by Kevin K.
Friday March, 17 2006
What to Do:
Archive for March, 2006
by Kevin K.
by Kevin K.
The much-ballyhooed graphic-novel-turned-film V for Vendetta isn’t the only provocative, politically-charged entertainment opening tonight in NYC. You can also add the Pumpkin Pie Show’s “Junta High” to the list:
Celebrating its tenth year, the Pumpkin Pie Show is a rigorous storytelling session amplified by its own live soundtrack. In junta high, Clay McLeod Chapman, a New New Stuff 2005 favorite, crafts a Sweet Valley-styled high school for terrorists where cheerleaders double as suicide bombers and guidance counselors are taken hostage by the A/V club. Holy causes worth dying for galvanize school spirits, blood is shed on the football field every Friday night and the Hungry March Band fervently plays on.
Original music written and performed live by the Hungry March Band.
Think of it as Elephant X 10 plus tubas.
Performance Space 122
150 First Ave., NYC, 212-477-5288
March 16 – 26
Wednesday-Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
$20 ($10 Members)
RELATED: A look back at Vanity Fair Contributing Editor James Wolcott’s review of V for Vendetta. The film opens tonight at 10PM at several NYC theaters followed by the muffled sounds of wingnuts’ heads exploding throughout the country.
by Kevin K.
The music blog rbally has been on fire since launching in December and the first person to turn a hose on it is a dead man. Jennings recently posted two great live recordings that you can snag for free: Parliament/Funkadelic from 1978 and Blur from 1997.
I think I’m going to name my new hard drive “rbally.”
MORE BOOT FOR YOUR BUCK: Solo Neil Young from ’71 at An Aquarium Drunkard
by Kevin K.
Quasi’s new dense, rock-heavy album When The Going Gets Dark (mixed by the gold-fingered Dave Fridmann) is coming out a week from today (3/21) and their label Touch & Go is streaming the whole album here. T&G has also posted an MP3 of the track “The Rhino” and music blog I Guess I’m Floating has two more for you to enjoy. You can check Quasi out live at two NYC venues in April: Knitting Factory on 4/10 and Northsix on 4/11.
by Kevin K.
In one of the weirder web phenomenons we’ve stumbled upon in a while, a painting called “Bear Surprise” by NYC’s renowned musician/actor/artist John Lurie has picked up a rabid cult following in Russia. The high-traffic blog Preved! features a vast array of Photoshopped versions of the painting and the image of the bear has even made its way onto everything from posters to t-shirts (here, here and here). If anyone out there speaks (or is) Russian and can give us more insight into how in the hell this all started, please leave us an explanation in comments.
(More art by Lurie can be found here.)
by Kevin K.
Locals O’death will be playing a cool little benefit house party for Katrina victims tomorrow night (3/10) in Bushwick (along w/ the Good Good, Hi-Red Center, and Schmendricks). The tracks from their new CD Head Home on their Myspace site sound dang fine (I’ll be reviewing the release later in the month) and they’re already getting some great buzz in the music blog world.
From An Aquarium Drunkard:
The O’death sound: Imagine a slightly disturbing blend of old-world Appalachian folk music crossed with Tom Waits fronting a modern-rock/folk band. Insanity works for the band, and it’s clearly captured on the album. It’s the soundtrack to your worst nightmare…or perhaps a bad experience with hallucinogens, but in a good way somehow.
Some “live” photos of O’Death (and a very ecstatic endorsement) can be found at Sucka Pants.
FUN FACT: I was once at a bluegrass festival where the legendary Ralph Stanley sang “O Death” and someone in the audience had a heart attack during the song and later died. That evening, during his second appearance of the day, Ralph sang the song again. I guess he wanted to see if he was God or something. Nobody died the second time.
In tandem with this week’s art-fair activities, After Hours organizes Williamsburg galleries to keep their doors open late Saturday evening for the many locals and visitors who dedicate this weekend to art. Among the excellent alternative viewing opportunities are Outrageous Look, which features the beautiful and obsessive brushstroke paintings of Michel Carluccio, Hogar Collections‘ show of the drawings of Alfonso Cant√∫, whose delicate depictions of appliances and other objects reveal the artist’s interest in functionalism, and Unmodern Obsessions, a group show curated by artists at SouthFirst Gallery, demonstrating the energy and diversity of young artists today.
Ron Jeremy recently debated Craig Gross, one of the founders of the Christian porn ministry, XXXChurch.com, in front of a raucous audience at Northeastern University in Boston.
Jeremy billed the spirited debate last Thursday before 1,100-plus students as ‚”the porn star meets the bible thumper.” The Metro Studios contract star said both he and Gross wanted the debate to happen.
‚”The nice thing about it is I checked their website, and he did say I was nice guy. He likes to say he won and I like to say I won,” Jeremy told AVN.com Monday. ‚”He says nice things there and there are pictures of me and him posing with the police and girls.”
While Jeremy was cheered throughout and received a standing ovations, Gross was booed upon his introduction.
‚”It was a great meeting and it was a brutal debate,” Jeremy continued. ‚”We were friends off the stage, and on the stage we were on it, tearing each other apart. But afterward we went and had coffee and talked for two hours. I think he’s a nice guy, and I don’t even mind what he does. I’m glad he’s there. I don’t have a problem with it.”
To view Gross’ account of the debate, click here.
Here’s an article about the event in Northeastern News.
by Monte Holman
Centro-matic is Will Johnson, Scott Danbom, Mark Hedman and Matt Pence.
Thankfully, longevity is not usually associated with rock bands. Most these days provide a flash-in-the-pan something that’s pretty innovative, and then they’re on their way to melting into other formations and lineups in other bands showcasing the new twist on the old rehash. But Centro-matic hit the ground running a decade ago, and they’ve managed to remain relevant ever since.
Which is astonishing considering how much music these guys make together. Sometime between 1995 and 1997, front man Will Johnson became infected with the Bob Pollard bug. Centro-matic is not only Centro-matic (two cassettes, seven EP/7″/singles and eight full-lengths among other recordings in the last ten years), but they’re also South San Gabriel when feeling sparse (two full-lengths) and Johnson’s solo recordings when feeling sparser (two full-lengths and one 7″). The band also tours continually under one moniker or another. And to audiences each show seems like the first thanks to the give-a-shitness the band injects into each outing. From Denton to Denmark, their barroom sing-alongs encourage crowds, new and old, to get real drunk and join in the howling.
Ft. Recovery (Misra), the band’s latest effort, is further proof that the Centro-matic knows how to carry the energy of the stage-or dingy pub corner-to a recording. Overall more subdued than the band’s last record (2003′s Love You Just the Same), Ft. Recovery has the same tenor as previous Centro-matic albums, featuring cheap fuzz from busted amps, distorted bass, doo-wops, memorable hooks, friendship. But in Ft. Recovery, the quiet tunes are lovelier, harnessing the characteristic feedback and harmonies into ghostly ambience (“Covered Up in Mines” and “I See Through You”). The raucous songs are more determined, slower in tempo but more confident in step and direction. The band’s as loud as before but the instrumentation is more epic (“Monument Sails”).
This is not to say Ft. Recovery doesn’t retain the alcohol-induced anthems we expect from Centro-matic. “For New Starts” begs you to throw back your can of Lone Star, lock arms with your friends and join in the drawled-out shouting: “carefully braced and disgraced in this battle trash and waste – that’s no condition for a new start.” Swaggering guitars and a reckless tambourine carry us, wasted, from the bar. The pop songs pop-”Calling Thermatico,” “Triggers and Trash Heaps” and “The Fugitives Have Won” are sturdy staples to a discography sprinkled with catchy refrains. “Take the Maps and Run” is a haunting stroll through a ghost town, cymbal-less and acoustic. The most unforgettable chorus on the record is found on “Patience For the Ride,” a driving song for North Texas highways.
This album also offers some touching songs that surpass any Johnson has written. “In Such Crooked Times” is a beautiful old country standard; its steadiness is an imagistic reflection on companionship and loyalty. Similarly, “Nothin’ I Ever Seen” sweetly ponders eternity and ends with Johnson’s bare vocals wavering falsetto. Isolation is always at hand in Johnson’s lyrics, but he’s held close by Scott Danbom’s slings of keys, violins and backup vocals, Mark Hedman’s dynamic bass lines and Matt Pence’s unremitting mix of toms and snares. Some would be tempted to say that Johnson’s penchant for using archaic language is a distraction, too precious. But the strength of the band is its ability to pull Johnson back to the listener with the accessibility of the music. Johnson’s vulnerability is sincere in these slower songs, and we believe him.
Centro-matic’s continued pertinence doesn’t spring from trying to be the first to do the next big thing. It’s simply that they write good songs and do it well. The likeability lies in the simple structures, the verse/chorus layouts, the few tricky chords. Centro-matic is folksy Americana within everyone’s reach-tender, desperate, hopeful.
Fittingly, “Take a Rake” is the rowdy closing track, kicking the chairs out from under everyone during last call. As the lights in the bar start to come on, the band trails off, downs a shot of whiskey, then launches into a shrill, Hendrix-esque fuck-you to the owner for trying to close the place down before two. They’re not done yet.
Ft. Recovery can be streamed Misra’s website. It comes out Tuesday, March 7, and Centro-matic is playing at the Mercury in NYC on April 2. Go to this show.