Thursday, April 30, 2009


These guys come out May 1st.

EYESCRAPER - Skull Magnet
C30, edition of 30

Eyescraper is ascetic junk noise balladeering with home-made instruments and direct-to-tape recording. Growing up weird in the Midwest before translocating to hazy locales on the West Coast, psychic dualism and the struggle to fill spiritual voids with meaningful noise. Foci are ritual therapy, gender confusion, and alienated lonerism.

Instruments: voice, Ibanez electric bass, Lyon & Healy lever harp, DR-202 Dr. Sample, IKEA-brand cookware, and Sony variable-speed tape recorder

KID WIZARD - To the Stars by Hard Ways
C30, edition of 30

Kid Wizard is the pseudonym of Will Grizzly, a Bay Area DIY synth cosmonaut who writes anachronistic soundtrack music for Soviet-era science fiction films that never existed. Themes that inspire his work include space travel, the transhuman endeavor, and the passage of time as a form of personal loss.

Instruments: fake moog synthesizer, fake mellotron, Roland drum machines, tape hiss

Friday, April 17, 2009


Apparently I missed some good shows via Japanther and Inca Ore, but it's because I've been working on awesome stuff like this. ETA June.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Recent Show Reviews


Both of these bands are hella gimmicky, with elaborate stage shows and song titles that rely heavily on cheap puns. Possibly they are intended to appeal more to teenagers than to people my age (~25), but I think that's underestimating the average teenager rockist consumer. Anyway, my friend likes this stuff and he dragged me along.

Peelander Z is three (four? five? do backup dancers and offstage guitarists count?) Japanese natives living in NYC and making trashy punk rock inspired by Godzilla and the Power Rangers. The songs are two-chord stompers that really only exist as an excuse for stage diving and wacky animal costumes. That said, it was pretty entertaining, but not really in a way that made me want to join in. I'd rather watch it on youtube, you know?

The Phenomenauts are an Oakland band which I think has played Warped Tour, and that's probably where my friend knows them from. The name and that fact alone can probably paint a better image than any description I can provide. They do a kitschy "psychobilly in outerspace" thing which never really gets campy enough to be fun, it's just some 200bpm apolitical retro hetero nonsense that I can't really feel and can't get into. The lasers looked expensive, but they didn't bother to tune their instruments, and the whole thing was just a mess.

NO AGE and TITUS ANDRONICUS @ The Rickshaw Stop

Got into this one free through an online promotion for some D.O.A. alt-indie music portal, so the crowd was a little weird, a lot of teenage "bros" and general creepsters. Can't say I loved Titus Andronicus, as the main impression I came away with was that they need to turn down the mic on the harmonica and ditch one of the guitarists. If I'm going to die of tinnitus, I don't want to be during some half-assed indie blues progression.

(Maybe the lyrics are good, I couldn't hear them.)

No Age put on a good show but it definitely wasn't the venue for them. Too much space, too much noise. They really belong in a basement. But they tried hard and brought the energy and harassed the crowd for just standing around and looking like the douchebags they were. By the end of the show everybody was moving around and having a good time.

MOUNT EERIE and WHITE FANG @ Million Fishes

There were some other bands too but I don't remember who they were/wasn't listening when they played. The show was in a basement behind the actual Million Fishes gallery, which is cool because you almost never get to go to actual basement shows in the bay.

White Fang was the first band I saw, some teenage posi hardcore outfit from Oregon who played a 10-minute set that totally worked for me. I didn't know kids still did this kind of stuff. Mount Eerie was just Phil Elvrum with a guitar, playing by himself in the corner of the room. He's really working the loner regression metal jams right now, it's a style that I don't think anybody else can touch. The chord progressions don't make much sense and the songs end abruptly, but it all feels right for what he's singing about. The lyrics are very domestic/natural, sometimes about animals or houses or dying alone, totally engrossing and awesome.