Friday, April 30, 2010

Opinions are like...

Ed. - To bypass blog b.s. - you can read about more serious and concerning world issues here: Oil Spill in Gulf of Mexico 2010 May Surpass Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and here Size of Spill in Gulf of Mexico Is Larger Than Thought and here Gulf of Mexico oil spill: How bad is it? - good grief


In these days of the -terminal-hyper- where overflowing barrels of media are poured and plonked into the wide corner cracked mouthes of reddish-glazed-eyed time killers - I'm appreciating, more than before--I suppose--the double-edged swored effect of the internet--upon culture (or at least, music-writing- and listenership). Thus, that I'm here, trying to write something about Canadian-mega-collective Broken Social Scene's forthcoming album (out on May 4 on Arts & Crafts) titled Forgiveness Rock Record and I'm legitimately questioning the worth.

I have to believe that you're out there...people who actually want to read the contemplative and descriptive disertations from a mind that has sat down and sifted through a record, from front to back (two, three times,) and then set down to the keyboard to pit, pat and pry away at what all these sounds, clatterings and words coalescing on this artifice means...or what it amounts to...and whether it sounds attractive to your particular tastes...

When you read things like...

Music Bloggers: The Useless Widgets Of Music Criticism?
Am I useless? A critic needs to listen to critics
Lord of the Blogs's easy to become disillusioned...

But then... I never considered this a blog... Even now, after 700 posts, I'm not sure what I consider this... But I appreciate you reading it...

In the meantime...
About that forthcoming Broken Social Scene record... I can feel my mood brightening already--as it is, so I'll probably write a characterisitic meandering-milo-screed very soon! But, like I said,..."in-the-meantime" - in typical blog fashion

an mp3:
Broken Social Scene - "World Sick"

Broken Social Scene site - myspace - Arts and Crafts site

and a video... an oldie-but-a-goodie

Broken Social Scene - Cause=Time from Arts & Crafts on Vimeo.

Seriously....thanks for reading...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Shows and things...

All 'round Michigan - Friday is the last night of smoking in rock clubs...

There's a lot of shindigs going on celebrating/mourning everyone's last legal drag - here's another...with a welcomed return from the Silent Years (somewhere, somehow, sometime, they'll have a new LP out), and they're joined by the Cold Wave and Jessica Hernandez - April 30 in Ferndale. (WAB)

Then, the next day - Scarlet Oaks, Black Lodge and WTCM Gold play a sort of "after the law" affair at the Berkley Front.

Or, also - on May 1 - one of the weirdest (but refreshing) combinations I've seen in a the Keystone Underground (below J Neil's Mongolian Grille, in Ypsilanti-MI) - Lightning Love - with Carjack and Misty Lyn and the Big Beautiful. Come wish Leah a happy birthday!

Small Houses - Our Dusking Sound

Small Houses site
and myspace

more info

Listening to this record by mid-Michigan-set/meandering-troubadour J. Quentin makes me feel as though there may actually be a distinguishing sound for the mitten state –

...a heavy-heart sound wafted with the exhilaration of escaping the rushing roar of tires on paved highway. Not necessarily that road-trip ready long player you stuff and pluck from your already overwrought backpack on the latest wilderness traipse (though it would certainly fit it), but a heavily autumnal and argyle sounding monograph; a delicate but doughty sound given the distinct varnish of dirt-speckled tawny leaves on blurring masses of oaks and maples particularly captured by the sonorous acoustic guitar and the coy wail of a violin. His airy murmur sets a heart wounded tinge, but not necessarily being like the ballads-of-the-melancholy so overly worn by many other solitary guitar slingers and intimate low-key lullabyers cluttering the folk fields.

But to hear his quavering wisp, the softly hugged harmonies, the resolutely/reeling delivery of freeform melodies and the overall goosebump-coaxing rouse of his subtle flair for pop - means that Sufjan Stevens will be an inevitable reference point – and its fitting that both of them are Michigan-lads. Small Houses matches Stevens' delivery of purity and both share abilities to marry the naïve and the worldly, their reverence for the roads, the bridges, the trees, the offramps, the treelines, the rest stops, the people met in one town and the critters scurrying the shrubs of the next town, (come to think of it, let's lasso Frontier Ruckus in, as a contemporary)...calming coos and brushed, bruised, windblown poetics –

Quentin is able to capture that overcast afternoon feeling, the impressionistic frame of fading browns and oranges upon somewhat sparse landscapes – it is the opening fanfare that rains down at the mouth of the Huron forest, or wheels its way up the sparse fields and coasts of our thumb’s tip or shuffles its feet over the sidewalks of Lansing – Michigan may be known for so much – from punk to techno to even probably some polka – but there’s something about the sound of a playfully plucked guitar and an austere toned voice melodiously musing like a yawning burst of love for the sting of fresh air through the nostrils and scooped through the lungs that seems to fit so well. Michigan - and the traditional folk-feel - the welcome of the road and the knowledge that a coastal view is always a mere hour or two from wherever you are – that’s sound's in Small Houses.

contributors include: Zach Nichols (Frontier Ruckus), Donny Brown (The Verve Pipe), John Krohn (The Casionauts, Syscrusher), Jen Sygit, Sam Corbin, Jon Rajewski (The Continental Things)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Motorcity Special - 5/8 - Jazz Cafe (Music Hall Center) - Detroit


Motorcityblog has, for more than 5 years, been consistently documenting/plugging/aggrandizing/-and-expand-izing Detroit's finest in the realms of art, culture, music and more. They present seemingly tireless coverage-of and dedication-towards, the arts community/music scene here.

Now - continuing their reverence for Detroit's musical legacy as well as its current (formidabble) crop of creators - it joins a fellow stalwart supporter of the city's culture - label design/graphic-artist Kevin Pachla - who founded Product of Detroit in 2008 (and heads Label Network) - to promote a new record label - MOTORCITY SPECIAL Recordings!

Put succinctly:
"There are a lot of Detroit record labels, new and old but none are booking diverse Detroit lineups and recording them live at rotating Metro Detroit venues for release on limited edition vinyl records - manufactured at Archer record pressing, Detroit, Michigan.

We are not signing bands or retaining the rights to their studio music, only providing a unique vehicle for promotion that benefits the artists, venues and fans alike...."

To celebrate the launch of the label - they've culled an eclectic line up ranging from Brazilian-psyche, to southwest goth-blues, to NY-tinged post-punk space-rap - oh yeah:

Duende, Canja Rave, Electric Firebabies, The Wrong Numbers, MR SHZ, and DJ Savage Matt -

(Bastone Brewery is also on board as a sponsor)

More info at MCB

Motorcity Special

The Music Hall -

Jazz Cafe at Music Hall of the Performing Arts

350 Madison St Detroit MI 48226

(313) 887 8501

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Smoke Out (Part 2) - Belmont - 4/30

So...maaaaaybe - this will all blow over...or uh...burn out? Man, I'm sorry - I'm even scoffing at myself at the cheesy fun I'm having over cigarette-puns...


But - whether it will feel cripplingly oppressive (head out on the patio and blow it up at the sky) or refreshingly liberating (hey, I don't have to do my laundry or disconcertingly spray my wardrobe with chemical-y 'febreeze' so I can re-wear my hipster coat out to the coffee-and-bagel-hangover-spot the next morning)... whatever the after effects of the MAY 1ST kick-off of the Michigan Legislature's signed ban on smoking in bars and eateries - it seems the music community is taking it with quite a bit of gravity.

As posted earlier - there is a Magic Stick 'blowout' already planned -

Now, there's a comparably-epic-sized line up rolling through the Belmont - on April 30th - ...and it looks as though it's going to be an all-nighter...either that, or the poster's promising of "super-power-sets" means compacted-4-song sets....(?)

The Beggars (pictured, w/"dancin' shoe")- Citizen Smile - Sey Lui - Electric Fire Babies - Infinate Land of Make Believe - Hot Rails - Jeni Lee and the Great Tribulation - Four Hour Friends - and - Blase Splee.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Charlene Kaye - 4/29 - Canterbury House in Ann Arbor (...and a video...and the Ruggs)

Charlene Kaye was born in Hawaii, grew up in Arizona, flourished as a musician/songwriter here, in Ann Arbor - and now, has moved onto Brooklyn. Hers was a jazzy lil shuffling piano-and-acoustic spurred folk, rife with moody and meandering atmospherics brought from the timorous violins to the more cathartic cut of an electric guitar. Her pretty, melodious voice wrapped up her refined bouyant baroque-pop style nicely - culling all these elements together on her debut LP Things I Will Need in the Past.

Well, things are gonna git a bit grittier - as Kaye leans more towards a rhythmic rock thing. Plus, though she loves NY, she couldn't stay away long - she'll be returning to Ann Arbor, not only to record with Things' engineer Jim Roll, once again, for her forthcoming follow-up, but also to lay a intimate acoustic set at the Canterbury House.

"The (new) songs are very different," Kaye said, "...much more rock than the first album - more electric guitars, more driving bass and drums, more intensity. No more pretty orchestral folky stuff. I didn't intend for this (forthcoming) EP to be more rock, but I have been playing a lot more electric guitar since Things came out, listening to the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, White Stripes, Sondre Lerche, Dirty Projectors. - Speaking of YYY's, since she's been bopping around said-band's hometown: "...the city amazes and inspires me every day. The scene is pretty much infinite, there are just too many different circles of musicians, bands and songwriters to name, but we've found it very fun and welcoming nevertheless."

Kaye said the characteristic pace of NY-living likely effected a more energetic/entertaining live presentation on their part. "...and the new EP reflects (the live show). I've got an amazing backing band and we've grown really close over the past year performing together..."She's joined by:

james hart - bass, mandolin
emily haltom - violin
taryn wood - cello
jared saltiel - guitar, drums
dave koenig - upright bass
miguel mcquade - drums
woody goss - wurlitzer
kiana weber - violin



Weekend Stuff:

I was going to post a link to this video - but another blog already beat me to it - so you can watch it here.

And another P.P.S.

I've been listening a lot to the myspace-posted-mp3s of this band, The Ruggs... it's a weird and winding twang-punk thing; jangly guitars, hazy vocals ("Daffodil")- a fried and tasty, ear stabbing funk fire ("Right Foot Forward") - or maybe fun freewheeling psyche-pop ("Johnny's A Killer").

The real question isn' I completely archaic by still relying upon myspace...

The real question is - will you also click the link.......and then maybe go see them, Saturday (4/24) at the Belmont (w/The Ashleys, Sound and Fury, The Earwhigs)

Smoke Out (Part 1) - Magic Stick

When the night of April 30th closes - it will, if you forgive the melodrama that I feel obliged to attach as a means of plugging the relatively gargantuan live line-up below,...will...extinguish (hooo-boy) the era of cigarette smoke in rock clubs the state of Michigan...for the foreseeable future -

And not just rock clubs - that comes from the ban being applied to bars and eateries - which, if you combine the Garden Bowl and Sgt Pepperoni's - covers both - whilst the 'rock clubbing' noise thing goes on upstairs in the Magic Stick.

Now then, at the Magic Stick - all you pale-ish, jittery, pack crumplers can heave out your, hehe..."cancer sticks" or..."coffin nails"...or one last time, with all the might and bluster of Ol' Smoky, Puff the Magic Dragon and any loose Detroit sewer-lid combined!! the Magic Stick celebrates...or eulogizes?...the end of smoking in bars (for now).

To "celebrate" - the line up on the 30th includes:

Kommie Kilpatrick, (two members of which, pictured above^) - Gardens, - Dutch Pink, - Silverghost and The Hentchmen.

That's a pretty healthy and eclectic line up - and it's intermingled with myriad members who smoke - so I'm anticipating some interesting between-song banter. Will some of them convert and see the good side of it? Or will there be some soap-boxing revolution calls?

Smoke if you got em.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

4/27 - What Are You Doing Later? - (The Belmont)

The Belmont hosts "Exhibitionist" on Tuesday, April 27, with metro-Detroit based painter/sketch-artist Alana Carlson - presenting "What Are You Doing Later?" -
This is a presentation of new work from Carlson, who recently had a show at the Russell Industrail Center (examples of which can be viewed/appreciated here). Her displayed art will be joined, aurally by a handful of musical performances from the burgeoning atmospheric/psychedelic space-rock bastion of Detroit (culling strongly from the arms of the Loco Gnosis label) including Jura - Indian Guides - Forget - and - Extra Large Childe (the latter features Carlson herself, along with Mike Ross of Red China-fame).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Interview: Jehova's Witness Protection Program - playing 4/30 -with smoke and 5/1 -withOUT smoke

(photo above: Diana Price)

So… here’s an interview/catch-up with Ypsi-based murky mod power duo Jehova’s Witness Protection Program/ Through 2007-2008, these dudes made it westward for occasioanl Detroit shows – characteristics included a rather clean cut, non-descript look mirroring the same types who bring The Watchtower to your front door, yet their identities were (and kinda still are) also a bit veiled by their black shaggy head fur, beard and hair combined.

The band's sound is rife with raw wailin guitar riffs and hollow slammin percussion punches, this sort of raw bare bones thing that seems to sputter its own buzzsaw sparks to nicely dress the soundscape with a scuffed psychedelic thing.

JWPP will have their debut EP, aptly titled, Knockin’ – re-released on Loco Gnosis (find it here: which will include 4 new lives tracks, essentially making it a full length, upgraded to “LP.” The live tracks come from a January Elbow Room (Ypsi) set, that, according to singer/guitarist Anthony Anonymous, give a much representation of how the band sounds now, compared to three-ish years ago, when they really got started (though the duo, with drummer Jehan Dough, have been playing together for more than a decade, here and there).

““Anyway, Anywhere,” is a pretty straight forward song as far as JWPP goes,” Anthony said. “…No looping, fairly consistent rock vibe and an ‘Oh-yeah’-chorus. There’s an obvious nod to The Who, one of our favorite bands of all time.” Whereas, “Walked” is described/distinguished by “pretty heavy layers of looping throughout most of the song, no chorus, probably a little on the darker side…”

(photos below: Ross Sandelius)

Since Knockin, Anthony’s changed his guitar sound considerably, switching from the “clearer” telecaster sound for a Gibson SG that “seems meatier and fuller” all-around.

“Jehan and I,” Anthony said, after 13 years of playing together, acknowledges “an obvious comfort there, that could make it easy to fall into staleness and not move forward musically. However, we’re really happiest when we are testing ourselves; with Knockin we really just needed an introduction: a set of songs that we could play live and record so that we had something to get started with, as a band.”

This time around, on their forthcoming recordings, “We’ve had more time to develop them, time to play and sing the songs, cringe at bad ideas, and go back to the drawing-board. Each of these new songs has been deconstructed and reconstructed to be the most rewarding for us and for the listener,” with liberal looping, Jehan contributing vocals and not being afraid to embrace a few experimental/psychedelic trickery/atmospherics.

Back to the two of ‘em: “We are totally brothers. We’ve always been close throughout all the years of playing but, when you’re a two piece, you have nobody else to deflect issues or help prove points with…it’s always just us….and…that means we support each other as well as possible, but we’re also quick to test each other and push buttons to get a response. There is definitely a healthy does of smart-ass…in this band.”

“Jehan,” he continued, “when I can count on him to be solid and on-time, I can go to a place that’s way more like freedom than effort; where the music just flows and there’s very little thought about what I’m physically doing. And, lately, that happens way more often than not, which feels good and serves to open up more avenues for us to travel.”

As Spring proceeds, the band is hoping to lasso their way around Lake Michigan, hitting up Minneapolis with their friends Me And My Arrow. “They are a great band who we’ve had the pleasure of playing with in Detroit on their last two tours.” From there, they hope to wind back, Wisconsin, Illinois and Western Michigan-area and back again to Ypsi.

Also coming this Spring, not entirely connected to JWPP, but somewhat – is the… (and I almost feel like I should indulge onomatopoeic trumpeting fanfare noises) the smoking ban in bars, throughout the state of Michigan. Fucking awesome – no more laundry after concerts, no more cheap and guilty febreeze-cologne applications to my clothes!

And thus, May 1, JWPP play the Elbow Room to celebrate, or, at least, acknowledge, said-smoking ban. “I’m a firm believer in freedom,” Anthony said, which is telling, because it’s also the title of JWPP song. “I think people should be able to do whatever they want with their bodies (and minds) without criminal consequence.”

“But…public smoking seems different to me as it’s been proven to be harmful to those around us when we smoke. That being said, I travel pretty often and have spent lots of time in NY city and throughout California and it’s really refreshing to be able to go out and see a band or grab some food without having to smell cigarettes. I guess I see both sides of the argument, but I feel like the new law make sense.”

“So, to be fair to all of our friends, on April 30, we’re playing a show at the Lager House that I’m sure will be as smoky as possible…” (and following with the smoke-free Ypsi/Elbow Room set the next day).

Lager House has Sharky and The Habit and The Err; Elbow Room has Ghost Lady and Glori5

more info here and here
NEWS - JWPP will release a 3-song batch of songs (recorded with Brandon Wiard) on June 18 at the Elbow Room - with Black Lodge - more info

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Johnny Lzr - 2-day Benefit Show 4/23 - 4/24 - Painted Lady

...the synth-player for Detroit's renowned space-scuzz freak rockers Human Eye - was set back on numerous levels by a house fire at the end of winter 2010 - so a handful of bands are performing Friday -and Saturday night(s) in Hamtramck, to encourage a bit of neighborhly philanthropy from the musical community; -this can also come in the form of clothes and even vinyl reocrds.

Read about it further, here on Terminal Boredom.

The line ups at the Painted Lady:

Johnny Ill Band / Red Red Red / Kommie Kilpatrick

Terrible Twos / Vista Marias / Browntown Gals

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hospital Garden - 4/30 - Dreamland Theatre

So - in a couple of weeks, Ypsilanti hosts the Totally Awesome Fest - the Spring surged grassroots music mash not that dissimilar from Hamtramck's Blowout, only more tightly compacted into a handful of venues with sardine-packed line ups of dozens of bands.

That said - one Chicago band, Hospital Garden, is worth noting - since they're going to feel quite at home here anyway with one of its members formerly contributing to the Ypsi/Arbor music community through the mid-00's (in Bear Mountain Picnic), while they have, in the last couple years, bounced from Dayton OH to Chicago IL. So, the classic late 90's indie-rock-jangled power trio already has that characteristic Great Lakes pop/rock tinge to it's taste - we Detroiters often seem to have no quarrels with our fresh water/rustbelt satellites, since there's plenty of song scribes up here who share similar admiration for GBV-style lo-fi guitar growled pop and the more sleek and seductively style of Chicago's tightly punching pop - whether it's Office, Sea & Cake or raving over Steve Albini.

Hospital Garden are putting out a new full length - the beautiful and idyllic middle ground melding the hard-driving noise-rock mind of Lee Renaldo to the more capriciously melodious mind(s) of the Elephant 6 collective and pulsed by nicely balanced smooth/burnt guitars; the sound forks, bending up to the spacey shining roar of maybe Built to Spill on some twee-revivalist kick and then also leaning towrads a more Sebadoh-ish sort of acerbic scrawl and tumble. Whoowhee.

More info here.
Listen here.

See them - 4/30 at the Dreamland Theatre

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Today is Record Store Day

Go Shopping.

There is new, special, limited edition stuff out there like this - waiting for you. You'll find stuff from Pavement, Beach House, Blur, Crystal Castles, Peter Gabriel, The Beastie Boys - and more, more's a list of participating stores.

Detroiters - take your pick - Stormy, Dearborn Music, Detroit Threads, Pearl's, Streetcorner, Flipside! Plot your path - find some wax! Support indie record stores.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Arranged Marriage

Listen: Arranged Marriage - "Sit Alone"

Album out on Suburban Sprawl - "Dearly Beloved"

The Detroit music community is well acquainted with the stalwart pop sensibilities possessed by the Allen brothers, Ryan and Scott – even if their early 20’s were spent wrenching out jittery and ferocious punk-leaning hurrahs with their main project, Thunberbirds Are Now! To dig deeper, one could find Ryan flexing his flair for power pop in other projects like The Tiny Steps, while Scott had his own songwriting project, The Breakdance. (And, to dig deeper still, you could find them cutting their songwriting teeth on Red Shirt Brigade).

So this is where the cliché of the apple’s short distance from tree comes in; as one can point back to the pair’s father, Brad, and his own history of writing and performing music since his teenage years in the 1960’s and continuing to do so – even as, through the 90’s, he wound up being an integral influence/supporter/advisor upon the fledgling songs of his sons.

Arranged Marriage is the collaboration of Scott and Brad – the fruition of what seems to be a considerably heartening bonding period – involving the pair setting up their own home studio, experimenting with ProTools and patiently fleshing out the songs together in some nigh-Hallmark tearjerker-styled indie-pop orchestration. It feels like a father son sit down to spin two adjacent stacks of records from their respective collections – coalescing the range of pop styles (60’s to 90’s), be it AM Pop’s sunny, easy-going shuffle, with a bit of a jangled bubblegum docility, reaching forth to a more wistful 90’s-tinged indie-pop that waltzes in bittersweet musings. “Sit Alone” feels sweet and sad at the same time, yet buoyant enough to win you over with its jaunty pianos and swooned with the duet’s wispy vocals. A lo-fi/minimalist-synth vibe furls the corners of the tawny-toned beach swaying acoustic ballad “Not a Waste of Time.” Overcast sauntering for a chime-cheered croon makes for a nice rainy day classic singer/songwriter-esque sentiment on “Now Or Never.”

But where they meet in the middle seems to be The Beatles – as any songwriter growing up in the glow of the British invasion couldn’t avoid the mop top’s molding – just as it is that band more than any in history that transcends decades of generations, from Brad forward to Scott. These easy going, jangly portraits seem to echo with White Album-era McCartney’s folk-ish bent with Lennon’s Rubber Soul/Revolver era’s chillier atmospheric pop moments, be it Blackbird, I’m Only Sleeping or Tomorrow Never Knows, you can find a father-son’s steady stepping pop ruminations answering back with songs like subdued delicate stargazer“Is All Mine,” the poignant synth-and-brass bolstered easy-rockin’“What My Dreams Convey” or the punchy haze of “Brand New.”

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Elizabeth Butters - 4/18 - Cliff Bell's - with Dan Kroha and the Sisters Lucas

Funny thing - I was already picturing a rickety low-roaring 1920 Hudson Super-Six rolling across grain-field framed gravel roads, with a Clarence Ashley banjo stood up in the front seat and Bonnie & Clyde's tommy-guns on the backseat floor - before I even read Elizabeth Butters' profile - that will subsequently reference a strong reverence for all sorts of similar imagery.

East Coast based up-and-coming folkstress Elizabeth Butters seems possessed with the dozens of noble spirits haunting the old-dusty-1930's recordings of the Anthologies of American Folk Music.

Currently signed to Roots-leaning label, Top Magic Records, she'll be releasing the a full length titled ...sings Folk Blues for Appalachian - dulcimer and guitar - via the ever-romantized 10" vinyl format.
To celebrate - she plays Cliff Bell's on Sunday night - joined by Detroit's Dan Korha and and The Sisters Lucas

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Those Transatlantics - 4/17 (new album, new show)

Those Transatlantics were the theatrical pop eureka to burst out of the campus of Central Michigan University in 2003. With a couple EPs under their belts - the band is releasing their 2nd full-length on Gangplank records, their tightest, most intricately-dressed jangly-mod-pop affair of sunny style and desert-tinged surf-toned indie-rock tinged with storybookish, autumnal daydreams.

They celebrate Civil Like The War’s release (with 7" single), April 17th at the Berkley Front with Secret Twins and Sh, The Octopus.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dead Meadow - Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor - Imadd Wasif - April 15 - Magic Stick


Local psyche/blues trio Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor (whose latest full length is still up for a free download here) are not only joining an overwhelming pair of fellow reverb-roarin tremelo trouncin heavy hitters, but are also headed to the Austin Psyche Fest - read an interview here.

Monday, April 12, 2010


self-titled album - out now -
more info

Frankly, this is a fairly mammoth debut; something like Ann Arbor’s answer to Ok Computer but tweaked and kicked with a hard-juking post-punk meets dense and dreamy operatic pop tinged with a Greenwood-inspired-guitar-torched flamenco-rock shake and stomp. At its best moments, it’s downright exciting to listen to based just on the various turns taken (“Tommy Pays The Rent” seems to start as any sunny driving indie-pop ballad but blows up into an anthemic harmonized chorus and winds up having three different guitars swing in on vines of furiously strummed solos). The opening guitars and plodding beat of the piano-pushed “Broken” sound something akin to the somewhat ferocious/somewhat white-noise-calming roar of rushing cars on a distant freeway heard from the not-yet-far-enough escaped fields at sunset, as the mellifluous vocals put such a brooding tinge of meditation into the heart.

And, yes, lots of the tracks here are like this – going for the jugular and dressing the soundscape with even the most subtle yet so effective atmospherics of cymbal rattles or retreating surf-toned guitar refrains that always regroup after a chorus and start building off of the revving drum pummel and the yearning moan and coo of the vocals, building and building to that epic ceiling-disintegrating big pop sound of flashing northern lights and shooting stars and single-tear-dropped lonely night drives back to your bed in a heartbroken folk-born/rock respite. That it took the band a few years and a few tries to piece this together feels evident – as it, at times, plays out like a movie of Wes Anderson-esque meticulousness of frame (of quiet-to-loud verse-chorus bases or the panning through of transition/intro-type 90-second statements) and arrangement (with mandolins trading off space with more guttural pop elements like hand claps to more face-melting math-rock head-spinning guitar solos), all the while whirled and roused with these head-swimming ear-mashing, eye-widening harmonized choruses. And they balance it with some softer downbeat piano ballads for quieter, more solemn statements. Cues come from all over, Latin pop, Spanish guitar, British pop, atmospheric rock, singer/songwriter folk… Spanish bull-fighting, even.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Dr. Dog - 4/15 - Blind Pig (Ann Arbor)

The all-around charming/sunny/psychey/rootsy up and at-em pop rock of Dr. Dog will be stomping its way through Ann Arbor - the Philly band's 2nd date in it's 2010 Spring tour brings it to the Blind Pig, April 15th

They'll be featuring tunes from their latest release, Shame Shame - which, if you click this fast enough (now, now, do it!) could still be able to hear it/stream-it, in it's entirety, via NPR Music.

If you're already into them, you know what's up... If you're skeptical because you're pretty sure they're named for a Muppets character, maybe other write ups can sway you...that is, if you still trust Rolling Stone - look and listen their single, "Stranger" here.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Forget - "2" Release - April 15 - Berkley Front

“Yeah…” Jason says, “…a 12-piece band…(that’s) all improv…is a little unruly.”


Frank Lee came up to his longtime musical collaborator and co-worker at the Natural Food Patch (in Ferndale) said, essentially, ‘Hey…Jason…what if we started a band that was just us…but all improvisational.” Jason Worden, the bass to Lee's drums, had a few reasons to accept the offer – not least of which was that their main project, the caustic spook spark power trio Red China (with Mike Ross) had come to “question-mark-hiatus” in Spring 09, but also, Worden and Lee, they both acknowledge, have that “weird telepathic thing going on,” as Lee puts it, “where we read each other’s minds.”

“When you’re the rhythm section with someone for a few years,” says Worden, who also plays with Duende and performs as Kindle, “you end up being on the same page or you end up killing each other.” They’re also roommates – so, sheesh, any shared brainstorms can potentially always be boiling over the pot. Even then, the story goes back further. Both of them, before actually meeting, traipsed the stage’s edge of many of the same local psychedelic shows, eventually bumping into each other in and out of the booth of the school radio station at Oakland University (where, as it happens, Mike Ross also managed for a time).

So…now…we have Forget, the pair’s latest experimentation: an entirely improvised, entirely thrown together, fundamentally transitive orchestra of sorts…or, as PJ (from the Lager House) put it, after their first show last autumn…”a grand cacophony.”

The set up: …….kind of….anything. Are you a musician (or even not,) and available for a Forget show?


“Like… ‘okay – we have this show…let’s call everybody we know and see who wants to do this…’” Lee recalls the first booking they got – an opening at the Lager became the opportunity they were looking for to finally flesh out this symptomatically amorphous jazz-inspired all-but-the-kitchen-sink conjuring of a communal groove. Members from Duende, Hi-Speed Dubbing, Marco Polio & the New Vaccines, Rootbear, Pinkeye and more have contributed – spanning psychedelic, shoegaze, krautrock and acid jazz - …but, then, by spanning, I would say that, through their 20-minute songs they sporadically fall into these flavors for 2-3 minute spans and then eventually, slowly, morph and juke and slide their way into something else.

Sax, guitar, bass, drums, violin, and shamanistic vocal howls are just some of the things brought to Forget’s table.

“Forget has never had a practice,” assured Lee, who also performs with Jura.

And that’s just the idea.

Both of them have contributed to the similarly calamitously ceremonial simul-surge of the Pinkeye orchestra – but with that 10+ member affair, the “plan” is to at least start with an expandable cover song. “(With Pinkeye, on bass),” said Worden, “I hold it down and try to keep things steady and with Forget I’m nowhere near the backbone of anything. So, I’m following everybody else instead of people keying in on me for what key we’re in…”

“I like how keys are chosen in Forget,” Lee chuckles. “Everybody’s like…all-string-instrument players, and they all ask, ‘What key is it in?’ And somebody goes… ‘Why not -A-? A- sounds good.’ And then, ‘A it is!’”

They recall the particularly barrel-rolling spilt-out splatter of the Blowout set, where Steve from Marco Polio and Jamie from Druid Perfume, two distinctly fervent yowling full-body-freak-out vocalists, climbed all over the venue and each other…

“And that’s the fun,” said Lee, “We know these guys who don’t know each other, so what would they do together? That can happen every night.”

“Every show,” Worden says, counting their last as their 8th officially, “someone was introduced to somebody else.”

The band has four albums ready – forging their own subsidiary label underneath Loco Gnosis Records (the Detroit based musical family under which Worden and Lee have both been raised in this modern scene, both of them now veritable big brothers in the labels household.) Forget records will release each band’s performance – since it is a wholly unique moment in time that will never happen or be re-played the same way ever again.

And April 15th at the Berkley Front – they release “2” – featuring tunes like “Maggot’s Farm” and “One Does What One Must When One Can With What One Has” –

“It’s worked so far,” Lee shrugs, “we’re gonna take it as far as it goes…”

- The boys are now curating "third thursdays" at the Berkley Front - so keep your eyes peeled, ears open and calendars marked.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thanks for asking...Thanks for listening

More thoughts on listenership


"Hey kid, you're wrong...there's a simple song...if you just stop trying to find it."

More often than not, I’ll walk away from an interviewing with my mind still tingling and marked by the musings made by the musician or artist under my stammered inquiry.

When Fred Thomas (of City Center, Saturday Looks Good to Me, and more) opined that he felt the era of fixating on band’s potentially conspicuous influences and using said fixation to categorize them thereby simplifying their creative efforts as symptomatic of a movement (baroque-pop, freak-folk, beard-rock), it seems a futile compartmentalizing of the wild west-like unpredictability of the internet as a means of deluding yourself into feeling as though you actually have a bead on the new hot fresh hip style and its varying trends.

Thomas regaled an era, roughly 2001 to 2005, when the internet’s influence upon music and band development (band marketing, listenership, and the healthy mutation of listening trends) was really firing up but not quite solidified. It seemed like a quick and easy way to find tour-mates, bill-mates, to form label rosters, to gain new listeners, to make new connections. What does your band sound like? We’re kinda doing a Strokes-type thing…or a Belle & Sebastian feel, or a purposely ironic Loggins/Messina vibe.

That Thomas said that he felt that era had ended sometime in the last two years (as his band, City Center, is a classic case of the, well, whoa, what do we have here, wait, a lot of the songs don’t sound the same, wait, is this the same band on this song…type of reaction), that he dropped this in our interview really felt bracing.

Like, why fight it…why even try to keep it contained. Thinking you have a bead on everything that could be considered of high art/new avant-garde/or revolutionary, on everything that reaches pandemic popularity in all the most important circles, thinking that you can weigh the internet music world in your hand, is like thinking holding a plastic skull in your hand as you rattle off your memorized “Alas, poor Urich” monologue gives you a mastery of the centuries-old history of the theatre.

Sure, you can sum some things up easier than others. You can definitely call a band out for their broken-record rehashing. One’s ear bends and teeth grind when some wanker cribs the otherwise unnatural/complete-impersonation of a Thom Yorke or David Bowie vocal…when it’s so blatant, at least.

But, artists/musicians making songs and sounds of trailblazing worth will not be so easily contained.

And should not be.

Thus, as though the heavens, that the veritable Olympus-itself (that housed 70’s and 80’s arena-set dinosaurs and elite magazine cover stars) has crashed down to the earth, shattering... and incontrovertibly leveled the playing field.

Nothing matters…’sept what’s good. And what’s good will be hyper-specified in subjection to different breeds of listeners – making niche upon niche upon niche – thus that its almost getting to the point where buzz bands are irrelevant.

Let’s keep it going further, why not? Genre is indefinite – a band can be drawing from four sources or styles in one-song alone. But, while this doesn’t necessarily mean that one rejects finally considering something “rock” or “pop” or “folk,” it really means that a listener is likely listening to not JUST—“rock” or “pop” or “folk” but also…hip/hop, techno, nu-metal, whatever… The era of band’s-sound-fixation is passing just as the era of someone saying, “ya know, I really only listen to …fill-in-the-blank.”

One of the final hammer-strokes of the iPod generation, I suppose. But, anyway, back to those buzz bands on blogs being irrelevant – I say this because how quickly does it seem they are forgotten…that they become yesterday’s news. And yet, we sometimes almost forget that these bands keep on going, keep on creating, keep on recording. Tapes N Tapes and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah don’t get banished to some digitized junkyard – and yet this faulted internet symptom winds up just putting them on this pedestal thus that when they do come back with a new song, one satellite-radio listener may say to one’s self, “oh, where have they been?”

It’s kind of like our listening habits, our tastes, our preferences, our collections, our current favorite tracks, are almost as subjective as our dreams – and we all know how it is when someone wants to tell you about this weird dream they had last night…those awkward exchanges always lead to the listener just waiting for the dream teller to finish so that they can instead share their own hyper-personalized dream. But sometimes there are similarities between people’s dreams.

So…when there are no rules, than tacit maxims of the music journo world…that some bands get tagged “local” while others are “national”… the bar band or the touring band, etc etc…can also be discarded. Because many local bands still make their records and put them out into the internet ether via iTunes or elsewhere and thus have their sounds travel round the freakin’ world and emanate into the airwaves of the galaxy.


Such that it is, when I am driving alone, listening to music, I often, whether its weird or not, try to imagine that there is someone with me in the passenger seat and try to wonder, in that moment, if they would be enjoying Zoos of Berlin’s Taxis or The Recital’s Succulent Leftovers EP as much as I am…what would they be thinking of these two wonderful albums.

I would show it to them, hold the Recital disc or the Zoos disc or the 800-Beloved disc or the High Strung disc or the Child Bite disc in my hand, let its rainbow lights flicker across the underside, and then slide it in – letting the first track play a bit and watching them nod to the beat, tip their head side to side to the hooks and glance over to notice their own eyes widening at the harmonies and the vocals.

Once I realize they’re liking it – I might add, inexplicably, almost kneejerk, that “and they’re from Detroit too.” And I wonder, as I drive alone…would that increase or decrease their impression? Would, hearing the voice of these singers, be it Chris O, Trever or Dan, or Shawn Knight, would my invisible passenger realize that they can run into these dudes at local coffee shops act as some sort of disillusionment? That they aren’t “national,” that their every touring move isn’t “followed” by Pitchfork, that they can walk up to them and talk to them on some random run in around Ferndale or Royal Oak or whatever…

And I realized, the era of putting bands on pedestals, the era of actually caring “what everybody else” is listening to…is over…just as Thomas said – the petty era of music is over.

The Recital’s EP is a fine piece of work; intricately layered, poignant at times, celebratory at others and captures the basement-set bander/music-obsessive life better than most albums I’ve heard in a while – and I bemoan, in that moment, that this band and their beautiful pop constructions, has passed – and perhaps the world didn’t give them their proper due. Were they just a Detroit band?

Well, screw proper due. Whether you or you or you or you listened to this, or even liked it, no longer has an effect on my psyche. And whether my invisible passenger likes it is irrelevant also.

Because the Recital is in my music dream. And it’s my own trip.

Of course this challenges, like everything else in the internet generation of bloggers, the role and worth of the critic.

Well – our niches may be myriad, may be mutated and may be incorrigible – but it doesn’t mean our senses are dulled or blinded, it doesn’t mean well worn cultural consumers and art historians can helpfully pass judgment on the worth of a work – it doesn’t mean we suddenly lose our ability to know beyond a doubt that Nickelback sucks…

I’m just saying – buzz bands, arena bands, infallible art-rock bands… the various pedestals they get placed upon should always be kept in perspective. A local band can always have a spot up there with them, especially if they are palpably putting in the same work in the studio to hone the structured sounds of their comparably sharp and remarkable creativity.

Then again, all I may be saying is…that if you’re riding in my car and you don’t like what I’m listening to, it’s probably because you’re not the one who had the dream…I am.

So, here, go ahead. I’ll take this CD out for a minute and you can put something on—tell me about your dream...


Monday, April 5, 2010

(The) DeadBeat Beat (4/14 - Magic Stick - w/ Best Coast and Secret Twins)

Singer/guitarist Alex Glendening and I meet on a bright, allergy-inflaming day amidst the opening flickers of Spring. He's just settled into the Ferndale area as he works toward finishing up at Wayne State. Meanwhilem those of us in the amorphous corners of the internet, or the urchins clung to bar-sides throughout the venues, are...or might-be... wondering, just when, they might see another live set from the indie-rock(power-pop) quartet Alex is best known for, 'round Detroit - The Decks...

While you can still see him play with the Divine Comedians - you'll now have another chance to see -and hear- his shining rickenbacker and it's unavoidably surfy-toned flare - via his new band...paired (pretty much perennially) with Decks drummer Maria Nuccilli (pictured above)- via The Deadbeat Beat... or, rather, Deadbeat Beat...or...

I drink peppermint tea while Alex does most of the talking...

"We're called Deadbeat Beat...or, The Deadbeat's like Buffalo Springfield, where sometimes you can be 'The'..."

So like, 'Deadbeat-dads' but, instead, Beats? Like... Beat-niks? or Beets? Veggies?

"It's beat--like, Beatles, or Beat's the name of the first song we wrote for the band. And, when we didn't have a name and we booked a show with Best Coast, we were like..." he draws it out the syllables and claps decisively, "ohhh-kay!"

Glendening said this fateful Magic Stick opening slot came from the gracious move by the Stick's main show booker, Anthony Morrow, or as Alex put it, "coolest man around," that being Morrow's post-Fucking Awesome Fest half-promise that he'd do his best to get Glendening into whatever Stick show he possibly could... while drummer Matt Rickle beat Glendening to jumping onto The Vivian Girls recent Stick show with said-drummer's FAWN, Glendening was still more than geeked and grateful to get onto Best Coast's bill - with Nuccilli on drums and their recent rounding-out as a trio (since December 09) with bassist Josh Gillis.

Now in Ferndale, Nuccilli and Glendening, as band-mates and roomates, are able to experiment via the hallowed/valued basement-jam - which, in autumn 09, wound up galvanizing what would become this project - described by Glendening as being "influencedby pop from all across the board: Buddy Holly, The Beach Boys, The Ramones, Leslie Gore, The Ronettes,...whatever. We just want it to have hooks and FUN...just trying to write good pop songs. Some aggressive, others not as much."

So...all this starts in your new Ferndale basement?

"Yeah, actually, it's kind of a cool story."

That's why I'm here...

Right. I was writing a bunch of songs and they were floating around, being a little different than the stuff in The Decks. I went through a break-up and started writing songs, then I was like, 'oh-god, why am I writing this sad song, please never-show-this to anyone, Future Self. - THEN, I was like... 'Life's too short to not write a song about pizza.' So..."

Mushrooms and green peppers?

"I don't agree with them, I think they taste bitter, I like any other peppers, not green. Maria and I are really into food and Josh, it turns out, works at a pizza place."


"I don't know if we'll be playing the song about pizza at the show, exists!"

So, it was kind of a minor epiphany, a refreshed stage of songwriting?

"When you're in a band for a really long time it starts becoming all of a sudden like work; then you're like pinned down and you either gotta work around it or go right through it. I was like, 'Okay, it used to be really fun when we were 16 and didn't know how to write a song - let's pretend we're there again.' College made me feel too old. Let's just be 16 again."

Which is back when the Decks started...

"2003, yeah, but then nothing really happened until 2004..."

To briefly side-track ourselves, what of the Decks? Whats the status?

" is my new band. Um. We're...Hank (Wolfe, bassist) had to move to Georgia really suddenly. He said he's gonna be coming back, so...until he does... I like to see it as, the Decks are kind of frozen in that amber that the mosquitoes that they got to make dinosaurs from in Jurassik Park..."

Wonderful way to put it...remind me to harvest you for a murderous amusement park...

"I found out about (Best Coast) on my birthday, October 13, 2009. I got really into them and ordered a bunch of their 45's...then, a couple months later, my first show in a new band is opening for (Best Coast) at the Magic Stick? Most first-shows are in a basement, or opening for your friend's band and a bunch of band's come out to watch in pity...

A lot of them are in's a good gestation setting...murky, dank, sweaty...kinda like mosquitoes out of swampy pond shores...

"I've played a lot of basement shows. At Halloween last year, we played a basement show at Kommie Kilpatrick's house..."

That is quite an awesome basement...I'm a fan of that, my half-birthday is your actual birthday...and thus vice versa

"So yours is coming up...a day before the show....(April 14)"

And Secret Twins are playing it too...


They seemed to really garner attention/buzz after Fucking Awesome Fest (Aug 09) but one of their first shows afterwards, in Detroit, was with the Decks...

"I saw them at FAF. I, over-served...and all of a sudden I just saw this cute girl playing a flying-V guitar with a drummer on this little shitty stage. I went up to them and a whole bunch of people kinda came up after me and we all just sat there. They played 3 songs and were about to start their 4th when I was like, 'WAIT...WHAT IS YOUR NAME? You're not on the flier!' And (Dina)'s like, 'Oh, we're Secret Twins. We have tapes over there that you can just take...' And, I grabbed one and then everyone came over and grabbed a tape. They're doing good, I'm proud of them..."

We should talk more about Deadbeat Beat's sound?

"It's got a lot of surfy things going most of my stuff ends up happening..."

Because of your guitar..

"Yeah, we (Decks) sounded like surf-rock before I even listened to The Ventures. I like the Ventures and the Astronauts. I just got the Ventures' "Walk Don't Run Vol 2" on vinyl, that's got the guy with the pit-stains on it. That was a good find."

I'm a born and bred Ventures's what my dad told me to listen to when I was was his favorite band...and it wound up sticking...

My dad was like...'You listen to the Rolling Stones or you don't listen to anything...'

Oh man, that brings up the classic Stones<->Beatles debate...that which has gotten me into roomate-fights in the past...

"I was a Beatles-kid...when I was in 8th grade through age 16. I'd thought...the Rolling Stones are out of tune! Then, one day, I was like, 'Ohh...they're out-of-tune...awesome! There's a big difference between 'The Rolling Stones' and 'The Stones.' I like the Rolling Stones."

Can you talk about your collaboration with Maria?...that's been on a long time...

"9-years in the making. We met in middle school in 7th grade and I insulted her...

How did that work out?

"She wrote this journal entry about how I was so-crass...and rude, cuz I was 13...everyone's like that then..."

Wait, she called you crass first? Maybe she's crass!

"We're both crass...we're like the same thing, we're the same deal except she's got blonde hair."

So, she called you crass...

"I probably said something mean about girls...So, she didn't like me for a year. Then in 8th grade, we had an English class together where we were like the two stars of the show; we would always be clashing, and editing other kids' papers...

Grammar rivals

"Yeah, and we're both English majors at Wayne. And, hung out one day and it was actually the first day I ever had baked beans..."

Sounds like foreshadowing, you're a good story teller...

"Yeah, so the first day I ever had baked beans. And, I'm pretty sure...not completely sure, but pretty sure, she was like, 'Oh...Alex plays guitar?? I can do that!' and so she started playing drums. And then, in 9th grade, I had bad hair so she didn't talk to me...We would talk in the hallway but we wouldn't hang out. One day I was like, 'Hey, Maria, what's up? What are you listening to....?' And she was like, 'Electric-6...' and just walked by...and I was like" (snaps his fingers) "All-right! We got together all the time and listened to the Strokes and one day started the band (Decks). We went through all the same musical phases at the same time. It was never like, 'Hey Maria..this is a band that's cool.' She'd be like... 'Alex!! I just got this album by a great band...!' And I'd be like... 'The Dead Boys??' And she'd be like... '...YEAH!'"

How much punk plays into it...your playing together, the Decks, et al?

"A lot...a lot. It doesn't always show."

But still... pop.

"Lots of pop."

But, I wouldn't say you end up sounding like the traditionally-perceived 'pop/punk' sound...

"We're just kind of like power-pop. We're just...a couple of it kind of just happens. But we are a pop band, I'll say that every day. We're a pop band. The pop hits are the best. I mean, yeah!!--I have every Destiny's Child album....whatever!"

Even Survivor?

"Especially--Survivor! I was disappoitned by Destiny Fulfilled though. The singles were good. But....I dunno...we're....we were really into The White Stripes and we were really inspired by all the garage rock that was going on..."

But after 9 years of friendship, 7 years of playing together, 5 years of being 'in the scene' and 3 years of does that effect...or make the Deadbeat Beat...feel different, in any way

"Yeah, it's kind, I wanted to breath fresh air into everything. You have a history that you can't completely delete, but I'm trying to make it as fresh and new as possible."

Aside from history, what about the future?

"We're playing with Best Coast, which is awesome, they're one of my favorite bands right now and the drummer, Allie, from The Vivian Girls is drumming with them. I hung out with her at their (Stick) show and she and I, apparently, have really similar tastes in music."

And...recording an album?

"I think we might put out a tape..."

That's the thing right now... hmm... Tape--Decks

"Yeah, that went all could be anything (Decks)... some people thought we were really into skateboarding...we weren't"


Alex would email me later...he and I now being linked somewhat astrologically by half-birthdays: "The following people were born on your (my) half-birthday (Oct 13): Paul Simon, Margaret Thatcher, Nancy Kerrigan, Ashanti, Sammy Hagar, Marie Osmand. It's important to know these things."


4/14 - Magic Stick - Best Coast - Secret Twins - (The) Deadbeat Beat

Saturday, April 3, 2010


I’ve said….that… Pavement… is my favorite band (often sealed with the follow up: of all time) for about 10 years now. So when it comes to their putting out a Best-Of retrospective, it becomes an event both giddy and touchy – for my zealousness will refuse to disregard that I (and a close friend) have, in fact, traded our own versions of CD-R assembled “best of’s” over the years, that have mined and gutted the deepest caverns of their canon.

At the same time, I am fully aware that, for I and for many, many others, especially of the certain breed of 20-something scrawny white kids who spend 3-9 hours of their week blogging about their favorite music, this is at least a little close to the tinge of freaked up excitement and anticipation (particularly paired with their reunion tour) of that of longtime brown-robe-wearing hockey-haired Star Wars fans lining up for The Phantom Menace. I know, we’re a type – we’ve all gathered at the beacon of Pitchfork’s Pavement pews in a sanctimonious bow and reverent prayer to their 5 albums of the 1990s (4 of which have been re-released with bevies of b-sides with the 5th on the way), their EPs (most of which get one-entry nods on this best-of) and to now, where their career-long home, Matador Records, offered fans a ‘Guest the Track List’ contest in run up to the Best-Of’s release.

That’s saying a lot. That Matador was able to key in on our distinctive dorkdom, resembling that of my and my friend’s trading of CD-Rs that we have, essentially, in the 11 years since the band “broke up” have been assembling our own best-ofs in our brains.

Well, what else were we supposed to do? They weren’t making new records…and Pavement leader Stephen Malkmus’ output with the Jicks was too 70’s psyche-rock heavy, while still appreciated, it didn’t feed our Pavement fix, nor did Pavement first mate and co-founder Scott Kanneberg’s admittedly Date-With-Ikea-flavored space-country twangs take us back completely. All we had were those records – those EPs and those 5 LPs. Perhaps that aided their steady and eventual deification in the eyes of the internet-hipstoids and those subtly apathetic and overly arty suburban-indie-rocker identifiers – that…like the Bible or the output of the Sex Pistols, Beatles, The Raincoats, Elliott Smith, take-your-pick – it, for the longest time, 11 years, had a definite end-point. You returned to the old records like home movies and you’d get to the point where there was no film left. You just had to keep returning to the same fluttering images of barbecues and skateboards and bow-and-arrow-slinging Santa’s – Pavement was, essentially, a fix.

You went through your Pavement phases twice a year, probably Spring and Autumn, where you would return to their records, drown yourself, gorge yourself, grin and sigh and move on to a new release by a new band, something else by someone else who was still putting some other things out. Pavement was dead.

But now they’re alive again. And the zombie has been ascribed a “Best-Of…” –whereas so many of us were ready to write our own eulogies for them, (clearly, as the Matador “contest” demonstrates). But…I didn’t want my essay to come to this…but in some ways, for the younger audiences, those still yet in their mid-20’s, the ones who only came to musical awareness after the Pixies broke up or after Pavement broke up…or in other cases, after Soundgarden broke up – and nonetheless nurtured an appreciation that quickly grew into a smitten fervor…now, these fans can live in a world where their savior has returned to earth, they can touch it, see it… I didn’t want it to come to this, as I said, but, yes, sometimes we get minor Christ-like returns each time this happens (and its been happening more and more lately) at least when you compare the record geek fawning over his record sleeves (be they reissues or not) at home to the priest who rereads/re-contemplates his Bible pages.

Shit, maybe that’s too intense.

But now ya’ll new Pitchfork priests gotta get used to a new world with Pavement and a world where you didn’t get to arrange your Best-Of sermon.

So what’s the verdict? How telling is it that their last proper release, 1999’s Terror Twilight appears considerably snubbed – with only one entry amongst the 23 tracks – whilst the often higher-touted first two releases (for fair reason) and even as late as 1997’s Brighten The Corners gets multiple, if-not-5 entries. I bring this up for two reasons – Terror Twilight was always seen as a swing for the “major leagues” fences of the mainstream – a cleaner, smoother, poppier record (save a few considerably dark and creepy moments), and secondly, because my close ally whom I traded those CD-R’s with would not only flag it as his favorite Pavement record, but also, possibly his favorite record of all-time!

So I have to wonder – after 11 years of Pavement purgatory, of its current and new fans “waiting” in that re-treaded void where “everything’s ending” back and forth and back again – have we, as a Pavement cult, not come to terms with this record and finally acknowledged it’s unappreciated gems – from the epic rock-n-roller “Speak See Remember” to the grinning sunny buoyancy of “..And Carrot Ropes” to my ally’s personal fav “You Are A Light”?

Maybe not. Maybe it’s standard Pavement protocol to continue to only nod at this record.

At least all the records get their nod, by record’s end.

But one has to wonder if the fervor would have flared as strongly as it has, in the last few months of this Best-Of’s release, all the way back to the gestation of new fan’s appreciations in the 99-2009 window – had the band never broken up in the first place and kept on making records. Finiteness births preciousness, births a special kind of value and love. And, that does, in a small way, contribute to Pavement…

But, being a Pavement cult officer – I have to say that I definitely said hurray when the Cartoon Talk Show Host Space Ghost (Space Ghost Coast to Coast) jokingly introduced them as “…The Beatles.” That sums up how I and a lot of us felt…

But then, maybe you’re able to just take Pavement for what they were – a good band. And maybe you don’t think this hard about it – for that I envy you. Because it means you didn’t waste about an hour writing this…But, maybe you still wasted 10 minutes reading it…

“So much style that it’s wasting…”

Quarantine The Past - by Pavement - on Matador

2. Frontwards (WATERY, DOMESTIC EP)
3. Mellow Jazz Docent (PERFECT SOUND FOREVER EP)
5. In The Mouth A Desert (SLANTED & ENCHANTED)
8. Shady Lane / J Vs. S (BRIGHTEN THE CORNERS)
11. Grounded (WOWEE ZOWEE)
12. Summer Babe (Winter Version) (SLANTED & ENCHANTED)
16. Shoot The Singer (1 Sick Verse) (WATERY, DOMESTIC EP)
17. Spit On A Stranger (TERROR TWILIGHT)
18. Heaven Is a Truck (CROOKED RAIN, CROOKED RAIN)
19. Trigger Cut/Wounded-Kite At :17 (SLANTED & ENCHANTED)
21. Box Elder (SLAY TRACKS 1933-1969 EP)
22. Unseen Power Of The Picket Fence (NO ALTERNATIVE COMP)
23. Fight This Generation (WOWEE ZOWEE)


Quarantine The Past