Sunday, February 27, 2011

Art of the Underground Records Super Sale!

AOTU is running a 5 7''s for $5 sale, a 5 LPs for $10 sale and a 10 CDs for $10 sale. Pretty cool...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Stream "This Is Only a Test" by the Smoking Popes! Ah!

Nuff said! Stream!

If you like what you hear.

Smoking Popes at Mojoe's in Joliet (2.25.11)

Photo by Gavin

I went to this show last night at Mojoe's in Joliet. It was a pretty decent crowd, but a smaller one, being in the burbs and all. My girlfriend and I arrived late, missing over half the set (a real bummer, but seeing 45 minutes of Smoking Popes for $12 is still well-worth it in my opinion). There were some drunken frat-type dudes, one of which grabbed me by the shoulders and tried shaking me. It was very awkward, as he just looked at me, holding my shoulders, smiling. It was very strange. My buddy, Neil Hennessy (drums) informed me that there's some art on the wall at Tony's on Belmont (near the Beat Kitchen) that was done by Jason Duarte. I accepted credit. Eli handed me his set list and I saw what I missed. I came in after they finished, "Punk Band," a song that'll be on its new album, "This Is Only a Test," coming out March 15 on Asian Man Records. I can't wait to see them in April in Palatine and hopefully at their record release show at the Double Door. Here was the set list from last night's show.

Set List:
Can't Find It
Wish We Were
If You Don't Care
No More Smiles
Long Day
How Dangerous
Waiting Around
Gotta Know
Writing a Letter
Punk Band
Megan (Josh solo)
College (Josh solo)
Pure Imagination (Josh solo)
Off My Mind
Need You Around
Pretty Pathetic
Brand New Hairstyle
I Know You Love Me
Not That Kind of Girlfriend

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Night Birds - "Midnight Movies" review

No Way Records
Feb. 13, 2011

Rating: 5/5

I was funneled into being a Night Birds fan because of my prior fondness for The Ergs!, Psyched To Die, Hunchback, Full of Fancy, etc. Their first two 7''s (Art of the Underground 2-songer and S/T 5-songer) were a great introduction to this band. I loved the Dead Kennedys/Adolescents/Agent Orange-influences. I loved the skate/surf-punk influences. Midnight Movies takes all that and delivers a 7'' that pays homage to the theme of late-night horror B-movies; something bands like the Misfits and the Groovie Ghoulies built and thrived off of.

The first tune, "Midnight Movies," lays out the feel for the 7'' (or tape, if you were as lucky as I was to score one of those babies). It's all about wanting to go out, staying up all night and thirsting for "all the things I'm not supposed to see," vocalist Brian Gorsenger sings. It's a nostalgic tune for me. I loved (and still love) gory, overdone B-movies. A more recent one that comes to mind is Black Sheep (not with Chris Farley). It takes you back to simpler times. Remember those? Before cell phones, the Internet and being so hip at shows that you just stand in one place the entire time. Going out, munching on corn and satisfying the desire you yourself may have to murder, slash and gut your enemies. But you wouldn't REALLY do that, right? That's why we have songs and literature about such things. It fills that desire. Temporarily. Pick up this 7'' and fill yours.

The other selling point of this 7'' is that Mike Diana designed the cover art. If you're not familiar with Mike Diana, he was the first cartoonist to receive a criminal conviction for obscenity in the United States because of his zines, "Boiled Angel #7" and "#ATE."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mikey Erg! - "Heart-Shaped 12''" review -or - How Mikey Erg! gave me a heart-on for Valentine's Day 2011

Paper and Plastick Records
Feb. 14, 2011

Rating: 5/5

Just in time for Valentine's Day, here's the first official solo release by Mike Yannich, or known more commonly as the one and only Mikey Erg! How am I reviewing this only one day after the release date?! No, I didn't get a press release in advance. Nope, didn't Mediafire it either. Paper and Plastick does this awesome thing where if you buy a record from its website, you get an instant download with your receipt, sent to your e-mail address. Same thing as the download code, only you don't have to go fishing through the album's sleeve to enter any annoying code. Plus it's instant. Way cooler. Way better. And I can download it more than once if I want to. This may just be as good as it gets. Enough gushing about Paper and Plastick - time for the heart-on Mikey Erg's just unleashed all over the pop punk world.
It's a two-song 12'', so 99% of this thing is novelty. Sure, it could have been a 7''. But man, the heart is where it's at. I'll take one song on either side of a 12''.
SIDE A: "Key Of C, Fix It, Fix It, Stop," surprised me. I was expecting acoustic music! There's guitar, drums and bass! And Merg vox! It's a warning tune addressed to a girl only Mikey can pinpoint in his cardio-crosshairs. It's a splurge of emotion; an I-told-ya-so to the girl, kind of loosely reminiscent to the story in "I'm the One" by the Descendents. Mike's the sappier of the two. Mike's the one way more into her than she is into him it seems like. He sings of frustration and pushes for clarity and truth. Is she just not listening? Are they not on the same page? That's the worst fucking thing about relationships - for a while, you think it's great until you realize you're way more into it than she is. And you're just kind of left in that cloud. "Now the moment is gone and I guess you don't remember," Mr. Erg chants to a fade.

SIDE 2: "Little Hands of Concrete." Ah. There's the acoustic guitar. There's bass and drums too. So its not your straightforward rock ensemble. But it is 1:42 of goodness, reminiscent of the stuff he did last year with Marisa Bergquist under the name, Ergquist. It's another tune knee-deep in heartache grits. "I know you're not thinking of me, but it's to pretend that you might be," he sings. I like it because it's not a straight-up sad song, it's kind of an optimistic one. He doesn't seem like he put all his eggs in one basket, and is thus able to reassure himself. I don't know which tune I like more. I guess I'll have to listen to 'em both a whole bunch more times. Order this while you can! I know at least 202 of the 500 pressed are GONE.

100 Black vinyl
300 Red vinyl
100 Gold vinyl

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Download a tune off "First World Manifesto" by Screeching Weasel

Screeching Weasel has a new tune up for download. It's called "Beginningless Vacation," and it'll be on its upcoming album, "First World Manifesto," due out on Fat Wreck March 15.

1: Follow Your Leaders
2: Frankengirl
3: Beginningless Vacation
4: Dry Is The Desert
5: Totem Pole
6: Creepy Crawl
7: Three Lonely Days
8: Friday Night Nation
9: All Over Town
10: Fortune Cookie
11: Baby Talk
12: Come And See The Violence Inherent In The System
13: Bite Marks
14: Little Big Man

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Smoking Popes stream "Punk Band" off new album and Gateway District are streaming two!

I saw them debut "Punk Band" live at the Metro in October as part of Riot Fest 2010 with The Dopamines and Cap'n Jazz. Love it. It's also going to be the first studio recording Neil Hennessey (Lawrence Arms) plays drums on with them, despite playing with them live for the last 4 or 5 years. Happy day! Gonna go listen to the new Lemuria album now.

BUT before that happens, Minneapolis' infectious electric alt-country/punk/rock/riot grrrl band, The Gateway District is streaming two songs of its new album titled, "Perfect's Gonna Fail." If these two are any indication that the rest are going to sound this good, then this is going to quite possibly be one of the top albums of 2011. Get stoked.