Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sports RANT: Sometimes you have to vent...

I learned one thing while watching the coverage of Titans vs. Cardinals: Rachel Nichols is stunning. This is the National Football League preseason at its very best. Another thing: Major League Baseball hates the NFL. The media swarm, in depth coverage, of the NFL just blows a cloudy haze over some really exciting MLB playoff races. Like, there is a World Series going on, and no one is watching baseball because their searching through pages and pages of fantasy facts about Chad Johnson, who on second glance, got arrested.

Your number one fantasy pick down the drain, but nobody would bet on Johnson anymore. Terrell Owens? I was always a fan because he acted like a punk, which is bad ass and great for ratings –– like a press conference held in his driveway. Hilarious stuff, great for ratings. Plus, he set numerous records. Look at those stats, they still stand. Owens is second in total receiving yards all-time (15,934). He's still playing. No doubt trying to catch his pal, Mr. Rice. He may not get the mark, but he'll make some plays in Seattle –– a team that will be a threat in 2012. Heck, their jerseys make it seem they arose from a hyperbolic camber. Seattle has already beaten Payton Manning in a meaningless preseason game. It doesn't count.

The TV media needs to do a better job at highlighting the critical moments of the MLB down the stretch. There are two more wildcard spots. Wood bats are going to be splitting everywhere. Fireworks. No one will care that much.

What makes the NFL more appealing than playoff baseball? For starters, the NFL is more enjoyable to follow. There's a lot of conversation, stats, and beer drinking. Wings. You can get beer and wings at the ballpark, but no one makes it because they're grilling in the backyard with the football game on. Fantasy football app in check right in the pocket. Grilling. Drinking. Tweeting. Football.

In the NFL, you either have a voice, or you don't.

Tampa Bay will win the World Series.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ty Segall Band: Slaughterhouse: In the Red, 2012

Ty Segall lets out his best Iggy Pop impression while screaming at the end of "Slaughterhouse." For 8 seconds, a blood curdling yelp. It must have been his last vocal take because I doubt he had a voice left. Really, we don't know how he does it. How does he do it? Ty Segall has many tricks and Slaughterhouse is another curve ball to add to the long list. It's Segall being the prolific player that we've come to respect. Dearly. Can't wait for his electronic album, but his sonics are already psychedelic enough. 

With guitar, bass, and drums. Lots of guitars, and he now has his live band in the studio. Slaughterhouse is his second of three releases in 2012 (Twins coming in the fall). He's pumping albums out like babies. Babies! He can do a baby voice. Then he does a cover of "Wah Diddy Wah" by Bo Diddley/ Captain Beefheart put in a loud blender until just saying fuck the mess at the end. He doesn't know what he's doing? What is he doing? Messing with our heads. Putting us in happy, active moods. Like, get out your chair and kick your neighbor moods. What? It's too loud? Sorry, can't turn it down. Go home. Close the blinds.

There is plenty of fuzz, dirt, and yelling over this record, but it's undeniably catchy. Segall is a sucker for hooks, and why not? The most beautiful moment on Slaughterhouse comes at the intro of "I Bought My Eyes." Sounds like Segall is standing in the sun, about to set, but still beaming, as he strums away a sweet melody. Sunglasses on, thousands watching. Soon they'll cheer, as the song becomes a free-wheeling jam. "Tell me what's inside your heart?" Segall asks on the next track. Probably a guitar. He's actually singing very well. Don't let all the yelling underestimate what lies deeper. Segall's got an innersole of  ideas.   

Segall and friends just let the feedback go on an exhausting 10-minute passing closer that doesn't prove a thing. Actually, it's rather selfish. Could he mess with our heads? How does he?

So, "Fuzz War" is just...pretty cool if you like songs that aren't songs. It is a way to catch your breath and relax after the onslaught Ty Segall Band just laid down for 30 minutes. Slaughterhouse –– that's a good brand for music that just buries everything else and forces you to listen. We don't know what Segall is doing, but it's more fun that way. Segall is blowing shit up. Beautiful mutilation. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ty Segall and White Fence: Hair: Drag City

Guitars. A plethora of guitars. Millions –– well, maybe not millions, but a lot. I don’t know what Ty Segall and White Fence (Tim Presley) did to make Hair, but they brought the guitar solo back to rock n’ roll. Sounds like experimentation, a battle of wits. Two psych rock veterans getting weird together.

Did I mention guitars? The drawn out ending of “The Black Glove/Rag” has more squeals than that 1973 Chevy Malibu. All eight tracks have a tendency to careen in different directions. For example, opener “Time” progresses into something unrecognizable from the previous and very abruptly. Is it a different track? No, but it’ll make sense in a minute. Presley and Segall trade instruments and vocals throughout, and they probably switched many pieces of equipment, too. I’m not sure which instrument is on which musician at any given time, but Segall seems to dominate some of the guitar tricks due to the sheet metal fuzz ringing out from the din. This was a project made in stratum.

“Crybaby” is something that could have had a nice spot on Segall’s Melted but works well here. He actually cries at the beginning and yells toward the end behind more of his ridiculous guitar playing. Hair is a lot of fun –– 30 minutes to be exact. It doesn’t go by that quickly because an album that’s engaging the whole way through is a record you’ll keep coming back to.

Hair sounded the alarm for the start of the summer. This further proves the fact of Segall’s prolific talent. The kid can play with anyone and Presley has found a new friend. Did I talk about the guitars?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Disappears at Valentine's Music Hall

As far as name drops go in the rock n’ roll community, Steve Shelley is a pretty big one. Any mention of the Sonic Youth drummer and people start foaming at the mouth. However, Shelley wasn’t with his main musical squeeze –– he was drumming for Disappears, a balls out, guitar amps pushed to 13, mind-blowing garage rock quartet.
The Chicago based band was a pleasant surprise for whoever attended Valentine’s on this evening. Yes, I had heard a few tracks and read the reviews on Pitchfork, but hadn’t really prepared myself. I’m glad I didn’t plan for this because it knocked me 10 times sideways and completely altered any previous perception I had about garage rock bands of the current year 2012. My goodness what a display we had here.
First of all, these are grown middle-aged men that have made their ways around music. We all know what Shelley has done with Sonic Youth (let’s not talk about it) and maybe you’ve heard of Brian Case (ex-90 Day Men and Ponys)? The other two dudes are Jonathan Van Herik (guitar) and Damon Carruesco (bass), who seemed to have dropped out of the sky as Shelley’s and Case’s personal raconteurs of rock. Second, Shelley is an amazing drummer. We know this. We love this. He fills Disappears with an illustrious back beat, and, at times got extremely raucous, propelling the other three musicians into fiery bouts of distorted goodness.
I consider Disappears as a form of punk music, which is a fairly wide genre at this point in time. I’m talking about an attitude. Before Disappears took the stage, my friend told me that the band sounded like Daydream Nation era Sonic Youth, but more “structured.” Shelley was there, so this made sense. Four names come to mind –– Wooden Shjips, Velvet Underground, Sonic Youth and Spacemen 3. The later is a clear influence of Disappears throbbing bass, suggestive guitar, and echoing vocals. I don’t know how long the set was because my sense of time was warped by the repetition of the music. It couldn’t have been all that long, but I wish it never ended.
Repetition can be a boring aspect in music, but it can be lovely when it reaches hypnotic levels. Disappears made my body sway and twitch in interesting ways. Also, my head was about to explode when Shelley kicked his bandmates into gear, as the guitars immediately throttled out of control.
Disappears was a lot to take in at once, especially the pure noise coming out of those loud guitars. Van Herik, stage right, had some nice swoop hair going while he leaned into his yellow Dunlap, putting pretty steal lines over Case’s blistering racket. Case had echo going on his vocals to give the environment another bit of psychedelic haze.
If you can’t see Sonic Youth, then Disappears isn’t a bad alternative. However, the band is only one-fourth Sonic Youth.

"Carpet Rash"

I can't think of a more fun seven minutes than "Carpet Rash" by Total Control. The song bounces back and forth between two parts just rolling along. I had heard of this band through Matt Korvette of Pissed Jeans on his blog, which actually had a quality interview of the band from Australia. When I think of new retro-punk stuff, kind of post-hardcore, I wouldn't look to that continent first. I'm not that worldly, but currently working on it. I've stayed on North America this entire time, so my musical taste is allowed to fly thanks to the internet. Music people should be very proud of the internet. How about Total Contol?

Henge Beat is a neat album. Tracks are very different from one another, but still maintain Total Control's sound throughout.