This is cooler than any art that I can create. Heavenly is the right name.
So, it has been a long while since I last posted. I have actually seen a bunch of great shows since then (Face to Face, Teenage Bottlerocket, Masked Intruder, Alkaline Trio, Off With Their Heads) so I probably should have been posting about them, all of which were pretty great. No good reason not to, just didn’t happen. This begs the question of what I could have drawn, heard, seen or come across that made me actually recall my wordpress password and get to posting…Well, my good friend B who tends to hear about good music well before I ever would (other than Rx Bandits, 1997 that was all me) sent me a text telling me to check out a new band out of St. Joseph MO called Radkey, so I have consulted youtube to find a few tracks and think that these guys are worth checking out. The singer is channeling the Misfits, but hopefully is less of a prima donna than Danzig.
Draw your own conclusions, but here is a clip.
They play the Fubar on August 23, I plan to check it out, maybe see you there.
This post has been delayed by life, whoops. About two weeks ago I had the treat of catching the Flatliners at the FUBAR, with some opening bands including Arms Aloft, which I will get to in one quick second. But first, I have something to say about the FUBAR. Where is everyone? This venue, although on the deafeningly loud side of the volume scale, is a fun venue centrally located, but I have to say that every time I see a band at the FUBAR I am surprised by the relatively small size of the crowd. This show was on a Sunday, so maybe everyone was at mass or having a regular Rockwell family dinner, but the Flatliners are a good band and the size of the crowd was not the way STL can keep getting good punk shows folks. How empty? Well, I tried to take a picture of Arms Aloft in a manner that didn’t make me look like one of those people so intent on videotaping a show on my iphone that I might as well be watching later on youtube, so I flung up my arm and took a quick shot. Looks like the Iphone thought it would be hilarious to flip the camera, so instead of Arms Aloft, I got a picture of the three folks behind me and the rest of the bar. Granted I am old and stand in the back, but you get the picture (literally now).
Since I didn’t get a picture of Arms Aloft, I will at least say that they put on a good show for a very small crowd, and would be worth checking out. Never heard of them, give them a listen.
The Flatliners put in quite an effort. I must admit that I haven’t done a good job at keeping up with any new music that the band has put out since Cavalcade, but this Canadians still put on a good show and their songs I didn’t know the words to were strong. It was S’ birthday that night so, Happy Birthday you elderly broad (breaking news S has since cut his hair and returned to his status as a middle aged man from the depths of being an elderly broad). Here is a pic of the show, since I actually got my phone to agree to take a forward picture at one point. (I would note that this battle with my phone had nothing to do with any beers from 4hands brewing co. or Urban Chestnut brewing co. that might have been on special at the Flying Saucer for $3 a pint per-show. Any suggestions to the contrary are preposterous.)
These are dated, but two of my favorite Flatliners’ tracks.
This one is actually a video for Carry the Banner. Query why punk bands have videos of waking up homeless on the streets and then playing music (see Lawrence Arms “Devil’s Taking Names.” Maybe that is what it is like to tour as a punk band.
last but not least, saw a reference to the Article “Punk Rock is Bullshit” on Brendan Kelly’s twitter feed. As an aside, if you aren’t reading Brendan’s blog (and are reading this one), bad choice, his is great. I say read them both, but if you are choosing, don’t be a dummy. The article is interesting (maybe a little wordy), but definitely check out Red Scare Toby’s response as I think it puts things in the proper perspective. The crux of Toby’s response (which also made it into the comment of the day from the same publication), albeit a quote or a quote at this point, “Like the dude from Funhouse said, punk rock (and all of art and life, for that matter) is what you make of it.” Words to live by. Leave it to someone writing during the winter in Seattle to say that punk rock is bullshit and try to rain on this long running parade. Is there some bullshit involved, uh, ya, of course. But for the most part, punk rock (whatever that means to me) is pretty awesome as far as I am concerned.
Let me paint the picture. STL Cardinals were in the playoffs October 15, 2012, Game 2 of the NLCS was on the TV and Teenage Bottlerocket was playing the Firebird that night. Sad to say, the opening bands this night were not going to get the attention that they deserved from this guy. By the end of the 4th inning the Cardinals were losing pretty badly so we head to the punk rock show, including Masked Intruder. As a window into my soul, although I avoid being the dumb sports fan who gets violent or aggressive when his team is losing, when the Cardinals are in the playoffs I am on edge and suceptible to depression. I know, I know, what can you do. Maybe I am not that punk these days, but this was a totally new band to me. So Masked Intruder comes out to do their set and I think I am the only one who is surprised that they are wearing brightly colored face-masks. They also have a Roadie/mech-guy who is dressed in a cop uniform with shorts and a fanny pack. He stands on the stage arms crossed and at times gets in the crowd. I think “gimmick band” and begin to shift closer to the TV over the bar until Teenage Bottlerocket takes the stage. They put on a good show, but if I am being honest I didn’t give them much of a chance.
Fast forward, my buddy B sees them again at Lemmons and says they were great and that I really need to listen to their self titled self-titled debut full length which was originally released in the summer of 2012 on Red Scare, and is slated for re-release on Fat Wreck Chords February 5, 2013. Time lapses, I ignore this request. More time lapses. I read a tweet from Fat Mike that he hasn’t taken this out of his discman (doubtful Fat Mike, doubtful that you have a discman) for a long time. B sees Masked Intruder in Chicago opening for Brendan Kelley and the Wandering Birds. B continues to insist I listen to this album and gives me weirdly specific instructions to listen to songs 5 through 8 without interruption a few times and tells me that I will be “du-wopping” by the third time through. B is right. Album has great sound and is a great listen.
Word on the street is that Toby will be bringing Masked Intruder back to STL this summer on a Red Scare tour. I will be there (and less judgey, sorry guys). As of now, this is the song that I like the most. B wins.
Long time no post, eh. In addition to welcoming a daughter earlier this year I have apparently become a Canadian. I am surprised that there is any real traffic here after such a delay, but the interweb says that people are still getting here so I figured it was time to resurrect this blog and see if I have anything to share. My daughter is pretty awesome (read as “pretty and awesome”), but I won’t be involving her too much on this blog as the internet is both awesome and terrifying when it comes to kiddos. I could write for hours and hours about cool I think this little girl is at 7 weeks, and how crazy and great it is to be a dad, but I feel like that topic is pretty well covered and honestly don’t think I could hope to find the words to express those thoughts effectively.
What I have decided is that the arrival of this little bundle of awesome needs to spawn more art to be produced while I am spending more time in and around the house. Not sure I want this little one to look back and say, that’s my dad, he shovels around piles of paper and gets paid every two weeks. I want her to be creative and enjoy her life with art and music, so time for dad to be the change he wants when time allows. This rededication to craftiness, art, creativity started with building some shelves for her to have outward facing books in her room. Buying these bad boys was going to be pricey or include a long drie to IKEA to buy spice racks that would work but would cost hundreds of dollars in gas. Building them and installing them cost about $15 and a few hours max (mostly because I kept making the stain darker). Here they blow, would have loved to do a step by step, but I am more excited about other things and will let this suffice (if anyone wants a how to just shoot me a note:
Next thing was to finish a painting that I started and substantially completed with paint pens in 2005/2006. I haven’t really painted with a brush since high school and sucked pretty bad at that back then, so I went a bought some cheap brushes and acrylic paint to figure out hos to use it again. This is the before and after of the painting. The pictures are reflective of my craptastic iphone camera and I am not sure I like the after more than the before, but gave this painting some new life and reminded me that painting is harder than drawing.
I want to make a set of drawings spelling out her name to hang in a nursery or somewhere else in the house. I am trying to build in some themes of things that she would like (or that we think she may like, as she could end up liking totally different stuff and hating giraffes for instance). This is the first installment in the letters, and as hinted, has a little giraffe theme included. I tried colored pencils because my pen color selection is a bit limited, but am pretty happy with the results. I will update with the other letters, as I am hopeful that they will look a little more crisp when framed and hung.
If you are this far down on the page, well, congratulations. Your reward? Some music. This is currently my most traveled Lawrence Arms song, which they nicely created a video for. Happy Friday, enjoy.
It’s been a bit since I posted, been to a few shows that I need to write about (Teenage Bottlerocket, Propogandhi) which I will get to (promises, promises) at some point. I have struggled with what I want to write about Propogandhi. When you have an album out there like “How to Clean Everything” that is fucking amazing you set the bar pretty high for me. They evolved, I wish they hadn’t, don’t want o be negative so I will need to think about how to say what I am feeling.
I digress, this post is about the talented Dan Andriano of Slapstick, Alkaline Trio, what appear to be more side projects than I can list and his solo stuff. As I have written before, I think, I used to be all about Matt Skiba when it came to A3. Didn’t have anything against Dan, but was a big Skiba fan. Even from the beginning when I stumbled into a concert with a high school and American Youth Foundation where I was introduced to Alkaline Trio, the Get Up Kids because I was there to see Dashboard Confessionals. Thanks to KS for getting me down to Mississippi Nights that evening. Maybe I have something against shaved heads, whatever it was, I tended to prefer the songs that Matt sang, although I like them all generally. At the small venue A3 show the Riotfest 2012 Chicago weekend that started to change and I have been listening to a lot more Dan, including watching Dan and Brendan Kelly clips on youtube when I should be working.
The reason for this post is the song “Of Peace, Quiet and Monsters.” I stumbled across this one on youtube last weekend while I was doing a little getting dressed rocking out. I wish I had better, tougher words to express my thoughts on the tune, but I think the best I have is to say that it is beautiful. Definitely some pain there, but is a song that is going to be added to the “please go to sleep” playlist that will be used when my daughter is introduced into the world in the next month or so. Give it a listen and watch:
Same song in this video, but Dan gives a little background on the song in the beginning.
Maybe I am getting soft, as I never really have been much for the slow and soft, maybe its related to becoming a dad, maybe my brain has been taken over by parasites that related to cats that some scientist thinks are to blame for almost everything, who knows, but what I do know it that this song speaks to me.
As a bonus track, Dan and Brendan playing a Lawrence Arms song “First Eviction Notice.” Good stuff, what the hell did I do before youtube. So much music at your finger tips.