Wednesday, June 08, 2005 at 14:49:40 (EDT)

Hot Hot Heat

Lots of stuff going on this hot, hot day. Thanks to Citizen Keith for showing me how to set up an RSS feed workaround for this site. If you are the type for such things, you can get my feed here. Whether or not this inspires me to get a real blog script going for this place remains to be seen.

The White Stripes have this new album called "Get Behind me Satan," named after a Bible passage from, among other scriptures, Matthew 16:23. As usual, the critics are fawning/puzzling over Jack White, and reserving their bile for Meg White. Look people, she's no John Bonham, we know that. Why does she always get singled out for scorn? It's shooting fish in a barrel, no challenge. But what nobody is mentioning is how Motico prominently uses the phrase "Satan, get thee behind me" in its song, "Stop." We came up with that song late last year, long before anybody heard of this new White Stripes outing. The line is taken from an episode of The Little Rascals in which Stymie (my favorite LR of all time) says of a dangerous predicament, "Satan, get Thee behind me ... and don't push!" But the sucky thing is, we're gonna have to mention it every time we play it so people don't think we're posers. This is also problematic as it may not be good for us to bring a more popular band's name up during our performances, since the audience may in fact like them better than us. This may cause them to want to go home and listen to the White Stripes instead of sticking around for our gigs.

I cut almost all my hair off, both because it's so hot, and because, well, my scalp has been shall we say increasingly unresponsive. My dad is a cue ball, so it shouldn't be that surprising, though I have made it almost 10 years past the age he was at when his last follicle gave up the ghost. Now my head looks ridiculously round, and all my clothes look funny on me. I need some suspenders! On the upside, I do look a little more like Stymie now.

Finally, to the weather gods: How can you do this to my little cat?!

 

 

 

 

 

Addendum: It also sucks that Stymie became a junkie later in life but he did turn it around near the end to become a cast member on early episodes of Sanford & Son. Find out what happened to all the Little Rascals after they grew up. Quite a few became Big Scoundrels.



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Wednesday, June 08, 2005 at 12:21:51 (EDT)

Treat us just like children
Dude, what the fuck is up with sound guys? Okay, that's a generalization, we meet a lot of really great sound guys at different clubs in the city. But then again, nearly every "cool" sound guy has been a young fella, fresh on the scene and everything to prove. Those guys are nice. Oh, and the guy who did sound for us at Pianos, Zack had worked with him in the past. That guy was good. But a lot of the other ones out there....

Case in point: last night we go to Trash to see No Things, the better half of the original Liars who added a guitarist/singer. Anyway, the sound guy had been getting on our nerves already by playing music in between the bands at a volume that made it difficult to hear the sound of your own screaming-at-the-top-of-your-lungs. Obviously I don't mind loud rock music, but when it's not the real band, why would anybody want the music to be that loud? Anyway, that's just a pet peeve of mine. No Things start to set up, they're checking their equipment and whatnot, and the sound guy tells the bassist to turn his rig down. He demures, "This is how loud it has to be." He wasn't fucking with the guy, he just knew how loud his bass needed to be for everybody in the band to hear it. But I think the sound guy took this the wrong way. Then the band actually goes out into the other (quieter) part of the bar with the sound guy to talk things over. When they come back, all seems well and they start into what should have been a really good set.

But then things go awry. Who knows exactly what happened, but I guess as retaliation for not having control over the bass volume, the sound guy pumps the vocals up wayyyyy too loud, so any time there isn't singing, the mics feedback mercilessly. There is obviously something else going on sound-wise, although I can't tell much since my ears have already been blown out by the interval music. They make it through 1 and a half songs before the guitarist gets so fed up with what is conspiring he knocks the mic stand down. The band tries to continue the song as an instrumental but the feedback just gets worse. He snatches up the mic and starts yelling at the sound guy, something like "Look, we tried to talk this all out, but you had to fuck with us ..." He heads for the sound booth, still shouting into the mic. He's mad, but he also sounds really hurt, like it was a surprise that a sound guy would turn out to be an asshole.

A moment later, the sound guy gets on the PA and says, "That's it, you're done!" and the show is effectively over. Shouts of "fuck the sound guy!" have no effect and the band starts packing up. The sound guy is immediately on stage, putting away the mics and cables, as though the guys in the band might steal something. I should point out this band isn't comprised of snotty punk teenagers or anything, they're all pushing 30 if not more.

You never know when it's going to happen, but when a band clashes with the sound guy it's not exactly surprising. There's often this weird animosity between them, which seems kinda weird since we're all in this music thing together. A lot of people think of sound guys as rock critics; failed musicians who have no other entry into the 'scene.' So they get to be know-it-alls because they're so insecure of losing their position of authority. They think bands owe them a living, and unfortunately in a town like this, they can get away with it. No Things will probably never play Trash again, but the dickweed sound guy will probably be there tonight. There will always be more bands to take their place, and he knows that. Maybe that's why bands like Lightning Bolt and USAISAMONSTER have incorporated a full PA into their mobile band rigs; they can play anywhere and nobody can mess with their sound, unless they pull the plug entirely.

Not all sound guys are assholes, the guy who did my band's show at Trash was great, and there have been many others (the guy from Ace of Clubs, Dave from Lit). And I still like Trash, but Tuesdays will always be suspect from now on.

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Tuesday, June 07, 2005 at 15:51:04 (EDT)

Who gives a damn about Godzilla

"Remember that time you made me laugh and people came out of my nose?"

That's the winner of the latest New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest. Instead of once a year, they do this every week now. The results have been okay, but because the contest is open to anyone, the jokes are kind of watered down. I guess a lot of the cartoon in The New Yorker are a bit vague and nonsensical, but I was hoping for something better for this one ... like maybe the one I submitted:



"Best of all, this is covered under Eminent Domain."

Alas, political commentary again misses a foothold in the press.



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Tuesday, June 07, 2005 at 12:51:58 (EDT)

Born to live on sound
Strange is the world in which we live, that it can produce a coincidental band-naming moment the likes of "Poobah." I've written about this before, so this may be unnecessary to my staunch readers, but back in my undergrad days at Ohio University, a local band came up with the moniker "Poobah." I kind of knew the guys in the band, and that name sure didn't make any sense to me. They were a pretty serious, Fugzi-inspired rock outfit, and that name seemed a little too goofy for them. But whatever, trying to tell a band they should change their name is a harder conversation than explaining to your roommate that you've been using his barber scissors to trim your nose hair (oops). Poobah went on for a while ... until it was discovered that there was another Poobah in existence. Huh, what are the odds?! Not to be confused with the rapper Grand Puba (an only slightly more fitting use of the word), the other Poobah had been around since the early 70's, and in a more unfortunate coincidence, lived a half-hour away in Marietta, Ohio. Why, oh why would there be two bands named Poobah, and what bizarre cosmic joke is it that they both came from roughly the same area? The longer-lived Poobah was a long-endured prog-rock band who, though they hadn't done much in recent years, were still officially in existence. So punk-rock Poobah changed its name to Alkaloid (which had been the name of their debut album), and the other Poobah was never heard from again. Until now!

Poobah (the Marietta variety) is back with anew album so noteworthy that Chuck Eddy profiles them in Voice column. I have issues with this guy, as he seems to love the too-many-chefs blather of Gang Gang Dance to excess. Also his summation that Poobah's first record "may or may not be a holy grail for today's young stoner-folk and freak-rock generation, but it should be" is a bit dubious. But one thing about this is nice: I finally get to hear the band. At some point in 1993, there was a feeling that the elder Poobah would get in gear and come to Athens for a big show, to seal the public's mind on the whole name issue. But they never showed (at least I never heard about it). So now we get to hear them in their full glory. And whoooeeee, it's a laff riot! I had to check the link for accuracy when I listened to the sample of "Jump Thru the Golden Ring," as I thought it might be a song by The Darkness, or more correctly, something by Pink Steel. Actually, Pink Steel might do well to take a few tips from this sword'n'sorcery-fuelled bar-glam. Then again, Pink Steel is a gay heavy-metal parody act, perhaps what is needed now is a prog-rock parody act. They could dress up in long wigs and ugly satin outfits, and write songs with even more movements and pretentious nonsense than Yes. And they shall be called ... "No."

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Monday, June 06, 2005 at 13:28:59 (EDT)

Comedy Tonight

Kevin2 entertains the crowd while Buzz miraculously fixes his broken snare drum

Ace of Clubs is actually a pretty cool spot for bands to play. Our show was tons of fun despite Buzz and Zack being deathly ill. The show shoulda been cheaper (it was $7) but maybe they'll realize how knocking a couple of bucks off the price increases the club's profile. All the bands were really good as well, I hope we get to play with them in the future.

Summer hit NYC with a fury, it's way too hot too fast to adjust. I need more fans! We had a surprise birthday party for Zack on Saturday. We weren't sure he didn't know about it, but we managed to fool him well enough. Coincidentally, that was the first really warm night, making it easy to lounge around his back yard all night, until he shooed us out the door. Now it's time to really start hitting the outdoor bar scene! But my main concern now is that most bar backyards close kind of early. Are there any places that stay open all night? I suppose the Delancey's roof deck/plant store stays open til 4, but spending that much time there would surely bankrupt a thirsty reveler. I'll have to track down some other likely spots, although I suspect that will mean fringe locations like Lillie's in Red Hook. Or I could just drink alone in my yard; we never close.

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