Saturday, August 27, 2005

Punk as fuck

The Jai Alai Savant are singer/ guitarist Ralph Darden (ex Franklin) Jeremy Gowertz (drums) and Michael Ali (bass). Ralph Dearden is more well known in the Philedelphia "scene" as Major Taylor, who is amongst other things a DJ, a producer, and an expert Jijitsu sportfighter. In fact, it was reported earlier this year that when three guys tried to mug him, he not only only asked to take them all on, but he also had the following words to say his would be attackers: "First of all, i'm broke. Second of all, there's a lot easier people to mug in Chicago. Furthermore. I don't have shit to live for right now. Somebody's going to get hurt." Is this something that translates into their music? You better believe it!

The Jai Alai Savant have been described as an amgalm of punk-rock and dub raggae - which recalls at once Fugazi, artists like Lee "Scratch" Perry and even contemporary bands like TV on the Radio. While I certainly wouldn't argue with the plaudits, this band are making vital music that's a lot more than a sum of their influences. Ok, they're not your standard mainstream garage-lite band, but that's not to say that they're songs aren't catchy or even accessible - don't you love that word? It literally means nothing. Also, to use a cliche, we need bands like The Jai Alai Savant - If not only to prove that we're not all "coffee-shop drinkers and Coldplay listeners." I forget where I read that, but that's not important, what is important is you listening to these tracks, and getting your asses down to the ATP Festival which runs December 2, 3 and 4. Check these and whole host of other great bands out. That is, if you live in my neck of the woods. If not, take solace in Thunderstatement. That's out in October.

The Jai Alai Savant - Punk as Fuck

The Jai Alai Savant - Scarlett Johansen Why Don't You Love Me

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Celebrated Summer

Heads up this week go to Silece is a Rhythm Too for well, everything. Plus everyone linked below. We're all great really. Oh yeah, and Sean over at Said the Gramaphone too; because they're not on the list for some unknown reason - God i'm rubbish at internet stuff.

Blood on the Wall are on Social Registry. Social Registry are reponsible for putting out the Gang Gang Dance album, God's Money, and so it goes.. Of course, If you haven't heard Gang Gang Dance yet I expect you're utterly lost and very possibly consider me a fool, but you've read this much so why not read on? This NYC art-noise trio are actually putting finishing touches to follow up of their self -titled album of last year ("Awesomer"). I haven't heard it yet, but hey, that doesn't exactly stop folks passing judgment does it? Only kidding. The first album! Vice magazine considered it "perfect" whereas most, if not all, thought it ultimately lacking after repeat listening Since I love sitting on the fence i'm going to go somewhere inbetween. Courtney Shanks (bass, vocals), Brad Shanks (guitar, vocals) and Miggy Littleton (drums, vocals) have got all the core ingredients going on: a brother/sister/boy/girl vocals splattered over scratchy, stoner, pop hybrid type thing. They also come fully endorsed via French Kiss legends Les Savy Fav. Anyway, while the Sonic Youth and Velvet Underground comparisons are slightly lazy, they do write some damn catchy songs; and what more can you ask for?

Blood on the Wall - Mae Abiline

Blood on the Wall
Social Registry

Friday, August 12, 2005

Blood, Sweat and Tears

The grinning Swami and his noisy cohorts, played their last gig on these hallowed shores last night, and I feel like I have to say I few words. First of all, this gig was originally billed as a Ted Leo and the Pharmacists show and i'm happy to report that they were in inspired form. You just can't fault enthusiasm like this. And as three-pieces go, it doesn't get much better either. They kicked off with "Dial Up" and proceeded to play a lot of stuff from Shake the Sheets, which was good because it's the only album of theirs that I really know. Of course, under normal circumstances, these guys wouldn't warm up for anyone; but they were extremely gracious of their guests. Ted Leo even proclaimed himself a fan of Hot Snakes, Drive Like Jehu and Rocket From the Crypt - which was nice.

Anyway, moving swiftly on....

It was late when Hot Snakes finally crashed the party, and for a while, it all looked in the balance. Technical difficulties shall we say, came with the inevitable delays and it wasn't good if you trying to get that last train. That aside, when the band finally took to the stage, they quickly got into the swing of things. Opening with "I Hate The Kids" John Reis, Rick Froberg, Gar Wood and Mario Rubalcaba proceeded to career through a host of tracks from tracks from Automatic Midnight, Suicide Invoice and Audit in Progress. The highlights being "If Credit's What Matters I'll Take Credit" "Who Died" "Light up the Stars" "Gar Forgets his Insulin" "Audit in Progress" and "Why Does it Hurt", but all of their songs were a high last night; a slingshot of swaggering hard-guitar-riff rock and roll, these guys age like a fine wine.

Not being known for their on stage banter, they do have a few words to say tonight; the most notable being from Rick whose first words were: "this is our last show, and we're going to suck so fuck you." - He did claim to be drunk though. Apart from this - and a few stupid moments courtesy of the worst stage diver, EVER - it was all business as usual. And if there's one thing that Hot Snakes will be remembered for, it's for not messing around - twenty songs over an hour is not an exception, it's the standard. John Reis and Rick Froberg conjure some seriously powerful riffage, and as Audit in Progress testfies, Mario can't half whack those skins. It's slightly spoiled at then end, but no matter.

Let's hear it for Hot Snakes. And remember: play loud, play fast, and don't look back.

Hot Snakes - Light Up The Stars

Find out everything you need to know about Hot Snakes here
Listen to Drive Like Jehu, Rocket From the Crypt and Hot Snakes here here at Transmission 3000.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

You gotsta be cool

"I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe / I was not offended / For I knew I had to rise above it all / Or drown in my own shit."

The opening lines to Funkadelic's 1972 album Maggot Brain might live in rock infamy, but it aint' got nothing on the craziness that follows. Maggot Brain was, and still is, the definitive funky odyssey. A totally unique, mindblowing listening experience from start to finish; and clearly the work of an authentic genius on the trip of his life. Lord knows what George Clinton was thinking here; and as cliched this is this: nobody makes albums like this anymore. If you don't already know, Westbound are giving all the Funkadelic albums the remixing and deluxe treatment, and unfortunately, you all need Maggot Brain - sorry. This album is like Band of Gypsys era Jimi Hendrix on a psychedelic-soul ride, and Roky Erickson is driving the car. Gospel backing singers, rubbery bass-lines, pounding funk drums, and a frenzy of guitars jams made this album a funk, rock and soul ramala of unearthly proportions - yeah, it's that good. Eddie Hazel's wah wah guitars, Billy Nelson's BASS and George Clinton's vocals are simply, well, I don't know...UH! While these songs are clearly political, they come across as more celebratory than anything else. Fiercely intelligent, quirky and rousing...Do I need to say anymore?

Funkadelic - Hit it and Quit It.


Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Can ya dig it?

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Illuminated by the light

First things first: The new edition of Plan B hit the shelves on Wednesday (I think) and if you haven't picked up a copy already, remedy this immediately. This issue contains articles on Oneida, Ariel Pink, A Hawk and A Hacksaw; an interview with cover "stars" Sonic Youth;and a whole host of live reviews, media highlights and label run-downs. It's a triumph! And if that weren't enough, reading it has at the very least, encouraged me to post something - you'll have decide if that's a good thing. Stereo Sanctity aka Ben Haggar has also seen his review for the Pickled Egg festival appear on the Plan B site. You can read it in full, here. Oh yeah, err, I took a chance and ordered a few copies of the Arthur magazine recently; and i'm glad I did. Check out the lineup to Arthurfest in September: Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney, The Black Keys, Merzbow, T-Model Ford, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Wolfmother, Six Organs of Admittance, Magik Markers, Circle, Josephine Foster and on and on. Comets On Fire, The Olivia Tremor Control, Dead Meadow, Sunn 0))), Vetiver, Growing the day after too...Now that's a festival.

MELT BANANA. Ordinarily, a band of this calibre have no business in post as poorly contructed as this one, but I simply have to do this. This band are just otherwordly. Not a single band in the world come remotely close to oozing the thick, heavy noise that Melt Banana so effortessly harness on Cellscape. Yasuko O.'s ultra-high-pitched screams and Agata's guitar playing is just, unlike anything; and I think I can actually get away with saying that. Then again, I still say that 'Cellscape' is pop music...Noisy pop, but still essentially pop music played upside down and to the nth degree of absurdity. I present "Lost Parts Stinging Me So Cold" as my main case in point. This track just utterly ruins your mind. The complexities, the harmonies (!)...It's just WRONG! Oh, and I have it on good authority that they will be playing gracing our shores in the not to distant future, so stock up those ear plugs!

Melt Banana - Lost Parts Stinging Me So Cold.