• Best show of the last 2 years.

    4 Feb 2010, 6:29

    Fri 29 Jan – Polysics at the Roxy

    Since I drove roughly 1400 miles to see POLYSICS I should finally write a new review (I have about 6 shows I've seen without reviewing).

    First off it was fun finally taking my new car on a road trip. My sister came along but spent most of the trip napping in the passenger seat. The drive was long but fun; driving around LA is a royal pain in the ass seems like people like to sit in the passing or commuter lane and go slower than the already slow moving traffic.

    Anyway the show.

    It's funny that for how different things seem they're really all the same. At the Roxy, the charge $5 for plastic cup half full of bud and call it a deal; I guess all places are rip offs. I thought it was a bit odd that there is a curtain sutting off the stage until a band is ready. I guess its good since it keeps ignorant fans from cheering when a roadie is tuning up a guitar.

    There was also reserved seating which I think was more for the late night club crowd that aren't there for the show, they just always hang out at at the club.

    I didn't catch the first band's name, Little red riding hood I think?
    Too bad because they had great energy, whole group was onfire regardless of how much the crowd was into it. They eventually got the crowd to at least react which is impressive for a first band of the night.
    The platinum blonde was hot and sexy, although she was a bit over the top at times. Running your hand over your body = sexy; flat out rubbing your pussy with your hands and the mic is too much. Save that part for the guy's imagination.
    The lead guy had good energy as well and they made a good compliment to the music, although his outfit seemed a bit gay (maybe he is or maybe it's just a really "artistic" outfit.
    They really had a good sound that goes down well with what's popular in music now. It was independent but not in a boring crybaby emo Iron And Wine sort of way. It was very aggressive and upbeat without being top 40 pop music.
    I definitely wish they had been more clear saying their name so I could find them online.

    The sound guy for the Roxy is perfect, with ear plugs in the music was just the right volume and just the right balance. After years of suffering through the local SLC sound guys this guys seemed like a master of the craft. Kudos.

    2nd band was New Kingdom; first thing I noticed about them was everybody had the same big hair. But once the music started I was pleasantly surprised again. They also had an "" sound that is very similar to popular non-mainstream music right now.
    The best way I could describe them was like a ed out more indie sounding band heavily influenced by Jameroquai.

    After two great bands like this I was starting to feel bad for how sad the local music groups in Utah were. We have a few good bands of kids who are used to playing in their parents garages but nothing really worthy of grabbing out of the area and pushing for nationwide release, and here were two relatively small bands that seriously need to be "discovered". All I could do was think back to that crummy local band Vile Blue Shades. Kids in LA are spoiled by too much good talent.

    But not all was lost, the third band, Sabrosa Purr, sucked. Indie music treads a fine line between genius and madness, you're either one of the other. Except in this case madness isn't like some cool intensity, it's just shitty ear grating music. It was just slow and moody and it's hard to tell if they were actually playing music or each in some drug induced trance making noise that sounded like music to them.
    Fuck this .

    I don't mean to dwell on the negative and I know some people really like this stuff (the same people that think Pitchfork Media is the gods of reviewing good music). I'm sorry but if you like this you've been brainwashed by the shitty indie overlords who want to destroy music. 20 years from now your kids will ask you why you liked a band that faked its talent by playing really slow AC/DC chords and screaming 14 year old poetry into the mic and you'll have no response other than you were just trying to fit in (It's so ironic that people try to dislike the popular so much that they'll let people convince them this is good music.) Screw this pretentious bullshit.

    --Re reading this I realized that everybody drumming at the finale was nice but not revolutionary enough to make up for the crap music. Oh, and the chick playing was kind of hot.

    POLYSICS were Polysics; amazing in just about everyway. Many bands seems so cool when you watch a music video, or look like their shows are amazing; then you see an actual show and it's utter crap. Polysics are just as energetic and out of control on stage as they are in music videos; maybe more so, in the music videos it's a bunch of cut scenes with makeup and cool down time in between, live it's just a marathon of music and energy, it wasn't 2 songs in before Hiro was already covered in sweat from bouncing all over the place belting out lines and guitar riffs.

    While I was watching I realized that the band has an almost perfect setup for the music they're doing. Masashi in the back, relatively emotionless as the drummer anchor. The two girls to either side doing mostly backup vocals, Fumi is a bit more energetic but Kayo with her robot impersonation. And Hiro trapped between them and the audience bouncing around all over the place. The setup is great, it's not like just a band crammed up on stage, you could setup a camera and every performance would look like it was setup to be a music video.

    Only Hiro attempted any English and it was limited at best, considering all Japanese go though a couple years of english I'm sure they have a bit more understanding then they let on but it was still fun watching them try to break down the language barrier. God know how tough it is, I learned myself from the time I spent in Japan trying not to sound like a fool.

    Anyway, well worth the time and gas to head down to see the show. If you have a chance to see them make sure you take it. And that's not counting the 4-6 hours or so that we had to be tourists the next day before we headed back home. 24 hours driving, 4 hour show, 6 hours car camping, all in about 42 hours. Not bad at all.

    CDs Bought:

    Absolute Polysics

    We Ate The Machine

    Now Is the Time!
  • Belated Flogging Molly Concert Review.

    11 Oct 2009, 23:15

    Having the wherewithal to buy tickets to Flogging Molly before the show I was actually able to get in this time since they regularly sellout the venue, a few outside weren't so lucky and resorted to begging for tickets. It's surprising they've grown this much considering the first time I saw them play In SLC they were just an unknown band on tour with Bouncing Souls people were waiting on to finish the set and get to the main act. Now they're huge.

    They're touring with Hepcat an old school Ska band that has been around forever but doesn't release a whole lot of new CDs. And frankly I enjoyed the Hepcat portion of the show more than Flogging Molly. I like energetic ska music like Suburban Legends but sometimes some good ska music to just chill out with is great. The two lead vocalists Greg and Alex were great at setting a good mood to groove to some great ska.

    I made a point to go buy a couple Hepcat CDs at the swag table before the post Molly rush crowded the place too much. I was surprised to see Flogging Molly was smart enough to have a credit card reader that their table to run cards. I make a point to bring plenty of cash to shows but I always see countless others who don't have the experience to plan ahead and end up passing on buying merchandise. Considering how much the artists make off merchandise sales at a show I'm amazed more artists don't bring card scanners.

    I usually don't have any problems with the staff serving drinks at In the Venue/Club Sound; the servers are usually pretty nice and take care of people well. This time I was pissed however, I think we can all agree that people who cut in front of line when there are 20 people waiting to get a drink are the scum of the earth and deserve a special place in hell. Especially the ones who give that smug look at you after they get served as if to say, "Suckers!"

    And what can you do? When I got close enough to the front I'd give a, "Hey!" with a thumb over my shoulder to the back of the line; but even then most people got their drinks anyway, and the people in line with me just looked at the floor and saved their criticisms for muttering under their breath when the line-cutter moved on. Mandy Patinkin does a great job of how we all wish this kind of scenario would usually play out:
    Don't Cut: You Tube

    But even with people shouting that they shouldn't be cutting Club Sound's barmaid Carrie served them anyway. So if line-cutters are assholes that deserve to be kicked out, what does that make her for being the staff that serves them anyway?

    I've noticed this problem alot in the service industry that goes along with the "The customer is always right" proverb. Some jackass ignores the implied or posted rules but the staff helps them anyway because they don't want to risk losing a single sale. But what about the 20 other good rule-obeying customers they just alienated by helping somebody that cut in front? Logically a business proprietor would tell the rule breaker to fuck themselves and an lose the 1 bad customer and better serve the 20 good customers, instead in the vein of "The customer is always right" they commonly serve the asshole and screw over the majority.

    The sad part is that people put up with it anyway like sheep. Even after remarking, "I can't believe she's serving them even though they obviously cut!" I watched a girl leave a substantial tip anyway. Well I'm sticking by my response to the girls comment, "I'm closing my tab, not tipping, and never buying a drink from here again." Although that's a lie, I did leave a tip on my recipt:

    "Tell Carrie not to serve people who cut"

    If a business provides bad service they should receive a bad tip if any at all. They're lucky we don't walk out when the staff symbolically joins in the "Suckers!" slight given to the people who waited patiently for them to do their job.

    I know that tips are shared among servers and bartenders so good servers at Club Sound are punished as well. Which is too bad since I know two of them are great bartenders and deserve big tips, hence the "Tip" on the receipt that a coworker's bad decisions are costing them as well and they should set her straight or do themselves a favor and replace her. Because the tip they lost from me is nothing compared to the fact that I refuse to get drinks there from now on. I'm not a frequent customer but losing $15-20 each time I go is more substantial than their share of one nights tip.

    That may seem a bit extreme but really it's more of the straw that broke the camel's back, the $14.40 price above is for TWO draft beers, and one of those was Coors Light (All other taps were dry at the time, I had no choice); I could get 3 pitchers at Cheers to You for that price. So fuck Club Sound, their overpriced drinks, and lousy service. I'm never buying a drink there again and I recommend you do the same if only to send a message that a tip line on a receipt is no guarantee that you actually deserve the tip.

    Back to the concert.

    After 30minutes in line I missed Flogging Molly's opening of course. I was one of the first in line when the last band ended too. I'm sorry for those behind me, they probably missed half the show. The crowd was out of control; people crowding around the bar entrance were jumping up and down or moshing and they'd invariably bump into people coming out with drinks in their hand then complain about it. "Screw you, you jumped into me, what did you think would happen?" I slid into a relatively calm corner and watched the show.

    I have to say Flogging Molly is great but I think alot of the music is better listened to as it is on the albums. That is more introspective, music and not "mosh-pit, kicking and shoving" music. Songs that are introspective ballads on the albums were sped up to bouncing high-energy songs, and high energy songs from the albums were so high tempo it was hard to sing along with them. I almost feel sorry for poor Bridget Regan working a fiddle at that speed. She must have massively strong arms to play shows like this every night.

    Speaking of which it was great that the normally bad sound mixing at In the Venue was good enough that the fiddle and penny whistle sounded really good. I noticed that Rancid the night before had good sound too. Did In the Venue get a new sound guy or has he finally figured out how to mix for the site?

    It was a great show but the crowd that Flogging Molly gathers is kind of an irritation to me. A UK friend at last.fm once mentioned how all Americans pretend to be what they think of as "Irish". Maybe a bit of an overstatement, we're not all like that, but Flogging Molly sure draws that crowd. It's almost like they're there because they think it gives them some tie to a non-existant Irish heritage even though Flogging Molly is a US band playing Irish-American Punk and far separated from traditional Irish music and culture. It's the same crowd that claims the reason they drink too much is because "I'm 1/16th Irish!". No you're just a drunk. The same crowd that think all Irish people dance like Michael Flatley or Riverdance even though Flatley is American. I actually saw some girls in the crowd doing their own approximation to step dancing during the show!

    Most kiddies seemed like they were there for the scene and not the music. Whenever the word Irish came out of Dave King's mouth a loud cheer would go up regardless of the context. But when there was a reference to the seminal "" group The Pogues less than half the crowd cheered or understood who they were. Earlier when talking to a self described "Huge Fan" of Flogging Molly I asked if she liked The Pogues or The Tossers as well and all I got back was a blank stare. I think alot of the self professed diehard fans here were those group of newbies that like them because it's cool in American to claim to be Irish and listen to Irish-American music. Which is fine so long as you don't start to confuse yourself into thinking that it really means you know something of or are connected to real Irish culture.

    Other than spending 30 minutes waiting to get an overpriced beer it was a good show, with Hepcat really being the highlight of the night in my mind. Flogging Molly was overrated. They were still great, I only say that in context of the fact that all the kiddies coming out of the show were acting like it was a transcendent experience when it wasn't. It was a good show, but I'd hardly agree that "I could die happy now", as I overheard somebody say on the way out.

    CDs Purchased:

    Right on Time

    Push 'n Shove
  • Rancid is back on the game... No LEADING the game!

    27 Sep 2009, 5:01

    When bands come to town they seem to come in waves, and always in fall for some reason. Thursday 24 Sep was Rancid, Authority Zero, and Resistor Radio.

    I saw Resistor Radio a few months ago when they were here and they're really good, not at all what I'd expect from the "local bands" that usually open shows. It's not going to take long before they get more popular; in concert they have alot of energy and even though they only have one indies EP out (currently unsigned) it's a good disc with some really good music.

    I've heard a bit of Authority Zero but always as part of a compilation disc like "Warped Tour '03" or something so I'm not really up on their music. I was amazed! The band has great energy and reminds me of going to shows back around the 1998-2002 timeframe when I was listening to alot of bands like Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly who's music was going from "walk to run".

    It made me nostalgic for those days of being 20, in college, spending the nights partying with my friends, and catching punk shows as often as my low paying job would afford me to. And like Less Than Jake, Dropkick Murphys, and Street Dogs it's always great having a lead singer (Jason DeVore) that focuses specifically on singing and getting the crowd riled up. Not that leads with a guitar aren't as good but there's something to be said for climbing around the speaker stacks encouraging the people on the balcony to get moving.

    Although as much attention that is paid to the lead singer and guitar players it was the drummer (Jim Wilcox) that I thought was really amazing. People always groove the the guitarists grinding away on the axe but if you watch the energy, speed, and precision that a drummer cranks out during a highspeed song you start to realize how much talent it takes to get a good drummer.

    In The Venue isn't being as big of dicks as they have in the past. The bouncers were a bit more relaxed and were helping people have a good time rather than playing the "Respect my Authority" game with the people who paid to be there. Even tossing out bottles of water to the kids in front and in the pit (water which had to be bought in back at the "21 and under" bar near the entrance. Giving water out is probably good insurance against possible lawsuits from kids with heat stroke too but before they seemed comfortable to watch you suffer or add to it.

    Rancid was off the Friggin' hook this time. I was a bit critical of them last time they played here because they were so joyless and un-engaging with the crowd. Enough to officially declare they lost the position of my favorite band to Street Dogs.

    That tired, old Rancid didn't show up to play this time.

    Instead in their place was a powerful veteran Rancid that came in to show everybody why they're arguable once of the most influential punk bands in the 1990's and 2000. Ok, they're a bit past the time where they could climb up and do backflips off the stacks but they could belt out their definitive punk anthems with and energy that shook the walls. And even though Tim and Lars get plenty of acknowledgments it's the bassist Matt Freeman that I think really deserves alot more attention. Bassists and Drummers are often relegated to the background but watching Freeman's technical abilities is amazing at times, keep an eye on his hands when you see these guys and imagine trying to do the same while making it look easy.

    There was a good mix of old songs from "...And Out Come the Wolves" for all the causal fans here to see legends, plus a good smattering of songs of the newest album "Let the Dominoes Fall". Tim and Matt's ska influence from "Operation Ivy" showed through at times, plus they slowed it down for a few acoustic songs from the new album (be sure to buy the deluxe version so you get the acoustic disc!).

    Alot of my favorite songs from Let the Dominoes fall we're played. "East Bay Night", "Last One to Die", "New Oreleans", and the tribute to the troops (which hits home especially hard for me) "Civilian Ways". Finally after coming back out for the encore Branden Steineckert (drums) came out in a Real Salt Lake football* jersey, probably given to him by the team who had VIP seating for the show. I'm guessing that being born in Provo Utah Branden really is a fan of the team of his home state and not just pandering. Lars came out the San Jose Earthquakes jersey on, obviously staying true to HIS home team. But it's nice that they had some fun with the local football team.

    I'm glad that the definitive punk band Rancid can still perform, I was afraid after the last show that they had passed their prime and were in decline. Luckily it seems that they were just having a bad night that one time. Although no matter how they play live Rancid is still one of the few bands that I can quite honestly say that each consecutive album has set the bar higher than the one before it.

    CDs Bought:

    Authority Zero

    I already have all the Rancid CDs.
    Although while I'm on the subject I want to mention that Rancid is following the method I recommend for maintaining physical CDs in the digital climate:
    -Releasing singles of key songs that will appear in the forth coming album as they're written.
    -Then when the album comes out with those singles, plus some new songs (that aren't filler).
    -Plus releasing a "Limited Edition" of the album with additional bonus tracks and a DVD of the music videos and/or live footage.

    This is why indie labels are maintaining while the dinosaur big four are dying.

    *Football being the world famous game played by kicking a BALL with your FOOT. Not the often confused American game "HandEgg" where and EGG shaped ball is carried in a players HAND.
  • Aquabats in SLC

    24 Jun 2009, 1:53

    Cross posted on my blog.

    Friday the 19th of June The Aquabatscame back to Salt Lake and its always worth catching them if you can.

    I barely caught the first show, Resistor Radio but I decided it was worth getting the EP to see how it is. They had a good feel to them, with a bit of polish they could be good, seems they're being produced by Rancid's Drummer Branden Steineckert so they could have some good backing while starting out.

    Next was Two and a Half White Guys, I’d seen them before in Provo but in a real show at in the venue it was a bit different, they had more energy, and it was a bit more like a real show. They’re a good local band that doesn’t sound like just a local band; good ska music. Good music to chill out to, and the band was good at engaging the crowd even during take-down the lead singer was still engaging the crowd and taking pictures of the fans. They also ended it with a good cover of Oingo Boing’s Who Do You Want to Be

    Aquabats had a new intro, they could make their performance into the cheesiest tv show and it would be awesome. But yet again the local sound tech sucks; I can barely hear MC Bat Commander. And I love the clips they play during the music, they could make a DVD of the videos on the projector and I’d seriously buy it. But “In the Venue” has draconian security, nobody gets on stage or on the crowd before the security pulls them off by their feet.

    For their song “Baked” they brought on a ton of baked goods from Dick's Market in Bountiful and proceeded to throw them into the crowd, cookies, muffins, and whole frosted cakes. Then for pool party they had beach balls and even an inflatable pool, they threw on top of the crowd. And if you have a pool on top of the crowd why not throw one of the kids on stage into the pool, luckily the security saw that pulling the kid out of the crowd would have caused the band and crowd to riot.

    Another excellent Aquabats show.

    CD's Bought:

    Resistor Radio - Beggar's Cuisine

    Two and A Half White Men - Gringo

    Already have all Aquabats CDs!!!!
    Make more guys!!!
  • Cannibal Corpse was good but Obscura stole the show!

    16 Abr 2009, 19:47

    April 6 was the Cannibal Corpse show at Club Vegas . I really didn’t intend to go, it was more of a whim. Luckily a friend of mine wanted to go so I got off my ass and headed.

    Waiting in line I realized a new pet peeve. Metal head kids who sing the lyrics to death metal songs, try to do the death metal growl and fail miserably. It just seems pathetic seeing a kid growling to himself to try to be cool.

    I’ve never been to Club Vegas, driving past it always seemed like it would be a lame secondary venue if you couldn’t book a decent place, but I was completely wrong it’s a great medium sized venue and beats most of the other similarly sized venues for size layout and design. It think a lot of bands should make use of this place; the only drawback being that it’s usually a bar/club catering to a more intense biker/metalhead clientele. Definitely not a place a chirpy upbeat show should be held unless you want to see a bunch of ska kids get beaten (on second thought, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad…). It’s also a 21 and over venue so it seems like a bit more grown up venue, you won’t see high school kids getting picked up by their mommys after the show.

    And this is probably only of interest to artists but the stage was large and deep, at least 15 feet deep, plenty of room to setup and move around while playing. Plus the venue is just a simple long rectangle with the stage at one end and pillars off to the sides. So you don’t get a pillar smack dab in the middle of the mosh pit or blocking your view from the back.

    The first band was Obscura from Germany on their first US tour, and I must say they were off the hook! In my opinion they were the highlight of the night and made the $20 tickets completely worth it. They were pretty badass and I’m so glad I came to the show. They had a couple initial technical glitches but not bad enough to distract from the music and they still easily stole the show.

    First off the bass player was amazing (Jeroen Paul Thesseling according to the last.fm bio), easily one of the best bassists I’ve seen. Besides just giving the bass an incredible workout he was totally into the music and you could tell he wasn’t just phoning in a performance for a midway stop on a tour, he was making a performance out of it. Although at first he kind of reminded me of the German guy in the IT Crowd when Moss takes a cooking course (I think it was the hair).
    The lead singer/guitar (Steffen Kummerer) could definitely hold his own, even thought this is a death metal show there was a good balance of growling and actual singing making for good all around music and very accessible to people who aren’t avid DM listeners.
    Lead guitar (Christian Muenzner) was amazing to watch him play, although he was totally engrossed in the music. It looked like nothing could faze him, if the roof collapsed all around us he’d probably keep playing with no knowledge of what was going on. Although with the technical difficulty of some of his playing I’m really not surprised, I’m impressed somebody can focus enough to play like that when surrounded by a screaming audience.
    The drummer (Hannes Grossmann) was really good but unfortunately I couldn’t see him as well so see what he was doing. However being able to keep up with music like this is a challenge for any drummer, being able to make it sound good takes real skill.

    Neuraxis was good too but didn’t appeal to me as much. It was mostly a break time for me to mingle. They tried to get a good moshpit going but people just didn’t get into it. Depressing since I had seen better moshes for the openers bands at the Suburban Legends gig a few days before.

    The lead singer was really good and good at engaging the crowd but people just didn’t want to move. I don’t get why people “save their energy” for the last band. If the music is good and you go to a show to mosh, don’t hold back.

    Next was The Faceless. The lead singer could growl a great show, and I saw the drummer practicing before the show. He was using double bass drums and manual pedals to get the speed for the songs, which is impressive considering the speed metal drummers use to get the highspeed bass beats.

    It was cool by now that even the security is encouraging a mosh pit out of the audience (and they were starting to move a bit). Most shows the security seems to be keeping people from doing anything but stand there, here they were encouraging just about everything (except the few tussles the broke out and were stopped).

    The way death metal singers growl is kind of impressive in a way, to go a few hours like that has got to be hard on the vocal chords. I saw the Lord of the Rings making and to do gollumn’s voice Andy Serkis had to drink special juice to keep up his voice, he should learn from death metal singers.

    Cannibal Corpse was a stereotypical , in good way. If you want to try out some new styles of music or go to an more aggressive show than you’re used to you should check them out… but wear black.
    The head spins were intense, you have to build up some good neck muscles to whip your head around that fast without snapping your neck. The mosh pit really got moving and went insane, it was a great show!!! Cannibal Corpse is one of the main death metal bands for a reason, people may give them a hard time for being old or for having the same sound as they always have, but it reminds me the criticisms of AC/DC nowdays. People say they sound the way they used too like it’s a bad thing. I like bands the explore new ideas and new music but bands I love I love for a reason, and if they change to something else it’s interesting but I’m not going to Cannibal Corpse to not hear Cannibal Corpse. Know what I mean?

    I wish I had brought more money for merchandise. I got a couple CDs but I wanted to get a cool Obscura Hoodie too. But I did get my copy of Obscura’s CD signed by all 4 members and got to talk with the band in between shows. I wish more bands spent more time hanging out where they can be engaged by fans rather than hiding in a tour bus all night and only popping out to play a set (looking at you Cannibal Corpse!).

    All in all an excellent show! I’m so glad I made the decision to get out and see some music I don’t usually listen to as much.

    CD’s purchased:


    Cannibal Corpse - Evisceration Plague
  • Suburban legends show at Kilby Court

    8 Abr 2009, 18:19

    Friday was Suburban Legends at Kilby Court, I didn’t have any desire to go to the show until Suburban Legends went on the lineup. It seemed to be kind of last minute as if they were passing through and just wanted to do a show. I knew it would be good no matter what if they were playing.

    Kilby court gets alot of play as the local "indie" place for shows. And alot artists show up, some are quite big. However I wish the effort of exerted to play shows existed with a better venue. Kilby Court is basically a 3 car garage with a raised platform in the corner for the band. It’s an all ages show which means that it’s mostly populated by high school kids and their local bands.

    Ska kids can really piss me off sometimes and this place was full. The acting nerdy just to be anti-popular bugs me and I noticed a lot of people like that. However a lot of other people were legitimately there just to have a good time.

    First up was Illegal Beagle, they were ok but very rough around the edges. Typical local band, I wonder if they’ll still be around after the kids graduate high school? So many things change then that it’s very doubtful. They had guitar string issues but handled it well in the down time in between.
    The stupid venue doesn’t allow covers because they don’t pay the licensing fees; but at least they waited until the end of “Nightclub” before cutting them off.

    When The Skaficinados started warming up they played a few chords of “Nightclub” before the owner cranked up the house sound to drown them out. Which is ironic because they were playing house music off an ipod and I believe and that means they need to pay royalties on that.

    Suburban Legends still have decent swag table but not the out of print CD I want; but I needed a new hoodie anyway.

    I’ve heard The Skaficionados before and I remember that they were surprisingly good for a new local band. They need to get some cds for sale and start venturing out and about. The lead singer has got good energy to lead a band and the horn section makes a good backup. The songs are a good variety of slow and fast although I’d stick to the more upbeat songs rather than so many old ska songs.

    Unfortunately Patent Pending didn’t show up.

    Suburban Legends were awesome as usual, but Kilby Courts no covers rule cut into the fun. Making lemonade out of lemons the just played the 30 seconds of about 10 songs (I guess they’re allowed to do upto 30 seconds). Even though it is a small venue they did a good job of getting everybody gong and filling the room with energy, even coming back for a 20 minute encore.

    All in all a good show, but not the best venue.
  • Hilarious Album Covers

    14 Feb 2009, 1:02

    I’d probably believe in Jesus too if I had married him.

    I’m speechless. And in awe of the 70’s.

    Once again the 70’s were an amazing time in the US, whenever I think we’ve gone over the top I think back to the 70’s. I notice the bottom center “facet” of roger is the porno blow-job facet.

    I’m a skinny white computer nerd and I don’t need two spotters when doing a military press with 25’s, yet he’s getting the girls. Even the spotters are wondering why the hell they’re there.

    Whenever I think the 70’s were over the top I remember the 80’s.
    Amazingly “First Strike” wasn’t their last strike.

    I don’t know if it’s possible for more bad ideas to collide on one album. I think the start was naming their band “Fireballet”. There isn’t a lot of good ways to make a rocker band out of that name. I guarantee whichever member it was that suggested this has been secretly dressing like this in private for years. I pretty sure it was the guy on the far right.

    This album is mildly disturbing except for the guy on the far right. He’s way too pumped for this picture. Although the scarf around the neck is faaaabulous!
    The blond guy in the middle is demonstrating how tight black jeans pulled up past the belly-button can perform home vasectomies.

    I was going to make fun of this but decided against it considering I have their greatest hits album.
    S, A, T-U-R, D-A-Y, Night!

    After going to Japan and getting used to Asian music, this Korean album is far less frightening.
    America Santa Claus Christmas Number 1!

    Do you know how many baby demins were killed and skinned to make the outfits for for this picture?

    Nothing scares me more than Christian Music. Marilyn Manson has nothing on these people.

    You know when somebody making the cover for Arthur Fiedler asks, “What should be do for an album cover?” And somebody replies, “What about Saturday night FIELDER! HA-HA-HA!”
    That’s your cue to say, “No, seriously what should we do.” before an accident like this happens.

    I remember that guy in the middle telling me I “Need more flair” on my uniform.
    What a Bevis.

    …Steve Irwin’s songs of the sea.
    -ouch, too soon?

    Seriously, if the photo shoot for your album cover doesn't turn out well, take the time to get another self portrait.

    Slightly disturbing, kind of absurd… That’s right, it’s another Christian Music Record.
    The cool thing is that she doesn’t just drink a glass of water while the Dummy is talking, she walks on the water.

    And talks to trees too apparently.

    How come none of these “Music to <blank>by” records we’re ever sponsored by condom companies?

    More of the fun Christian Recordings. Except the woman on the far left; that girl is an alien here to take over their organization from the inside. I saw it on “Mars attacks”.

    I’m going to hell. I see an Christian album cover and all I can think of is how I want those four daughters on the left to feel MY “salvation”.

    I'm God's Child?? …That may be but the three kids on the right were Satan’s children and went on to become a heroin dealer, a serial-killing prostitute, and the CEO of Enron.

    Workout videos are really invented for bored husbands to fantasize over.

    But back in the 50’s-60’s all men could do was get a vinyl album and listen while they looked at the cover.

    I’m pretty sure the end comes in a Sex Scandal.

    Well I guess anybody can get their own album.
    There’s a guy at work who look exactly like this, he’s second on my list of “People most likely to go on a killing spree at work.” behind the gun nut who likes to talk about the best way he would dispose of a body.

    I guess this proves pedophilia existed in the 70’s. What parent would condone and album like this?

    I don’t believe Frat House Parties ever took place without at least 5 kegs and 10 gallons of KY.
    Although the thought of fully clothed girls at a frat party is nice, if quaint.

    I know people who drive hummers, wear combat boots, and get hard-ons listening to military cadences. But mention the fact that the Army is in desperate need of new recruits and watch the excuses come flying.

    Comrade! You will have state sponsored fun! Or the KGB officer dancing with the 12 year old will arrest you!

    How can you look more stereotypically Jewish? If this was really a non-Jewish comedian taking the piss you'd see people up-at arms about how racist they were.

    So which came first, ripping off Kiss’s makeup/outfits, or Ripping off Kiss’s double consonant name?

    Duude. Laser Floyd at the planetarium.

    I think a lot of albums started with an excuse to get hot chicks. “Good, now the inside cover is going to be the toga girls punishing me by spanking. Places Everybody!”

    This is the pickup line I use on women at the bar.
  • Aquabats + Suburban Legends = Good show guarantee

    21 Dic 2008, 5:54

    Saturday the 6th was the The Aquabats!: Hooray For the Holidays! event at In the Venue. It was also the night of my family Christmas party so I was a bit late to the show and missed the opening act by the local group Super Heroes, I’d seen them before and they’re a good local band but I was looking forward to the antics of The Aquabats anyway.

    I made it in time to see the end of the DJ Lance Rock who I was totally unfamiliar with. If it had been any other show I’d have thought I was in the wrong place. The stage had a guy dressed in orange with matching marching band leader hat (seriously what are those hats called?), a talking yellow robot, and a green monster. The music was catchy in a childish sort of way but mixed well that it could be use in a dance club if you didn’t listen to the robot’s lyrics. It all became a bit clearer when I learned the backstory of DJ Lance and Yo Gabba Gabba!

    During the break I chilled out in the bar and listened to the band next door, a really intense hardcore growling death metal group with a bassist that looked like Bullet Tooth Tony from Snatch. It was way too intense for me, I don’t mind a little hardcore music sometimes but I can only handle so much angry intensity, especially after listening to a song about “A party in my tummy!”

    Next up was Suburban Legends which I wrote off as just a pop ska group to steal money from teenagers before I heard them. I caught part of their show at the Goldfinger show in July and completely changed my opinion of them. It’s not a fad of popularity that makes people want to see them, they’re really good!

    They’re a lot like Reel Big Fish in that their music is upbeat and almost comedic at times and focus on enjoying yourself and having a good time. There’s also a strong infusion of style to the music that makes it really easy to dance to; the lead singer, Vincent, and the two horns play into it even more by popping out some pretty good dance moves during the songs. And I don’t know why but I’ve found I like songs that have the “Oooo! Oooo!” in them (I know that doesn’t make sense, you have to hear the song).

    I’ve noticed that having dedicated lead vocals in a group can really make for a great live show if they know how to get the crowd involved during and between songs. Vincent Walker is a perfect example, Mike McColgan from my favorite Street Dogs is another. However it doesn’t always help, take for instance the band next door where the lead was writing around like he was being consumed by flesh eating parasites while he growled out his lyrics. Sure it’s intense but not very engaging with the audience.

    Anyway Suburban Legends are quickly on the way to one of my favorite all time bands, good music on it’s own but a GREAT show to see live every chance you get.


    The Aquabats came up and if Suburban Legends put on a great show, then there’s a good chance they may have learned a lot of it from The Aquabats. Even if you’re not enamored with their music you have too see them live at one of their shows; it’s a whole different dynamic actually seeing them perform. They know how to work the crowd and they know how to keep it interesting.

    People who have only heard the music and maybe saw their CDs know that they wear costumes and take on the persona of a fictional superhero team. Mix in with that music synched to movie clips from 60s Monster flicks, attacks onstage by evil monsters, anime style pics of the band (a throwback to Christian Jacobs time in Japan?), and their own commercial for the Aquabats Pudding Dispenser Belt and you got a crazy fun Aquabats concert.

    And it’s not just that they put on a good show but everybody was so into the music and the show that it was a huge party for everybody, you couldn’t even hear MC Bat Commander over the crowd singing during “Super Rad”. Their guitarist was pretty good when he let loose too. It’s not really a group you think of going to see for the guitar work but they knew what they were doing. And every time the Bat Commander would mention a lyric that happened to be part of a famous song the guitarist was there with a short from that song.

    All in all a great show. The one thing that irked me was the people who were too pussy so skank up in the skank pits like everybody else and instead had to do it in back where some of us didn’t want people spilling our beers. But whatever, it’s not biggie. I just have an issue with people who skank because they bitch and moan if you bump into them or shove them around like in a real pit; but they have no problem knocking the beer out of your hand while they swing their arms around in looking like fools in the furthest corner from the stage (no skanking in the corner by yourself doesn’t make you cool!)
    Sorry. *ding* Turn the Page.

    But The Aquabats and Suburban Legends are definitely both on my “See them every time they come to town” list.

    CDs Purchased:

    The AquabatsYo! Check Out This Ride! EP
    *Now have full discography!*

    Suburban LegendsDance Like Nobody's Watching

    30 Oct 2008, 0:31

    For once I got to the show early. Today was the Tue 21 Oct – Apocalyptica show at In the Venue, checking on last.fm I noticed that the venue was double booked with a ton of people going to The Notwist and two of us for Apocalyptica. Naturally I assumed that Apocalyptica was in the Club Sound stage which luckily didn’t have a line. But it turns out the huge line wrapping around th building was for Apocalyptica.

    Sweet. Good turn out, I was wondering how they'd fit drums and 4 cellos on that small Club Sound stage.

    Once again the start time was completely off. So I wandered and got a few beers at the bar. The shwag table was horrible. No CDs for sale at all, just T-shirts. You can’t listen to a T-shirt! And I’m not the kind of prick that wear tour shirts around work bragging that “I more kvlt that you!”

    I actually bumped into a friend that I met while on a trip to Japan 2 years ago, but by now my bordom drinking was catching up to me and I was a little out of it. It was 8:30pm by now (been waiting for nearly 2 hours) and still nothing; meanwhile the place is packed and techno/ dance music is playing making the whole place feel like a dance club (some good music though). If it wasn’t for the fact that 4 chairs with backs that looked like a cross between cellos and skulls were being setup the music wouldn’t seem so out of place.

    While I waited I decided to snoop in on the show going on next door from the bar. I never seen so many guys in a sports coats and T-shirts with long hair or beards; talk about indie nerd nirvana. Two guys were mixing music on stage, with a laptop setup hooked to some synth equipment. I don’t want to seem demeaning here but to me it just seemed like a complex version of playing Funky Town on a touch-tone telephone. I’m not sure who the artist was but I just wasn’t impressed, it reminded me of when I used to tap out beats over the demo background on my old Casio keyboard (but with better equipment, a sound system, and a crowd).

    Finally Apocalyptica came out and I have to say it was worth the wait.

    The show was surreal for me. I grew up with my parents imparting a huge impression of music and on me. I first remember seeing a live classical orchestra when I was barely in school (it might have even been before that). My mother likes telling me about the time she went to see the symphony play while I was still in the womb and the piece (Wagner I think she said) had a long gentle intro then thundered into the piece with a sudden "BOOM" and it nearly caused me to jump out.

    Anyway I’m well exposed to the complexities of playing cello enough to recognize its amazing range and how difficult it can be to really explore its full possibilities... This was 100% completely different from any cello playing I had ever seen but the skill and complexity was still there, if not more so to move at the speed and rhythm of metal music.

    Holy Fuck it was a good show! The mix of cello and power/ is so unique and so great at the same time. It’s like a triple fried egg sandwich with chili sauce and chutney (inside joke). The band rarely spent any time in their hairs and were too busy roaming the stage rocking out, which is a lot different lugging at cello rather than a guitar. They did what they could engaging the crowd but the English was really broken, not surprising since it’s not their first language. But knowing how hard languages are I think they did well and it’s great when the band involves the fans in the show. The fog machines were pumping at full power making the whole room a colored haze of light. And the music itself was a good mix of metal and classical with metalfied classical in-between.

    By the end of the show my cheeks hurt from smiling just because I enjoyed it all so much, seeing what they could do with a cello was amazing. You really have to see and hear it to believe it. This could be one of the best shows I’ve ever been to, but it’s so different it’s hard to classify it with other good shows.

    On the way out closing my tab at the bar I caught some of The Notwist and after the show I just saw I couldn’t get into it at all. The crowd was enraptured with the band but it’s so much different with everybody just standing there listening rather than “rocking out” and surging to the stage. It’s just so chilled out and at a different level from the energy of the show I just saw. So rather than watch any more I just headed home.

    CDs bought:
    NONE! WTF!
  • Wow, talk about an excellent show!

    21 Oct 2008, 23:46

    Friday October 10th was the Street Dogs show at the “Club Sound” half of In The Venue. I rolled in a little late because of work but got there just as Flatfoot 56 was getting setup.

    I’ve never heard Flatfoot 56 before but being at a punk show and seeing the lead singer onstage with a scally cap and a bagpipe player setting up next to him is a good sign. And I wasn’t disappointed, they rocked! I only wish I was more familiar with their music so I could shout and sing in time with the band. But even not knowing the lyrics there were plenty of songs that were easy to sing along with. These guys fit in perfectly in the sub genre of occupied by Dropkick Murphys, Street Dogs, The Briggs, etc.

    It’s something about Street Dog show but every time they come to town I find a new band to get interested in. They have great choices in tour partners. Since the show I’ve been listening more Flatfoot 56 and learning more about them. Turns many classify them as a “” group which makes some sense listening to specific lyrics. But it's not really that overt, I don’t think many people would realize this without being told. It’s just good punk music.

    And I have to say something to those who have a problem with “Christian Punk” music, some say that the beliefs of religion go against the anarchist nature of Punk.
    -First is the hypocrisy of having a closed mind for judging music based off the members' individual beliefs, yet claiming you know more about punk.
    -Second is the fact that believing in a higher power does not contradict punk mentality. As the Street Dogs lyrics go:

    Not without a purpose and it's not without a fight
    Another poor kid caught up in a fire fight
    I don't believe in Jesus but I pray to God tonight
    Not without a purpose, not without a fight
    It’s these kind of pretentious kids that think you have to follow specific rules and wear specific clothes to be a punk that piss me off at shows.

    Anyway I took a break after Flatfoot 56 to grab a beer in the bar. It’s great having a bar at a venue that doesn’t require an additional $10 cover charge (lookin’ at you Saltair). The problem is that they run people out as soon as the last song of the last band is played. In the Venue has a big problem with this due to their double booking. Shows are early and you can only get drinks during the performance, with no time to rub elbows afterward. Keep it mind if your watching a pub band and want something to drink along with it while you’re at In the Venue/Club Sound.

    Next up was Time Again, another great band I recently discovered while they were touring with another band. I had Time Again’s last CD which was good but not one of my favorites. Since then I notice their sound has drifted more towards my type of punk and their latest album is great. Their show was awesome and full of energy. I only regret it took me some time to get out on the floor because I hadn’t finished my beer yet.

    Finally Street Dogs were up. Every time I see them the crowds double in size. The first few times the crowd was so small it was an intimate showing but I couldn’t help feel that a band so great deserves more attention. Well the word is getting out, they’re packing Club Sound now and it’s only a matter of time before they’re forced to move to bigger venues while in Utah.

    I’m probably a bit biased in my opinion of the show, after all they are officially my favorite band. I used to be a huge Rancid fan, then became a Dropkick Murphys fan before moving to Street Dogs (I still love the other guys though). If this sounds at all like you and you weren’t at the show you need to start watching the local shows for when they come back. And in the meantime buy up all their CDs at their site, if you’re still not sure their music is on last.fm so go listen to a bit.

    Remember that this is Mike McColgan, the original singer for Dropkick Murphys, so the live shows are as great as the CDs but multiplied 100 times for how energized and involving they are. And this show was no different. Mike knows how to involve the crowd and make everybody feel a part of the show. Meanwhile he’s got so much energy himself he’s constantly roaming from one side of the stage to the other getting the crowd participating and he literally climbed up one of the speakers onto a narrow ledge lining the wall and sang from the rafters above the band.

    Well that’s enough gushing, but if you were there you'd know what a good show it was. It’s just so great when a band keeps coming to town and every time make it better and better. If you weren’t there you really missed out on one of the best shows to come to our remote neighborhood.

    New CDs:
    (And again major tanks to the bands for selling CDs at $10 and having older CDs for sale too)

    State of Grace

    Knuckles Up

    Jungle of the Midwest Sea

    Darker Days