Friday, August 29, 2008

Alex Visits Civic Center Park And Escapes Unscathed

The DNC came and went, as did the protests. Sadly, the numbers were far lower then I, the organizers, and the police expected. Sunday was an amazing, euphoric day, and Monday began that way until close to 100 protesters were peppersprayed, shot at, and beaten back by police that night. Tuesday passed with little action, much to my group and I's dismay. Wednesday proved to be better with a fantastic march led by the Iraq Veterans Against the War after the Rage Against the Machine concert (which I did not attend). Thursday had some actions, but went by relatively uneventfully. As I expected, the media went into an orgy of Obama praise, complete with Martin Luther King Jr. comparisons, which I find insulting to the latter's legacy. Obama is nothing but another politician, nothing more. Words like "hope" and "change" have been stripped of any meaning and have been turned into another marketing slogan for vast presidential merchandising. I can't even begin to count the number of what appeared to be designer Obama apparel that I saw while waltzing down 16th Street Mall. This man isn't just some hip fad that everyone can just get over come November 5th. He more likely than not will be the guy running our country for the next 4-8 years. Its not something to take lightly.

Well since the theme of the DNC protests was "Re-create 68," and Phil Ochs attended the infamous protests in Chicago 1968, here is disc 2 of Farewells and Fantasies! Enjoy!

Phil Ochs
Farewells and Fantasies (Disc 2)

1. The War Is Over
2. I Ain't Marching Anymore (Electric)
3. White Boots Marching In Yellow Land

4. Is There Anybody Here?
5. Santo Domingo
6. Song of a Soldier (Demo)
7. Cops of the World
8. Bracero
9. Canons of Christianity
10. I Kill Therefore I Am
11. Confession (Demo)
12. William Butler Yeats Visits Lincoln Park An Escapes Unscathed
13. A Toast to Those Who Are Gone
14. Changes
15. The Doll House
16. When In Rome

Monday, August 25, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I know I said I would upload the other two discs of Phil Ochs, but those will have to wait.

Instead, two things.

First: The demo for Jack's Smirking Revenge, entitled "Bitter Songs For Bitter People" is now up on my page for both streaming and download. So go check it out! Mind you, the songs were recorded on my computer with a crappy microphone, so they are a bit subpar sound quality. Oh well, I'm still proud I managed to record em all.

Second: My friends' band The Masters of Suspicion, who played our house again last night, were kind enough to give me a demo/live bootleg of their own. It is their only recorded output that I know so far. So that is up for download right here:

The Masters of Suspicion
Live 7/17/08 at Buffalo Rose, Golden CO

1. Fistfuck
2. Heaven Is A Place On Earth (Belinda Carlisle)
3. Intervention
4. Stool Pigeon
5. Lager Lullaby
6. 1000 More Fools (Bad Religion)
7. Kenny G Experience
8. Uncle Benny
9. Larry Walker
10. Alcoholocaust
11. No Scrubs (TLC)
12. Fools and Kings
13. (Unknown)
14. Gunslinger

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Have the Years of Our Youth Passed On

Big post today, mostly because its been a great week, after a lackluster, rainy, cold weekend, full of dead musicians.

I knew it was gonna be a good day when I received my copy of The '59 Sound in the mail on Monday, and I have listened to it at least twice a day since. Seriously, I don't have a doubt in my mind that this will be record of the year, no matter what the mainstream outlets say. The only band that could possibly come close is The Riot Before, whose album Fists Buried In Pockets comes out in September. I have not felt such an emotional connection to an album in a long time, and it feels wonderful. Every song just spills passion out of my speakers and into my ears, and even the only semi-dud on the album ("Even Cowgirls Get the Blues") is only disliked for personal reasons (I hate Tom Petty). From the brilliant opener "Great Expectations" to the equally great title track, with its heartfelt lyrics about a friend dying in a car crash, to the fantastic "The Patient Ferris Wheel" (which i referenced in a previous post), the album builds on the solid foundation of Sink or Swim, and furthers their Against Me! meets Hot Water Music meets Springsteen meets soul sound. Dicky Barrett of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Chris Wollard of HWM even sing backup vocals on "The Patient Ferris Wheel!" Much like its predecessor, this album is packed with homages to their influences, from Springsteen (all over the album, duh), Petty (see above, ug), Miles Davis (Miles Davis & The Cool), Buddy Holly, Bob Seger (Great Expectations, eh), and even Casablanca (Here's Looking At You, Kid). Seriously, go buy this album.

I woke up Tuesday morning to find the fantastic news that Dillinger Four's new album Civil War will be released on October 14! 5 minutes later, I was watching a hilarious video of Paddy from D4 and Ryan from Off With Their Heads getting drunk at The Fest V and lighting themselves and OWTH's merch money on fire with grain alcohol. Then it was a long, but fun day at work, but followed by hanging out with various friends at the house until the wee hours of the night. Following a conversation with a friend about how awesome Phil Ochs is, I am officially on a kick. Like my buddy said, its easy to get mad at Bob Dylan for getting so popular, because he overshadowed so many great folk musicians from the same time period, like Ochs (who tragically took his own life in 1976). I will post all 3 discs of the out of print boxset "Farewells and Fantasies" that provides a great introduction to Ochs, from his fiery and witty folk troubadorship, to his poppier, experimental side. Disc 1 is posted at the bottom.

Today I went on a trek to the record store and picked up the following:

Johnny Cash-At Folsom Prison and San Quentin (2xLP)!!!!!!
Johhny Cash-Bitter Tears (LP)
Bruce Springsteen-Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ (LP)
Bruce Springsteen-Born to Run (LP)
Phil Ochs-Pleasures of the Harbor (LP)
The Replacements-Let It Be (CD)

It should be self explanatory why those make me incredibly happy. The fact that I found the Johnny Cash albums nearly gave me an erection. Tomorrow is my roommate's 21st birthday, so we shall be getting drunk and merry, and The Masters of Suspicion will be playing.

Phil Ochs
Farewells and Fantasies (Disc 1)
1. What's That I Hear?
2. The Bells
3. Morning
4. Bound For Glory
5. Highwayman (Live)
6. Power and the Glory
7. That's What I Want to Hear
8. Links On the Chain
9. Love Me, I'm A Liberal (Live)
10. Too Many Martyrs
11. In the Heat of Summer
12. Here's to the State of Mississippi
13. I'm Going to Say It Now
14. One More Parade
15. Draft Dodger Rag
16. I Ain't Marching Anymore
17. We Seek No Wider War
18. Ringing of Revolution
19. When I'm Gone
20. Song of My Returning
21. There But For Fortune

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Not another...

seriously, awesome people need to stop dying.

and it needs to stop fucking raining

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008

At Least We're Still Friends

I finally saw Alkaline Trio live last night. For the past 5-6 years I have been constantly missing them every time they come to town, usually being in Colorado when they are in New Jersey, or vice versa. I couldn't be happier that they played at Cervantes rather than the Fillmore or the Ogden (or similar venues). I also couldn't be happier that American Steel opened for them (disregarding Sleeperhorse, who were boring as always), as they have become one of my favorite bands over the past year or so. They number of American Steel fans in the audience was really low, which I didn't really expect. There were only about 10 or less of us rocking out in the front, which annoyed the teenage girl fans of Trio, but I couldn't care less. American Steel played a Destroy Their Future-heavy set, which I expected and enjoyed, as that album destroys (pun intended). Rogue's March and Jagged Thoughts got two songs each, but I was just happy to hear "Loaded Gun." Despite their limited time, they played a solid set for their limited fans, warming everyone up for the Trio.

Sons of Avarice
Or, Don't You Remember?
Razor Blades
Rainy Day
To The Sea
Smile On Me
Loaded Gun
Every New Morning
Love and Logic
Mean Streak

With the lights dimmed and the candles place atop the amps lit, Alkaline Trio took the stage to the usual screams, clapping, and shouting. Matt then wasted no time and went into the first song from Agony and Irony, "Calling All Skeletons." The final chords from the song had barely finished ringing when they began playing the opening riff to "Clavicle." From that moment, I knew it was going to be a great fucking show. That feeling was further cemented when they busted out "I Lied My Face Off" The Trio soldiered through their set, taking songs from all their albums, thankfully only taking 5 from Agony and Irony and 2 from Crimson. Thankfully of those 7 songs, only one of them sucked ass ("Love Love, Kiss Kiss"). Sadly, Goddamnit's only representation was "Clavicle." I honestly expected at least one or two more from the album, considering it was just reissued. The band pulled a few cheesy "band" moves, that is to say, replacing words in certain songs with "Colorado" or "Denver" ("Mercy Me" and "This Could Be Love"). I was kinda let down when Matt replaced "Night On Earth" with "Totalimmortal" in "Warbrain," but was still ecstatic they played it. After leaving the stage following "This Could Be Love," the chants for "Radio" began. After opening their encore with "For Your Lungs Only," the band gave the people what they wanted. Singing along in unison to the chorus with everyone in the room was one of the best feelings I've ever gotten at a concert. So Alkaline Trio, I forgive you for your lackluster past two albums, as long as you keep pumping out sets like this. The only way it could have been better was if I went to the Occult Roots tour in '06 (with Against Me!), or saw them in '98-'99

Calling All Skeletons
Clavicle (!!!)
I Lied My Face Off (!!!)
I Found Away
In Vein
Private Eye
Time to Waste
Blue Carolina
Warbrain (!!!!)
Goodbye Forever (!!!)
Mercy Me
Love Love Kiss Kiss
Help Me
Bleeder (!!!)
This Could Be Love
For Your Lungs Only

Friday, August 1, 2008


I love The Measure [SA] for several reasons

1)They make awesome music (upbeat, folk-influenced punk)
2)They are from New Jersey (New Brunswick, Hub City Hardcore!)
3) They only release on vinyl, hence the [SA] which stands for strictly analog. (ok the released their first LP on CD eventually, but whatever)
4)Their singer Lauren has a great voice and sure is a cute one.
5) In continuation of point #3, their strictly analog-ness got me into actual record "collecting" Since they are still fairly unknown in wider punk circles, collecting all of the colors and variants of their records is pretty cheap and easy to do. I am only missing 3 colors of the Historical Fiction 7" (the one with Rosa Parks on the cover, and 1 color of the O Pioneers!!! split (the one with Vonnegut). They are still the only band I truly have a "collection" for
6) The fact that the theme for their records is putting people like Rosa Parks, Kurt Vonnegut, and Audry Hepburn on the cover. (Lauren does all the artwork)

Their debut album Historical Fiction (top left corner) is wonderful, lyrically and musically. The only drawback is their other guitarist/singer Mike, who is sloppy with vocal delivery, which kinda drags down otherwise good songs. But he has since left the band after the Means to An End 7" (red one in the bottom left corner with Humphrey Bogart on the cover). Other than his singing, I really like his songs lyrically, so its a shame he's leaving. But most likely, their next album will be a lot stronger. They have a collections LP, another split, and a new EP coming out, so I'm pretty excited for those.

So here is the Historical Fiction LP. If you like it, I highly recommend you buy it!

1. Just Go
2. Key Ring
3. Little Things
4. Letters From the Earth
5. Ballad
6. Autonomously
7. We'll Always Have Asbury Park
8. Angell Street
9. So Much For That Vow
10. Media Free
11. Sleep
12. It's Me or the Marlboro Man
13. Desperation Song
14. Trainage

"Time's a locomotive that'll run you over anyway!"