Archive for the ‘Daily Geek-Out’ Category

“But if no one cares, then why are you doing it?”

August 22, 2012

I realize that I have been pretty M.I.A. on R.G.H. since about March or so, so here I am, returning once again. Unlike the previous posts that so far resemble this one (this isn’t the first time this has happened), I will not apologize to my few very awesome readers for my absence. First of all, I know they don’t want or expect an apology. Most of them are big kids and can fend for themselves out there in the music world, and usually only frequent R.G.H. to compare their recent listening to mine. The other portion of them, it seems, only come around to slag on what I have written (which, believe me, only makes the job all the more worthwhile). (more…)

Platinum Hit: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

August 24, 2011

This last summer has been a hot one, especially in Kansas. I know it has been hotter than normal in lots of places this season, but Kansas was basically the center of the frying pan. It was as if all the heat was actually coming up from our soil and dissipating out to surrounding states and continents. Long time Kansas residents like me should be used to this sort of heat and humidity, but when it’s this bad, it’s not really something one can ever grow to love or even shrug off. The heat here has truly been debilitating, and it has made for a lot of inside summer activity, which usually has something to do with drinking a lot and watching bad TV or movies.

Back in June, I started seeing previews on Bravo for a new reality competition series called Platinum Hit, in which a number of aspiring songwriters are brought together to compete for a record deal and a bunch of other music-related prizes. When I saw it was to be hosted by Jewel and co-hosted by former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi, I sensed that this show would make for some good old-fashioned, horrible, campy summer drinking fun. I was right, but I didn’t realize how right – from the very first line spoken in the show (“I’m a musical genius, for sure”), I knew this was going to be a total shit show. (more…)

Sebadoh “Weed Forestin'”

January 12, 2011

Homestead 1990

Sebadoh is currently on tour in support of the reissue and remaster of their classic album Bakesale, making them the next in a long line of 90’s bands to reunite and revisit their halcyon days in front of a new generation of audiences. (It also makes the second one of these to feature neurotic indie icon Lou Barlow, also the original bassist of Dinosaur Jr.) But that’s not really why I’m writing about Sebadoh at the moment. I’m writing about Sebadoh because currently, I can’t stop listening to Lou Barlow’s first recording issued under the Sentridoh name, Weed Forestin’, which was reissued as a Sebadoh album following their debut, The Freed Man. (more…)

Discog Review: Descendents

December 13, 2010

The ALL-era Descendents, now on tour.

I have been a rabid fan of Descendents for many, many years, but until I saw them headline Fun Fun Fun Fest in Austin a month ago, I had always avoided their live releases. To be fair, when I was younger, I avoided most live releases. I liked the idea of having the record, and the live show – two separate entities. I think it was some sort of OCD thing. (more…)

Quick Morning Rant: Slint “Spiderland”

November 23, 2010

Touch and Go 1991

This has been one of my favorite albums since my early high school years. It’s one of the many that I can thank Mr. Eric Melin for introducing to me. I was the really geeky kid that would come into Streetside Records and ask people about EVERYTHING, and Eric was one of the employees that took advantage of this–I guess he saw it as an opportunity to spread the glorious disease of great music onto a malleable young mind. Subsequently, he proceeded to throw this album at me, as well as albums by Pixies, The Replacements, Soul Asylum, Guided by Voices, KISS, Cheap Trick, The Jesus Lizard, and basically all the other music that came to shape my taste. But Spiderland is so different from any of those, or anything else for that matter. For one thing, all the other bands listed above are more or less canonized these days, and though Slint is almost universally revered as one of the most influential bands of all time, they can’t really be canonized because their body of work is so small. Not only that, Spiderland is their only great record. The album that precedes it, Tweez, is interesting at best. But Spiderland puts music fans in an interesting conundrum, because it’s that kind of record that completely stands out as an original. So many bands have tried to copy it, but trying to copy it completely misses the point–the band’s ethics speak for themselves (for instance, if you have a copy of Spiderland on CD, note the disclaimer on the back, reading that the album is meant to be heard on vinyl). Slint created their own little niche with this record and broke up soon after, but I don’t think they could have lasted much longer. Where was there to go after creating something like “Good Morning Captain”, one of the coolest songs in history? The mix of spoken word creepiness and breathtaking, apocalyptic instrumentation that defines this record is simply captivating. “Breadcrumb Trail”, one of the best openers of all time, has a part where the narrator sits down to have his fortune read by a fortune teller, but then abruptly asks her if she would rather ride a roller coaster. If your answer would be “Yes”, this album is for you.

Why Vinyl is Saving Music

November 3, 2010

My enabler

I’ve spent the better part of two weeks without a stereo. It’s been hell. Granted, I have the little computer speakers and a beyond-fully-loaded iTunes, but those can’t hold a candle to my RSM-90 studio monitors, brand new turntable and quickly growing vinyl collection.

Yes, I’m a vinyl nerd. I’m one of those guys. But if you were to visit Love Garden Sounds, one of 1 ½ surviving local record stores in Lawrence (there used to be 5 on Mass Street alone), you would understand my predicament. (more…)

In My Head: The Clientele “Never Anyone But You”

September 10, 2010

from the 2009 Merge release "Bonfires on the Heath"

This was the first song I ever got into by The Clientele, one of those bands that make really great records yet are ignored by most of the American music listening public because they sound “too British”. And it’s not British in that Kooks-ish or Kaiser Chiefs-ish sort of way where it’s really OBVIOUSLY British, like a foreigner who gets all the attention from American girls because of his accent. The Clientele don’t play any obvious games like that, but they do write the sort of no-frills, Nick Drake-ish morning dream pop that tends to work its way into these wee small hours. “Never Anyone But You” is as close to perfect this band has gotten (that is, until they released their latest EP, “Minotaur”–that title track is tits). The sparse, airy guitars seem to carry Alasdair MacLean’s shoestring vocals like a wind lightly pushing along a piece of paper, but the Clientele never waste any time getting to the hooks. Have a good morning with this one–it woke me up nice.

The Dead Girls and Erik Voeks Live at The Brick 9/4/2010

September 6, 2010

Here is a recently uploaded YouTube video of The Dead Girls backing up Erik Voeks, creator of the 1993 power pop classic Sand Box (I posted a link to the album on this blog–find it here.) The show took place last Saturday at The Brick and was part of the Indie Pop Alliance series, which is becoming a very cool thing all around. We did three songs with Voeks (“pronounced VAKES, like SHAKE and BAKE”):

“Throw Me Out A Line”, from a single released on Bus Stop Records.

“My Dentist” and “Finger-Painted Cat” from Sand Box.

A big thanks to Erik Voeks for letting us do this, and for making such great music. Cheers!

Dead Girls to Back Up Power Pop Prince Erik Voeks at The Brick this Saturday Night!

September 4, 2010

Rockville 1993

In 1993, Erik Voeks released an album called Sand Box. (Read my review of it here.) It’s one of those many great records that slipped through the cracks over the years, but has remained championed by a small and fortunate few. Fortunate enough to hear it, that is. Voeks recorded the album in St. Louis, the city in which he used to live, and it features some stellar guitar work from the late, legendary Jay Bennett (Wilco, Titanic Love Affair).

Since then, Voeks has relocated to Kansas City. In addition to a variety of projects that include a meticulously faithful Guided by Voices tribute band, he also started his own band, Miss America. My friend Randy Paske turned me on to Sand Box, and I was like “Who IS this guy?”, and Randy told me the story, while also throwing in the fact that Voeks is an appreciator of my band, The Dead Girls. Right away, I started thinking, “Man, some of those Sand Box tunes would be really fun to play live…”

Now, in partial thanks to Randy, Jesse Kates of the Sexy Accident and Indie Pop Alliance, and Voeks himself, this little party is coming to fruition tomorrow night at the Brick for the next Indie Pop Alliance show. Along with Atlantic Fadeout, Making Movies, and the Sexy Accident, Erik Voeks will perform songs from Sand Box with The Dead Girls as his backing band. Voeks will also be performing solo as well.

If you haven’t been fortunate enough to hear Voeks yet, I am doing you all a favor—here is a download of Sand Box. Please, listen to it, love it, and come out tomorrow (Saturday, Sept. 4) to hear some of these songs live, Voeks/Dead Girls style!

Arcade Fire Poised for Great Takeover—Long Live Rock!

August 3, 2010

Merge 2010

Canada’s Arcade Fire—one of the world’s most beloved modern rock bands—put out their new album “The Suburbs” today on Merge Records. After a few strategically released mp3 downloads to stir the pot a bit, the band’s third album—the follow-up to two of the most talked –about releases of last decade—should be able to accomplish what “Neon Bible” just missed, and debut comfortably at no. 1 on the Billboard 200. (more…)


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