Mar 28, 2012

Sex Church "Growing Over" LP (and a Wednesday Photo by Dale post rolled into one)

     If you're one of those kind of people that likes to put on trance inducing drone out music before bed time Sex Church MIGHT be up your alley. Might spelled in all caps though because if you find some certain types of that kind of music give you really messed up dreams where you end up feeling somewhat disturbed the rest of the day because of what you saw in your sleep-Growing Over is probably not the album you're going to want to put on before entering slumberland.
     References to Krautrock, and especially Neu! due to the band's use of the Motorik and/or "Apache Beat" rhythms and building bubbling tension come into play a lot when discussing Sex Church's sound but these guys weren't raised in post-war Germany and studied at conservatories majoring in some fancy pants subjects and dabbling in free jazz or abstract neo-classical experimentation. Instead it's three Canadians who have been in garage punk/full on feedback bands like Ladies Night on guitars and drums along with Wisconsin ex-pat NickG (he of Strong Come Ons, The Tears and Catholic Boys infamy) thumping on the bass strings, that were raised on junk food, weed of many different potencies and bad television.
     Don't go into this album expecting space out trips like, say Neu's "Hallo-Gallo" to serve as wall paper while making dinner, meditating and ready some intellectual literature like cuz what's etched into the grooves here won't just linger in the background. It would sneak up from behind you if you do, punch you in the back of the head, scream in your face and fling blood all over the walls.
Photos shot at the SchonkSoundStead in Port Huron, Michigan on Sex Church's fall 2011 North American tour. The band were intense, loud and heavy. Good thing the place is a solid old brick house or it may have crumbled to the ground elsewise.
More info on the band go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/SEX-CHURCH/94342673627

Mar 20, 2012

March 25: Sunday Sonance at the Raven Cafe in Port Huron

     Join Franck and yours truly for tunes, conversation food and drinks. All vinyl, all good and something to kill the boredom of a Sunday night in ol' Port Huron.
http://www.ravencafeph.com/

Mar 2, 2012

Tommyknock Pick Axe IPA

     When you, the dear reader, come across a beer maker you have never tried before what style of their style of their wares do you try first? 
     Nine out of ten times for me it's their standard IPA. Along with straight pale ales they were my first introductions to the world beyond the standard beer would what is now a couple of decades ago. I still stay true to trying any companies IPA first if at all possible. 
     I first got to try Idaho Spring, Colorado based brewery Tommyknocker's Pick Axe IPA almost ten years ago for the first time. I thought it was stellar and wasn't able to have another one since. You see, up until a few months ago though Tommyknocker brews weren't really seen much around Michigan. I am happy to report that that has, somewhat, changed.
     Rich copper in color with a slight amount of bubbles climbing to the top. A firm and fluffy two finger thick eggshell white head slowly melts leaving a creamy, drifting snow type lacing behind all the way down the glass. Warm toast and pineapple aromas mingle nicely together blending as one in each sniff on the nose.
     A big bite of floral and citrus notes in the front, malt backbone all down the middle and a white pepper at the end. Let the beer breathe in the glass a bit and it takes on some lemon peel and tangerine nuances and only a slightly sticky finish.
     6.2% abv and completely sessionable.
http://tommyknocker.com/

Feb 21, 2012

SUNDAY SONANCE returns to the Raven Cafe 2/26

     Well, If some of you locals were wondering where Sunday Sonance at the Raven Cafe in Port Huron went, as I know a few of you have asked me over the past couple of weeks, we have moved it to the last Sunday of each month instead of the first. We return this Sunday. I am already working on my crate of records to play. Looking forward to spinning them and seeing some of you there.

Feb 20, 2012

MUD CITY MANGLERS/PLASTERED BASTARDS "Twin Thrillers..." split single 7inch

     It's been a while since we've paid a visit to Mud City but some rumbling heard off in the distance got closer. Eventually, it got so so loud that we had to take the exit and check out what all the noise was about.
     The familiar faces may sport a couple wrinkles from hard rockin' hard livin' and there might be a slight touch of grey.
     The attitude though, is still bad. Still pissed off. Still ready to toss it's leather jacket to the ground, raise it fists and stomp suits with it's boots. That's right kids-Duck! Because the beer bottles may start flying.
    On their two songs here, the Main Mangler Ted still spits a gobby mixture of punk rock disgust and exhaust huffing bark in his voice. His guitar has always snarled like a swarm of killer bees pollinating gasoline and now that attack has been doubled, just in case the initial stings didn't inflict enough blisters, with the edition of Matt wielding a second axe of firepower. Add in Manglers stalwart Brian on drums and new bassist Mary providing a turkey drum in each hand BOOMBAST and it's something like Osterberg/Williamson's Kill City and Let There Be Rock Acca Dacca meeting in a bar. Not to fight each other but to kick in all the faces the frou-frou effects board experimentalists and bearded adventure metal muppets.
     Some years a go RAWK became a bad word. The Mud City Manglers have crawled back out the ditch again to make it DIRTY.
     If the Manglers are the ones to roam around Pittsburgh, rattling the roads on street bikes looking for bars to drink their entire Yuengling supply-the Plastered Bastards are out in the woods, jumping hills on stolen dirt bikes and hopped up on something crazy folks out on the creepy state roads manufacture. Spun tight and ready to snap their two songs take the Misfits monster punk and drag it behind them in a jean jacket that use to belong to Blag Dahlia. Then they beat it with a bike chain they stole from Venom. Amps blare and people get bloodied.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mud-City-Manglers/142455942451571 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Plastered-Bastards/162624753753146 

Jan 18, 2012

Wednesday Photo by Dale: The Blue Water Bridge

     The Blue Water Bridge, which connects Port Huron, Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario is one of the iconic structures of the this area. There have been countless photos taken of it from when it was built in the 30's. That was made double when the 2nd span was built in the mid 90's.
     Because of it being a constant model for who knows how many photographers it has usually not been one of my main subjects as I have chosen to usually take pictures of other things around the area. The other morning though the sun was rising and I had some time to kill before I went out gainful employment seeking and my college classes. The sky looked right, the angles caught my eye and I popped off a few photos.



     I always find it interesting how just over a few minutes the skies at dawn (and at dusk too actually) can totally change. In the winter time that effect seems even more so.
     As an added bonus Blue Water Bridge picture here's on of it from this past summer about 10 minutes before a major thunderstorm rolled in.
     I have been asked by people in the past if I have considered making prints of some of the photo's I have taken and sell them or let them be used for commercial purposes. With the economy being as tight as it is (especially in this area) and always having use for some extra income to provide for my family as well helping with my school expenses-the answer is yes. Those interested in such things can contact me at this email address

Jan 16, 2012

Radio Slaps "Music Is A Mistake" Cassette

     Now that punk rock has been around for 35 years (using 1977 as years zero though I know we could split hairs about it all day of when the technical start of it actually was) there's lots of wells that have been tapped.
     Some of them have been sucked dry while others are still flowing for a band to find hydration. From each well the water tastes different and it's always good to have variety.
     Elements of the early Rough Trade-ish DIY aesthetics, especially the wonderfully inept plonk of the Desperate Bicycles, comes to mind. Combine that with a bit of the 90's blurring into the 00's garage punk blasts served up by English denizens such as the Real Losers amped-up yowl and Black Time's everything from 60's french films to the kitchen sink swing & clang this with a little bit of the trash-pop-art-screech of things like Times New Viking, this London UK band has found wells they like very much to a point where they not only take a sip from them but submerge their entire heads too.
     Keyboard blurps that leave one debating whether that are awesome in their cheese or perfect in their obnoxiousness. The covered in fuzz guitar playing sounds it like was just learned to be played a few weeks ago, just found a third chord and has no intention of learning anymore because it has found it's bad attitude sweet spot and the drums believe the in the same ideas with a trash can tappity tap tap bash.
Yelping "we have no time for harmonies-we just gotta say what we want and say it loud" girl/boy vocals top it all off.  
     Some of the ten songs here sound so agitated that they might not only rattle themselves, but tape player they're being played on, apart. All of them though have that making noise in the basement punk rock spirit that lives and yells in a world beyond mall stores and giganto marketing schemes.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Radio-Slaps/181423821913129

Jan 10, 2012

JOHNNY ILL BAND "In The Wintertime" 7inch EP

      There have been many a time when someone who is from a mild of weather climate has visited Michigan during the winter months and have asked "How do you deal with this?"
      "Well, there's sledding, ice skating, snowmobiling, making snowmen, going out and doing 360's on freshly snowed roads as long as the car has rear wheel drive. Also, lots and lots of beer, whatever is on TV and cursing the weather outside comes into play. That helps us deal with the snow shoveling, getting stuck in snowbanks an the months on end of grey skies. And besides, it helps us appreciate the nice weather, when it comes around again. Basically, we don't like either but we've learned to deal with it. It's not usual to put it in song though. Well, that is until fellow Michiganders, the Johnny Ill Band, did such with their newest out on the X! label
     Opening with strummed guitar and Jonathan Richman punk rock nephew croon about not wanting to go outside because it's too cold and there's no sunlight-"In The Wintertime" then kicks into Swell Mapsian DIY downstroke chug. A twinkly toy piano adds accents that resemble how the snow sparkles at dawn after a super frigid evening. Sure, that always looks pretty but anyone who deals with it knows that doesn't necessarily mean the blanket of white stuff covering the ground is all soft and fluffy. It could also mean it's hard and crusty and has left patches of those son of bitches all over the streets known as black ice.
     Yes, it is true-No one really likes the winter though some pretend they do. You can't play really baseball or have a picnic in the wintertime and have to wear boots and gloves and sometimes scarves. Johnny Ill isn't sugarcoating it. They're just plain and simple telling you how it really is.
     The two tracks on the b-side, "Matt Larson" and "Doug Braun", are about two dudes they know from around town. The former hitting the Tyvek when they lock into a Wire groove. The latter is like that as well but splattered with a bit of wheezy, broken carnival calliope organ sounds.
http://johnnyill.com/

Jan 9, 2012

Chocolate Robots, Instant Party and Dorothy's Hazarai at the Roche

      The Chocolate Robots (see S/T's review of their latest album here) haul their noisemakers across the Blue Water Bridge to entertain the people on Saturday January, 28th at the Roche Bar at 405 Quay Street in downtown Port Huron. Also on the bill the distorted destructo-pop grooves of Detroit's Instant Party and blues/folk-rock in a pressure cooker sounds of Sarnia's Dorothy's Hazarai. Yours truly along with Franck Nowak (and possibly some others) will be spinning records between bands. No cover, 21 & over and the show starts around 10pm. Hope to see ya there.

Dec 21, 2011

Wendesday Photo By Dale: Greasy Santa

      There's this greasy spoon restaurant that has been downtown since the 50's (as all greasy spoon grill joints should be). It's located between the two watering holes I usually frequent. Every Christmas season they put this plastic Santa up by the glasses and cups by the grill. It's been the same Santa that has been put up there since I was a little kid and would eat there with my grandma. In the day time he doesn't look so ragged and greasy but at night he really turns on the charm.