Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day Rockin' Eve-Eve-Eve

Yesterday was the Friday that led off Memorial Day weekend here in Charlottesville (and I guess throughout the rest of the country as well). We played the Tea Bazaar with Paper Fleet and Borrowed Beams of Light and a good time was had by all. All three bands were different from one another, but similar enough that people who liked one probably liked all three. I know I did!

The Posters played first, and we were a lot sloppier than usual, but it was fun and I think the general outline of each song still pretty much translated to people. I broke a bass string, which I've never done before, even just in practice!

Next up was Paper Fleet. Their singer / guitar player guy looked much like Jordan Catalano.

They should consider changing their band's name to Frozen Embryos. Or, you know, Residue. Also, they should get Rayanne to sing "I Wanna Be Sedated" with them. (Actually, no, they shouldn't.)

I'm sorry these pictures are so bad. I forgot my camera (which takes pretty terrible pictures anyway) and I was stuck with my phone. Renee took a lot of pictures with her new camera (which she claims is "almost as good as Josh's") and she'll probably post them on fbook.

The Beams were on next. Here they are tuning up.

I was pretty impressed with how many people in town know all the words to their songs. Admittedly about half their lyrics are just "ahh" or "ohh," but still, people knew all the other words too.

As you can see in the picture below, the whole band is saying "ahhhh." I think this was the beginning of "Thousand Year Powernap," the song with the bass line so infectious that Dave cannot refrain from playing it in practice whenever we're not practicing one of our actual songs.

Local photographer and video rental impresario Andy is taking a picture of the Beams here.

I went to the back of the room to get a shot of how huge the crowd was. I'm not sure if as many people were there for our set, but even if it was half of what you see here it was a pretty big crowd for us, and it was really fun to share the stage with the Beams. Adam is a pop songsmith of the highest order!

Anyway, that was a badass show. Other than breaking a string it was a totally positive experience. I still have "Kids Are Great" stuck in my head! At the moment we don't have anything lined up until mid July, so it's going to be nose-to-the-grind-stone recording for a while.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tomorrow Is Gonna Be Psycho!

I finally got Photoshop at work again!

It's a few days late in coming, but I wanted to tell everybody that Renee had a cool (short) writeup in the C'ville this week. In the print version, on stands until the next issue comes out Tuesday, there is also a photo of her. Renee is indeed every boy's dream girl, which means that Dave is lucky for more reasons than simply having a cool job and being in a band with moi.

Also, don't forget that we're rocking the Tea House with our compatriots in the Charlottesville quirky pop scene Borrowed Beams of Light, and cool garage rock / slacker pop outfit Paper Fleet, from Brooklyn. I think they might know this guy I know named Chuck, who is good friends with my brother from art school and is (or was?) in The Bright Lights.

We're pulling out all the stops this time around. Dave is basically playing nothing but A-sides. I can't remember what songs of mine we're playing. I'm pretty sure they're good ones, though.

Hitch would like to remind you to be on time for the show, which will start at 9pm sharp, because we're going on first and, like Rachel on Glee (and Tinkerbell), we need applause to live.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Show This Friday. Recording Today.

I'm sort of sad that there isn't more stuff on youtube by Lungleg. Why was there never a video of "Previous Condition?" If I ever get a time machine the first place I'm going is a Lungleg show, for sure!

[Edit: It didn't occur to me to check until today, but there is some good stuff on their (official?) myspace, including a cool lo-fi version of Theme Park and a show from 1994 split into two long tracks. It never occurred to me that a band from the '90s would have a myspace, but as we all know I'm a technophobe and don't really know how these things work. My God Lungleg is good, though! It's like somebody combined Girls At Our Best with Blast Off Country Style. I highly recommend both CDs. They've been in heavy rotation at my house since I discovered them a few years ago.]

Anyway, I'll not bury the lead more than I already have. The Posters will be opening for Borrowed Beams of Light at the Tea Bazaar this Friday, May 28th, 2010. If you've not heard the Borrowed Beams, you probably do not live in or near Charlottesville, but you can head over to their website and listen to their excellent five song EP in its entirety. I hasten to add that the Beams feature the songwriting and singing talents of Adam Brock, who is also the drummer in The Invisible Hand. Other local rock stars are also in the band, but the focus is very much on Adam's voice and clever, catchy songs. They are one of the biggest things in Charlottesville right now, and deservedly so. Also, they don't play as much as many of the bands around here because, even though their material is as good as that of any band in town, most of the people are in other bands that play more often, like the Hand and Corsair. Anyway, this is a big show for us because the Beams are really popular and really good, so I'm hoping this will be the show where I finally start getting some groupie action.

Also on the bill is Brooklyn's Paper Fleet. On their myspace they cite Joe Jack Talcum as a major influence, and that's a pretty apt comparison. They sound a lot like "Dean's Dream" from Big Lizard In My Back Yard, which as far as I'm concerned is a very good thing.

We're playing first at this show, probably starting around 9:00 or 9:30, so plan to get there early and enjoy some tea.

In other news, Dave and I recorded some stuff today. We actually got a whole lot done, which usually scares me, because the more you get done the less good all of it usually sounds when you listen to it the next day. I'm really pleased with the way those Russian microphones I bought sound on acoustic guitar, though. I'm hoping they'll sound as good as drum overheads. Listening back to the acoustic we recorded for "Aubrey" last week I was struck by how natural it sounded. If they work as well as I think they will on drums I might be able to pawn one of my large diaphragm AKGs (which would rule).

I'm still not pleased with my bass playing on "Penmanship." Although I'm thinking that when we record the actual thing I want to record it through a guitar amp with lots of reverb.

Does anybody else think the end of Ashes to Ashes was a little too much like something from some galex-obsessed nerd-girl's fan fiction? (Not that that's necessarily a bad thing.) It's not that it was overly galexy, just that it was so on the nose in terms of giving the most psycho elements of the fan base exactly what they wanted. To think that some of those freaky people on The Railway Arms actually had it way more right than anyone else!

I guess this probably should have tipped me off.

Anyway, RIP the Quattro.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sage Comme une Image

This is the direction we're headed in for the next album... Hope everyone approves! Thanks to everybody who came out to rock on Saturday and thanks in advance to everyone who's gonna come out to watch us tear it up at Tea Bazaar on May 28th with Paper Fleet and Borrowed Beams of Light! It's the day after my 33rd birthday! Come celebrate (or lament) with me!

- Dave

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Workday/Schoolnight and Young Adult Fiction

This is going to be a photo-heavy post, so I've made the thumbnails really small. You can click on them to see them big.

Last night's show was off that hook, dude! The first act was Workday/Schoolnight, one guy and about twelve machines working together to fuck shit up. It was all of the good stuff about experimental electronic music (danceable beats, Human League-esque synth hooks, smart lyrics and really funny samples from found materials) with none of the things that can sometimes make that music unlistenable or boring (i.e. not having actual songs).

The awesome lyrics and sound samples -- many from what sounded like early-'90s self hypnosis and life coaching cassettes -- really created a bleak picture of the irredeemable distopia that is modern America, but this message of alienation and hopelessness was delivered in the form of a first class dance party act. I can't imagine a more fun way to reflect on the failings of this hellscape we all inhabit.

The Posters played in the middle slot, and after us was Young Adult Fiction, from Richmond. Seeing them play, all the Pavement comparisons started to make sense to me. There's almost more of a visual resemblance than a musical one. It's not just that they're five dudes playing Pavement instruments (including a Bob Nastanovich guy), but they actually look a little like the guys in Pavement. But in a weird way. Check it out: The Malkmus guy looks like Malkmus, but the Spiral Stairs looks like a cross between Steve West and Mark Ibold! And then the Steve West looks like Bob Nastanovich!!! The other two guys -- the bass player and the auxil-ovich/percussionist don't look like anybody in Pavement.

Here's the back of Dave as he gets down to their phat tunes.

They switch instruments for a couple of songs, and the drummer comes out and sings some songs while the singer plays drums. Switching instruments is always awesome!

Then they switched back and I took this picture from a different angle. As you can see, the people just couldn't sit still.

For the last couple of songs, Dylan (aka Charlottesville's Rhythm Bandit) played the auxil-ovitch, and the bass player took off his shirt. I'm not sure if the two things were related because I was too busy dancing. Everybody was kung fu fighting!

During the last song Dylan broke the fourth wall in a kind of situationist rejection of established decorum. I think he also may have broken this drum. Dave is trying to contain the madness, but he can't!

That was probably the most fun I've ever had at the Tea Bazaar. Word!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tea Bazaar. This Saturday. Be there!

I sort of can't get enough of this kid. I'm really into his voice and the kooky moves his drummer has. Most of the time when people cover a Wipers song they try to be really tough about it, and can't really do justice to Greg Sage's voice or guitar tone, but this guy just doesn't even go down that route. He rocks it Lois Maffeo style with just acoustic guitar and minimal drums, and it totally works.

The Hilarious Posters will be doing some rocking of our own this Saturday at our beloved second-story Tea Bazaar. The headlining act will be Richmond's Young Adult Fiction, about whom everybody has been saying good things. People have described them as sounding very 1990s, but I don't really hear it. Probably, once again, folks have confused "1990s" with "good."

Also on the bill is Workday/Schoolnight from North Carolina. It's electronic slightly-experimental stuff, but still very song-based, and featuring poppy synth hooks -- accessible while not being dumbed down at all. I'm pretty sure it's just one guy and a bunch of machines.

On Sunday we made the first stabs at recording stuff for our long player. The idea is to have it out in the fall, but given that five songs took us five months to record last year, there's a chance that fifteen or twenty will take us into fall 2011! We recorded stuff that will probably not be used for the actual record, but will serve as guide tracks later on -- bass and acoustic guitar on Not the Strut, Penmanship, and Ferris Bueller.