August 31, 2009

Sounds of Kaleidoscope : All This Heaven

This once upon a time DC band (now residing in Philly) released a new record at the end of January of '09 but I never saw it mentioned much of anywhere. Its a darn shame because A) They are a tremendous American shoegaze band with 60's psych rock leanings that is better than most of the bands doing the chainsaw guitar sound thing B) The new record All This Heaven is really gorgeous and perfectly noisy C) The LP is hand screened and comes with a download card D) The wax is colored and is a spectacular apple green blended with clear. I stumbled across the LP at the record store Som in DC so if it wasn't for that great store, I would have never known about this record coming out at all!

If you like bands like The Telescopes, Loop, MBV, and Jesus and M Chain, this band is a no brainer for you.

Sounds of Kaleidoscope MySpace page is here.






August 28, 2009

Kryptonite : MP..... Please

“I’m really into music”

Okay I’ll bite but that has to be one of the most painfully generalized statements known to man and besides, there are not very many people who walk the earth who don’t love music. In fact ever since man began leaving behind artifacts and more modern men have been digging them up, there has been endless proof that music has played a very key role in humanity since the beginning of time. So basically “I’m really into music” equates to I breath air. Next.

“I have a massive record collection”

Okay, tell me more big guy. Clearly by the grin our your face you think this also doubles for I have a big penis and know how to use it but go on….

“My computer’s memory is pretty much tapped out because I have so many MP3s.”

Maybe you can hear the sound of my interest in this gentlemen and anything else he has to say in regards to music coming to a screeching halt. The brakes are on, I have left skid marks of disinterest in a comic book cartoon cloud and my focus is already elsewhere.

Let me straighten you out young fella– pushing buttons to nine times out of ten steal songs from whatever music site makes you a thief, not a music fan. Sure we all know there are plenty of rare old ridiculously cool records you can’t find anywhere or afford so the occasional MP3 from a blog is fine but we all know that isn’t the kind of person I take issue with.

I am talking about the beasts who troll torrent sites for new music and download all and anything just because they can. It doesn’t mean you know anything about the music, it just means you have some time and a few fingers or toes to lasso in these records from the internet. Bravo. You have a computer and a mountain of files. And if your computer crashed I bet all that would be left to reflect you being a huge music fan is a fresh from Hot Topic CBGBs shirt and a hangover from whatever show you went to last night and talked through.

August 27, 2009

August 27th, 2009 : Cause & Effect : Phosphorescent

Formally of Athens, GA Matthew Houck AKA Phosphorescent is a one man magical band who walks the fine line between alt country and alt folk. You know how the show works so in turn our set tonight will be country and folk heavy with a few surprises thrown in reflecting his influences and songs by his peer group artists.

Tonight on WRIR from 7PM to 9PM, 97.3 on your transistor or www.wrir.org to stream.











August 26, 2009

Unbelievable CD packaging

So much thought and effort now days goes into a simple question: 'How do you get people to BUY your CD?'. There won't be any one correct answer to this question, but electronic musician MOLDOVER has submitted his answer, and like any good algebra solution, he has shown all work.

Why Didn't I Think of This First?

This pretty much crushes my idea of a record store / bar. A new store in Phoenix, AZ is opening up called Sweets & Beats. As the name hints, it will sell both candy and records. Dang that idea rules. All I know is I am glad I don't work there because I can barely contain myself around a room full of records so you add a whole lot of sugar into the mix and you would probably find me in a candy coma on the floor with gummy bears stuck to my hair while hugging a variety of LPs and 7"ers...but I am sure I would be smiling.

Imagine if this clip included bins of records too. Heaven on earth.


Hidden Place?

Once again I have lost the Mega-Millions lottery drawing. I am pretty good at lots of things, but winning multi-million dollar prizes seems to be a skill that I am lacking.

That's too bad, because I had big plans for that money.

BUY BJORKS HOME.


She has lived there for several years and been spotted out and about fairly often. One report had her at the supermarket wearing a bright yellow hoop dress and red elf shoes with pom-poms on the ends of the curled up toes. I am not a 'star-struck' kind of guy, but I would love to have had the surreal experience of running into Bjork in some ordinary day to day way. It seems like it would be fun.

ceeFrenzy

The Collectors Frenzy website has just released an iPhone app for all of you stylin crate-diggers. It is sort of strange to be able to use the newest gadgetry that everyone wants (3G iPhone) to assist in finding outdated vinyl slabs that very few people even acknowledge. Hey, I can dig it, but I wouldn't put too much faith in those eBay prices, the record market fluctuates pretty wildly. Still, it's a great resource for the modern vinyl hunter.


August 25, 2009

Audiophilism

Here is a little video about obsessive audiophile culture.

One thing that I have noticed in my life is that the people with the best record collections sometimes have the worst stereos, and the people with the bells and whistles stereos sometimes have the worst record collections. One would assume that the appreciation of music and sound would go hand in hand, but it seems that this is not always the case. Thousands and hundreds of thousands of dollars can be spent on stereo equipment, but how much does it really enhance the listeners experience? I believe that the law of diminishing returns applies at some point. I personally use vintage Dynaco speakers for my listening pleasure, and enjoy the sound of them, I also use an EQ to suit my ear. But, do I enjoy it more or less than the next guy with a better or worse system? We all started out on our musical journeys on inferior equipment, but still fell in love with the music. We all rock the hell out to our crappy stock car stereos whenever we get the opprotunity. When I do get to hear a system that is out of my price range, I can appreciate the clarity, definition and presence that can be achieved with a buttload of cash, but I wonder if I would actually enjoy it more. I certainly wouldn't want to listen to music on laptop speakers for any significant amount of time, and I have felt the ear fatigue that hours in the recording studio can bring, so quality is of course a factor. So good gear can help the listening experience, but $7000 speaker wires? For me, pretty good, is good enough, I am particular, but I am not sound obsessed.

I don't remember the source, but this quote has stuck with me:
"A bad recording of a great song is better than a great recording of a bad song."

August 24, 2009

It's a Bikini World

Free for your viewing pleasure via Comcast right now! And tell me that the guy who introduces the bands doesn't look like a the bad egg from Project Runway a few years back ! Scenes from this movie include skateboarding, groovy girls a go-go, boat racing, his and her jumpsuits, dirt bikes in car washes, lighting that looks more '70s soft porn, bands playing in the mouth of a monster, camel riding, and some of the biggest hair bows you have ever seen.







Eric Burdon is my new favorite front man - is it just me or does have he a weird Elliott Smith vibe. His pissed off, I don't give a crap expression is the best.



And this is just a weird creepy Animals video - the women hanging on the wall like taxidermy hunting prizes is so over the top.



So I might be a little obsessed now. Eric Burdon with War from 1971



Check out the guitar tone!



Now this is a dance party!

August 20, 2009

August 20th, 2009 : Cause & Effect : Sigur Ros


This marks a Cause & Effect first as we have never had a friend basically supply the entire show for us. Super Sigur Ros fan Brent was kind enough to compile one heck of a show including SR rarities, and a tracklisting of peers and followers that is to be only described as outstanding.

You can listen to the set tonight from 7PM to 9PM on the dial at 97.3 in RVA or stream us at http://www.wrir.org/

The set tonight includes Mum, Mogwai, Burning Paris, Rice Boy Sleeps, Under Byen, Mare, Jesu, Mar, and more.




























August 19, 2009

Essentional Toilet Reading : Yay?


This book hits the shelves Sept first and here is what the Amazon description says:

The heaviest book of all time! The Spinal Tap of books! A gorgeous, time-wasting, absolutely essential toilet reader! Part rock trivia contest, part encyclopedia of excess, The Official Heavy Metal Book of Lists features over 150 lists that chronicle rock and roll's most enduring genre. Ever wanted to know the names of Alice Cooper's snakes? The names of Spinal Tap's dead drummers? Which metal stars have made celebrity sex tapes?? Get ready to be thrown headfirst into a mosh pit of wacky, wild, and weird lists from metal's hardest-hitting stars - members of Motorhead, Sepultura, Guns N' Roses, Vixen, Biohazard, Whitechapel, Deathklok, and GWAR are among the heavyweights who cast their ballots herein (not to mention porn stars, Air Guitar champs, and the director of Heavy Metal Parking Lot).

August 18, 2009

Ladyfinger : Repost

I didn't even know this band existed : Ladyfinger : Pen Rollings of Honor Role / Breadwinner fame on drums (? ! ?) no less. Read more about the band here and you can even download all the demos from the mid '90s at that link too. Yes! Thank you Chunklet!


National Geographic Goes Straight Edge

Broken down into 5 parts - it is an interesting watch considering my concept of XXX is still Minor Threat song that was under a minute long. If the documentary doesn't do it for you there is always the comments section which is plenty of fun too. Viva the gang mentality and a mosh pit that looks more like a final battle scene from the Karate Kid.

The documentary I want to see is the one where most of the people who were straight edge in their teens and early 20s discover drinking and drugs and then act like retarded children who should have gotten the whole party thing out of the way earlier in life but do the train wreck thing in their late 20s. And what do they do with all their bad tattoos?









Weng Weng

I can't tell which is more incredible - the leading man or a rap song about the leading man. Thanks Anna for passing this along to me!

August 17, 2009

Class Trip : United Record Press

August 13, 2009

August 13th, 2009 : Cause & Effect : Happy Birthday Merge Records

Unless you have been living under a rock you probably already know Merge Records turned 20 this year and there has been celebrating a go-go from special mixes, releases, a book, and a series of live shows that were to die for.

In our little way Cause & Effect would like to celebrate the label turning 20 and to do so we asked our listeners and friends to tell us what Merge songs were their favorites. In turn we have two hours of requests to play for your listening pleasure.

Don't expect just the classic big hitters here either! Sure we have our share of Superchunk, Spoon, and Arcade Fire but we have plenty of deeper cuts to from our personal collections like Pipe, Squirrel Nut Zippers, The Honor Role family tree, Bricks, Spent, the more more more.

Thank you Merge for two decades of music that makes us remember why we love music so much. I've spent my entire adult life listening to this music and my fingers are crossed that there will be plenty more decades to come. I can dream of an indie rock nursing home, right? I already have the Granny dresses and sweaters that smell like moth balls.

Anyhow please join us tonight for a very special edition of Cause & Effect and thanks to all who recommended music for our set. We heart you and this show is dedicated to you.

Stream us on line at http://www.wrir.org/ or in RVA listen at 97.3 fm










August 11, 2009

Fire!


The owner of Matador Records Gerard Cosloy lost his house in fire early this AM and yet has managed to blog about it here.
People and pets are safe but sadly everything else is burnt toast. It makes my heart hurt to hear about this.

Obits on Vice TV

I am not stoked on the bathroom angle to this video interview (seriously the opening bit on the toilet is flat out retarded) but what the hell, it's the Obits and as one of them aging rocker types myself, I appreciate any killer band with people over 30. Maybe even 40.

http://www.vbs.tv/watch/practice-space-season-2/obits

Random Cuts



I've made it no secret that I have a hard on for this label since day one but damn it they keep releasing records that blow my mind and my speakers... so as long as they keep doing that, I am going to keep praising them on my nerd site.

Here is what the Nominal Records site says about the Random Cuts: Justin (Mutators, Sex Negatives, The Nons, Emergency Room, Grotesque Modern, etc) finally makes good on the long promised Random Cuts. Hooks, not noise. A single a month for July, August, and Sept. Summer US tour with Nu Sensae.

First of all I hate to argue with a two dimensional screen of my computer but as I hear this, yes there are hooks but noise too. The best kind of noise. Noise that I can only compare to the blazing guitar antics found on early Treepeople records (that is pre Built To Spill for all you squares) mixed the deadpan chaos of early Flipper channeled through a trio of one dude and two ladies. (or two female mannequins if I am reading these covers right)

Each record is wicked limited (slightly over 500) comes on candy colored vinyl, and flat out rules BUT if I had to place the trio in favorite order for those of you who lack the funds to score all three here ya go.

The winner : Make Damage / Pigeon Park
Runner up: Rat Capacity / Destroyed
Third Place but still no loser: Sleep / Jail Stripes.

August 9, 2009

DJ Etiquette


This is a mystery to me. People seem to have a general sense of how to behave when a band plays but put a person playing music behind two turntables...and things get wacky. DJs in theory should be treated like a solo performing artist because their instrument is their gear (turntables, mixer, or whatever it is they use) and a great deal of time, energy, and care has gone into picking the music for the evening in hopes of entertaining / satisfying the crowd.


There are basically three kinds of DJs.

There are the DJs you hire for an event and these are the DJs that are hired to please their paying clientele. They are more people friendly, tend to work off computers / large booklets of CDs and in turn have a larger selection of music to pick from. They tend to be more people friendly in the sense that taking requests is often part of their gig. These DJs are approachable and are more accustomed to interacting with the room.

There is a subtle difference between this kind of DJ and the next kind but there is a division in style none the less. There are the DJs who are hired by a bar or club to please a crowd and in turn it is the DJ's responsibility to know the kind of crowd they are catering to and try to appease that room to reflect whatever it is the owner's are looking for. The key difference here is the DJ hired usually specializes in a kind of music the bar is looking to pad their atmosphere with and while it is their job to please the people who hired him or her, they still have more control over the music they pick and tend to play sets that reflect their taste rather than relying on requests from whomever hired them or the crowd listening / dancing. These DJs may take requests but traditionally they have a specific collection of songs in mind to play for the night and assuming their style of music matches what the club owners are looking for, the DJ will mostly play only the songs they want to. In the end though, the crowd listening to the music are regulars to the bar / club first and may or may not care who the DJ is to be 100% honest.

The last kind of DJ tends to have more of following on their own (like a popular band) and people seek them out because of the genre of music they play, the quality of records they spin, and their ability to play them in a way that keeps the room interested time and time again. These DJs are ...well to be honest... the kind of DJs that usually don't want to be bugged (IE NO REQUESTS) and tend to have a very specific idea of the songs they will be playing for the night. While they want the crowd to enjoy themselves, the songs they play are their choices (again like a band) and asking them to play some random song that doesn't fit into the style they DJ is like asking Dylan to play a Madonna cover.

Here are some basic DJ etiquette tips for future reference:

1) Most DJs don't play requests so don't bother them unless you are at a wedding or some other kind of private event. This will come as a shock to some of you but it is true. Keep your requests to yourself. They are the professionals when it comes to music and if you think you can do better, go book your own DJ night.

2) Not all DJs are fortunate enough to have a private DJ booth and are forced to place their expensive gear on a table near the dance floor. This table should off limits to anyone but the DJ and you should NEVER place your drink, jacket, purse, ashtray...whatever... on this table. EVER. Besides it being rude and an invasion of their space, for those who DJ records, there is always the risk of a record skipping thanks to the table being bumped and don't get me started on spilled drinks or cigarette butts on a turntable or mixer. You can't afford to spill anything on this gear and if you do, you run the risk of not only being punched out by an unhappy DJ but could be thrown out of the bar for such an enormous social faux pas.

3) Keep your distance. Hovering on top of the DJ all night not only makes you look like a stalker but it is an annoying distraction for whoever is DJing. If you want to know what the DJ is playing, just ask, but keep in mind asking what every other record is gets old pretty fast too. Just sit back an enjoy yourself already. Relax.

4) This is really important. If a DJ has their headphones on DON'T TALK TO THEM !!!! A) they probably can't hear you and B) they are setting up the next song as well as working within a time limit of trying to set up the next song before the other song ends and shouldn't be interrupted. Even if you know them, good for you but you still should never try to talk to a DJ when their headphones are on.

5) Walking behind the table, touching a record as it spins, or flipping through the records a DJ has brought with them is the worst crime of all. It is the ultimate invasion of personal space and you wouldn't walk up to a stranger, sit on a portion of their chair and take a sip of the cocktail to see what they are drinking and then rumage through their pockets? Nope you wouldn't so leave the DJ's stuff alone.

6) It is really this simple. If you don't like the music, leave. As you have just learned, most DJs don't take requests and if you really need to hear some song, go home and play it there. Most of the time whatever song you are dying to hear the rest of the room is not and it will clash with whatever the style of music the DJ is playing / has built their reputation around. And to really drive this point home, the DJs who play vinyl (IE there is no computer) have a much smaller selection of music and probably don't have whatever song you are requesting.

7) Last but not least, you are a friend of the DJ, maybe even a very good friend, but unless you are DJing that night, it is still best to not try and carry on much of a conversation while your friend is behind the table. Certainly say hi, hug... but A) if their headphones are on, wait until they are off to approach them and B) your friend probably won't be behind the turntable all night and you can chat with them when they are done with their set. A distracted DJ not only makes for a crappy conversationalist but it could lead to mistakes that the whole room will hear.

It is really pretty simple stuff and it basically boils down to common sense and respect.

August 7, 2009

New Feature : Kryptonite !


From our friends at Wiki: "The word kryptonite is also used in modern speech as a synonym for Achilles' heel, the one weakness of an otherwise invulnerable hero."

When I use the word, I am referring to what poisons my soul.

I have been inspired by my friend's rather genius dating site who often posts about things that men do that as women turn them off. I have been thinking lately that most of the things that men do that make me want to lose my lunch are all music related. As an uber music dork I don't think any of my readers would be shocked to learn this about me. In fact most of you probably have eyes rolled into your heads right about noooooow.

Every few weeks on a Friday I will use my end of week angst to post about the things dudes do ... that I as a women...Lighting's Girl...who lives and dies by music... makes me want to end my life in a most violent manner. No, it actually makes me want to draw blood from their body first and then die.

This week my featured kryptonite is men who air guitar.


I don't know why you do it. It is as if you are hard wired to extend your arm in a right angle to your body and wiggle your fingers around in time (sort of) to whatever the guitar player is doing on the record we all happen to be listening to. You can't seem to control your body at all when a Led Zeppelin record is playing (or fill in the blank with whatever legendary guitar band here) and it is creepy.

The reality is it is embarrassing to be around and it physically pains pains me to look at you when you do it. Have you noticed how many of the girls around you are doing it to? Oh, there are none? HELLO - it is because we don't! Apparently we don't share the same chemistry that requires us to play along with Black Sabbath using our hands at all. (And for you ladies who do, you are freaks of nature who belong in a scientific study)

Please take note, you don't look cool or totally rock and roll when you play air guitar. It looks is as if you are having a music related seizure that requires medication or restraints. Some of you try to explain that you can't help but play along to what ever killer riff is rocking from the nearest speaker because you know how to play it on your guitar at home or it was the first song you ever learned on guitar or..... whatever lame ass story.... but there is really there is no good excuse for air guitaring. Period. I don't care how hard you try to defend your spazzy fingering of the space in front of your probably slightly hunched over body. You probably don't really know how to play the song on guitar either and I have handed boys guitar to test this theory and I am sorry to say the gentlemen nearly always fail the test miserably. I am barely impressed when someone tells me they actually know how to play the guitar so why in the world would I be wowed by your air tapping of invisible notes? Blargh.

Oh and when you move your hands down to the crotch region as if to get down and dirty to a sweet tune, it just makes me want to remove your penis from your body as punishment for such a visual insult.

There, I said it and it feels really good to get that off my chest. If we are ever out somewhere and I look as if I am ripping the skin off another human being with my eyes it is probably because they are air guitaring somewhere in my vicinity.

And just in case you were wondering, this applies to air drumming or air bass playing too. I hate them all deeply. Light tapping is fine of fingers and toes are fine, head banging - sure, and I don't even mind the occasional sing along. Just keep your busy pathetic hands your yourself.

August 6, 2009

August 6th, 2009: Cause & Effect : The Fall


Its almost like shooting fish in a barrel.
When a band has been around as long as The Fall, has a massive catalog, a mile long list of songs they have covered, and decades of press to scour through, creating a two hour set list of music that has influenced the band or vice versa is pretty darn easy. If anything there was too much music to pick from!


Tonight we will playing quite a few artists we have never played before so I am excited to have a yet another change of pace for us. The set will include such artists as: Lee Perry, The Birthday Party, Magazine, The Swell Maps, The Soft Boys, Mekons, The Groundhogs, The Country Teasers, and that is just the beginning!
You can check us out on WRIR from 7PM to 9PM tonight on-line at http://www.wrir.org/ or listen in RVA on your dial at 97.3