Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Ten People You Meet At Coachella

The Friend: Probably the most depressing figure at Coachella, this person has no taste whatsoever but tags along with their hip buddy to all the bands they like. The sad part is that no matter how many great acts they are dragged through, they will never be able to get into music. They are on the outside looking in, and it is costing them a lot of money. 

The Mom: If you couldn't tell by her wide-eyed vicarious enjoyment, look for the kid keeping a stern 4 paces in front of her. Sure, she only bought a ticket to chaperone her child, but damn if she isn't just loving the journey.

The Obstacle: You know you're the obstacle if you're over 6'6" and love big hats. Also, you probably like swaying and standing in front of shorter people. 

The Mountaineer: closely related to the obstacle, the mountaineer has severely overestimated the Desert experience. He is easily identified by his hiking boots, wool socks, canteen, and wide-brim hat. He also easily identified by his ridiculously aloof appearance at the dance tent.

The Bro: In case you weren't aware, Coachella is in Riverside county. For further proof, that guy over there is wearing a Kottonmouth Kings shirt with no sleeves. 

Kid with Glow-sticks: Why the fuck does that kid have glow-sticks? He's not even doing anything with them.

Unfortunate Goth: Yep, no matter what, someone always thinks its a good idea to put on big black pants covered in buckles and go spacewalking through the desert. 

The Old Person: Coachella's new target demographic. Evidence #1: Jack Johnson, Prince, Roger Waters. Evidence #2: That flattened Ensure bottle on the ground. Evidence #3: There's a hell of a lot of old people around this year.

The Jailbait: Good God Damn, that 14-year-old is wearing a toothbrush for a top. Somebody call her parents.

The Random Celebrity: Is that Danny DeVito?

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Coachella Roundout part I: Jokes

When you've been writing about music for as long as I have, you start to get ahead of yourself at shows. The mind cannot help but try and form interesting sentences and descriptions which you'll no doubt forget by the time you write the damn article anyhow. But then, when you're as crazy as I am, sometimes the mind comes up with really odd shit to say that aren't particularly true or make any sense at all and honestly you consider printing it anyways (by the doctrine of "Anything Pitchfork can do, I can do better"). So... as I scramble to assemble viable copy from Coachella, I will assault you with these dumb things that I conjured up while watching various bands perform:

Holy Fuck: "If James Brown were alive today, he'd be Holy Fuck."

Serj Tankian: "FROM BEHIND THOSE EMPTY LYRICS!!!! FROM BEHIND THOSE EMPTY LYRICS!!!!"

Roger Waters: "And then, silently, the world stopped taking its medication."

Deadmau5: "Either this guy's fucking amazing or I'm just a sucker for goofy masks. Or both."

Prince: "Prince is so gay he fucks women." (I'm such a class act.)

Stars: "Little did they know the hatred that seethed behind the delightful, loving pop tunes."

Gogol Bordello: "Then the great holy gypsy danced into the crowd, which offered him their wallets freely as tribute." (gypsies, pickpocketing, oh nevermind...)

Busy P: "They say the more alien in appearance the DJ, the better the set." 

Metric: "What's the sound of one man napping? Oh yes, zzzz...."

Fatboy Slim: "That guy might be older than electronics."

Goldfrapp: "She's wearing like 3 decades right now."

I'm From Barcelona: "It's like being diabetic. You could be in I'm From Barcelona and not even know it... Until your organs started shutting down."

Spank Rock: "In the history of Hip-hop shows, there has never been a more clothed female presence onstage than right now. Except for maybe Queen Latifah, but only if you go by yards of fabric."

Chromeo: "If you're cool enough to be onstage for this show, you're cool enough to take a punch in the balls from me."

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I'm a blogcritic, Dottie. A rebel...

News From The Machine IV: A New Hype

Leave a comment if you read it. First person to leave one claiming that Weezer is "Teh best" gets mad kudos from me. Extra points if you call me a "Dumb Jock" or accuse me of being a rap fanatic.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Hideously Deformed Electro Of Superhuman Size & Strength


A couple weeks ago, I watched Toxic Avenger and fairly thoroughly enjoyed its campy indulgence. And now, in my latest plug, I feature a remix of a track done by the artist of the same name.

The remix end of it is Lies In Disguise, which is actually two dudes more famous for their other stuff than L.i.D. will likely ever be. It is:

Blake Miller, singer and laptoperator of the Moving Units (He plays guitar too, not sure if he still does)
Dylan Eiland, a.k.a. Le Castle Vania, DJ Destr-ordinaire and first to officially pun on the name of I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness. (He replaced Darkness with Disco*)

Anyways, I dug it when I first heard it on that IHC/SCION tape, so here's a proper nod to the Kabukiman-masked maniac. Proper.

*For my money, Darren's still got the better one: "I love you but i've chosen Shark Week.")

Monday, April 7, 2008

IFOUGHTTHELOGO

I made an awful logo!

I'll tweak it a bit so it looks more fitting, but I have a logo now!

After Digitalarmes-- a blog I frequently and indulgently enjoy-- changed their logo to add boobs, I decided I should step into the realm of images. So there it is. And until such time as I pick something cooler to put in it, it will have my picture.

Ta-da!


VIVA LAS JUSTICE

Photo By Ryan Kobane

So, as some of you know, I went to Las Vegas last weekend with a few buddies and went to the Justice gig at the House Of Blues. As I predicted, the task of writing the article for the Union Weekly managed to bounce off all other involved writers and land squarely on my shoulders as I sat 400 miles away from the newspaper with only 24 hours' notice to get it done. Obviously, I slam dunked it and it looks fucking great. So now I bring to you the third in my Union Copy/Paste series, hours before it goes to print. Read it while it's still exclusive!

Also, please note that it is intended to be in Gonzo style. I could never duplicate the great HST, but I will dutifully follow his teachings. That said, here's the article which I wrote with the headlines and tag that I had no part in.

Fear And Justice In Las Vegas:
A Very Gonzo Account Of What May Or May Not Have Happened At The Justice Show
In Vegas

It began as all great stories will: an hour late and armed down to the floorboards with alcohol. As the convoy pulled out of sunny, safe Orange and headed east, there were no illusions of what was to take place. The stage was set for a baptism of filth, and the players were in rare form that evening. The plan was simple, or at least it started that way: Drive to Las Vegas, Attend a Justice show, and then do as much damage as possible before speeding off in the getaway vehicle before the first sunbeams reveal our deeds. Unfortunately, unreliable elements made their way in to the equation.

As far as Elvis fell from his glorious youth at the time he died, a quick glance down the strip makes even the King, bloated and rhinestone-studded on his death-toilet, look like a Kurt Cobain supernova. Las Vegas is the slick package that fools and sleazebags believe is the American Dream. Everything is commodified, and nothing is taboo. If others found your deepest delights to be uncouth, low, and insipidly bizarre, Las Vegas will sate you in ways you’ve never known. Long gone are the rat pack days of tousled tuxedoes and cigar-chomping flair. There is only elegance-flavored excess, a living postcard flattened, glossed, and built to entice. The mutants are running the circus now.

We checked in at 4pm to our all-too-basic room in the Tropicana, a winding fortress that always manages to spit you out at the casino area. I’ve been told that they saturate the air with oxygen so that gamblers find themselves feeling strangely invigorated simply throwing dice, so I breathe deeply hoping to pull in some of that slippery euphoria. It is hard to imagine that this place could tear your life apart, but I brand across my memory that it will if you let it. No one in our party gambles that night, making it the only vice we abstain from by choice. Within an hour, we are set up in our room with what has been officially coined the “Mobile Booze Lab.” It consists of:

 a large plastic flask of Vodka 
a bottle of premium Gin 
6 beers 
Tonic 
Strawberry Puree 
Sweet & Sour 
Margarita mix

...and an ice bucket that is woefully unequipped for our ice needs.

The drinks we make taste like strawberry lemonade despite their remarkable alcohol content. The television has only very few channels so we watch celebrity news until we set up some music. Adhering to the second law of concert-going, we do not listen to anything being played by the night’s acts. We are just about buzzed when a cursory check of the tickets reveals that doors open for the show at the ungodly hour of 6pm. It is 6pm.

Thankfully, Las Vegas has no (enforced) open container law. Beer bottle in hand, I stroll out of the casino and flag down a taxi. After directing him to take us to the House of blues, he chuckles and suggests we walk since it’s just a couple casinos down. So on we walk to Mandalay Bay. Within the Mandalay Resort Group area are three casinos at the southern tip of the Vegas strip; The Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur. The Luxor shows its age more than any of the others, as it now bears a 15-story advertisement for cellular telephones.

Entering the venue was entirely without hassle except for a frantic phone chase by me for the inevitable afterparty and the happy problem of giving away the four extra tickets of which we found ourselves in possession. Drinks were outrageously priced, so I kept it simple with a shot and an energy drink to bolster my intoxication and keep it at optimum levels during the dancing. And oh, was there ever dancing. Somehow I found myself in a crowd of unfamiliar women attempting to fend off sleazier men unfamiliar to them. Observing a strip club approach to touching the girls (none, let them touch you), there began a sweat-soaked cotillion with an air of hypnotic sensuality. 

By the time Justice ended their set, I had nothing left. I sauntered defeatedly toward the door to sit out the coming encore. Thankfully, that notion of overoxygenated casinos seemed to ring true, and a sugary drink and a moment’s rest on the Mandalay floor had me back to what I’ve decided to call “Vegas normal.”

Somewhere in the muck of it all, I receive divine providence and a text message informs of the whereabouts of an afterparty. Since everyone in Las Vegas is far more interested in Vegas than some afterparty, none of the artists and no names worth dropping are in attendance. There are beautiful women, lots of them underage, taking refuge from the sketchy characters wandering the city. Even brief conversation with them points me to the conclusion that the achievement was simply getting there, and it becomes time to move on. On our way out, we ask the valet what bar he goes to. “Ellis Island.” He immediately offers, “Take a right just past Bally’s.” 

The walk takes forever. Men handing out flyers for hookers mob the streets and all of the Disneyland-like elements of the strip shut down. This is no place for children. The night stalkers are about. 

Ellis Island is definitely the insider’s drink spot. $3 nets a well drink and we cast out our trios of dollars as quickly as we could. The locals were deep into their karaoke and after ten minutes it became obvious we were never going to get our chance to perform. So we screamed what lyrics we knew until the fierce gazes of the locals, recognizing us now as interlopers, drove us out into the still-surging streets. 

Morning couldn’t come quickly enough. I was ready to rid myself of the lights and spectacles. The open road was as quick a cure as I could hope for. And so I stared out the window, down the broad spine of the strip, and realized how quickly one can get homesick in this cultural vacuum.


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Matt & Kim & Mano & Hollywood Holt


It's A Fact.

If you didn't blindly click that link, here's some things that'll make you wish you had. First of all, it involves Matt & Kim, who are always fun and great and fun and that's all there is to it. Also, it sounds kinda like a disjointed postal service jam with a little more sing-alongability and without that distinct air of wizardliness that PS' whooshy IDM always has.

Also, if you don't know who Matt & Kim are, you need to check them out. Super great music made by a super cute couple.

Come to my house Matt & Kim, I will pay you in good beer and good hugs. Like at least 4 beers, and at least 5 hugs.

If you live in europe, you can see Matt & Kim live. Otherwise, it's gonna be a hell of a commute. If you don't like it, call them and tell them to come have a show at my house. Mention the beer and hugs.

Here's the tour as it stands:

APR 30 - Bergen, Norway @ Bergen Festival
MAY 1 - Oslo, Norway @ The Garage
MAY 2 - Stockholm, Sweden @ Debaser
MAY 3 - Huskvarna, Sweden @ Popadelica Festival
MAY 5 - Haarlem, Holland @ Liberation Festival
MAY 5 - Groningen, Holland @ Liberation Festival
MAY 6 - Amsterdam, Holland @ TBA
MAY 8 - Antwerp, Belgium @ Trix Club
MAY 9 - Paris, France @ La fieche d'or
MAY 10 - London, UK @ The Underworld Camden
MAY 11 - Leicester, UK @ The Charlotte
MAY 12 - Leeds, UK @ The Cockpit
MAY 14 - Glasgow, Scotland @ Beat Club
MAY 15 - Sheffield, UK @ University Of Sheffield Fuzz Club
MAY 16 - Brighton, UK @ TBA
MAY 17 - London, UK @ The Luminaire

Please note that they are playing at a place called the "Trix Club" and another called "The Cockpit," not to mention "Debaser" and "La Fieche d'or" which I believe is french for "The Gold Fetch." Or it's just a typo and it's supposed to be "La Fleche d'or" meaning Gold Arrow. I'm sticking with The Gold Fetch.

Let's all move to Paris already.

Now we can take his gun!


Charlton Heston, 1923-2008

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Scott Weiland Loves Drugs

According to The Onion, Scott Weiland has left Velvet Revolver. Or, more specifically, Velvet Revolver has left Scott Weiland, likely due to his tendencies to achieve biblical levels of loadedness and his incorrugible talent at failing rehab efforts.

To get some idea of the level of drug abuse Scott was surfing at, he got kicked out of a band full of old Guns N' Roses members for it. I'm imagining him carrying around a brick of heroin and constantly nibbling at it through the day like a big narcotic candy bar.

Anyways, Velvet Revolver will hopefully die out now and Scott Weiland will have more residuals to persuade him against making any more music to sully the decently rockin' STP albums. As I mentioned not more than a week ago, if that guy could've lived and got loaded off of his STP royalties, there wouldn't have a been a single track released after Core.