As a gal with a major weakness when it comes to shopping (and bands), I'm naturally drawn to band merch. Over the years I've seen a lot of bands peddling a lot of things, and bought quite a few of those tees and records and totes and what have you. This little feature is my tribute to musicians and their wares. Band:Merchandise Show Date: 6/27/14, Metro Gallery (Baltimore) For sale: Vinyl, CDs, tote bags, posters Notes: Definitely one of the more interesting merch areas, if only because of the wacky Wheel of Fortune on the wall behind the desk (gotta love that the dollar amounts were all zero, save for one section - BONER). I found myself torn over which version of the tour poster to buy, but ended up nabbing the last of the white hot red/purpley/white/black ones. The crazy blue/pink/green one is still out there, y'all, so get one. They were hand-done by the band/s (poster is for the joint Merchandise/The Ukiah Drag jaunt) and are ridiculously cool. Also on offer is a variety of CDs and vinyl, as well as a nifty tote, though I was a bit bummed not to see any tees. More merchandise next time, Merchandise! [photo copyright Megan Petty]
There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above. Supposedly, Tomboy's "Hang Out" is a love song. To balance out any loving sentiments, the band opted for a gloomy video that says less love and more murder mystery, and which leaves the door open for all sorts of questions. It's a beautifully-shot video, and who doesn't love shit that's open to such interpretation? For my part, I wonder who killed who...The song itself is a treat, lovely powerhouse vocals and slinky, smoky bleeps. Very subtle, and very enjoyable.
Y'all know I'm an unapologetic music snob. And I'm an unapologetic Nationals fan. But it pains me when, having been heckled by rather clever fans wielding Nickelback-related signs during the Phillies visit to the Braves recently, Ryan Howard kinda sorta admitted to...listening to Nickelback. And that just hurts my heart. He might be a Phil, but he's a dude in need of some musical guidance. And y'all know I'm fixing to stick my opinions right into this situation. Because Ryan isn't doing himself any favors by not adamantly denying listening to Nickelback (saying instead "How do they know I listen to Nickelback," which is questionable at best and leaves his musical choices, as such a public figure, open to scrutiny and, where appropriate, ridicule). When you get down to it, I want to help him help himself. Now, we all know that when it comes to tepid, bland, downright awful music, Ryan can't do much better. If that's his bag. But if Ryan wants to really diversify that musical portfolio of his and check out some serious rock and fucking roll, he's missing out. But all is not lost. I'd like to help and suggest some credible, awesome alternatives to what might be lurking in Ryan Howard's music library. Ryan, if you see this, don't say Nats fans never did anything for you. Heck, maybe one of these will end up being your new at-bat jam.
Creepoid is Philly. The Phillies are Philly. Noisy enough to drown out any heckles.
Gringo Star hails from Braves country. They're Braves fans. But they're also awesome, and we can overlook certain affiliations if you make awesome music.
If I had my way, everyone would love The Brian Jonestown Massacre. This shit is for when you need to expand your planes of consciousness and go to some far out places. Or, everyday.
It's impossible not to love CHVRCHES, and when three Scottish kids cover Whitney, goodness happens.
If it's rock you want, the Greeks will give it to you.
Need to chill? Listen to Washed Out and watch the world melt away.
The Black Angels is one of the best bands in the world, psychedelic or otherwise.
Mind Spiders is pure awesome. Much like hitting a grand slam or catching the last out of a game.
Hot Chip kills it non-stop. Good for batting practice.
Wonderful, chaotic noise from UK legends Primal Scream.
The Living Eyes = bratty, snarly rock from Down Under.
I knew I loved this song as soon as it started. Consider, if you will, lusty licks, bombastic bass, and a frenzied psych-garage hybrid sound? If that doesn't sound like a surefire way to get into a music blogger's metaphorical pants, I really don't know what does. As far as I'm concerned, there's not a thing not to love about A Million Billion Dying Suns and their pitch-perfect "The Garden." Well, other than maybe the fact that it ends. It's got this girl hot, bothered, and impatiently wanting more. Get your fill of this fucking fantastic rockness hither. [posted 6.21.14]
Pulp gave the world the song "Bad Cover Version." But seeing as I'm a sonic optimist, I'm of the belief that there's more likely than not more good cover versions floating around than bad ones. Good Cover Version celebrates the good, and leaves all that bad and ugly stuff alone. If you're a John Hughes fan, you can instantly call to mind the scene in Pretty In Pink that involves the beautifully heartbreaking "Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want" by the masters of melancholic moping, known to the world as The Smiths. Alas, poor Duckie. Seeing as it's one of my favorite movies, and one of my favorite songs, I'm bound to check out any cover of said song (with a hearty dose of raised-eyebrow skepticism). I have to say that Cloud Boat's effort really hits the nail on the head. It's a new version of the Smiths-ian little black cloud, light and breathy and enchanting but still gloriously glum as fuck. And I love it. If, God forbid, anyone ever remade Pretty In Pink, this cover sure as shit better be in on the soundtrack.
Just a shade under four years ago, I saw a little group of DC musician types do their live thing for one of the first times. The Deadmen blew me away back then, and I was pretty dang sure they'd be able to do it all over again as they took to the stage at the 9:30 Club for their opening stint for Frank Turner. Lo and behold, with apologies to Yogi Berra, it was deju vu all over again. Everything I said four years ago holds true to this day. If anything, somehow, they've gotten better. Their sound harnesses a great live wire energy and a mix of rootsy Americana with feisty folk and backwoods balladry. I still think they channel the three B's: The Band, The Boss, and The Byrds, but there's definitely greater depths to what they're doing these days. And mercy, can they wail. The musical prowess of each of the five Deadmen is obvious, and the way their voices blend together is sinfully special. The band has happens to have this incredible appeal, a sort of charming Everyman quality that stands them in good stead when it comes to getting folks to relate to what they do. Four years after seeing them for the first time, I think it's safe to say The Deadmen still ranks up there with my most favorite DC bands. It's not that I needed a reminder, but good gosh almighty y'all did I get one. Four years ago I said they were on their way, and now I think they're all sorts of primed for the big time. Y'all might as well hop on this here bandwagon now.
There’s a bunch of videos out there. Some of them are good. Some of them are a cut above. I like to think my picks for Video Of The Day are a cut (or two) above. I grew up watching Jem. Not only was she truly, truly, truly outrageous, but she also probably kickstarted my long-standing love of music. Mind you, these days I'm more of a Misfits kinda gal (their songs were, in fact, better), but The Holograms are still great. Point being that when I saw that lovable noisy popsters The Pains of Being Pure at Heart were releasing a Jem-tastic clip, it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that I would love it. And I totally do. The band gets a very Jem-esque treatment (complete with spandex unitards and crazy outlandish makeup!), and the "Friday I'm in Love" on happy pills bounce of the song is just perfect for the vibrant hues of the cartoon. It's straight up adorable, y'all. A must watch for anyone who loves them some Jem/Pains.