Friday, April 19, 2013

Come see Kaleidoscope!

English '60s psych group Kaleidoscope has reformed (in the Smashing Pumpkins sense), and 67-year old frontman Peter Daltrey will be taking his touring act, currently listed as Kaleidoscope (UK) and now inclusive of members of groups like Winter Flowers and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, to the U.S. The tour has kicked off in California, and they'll be at the Satellite in L.A. this Saturday, as well as the Del Monte Speakeasy in Venice on Sunday.

They needed to accept donations via Kickstarter in order to start their tour, so come support them.

April 20 - Los Angeles, CA - The Satellite
April 21 - Venice, CA - Del Monte Speakeasy
April 22 - Las Vegas, NV - The Bunkhouse Saloon
April 27 - Austin, TX - Austin Psych Fest

The return of Kaleidoscope also coincides with the March release of a limited edition book of the collected lyrics of Peter Daltrey's work via Kaleidoscope and Fairfield Parlour.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dead Trend may or may not be joking.

It's actually not surprising when there's some crossover between music and literature; I've gotten a number of fiction recommendations from Kurt Cobain and Pete Doherty, loved the writing of Richard Hell and Jim Carroll, not to mention the memoirs of others. And then, there are the bands who've provided me with history lessons where school quite sadly failed, like Zounds and Stiff Little Fingers. For people who create such simple music, a number of punk and rock musicians in particular tend to be quite literate, intelligent, and eager to share knowledge and ideas.

Next on the list, then, is an interesting case of the writer-turned-musician, Mike Fournier, who e-introduced himself to me as the writer of the Double Nickels on the Dime portion of the 33 1/3 series, and who also, perhaps not coincidentally, has taught college-level English and punk rock history. In the last couple of years, Fournier attended grad school at the University of Maine, started drumming for a band, published his debut novel, and used said band as a subject within said novel. Thusly, the group transformed from a fictional subject to a real-life effort, and their 2012 EP and tour served to promote the book -- it's all very Spinal Tap.

This band, Dead Trend, have decided to become a thing of the real world, and now that they've decided to eliminate the punch line, they're releasing a record as themselves (erm -- at very least, this one isn't said to have been "originally released 4/1987"). False Positive wears its influences proudly and well, and fuck if this isn't the closest anyone's come to recording an update on Black Flag's Damaged. In fact, "19th Hole" is a perfect hybrid of "Six Pack" and "TV Party" to the extent that I'd be asking for cash, were I Greg Ginn. But we need Dead Trend right now, because there's an unfortunate dearth of humor in current music, and they have a lot of potential to fill the proverbial hole.

Dead Trend are releasing one song off the album per week, leading up to its release on May 7.

Sixty-five dollars for a pastel shirt. Double-knit trousers for fifty more. Hundred dollar putter in your rental cart. My case of beer costs five bucks at the store. 

To drink all day, I don’t need a 19th Hole. 

A Speedy Ortiz single so new it hasn't been released yet.

The new Speedy Ortiz single is their best yet! And it comes out as a seven-inch in a limited edition of 500 (200 of which will be "half piss yellow, half blue"), two weeks from now.

Pre-order the "Ka-Prow!" seven-inch.

See them on tour in April:

4/14: the sinclair (cambridge, ma) w/ pissed jeans, cottaging
4/18: suny purchase (purchase, ny) w/ lvl up, suns, nude dudes, lawns
4/19: il motore (montreal, qc) w/ the this many boyfriends club
4/20: pressed (ottawa, on) w/ ashleys
4/21: the shop under parts & labour (toronto, on)
4/22: homegrown hamilton (hamilton, on)
4/23: the garden bowl (detroit, mi) w/ young squares
4/24: secret daytime bbq (lansing, il) w/ carbon leak, empty isle
4/24: subterranean (chicago, il) w/ geronimo!, kangaroo
4/25: the chameleon (cincinnati, oh) w/ weakness, tweens
4/26: 222 ormsby (pittsburgh, pa) w/ legs like tree trunks, ribbons
4/27: wbarbq @ barnard college (new york, ny)
4/27: shea stadium (brooklyn, ny) w/ aye nako, big ups
4/28: zinefest/ladyfest @ the flywheel (easthampton, ma) w/ potty mouth, starvation dance, boy toy

Kinski - Cosy Moments

My first bit of exposure to Kinski took place in Seattle around 2003, which is perhaps when they were best suited to be discovered. Already, ten years ago, they were established adults, circulating around something of a non-scene; it’s sort of unclear why they never developed the large cult following that other instrumental and post-rock bands have achieved, though perhaps it has something to do with the labels to which they’ve signed—would you attempt to market prog or psych rock to the Sub Pop or Kill Rock Stars audience? They have a crowd, somewhere, but they’re misfits in their Pacific Northwest setting. [...]

(Read the full review at Your Flesh.)

Purchase Cosy Moments.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Some would surely argue that the world is in need of a new Bob Dylan, and on first listen (and glance), it'd have been easy to point to Matthew Daniel Siskin, a singer-songwriter going by the name Gambles for the last eight months. As Gambles, Siskin will release an EP, his first, called Far From Your Arms (May 7, GMBLS). His voice is rough, his music simple. He may not have any anthems on hand, but he's a poet of sorts, and this is a funny thing, considering he's the founder of a design company and has admitted to a decline in the attention paid to words.

This was written on the road between Minneapolis and Chicago, recorded in the car, same trip, and performed on his Chicago tour date immediately thereafter:

Friday, April 5, 2013

Greg Ashley Covers Leonard Cohen.

I've always struggled to get into Leonard Cohen; a bit of my trouble might have to do with the way I discovered him. As a kid of about eight or nine, my dad had sat me down to watch a live performance of his, and twenty years ago, as a child, I'd found Cohen a bit of a serious cheeseball. A decade later, I'd wound up in college, where it suddenly became trendy to love Cohen -- get stoned and drink coffee and listen to a scratched-up vinyl copy of Songs of Love and Hate, what have you. The whole thing was a bit too college for me. I was too busy collecting Billy Childish records and working on my snark to sit and discuss the poetry of "Chelsea Hotel No. 2," anyway. It should also be mentioned that, seeing as Cohen's voice is more that of poet than singer, I'd always considered him more a songwriter than a musician, the ideal writer to see his music performed by others. But I never cared much for him.

Skipping ahead, then. I've been following former Gris Gris and Mirrors brainchild Greg Ashley for close to a decade, from the beginning of the Gris Gris and beyond its end, and since his brief return in the form of a mini-tour with King Khan and the Gris Gris in 2011, he's been more or less quiet, save for a bit of production work here and there. As it turns out, however, he's come out with a new release, a full cover of Leonard Cohen's 1977 album Death of a Ladies' Man, and since November 2012, Ashley's version has sat quietly on Bandcamp, more or less waiting to be found, or not.

The concept of Greg Ashley covering an album filled with brass, jazz and disco, paying tribute to a record with Phil Spector's name written throughout, is somewhat curious, as Ashley's presence tends to be rather small. He's an awkward, quiet performer, and on record, a delicate guitarist. So here he is, now a man of his early 30s, playing relatively loyal to Cohen's recording, trying with all his might to growl through his teeth. His covers are true, and I'm happy for his return, but I'm not all that eager to hear him sing "Don't Go Home With Your Hard-On." Maybe this will be your thing.

Stream and purchase Death of a Ladies Man.