Sunday, August 29, 2004

That party was a helluva thing, PART DEUX

In the words of Modest Mouse, "the good times are killin' me." Or at least it feels like that sometimes. Another Friday night, another shindig that utilized my musical services. My friend Tricia from work had a going-away party, as she is moving to Idaho with her boyfriend, and she had me DJ. It was pretty sweet. Of course, the heat/humidity was a bitch, but I survived. There were lotsa cool people there making good requests. There were some technical difficulties that cut off the music around 3, but we had made it long enough. It was cool to rock a party outside my "DJing comfort zone" and have it go rather successfully. I'm sorry to Lee and all the Mannhaus crew for my absence from the B-day party and your resulting lack of sound equipment. Hopefully the party killed shit nonetheless.
Now to cover some bands. Yesterday Andy and I caught two different shows, being the scenesters that we are. In the afternoon, this awesome dude named Lee Keeler had an OSU graduation party where he rented out Studio 35 to have a screening of "Spiderman 2" (originally Scarface and Animal House were possibilities, but I guess they didn't work) and a performance by The Sun. Plus, admission for people that weren't his friends was only 2 bones! Pretty damn sweet. We saw two new Sun videos twice, including an animated one that I loved. Hopefully that will be available in the future, or just on MTV 24-7 or something. Sam Brown's young son had a quality drum solo, including cackling into a mic, and he has the right parentage for greatness. Most of the new Sun tunes sound good, I'm sure when the album drops the wait will be worth it. Last night, Andy and I made it down to the Dell Cafe on Parsons to finally see Dejavu. They're pretty damn good. A variety of quality Latin sounds is how I would describe it. The Dell is a good spot too, there should be more events there. And supporting a co-worker is always good. Friday night before the party I caught The Tough and Lovely for free at their in-store appearance at Used Kids. Their new music sounds pretty nice too, I'll tell y'all about the debut album, "Born of the Stars," when I listen to it.

On Wednesday night, Andy and I made a trek to the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland to see the Greyhounds and Ray's Music Exchange. Actually, it was a CD release party for Cincinnati's RME, but their music was a bit lackluster compared to the deep Texas jam-funk of the Greyhounds. They're one of those bands that I had wanted to see for a long time, so when they even came within 2.5 hours, I had to make it work. It was worth it. The trio of drums, organ, and vocals/guitar/harmonica was kickin' some stank all over the place. Sure, there were a few slower ballads and whatnot, but most of the set was great. The boys in RME are good too, but their songs are pretty damn long, and whenever a very long song stays out of "funk territory" for too long, it gets old fast. The sad thing about this show was the attendance. There was never more than 30 people in the main room, which has to suck for a band from 5 hours away and a band from Texas! But both bands appeared unfazed, which was impressive. And we made it back to town by 2 AM! Good shit.
Well, that's a recap of the recent past. I'm sure there will be some rock shows attended this week, as Abele comes to town for Woostock. Look out Bustown! Also, I'm gonna work on a "plan-a-rock-a-gram" for the fall, as there are alot of shows coming to town and I need to get organized. Have a good week, broshacks.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

That party was a helluva thing.

Wow. Even this guy was there:

Or at least the best song he ever made an appearance (I was hoping Dave would just magically appear upon the utterance of "Bust 'em in the eye Shaq!" or whatever he says). Anyway, the Mannhaus party of the Friday night past was a seeerious summer jam, complete with a hot tub on the front porch (or an inflatable kiddie pool with a hose) and a cop showing up to silence the ruckus. Of course, being the dutiful DJ that I am, I was busy rockin' summer anthems like "Summertime" and "Kidd Drunkadelic" (People Under the Stairs), and therefore I didn't get into the hot tub until after the fuzz had fled (naw, the cop was cool). The only real problem I (and Chops) had with the party was the insistence of most of the hottubbing women to keep all their clothes on (and put on more, in some cases) when entering the pool, which seemed pretty silly, while most of the dudes got down to their boxers and stayed almost naked for hours (and in some cases, naked, but we won't get into that). All in all, though, it was a great time, and I'm glad that those who attended did so.
The rock has been slow as of late. I would like to be able to tell you about Dejavu's smokin' performance at the Dell Cafe last night, but as I'm sure you could gather from the first paragraph, last night was set aside for recovery for most people I know, and unfortunately I was unable to make it out to the scene. On Wednesday, however, Andy and I plan to make a voyage to the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland to see Cincinnati's Ray's Music Exchange (actually, I guess it's their CD release party), with Texas' Greyhounds opening up. I'd still love to go up to Cleveland again on Friday night for Brand Nubian and Brother Ali at the Grog Shop, but since chances are lookin' slim, the Tough & Lovely CD release party at Skullys is a much better bet. And there could be something cool going down Saturday night, but we'll keep that on the DL for now. And with that, here's some quick...
Music Reviews

Yes, I finally have it (you like that jacked graphic? Me too). Sure, it took 5 stores over two nights including a trek through campus in the rain after work on Friday, but I found it for an acceptable price at the place I should have started, Magnolia Thunderpussy. Most of the tracks on here are pretty nice. Sure, a few of em meander towards mindless techno/groove/beats, but most songs are pretty solid, and there's some serious talent involved, so that doesn't hurt.

If you're looking for some solid good times hip-hop from affiliates of the legendary Roots crew (and let's face it, that's why you're here), then I recommend picking this up. I first heard of these guys in some magazine about 3 years ago, and I found a few MP3s in the last days of Napster. So basically, this album took two years too long to come out (it came out last summer). So there ain't much buzz these days, but there should be. There's some energetic party jams, a few more thoughtful, inspirational cuts, some production by ?uestlove, Scratch on the beatbox, and 88-Keys, and even a few funny skits (I think you should look out for the BEAT MONSTER!!!!!). Pick it up, pick it up, pick it up! Back on the scene, crispy and clean...ah fuck, you always gotta beware of them lyrical tangents.
OK, I'm sure that's enough to hold you over for a while. Hip-hop and ya don't stop.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Scribblen, Scribblen (I HATE WHITE MIKE!!!)

WIN FABULOUS PRIZES!!!!!!! In honor of my and Andy's safe return from Scribble Jam, I will give a yet-to-be-determined hip-hop prize to the first person who can tell me: The name of the artist who recorded "Scribblen." Yes, he's a rapper who travels in Scribble Jam related (read: Midwest underground hip-hop) circles, if that helps. Google probably won't help too much. I like these to be tough.

Anyway, Scribble Jam '04 was a good time. As you can see above (and in Monday's Columbus Dispatch), 18 year-old Illmaculate from Portland, OR, who lost his job to come to the fest, won the MC battle over past champion Mac Lethal. The battle wasn't super-stupendous, as alot of mediocre MCs were able to win a round or two. The aforementioned White Mike was pretty awful, luckily Illmaculate served him up nice. Deuce Leader, courtesy of his now-infamous stage-dive (he weighs at least a good 250) during last year's freestyle battle, was name-dropped in about every freestyle. Also, as noted by one of the hosts of the battle, there were an obscene amount of gay jokes in the freestyles. I'm sure most of those guys aren't homophobic, but the tolerance of such lyrics in hip-hop today definitely limits its appeal to an outside audience. The rock-centric Other Paper review of Ghostface's set at the Projekt Revolution tour this year comes to mind. But any battle where a Nintendo Power Glove is mentioned as a sexual aide is OK by me.
None of the other battles really caught my attention, though the guy that chopped the intro to a Parliament song into the melody of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2" in the DJ battle was pretty sweet. There were lots of good live shows. The back-to-back QN5/Cunninlynguists sets Saturday night were rather stout, though I would definitely give the upper hand to those Cunnin folks. I guess it's mainly because all of them were there, and they performed alot of my favorite songs from the two albums, including the namesake of this blog. The QN5 set only featured half of EFamm (Pack FM & Tonedeff) plus Mr. Mecca, so it was lots of new stuff from upcoming solo albums, and not familiar bangers. Still good though, even with crazy drunken appearances from folks like Poison Pen, who might be ODB 2K4. Wordsworth, of Lyricist Lounge (both the Mtv show and the albums) fame, performed a set Friday night and also appeared with QN5 Saturday night, and was definitely a fine live performer. Look out for his album on September 14th. Little Brother was good on Friday night, as were hometown heroes Blueprint & Illogic, who did alot of my favorites of theirs, like "My Favorite Things," "Break Bread," and "Inhale." Living Legends were last Friday night, and some of them got pretty pissed when the sound was turned off around 2:30. Oh well, it was dope either way. There were other good live shows (and Beans', who had the benefit of awful sound, which did not help his odd, CD-player powered live show), but the Rhymesayers sets were nothing new and there was just too much hip-hop to write about here. I think Andy estimated that we spent about 19 hours at Annie's over the two days. Whatever, it was cool to hang out with Dave (and Andy), and I think all had a good time. Scribble 2005, here we come (look out wallet)!!!

Before I forget, I also saw a quality show on Thursday night, that being Elefant, VHS or Beta, and The Everyones at Little Brothers. Well, the Everyones from Australia were pretty bad: with their generic poploudrock, incessant & unnecessary falsetto, and the least-rockin' flute ever, I dubbed them many things, including "The Ballsweat-o's" and "Wolfgang Amadingo Crapzart." At least it was good to laugh at. After another epic soundcheck, VHS or Beta rocked a fine set of danced-out new wave. As I said a few times, the jump from their last album to the stuff they're doing now is like going from 1978 to 1982. Along with that, there is also the slightly off-putting aspect of their shows, which is their refusal to play anything but stuff from the upcoming new album. It's not like they have a huge back catalog, but one lengthy disco jam from "Le Funk" would have made my day. After them, Elefant rocked pretty hard, in a new wave-y sorta way. They actually reminded me of the Psychedelic Furs on a handful of songs. And the drummer mooned the audience. All in all, all of us (Ashley, Katie, Franz, Kehn, and myself) seemed to have a good time.

Well alright. Back up to speed. Not huge rock plans coming up, though there may be a small Mannhaus party Friday night and I want to see my co-workers' Latin band on Saturday. And there's always Tuesday at the Ravari. Look out for some sort of music reviews, including vinyl and all that crap I bought at Scribble. If only I could sell folks on the awesomeness of this blog like that guy sold the multi-platinum-ness of the Hangar 18 album I was forced to purchase.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Muchas Gracias

Yes indeed, thanks to all the fine folks that caught my second appearance spinning them old-timey musical plates at the Ravari Room with the always awesome Wicked Lung & the Wookalar last night. Individual thank yas to: Emily (gotta list blood relations first), Julie, Andy, Ashley, Amy, Allison, Jason, Lee, Franz, Adam, Kehn, Chops & Mandy (sorry bout the timing, y'all), Ben Oliver, Val (nice to talk to her again, hopefully her Ravari debut is just around the corner), Amy's sister and a friend of hers that I swear I went to elementary or middle school with, Tim Fulton and Jenny Taylor, Antoine from Monster Movies (boo hoo hoo)/River of Wine (hooray!), and, of course, the pretty funny comedian guy. Man, that list of people I knew that were at the bar last night was alot longer than the last time, look out world, here I come (armed with crazy recognition of faces)! I think we all had a good time. I played alot of records, but let's face it, the big crowd pleasers were Cosby, the Cars, Deep Purple, and Baby Mama. Major points to Val for being the only person to catch the cover of the Human League's "Don't You Want Me" by Fast 3. Some random guy was really into "Plug Me In" by the Lost Boyz, so I guess Dave's spirit lives on. Assuming the guys keep the night (keep going on Tuesdays, everybody!), I think this will probably happen again soon. Huzzah!

Eh, writing's for schmucks. You know the show tomorrow, you know the haps for the weekend, you know the drill! Moe Bandy, bitches!

Saturday, August 07, 2004

It's just as good, I swear...

Current listenins cuz I'm too lazy to get off my ass and see them for free at the fair:

They sound pretty sweet back in the early 70s. I know, just like me, you can't believe a Grand Funk live album without "We're An American Band," but actually this could be a good thing. Seriously, they're rockin the fair right now, GOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

You need mo' rock (or Mo Rocca) plans? I reckon you came to the right hitchin' post, pardner. This afternoon, I'll probably make an appearance at Lost Weekend (your favorite Clintonville hole-in-the-wall record store and mine) to see new local band Lover Lover rock that place into the ground (well, and remind Kyle about my forthcoming Ravari Room rap-pearance). There is a veritable multitude (God, this Grand Funk album is killin shit right now) of shows going down tonight, coulda used one of em last night. Anywayz, I think Andy and I will make it two Saturdays in a row at a Little Brothers "rockin' 'cue." This time it's the Rock 'n Roll BBQ, promising free food from 7-9 (with only a $5 admission charge) and performances from Watershed, Woolworthy (Chicago), the Whiles, and the Last Hotel. You should come too.

AND YOU KNOW WHAT TUESDAY MEANS!!!!! ANDREW "FUNKY D" PATTON WITH WICKED LUNG & THE WOOKALAR PLAYIN REKKIDS AT THE RAVARI ROOM!!!! BE THERE OR DIE! OK, maybe that's a little harsh, I apologize. Anyway, it'll be a good time. I would link to the Ravari Room site, but it hasn't been updated in over a month, so fuck it. The address is 2657 N. High, directly on the corner of W. Dodridge and High, next to Hound Dog's. Music will start around 10 or 10:30.

Thursday brings us Elefant w/VHS or Beta and the Everyones at Little Brothers, and then Andy and I take off to Cincy for the weekend for.......SCRIBBLE JAM 2004!!!!! It's a hell of a thing.

So yeah, Recent Rock Reviews. Thursday night meant the second weekly gig for the New Basics Brass Band at the Ravari Room. Mo' horn funk fo dat azzzzz. Chops and I just about shit our pants when a song started with the tuba playing the bass line from "Rapper's Delight," and then the other horns came in with the "Sanford & Son" theme. Mega-killer! Wednesday night, Andy and I saw a fine bill of River of Wine, Wicked Lung & the Wookalar, and Doctah X at Skullys. River of Wine is really good, and will fucking rock when they've played together for a while. Antoine is still crazy on the bass, and seeing the owner of the Ravari Room workin the skins is pretty sweet too. I mean, how many bands do you know that have songs about Sonny Liston? That's what I thought. Wicked Lung & Wookalar were joined again by Fluff Snake on the drums, sweeeet. Now, there were no stuffed animals at this show, probably cuz it was clean ol Skullys, but they rocked just the same. Doctah X's crazy dub sounds were alright, but we left, due to the tiredness and all.

OK, that's enough. The Grand Funk Live album has just finished kicking my ass. Wow, if only the band had stuck with the game plan. Now it's time to listen to my grand haul from Dusty Groove that just arrived in the mail. It'll be WI-I-I-IIILD, MAN!

Monday, August 02, 2004

Time Waits for No Blog!!!

So if you're just checking it for the first time in a week, please scroll below for Saturday's musins. Yesterday I went and got a turntable and the rest of my vinyl from der Mannhaus in order to prepare properly for..."Smell the Vinyl" with (FUCK YOU, NEW BLOGGER TEMPLATE!!!) Wicked Lung and the Wookalar at the Ravari Room, August 10th. Consider yourself double-warned, and on the verge of being warned some more. The set is being worked on as we speak.

Right now, I'm giving a full listen to Eugene McDaniels' "Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse," sampled by the Beastie Boys and Tribe Called Quest and re-hashed, in part, by the Breakestra. So it's gettin' funky over here, so later it'll get fon-kay ovah dere. There might even be an "All-Ohio" section of the evening's musical feast, look out for that excitement. Now, for the featured presentation...

Vertical Slumbecue 2004

Yes indeed sir, Grand Lord Nappius of the Land of Bread that Shall Forever be Flav-o-rized by Pepperoni and I went to the first annual Vertical Slumbecue at Little Brothers on Saturday night. This event was put on by the Vertical Slum, a cool webzine thingy that can probably explain itself better than I can right here.
First of all, it was an adventure just getting there. The afternoon started with a renting and viewing of "Suckerpunch," an unsung classic of modern cinema that uses vulgarity and Greg Nice for the best purposes ever (kinda like me). Then came the first challenge. I think Nappius has a mutiny on his hands, because one of his "faithful" house cats decided to run out beneath his foot while he was walking down the stairs and...pwned! Andy (this Nappius stuff is getting lame fast) fell down the stairs and ended up banging up his shoulder pretty good. But after putting ice on it for about 10 minutes, he decided that there was a mission to be pursued and we set off for the rock, still showing up in time for a few songs of the opening act! For this, I have decided (yes, I have this power) to award Andy Q. Napier (the Q stands for Quintilius, he hides it because it's not unique) the Rock 'n Roll Purple Heart. This puts a fine cap on an outstanding week for the young fella, who had already garnished the distinction of getting a drinking move named after him. Yes, Chops was inspired by Q's (you know, his family likes using their middle names) example and decided that drinking to drown out your hunger should be referred to as "pulling a Napier." Yes, that Napier is an example to us all.
Anyway, there's some rock to be discussed (it's about time, I was starting to think I was writing a Captain Underpants book or some shit). The aforementioned opening band was Cleveland's Dreadful Yawns, the first of many fine acts that could be loosely described as folk-rock. After their fine set, Chris McCoy (Dayton, I guess) and his band played some mo' quality folk-rock. This is around the time Andy and I caught our first round of tasty BBQ pork sammiches served off of the pool table in the back. This event lived up to its name, and then some! Then came Wussy from Cinn City, who were alright but not too rockin' (though it could be my chauvinistic bias against some female lead singers). I think this is where the ill-fated "Side Stage" was first put into use for the night. First up was Tiara's Eric Metronome (Bustown), whose fare was pretty but a little too light for me. And as discussed here, among other things, it was a tough setup for the acoustic side-stagers to succeed in. Then came another set of Columbus heroes, Moviola, whose Scotty Tabachnick played his last set with the band. Sad stuff. I've liked these guys since I read about an awesome new record from a magical Columbus band in that week's issue of CMJ back in college and thought, "damn, I don't care if my radio station ain't cool, we NEED that!" More bands need to split the lead-singing role amongst everyone in the band like that. Mellowed-out bliss. Then came a side-stage performance from Adam Smith (somewheres in Southern Ohio?), whose wacky, almost-Redbone-esque 30s stylee was pretty sweet (make counterfeit money all daaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy). Next up on the main stage was the last Columbus act of the night, the Bygones, another band I first heard in college. They were definitely the rockinest band we saw, yet still had some of that folk to 'em. Then came the last set on the side stage (others were scheduled, but didn't happen) from Dayton's Wil Cope, okay I guess. Then came the band who traveled the furthest to this shindig, San Francisco's Court and Spark, who kicked out still more folk-rock jamz! I would have picked up some merch if the wallet had given me permission. Then, after a side-stage-performance-less changeover, came the evening's only real misstep in my eyes: a woman (later identified by those in the know as Scout Niblett) announced she was gonna play a few songs, and then came the pain. I guess those were songs, as the folks at that online discussion listed above claim her as an A-list talent of some indie sort, but damn, right about then, she was doing NOTHING for me. One song featured verses that would quickly build in volume, then immediately collapse again. Another one featured her making one-syllable noises on the beat. She also switched from guitar to drums, only to switch back to guitar when her boyfriend (Dave from Swearing at Motorists, the next band on the bill) started playing drums. I'm not proud to admit, but the frustration of spending five hours in smoke-filled Little Brothers only to be subjected to that led me to yell for "Freebird." I had to. I don't think it drove her back across the pond, don't worry. So when the Motorists (Dayton again) finally hit the stage, Matches Malone and I were ruined for the night. The lead singer was funny, most of the songs rocked, and the audience was with them 200%, but we were just too worn out to get into it. We made it through their set, but decided to leave before the headliner, Jason Molina aka Magnolia Electric Company (formerly of Songs: Ohia), and it sounds like we missed a good set, but I doubt we would have gotten much from it. So, in conclusion, the first annual Vertical Slumbecue was an awesome, praiseworthy event, with just a couple slight flaws. See ya next year, fellas.
Dammit Matches, you had to use your blog to hype up a review over here, didn't you? See what you get! Enjoy, y'alls, and if you need local recommendations for the next three nights, read below.