Suicide Review

Suicide’s self-titled 1977 album.

After almost two years of promises, let me bring you the first official album review on my blog.  Today we’ll be looking at the first self-titled album by Suicide.

Suicide is a synthpunk group formed in the 1970’s by New Yorkers Alan Vega (vocals) and Martin Rev (music).  Synthesizers were cost-prohibitive in the 70’s, so Martin Rev’s parts were all played on an organ run through a fuzzbox.  The result was something very unique, to the point that audiences hated the band! People’d hear the music, go to the shows, and get very confrontational with the band.  There’s reports of riots at gigs, including one during a show supporting Elvis Costello which has been commercially released on CD.  The band’s been vindicated by history, though: they influenced artists such as The Cars, The Sisters of Mercy, R.E.M., Henry Rollins, and even Bruce Springsteen.  Their first album is their best known, and is commonly regarded as a classic and a point of origin for modern electronic music.

01.  “Ghost Rider” The song is based around a very relentless riff, with lyrics relating to the comic character of the same name.  Definitely the most up-tempo song on the album, and a good place to start.  It definitely creates a picture of speeding down the highway, in its own way: I could see it being good driving music.

02.  “Rocket U.S.A.” This is where Suicide’s artsy tendencies kick in: the song kicks off with very palpable tension.  A very heavy-sounding bass part over the primitive drum machine create the doomy atmosphere for most of the song, as Alan Vega’s tuneless vocals are delivered nervously, punctuated with a chorus of quick, singular yelps.  One of the most classic songs off this iconic album.

03.  “Cheree” The song is driven by a heavenly organ and is the closest thing to a pop song you’ll find here.  It’s actually a really cool ballad and shows a side of Suicide that often gets overshadowed by some of the other songs they’ve done.  There’s no tricks on this one: it’s just a gentle song.

04.  “Johnny” An almost hilarious pastiche of 50’s rockabilly! Except, y’know, with Martin Rev’s organ and that sprinkler/drum machine thing instead of guitars.  It is sort of the closest thing to filler on this album, but it’s got a certain charm about it.

05.  “Girl” This one gets a bit funky, with a seductive bass part.  Vega’s usual shouts and screams are traded here for orgasmic moans between his pleas to be pleased.  It’s pretty tame by today’s standards, but I could see this song being another nail in Suicide’s coffin with the 70’s public.  Of course, this is before we get to…

06.  “Frankie Teardrop” It’s very rare for a band’s masterpiece to be their best-known song, and thankfully Suicide’s “Frankie Teardrop” holds that distinction.  I could compare it to their “November Rain” or “Stairway to Heaven,” but that would imply that there’s something truly epic or bombastic about the song, something that future generations would attempt to imitate and put their stamp on.  To be frank, you know exactly what to expect musically of Suicide by this point of the album: bizarre drum machines and repetitive organs run through fuzzboxes.  However this song’s executed so perfectly that nobody–not even Suicide themselves–could ever recreate the magic of this 10 minute opus.  It’s often been called one of the most disturbing songs ever recorded, and anyone who’s ever heard it will almost certainly agree with that claim: the tension on “Rocket U.S.A.” is intensified here.  The lyrics aren’t poetry about comic book characters: they’re the straight-forward breakdown of a working-class man.  They’re delivered with such haunting fervor, it’s mesmerizing and creepy as fuck!

07.  “Che” For all intents and purposes, “Frankie Teardrop” should end the record.  I mean, how can Suicide top that? The answer is that they don’t actually try, but still leave on an eerie note.  “Che” is a dirge about revolutionary Che Guevara (a.k.a. the Cuban t-shirt man), and is probably a lot more relevant now than it was at release.  In the time since then, Che’s death and message have been commodified into emblems printed on shirts, worn by people who have no idea what the fuck it means: Vega’s lyrics seem to predict this phenomenon.  A dark song, to be sure, and actually a really good closer.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Record Store Day 2012

Well, everyone, it’s been a while! I see that my blog has gotten a lot of hits due to my last post, regarding that Facebook job scam exposé.  I’m proud to announce that, beyond the single follow up exchange I’ve posted in the comments, I haven’t heard from Michael Pappas or his companies in over a month.  So, what did I do with the money that they may have very well been attempting to swindle me out of? Celebrate Record Store Day, of course!

I was roaming the streets of Manhattan today, like any other weekend, but spending with reckless abandon, patronizing all the lovely independent record stores in the East Village! I do confess, as devoted to purchasing music on physical media as I am, my spending’s gone down a bit.  Maybe it’s a sign of maturity, or maybe it’s a combination of my audiophile tendencies where I agonize over getting a decent mastering of an album? Who knows, but sometimes you’ve just gotta say “fuck it,” and treat yourself.  A day of limited edition releases to celebrate independent record stores and the variety of music available in them is right up my alley! So, what did I snag?

Disintegration by The Cure: Arguably one of the masterpieces of the band, as well as the gothic genre, this album is one of their darkest and contains some of their most loved songs.  Seriously, don’t be like me and take forever to add this one to your collection: go out and buy it now! Even if you have it already, you need it again!

Faith by The Cure: The band’s third album, and a rare original pressing of the CD.  This is around the time they were just starting to experiment with a more post-punk approach to their sound.  It’s quite eerie, and best enjoyed between Seventeen Seconds and Pornography.  Sadly, I missed the opportunity to see the band perform those three albums live in chronological order last year, but this find makes up for it, sorta.

Greatest Hits, Volume One by The Sisters of Mercy: Whether he likes it or not, frontman Andrew Eldritch is one of the pioneers of gothic rock.  Although The Sisters of Mercy’s catalog is rather brief, this collection of highlights is a good starting point for newcomers, plus it’s included some rarities for the die hards, including an excellent re-recording of their classic song “Temple of Love” featuring the beautiful vocals of the late Ofra Haza.

Heaven and Hull by Mick Ronson: No, not the record producer! Mick Ronson was David Bowie’s guitarist during the Ziggy Stardust/Aladdin Sane days, and the man himself appears on a few songs on this solo outing.  Sadly, Mick Ronson didn’t live to see the album’s release, but it is quite a strong album, featuring some impressive cover versions.

Never Enough by The Cure: A single for the lone new song off their Mixed Up remix album, it features the 7″ mix of the titular song, as well as an exclusive remix of “Let’s Go to Bed” and an otherwise unavailable song.

Tin Machine II by Tin Machine: David Bowie retired for a few years, at the start of the 1990’s, in order to work in the capacity of a band: the result was the polarizing Tin Machine.  They’re an overlooked part of Bowie’s career, often written off as the man having a midlife crisis, but their first album proved popular enough to be reissued when most of his catalog was being remastered.  This second album, however, is a rarity, and I was very fortunate to find it in the used bin for so cheap!

Twelve Inch Anthology by Skinny Puppy: Exactly what it says on the tin.  These may very well be the more popular versions, since what club doesn’t love spinning extended mixes? Skinny Puppy practically only existed in dives and goth clubs, at this stage in their career, so this disc nicely puts together their non-album output.

“But Peter, that’s all shit from the used bin! What about those sweet limited edition releases?” Well, sadly the double LP set of Raw Power by The Stooges was sold out everywhere, but I got this:

One Drop by Public Image Ltd: After leaving the Sex Pistols, John Lydon dropped the punk act and revealed his love for avant-garde music, which resulted in the more uncompromising Public Image Ltd.  The group had met a number of setbacks in the two decades since their last album, including the death of their legendary guitarist John McGeoch, but thankfully the wait is over and this 4 song EP is a taste of things to come when their next album, This Is PiL, drops at the end of May!

Now, this is the very first vinyl I’ve ever bought with my own money! Truly a personally historic moment for me.

Also, I got this nifty Public Image Ltd shirt, released around the time that their album Album (or Cassette or Compact Disc, depending on the format) came out:

That’s just the thing for me to wear on Thursday while I play new songs from these CDs on my radio show! Did I mention I have a radio show? Peter’s Post, Thursdays at 1PM on WQMC Radio! That’s right, folks, I’m proud to announce that as of last week, I am live on the airwaves, sharing my expansive musical library with you! It’s definitely something I’ve always wanted to do, and barring some sound glitches that will be worked out, my first transmission was well received! Thanks a lot for everyone who joined in, and for those who didn’t, I intend to try and post each episode as a podcast, if I can!

Anyhow, that’s all from me! Later, guys!

Posted in What's In The Bag? | 2 Comments

SCAM ALERT: JRM Enterprise and Global Business Solutions

Anyone with half a brain knows that the telemarketers of yesteryear have now moved onto the Internet in order to lure people into their scams, be they wanting to sell you a “great, new product” or offer you an “exciting business opportunity.”  Yesterday morning, I had the displeasure of being rudely awoken by a Facebook message from somebody attempting to do the latter.  Without further ado, I’d like to present a comedy about pyramid schemes, technical savvy, and wiseassery:

The Cast of Characters:

Michael Pappas: the sly con artist. with an offer I can't refuse. Or can I...? (Dialogue in bold)

Miss Frotrap: our literate anti-hero, who always gets the girl (as long as her name's Felicia!). (Dialogue unbolded; commentary in italics)

Hi Peter,

My partners company, JRM Enterprise, is currently going through an expansion period focusing in the New York area. We are looking for a couple of individuals to work with. I know this may be a bit of a shot in the dark, but do you keep your options open outside of what you currently do full-time?

Regards,
Michael

I’m sorry, how did you find me? Is this even legit?

Hi Peter,

This is legitimate.JRM Enterprise operates with franchising, social networking, and endorsements. We have business throughout the tristate area as well as Greece [Tri-state and Greece, eh? How is it, that in amassing this vast empire, they’ve seemed to miss ANYTHING between these two areas!?]. We deal with various aspects of business. I found you using a search engine my partner designed to locate individuals based on their publicly displayed information on their social networks [Does he mean Google?]. People tend to be more truthful and do not expand the truth as much as compared to a Resume [NOT TRUE! I’m pretty sure most men claim to have bigger penises on their profiles, and many young women choose to lie about their appearance in an attempt to make me believe they’re not human beings, but ducks!]. If you provide me your contact information, preferably a cell phone number, I will have my business partner explain the opportunity in further detail.

Do you have a website or anything that offers a publicly available overview of your company’s purpose and services?

The web portal I have available is password protected for the clients and different corporations I work with. The information displayed on it would not have information displaying opportunities. [Read: I’m full of shit, and rely solely on buzzwords, hype, and hastily put together HTML in order to excite you, America’s young men and women!]

That’s fine, I’d just feel more comfortable knowing the company’s purpose, mission statement, and policies before deciding if I’d be interested in viewing any available opportunities. [Mission statement? What am I, back in Catholic school!?]

Provide me with a way to get in contact you over the phone so I may provide you with those details. I would prefer not to cheapen my business over Facebook. [That’s why you approached me on Facebook, right? To preserve your corporate integrity?]

I understand, but all the information you provide with me will be kept confidential [I fucking lied!]. I don’t really feel comfortable distributing my phone number or any contact information until I know exactly who I’m dealing with.

Heres the website. http://www.thegbsinc.com/ its very general because its password protected like i previously mentioned [Or because it’s based upon flashy looking words and pictures which have been sloppily thrown together, but hey: you say “toe-may-toe,” I say “tah-mah-toe,” right?]. If you have any questions or would like to receive any more information let me know.

I appreciate the link to your company’s website. Even without the benefit of having access to every section of the secure site, I feel it is quite informative. Your client portfolio is full of big, household names. However, I feel as though your strategy of “disrupting the distribution chain and shifting business online” promotes a marketplace which uses grandiose advertising campaigns as a hollow substitute for the quality of the final product, thus reducing the customers of these businesses to mere demographics: as someone who believes strongly in the dedication to quality offered by small mom and pop businesses, this is a practice which I feel I cannot, in good conscience, associate myself with.

Also, in your portfolio, you mention a Miss America mobile app, presumably developed by your company. Upon searching across Google and various mobile app stores, I’ve seen no app available similar to the one described on the site. Is the app being developed or has it been discontinued?

In addition, upon searching for Global Business Solutions on the United States Securities and Exchange Commission website, I have found no record of the company being registered as a legitimate business. Also, upon running thegbsinc.com through the Whois.Net domain-based research service, I see the site was registered by HostMonster.com on November 11, 2011. I’m having difficulty believing that a company which claims to represent hundreds of other companies for the past 50 years and also boasts about providing its clients with solutions in order to “shift business online” has only set up its own website not even four months ago through an online hosting service.

Lastly, the website and address are for a company called Global Business Solutions; the company you initially claimed to represent is JRM Enterprise, which I could find no mention of on the website or through any web searches, even without the context of an association with Global Business Solutions [Actually, that’s not entirely true: I found a local home-improvement service in New Jersey called JRM EnterpriseS.  In an effort to support mom and pop businesses, and discredit Michael Pappas, I highly encourage my Jersey followers (do they exist?) to offer JRM’s home-improvement Enterprises your patronage!]. These incongruities do not quell my initial apprehensions about this opportunity offered by your company, but only serve to arouse them further. If I have in any way misunderstood the information I’ve been presented with about your company, please feel free to correct me so I may re-evaluate my feelings about your company and its offer; if not, then I’m afraid I am unable to partake in the wonderful and exciting opportunity offered to me by JRM Enterprise.

GBS is a parent corporation of JRM. Usually I do not introduce my business as JRM however, seeing the growth that we are having within our division, it feels more appropriate to offer an opportunity within JRM instead of GBS. We previously had another website and created a new one. The app is currently very limited to those working within the company appropriately. Anymore information I would be happy to answer over the phone. Otherwise best of luck to you.

A meme is born!

If I may say so, I feel as though you have misrepresented yourself and your company in your failure to be forward about GBS and its involvement with JRM from the start of your offer. Because of this, as well as other discrepancies between the information available about GBS/JRM and the information provided by you and your website, I believe we are quite finished here. Cheers!

Alright, we're done here!

 

This is not so much to air my dirty laundry as it is to bring to your attention the fraudulent offers made by Global Business Solutions, Inc. and JRM Enterprise.  If anyone has further insight on Global Business Solutions, Inc., JRM Enterprise, or Michael Pappas, please let me know.  In any event, if you find yourself dealing with any of these people or businesses, be warned that any offers they make you are more than likely bullshit.

Posted in Scam Alert | 41 Comments

Darker, Better, Faster, Stronger

Happy New Year, everybody! Hope you all had some great winter-related holidays and all that feel good bullshit!

So, what the fuck is new with me, you ask? Well, I’m almost done with my bachelor’s degree now! Taking three classes this semester, one of which is early as fuck (and also optional, as far as attendance goes!), but so far so good! My final English class is about the Lost Generation, which is sadly an era I’ve ignored in literature.  Making up for lost time, though, and reading some great Gertrude Stein works, as well as some by my arch-nemesis T. S. Eliot.  Sorry, English department: no matter how many times you try, you’ll never get me to enjoy “The Love Song of J. Alfred Pufrock!” We saw that (as of thirty minutes ago) Oscar Award wining Woody Allen vehicle Midnight in Paris as part of the class, which was actually pretty cool, despite featuring Owen Wilson and Adrien Brody.

Though this was brilliant!

Had a most excellent Corporate Love Day with Felicia, kicked off a few days before the 14th with a Guns N’ Roses concert! Review forthcoming, but rest assured that the show kicked much ass!

Speaking of Felicia, she and I’ve been having fun breaking new common ground by way of the gothic aesthetic rubbing off on her.  It’s no secret we’ve both held a long-standing admiration for it, but courtesy of some of her friends as well as some wonderful blogs we’ve dug up, it’s given us more things to enjoy together.  I’ve fulfilled a few of my own goals here, by getting Felicia to listen to Siouxsie Sioux and Amanda Palmer, but it’s also given me some new personal ones to work on.  I’ve been a jeans and t-shirt person forever, but once in a while I like getting more creative with my outfits: it took me long enough to discover thrift shops, department store sale racks, as well as the arts of DIY and mix-and-matching, but so far I’m digging the results! It’s not a drastic change, but while I’m getting bundled up in layers for the winter, I figured I’d have fun with it: I broke down and scored a hat ($1 at H&M, possibly intended for women) and a nice black and white scarf with a skull pattern ($3 at K-Mart, of all places!) which nicely complements the coat I sport around this time of year.

People wondered if I was a Jew, a Nazi, or a goth in this coat: now they know I'm really Jack the Ripper!

Also I’ve been having incredible luck in the used CD stores lately! Just this past month I’ve gotten difficult to find albums and singles by Pearl Jam, The Cure, The Creatures, and a metric fuckton of other artists! I’ll post back with reviews and spotlights on some of those scores in the next few weeks: if you’re looking for recommendations on something new to add to your library, you won’t want to miss these entries!

So, yes folks, we’re looking at a post-punk spring! As tired as I feel from my early classes, I’ve got a lot to look forward to: graduation, seeing my friends over the break, and hopefully a pilgrimage to Manhattan College for Springfest! That’s before I include other important things, like the assload of 21st birthdays I’m going to help my friends celebrate this year (warning to anyone that applies to: you possibly might not live to see 22, or hell even enjoy a full day of being 21!).

And, finally, I must say that I’ve actually been writing and arranging new works for both my solo project and The Hotel Chelsea.  I’ve recently had a rush of creative inspiration spurred by friendly competitiveness with bands whose members Felicia and I are friends with.  It’s like a musical game of Apples to Apples! I’ve already got two structured demos in the can for Felicia to sing/write lyrics for, and I feel more coming on.  My project with Mia’s also slowly coming along, as I’ve still got a decent amount of music and lyrics.  I must reiterate, though, that all of these projects are marred by a lack of knowledge of drums, drum machines, or Fruity Loops.  Anybody who can figure this shit out, let me know! Until then, I’mma go slappadabass!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Some Things You Might Give a Shit About

Hot on the heels of love, it’s another blog post of mine! Woo! Alright, so let’s get the important news out of the way:

Back from the grave in time for Halloween, it’s the one and only motherfucking McRib! I practically binged on this shit when it came back last year, it was amazing! Glad to see it back, since it gives me a reason to go to McDonald’s.  It’s only here until November 14th, so get it while it’s still hot!

So I’m halfway through my school semester, and I’ve still yet to find my groove! Maybe I’m slowing down in my old age? It’s just not been one of my better semesters, academically, but at least I care enough to try to put in an effort to turning it around.  Then again, I say that as I blog here instead of for school or work on a 2,500 word paper I have due by Wednesday… and a presentation on Monday.  On something I haven’t read…

Aaanyway, I’m going to see the Misfits on Halloween night with Felicia at B.B. King’s! I’m slightly conflicted, seeing as how I’m a big fan of Danzig, and I feel that Jerry Only’s attempt at reunion is a cashgrab.  Still, should at least be a fun show, and I must confess to liking a handful of post-Danzig Misfits tunes.

Also next Saturday, I’ll be seeing Freezepop with Kristina and Mike! I’m a huge fan of Freezepop, so I’m pretty excited! I must confess that I have yet to pick up their new album, at first because I was lazy, but then because I discovered there’s an edition that includes a b-sides disc, and I’m a sucker for that sort of thing.  Granted, that didn’t stop me from getting Future Future Future Perfect, but we’ll see if they have it at the merch booth.  Also, this is a new lineup of the band, with two new members replacing the departed Duke of… what the fuck food was he up to? Whatever, The Duke, y’know? Anyway, he stepped out of Freezepop to focus on making more of those lovely Harmonix games they’ve been featured in (and continue to be! If you’ve got Rock Band 3 and have any doubts about the new lineup, go pick up the two new excellent Freezepop singles, “Special Effects” and “Doppelgänger”).

The Duke still makes music, though, as part of the bands Larkspur and The Planets Won’t Let You Sleep Tonight, as well as his Symbion Project alias, under which he’s just recently released a new album.

So yeah, I’m gonna go take care of business.  By which I mean watch anime.  Later!

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

The Once Over Twice

As I constantly, possibly even to the point of nausea (pardon the pun, if you get it), remind people, my favorite band is X!

Adukt Books

That's them! First single, "Adult Books" b/w "We're Desperate" in 1977!

I’ve posted about them before on here, offering opinions on which albums of theirs I like best (though, with the exception of Los Angeles and More Fun in the New World being either number one or number two, that list is always shifting around), and I’ve spammed my friends on Facebook’s newsfeeds with elusive videos of live performances by the band! Hell, I (accidentally) hijacked my girlfriend’s Tumblr account and reblogged several pictures of frontwoman Exene Cervenka only last week! Bottom line: I love this band.  Enough to do crazy things.  Like stand through a 90 minute documentary about them.  Twice!

Yes, friends, X was in town this past weekend for a two night stay at Irving Plaza! The minute I saw the dates announced, I dragged Felicia to the box office to get our tickets for the Friday, September 30th performance, since she works on Saturdays.  The gigs were part of a tour they had going on to celebrate more than 30 years as a band, and of the release of their seminal debut album, Los Angeles.  Not that Rolling Stone magazine means anything these days, but they were right to include the band’s first two albums on their picks for the 500 greatest albums.  I’ll never forget when or where I first heard that album, and my initial reaction to it was that I liked it: I don’t mean that I thought it was okay, or that it had one good song on it and the rest would probably grow on me if I listened to it more.  I liked Los Angeles! Enough to give it another spin after I got off the bus to school and waited for my class to start.  Even on their first listen, songs like “The Unheard Music” and “Sugarlight” really stood out! With a first impression like that, the chance to hear these songs performed live front to back was too good to pass up!

The opening act!

The night started with a screening of the band’s documentary, The Unheard Music.  Irving Plaza is a standing room only venue, so some of the crowd got a bit restless over the 90 minute duration, but I always enjoy watching this carefully put together film – X did always have a unique style about them, as displayed in their album artwork and DIY lyric sheets.  On my way to the show, I sort of questioned the decision to show the film, since we’d be hearing a lot of the featured songs during the show, but in practice it worked.  It felt as close to a drive-in theater as I’d ever get, so I enjoyed it.

Billy Zoom: behind only Richard Thompson in being criminally underrated!

After the film, there was a break while the stage crew set up and put out drinks and setlists for the band.  From our front row spots, Felicia and I had a good look at the setlist, and it looked pretty killer! As the last strains of the pre-show Ramones songs faded from the venue’s PA system, X took the stage.  Felicia and I were right in front of guitarist Billy Zoom’s amp, and had a good view of Exene too (much to Felicia’s delight, Exene was wearing some pretty sweet boots).  DJ Bonebrake clapped his drumsticks to count off the beat for the first song, and we heard a blast of guitar riffs! – but not much else.  Turns out that Felicia and I were too far up front and were so close to Billy Zoom’s amp that literally all we could hear was his guitar! Most people, looking forward to a show and having an experience like that, would have called it a ruined night, but thankfully X knows how to pull a crowd, and Billy’s guitar playing is interesting enough that it was still a damn good show! We could still hear the crowd, so it was cool hearing the audience sing along with the otherwise inaudible Exene and John Doe.

After the album set was over, the band was tuning back up and Felicia and I seized that opportunity to move to the back of the venue.  We still had a decent view of the stage, and the sound was dramatically improved! The rest of the show was a mix of songs spanning their first four albums (the band has sour feelings about their fifth album, and Billy Zoom left before they recorded the following two, so they don’t play much from them), and for songs that were written and recorded as much as 30 years ago, the band really outdid themselves with these performances! There was little in way of stage banter, beyond bassist/vocalist John Doe dedicating their song “The New World” to the protesters on Wall Street.  That’s another thing I really like about X: their songs can be political, but it’s not heavy-handed like other bands, and the lyrics can apply to any era.  It was always better before they voted for what’s-his-name, whether it’s Reagan, the Bush family, or Obama.

John and Exene: two of punk's greatest poets.

After “Devil Doll” brought the first set to an explosive end, the band left the stage for a few minutes before John and Exene returned with an acoustic guitar and surprised the audience with an acoustic rendition of one of the finest songs in their catalog, “I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts.”  The second I heard the opening notes being strummed, I was completely stunned! The song wasn’t even on the setlist, is rarely performed, and is one of my absolute favorite X songs! Definitely a crowning moment of awesome! After the song was over, the band came out and played three more songs before calling it a night.

One would think that nothing could top such a night for me, right? Possibly true, but once I found out that I had a free Saturday evening (and Felicia encouraged me a bit), I decided to grab a ticket to the next night’s show! I was definitely glad that I did, since they somehow managed to bring it just as hard the second night! The layout was mostly the same, starting with the movie (though this time I decided to buy a beer for $7 and try to prolong the can’s life by sipping only when I saw the letter X on the screen; it was empty by the halfway mark, which becomes even more pathetic when I tell you I arrived 15 minutes late!), then doing the Los Angeles set, followed by a selection of other songs.  The setlist got switched up a bit, with some songs being dropped, allowing fan-favorites (because, let’s face it, with X you’re either a fan or not – there really aren’t casual listeners) like “Blue Spark” and “White Girl” to be played.  The biggest change was, of course, the acoustic encore, which rivals “I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts” for the highlight of the weekend: “See How We Are,” which is the title track from their sixth album, and one of the most perfect songs I have ever heard.  I can’t place one above the other, but both songs were amazing to hear and really showcased John and Exene’s unique harmonies.

Both shows were incredible, and I’m really glad I got to see a band I love twice in one weekend! I already told Felicia that any time X is in New York – or their cowpunk alter-egos, The Knitters – I’m going to every show.  I highly recommend seeing them: tickets are relatively cheap, the songs are great, and the band has an energy that even most of the bigger bands I’ve seen, like Whitesnake and Opeth, can’t touch.

Posted in Concert Reviews, Party Times, X Worship | 1 Comment

Making Plans for Chelsea

Alas, summer’s at an end! Seems every year I make a list of plans that never get completed… I hate the fact that growing older translates into less free time: I haven’t had a good break in a LONG time! Ever since I was in high school, I’ve always held a job for the summer or gone to school.  Thankfully, though, I got to see a large group of my closest friends semi-regularly over the last two months, with the most recent time being my parents’ going away for the weekend last Friday.  While a house party may be more of a high school fantasy, it’s something that I think only gets better with age; it may lose some of its dangerous appeal, but it becomes more celebratory.  Either way, it’s still a good fucking time! Thanks to everyone who came to them, or was invited.

Music-wise, I’ve been making some headway: I’ve opened up the official Miss Frotrap Bandcamp page, to promote my upcoming Rooftopballads album.  Bandcamp is a site that makes it easy for people to download or buy your music in a variety of formats, which is important to my sensibilities as a quality whore.  I love SoundCloud, but while it’s great for streaming, the download function is easy to miss, plus the space limitation makes it almost impossible to offer a significant body of work in a lossless format.  Of course, Bandcamp does also make it easier to sell the album once its done, but don’t worry I’m not going to extort money for my friends! I’m thinking free digital download and $4 CD, tops.  This is all far off, so don’t kill me yet! For now, just enjoy the free download of the album’s first single, “(Put a Little) Wrench in Your Soul,” which is a lyrical tribute to my childhood gang, The Wrenchbearers, and a musical homage to George Harrison.

So Michelle and I made up! We just haven’t really talked since, but all’s smoothed over now.  Regardless, no more Hope’s New Fear.  I’m gonna talk to Michelle about offering all two of our demos as free downloads, though.  There was an original song that wasn’t anywhere near complete — cool ideas, but very much a demo — and a cover of “California Dreamin'” which, depending on the position of the sun, sounded decent or like complete shit.  I’m proud of the latter, though, since it contains one of my few guitar solos (fuck me if I can remember how it goes, though).

As for The Hotel Chelsea, Felicia and I’ve been quite busy.  We have a few videos of us goofing on some covers during rehearsals, and are currently writing new material.  It looks to be a much more collaborative effort than HNF (not to mention productive).  I just finished up a song today, which I’ll be showing to Felicia this weekend, and hopefully we’ll have an EP out soon.  So, yes, a busy year ahead for the Cheap-O, Inc. family! (That’s not to mention projects with Mia and Albert…)

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments