Aug 31, 2010

TIMMY'S ORGANISM "I'm A Nice Guy Now" 7inch

Every time my 10 (going on 11) year old son Nolan hears Timmy's Organism's "I'm A Nice Guy Now" come on the stereo or the radio (cuz yes-this town lacks A LOT of things but we've got a decent college radio station at least AND I'm not just saying that because of my involvement with it) he asks for it to be turned up so he can sing along. He says it, along with a couple songs off the Personal and the Pizzas "Raw Pie" album, are "Some of the best songs I've ever heard in my entire life."
Now, the song itself concerns me with it's lyrics of "I used to steal from the thrift store/Now I donate", "I used to punch old ladies/now I help them cross the street" and "I used to dig Rock and Roll/Now I like classical." No, not because I am concerned of how it may warp out my son's mind. Hell, have you seen some of the cartoon's that the cable stations gear towards kids the last decade of so? Nah, my concern is that since Mr. Timmy himself won the fancy-pants Kresge Foundation Fellowship Award he's gotten all soft. You know, doing things like drinking tea out of those little cups and raising his pinky while doing so, waking up before noon and wearing shirts with collars. Yikes, say it ain't so!
Judging from the thick guitar fuzz and the gutteral Howlin' Wolf/Beefheart/Pro Wrestler grunt and groan that Tim splatters over the top of the Organism's bare bones accompaniment on the song though-it doesn't sound as if success and rubbing shoulders with the check writing echelon is gonna make him change his mission of weirdness one bit. No, it's more like he's inviting all the bourgeoisie frou-frou's to step into his world of strange with a firm handshake and a chipped tooth smile.
For the single's other song, "Cold Pizza", we get what sounds like Timmy sitting out in his backyard with a guitar plugged into a practice amp in hand and a single mic hung over a tree limb capturing the sound of him bearing his tattered soul in a love/hate letter about some gal who jacked him around for the last time. The only thing missing from the ambiance of the song is the outside sounds of cicadas and crickets. Maybe they were all quiet and listening intently even though it is one of those songs where Tim doesn't actually mention a bug of some sort or another in the lyrics.

Aug 29, 2010

Iron Springs Pub's Casey Jones Imperial IPA

Here's another brew courtesy of a care package from Chris Owen. I mentioned my constant crush on IPA's to him and he slipped some California style ones. This one, from Fairfax brewpub Iron Springs, is one I've never heard of before and from the way he made it sound is pretty much just regional to his immediate area. I'm all about checking out the local flavor so bring it on.
The color is dark orange at first glace. It appears opaque when sitting on the table but since I'm in the backyard I hold it up to the sunlight and a golden haze can be seen glowing around the edges. The head was modest but leaves a good cap behind that laces all the way though. On the nose the hops aren't the kind that punch at it but do have a nice fresh zing to them while the malts give the aroma a pleasant sweetness. Sorta reminds me of sourdough bread sprinkled with some lemon zest and a fresh sack of apples.
On the lips and tongue the brew itself has a nice and creamy feel to it. At first sip a rich molasses flavor is noticed then pepper and pine hop bite takes over the proceedings hanging on almost to the end but the malts smooth step in again it with warmth and sweetness. The finish features a dint of hotness from the 9.5% abv which is, for the most part, masked up until then.
Not really into sparking another one of those "What defines East Coast/West Coast/Michigan IPA" debates again but if I was to go into this one blind I think I would still define it as a solid west coast (double) IPA and there ain't nothing wrong with that.

Aug 21, 2010


The letter that came with this record informs me that this Jackson, Ms. band are old guys that like beer. Not being as young as I once and having an obvious affinity to beer I can totally related. It also mentions that their sound is sloppy, poppy rock-n-roll.
Sounds like it's right up my alley but there is more to my duty than to just reiterate what a press sheet says. Hey, I know that seems to be novelty judging from some other blogs I've eyed on the Info Highway but, hey, I'm an old guy and prefer to do some things the old school way so let's give it an actual listen, shall we?
"UFO" opens the record up with a rolling folk-punk jangle that builds up touching on the sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators and Dead Moon but with a gruff dirt weed and a cooler full of sale price that can't be beat canned beer growl vocal instead of a Roky or Fred screech and scream. "Destructo" up's the jangle and blare hitting on something like a drunken Superchunk doing tunes from the Embarrassment and R.E.M's Chronic Town EP. The chorus hook line of "Blame it on me and that's what you get" has been lodged in my head for a good part of the day now too. Side two's lead off track "Guanajuato" (which mean's Hill of Frogs for those that don't speak obscure dialects from Mexico) is along the same lines as well but builds it off the Chuck Berry foundation that generations of rock-n-rollers first learned to stand on and, if they have any sense, should revisit on a regular basis.
The record wraps with the jumpy mid 60's garage beater shaking hands with some nervy late 70's quirk pop. Yeah, with all the young 'un's out there these days thinking they're doing rock-n-roll a favor by sitting in at their laptops trying to recreate their grandparent's Burt Bacharach and Carpenters album for modern day mustache wearers so some one sheet or blog blurb can tell me how's it essential it is to have on my iPod I'll take beer drinking old guys with guitars any day of the week.

Aug 20, 2010

the PINK NOISE "Birdland" LP

Seems there's a new band every week being declared the next wave of synth music. Something new, fresh and exciting. Then checking the hyped group out one can't help but think "Yeah, I suppose this is possibly new, fresh and exciting if you're 21, have an ironic mustache, get up to the second updates from Pitchfork Media to your iPhone and never heard of Howard Jones and the Thompson Twins." I mean, c'mon, are there actually THAT many people honestly digging things like the Passion Pit and the Junior Boys or just acting like they do because they think their friends do. Hey, I'm all for a nostalgia/revisiting trip as much as the next guy but fey 80's Europop redo's ain't no tourist trap I really want to visit.
When using the term "Synth Band" to describe this Montreal combo though the sound of peppy doot-doot-dah-doot's, plastic neon colored belts & ear rings and triangular haircuts don't come to mind. Floating through a outerspacescape where weird being taunt you on tracks such as "Crystal Ball, Crystal Skull" and "In Modern Colors" but no doot-doot-dah-doots. A band saw slicing up sheets of metal in a murky swamp only illuminated by are bare 40 watt light bulb and Red Mecca era Cabaret Voltaire on an Adderall sound of "Get High (Love Is The Drug)" and "Rube For You" maybe but nothing brightly colored. A simplistic and "vintage" drum machine getting it's dance beat mangled while re-imagining Chrome in 1976 San Francisco being clumsily dropped into 1981 Hermosa Beach so they can pick fights with Black Flag (though not at all sounding like them) on "Step Into A New Skin", "Blinded By The Arcade Lights" (which also has some creepy ass synthetic church bell loops threaded through it) and "Do The Slither Shimmer" but not really any sign of triangular haircuts. This is synth music for mopping blood off the floor and not dancing on one.

Aug 6, 2010

Green Flash West Coast IPA

Oh, the American IPA. Most craft breweries have their take on it nowadays but there are some that set the precedent or are the benchmarks. Vista, Ca. based brewery Green Flash is one of those. Unfortunately they are also one of those beers that doesn't distribute to Michigan so it's a rare treat whenever one comes my way in a beer trade or a gift. Many thanks go to Chris Owen, he of Killer's Kiss and the Hook Or Crook record label fame, for sending one my way. Now, as I sip on it (Yes, sipping and savoring because who knows when the next time one will come my way) let me share my notes about it with you.
Dark copper color and a light orange color tinged creamy head that melts a bit but still hangs tough and leaves a snowdrift effect like lacing all the way though the sipping. The label tells you that this is extravagantly hopped and if you didn't believe them the aromas that come out just from simply pouring it and letting it breathe in the glass for a few are enough to tell you they aren't lying. Big citrus scents, grapefruit along with some lime, stick out most but there are some underlying sweet caramel and bready malts that seem to set a foundation.
The flavor is one of those examples of what a stellar American IPA (be it west coast, east coast, Michigan or what ever other sub genres the style claim) is all about. Bright and bold floral hops packed with a grapefruit bite and a slight pineapple sweetness upfront that tingle and tantalize, a malt backbone taming a bit of the hop sting and nuances of almonds and fresh biscuits. The brew itself is of creamy medium body that's not too fizzy or too thick. It's finishes dry and though somewhat sticky doesn't hang for way too long like some other hop bombs of this caliber can.

Aug 4, 2010

The MOJOMATICS "Love Wild Fever" 7inch

While some previous records by these Italian mojodudes touched these ears as Brian Wilson adoration stripped down and geared towards a cramped and sweaty dive bar instead of an orchestra pit the two songs here toss Brian Wilson thing to the side and make that cramped dive bar even more sweaty with some hyped up howl.
Loud harmonica wails upfront loud and proud set a rowdy mood for side one's touching on a young Pretty Things RnB stomper meets a county fair shit kicker "Love Wild Fever". Flip it over for "A Heavy Dose Of Sympathy", which has nothing to do with Long Gone John's late and lamented record label, and the mouth harp is gone but in it's place is the sound of some total farmer tanned hayseeds setting fire to a garage and the rock-n-roll that goes on it.
It not known if these guys mojo is from the hand or kept in a bag but however they're shaking it here can get a party started.