Buzzed Bands Podcast, Ep. 2 w/ Cold Blood Club

Sunday, June 30, 2013

8 Best Websites For Finding Events In New York City

Given that I've worked with several event & nightlife companies, have produced parties and concerts, and know tons of promoters and DJ types it makes sense that people often come to me when they are looking for something to do. So I thought I'd whip up a little post to help you find events in the city.

Sure, TimeOut, The L Magazine and similar sites/publications have event listings but in my opinion there's a quality control issue with some of those. They list just about everything and therefore it can be tough to weed out the good stuff. There are also tons of apps these days that help with finding events and there are plenty of sites besides the ones listed that do the same. This list is simply the sites I personally find useful when looking for something to do.

Many of the events I hear about I get from press releases and personal invites. Nonetheless when I do resort to the internet for guidance these are the websites I use. If there are any you use not on this list leave in the comment section.

  • This site is great for finding free and cheap concert listings but don't let the name fool you - they list more than just concerts. There are some pretty solid party listings here as well. They even have a tab where you can see just events with free booze.
  • This used to be a blog with listings for free and cheap drinking options but now it's a subscription based daily "boozeletter". Just sign up and you'll get an email everyday with that night's parties. The only issue really is that because it's events happening that night sometimes the listing's guest lists are already closed.
  • Lots of really fun opening parties, launch parties and other types of semi-exclusive events. Most of these events happen in the 6-10pm range so if you're looking for something to do after work, instead of another shitty happy hour, this site is helpful. 
  • If you're strictly interested in seeing bands then this is your site. They have very thorough listings but have always done a good job of sticking to listing good and interesting music. 
  • I used to use this site regularly but have fallen out of the art scene since. This site is the go-to site for finding out about art gallery shows. If you're into art, or the free booze that generously comes along with art openings, you should check them out and subscribe to their newsletter. 
  • I just recently started using this site and I love it. Facebook used to be great for finding events but it's gotten a little harder to use in that sense lately. HugeCity has come along and uses your geographical location and Facebook friend list to find events near you. It's all automated so of course there is a ton of garbage to filter through but I've found some amazing events this way that weren't listed ANYWHERE else. They also have an iPhone app.  
  • In the past few years I've gotten into the tech community in NYC. In fact, I now have an agency and work with tech start-ups. Gary's Guide is an amazing source for tech events in NYC. If you already work in tech, or are looking to get into the tech world, this is all you need. 
  • Back when I was working for an EDM company I had to keep tabs on all the electronic music events happening in NYC. There are a few sites for this but I found Resident Advisor to be the best. If you're looking for some ooonst this is your site.
Honorable Mentions:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

RIP Motor City

As you may have heard one of the last bastions of rock n' roll sleaze left in the LES is shutting down. The legendary Motor City will be closing their doors at the end of this week. I wasn't able to attend the closing party on Sunday but I saw a ton of pictures coming through my social media feeds and all the old regulars were there saying goodbye.

Motor City was one of the very first bars I ever hung out at on the LES. Back then there were plenty of dirty dive bars to hang out at downtown but most are sadly gone now. Motor City hung in their as long as they could but the condo class has moved in and the wine bars and cocktail lounges have taken over.

One of my best (or worst) memories of that joint was on my birthday a few years back. After a booze fueled BBQ celebration we hit the LES for even more drinks. After making the rounds to a few spots - Welcome to the Johnsons and a friends show at Piano's I believe - we ended the night at Motor City. At some point I went outside, roamed around aimlessly and passed out on a big window ledge a few doors down.

My friends started getting calls from a stranger claiming to have my phone. Apparently I dropped it somewhere on Rivington. Anyway, my girlfriend got my phone back and headed home assuming I pulled an Irish exit and went home - I hadn't. I was still sound asleep on that ledge. Eventually I came too and in the morning sun headed home. I didn't get the best greeting, as you may imagine, but it was one Hell of a birthday party.

While I may have missed the farewell blowout on Sunday I'm still going to try and pop in a few times this week for a few drinks and remember all the nights I forgot in that dump.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Raccoon Fighter Playing 2 Nights at Cake Shop

Raccoon Fighter are playing two back-to-back nights at Cake Shop starting tonight. Here are the lineups, both shows are $10 and start at 8pm. Click here for details.

Thursday, June 20th
Raccoon Fighter
Mount Carmel
The Teen Age
Punks On Mars

Friday, June 21st
Raccoon Fighter
The Denzels
Dead Stars

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Arctic Monkeys "Do I Wanna Know?" (Official Video)

Arctic Monkeys have a new video and well, it's a squiggly line. As is to be expected, the song is pretty damn good. At this point I don't think Arctic Monkeys can make bad music. They're far from my favorite band but hot damn can they write some songs. Am I the only one that is picking up on a Queens of the Stone Age thing here?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blondie Touring With X + New Music

Blondie just announced some US tour dates, which conclude on October 4th at Roseland Ballroom in NYC. They will be supported by X at all dates. The NYC show goes on sale on June 21st. Your ticket purchase will include five new tracks from Blondie.

Read More:

Die Antwoord "Cookie Thumper" (Official Video)

Despite the fact that Die Antwoord has been outed as a very elaborate ruse, I'm still fascinated with them. Everything about them is awesome in a way that I can't even begin to explain. This track exclusively features Yo-landi on vocals and it's just her in the video too. As always she's doing that creepy/hot thing that is hard to make sense of. A YouTube commenter said it best,"how is it that Yo-landi is both super hot and super repulsive at the same time? I'm so confused."

Challenge of the Future "You Can't Call Off the Dog"

Nick Zinner got his old college band back together and they're releasing an album they recorded at Adrian Grenier's studio, Wreckroom. The track is called "You Can't Call Off the Dogs" and it's just the type of weird I enjoy. It's fast with crazed vocals and I would take this over Yeah Yeah Yeahs any day of the week. I can't wait to hear the rest of the tracks. And who is the vocalist? This dude is fucking amazing. He sounds like a cross between Jack White, Jello Biafra and the Mad Hatter.

NGHBRS "Hold Up Girl"

When this track started out it seemed a little too clean and peppy for my taste but I hung in there. Turns out it's a pretty damn good song. "Hold Up Girl" is on NGHBRS upcoming album called Twenty One Rooms which comes out on July 16th.

Sunday With Black Flag, Adolescents & Subhumans

Yesterday was one for the books! I headed to Williamsburg around 2pm or so to check out some of the Northside action. After grabbing a slice at Vinnie's Pizza on Bedford, where I overheard French tourists complaining that there wasn't any mayo to put on their pizza (WTF?), I went over to Muchmore's for The Teen Age. Bill from Gunfight is in the band and they signed to my buddies label, Papercup Music, so I figured I'd swing by.

Of course the show was running late but that was nothing a few warmish beers couldn't help. The band on when I arrived was Bugs In The Dark, who I've heard of many times but don't think I've ever seen; they were good. The Teen Age came on next and I thought they were pretty solid. The singer's vocal style kinda threw me at first though. He was really bassy during the first song but as the set went on he found his groove and actually has a pretty interesting voice and a wide range. The Teen Age were pretty damn solid, check them out if you can.

After that I headed over to the Jameson Lounge with my buddy Malcolm for some free drinks and some grub. The Beets were going on when we got there. I dig the Beets so it was a nice surprise to see that they were playing.

After the set we decided to head over to Music Hall of Williamsburg for Adolescents and Subhumans. They were allowing 75 badges in so we wanted to get there early and get stamped so we could come back later. The idea was to go over to Grand Victory and see if we could get into the secret Black Flag show. Well, as it turns out, while I was walking over there I got a message saying I was on the list! I was pretty excited about the idea of seeing Black Flag in a venue that only fits 100 people (if that).

We hung around outside of Grand Victory chatting for a bit when Ron Reyes (Black Flag vocals) comes out. Malcolm starts chatting with him and he asks us what else we're doing. We tell him we were thinking about going back to see Adolescents and Subhumans. He says, "I wanna go!" and asks us how far away it is. After we tell him it's less than 10 minutes away he runs inside to check what time he needs to be back. He comes out and says, "let's go!"

My night went from not knowing if I could even get into the Black Flag show to not only getting in but hanging around with Ron Reyes and actually going to see the Adolescents with him - crazy! We got to Music Hall and talked to the door man who let Ron right in and then headed over to the merch table. We told the merch dude (who ended up being one of the guitarists for Adolescents) Ron was here and five minutes later Tony from Adolescents is downstairs with us. So now it's me Ron Reyes, Tony Cadena and my pal Malcolm just hanging out. It was pretty surreal for a dude who grew up on punk.

After awhile people started realizing what was going on and started swarming for photos. At some point Ron snuck out of there and probably headed backstage. The Adolescents went on around 9:30pm and the place was packed. It was a really fun show, people were stage diving, dancing on stage and singing along with Tony. At one point an overly excited fan wiped out and took down Tony. He took a pretty hard fall and it took him a minute to get back on his feet. He stopped the song and told everyone they could do whatever they wanted as long as they don't knock him on his ass.

Around 10:30pm or so I started getting a little nervous about Black Flag. I knew they weren't going on until after 11pm but I was worried the venue might fill up and I wouldn't be able to get back in. So I left while the Adolescents were still on stage and skipped out on Subhumans. I felt terrible because I absolutely love Subhumans and think they are one of the best live punk bands around.

I got back to Grand Victory and of course I walked right in. I considered heading back to Music Hall but I saw a few friends and decided to stick around thinking that Greg Ginn's other band, who were on stage, would be wrapping it up soon. I sure was wrong about that. I think they played for another hour after I arrived and by the time that Black Flag went on the Subhumans show was already over. Not only could I have stuck around but I could have caught the entire set! Damn it.

Anyhow, Black Flag eventually came on and the room filled up with people coming over from the Adolescents/Subhumans show. Black Flag played almost exactly the same set as Friday night, which is fine by me because it includes most of my favorite Black Flag tunes. The pit was a lot tamer than I expected but I that's because the goon faction wasn't really in attendance. It was actually a pretty mellow and fun pit, not violent at all. I jumped in for "TV Party" and "Six Pack" but I was drenched in sweat after just two songs so I got the hell out of there and headed to the bar for a beer.

When I got back to the bar I see Dick (singer) from Subhumans hanging around. I didn't say anything to him because it was just too damn loud for conversation unless you were all the way by the door. Black Flag fucking killed it, which is no surprise. I really have to commend Ron for sounding great, his voice was still on point even after three consecutive nights of shows. It was truly amazing to see legends perform in a room that small. I really had an awesome time last night. Robert from Scenic did a hell of a job putting it together and keeping it under wraps.

After the gig everyone poured out into the street for some fresh air (did I mention it was really hot?). That's when I said hello to Dick from Subhumans. He was heading across the street for drinks. I had actually agreed to meet my buddy Marty over there anyway. A couple of minutes after I get to the bar the Subhumans bust in and start shooting pool and drinking. I talked to the guitar player for awhile, very nice guy, and then said hello again to Dick. One funny thing that happened was the bartender had a Def Leppard album playing straight through and all these crusty old punk dudes were all singing along. It was hilarious since, you know, punks are supposed to hate bands like Def Leppard.

We hung out for awhile, we were both hammered at that point so I have no clue what we talked about. At some point he goes, "I like you. I'm gonna buy you a drink." He asked me what we were drinking so I tell him whiskey and he orders up some shots. So now I'm slamming whiskey shots with Dick from Subhumans. He's a real nice dude and it was super cool hanging out with him although I'm still bummed I missed their set.

I don't know what time it was when I left but when I walked outside the Subhumans were out there drinking and singing in the street. I think they had a car parked on the curb with the stereo blasting. Everything was a blur at this point but I said my goodbyes and went home.

So to recap I hung out with Ron Reyes from Black Flag and even took him over to an Adolescents show. Then I hung for a bit with Tony from Adolescents and Ron from Black Flag. And later in the night I'm doing shots with Dick from Subhumans. Quite the fucking night, if I do say so myself.

w/ Dick from Subhumans
Black Flag

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Black Flag Played Warsaw

Last night, after spending the day drinking awful Heineken under a tent, I walked over to the Warsaw to see if I could get into the Black Flag show. I ended up with a premium Northside Festival badge but I had no idea if that would get me in or not. We got there a little after the doors opened, talked to some people and managed to get in. Apparently something like 75 badge holders are let in so if you have one you might want to think about heading to the show tonight and if you don't they released some earlier today but they're probably sold out.

Anyway, we get in and head straight to the side room for a round of grandma style Polish food, one of my favorite things about going to Warsaw. While we were eating we realized that we missed The Netherlands, which sucks because they're awesome. The other opening bands, one of which includes Ginn on guitar, didn't really blow me away. Honestly, I was super focused on Black Flag so I kinda tuned everything else out.

Black Flag took the stage and went into some weird Ginny jam. Then Ron Reyes came out and they busted into a string of classics from The First Four Years era. Reyes sounded fucking awesome! I was blown away by how great, and dare I say youthful, his vocals sounded. They played a ton of classics during the set like "Six Pack," "TV Party," "Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie," "Nervous Breakdown," and so on.

In the middle of the set Ginn and the gang went into an excessively long jam session where he employed his theremin. Have I mentioned I hate theremins? Why in God's name he decided to include that damn thing in Black Flag songs is beyond me. Sometime after the jam session they played "Rise Above" which set the place off. Every person in the room had their fists in the air and were singing along. The pit, which was already insane, erupted; it was awesome!

As per tradition they closed out the show with "Louie Louie". Some people stuck around trying to encourage an encore but it's Black Flag, they ain't playing no stinkin' yuppie encore. I heard mixed reviews as I filed out. A lot of fans of the Rollins-era were bummed that they played mostly pre-Rollins tunes. However, if you're a bigger fan of the pre-Rollins era, as am I, then it was fucking fantastic! The only other criticism I heard was that damn theremin - fuck that thing. All in all, I can't believe how good Black Flag was last night. I'm totally impressed and highly recommended doing whatever it takes to get in tonight. There's also a secret show in Brooklyn on Sunday. I think I know where it is but I ain't saying shit because it's tiny and you ain't stealing my spot (I actually don't have a spot but hopefully I can weasel my way in).

Theremin party tonight! Alright!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Editors "The Weight" (Video)

The Editors are still around apparently and they have a new video for their song called "The Weight". Not sure about the choice of title for the song; I seem to recall a pretty massively famous and damn near perfect song with the same name. The track is decent enough, not their best work but pretty good.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Northside Festival & Next Expo Start Today

Northside Festival kicks off today so there will be shows all over Williamsburg and Greenpoint the next few days. I'm more interested in the Next Expo element of the festival though. It's a series of tech start-up panels and networking events. I managed to win myself a free badge so I'm heading over there in an hour or so.

I'll be taking a breather from the tech stuff for a while this evening and stopping by Spike Hill for the Paper Garden showcase which has Wild Yaks on at 7pm. Then I'm off to Villain for the Jameson Black party with So So Glos performing. You have to RSVP for the Jameson event, just head to the So So Glos Twitter page for that info.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

CSS Has A New Album + Playing NYC July

I don't consider myself a CSS fan but they're one of those bands that are undeniably fun. If you're at a party and CSS comes on you're in good shape. They released a new album today called Planta with all sorts of guests on it and it was produced by Dave Sitek (TV on the Radio).

They're playing Bowery Ballroom on July 8th and Brooklyn Bowl on July 9th.

Cover Shows & Interview Bands For Brooklyn Ski Club

I'm a tired, old man. In the heyday of BSC I used to attend about 6-7 shows per week and I'd take photos and review every last one of them. It was insane and I have no idea how I managed it while I was working a 50/hour week job. The thing is though, those show reviews were huge hits. BSC reviews got picked up by every major music blog, website and magazine you can name.

So now that I'm bringing BSC back I want to get those reviews going again. I can't do it, there's no way. But you, you're young and energetic or maybe you're old and trying to make the most of these last few years of semi-youth before you have kids and die. Whatever. If you can write and have a half decent point & shoot camera then you can probably handle this.

You'll also have the chance to interview bands if you so choose. That could be fun if you're the outgoing type.

Now, of course, I can't pay you anything but hopefully you see value in going to shows for free and hanging out with rock stars. And no, it's not all shitty local bands. BSC still gets requests to cover & interview big touring bands. Free concerts, hanging with bands, some free booze on occasion and a line item in your resume. But in all seriousness some previous BSC writers are pros now (seriously) so this ain't no joke, son!

Interested? Send some examples to matt [@] brooklynskiclub (dot) com

***Should BSC start making money you will get some, if not all, of it. I don't do this shit for money so any income is pure bonus and I'm happy to share. 

Netflix Arrested Development Was Awesome

I finally wrapped up watching the new season of Arrested Development. I didn't expect much based on my own natural cynicism and the reviews seemed to affirm my suspicions. After watching the first two or three episodes I wasn't very impressed but I wasn't quite let down yet either. Once the stories started coming together and the bigger picture became more apparent I was hooked. Each episode was better than the last.

Some people had issues with the fact that each episode focused on a single member of the family and, at first, I too had concerns. However, the way it was done was perfect! My only issue is that I felt the series could have benefited from a family focused episode for the finale that tied everything together. That's not to say it didn't come together but it was odd having it all resolve through an episode dedicated to George Michael.

My only other issue is that I felt the portrayal of Michael Bluth didn't quite fit the character from previous seasons. He seemed a little too desperate at times and, in contrast, overly cocky at other moments. Michael is supposed to be the mild mannered character that comparatively seems normal but that wasn't the case throughout the Netflix series. Maybe that was intentional but it felt a bit off character.

Otherwise I thought the series was fantastic. The writing was brilliant and I might even say the laughs came at a faster pace than previous seasons. I don't know if they plan on another season but I would love to see it. Although, it would be better to release each episode on a weekly schedule. I think the reason for the negative reviews was solely a matter of people powering through all the episodes in a single sitting and not letting things sink in.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Stream New Heliotropes Album

I'm going to be honest here and tell you that I'm pretty damn bored with Brooklyn music these days. The bands that have been around forever are still killing it but there aren't too many new bands that get my attention. That said, Heliotropes are fucking awesome. They finally have an album and it's available to stream on Spin. I've listened to about half of it so far and I dig it. The mellow tunes kinda remind me of Hole but that's not why I'm writing about them, check out the heavier stuff because it's really amazing. I like everything about this band and I haven't even seen them live yet. I never say good things about bands I haven't seen live. I hear good things though. Anyway, give this a listen and try and tell me it's not killer.


Death Set In Another Commercial

The Death Set scored another big commercial, this time it's for the Xbox game Sunset Overdrive. Brooklyn bands are all fucking over the place right now. In the old days I would have cried sell out but this is the modern era and you gotta get paid wherever the fuck you can if you want to be a career musician so good for them - good for all of them!

Black Sabbath "God Is Dead?" (Video)

I've been hearing great things about the Rick Rubin produced Black Sabbath come back album so I was excited to check this out. I'm going to cut to the chase here, they need to get Bill Ward back in the fold. Brad Wilke is a good drummer but his style doesn't fit in right. He's not bluesy enough or something like that. Ozzy is singing more in the solo Ozzy style and less in the Sabbath Ozzy style. That's to be expected I suppose but Ozzy could be better. Iommi and Geezer are very much on point.

The first half of the song is a little boring but man does it pick up speed. By the end I was totally fucking digging this track. The video itself is kinda shitty but honestly who cares? Unless we're talking about Tool I don't really give too many shits about what the video looks like. For a bunch of dudes who haven't released a track since before I was born this ain't too shabby.

Why Do You Still Suck At Facebook?

I meet with lots of brands trying to beef up their presence on Facebook. They typically hire young, inexperienced "interns" with no real background in social media to manage their online identities. It's easy to think that a young kid who grew up with social media would be an expert when it comes to Facebook but that's just not true.

I often consult with social media managers for these companies and even the most basic best practices aren't being followed. Then I speak to the CEO or marketing director and they're clueless as to why Facebook "doesn't work" for their business. While Facebook is in fact based on top secret algorithms that doesn't mean you can't make it work for your brand with a few easy steps.

  1. Don't post too much: Facebook posts have a lifespan and if your previous post is still active you're competing for views with your own post! Generally speaking the bigger the following your page has the longer each post "lives" so don't over post. Depending on the size of your page and the popularity of your posts (actions per post) you should only post 1-2 times per day. 
  2. Use photos: Need to share a link? Okay, well you could drop it in and have Facebook convert it to a link post (that's the one with the ugly box) or you could share a photo relating to the link. "Link posts" suck - really, really suck! So instead find a good pic (preferably sized for Facebook) and upload it, then add your text and your link to the body of the post. It will still be hyper-linked but without the big ugly box. People love photos so the activity on the post will usually be much higher and you'll still get clicks on your link. 

Nine Inch Nails, "Come Back Haunted" (Video)

Nine Inch Nails released the first single from their new album which comes out in September. The track is called "Come Back Haunted" and not only is it good but it really reminds me of early NIN. Trent has been on fire lately so it's no surprise that this tune is awesome. I don't think it's a classic, it doesn't really grab you like a "Hurt" or "Head Like A Hole" or "Wish" does but it's still very good. Give it a listen.

Game Of Thrones Finale Was A Snorefest

Last night I took a break from watching the NBA Finals to check out the season finale of Game Of Thrones. After last episode's blood bath I had very high expectations for the finale. I'm not going to post any spoilers here so don't worry. Actually, nothing really happened of interest so there isn't much to spoil.

The finale was slow paced and kind of boring compared to the rest of the season. It was nothing more than a setup job for the next season, which is obviously needed but probably could have been done in a more exciting manner. They jumped around a lot trying to tie up any loose ends and it took away from the pace of the show. The final scene was just plain stupid, so incredibly boring and kind of goofy if you ask me (you didn't but I'm saying it anyway).

I truly look forward to next season but I wish I had a better taste in my mouth to go out with. This season of GoT was like eating a slice of pizza; it's delicious as soon as you take a bite, with a couple extra delicious bites where you get the toppings, and then at the end you're left with the crust. Sure, some crust is pretty tasty but compared to the bites with cheese and sauce and toppings it's just kind of bland. Unfortunately, given the shape of a pizza the most boring bite always comes at the end. That's Game Of Thrones, yup... pizza.

Brooklyn Ski Club, Expect More.

I've decided to start posting more often and essentially bringing back BSC to some extent. The topics won't necessarily be what you're used to though. Sure there's going to be some music and nightlife stuff covered but I'll be covering a wider range of topics. For the past few years I've been working in the NYC tech world so you might start seeing some posts about techy shit on occasion. I'm also loosely involved in food (Kings County Cookout & Dinner In The Woods) so you might see some food shit here too. It's basically going to be whatever I feel like posting, most will still be NYC oriented though.

Quick update on what's happening with me these days, in case you give two shits. A few months back I started an interactive marketing communications agency with an old co-worker from my days. We're primarily working with NYC tech companies. It's very revealing working with young, hungry companies in that it makes you realize how much experience you've acquired over the years. Apparently all my years busting my ass at various tech start-ups has lead to a deep well of useful knowledge. It's been fun and interesting so far but we've got a long way to go.

In other news I co-executive produced and was a cast member in a reality show called Dinner In The Woods. My buddy Lex, who cooked at my event series Kings County Cookout, had the idea for an camping & cooking show. I was already in talks with another friend about producing a show so I presented her with the idea and since we both loved it we shifted focus to Dinner In The Woods and self produced it. We'll have a webisode in a few weeks and start shopping it around to networks. If it gets picked up we may be traveling the country eating and drinking on a network's dime. Sounds fucking rad to me!

Well, that's all I got. Updates will be coming soon, maybe even today.

Friday, April 12, 2013

King Khan & BBQ Show Played Santos Party House w/ Bloodshot Bill

Last night I went over to Santos Party House to check out King Khan & BBQ Show with Bloodshot Bill. I showed up right before Bloodshot Bill was scheduled to go on and the place was packed. Bloodshot came out in his trademark pajamas and went straight into his Tazmanian devil act. The snortin', gruntin', spittin' one-man show wowed the crowd, as he always does.

I've seen Bloodshot Bill many times but it's always been to crowds that already knew and loved him. This time was different as it was very clear that most of the crowd had no idea who this madman was. After a couple of songs he clearly had won them over and a few people in the crowd started dancing. Then he hooked them in with his singalongs.

After Bill cleared the stage, and I grabbed a fresh beer, the room filled in even more. I don't think I've ever seen Santos Party House so packed before. While Bill was on stage there was a 9-foot high totem pole looking object covered in sheets. Prior to the headliners coming on King Khan came on stage and revealed what was under the cloth - a giant disco dick! You heard me right, not a disco ball, a disco dick. It was a glorious sight to behold.

A little bit later BBQ came on stage dressed in his crazed genie outfit. Then they started jamming - BBQ singing the sweet stuff and King Khan growling like rabid wolf. It was at this point that, despite seeing many King Khan shows and one or two Mark Sultan shows, that I realized I never saw the two together before.

As soon as they started all Hell broke loose. People were crowd surfing, there was a mini mosh pit going, girls were dancing on the side of the stage, beer was spraying all over the crowd - it was pure madness. If you hit mute and just looked at the crowd you would have thought it was a punk rock show. In reality it was dirty ass rock n' roll played by two masters of the genre. It was one of the best pure rock n' roll shows I've ever experienced. I'm a huge Bloodshot Bill fan and I always feel bad for whoever has to follow that dude but King Khan & BBQ did quite the job. Hot damn, what a night!

Monday, April 08, 2013

Spirit Family Reunion Played Bowery Ballroom

On Saturday night Spirit Family Reunion played Bowery Ballroom. I know most of the band so I was super excited for them. If any band deserves to play the big stage it's Spirit Family. Not only did they play but they managed to sell the place out, which is incredible!

The first act up that night was Blind Boy Paxton, who is a 24 year old kid from Watts, Los Angeles. Somehow in that urban jungle he discovered blues, Americana, ragtime and bluegrass and he dedicated his life to it. The man is fantastic! He plays several instruments - banjo, guitar, fiddle and more - and plays them all very well. Seeing him play is like getting into a time machine and transporting yourself to the Mississippi Delta in the 1920's. Not only is he an awesome musician but he has a great stage presence, getting laughs throughout the set.

The next act was out of place on the bill. Something just didn't click so I headed downstairs and sucked down some brews to kill the time.

As I headed back up I ran into to Stephen from SFR. He came over, said hello and we caught up a bit. I asked him what it felt like to sell out Bowery Ballroom and he very sincerely answered, "I'm freaked out, man".

A few minutes later they took the stage to a packed house and started up. The set was made up of quite a few tunes that I haven't heard them play before. They sound absolutely amazing and the enthusiasm they showed was contagious. They absolutely owned that stage and I can honestly say it was one of the best shows I've ever seen at Bowery Ballroom.

They closed with "When My Name Is Spoken" which is one of my favorites and also a favorite of the crowd. Everyone was singing along and dancing around. Then went off stage for a few minutes and came back for an encore. They asked the sound man to kill all the mics except the main one and then the whole band gathered around for a stunning rendition of "I'll Find A Way". The whole band took turns on vocal duty and then Nick stepped forward in front of the stage and shouted a sing-along with the crowd. Every single person there joined in. It was so loud that you could barely hear the band.

Before the song started Stephen came over to the mic and told the crowd how he was at a show at Bowery Ballroom a few weeks earlier and texted his manager saying, "I don't think we can do this, man" - well, they did it and they did it better than anyone I've seen do it there before.

Friday, April 05, 2013

VICE's New HBO Series Premieres Tonight

Last night I went to the screening party for VICE's new series which premieres tonight on HBO. It's very similar to the travel guides and the MTV series but it seems a little more journalistic and edgy. The episodes we were shown last night included interviews with the head of the Taliban in Afghanistan, child suicide bombers, North Korean escapees (still en-route to freedom) and more wild shit like that.

VICE goes where no other news outlet has the balls to go. Whether you can call them "news" is questionable, I suppose, but either way it's interesting. Say what you will about VICE the magazine but the TV programming they've been creating recently is fantastic.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Video: Soundgarden "By Crooked Steps" Directed By Dave Grohl

Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters (duh) directed the new Soundgarden video for "By Crooked Steps". In the video, Soundgarden are a grizzled old Segway gang who take over the local bar where some hipster is DJing on his computer. They take to the stage and rock n' roll mayhem transpires. It ends with them being arrested by deadmau5, who is a protector of DJs worldwide. Don't you think someone would have killed them off by now otherwise? It all makes sense.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Buzzed Bands Podcast, Episode 2 (Cold Blood Club)

A few days ago I sat down with my friends in Cold Blood Club for the second installment of Buzzed Bands. We drank a bunch of cheap beer and cheaper whiskey (Evan Williams) and talked about white boys, Mary's little lamb, working at Tower Records, how to join the Cold Blood Club and other random bullshit. Take a listen and pay close attention to Tom's downward spiral into Incoherentville. Good times! Stay tuned for more episodes (I have 3 lined up already!). Oh, and please follow Buzzed Bands on Twitter.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Tonight: Wild Yaks, Unstoppable Death Machines, Violent Bullshit at 285 Kent

Great fucking show in Williamsburg tonight! Wild Yaks, Unstoppable Death Machines, Habibi, Violent Bullshit play live and Dirtyfinger is on the wheels of steel. This will be fucking madness. 


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Soundgarden Set List

I wasn't at last night's Soundgarden show at Hammerstein Ballroom but a couple of friends were there. The set included some of my favorite tracks ("Flower", "Beyond The Wheel", "4th of July", etc.), which were absent from last week's show. Hopefully, tonight's set list will be just as good. Now I just need someone to hook me up with tickets (they start at $80 on StubHub).

*Photo by Zach Timm.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Video: The Black Angels "Don't Play With Guns"

The Black Angels have a new album coming out and here's a little taste of what you can expect. Not surprisingly, it's awesome! This band never disappoints.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Video: Heems "Soup Boys"

Himanshu, formerly of Das Racist, released a video for his solo track "Soup Boys".

Friday, January 18, 2013

Buzzed Bands, Episode 1 with Raccoon Fighter (BSC Podcast)

I've been working on a video show where I interview bands. We did a test shoot with Gabe and Zac from Raccoon Fighter just to see how it would look and feel. The director wasn't there so I shot it myself which, of course, means the video sucks. But the audio was salvageable so I turned it into a podcast. This is my very first band interview ever so please give me your feedback.

As mentioned in the podcast, Raccoon Fighter is running a Kickstarter campaign raising money to release the album they're currently upstate recording. Please take a minute to donate a couple of bucks. 

Soundgarden Played Terminal 5

On on Wednesday I went to Terminal 5 for the American Express concert featuring Soundgarden. Some people are acting weird because AMEX sponsored the show but if that means $15 tickets for Soundgarden then I don't give two flying fucks who sponsors it. Soundgarden is one of my all-time favorite bands and I've only seen them once before a couple summers ago in Philly. That was one of the best shows I've seen in years so I had high hopes for this one.

The show started a little after 8pm with the band jumping into "Been Away For Too Long" which is a decent track from their new album. From there they went to "My Wave," which is a track I love so things were looking up but the band never really picked up steam. The Philly show was chock full of harder and heavier songs from the early years but this set was mostly the singles. It's still great music but that's not what I want to see at a show. I'm sure AMEX had something to do with the lackluster set list. Check it out after the jump, you'll notice songs like, "Slaves and Bulldozers" "Beyond The Wheel" "Mailman" "4th of July" "Superunknown" and so forth are absent, all of which they played in Philly.

Video: My Education "Mister 1986"

Despite being an instrumental track and rather repetitive I really dig this track. The drumming is very aggressive which is a nice counterpoint to the mellow violin part. The distortion on guitar is a bit to processed sounding to me but it's buried deep enough in the mix that I can get past it. I wasn't even going to post this originally but it grew on me quick so I figured I'd share.

Video: Dinosaur Jr. "Pierce The Morning Rain"

I've never been much of a DJ fan but I know some of you old stoners are so I figured I'd post this. Also, Henry Rollins beats the shit out of some nerd in the video and then gets beaten by said nerd, so that's something.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

NYC Tonight: Soundgarden, Heliotrope, Mountain Goats

Bored? No friends? Drinking on the couch... again? Don't fret, Chet. It's a big city full of fun people looking to hang out with schlubs just like you! Here are a few suggestions on radical happenings in the city tonight.

  • Soundgarden at Terminal 5, 7pm (Sold Out): This will be awesome and I will be there. Try and get in somehow. 
  • Heliotropes, Gang Signs, Blackout at Union Pool, 9pm (Cover???): I haven't heard much by Heliotropes but what I have heard is fucking awesome. Never seen them live. If I wasn't going to see one of my all-time favorite bands tonight I would be here. 
GQ & FSG present the Originals Series: Frank Bill & John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats

Monday, January 14, 2013

5 Random Songs (1/14/13)

Round 3 of "5 Random Songs"

I was in the gym the other day and threw my iPod on full random. All 12,000+ songs randomly jarbled together coming at me like a shit cannon. As someone who's worked in music for a long time I have tons of albums I've never listened to that random people have given me to listen to. At one point I put everything on my iPod. That is until it filled up. It's been a couple years since that happened and my taste has changed dramatically since I started collecting the albums on my iPod (going back to the early 90's).

So I decided to go back and review the first 5 songs that popped up when I hit random. Some might be new(ish) and some might be old. Some might be shitty pop and some might be shitty metal. Who knows? Here we go...

Track 1: "Dead Embryonic Cells" Sepultura, Under Siege (Live In Barcelona)

  • When I was a young headbanger Sepultura was my favorite band. I had two BC Rich Warlock guitars because Max Cavalera played one. I had Brazilian soccer jerseys because they were from Brazil and wore them on stage. I vowed to name my first born son, Max. So yes, I liked Sepultura a little. This is one of the best songs from their 80's material. This is the live version, which honestly I didn't even know I had. It's a quality recording for a live track but the original version is better. Sepultura is no longer my favorite band but this is still something I'd listen to, no doubt. 

Track 2: "Lapdance" NERD, In Search Of...
  • I dug this track when it came out but it sounds a bit dated. I also just remembered that this track used to bug me because the main riff is the same as Marilyn Manson's "Angel With the Scabbed Wings". I always thought that was a bit sketchy. The white dude rapping on this sucks too, which kills the mood. That said Pharrell is great on this track and the stripped down production is classic early Pharrell, like what he did for Clipse. 

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Give Raccoon Fighter Your Money

Raccoon Fighter needs $10,000 to fund their next album. They have a Kickstarter campaign up and running in which you can donate up to $5,000. It's not listed on the page but if you donate the full $10,000 Zac will give you one of his signature hand jobs. Just something to think about.

So next time you're at the bar and want to do a bump of Columbian don't call Tiny Lou (that's your coke dealers name, pay more attention - he has feelings too). Instead take that money and give it to Raccoon Fighter. Cool? Sorry Lou.

In other news I'm kicking off a video show in which I drink and bullshit with bands. Raccoon Fighter will be the first band on the show. So stay tuned for that too.


Tuesday, January 08, 2013

5 Random Songs (1/8/13)

Round 2 of "5 Random Songs"

I was in the gym the other day and threw my iPod on full random. All 12,000+ songs randomly jarbled together coming at me like a shit cannon. As someone who's worked in music for a long time I have tons of albums I've never listened to that random people have given me to listen to. At one point I put everything on my iPod. That is until it filled up. It's been a couple years since that happened and my taste has changed dramatically since I started collecting the albums on my iPod (going back to the early 90's).

So I decided to go back and review the first 5 songs that popped up when I hit random. Some might be new(ish) and some might be old. Some might be shitty pop and some might be shitty metal. Who knows? Here we go...

Track 1: "Anthem" Cerebral Ballzy, You're Idle

  • The homies from Brooklyn! I love this band and I've seen them many times. Hell, they even played my birthday party. This is their signature track, as you may gather from the chorus which is "Cerebral Balllzy" shouted over and over again. It's a very raw sound and could easy have existed in 1982 and none would be the wiser that it's a bunch of skate punks from Brooklyn circa 2010. 

***This is NOT the version from You're Idle, this is way more produced. It's all I could find.

Track 2: "One Evening" The Jesus Lizard, Head/Pure
  • While I certainly appreciate The Jesus Lizard I've never really been a fan. I saw them at the VICE Halloween party a few years ago and they fucking kill it live. But back to the track, the bass line reminds me of "Kerosene" by Big Black but that's about all I love about it. It's not bad at all but I don't love it, which is exactly how I feel about this band as a whole. I have no fucking clue where I got this album from.

Monday, January 07, 2013

5 Random Songs

I was in the gym the other day and threw my iPod on full random. All 12,000+ songs randomly jarbled together coming at me like a shit cannon. As someone who's worked in music for a long time I have tons of albums I've never listened to that random people have given me to listen to. At one point I put everything on my iPod. That is until it filled up. It's been a couple years since that happened and my taste has changed dramatically since I started collecting the albums on my iPod (going back to the early 90's).

So I decided to go back and review the first 5 songs that popped up when I hit random. Some might be new(ish) and some might be old. Some might be shitty pop and some might be shitty metal. Who knows? Here we go...

Track 1: "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" Nirvana, MTV Unplugged In New York

  • One of my all-time favorite covers, ever. I got into Nirvana right around the same time I started listening to old blues and roots music. I was watching the Unplugged episode when it first aired and remember recognizing the song but not being sure what it was exactly. Anyway, I fucking love this song and I will always love this song. It only gets better with age. Kurt just pours his heart out on it and you have to appreciate that. 

Track 2: "My Love Is A Gentle Thing" Crosby Stills & Nash Stephen Stills
  • My girlfriend had the entire CSN collection on a couple of burned discs, which I dumped on my iPod, so I'm not sure what album this is from but I don't really know this song. It's okay, I guess, but far from their best stuff. Sounds like they were strung out when they made this. The vocals, of course, are fucking beautiful - even if they're not up to par for CSN. ***Update: Apparently this is a Stephen Stills solo track included in the CSN box set. 

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