Monday, November 24, 2008

Comet, 1996–2008

A great dog. A good, long life.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Comet check

As autumn falls into winter (for us Northern Hemispheriacs, at least), let us all pause to peek into the life of this blahg's namesake, smiling and eating well in her extra-golden years.

Oh hi!

Some activity going on around here, and such

Who do you think has been holding the Earth in place all these years? You're welcome.

Comet is so very here right now!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mike "deejays" on Tuesday in the East Village

It's in quotes because it'll be CDs, but hey. Stop in if you're around the naybourhood
Tues Nov 18
The Boxcar
168 Ave B btw 10/11 Sts

Happy hour two-for-one till 10pm; the Boxcar has a sharply curated
selection of beers and boozes, I do most of my public drinking there. I'll
get started around 8 (though happy hour begins at 6, in case you want to
get good and tight)...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Return to Los Llamarada + Hank IV Mountain

We can assume it's at least partly down to a better p.a., but Los Llamarada and Hank "Eye-Vee" IV were both noticeably sharper, meaner and just plain louder at Cake Shop last night. (Local promoter Tom "Dot Dash" Hyland's band, Imaginary Icons, whipped together a handful of punk and garage styles in between the out-of-townees.) Hank IV's brick-to-the-head wallop came through much more, um, impactfully, as did Bob McDonald's wild-eyed "You're coming home with me right now young man" routine. The setting and sound benefitted Los Llamarada even more: Fucked as their reflection of rock music is, these four are no mere amateurish hyperactives—they are on point and tight as jeans (not their own, they all seemed quite comfortable). When vocaler Sagan and syntherist Estrella traded places toward the end of their set, things got even more intense, like the Velvets falling through a hole in the flag (can't say whose though). Also: better photographic evidence.

I can see Hank IV at Cake Shop! Raise your hands and take some pictures!

Sweaty and crazed: The IV's have it

Los Llamarada: Sagan gets air

Estrella rips it up

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Los Llamarada + Hank IV + Daniel DiMaggio/Home Blitz + Blues Control: Nov 12 2008; The Charleston

The likably ramshackle Charleston, where they almost insist you accept free pizza with your drink order, is located smack in the middle of the could-stand-a-bit-more-ramshackle Bedford strip in Wmsbrg. Which isn't why I arrived with conflicted feelings. I'd planned to miss the first band, Queens/locals Blues Control, because let's face it—four bands in one night? What am I, half my age? Conflicted feelings blossomed into profane ambivalence when my arrival, an hour after Blues Control was supposed to start, turned out in fact to be 40 minutes before they played. That old storyline…but. One hand: How am I going to last all night? The other: I get to see Blues Control, who have a bad habit of going first at these shows (due to the fact that guitarist Russ Waterhouse has a good habit of putting on most of these shows), and thus get missed more often than they should. I'll be fixing that, cause the duo has colonized some unmapped, heavily tweaked corner of the outerverse, chooglin' from aimless (the good kind) murk to alien blues exotica, Waterhouse digging deep while Lea Cho emits chiming keyboard sprays, lighting new planetary systems we hadn't spotted before. The music sounds far more reasonable than I've described it.

Next was Daniel DiMaggio, who usually appears (live and on record) under the name Home Blitz. He flew solo on borrowed electric. Totally killer. DiMaggio shot out a tight, nervy set that may have owed to the Chris Knox school formally (he even false-started a couple of songs) but sounded more like the Damned—or for that matter, Gaunt, which makes sense because in most parallel worlds, DiMaggio'd be from Columbus—stripped of the rhythm section. I found the Home Blitz CD at Other Music, maybe you will too.

Daniel DiMaggio; shoulda used flash, held hand still. Shoulda, coulda, woulda; didna.

By this point the night was just happening. (As if I had anything to get up for in the morning anyway.) Between bands downstairs, Brian Turner and Dave Martin DJ'ed while the trendyscenti clotted the tables to the front, away from the rock. Brian recommended to me a new comp, Downer Rock Genocide, which just happens to be my favorite kind of genocide. (It's also not really new, but such distinctions mean hardly anything. Everything now just kind of is, now.)

WFMU's Brian Turner, on the 0s and 1s. Also pictured: King Kong's good record, right.

Then came Hank IV (no relation) from SF (and a Crime comparison here, spiritually speaking at least, is no insult to anybody). They proceeded to destroy with their raucous yet focused trash-rock, brutal and funny. Being short meant I couldn't see frontman Bob McDonald's renowned stage moves (also not helping: no stage).

Hank IV is back there, swear.

Things McDonald said between songs: "This next song's about dirty ponchos, it's called 'Dirty Poncho.' [to bandmate] What? Oh. Okay then, this next song is about quitting, it's called 'I'm Quitting.' " And: "People ask about our name. Yeah—we wanted to cut the Williams family off at the knees. If Hank 3's son wants to make music, well the name's already taken." Hank IV's new Refuge in Genre is out on Siltbreeze (no surprise there); buy vinyl, win free download. The record's catalog number is SB117 but the Silt discography only goes up to SB102, so you know this is some future shit.

Straight outta Monterrey, Mexico, Los Llamarada have been offering beautiful music to difficult people for a few years now. Somehow missed them at FMU's SXSW show this past spring (I was there, but also not there), and have had to endure a massed-choir of praise for them since. All of which appears to be deserved: what brilliantly damaged and passionate rock music! Real howling desperation and disregard (sample song titles: "I've Got Your Face," "A Chance to Become Transparent"). Musically and otherwise, Los L are hard to pin down: guitarist Johnny Noise wore sweatpants; synthist-singerist Estrella countered with skirt and argyle sweater.

Los Llamarada: don't know what to wear, also don't care.

The llama-riders (no I don't speak Spanish, why?) also have a witheringly fucked new slab, Take the Sky, on S-S (a trademark of kwality, just like Siltbreeze), which ups every ante featured on their previous, The Exploding Now. The good news for NY'ers is that Los L and Hank IV play again this Friday at Cake Shop. I'm going back for seconds.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Radio radio

I'll be on WNYC's Soundcheck program tomorrow (er, today that is), 2pm Eastern on Friday, talking about—well…pop music and non-pop music, I guess! Easy to listen through the link above.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Wolcott's high (yet even-keeled) hopes

No one can be so successfully of two different possible fully contextualized minds on Election Day than James Wolcott.

Election-day shocker: Palin drops McCain from ticket

Really, would that even be the most ridiculous thing we've heard in this three-decade-long election?

I just watched Joe the Unlicensed Plumber get grilled by an empty suit on CNN who could otherwise only talk about how great Twitter is; feels like I had 30 or so IQ points sucked out of me (like by, say, a plunger). After being backed into a corner (presumably built by one Wally the Woodworker) on his retarded understanding of taxes, Joe the Unlicensed, back-tax-owing, you'll-have-to-talk-to-my-publicist-I'm-just-a-regular-guy Plumber trumped CNN, the rest of the media and thinking people everywhere by basically sticking out his tongue and saying, "Because, that's why. Nyahhh!"
CNN suit: [paraphrased] "Joe, the taxes pay for roads, bridges, police and firefighters, infrastructure, all those things, and if you lower the taxes on people making more than $250,000, and raise them on the people who make less, there won't be enough money to pay for all of that. How do you explain your stance?"

Joe: [less paraphrased] "Look…it's—look up principles. That's why. Go and look up principles and I—you won't understand it, but look it up. That's it."

Well, if Sarah Palin's ready to be VP, I guess Joe's ready to be Secretary of the Treasury, or something.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

This just in: Phils win the World Series

So, your correspondents* went to the World Series last weekend…and then again last week.

After a good long soaking complemented by machete winds, Saturday's game 3 got ready to start; killer seats down the first-base line, which is nice, cause your correspondents were to be there till well into Sunday.

Les broheims: the fixer and the doctor (in training).

Severin gets most-traveled-correspondent award; seen here dealing with the pre-game rain, and such. Note: actual bloody field that World Series soon to be played on, background.

Your correspondents had some time to kill Sunday, so we went to the Eagles-Falcons game, with (again) great seats, surrounded by the Philadelphia area's most attractive and well-read sports fans. Guess what about pro football? It's even more boring in person than it is on TV. Despite the threatening-looking formation above, yr. corresps. can tell you this next play was probably another run up the middle for a gain of about 2. They pretty much all are. Go Eagles.

Transportation from the thrillride Eagles game to the Bank is tricky, but Jeff seems to have it sorted.

For game 4, later to be known as "the one without the rain," yr. corresps. had pretty good seats. In addition to the pretty good seats themselves, we had a heated room, a TV, free drinks and food (pictured: salad, foreground left); we could hear everything the fans yelled at Bud Selig.

J.C. Romero getting it done in game 4.

Jeff in his Mike Schmidt jersey, in front of a painting of Mike Schmidt, which hangs in a concourse with carpeting, heat (really, it was damn cold), and memorabilia from the Phils' countless past World Series appearances.

Yr. corresps. went back for game 5 part II. As if there were another option.

That white speck toward the left is (cue horns) Brad Lidge coming in to finish off the World Series. A massively dramatic moment, in miniature.

Brad Lidge subsequently finishing off the World Series. I know the postseason isn't factored in, but explain again to yr. corresps. why he isn't going to win Cy Young?

Your correspondents have no idea why this one's blurry.

Apparently Fox's cameras are better than yr. corresps'. But does their suite have a TV like this? It does? Oh.

Joy in Mudville.

Victorino on the big board, which says it all: Phillies Coca-Cola CHAMPS Toyota etc.

Hey, this guy's sign is right!

Victory lap.

Next to 30th Street Station.

*: Here's to DFW.