Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category
“Getting the boot from the Modest Mouse concert after it started to cloud up a little…”
Pharmacy Spirits – Books
Pharmacy Spirits – Just Like Charles
This spring we received a beautiful gift from Nebraska’s Pharmacy Spirits. Following the path carved by their debut EP Every Song Ended In 1994, Teen Challenge stands on the shoulders of giants, and it stands tall. The record somewhat insinuates a contradiction, sharing the name of an evangelical Christian outreach program created in the 1950’s to heal the country’s youth of their addiction to drugs, alcohol, and sexual perversion. Pharmacy Spirits and Teen Challenge explores the expanse between depraved debauchery and outlandish treatment programs; the anxiety of each extreme is encapsulated by the band’s style. Taking a listen to their earlier EP, one recognizes a celebration of British and American new wave and post-punk engaged in fornication with college radio demigods, producing a dance driving vegrandis opus that is ultimately hip.
The observation that sometime in 1994 the music died sells the narrative that the 80’s was a truly significant decade. The lives of such admired artists as The Glove, The Cure, Joy Division, Bauhaus, The Fall, and later bands like the Pixies and Pavement (Slanted and Enchanted, 1992 and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain 1994), all flared and faded by the time 1994’s final sun set. Though this would be only one telling of the story, as many would argue that the few bands who still release albums are alive and well, not to mention, the very existence of Pharmacy Spirits’ seemingly inarguable relevance underscores the fact that many of these bands’ early catalog has never been hotter. These artists though have come through the looking glass marred by the now romanticized experiences of sex, drugs, and death. Enter Teen Challenge.
Piecing together and then articulating the ambient qualities of a record is never easy. The critic is forever the douche bag for ever even considering the use of his vocabulary. Teen Challenge though has a warmth and beauty that is so exquisitely wrought with desperation and exhaustive emotion that it would be difficult to talk about it without reading like a canvas description at the MOMA. Teen Challenge has all that the throw-backs of the modern era could ever hope. The best songs make you want to dance, the rest are just as cool, though the contrast between pulsations such as Books or Just Like Charles and the slow downs like Safety Now only serves to elevate the power and energy of the former. Simply put, Teen Challenge is a beautiful gift that has reified all that we ever loved about the decade of decadence, yet at the same time Pharmacy Spirits has the guts and vision to move beyond a bygone time, through the looking glass, to explore what still counts, what is still relevant. By all measures they have succeeded.
Every Song Ended In 1994 EP
August 28th 7PM Eclipse Records w/ Dragons Power Up! & tba Minneapolis, Minnesota
August 29th 9PM Vaudeville Mews w/ Gabe Cordova & tba Des Moines, Iowa
September 3rd TBA
September 4th TBA
October 1st 9PM The Cave w/ Gospel Gossip! Northfield, Minnesota
October 2nd 9PM 331 Club w/ Gospel Gossip Minneapolis, Minnesota
So folks I am going to see a show at Rooftop Films in the Lower East Side tonight brought to us by SnagFilms and indieWIRE, info here and below. I thought that this might be an opportunity to get out and see some local cinema, a habit I have not quite yet gotten into. Up with hope, dooooown with dope!
Here is the Schedule
Venue: On the Open Road Rooftop
Address: 350 Grand St. @ Essex (Lower East Side, Manhattan)
Directions: F/J/M/Z to Essex/Delancey
Rain: In the event of rain the show will be held indoors at the same location
8:00PM: Doors Open
8:30PM: Live Music by Fall On Your Sword (myspace.com/fallonyoursword)
10:30PM: Filmmaker Q&A
11:30PM-1:00AM: After-party: Open Bar at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge St. @ Grand) Courtesy of Radeberger Pilsner
Tickets: $10 at the door or online at http://www.rooftopfilms.com
Presented in partnership with: indieWIRE, Snag Films, IFC, New York magazine, Radeberger, Open Road NY, Fontana’s, the NYC Council Manhattan Delegation & NYS Senator Daniel L. Squadron
The Longest Day of My Life
I Don’t Eat Syrup, I’m a Man
Life in the Malebolge
Once again I have spent way to much time considering how I should approach a record that is miles away from my cup of tea but one which I have great respect for in terms of song writing and recording. What can you say when a guy simply does what he does really damn well. Arthur Killroad’s music reminds me of a good and dear friend who, even when surrounded by the snobbiest of snobby indie kids, says “I write great pop songs, I can’t help it, and I’m not going to run away from it.” Arthur Killroad, or Mike Petruccelli if you prefer real names, has recently self-released The Longest Day of My Life, a seven track pop-core confection that shamelessly employs nearly every hook in the book producing a record so easy on the ears you almost forget the constricting waistline of your Skinny 511’s™. Killroad’s latest effort has markedly improved on his last venture, which was similarly hook laden, but this time around he has not only kept the lyrics clever, but he has cradled his words in a soundscape of music employing much more than his flicker fast acoustic guitar and gruff impassioned voice.
The addition of a trap set, bass, and the occasional crunchy distorted guitar punch in has added considerable value to his project. This is not to say that his solo recordings are empty, but he has simply written better music that functions in large part due to layers and contrasts. In some ways I think he could go even further. Fine…he can keep the hooks, keep the borderline emo-nouveaux melodies, keep the Ben Folds inflected voice; keep ‘em, but The Longest Day of My Life demonstrates that Killroad knows how to orchestrate, he knows how to arrange and I am interested to hear what comes next. Killroad hails from Athens, Ohio; though I am pretty sure I spied him walking around Alphabet City last year. His myspace mentions that he is on his way to Chicago, a town I am very familiar with. With new plans, a new city, and new friends, he will have a whole new pool of experience from which to draw. Killroad has let it be known that he has turned a corner in his life and his music clearly reflects that.
Ripped from Brooklyn Vegan:
Dan Deacon will be doing us the great favor of playing a free show in Red Hook Park on June 15th at 7PM….