice, including designs created by Eye from Boredoms. This collection will be available exclusively on 8.8.08 and are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

PARTICIPATING DRUMMERS: Hisham A. Bharoocha (Soft Circle) Zach Hill (Hella) Butchy Fuego (Pit Er Pat) Kid Millions (Oneida) Dave Nuss (No-Neck Blues Band / Under Satan’s Sun) Christopher Powell (Icy Demons / Man Man) Aaron Moore (Volcano the Bear) Warren Huegel (Tussle) Dustin Donaldson (Freelance Session, I Am Spoonbender, Link Wray, Thought Industry) Derek James (Entrance) Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse, All Smiles, Black Heart Procession) Tim Soete (The Fucking Champs) Michael Tapper (We Are Scientists) Adam Pfahler (Jawbreaker) Claude Collins-Stracensky Sara Lund (Unwound) Matthew Hartman (Sic Alps) Chris Moore (Negative Approach) Abby Ball Ryan Huber Geoff Soule (FUCK, Tara Jane O’neil) John Dwyer (Thee Oh Sees) Shahin Motia (Oneida / Ex Models / Knyfe Hyts) Alexis Garapulos (Arp / Expanding Headband) Katelyn Hall (Mika Miko) David Janik (Company) Michael Henrickson (Smegma / Jackie-O-Motherfucker) Tom Recchion Michael Bulington Trent Moorman (Like a Kite/The Saturday Knights) Brian Dwyer Damon Eliza Palermo (Mi Ami) Michael Catano Vice Cooler (xbxrx / Hawnay Troof) Andy Connors (ex-A Minor Forest / Lumen) Weasel Walter (xbxrx) Adam Baz (Evangelista, Ohioan, Nightwonds) Dave Aron (Koi Pond) Pete Vogl (Koi Pond) Robin Easton Alianna Kalaba (We Ragazzi) Gregory Rogove (Priestbird) Jonathan Holland (Tussle) Brendan Fowler (BARR / Car Clutch) Adam Autry Anthony Petrovic (Ezeetiger / The Drums) Rob Barber (High Places) Dan Rowan Grace Lee (Foot Village) Jason Adam Baker (Necking) Andrew Neuhues Sandra Vu (Midnight Movies) Than Luu (Black Gold / M. Ward / Adam Franklin) Jaiko Suzuki (Electro Putas) Brian Miller (Foot Villlage) Ryan Pritts (Paik / Bolmongani) Gabie Strong Jessica Espeleta Patty Schemel (Hole, Juliette Lewis, Pink) Roy Tatum (Wives) London May (Samhain / Dag Nasty) Wendy Shuey Paul Quattrone (!!!, Modey Lemon, Midnite Snake) Josh Taylor (Foot Village / Friends Forever) Sarah Anderson (Lucky Dragons) James Jolliff (Brother Reade) Brian Girgus (lowercase / Track Star) Yoshi Nakamoto (The Aislers Set) Nora Brank Chris Hathwell (Moving Units) Kevin Stuart (Crystal Antlers) Damian Edwards (Crystal Antlers) Bianca Sparta (Erase Errata) Michael La Franchi (Giant Drag / Let’s Go Sailing) Taylor Richardson (Sunburned Hand of the Man) Kevin Haskins (Bauhaus) Diva Dompe (Black Black) Tennessee Thomas (The Like) Erin Garcia (Brother Reade) Steven McCarty (Dead Meadow) Joachim Cooder Mike Sord Gard (M. Sord) Aaron Sperske (Beachwood Sparks) Sara Diaz Wendy Farina Greg Fox (Pink Mountain / Family of Love)

Tickets are available for free on a first-come-first-served basis at the following locations: Amoeba Music 6400 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, Ca 90028 323.245.6400 LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036 (323) 857-6000

Meaningless Post From Around Town (#2)

Any regular reader of my blog knows that for the last 2 years I have been a vocal proponent of a snot-nosed kid from Memphis named Jay Reatard (that’s “Ree-Ah-Tard”) who puts on a live show that will just kick your (or anyone else’s) ass with garage punk which somehow melds The Adverts, The Clean and Wire together for a whole lot of FUN.

With this review in the Los Angeles Times this weekend…it seems I don’t need to shout as loud anymore!

Live: Jay Reatard

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Memphis ax man Jay Reatard drives fans at The Echo wild with his punk-garage-new wave breed of unrelenting, no-brakes rock ‘n’ roll.

(by Jason Gelt, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, August 1, 2008)

When Jay Reatard rolled through town just four short months ago, he played a low-key secret show at Eagle Rock’s down-at-the-heels All Star Lanes bowling alley, preceded by local post-punkers Mika Miko.

On Wednesday, as Reatard plugged in his white Flying V guitar on stage at the Echo, eager fans waited in a line that stretched down the block to buy tickets. Reatard — whose less confrontational given name is Jay Lindsey — has been a staple of the Memphis music scene and a lo-fi underground icon since his band the Reatards released their debut album, 1998′s “Teenage Hate.”

But he’s reached a new career plateau since going solo and signing a deal with famed indie label Matador Records. Pre-sales for his recent limited-edition 7-inch single practically shut down the label’s website, as thousands of frantic prospective buyers stampeded the site in hopes of acquiring a future collector’s item, and fans at Wednesday’s concert were no less enthusiastic.

By the time Reatard had amped up and struck the first gut-churning chord of the title track from his 2006 “Blood Visions” album, the atmosphere was thick and muggy with expectation, and Reatard’s distinctive hybrid of ’70s punk, ’60s garage and ’80s new wave quickly whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Within minutes the space directly in front of the stage was transformed into a hyper-aggressive, beer-spilling whirlwind of angry young men.

Reatard has acquired an unfortunate reputation for club violence — with footage of him punching out a stage diver in Toronto topping his YouTube videos — but his latest appearance was unmarred by such shenanigans. He and his bandmates stuck to rock ‘n’ roll, plain and simple.

With a stripped-down set list including both of his recent Matador singles — the giddy “See Saw” and the brooding, gloom-infused “An Ugly Death — as well as a barrage of scorchers from “Blood Visions,” the performance was short and sweet, with barely a few seconds’ breather between songs.

Reatard played like an unchained animal, throwing himself into the mike to spit out lyrics, then stepping back to gulp a breath, his face obscured by a mop of curly brown hair. Particularly strong was “My Shadow,” the catchiest tune on his last album, along with high-speed renditions of “Hammer, I Miss You” and “Oh It’s Such a Shame.”

As the last number of the 45-minute set thrummed toward silence, Reatard let out a high-pitched shriek, barked a curt “goodnight” and stalked unceremoniously off the stage, true to his punk rock roots.

Opening act Cheap Time kicked off the show with a set of tightly focused three-chord punk rock gems. An angular mixture of “Born Innocent”-era Redd Kross and ’70s-inspired glam, the Nashville trio’s energy and bratty youthfulness perfectly set the mood for Reatard’s coming onslaught.