WNnG – Musings from the desk of chaz.

Quick Plug.
January 7, 2009, 8:01 pm
Filed under: Shows

Thursday, January 8th.
9:30pm. Nightlight.


2009 starts off with a serious, scattering bang as one hell of a garage show slams into town. The Whatever Brains are one of the most exciting bands to hit the Triangle in the last decade. Yes, they’re a brand new band, with a brand new 7″ (wink wink), but they’ve all been honing their chops in various other bands for years now. This sound was worked over and pieced together in the basement and just recently was allowed to creep out unto the unsuspecting masses. Best local band of the new year? Yes. Best local band of the last five years? Woncha come out and see? Manic, jittery garage pop with a fever of a spin on Phil Spector’s wall of sound.

Judging from what people have said about the Box Elders’ Goner Fest performance in Memphis, this is going to be absolutely amazing. I’ve heard a lot of good feedback from this year’s fest, but nothing has my ears ringing as much as the anticipation of seeing this band tomorrow night. Well, I’d really like to see the Eddy Current Suppression Ring and they might be the only other band that I’ve heard as much praise for concerning their live performance during Goner Weekend (if you haven’t already, listen to their latest LP, geeeeeez). Anyway, I haven’t even allowed myself to go unto myspace to give the Box Elders a spin. I’m too excited just to see them and take it all in at once.

Gross Ghost is Mikey Dillon’s new project. I haven’t heard them yet and I don’t know what he’s doing with this one, but I’m psyched to see it! Shouldn’t disappoint. This is their first show.

As it’s closing time, I’ll leave you with some YouTube footage for enticement purposes.

Whatever Brains:

Box Elders:


Stooges on WXDU
January 7, 2009, 1:09 pm
Filed under: Durham

This is why I love my local radio station. Last night I heard the sad news of Ron Asheton passing away. Ron Asheton (the original, founding guitarist, then bassist, then guitarist again) was basically the one Stooge with his head on semi-straight. While the others recklessly pushed their health and mental states to the limits, Ron hit a point where he knew it was time to stop, or at least slow down. He was the Stooge that always wanted to keep the unit glued together and looked on at Iggy’s post-Stooges solo career with hurt and a bit of embarrassment. Even as the Stooges were gearing up for their reunion shows over thirty years after the fact, he was still humbly living in his mom’s house outside of Detroit.

I walk into work today, go about my usual routine and flip on WXDU. Cranking out of the speakers comes a familiar raw, dark mantric sound. It’s the Stooges. And it’s great. I can’t think of a better way to walk into work today. It’s a crummy, overcast day, probably gonna be slow in the shop, but I’ve got my Stooges and I’ve got my WXDU. The three Stooges LPs are untouchable, unsurpassable masterpieces of simplicty, rawness and brutal passion. They locked into meditation-like grooves with a manic, inner-agitation creating this amazing, nervous confusion of emotions. Iggy and Ron would surge and sear through the locked rhythm creating a frenzy and mini-riot onstage. They were well ahead of their time and suffered a severe crash and burn amidst hails of mostly bad criticism, sending all members splayed out in different directions. The Stooges combined free-form, psychedelic rock and a snarly take on blues rhythms with unbridled outpouring from a split personality frontman. Part poet, part madman. This style would soon find a name in punk rock and inspire four decades worth of kids (and counting) to pick up instruments and bash out noise.

This morning, WXDU played three Stooges tracks resulting in a great 15 minute block tribute to one of the finest bands of the last thirty years. Thanks WXDU! For anyone reading this out of town, WXDU is our local college/community station. It’s based on the campus of Duke University and is run by a combination of undergrads, grad students and community members. The programming is phenomenal for such a small station in such a small town, there’s hardly a dull moment. I owe them a lot of gratitude for turning me unto new stuff and simply just keeping me entertained throughout the day.


Directly following the block that gave this day a headstart over all other days this week, the DJ, Mark, played the first track off the new Whatever Brains 7″! More on that very thing later. Probably this afternoon as I need to plug a show that they’re playiong tomorrow night. Gotta get on that.