3.26.2007

THE RAFT OF SOLITUDE QUICKLY BECAME THE RAFT OF DRYING LAUNDRY, AND EVENTUALLY THE HOME OF A STOLEN HOT TUB



So I put together an art exhibit to help raise money for the continuation of the Miss Rockaway Armada this summer. The opening is this Thursday at Ad Hoc Art in Brooklyn. We have a lot of great art priced low for the average lover of beautiful things. Among the artists in the show are SWOON, Elbow Toe, The Barnstormers, Gore B, Dennis McNett, Visual Resistance, and me. So yeah, tell yer friends, come out and mingle, and hell even buy something!

:::

Rolling on the River:
Art Exhibit to Benefit the Miss Rockaway Armada

Opening reception on Thursday March 29th at 6 pm
Ad Hoc Art, 49 Bogart St. in Bushwick, Brooklyn

Performances by members of the Miss Rockaway Armada

Exhibition runs March 28th - April 1st
Open 12 - 6 pm

Directions at adhocart.org
Info at missrockaway.org

The Miss Rockaway Armada will host a benefit art exhibit in New York City on the evening of March 29, 2007 at 6pm. The group is calling on artists and art enthusiasts for their support to send this scrap-raft flotilla down the Mississippi River. Currently docked for the winter at a biker bar in Illinois, this group of artists, performers, dreamers and doers from all over the country will get back on the water in June. The group hopes to raise funds for much needed motors, fuel, nautical equipment and transportation. The auction will feature performances by members of the Armada and art from the river itself including a life-sized story booth decorated by David Ellis & Swoon. The benefit show will feature work from dozens of artists, including:

*Swoon
*Elbow-Toe
*The Barnstormers
*Dennis McNett
*Gore B
*Visual Resistance
*The 62
*Tod Seelie
*Space 1026
*and many more!

The Armada project was conceived by street artist Swoon, and has been built and organized by a collective of 25 artists, performers and activists from New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Wisconsin. The collective floats down the Mississippi River on a 110 foot raft made of scrap materials. Last year they spent months gathering resources to build this floating home/art project, then floated from Minneapolis to Andalusia, Illinois; all the while stopping to meet people, share skills, perform, swap stories, and otherwise engage in cultural exchange. However, they have many miles to go before they reach New Orleans. The Armada is gearing up to tackle the Big Muddy again and are eager to see who and what they will encounter as they continue the impossible experience that characterizes Miss Rockaway.

The group is creating a mobile cultural center that embodies their search for creative and sustainable ways of living.

:::

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MP3:

Wasn't really feeling this band. But this is incredible.

• Grizzly Bear - He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)

A band's place in myspace.

3.22.2007

WHEN YOU PUNISH SOMEONE FOR DREAMING THEIR DREAMS,
DON'T EXPECT THEM TO THANK YOU













(from SXSW: Dragons of Zynth; Matt & Kim; The Pack; Dan Deacon; Spank Rock; Pearl & Todd P; Matt & Kim; Les Savy Fav; Andrew WK; Against Me!; Flosstradamus; Fucked Up)

SXSW? I got yer SXSW right here (big-ass photo gallery).

And now the list:
- Best show = Todd P + Paper Thin Walls late night secret show at the empty Amtrack station
- Best Texas moment = Stumbling on a country band covering the Ramones (with the bonus quote "I hope somebody's recording us right now, cause we sound great!")
- Best new discovery = a tie between Shout Out Out Out and Dragons Of Zynth
- Most elbows hitting my face during a show = The Pack
- Biggest disappointment = all the crappy free stuff they give out (excluding the free ice cream and Vitamin Water)
- Nicest employees = Emo's
- Rudest guests = Vice after party
- Best quote = "I will suck your dick if we can have this party" (heard pleading with the Fire Marshall at the shut down iheartcomix party, one of many that night)
- Most awkward moment = anytime I had to talk to someone I didn't know
- Most repeated statement = SXSW is over, done, kaput. They've started cracking down/shitting on the non-SXSW parties which help make this festival what it is. Next year we're not coming back. We'll just have our parties somewhere else.

As for me, several blisters later, a cut to my forehead (mosh pit?), being covered several times in beer/soda/thrown food, and a bad case of the flu on the ride back home (sorry about that, Matt & Kim) I've made it back in one piece. And all this fun was had without the $450 official wristband.

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MP3:

Oh yes they did, and it is so good.

• Flosstradamus - Yea Yeah (Matt & Kim remix)

A band's place in myspace.

3.19.2007

ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, I'LL BE MAKING EYES AT YOU



SXSW is over. I saw the sunrise too many times. Photos and stories to come. Now it's a few days drive with Matt & Kim back to Brooklyn. Truck stops can be kinda creepy at times.

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MP3:

This song got me in trouble once.

• The Prayers And Tears Of Arthur Digby Sellers - Concerning Lessons Learned From The Aliens

A band's place in myspace.

3.17.2007

JUST BECAUSE I HAVE A CAMERA AT A PARTY
DOES NOT MEAN I WANT TO TAKE YOUR PICTURE



Meanwhile SXSW is kicking my aaaaaassssssssss.

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MP3:

Mashed up, like me.

• Car Stereo (Wars) - Ghostface Observatory

A band's place in myspace.

3.14.2007

POLITICALLY INCORRECT ADULT NOVELTIES SAY I LOVE YOU


(Matt & Kim play to a roomful of sweaty rabid fans while the floor bounces up and down)

Last night was interesting. Started off at a punk house called the Treehouse in Little Rock, AR. It was situated directly next to a skeezy looking motel with the only advertisement on the sign being for "Special Rooms." The kids there were really nice. However halfway through the 3rd band of the night, the cops rolled in. They shut it down, but didn't arrest any of the dozens of drunk under-agers. And even before the police had extracted themselves, people were moving on to another punk house in the neighborhood. Now the first house, the Treehouse, have been just that, a house. Nothing particular about it. The next house, however, was something. From the outside it looked exactly like where a witch would live, decrepit, steep pointed rooftops, barren yard, a sign on the fence with a large bone attached to it warning away trespassers, and a tire swing. Inside it only got better. Covered in weird old signs and art, fake black spider webs, hubcaps, and painted words all over the walls, it housed a pile of speakers and assorted sound equipment along with pieces of a drum kit mixed in with breaking furniture. Oh, and it smelled like dog shit. The purveyors of this establishment, called the Park St. house, were originally from NYC and looked like a cross between a Sid & Nancy and something goth. After some mild difficulties getting set up, Matt & Kim got rolling sometime after 1 am (not bad for having to relocate in the middle of a show). The room was kind of small, the crowd was pretty rowdy, and very very drunk. Surprisingly even with the sweaty crush of moshing bodies, Matt & Kim were rarely disrupted. Although someone did think the best way to get behind the band was to climb over Kim, in the middle of a song, while she was drumming. The floor bounced up and down with the beat, and there was even a stray crowd-surfer. After they finished, the Mathematicians went on and were a pretty powerful force. Loud and rowdy with screaming keyboards and a light show, they sounded a bit like the Talking Heads if they had been angry. We went back to the Treehouse and crashed in the attic (photo here). Kim ended up sleeping in the van with the club due to the seeming sketchiness of the surrounding area, and was the first to warn us in the morning that the cops had actually returned to the house and were harassing the residents again. I had just finished taking a shower in a muddy bathtub (I needed a shower pretty badly, and it's not like I've never walked around outside barefoot before), so Matt and I laid low till the cops had left, again. And now we are en route to Austin. The fun continues.

And I am continuing to update the tour diary here.

P.S. Matt is really good at freestyling on a shopping cart.

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MP3:

It's CSS. It's a cover. You know it's gonna end up here.

• Cansei de Ser Sexy - Pretend We're Dead

A band's place in myspace.

3.12.2007

I USED TO BE FLATTERED, NOW I'M JUST POOR




(Death Set rages, Matt & Kim play while Joel walks on people, Dynamite Arrows are rock stars)

I had last mentioned some pretty great live shows coming up in NYC, and they were. Matt & Kim killed it at a sold out Bowery Ballroom (with the lowest ticket price in their history), and Death Set destroyed (kinda literally) along with Team Robespierre at Uncle Paulie's. I heard word of the O'Death and Goddamn Rattlesnake hootenanny being a really great show as well (so much so that Rattlesnake played twice). One highlight of the Matt & Kim show was Colin stage-diving into the crowd from on top of a speaker that was probably a good 10+ feet higher than the floor. It didn't seem like people really caught him as much as got flattened by him. And they bouncers did not think it was funny at all. I was only able to make it to two of the shows, photos below:

- Matt & Kim + Professor Murder + Dynamite Arrows at Bowery
- Death Set at Uncle Paulie's

Now I am currently on the road with Matt & Kim headed down to SXSW in Austin. I'll be keeping a sort of photo tour diary for them, you can see the beginning of it here. They are booked to play a ton of shows down there, hopefully they'll make it through the whole festival. The first stop on the trip was DC, which has some really friendly kids and my favorite part, a guest appearance by Mr. Nick Barbie (they call him "Malibu"). After spending the day looking for an auto shop that was open on a Sunday, it's now a two day drive to Little Rock, AR for a big ol' house show. Should be fun.

P.S. Anyone have any hookups for SXSW passes or a place to stay in Austin (just for one person, not three)?

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MP3:

It's a cover, and no it's not of the Stones.

• Who Made Who - Satisfaction

A band's place in myspace.

3.08.2007

A LARGE PART OF GROWING UP IS GIVING UP


(Juiceboxxx tearing shit up, literally. He ended up with broken glass down his pants)

So many great shows happening this Friday. I hate it when that happens. Pick your poison, cause you can't do 'em all. . .

:::

Matt & Kim
Professor Murder
Dynamite Arrows

at Bowery Ballroom on Delancey in Manhattan
(sold out)

- or -

the death set.
juiceboxxx.
team robespierre.
naked boys.
DJs dirtyfingers & stache.

at Uncle Paulie's
460 monitor st. at greenpoint ave. in greenpoint, brooklyn

- or -

O'Death
The Boggs
Ponytail

at Asterisk
258 Johnson Ave in Bushwick, Brooklyn

:::

Oh, and I'm going down to SXSW again this year. It should be fun.

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MP3:

I just heard a track off the new Wilco record. It was horrible. But as I am apt to do, if I'm going to put something down I often feel compelled to offer a better alternative in it's place. So here you go.

• Abe Froman - July 1998 (Old Style)

f*ck myspace.

3.03.2007

HANDCLAPS IN A SONG ARE LIKE A KISS FROM YOUR MOM,
THEY JUST MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER



(the crowd goes wild for Matt & Kim at Fordham University)

I love my Dad. He can be a handful at times, but he's a good person. However when he sends me forwards from his friends like:
"President Bush wants us to cut the amount of gas we use in this country. The best way to stop using so much gas is to deport 11 million illegal immigrants! That would be 11 million less people using our gas."
I can't help but sigh and shake my head.

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MP3:

The Mall are one of the very few bands to end up on here from a random submission. Although there is a slight connection, as Namesake (which I posted earlier) is the solo project of The Mall's drummer. These boys hail from San Fran, although I hear rumors of a move to NYC. They are just raw enough, just jangly enough to scratch that certain sonic itch that so few can.

• The Mall - Friends And Family

f*ck myspace.

YOU WILL NOT BE SOUGHT



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MP3:

Doric is a two-piece (girl/boy, drums/organ) hailing from Minneapolis. I saw them in Brooklyn at a Black Label party years ago and was really impressed. Unfortunately for all of you, they only released their music on cassette, so it was pretty hard to post it. However, I eventually got the right program and hardware so I could digitize that lovely magnetized strip (you know that "audio in" jack on your mac? Well it doesn't actually work unless you have a fancy powered microphone apparently. And now you know). As far as I know they are still around and kicking, so if you ever cross their path, don't miss 'em. From their myspace, "Influences: love, but more importantly the heart break it will soon bring."

• Doric - Talk So Sweet

• Doric - You're The Clone

A band's place in myspace.

3.01.2007

I'D RATHER LISTEN TO THE CLASH ALL NIGHT THAN BE WITH YOU


(the girls of Burning Angel)

So I am heading to China for April. My lil sis is there teaching college kids English, so I'm going to visit, photograph (aka work), and travel. One thing I would love to explore is the music scene in China, punks, hip-hop, metal, etc. I hear most of it is in Beijing, so I'm planning to visit there for a while. If you or someone you know happens to have any connections into music scenes in China, please get in touch. I won't have a lot of time there, so I'd like to set up possible connections beforehand. Also, I am looking for recommendations of where to travel in China. I'll be based in Suzhou at first, just outside Shanghai, but other than Beijing I'm still undecided. South to Taiwan and beaches? West to mountains? It's a damn big country. Chime in with your thoughts, tips, recommendations, secrets, whatever. Thanks!

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MP3:

Hot-new-song-of-the-moment alert (albeit a bit on the late side). I played this last night while pseudo-djing a little get together for Humble Arts Foundation. People were digging it.

• Peter Bjorn And John - Young Folks

A band's place in myspace.