WNnG – Musings from the desk of chaz.

Upcoming Shows!!
October 15, 2008, 1:43 pm
Filed under: Shows

Thursday, October 16th.
@ BCHQ. 9pm. 5 bucks.

Le Weekend
Cantwell Gomez & Jordan
Impossible Arms

(Ross wins with his description over at Triangle Rock.)

Monday, October 20th.
@ Local 506.

Pierced Arrows
Dirty Little Heaters

Pierced Arrows is Dead Moon. Essentially. Different drummer though. Fred Cole has been plugging away at the music game since 1960 in an early psychedelic garage band. Then he never grew up. I’d be comfortable saying he’s the Lemmy of the garage world. Today Fred Cole and his wife, Toody, make some of the best current garage rawk. They have remained DIY since nearly day one, even cutting their own vinyl on their own lathe and then releasing that vinyl on their own label. A couple years back Sub Pop put out a phenomenal anthology that is completely worth picking up. Last time I saw them, they lit a candle shoved into a whiskey bottle and played until it burned all the way out. Pretty rad. The Dirty Little Heaters are one of North Carolina’s great garage hopes. Reese has some of the finest howling, yowling pipes on the east coast. We’re talking the kind that send shivers up yer spine. Their new 7″ should be out soon on Churchkey Records!!

Saturday, October 25th.
@ BCHQ. 9pm. 5 bucks.

Grappling Hook
Actual Persons (Living or Dead)

HALLOWEEN SHOW!!! HOOKWRECKER ’08!! Were you there last year?? If so, you know what to expect, if not, don’t make the mistake again!! We all know the Torch Marauder. And we all know when so inclined, Torch can pack the customes. Epic, sprawling prog metal from the pipe-man himself with dual-neck guitar visions and cloaks spun of dark, horror-keys. Don’t forget the power madness brought from the werewolf behind the kit too! Shipwrecker lay out crooked shanties from the dark, empty seas crooned out in a J. Cash manner. They ride like tales of loneliness and dashed, broken dreams, but I have a feeling that’s not really the subject matter. What do you think? Actual Persons!! I’m psyched for this!! New project from the Cantwells and Joyce. Oh my, oh my. This’ll be my first time seeing them, so I don’t have much to say on them, but I bet it’s gonna be awesome. From their site – “Mezzo piano punk rock for Durham and beyond.” I’m sold!!

Sunday, October 26th.
@ BCHQ. 8pm. 5 bucks.

Used Kids
Whatever Brains

Pre-Fest showdown! Used Kids are on their way down to Gainesville’s Fest VII. They are from New York. Oh, and not only that, but they also just happen to be a super group created, almost Big Bang style, when the Modern Machines, the Ergs and Cheeky all melted into one another. the UKs are Nate and Danny, the main songwriters for MoMacs, Mikey Erg, of the glorious Ergs and countless other amazing bands and Kate from Cheeky! Soooo, from that you should be able to kinda figure out their sound, right? Yeah. Awesome pub rock riddled punk pop. Whatever Brains are new to the Raleigh scene, but they’re old mainstays in their own rites. Members of Crossed Eyes, Grass Widows, etc. They play hyperfast jittery poppy garage. Kinda a dark cross between the Adverts and the Marked Men with a skewed view on Ronnie Spector’s wall-of-sound creation.

Monday, October 27th.
@ Reservoir. 9pm. 5 bucks.

Pretty Boy Thorson & the F’n A’s
Movers & Shakers
Cortez the Killer

Pretty Boy Thorson are Durham’s wayward brothers from Minneapolis. They’ll usually blaze through town in a haze of beer and racket once or twice a year. They’ve kicked up dirt at both the James Joyce and Siren’s. They hit Siren’s on Halloween night one year ago with the Dry Heathens. That was a show. They play a country punk blend close to what you’d get if you crossed Merle Haggard with the Dillinger 4. Reckless and awesome in a style not too far off from the Replacements. Cortez is on tour with them and they play a twangy, upbeat garage punk hybrid as well. Surprisingly catchy in a Replacements manner as well.

Movers & Shakers. These guys you really gotta move out to see. I highly recommened it. It’s going to be one of those shows that you’re just plain glad and grinnin’ that you came out on a Monday night to see. Don’t believe me? Take a second out of your day and listen to “Boom Splat” on their myspace page. I haven’t heard something this refreshing in a loooooong time. How do you describe that? Dark and ominous, heartbreaking western rock’n’roll? Sounds like it came out of some murky, damp spot beneath the floorboards of a flophouse in the old west. It’s got the feel of old Social D meets the Neighborhoods but extremely more classic and timeless sounding; even more layers of outlaw country.

Now, I know I’ve said this many times before, but this is it. This is for real. If you want to transport yourself back to that feel from the heyday of earth shattering shows and tours by the likes of the Replacements, Husker Du, Meat Puppets, the Neighborhoods, etc – this is the night to come out. It’s gonna be something amazing and I can guarantee you will be happy you came out.

Thursday, October 30th.
@ Local 506.

Jay Reatard
Cola Freaks
Grass Widow

You’ve heard me rave over Jay Reatard many times before and now’s your chance to go out and experience it. Last time he came through it was with Double Negative in Raleigh and he sped through a blistering, amphetamine soaked 20 minute set. I imagine this show will be a little longer and a bit more full, but man, if it’s anything like the last one, we’re in for something special. That was just a little over a year ago and he’s already more than doubled his solo recordings. Dark, hooky garage punk is what we’re gonna get. I’ll try and post some video from last year’s show later today. The Cola Freaks just came over from Denmark. Very similar to Reatard in that catchy, weirdo garage punk vein. They played a house in Raleigh a week or two ago and I’ll get that footage up this afternoon too. It’ll explain better than my words. It’s amazing and super high energy, so it’ll be fully worth the trek out to Chapel Hill. It’s a good idea to catch this show, as I suspect next time it comes through town it’ll be a Cradle-size show. Catch it while it’s in the smaller venue!

See ya out!!


National Record Store Day?
October 12, 2008, 4:15 pm
Filed under: Ramble

National Record Store Day just became a sham.

Now, the date itself and the idea are awesome and I stand behind them one hundred percent. The shop and I will celebrate the day always and it’s a great way to promote awareness for local shops and give back to those people that keep you happily in business. However, somewhere along the way something happened, there was a shift and it was corporatized and taken over by the major labels. Which is a shame considering how much people (small shop owners, small label owners, devout record buyers, etc.) got behind last year’s event.

Indie labels like our local heroes, Merge Records, pressed thousands of 7″s for the event and shipped ’em out on their own dime just in celebration of this day. Once the majors stepped in with their ridiculous amounts of ad dollars, a lot of the indie labels seemingly got pushed aside and bullied out by the major labels’ positioning. Posters were printed by the majors, so obviously, there was no indie label representation hanging in shops’ windows. Smaller shops like mine took notice of this and it bummed us out too. Indie, punk and garage labels are what sell in this shop, they’re the ones that help me pay my rent. They’re the ones to which I owe huge amounts of respect and gratitude.

The name lost its point of awareness for INDIE MUSIC and INDIE SHOPS and the supporters of this culture. There’s now some company in Raleigh, North Carolina that wants me to send them a check for participation in Record Store Day. This I cannot do and I imagine there are probably a bunch of other stores that cannot do it either. I’m not mad at “Record Store Day” itself or those that created and spearheaded it, I’m mad that like anything else that starts off good and underground, it got commandeered by a larger company that is now pushing out smaller retailers.

Is this really in the spirit of National Record Store Day? Is this really what it stands for? I can understand if I were asked to send a check for postage, that’s fine, but it’s not what is being asked. A “monetary commitment” is required.

I’m still going to celebrate Record Store Day and have a huge sale and offer gift certificate giveaways and hopefully partner up with local labels and bands, but this just got out of hand. It went to a level that it should not have gone to. The point was lost somewhere along the way and it has rumbled off down the wrong road.

I guess it’ll just become another thing that smaller shops like mine champion in their own way through their own avenues and in that, it’ll be done right. Smaller, indie and punk shops will band together and keep it following the road it should not have left in the first place.

I, for one, am not sending a check to some company I have never heard of to receive a bunch of major label junk no one at this shop cares about. If an indie label I love and respect has promotional stuff for the day, I will gladly send them postage. No one even wanted those LPs that the majors pressed and for them, those were just throw-away dollars. For labels like Merge, it was very real dollar bills and they got the short end of the stick in the deal.

If you’re a local label, local band or local distributor, let’s keep this a National celebration for the network of local, independent record shops and in that we’ll all be a part of something huge and beautiful.

Quickie: New Pavement Reissue!!
October 12, 2008, 3:08 pm
Filed under: New Music, Revisiting the Old

Hey everyone, just writing a quick update today.
Matador is releasing the next installment in Pavement reissues on November 18th. Brighten the Corners. They’re running a pre-sale on it too which is actually pretty badass. This is their way of combating early downloads of albums and it’s a pretty cool way of doing it. Instead of complaining about people downloading advance copies, they’re giving incentive to avoid it, but you still get to hear it more than a month early. Another reason why Matador is leading the charge for indie labels in this day and age.

And this incentive involves limited vinyl, so…I thought it was highly worth mentioning here. Go to your local record shop and pre-order it, it’s completely worth it. Most local indie shops should be offering it. Bull City Records certainly is, so swing by if you’re in the area and interested in it!

The incentive for heading to your local shop and pre-ordering it:

Oct. 10th: entire double disc version up for stream
Oct. 15th: bonus track #1 released.
Nov. 4th: bonus track #2 released.
Nov. 18th: street date. pick up your double CD and a live Brighten the Corners-era show on vinyl!!

The price for the pre-order version should run around 26 or 27 bucks or so and the regular version will be around 17 bucks.

That’s it for now!

Changing of the Guards
October 10, 2008, 7:44 pm
Filed under: New Music

Time to swap out the stuff that’s on the Recommended Wall. So, in celebration of that, I’ll post here the short quips that I wrote on the albums that went up there this past month. These are records, mostly newer, that have caught my ear. Some are (or were recently) new releases and some are things I’ve had in stock and I just forget to listen to the first time around. There might be a few older release curve balls too. Who knows. On to it….

No Age – Nouns CD (Sub Pop)

Lo-fi & grimy. Catchy & melodic. Sounds like they shouldn’t go together, but they do. And oh-so-well on this record. Easily one of my favorites of the year. No Age is as well versed in the Butthole Surfers as they are the Buzzcocks and that is a very beautiful thing. With hooks to make ya grin and noise to make ya nervous, these two kids will no doubt woo ya. They can exist in medium-sized venues just as well as they can in any stale, mildewy basement across the States. Ambitiously DIY. Like current indie darlings, Times New Viking and Jay Reatard, No Age disguises amazing pop songs under layers of flailing distortion and exhausted sweat. There’s a beauty in balance.

Notwist – The Devil, You + Me CD (Domino)

A beautiful pairing of melodic indie rock with organic electronic undertones. Anyone remember the Books or Mice Parade? Notwist definitely rattles around in those areas of sounds and styles. Somewhat collagey and loose, yet meticulously structured. I’d probably also put them in the same arena as Animal Collective / Panda Bear. Their sense of melody and layering is amazing and they know how to draw the listener along with them the entire album without losing anyone along the way. Certain tracks are definitely standout and memorable, but as a whole it’s brilliant.

Manikins – Crocodiles LP (Full Breach Kicks)

New garage/powerpop outta Sweden!! Well, technically they have been around for a while and they’ve released a handful of 7″s and LPs already, but most have not been too readily available over here in the States. Which is an outrage. But, Full Breach Kicks has impeccable timing as this album was unleashed just as the public’s fling with powerpop and garage started kicking in full swing. The Manikins hash out a perfect blend of the Marked Men, Reigning Sound and Exploding Hearts with a common, reckless backbone running through each song. Make no doubt about it though, they might sound like all your favorite bands, but they are as unique as they come. Well, as far as good garage and powerpop goes…it’s all rehashing anyway, just how well you do it. And this comes highly recommended.

The Oh Sees – The Master’s Bedroom is Worth Spending a Night in CD (Tomlab)

Side project turned full-on project by Pink & Brown co-conspirator/axeman and Coachwhips’ mastermind, John Dwyer. Guitarist and song constructor extraordinaire. This started as a bedroom four track experiment, but has turned into this amazing full-bodied, psychedelic indie pop garage folk experience. One amazing spacefest. I think this might be somewhere around the fourth or fifth album under this moniker and he’s working with a full, contributing band on this outing. It’s a more full, multi-dimensional sound than his first handful of releases. Which were amazing, but this hits it to the next level. It looks as if Mr. Dwyer has found the sound he’s been looking for. Again, highly recommended.

Oneida – Preteen Weaponry CD (Jagjaguwar)

Jagjaguwar needs to be your favorite indie label. They’ve brought us Black Mountain, Bon Iver, Women, Okkervil River and a ridiculous amount of other amazing bands and albums. Those titles are just from this year alone! Oneida has always been a constant on this label and they’ve been a new release staple for me for a while now. Their releases are always highly anticipated here, ever since my old, scraggly roommate and fellow music store employee turned me onto them years ago. Oneida are Brooklynites swinging around heavy, neo-prog epics with an air of unpretentious Krautrock flair. Just three tracks on this record. That’s it. Oh yeah, and it’s also just the first installment of a multi-album concept! Geeky? Yes, maybe. Awesome? Completely. They are students of lofty stoner rock, as much as they are professors of arty post-punk. This album comes heavily influenced by the likes of Can/Neu and MC5/Blue Cheer. Get into it.

Clockcleaner – Babylon Rules CD (Load)

This has been out for a while now, but I’m gonna sneak it in anyway. I just got back around to listening to it again and I heard it in a way that I had missed the first time around. I shelved it before I even really gave it a chance. Just lumped it in with the “things that sound a little too derivative” pile. But that’s a bad mindset to have anyway. Little did I know, it’s actually an album that I’d end up loving! This here is sweet, sweet AmRep style rawk. It’s ominous, dark and menacing in a Scratch Acid and Melvins kind of way. They’ve left all their high ends behind on the studio floor and replaced ’em all with gut-turning lows. The production on it is brilliant and perfectly catches that lo-fi, late 80s/early 90s warm and scuzzy sound. The sound you hear when David Yow stares creepily into your eyes. It sends shivers up your spine. It’s a little out of the box for Load Records, so thanks so much to that label for bringing it out to us!

This Past Weekend (another)
October 7, 2008, 5:41 pm
Filed under: Shows

German blister-speed garage rawkers, Dean Dirg, kick through the Brewery. On a Monday night no less. Our buddy Hank over at Thrashatorium Presents wrangled these guys, Cloak/Dagger, Logic Problem and R.B.T. into the old haunt of hardcore years past. This was the scene for many a Corrosion of Conformity and friends show and there’s a rich history planted and stained right into their concrete floors. Bad Brains, Circle Jerks and Black Flag among many others have graced the stage of this ridiculously long running venue. It’s a little removed from its past at this point as far as booking goes, but recently there’s been a steady amount of good ol’ rock and roll swinging back through. Reviving it for those of us slighly older than the average crowd.

As it’s been my unfortunate trend lately, I missed R.B.T. and Logic Problem. It was either R.B.T.’s first show or very close to it. I heard murmurs of fast metal with a bit of thrash thrown in. I was really bummed to have missed Logic Problem as I always love to see those guys. Dark, fast and snarly punk rock. The frontman is definitely bringing the Stiv Bators (Dead Boys) vibe, but the music is much more heavily propelled in the 80s hardcore vein. Even though I missed their set, Daniel still let me leave with the new LP by his other band, Devour. White vinyl version! Complete with a fold-out newsprint poster! More on them later though.

We wandered into the club just as Cloak/Dagger from Richmond was taking the stage. These guys are serious veterans of the Richmond punk and hardcore scene, but they’ve fallen into some killer Hot Snakes worship with this band. They started with a 7″ on their local label Grave Mistake (run by Alex of Government Warning) and quickly caught the attention of Jade Tree Records after just a few shows. They were immediately signed on for a full length which didn’t take too long to sneak out to the rabid public. The LP version was a little delayed but eventually saw light back on their original label, Grave Mistake. The full length is an amazing full-throttle, no frills, gutsy rawk record. Just amps cranked up and heavy drumming.

Cloak/Dagger (sorry for the crappy video and sound):

Next up was the eternally rowdy, Dean Dirg. Dean Dirg deliver fast, spinning rock and roll not too far off from the likes of the Circle Jerks. True rock set at the speed of hardcore. If you’re familiar with Henry Fiat’s Open Sore, you’ll absolutely love these guys. Roots for these guys can be traced back to the Mummies, the Rips Offs, Turbonegro and even Black Flag if you wanna push it back that far. With a sweet curly mop-top rippling down into a stunning mullet and one shiny, silver, dangly anchor earring, the frontman commands and beckons the crowd daring the beer cans to be flung. The music crashes and stays within minute-long boundaries, plenty of time to get said what needs to be said. This is just what I was out looking for this night. True, grit rock’n’roll. I picked up the new LP which is absolutely amazing and comes on neon green vinyl.

Dean Dirg:

More later!!!

Cola Freaks from Denmark played just a few nights after this in a living room in Raleigh!