Bri Blahg… Spitting And Slapping. Music News Round-Up 9/28/09

28 09 2009

by Brian Phillips (@BrianBlahg)

Please Help Scotland Yard Gospel Choir


Scotland Yard Gospel Choir

The Chicago band was in a horrific van accident last week. They need your help. We’ll keep you posted on the hospitalized member’s conditions as updates become available.

Lady Sov Spits At Doorman, Fined

Is there anything worse you can do to a person than spitting on them? Really I’d rather be kicked in the nuts.

And The Moon Landings Were Faked Too

The album that made Kiss’ career, “Alive” was said to have been recorded at Detroit’s Cobo Hall. There may be some crowd noise on there from Cobo, but trust me, that was a studio creation (as are more live albums than you care to know). Anyway Kiss recreated the recreated “Alive” over the weekend in Detroit and Billboard was there.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bri Blahg… Music News Round Up: Monday August 31, 2009

31 08 2009

by Brian Phillips (@BrianBlahg)


Travis Barker and DJ AM

Remember the plane crash that nearly claimed the life of Blink 182’s Travis Barker? Another survivor of that horrible accident was DJ AM. AM was found dead over the weekend. It appears drug related. Blink played a show just after learning the news with heavy hearts. I shouldn’t speculate, but psychologists say survivor guilt is very real. Not everyone lived through that plane crash.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rain washes out TOD at the Waterfront

27 07 2009
Black Lips

Black Lips

By Jill Menze (@jillmenze)

Well, this’ll be brief, as I intended to waste several hundred words professing my love for one of my fav bands … And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead, who was scheduled to perform at the Jelly NYC Pool Party at the Williamsburg Waterfront yesterday. But, thanks to some gasp-inducing lightening threatening New York, the show was called (so what, hundreds of people were hanging out by water with a bunch of metal poles in the area .. how is that not safe??). Bummer. Guess I’ll store up my energy for the band’s set at All Points West this weekend.

Don’t get me wrong, I was excited to see Black Lips and HEALTH leading up to Trail of Dead, and both groups proved worth the eight blocks or so I walked to get there. The percussion-heavy HEALTH was dominating and tribal-like, a good heavy mix that fittingly brought storm clouds over the park. Atlanta’s Black Lips was the usual shitshow — drunk concertgoers flooding the stage, the band playing on top of the crowd, apparently at one point a security guard got hit and the group was reprimanded but I think I missed that part. Fan favorites like “O Katrina!” and “Short Fuse” saw mad crowd surfing, while the lilting surfer-cool of songs like “Dirty Hands” put everyone more at ease.

Then, sigh, the rain came. But oh well, at least we have this weekend. And meanwhile, you can revisit our porchside chat with Trail of Dad at this year’s SXSW by clicking right here.

Bri Blahg… Pitchfork Festival Preview

14 07 2009

by Brian Phillips (@BrianBlahg)


The Jesus Lizard

The Pitchfork Music Festival is this weekend at Chicago’s Union Park. As I write Saturday and Sunday are sold out, with just a scant smattering of tickets remaining for Friday.


The only reason I can think of for Friday not being clean is fear…. and for good reason. Malnourished hipsters can only foresee their own death at the hands of the reformed Jesus Lizard. There’s not a front man in music like David Yow. The manic Texan comes off like a Pentecostal preacher assigned to build a church in hell. The fact that they’re one of my favorite bands is not something I want to think about too much. On either side of the Lizard Friday on old people night is another fave of mine Yo La Tengo and the enigmatic Built To Spill. The way the schedule works out we should be able to see all three. Bully for us.

Read the rest of this entry »

SXSW Friday… And Into Saturday. Well into Saturday

21 03 2009

I have to stop every so often and think real hard when things have happened. Friday seems like five days ago. That’s a good thing. Life is full this week.

I started things off by chatting up Star Death and The White Dwarf… aka the band comprised of The Flaming Lips road crew. The Lips are certainly an influence, but Star Death are into soul music too and work that into some of their music. I’m happy to report the fellas say Wayne Coyne is a good boss who treats them well. I tried to organize them into a union, but they politely declined.

From there it was Trophy’s on the south side for our pals The Lonely H. If you feel rock n roll needs saving, then here’s your saviors. It’s kick ass 70’s style rock n roll hold the pretension. The new stuff visits a bit in the country rock world and it all sounds confident. New album in June. Already on my Ipod neener neener big fat weener to you.

Using connections I’m not disposed to reveal (alright Jill Menze from Uwire got me in.) I was able to gain entry into The Spin Magazine throw down at Stubb’s Bar B Que. The Black Lips were loud as hell and I loved every second. Then it was backstage (which is actually dirt and some grass, not very glamorous). I spent some quality time with Will Sergeant of Echo & The Bunnymen. He’s a nice chap and we talked about old garage rock, and soul bands he plays on his weekly radio show. Then I salivated visibly as he mentioned his vintage tube stereo gear and juke box. Will revealed he has a businesslike relationship with Ian McCulloch and that he has a pint every Tuesday with retired Bunnyman Les Pattinson who now works on boats for fun.

Perry Farrell brought on the band. Perry needs to eat. It was a nice intro as The Janes Addiction leader seemed very excited to be bringing on one of his favorite bands.
Echo were great again, and I had a primo vantage point. (Note… Echo are one of my favorite bands. I will say pretty much anything they do is great.)

From there it was the priceless Theresa Andersson at Antone’s. Using an array of pedals the lovely Swede looped herself on violin, guitar, and drums. Before our eyes she assembled the parts she needed to build each song. And wait until you hear her sing! Quickly capturing herself on pedals, she brought forth a choir of Theresas, sendin the songs to their moving crescendo. I’m not doing it justice. You just have to see her. YOU HAVE TO! She’s utterly brilliant and left me speechless. We’ll have video up soon.

Dashing down to The Austin Music Hall I took my place with actual professional photographers and decided to take the Hunter S. Thompson approach to covering the story. That is I had the bartender pour me a few fingers of Bourbon. Holding their cameras and progressively more phallic lenses the pros eyed me with thinly veiled disgust. Tough turf people. I have an orange tag on my teeny tiny HD camera. I’ll put another tag on my cup of Jim Beam if it’ll help. Finishing my cocktail just in time I took position front and center. It’s good thing Devo was loud so I wouldn’t have to hear them mentally elbowing me to the ground. I did it all for you. Well except for the Jim Beam, that was for me. My video and a interview is up now with my shockingly steady handed footage.

After we were escorted from the photography pit I dashed across town for a few minutes of The New York Dolls. Solid, but…. I mean I wish Johnny Thunders were still alive.

I then crammed some food in my face and ducked into The Kid Sister show. Her brother is part of Flosstradamus and he was there. For some reason I was allowed to sit on stage and shoot. Everyone was having such a great time no one questioned my qualifications… unlike those guys at Devo.

Saturday wraps things…. I’ve got a powwow with Jon Langford from The Mekons. His band The Waco Brothers are playing and they kick major arse. Then it’s Modern Skirts, Langhorn Slim, live shooting at Tinted Windows, and Silversun Pickups. I’ll try to be more professional.

SXSW Preview: Cursive, Black Lips rock Brooklyn

11 03 2009

It’s notoriously difficult to get crowds worked up in New York City, what with hipper-than-thou NYU kids and grizzled music biz veterans squeezing into venues to see the new “it” band and apathetically sip on $8 Stellas all night long. So it was a refreshing change of pace to see actual music fans lose their shit two nights in a row at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg for pre-SXSW sets from Nebraska rockers Cursive (with whom we’ll be chatting in Austin) and the Atlanta, Ga., awesome mess known as Black Lips.


Full disclosure: This blogger is from Nebraska, where we grew up alongside Saddle Creek’s roster, damning the whiney warble of Conor Oberst and reveling in Cursive’s hard-rock power. “Domestica” was listened to on a daily basis throughout 2001. A few tears may or may not have surfaced upon meeting Tim Kasher at age 17. So, this write-up is a little biased. But at least we’re all on the same page now.

In any case, Cursive kicked off its tour behind the March 10-released “Mama, I’m Swollen” to a sold-out crowd of pumped up, black-clad kids ready to hang on Kasher’s every word. It was a little strange, as this is not a usual occurence in Williamsburg, but it took us back to our high school days (where we’d park it stage right for the best view) and reminded us why we loved Cursive in the first place.

For those not hardcore Cursive fans, the set was lacking a certain something, namely the added instrumentation of the group’s past tours to really bring its back catalog to life. Sure, a trumpet popped in from time to time, but songs like “A Gentleman Caller” and “Big Bang” were just screaming for cello and a horn section.

Speaking of screaming, Kasher’s yelp proceeded to get wilder and drunker as the set progressed, and we gotta admit, we’re excited to see what will go down in Austin. The new tunes sounded tops (particularly “From the Hips” and “I Couldn’t Love You”), so look for it to be one big guitar-fueled party.

Night two at Music Hall was an even bigger raucous mess for Black Lips, where everyone (present company included) was too drunk to really care about what was going on except to jam out. We’ve ranted before about how it’s annoying to watch fans get extra f*ed up because that’s what you’re “supposed” to do at these kinds of shows, so we’ll spare you a repeat. In any case, the night devolved into some sort of beer-soaked stage party, and, well, whatever, we were really out of it too (nowhere near the stage, mind you) so a good time was had by all. We look for them to REALLY tear shit up in Texas, and we’ll be ready. Bring it on!