Monday, April 29, 2013

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog Premiers Video on ALARM

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog Premiers Video on ALARM
Album Hits Stores Tomorrow, Album Release Show in NYC 5/5

ceramic dog
Ceramic Dog and Northern Spy Records are proud to present the music video for “Lies My Body Told Me,” via ALARM Magazine. The song is the lead-off track on the band’s new full-length record which officially drops tomorrow, April 30, 2013. Entitled Your Turn, the album is the sophomore effort from Marc Ribot’s three piece rock band and its first release on Northern Spy.

Ribot and his crew have been very busy of late, just returning from a successful jaunt in Europe and now preparing for the ‘Your Turn’ Record Release Show at Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday, May 5. Expect to find the band in peak form, as they will also have a short Japanese tour under their belt by that time. All upcoming dates below:


5/1/2013 - Club Quattro, Tokyo, Japan
5/2/2013 - Club Quattro, Nagoya, Japan
5/3/2013 - Club Quattro, Umeda, Japan
5/5/2013 - Le Poisson Rouge, New York, NY w/ Hubble
5/27/2013 - Pritzker Pavilion, Chicago, IL w/ Lee Ranaldo
5/28/2013 - Constellation, Chicago, IL



Your Turn features 13 tracks, several written solely by Ribot (Los Cubanos Postizos, John Zorn, Tom Waits) and one by Smith. Others are group efforts by Ribot, Shahzad Ismaily (Will Oldham, Laurie Anderson, Jolie Holland, Yoko Ono) and Ches Smith (Xiu Xiu, Good for Cows, Secret Chiefs 3), two of the best young players on the New York/California underground improv/experimental rock scene. One track, "Bread and Roses," is based on a 1911 poem by James Oppenheim. Perhaps the oddest but most fascinating track is the trio's enlightening re-imagination of the Paul Desmond-written Dave Brubeck jazz classic "Take Five." Recorded at three different New York-area studios, Your Turn was produced and mixed by Greg Saunier, the drummer of buzzy indie band Deerhoof.
Ribot, who describes Ceramic Dog as a "free/punk/funk/experimental/psychedelic/post electronica collective," says that Your Turn was two years in the making. "Second records are notoriously hard to nail down," he explains. "We tried to make it a few times. Finally we got it right -- meaning, we got it to sound wrong, exactly like us."
"If you listen closely, you can hear the rage, hope, disappointment, ritual excess, love and anarchy that were in our personal and collective airspace during those years," says Ribot. "There were (and, we hope, will continue to be) several kinds of riots going on ('Lies My Body Told Me,' 'Bread and Roses'). And yes, the CD is 'political' ('Avanti Popolo' - a traditional folk song the Italian labor movement adopted as their anthem, 'Ain't Gonna Let Them Turn Us 'Round'). But what fun is raging against the machine if you can't also rage against the bar line and the tonal system ('Take Five,' 'Ritual Slaughter,' the title track)?"

Track Listing:
1) Lies My Body Told Me
2) Your Turn
3) Masters of the Internet
4) Ritual Slaughter
5) Avanti Popolo
6) Ain't Gonna Let Them Turn Us Round
7) Bread and Roses
8) Prayer
9) Mr. Pants Goes to Hollywood
10) The Kid is Back!
11) Take 5
12) We Are the Professionals
13) Special Snowflake
Featured Artists:
Marc Ribot
Shahzad Ismaily
Ches Smith
Special Guest Artists:
*Eszter Balint: vocals (1, 6, 10); melodica (9); organ (10); violin (13)
*Arto Lindsay: guitar (10)

Week of Wonders- West Coast Tour Dates!! --

Late last year, we reviewed the album "Restraint" by Seattle Washington post punk pop threesome Orca Team. The much loved band broke up and it came to our attention back in January that front man Leif Anders had formed another band called "Week of Wonders" trading his fluid bass work for solid guitar lines that can be trancy and translucent one minute and erupt into bright bursts of sound the next. "Week of Wonders" calls what they do "tropical punk" and there are a fair share of Caribbean and South American rhythms but the punk pop (imbued with a late 60's aesthetic) is still there all rolled up into a potent and dancey sound.

They are heading on tour in May and luckily for us So Cal residents, they are snaking their way down to LA.
Check out their Bandcamp, some videos and go see them in a town near you!

Tour Dates:

05/01: Seattle, WA - CHOP SUEY with Bleached and Ex-Cops.

05/02: Olympia, WA - THE NORTHERN with Nancy Drew Margy Pepper, and Get Mom.

05/03: Bend, OR - THE HORNED HAND with All You All and The Kronk Men.

05/04: Reno, NV - THE HOLLAND PROJECT with Cat Jelly and Jazz Children.

05/05: Davis, CA - (6pm) KDVS FM Live In Studio.

05/05: Davis, CA - DAVIS BIKE COLLECTIVE with Sneeze Attack and Arts & Leisure.

05/07: Los Angeles, CA - LOT 1 with Dark Seas and TBA.

05/08: Riverside, CA - BACK TO THE GRIND with Summer Twins and No Paws.

05/09: Tucson, AZ - THE DISTRICT TAVERN with Best Dog Award, Womb Tomb, and Secret Highway Secrets.

05/10: Phoenix, AZ - LONG WONGS with Playboy Manbaby, Diners, and Skinny Shamans.

05/11: Prescott, AZ - LIZZIE'S HOUSE OF AXES with TBA.

05/12: San Diego, CA - (6pm) BAR ELEVEN.

05/12: La Jolla, CA - THE CHE CAFE with Mittens and The Llamadors.

05/13: Orange County, CA - BURGER RECORDS with The Vivids and The Dead Ships.

05/14: Sacramento, CA - BOWS + ARROWS with Pure Bliss and Dog Party.

05/15: San Jose, CA - THE BLANK CLUB with TBA.

05/16: San Francisco, CA - THE HEMLOCK with Fronds, Jollapin Jasper, and Burnt Ones.

05/17: Oakland, CA - THE NIGHT LIGHT with Pure Bliss, Pink Slime, and Mean Streets.

05/18: Eureka, CA - PLACEBO SPACE with Blanket Ghosts and Tabor Mountain.

05/18: Eureka, CA - 511 with Lost Luvs.

05/19: Eugene, OR - THE WANDERING GOAT with The Groundblooms.

05/20: Portland, OR - ROTTURE with Stay Calm, WL, and Surf Drugs.

05/21: Tacoma, WA - THE DEN with Shogun Barbie and Si Si Si.

05/22: Seattle, WA - THE SUNSET with Charms and Animal Eyes.

05/23: Spokane, WA - BABY BAR with Garlands and TBA.


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Album Review: Deerhunter - Monomania - "like a marshmallow rolled in a hundred carpenter's tacks..."

Deerhunter's much anticipated Monomania album is less trippy and shoegazey than one might expect. Although there is plenty of ambient elements and over modulated vocal and instrumentals here, a lot of the tracks are pretty mellow (by Deerhunter standards). The overall tone is early 70's glam / punk and 60's pop simmering in a garage rock stew with heavy, thick doses of noise. In the same way that Foxygen pulls such heartfelt homages to 60's pop, on some tracks Bradford Cox stirs up the sonic ghosts of John Lennon, Harry Nielsen and  Mark Bolan (at least in my mind). The creative decision to wash many of the tracks in varying degrees of distortion gives them a live, potent, in your face house party feel but sometimes the amount of slap back and noise does detract from the intensity of Cox's vocal performance. In the end, Monomania is like a marshmallow rolled in a hundred carpenter's tacks, dangerously abrasive with a softly sweet center. Here is an over view of all the tracks (my favs in bold):

NEON JUNKYARD: Lovin this track. Sprinkled with what sounds like reverse guitars and bubbling bong noise (did I imagine that?), it is thick in a trippy, noisy haze. Bradford Cox's vocals sound like a megaphonish John Lennon in spots. It is the type of song you want to hear often and just might discover new gems of sound each time you revisit it.

LEATHER JACKET II:  Built around a solid guitar hook, the wash of effects turn this into more of a soundscape of turmoil. In fact, at times it can feel like a live ending to a song when instruments are destroyed. This is the kind of song to drive your parents out of the room.

THE MISSING: Lovely steady moving beat with trancy guitars that conjure up cool nights and wreaking gentle havoc. Pretty melodies and the solid bassline with really cool half steps in all the right places. This song plays like fond somewhat sad memories. It kind of embraces you. Sweet song.

PENSACOLA: Like a Strange Boys sound drug through the gravel driveway this feels like down home country cow punk song that you want to dosey doe to.

 DREAM CAPTAIN: Heavy dose of 60's psychedelic glammy vibe. Could this be an ode to Blues Image? I doubt it but it made me think of them in a way.

BLUE AGENT:  The spartan production and staccato rhythms pull you into this song that feels like a story you want to fall into: "I'm a blue light... I'm a crippled coward, shining into the night"- Playful and a bit abstract which is always a good thing.

T.H.M : Mellow with a pop heart. It is cool and quirky and actually reminds me of Nielsen, if Harry was in an alcoholic stupor :) "took to bullets to the brain... my kind brother he was insane" - One of the biggest surprises on Monomania.

SLEEPWALKING: Cool sock hop Smiths style beat with dancy guitars. Fluid and fun with a care free romantic feel. Not a stand out track but it still works.

BACK TO THE MIDDLE: Dancey track that straddles a hipster pop feel somewhere between Foxygen, King Tuff and The Strokes.

MONOMANIA: Apart from the relentless amount of distortion on almost every aspect of this track, it has a totally pop skeleton with bouncy melodies. The last third erupts into a cacophony of screaming guitar and ambient sounds that sound like jet fighters and eventually the rattling bite of a revving motocross bike (?)

NITEBIKE: Bradford Cox sings some truly evocative melodies while strumming guitar. Amazingly dynamic considering how stripped down this is. The third element working (and sometimes not) is the effect on his voice. At the beginning, the slap back is distracting to me and takes away from the song, I found myself listening to the effect more than the very cool melody and lyrics.
PUNK (La Vie Antérieure): From the beginning super catchy guitar line, this track pulls you along. It is the kind of song that will be played around beach campfires.

Robb Donker
For a limited time you can stream Monomania at NPR

Sunday, April 21, 2013

NEW SONG: MGMT Alien Days- a trippy merry go round

The new MGMT song "Alien Days" is a trippy ride if maybe a slightly familiar one. The boys seem to steal phrasings, melodies from themselves which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I mean it is dreamy and super duper lush. It does have a meandering quality like a movie without an ending. Anyway, I have a big soft heart for MGMT- push play, close your eyes and start tripping.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

AP Album Review: Titanics - "Soft Treasure"

"Soft Treasure", the name of Titanics latest album is an apt one as the songs contained within smoothly caress your senses in a cool chill wave of indie pop and ambient bliss. Titanics is Mark Lombardo's brainchild and his smooth vocals that contribute heavily to the sound are stirred well into his lush mix of synthesizers and beats. Derek Rogers provides some potent guitar work on songs like Cars, Low Frames and Two Days. These tracks have a very cool vibe and a decidedly retro 80's pop feel like they could of been in a John Hughes film while teenagers navigate their messy lives. In this sense, Titanics sometimes feels like a loving homage to a more romantic time. I also get this sense when I listen to Future Islands and to some degree, Sam Flax (although his brand of retro almost jazz rock feels a bit more kitschy to me). Down On The Bottom feels so free and easy as to be a slow motion glide on on a perfect wave... "liquid resolve and we stay with our limbs cut down"- This song in particular feels like it has a story arc of sorts and the abstract yet emotionally sung lyrics beg you for the back story. The dreamy ending is so damn engaging.

There is a fair amount of straight instrumental ambient compositions on this album. Table Bet glides into a really slick dreamy vibe. Sounds a bit mysterious with a hint of danger around it's corners. Treasuresoft is a constant slow build of synths and feels like a fluid interlude. Yoota gets you lost in it's repetitive piano riff with an electronic beat holding it down. It meanders a bit but in a good way. Clouds, Ponds, Myths has three distinct sections as the name suggests and Lombardo creates some evocative sounds to be sure but (to me) while many sections work well- as one continual sound bed it feels less cohesive than it should.

Soft Treasure is an earnest piece of ambient work full of songs that make you want to submit to it's sense of tranquility while pulling on your surreal side. Many of the songs will certainly grow on you, embrace you fully. In a world full of head banging and moshing, it begs you to keep the dance gentle and introspective.

Robb Donker

Iceage - "Morals" LIVE take from Copenhagen -- Awesome and blue.

One wonders if Elias ever smiles. As I watch this live performance of Morals (which is one of my favorite tracks on Ice Age's latest album "You're Nothing") I cannot imagine the corners of his lips every turning up. Obviously doing so during this emotionally blue track would be weird but I hope the punk ethos is not so thick in these young boys musical blood as to poison any sign of pure silliness (for example). Anyway, this track LIVE is pretty damn awesome.

Friday, April 12, 2013

AP Friday FIVE FAV Fvideos: Beach House, Feeding People, Prince Ness, Swim and More.

Ladies and Gentlemen, girls and boys, dogs and cats (both domesticated and feral) ..Once again, it is time for American Pancakes Friday Five Favorite Fuh Videos! Since AP is first and foremost about music, they will, by and large, be music videos (but not always). Click on the titles to play them at their source (that way you can enlarge- customize your HD preferences yada yada). Enjoy!!

1. Beach House - "Wishes" - Directed by Eric Wareheim

Ray Wise's striking countenance will always have a bit of the creep factor because of his spot on schizophrenic performance on Twin Peaks. Yeah, you remember. He played Leland Palmer, Laura Palmers grieving and possibly possessed father. In the Beach House "Wishes" video he has the voice of an angel as he presides over a strangely surreal half time show. Directed in perfectly twisted slow motion by Eric Wareheim of the comedy duo Tim and Eric it sparkles and shines. Add this amazing and haunting song and everyone in this stadium seems more like cult heads than simple sports fans.

2. Prince Ness - Grungy Doll directed by Johnny Le
By the end of this video, YOU will be singing "My little grungy doll in your overalls" and be captivated by the single minded lo fi quirky mind of Prince Ness. With a bass line that at least is partially reminiscent of The Crystals "Then He Kissed Me"- Grungy Doll sways like a slow dance in your socks as Prince Ness articulates in a monotone way all kinds of thoughts from race relations to personal relations in a matter of fact way. It can sound off the cuff but also sound punkly poetic. Charming and askew. Remember when Jeff Goldbloom got into that contraption with the Fly and became Brundlefly? Well if the Shirelles and Wall of Vodoo entered that DNA blending machine the result may sound like Prince Ness.

3. Swim - "Creeper"directed by Josh Lawson

Directed with an kind of stoic eeriness by Josh Lawson, "Creeper" by Swim uses the stark contrast of black and white imagery effectively. The electronic indie pop is just as stark and can feel slightly detached but totally danceable. It is cooly mid 80's, lush and spartan at the same time. The vocal performance is pure and wonderful.

4. Feeding People - "Big Mother" directed by Dick Thompson

After gleefully reviewing the video for Feeding People's little cinematic masterpiece "Island Universe"
back in September, it was encouraging to see Dick Thompson back in the directors chair. He always brings a well crafted story tellers hand to the way he frames and edits his shots plus both videos have a dark, slightly perverse side which makes me wonder what is dwelling inside Mr. Thompson's head (or basement). Ashley Tolman (who plays Big Mother) has an absolutely naughty smile befitting 70's grind house or soft porn. She oozes humor and sexiness at the same time as the powerful down beats of Feeding People's Big Mother rocks away.

5. Knocky Nine Doors (Hey Today!- 83 (Original Mix)) (Unofficial) 

What the fuck?? I am not sure what I just saw but the two chaps who open and close this really weird video raise it above the mere WTF category with their solid comedic acting chops and, besides, where else can you see dolphin boobs.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Album Review: Fat History Month- "Bad History Month" - "turns progressive post punk conventions inside out"

Fat History Month makes songs that can sound punk progressive and totally lackadaisical at the same time. A song like Everyday is Christmas can make you feel tipsy one moment and angry the next and this is just from the ever changing shift in tone and texture, and time signatures. The wonderfully down trodden Cat in a Box will have you taking in strays and become a cat lady even if you're a guy: "I'm in a cardboard box that's soggy wet and I still think it's keeping me dry." This somewhat acoustic track still feels as thick and strident as the rest of the album exploding when the drums kick in. Is it really about a cat (?), no way. Love this track.

Melodies seemingly wander aimlessly on most of these tracks and guitar strings bend and half step almost as a matter of course making this all seem like a dreamy askew trip. The discordant nature makes you feel the compositions in your gut. The title track, Bad History Month feels itself like a dusty Western. Very much like a lazy ride on a horse until it gets all heavy and disjointed like a rock slide. Some of the music interludes are absolutely head tripping.

The Future, musically, pumps out some progressive garage strains that somehow make me think of At the Drive In. Probably the most conventional composition and still out there as it implodes, breaks apart, gets a bit mellow and pretty and then ends with a electronic industrial sound. The last track, I Ate Myself And I Want To Die is avant-garde, weird and beautiful at the same time. As it slows to breathe, the guitar lines chase themselves as the rest of the song feels like it needs to catch up. This song moves along in a linear fashion, not feeling the need to follow conventional patterns (who needs verses and choruses anyway). This can feel oddly rewarding, each part revealing new discoveries. For some of you, it might be so strange as to be off putting. Me, I revel in things that are different and applaud what Fat History Month is laying down. These songs may feel like fever dreams but they are dreams nonetheless. Open your mind and check Fat History Month out.

Robb Donker

PRESS NOTES reveal that: The band will be heading out on the road with labelmates Pile this Spring for a six week national tour that has already generated a great deal of buzz from college radio, making several stops in California, including an instore performance at Origami Vinyl on April 10th.

Bad History Month was released on 4/1/13

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Connie Lungpin leaves Deerhunter in the lurch on Jimmy Fallon during "Monomania" performance

Connie Lungpin fronts Deerhunter and leaves the band during a performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

New album Monomania is out on May 7th--

Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Five Fav Fvideos- The Flaming Lips and Bon Iver, Polly Scattergood, The Lovely Bad Things, Magnificent Muttley, Conan O'Brien / Chelsea Handler Shower Fight

Ladies and Gentlemen, girls and boys, dogs and cats (both domesticated and feral) .. it is time for American Pancakes Friday Five Favorite Fuh Videos! This is a new feature and since AP is first and foremost about music, they will, by and large, be music videos (but not always).  Click on the titles to play them at their source (that way you can enlarge- customize your HD preferences yada yada). Enjoy!!

1. The Flaming Lips and Bon Iver- Ashes in the Air 
This strangely engaging video is produced by Delo Creative which was created just to serve the creative needs of The Flaming Lips. Like many of their videos it has it's visual effects, nudity and overall mind slapping attitude. It also gets rather garish featuring bloody scenes that seem almost Biblical in nature. All this and a spaceman carrying a baby with a man's face to a dreadful conclusion. The song "Ashes in the Air" is the Flaming Lips collab with Bon Iver from the collab album "The Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends."

2. Poly Scattergood- Wanderlust

The heavy lush and sensual synth riff that opens Polly Scattergood's Wanderlust instantly grabs you by the shirt collar or even the belt of your trousers it is so damn sexy really. Polly's come hither vocals add another layer and the darkly seductive track embeds in your head. The video starts with a lo fi video of a girl moving through choreographed paces and the entire video is of that same girl (or is it?) running through variations of those moves as different people and props change along the way all the while two super cool dudes are dancing in time their out stretched arms at the same height each time as the girl ducks beneath them. In the foreground there is the ever present Polly Scattergood like a sexy librarian singing in front of a hypnotic swirling pinwheel.

3. The Lovely Bad Things - Fried Eyes

The video for Fried Eyes as directed by Cassandra Lee Hamilton makes you long for the days when you sneaked out of your parents house into the blackness of the night to do something totally impetuous and even foolish just because you wanted to. Edited with bouncy abandon, the scenes of a past midnight race between The Lovely Bad Things on crazily adorned old folks scooters is silly and fun. You have to view this video multiple times to see some of the wacky going's on in the background (and sometimes foreground). I count at least 5 homages to iconic movies and or characters but I don't want to be a spoiler! The imagery will get under you skin just like the infectious song that is off their debut full length album "The Late Great Whatever".

4. Magnificent Muttley - Stains

Playing like a movie, this video for Magnificent Muttley's "Stains" as written and directed by award winning Polish film maker Marcin Starzecki is haunting and may turn you into a vegetarian. Karolina Peichota plays a woman all alone in a house in the woods. Her vacant stares into fires, her unconventional beauty and her way with an axe may stay in your mind and dreams for awhile. The heavy rocking bass line and down tempo guitar strains that Magnificent Muttley lays down only enhance the bloodletting.

5. Conan O' Brien and Chelsea Handler Nude Shower Fight!

Ok, I told you all the videos wouldn't be music videos and besides, how could I not include this weirdly funny bit involving Chelsea and Conan! In two days this video has garnered close to 1.5 million views. The allure is not only the nudity with blur outs in all the right places it is the comedic barbs between the two as well as a good ole dick slapping. Besides being damn funny and over the top, the internet is a buzz over Conan's six pack, no special effects, the dude known for his lanky frames is built! Chelsea is not so bad herself!


April 4, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA – Savannah’s enigmatic rock band, CUSSES, are kicking off a U.S. headlining tour next week in support of their debut, self-titled release from HA! Records.  The tour will start on April 8th in Los Angeles at Los Globos and wrap on May 4th in Knoxville at the Preservation Pub.  
The trio - Angel Bond (vocals), Brian Lackey (drums) and Bryan Harder (guitar) - has been riding a wave of momentum since the release of their eccentric rock debut.  Armed with a hit video for their single “Don’t Give In” receiving regular rotation at MTVU, MTV Australia, MTV UK and The Wedge and mass acclaim from fans and critics, Cusses is poised for global domination with a massive, rip-roaring album that bleeds rock ‘n’ roll.
Produced by Dan Hannon (Manchester Orchestra), Cusses snaps listeners to attention with its ferocity and engages them with its sonic intensity, which is fueled by explosive, crushing riffs and powerful, fiery vocals that the band delivers with riotous attitude and unmitigated force.
“It's a big, bold sound that CUSSES unleash, and it's not for the timid, either” - Blurt Magazine
On the heels of wrapping up the first leg of their 2013 tour, Cusses waste no time in returning to the stage for another jaunt across the U.S. to do what they do best; rocking the faces off of fans one show at a time.  Exploding from the stage with frantic energy, Cusses live are a juggernaut of high-energy whose wild sweat drenched, punk infused, down and dirty rock ‘n’ roll radiates through the crowd creating a chilling, awe-inspiring effect that leaves fans salivating for more...
Don’t miss rock’s hottest new trio in a city near you and pick up a copy of Cusses’ new album on iTunes or at a local indie retailer today!
Cusses Tour Dates:
April 8 - Los Angeles, CA - Los Globos
April 9 - San Diego, CA - The Void
April 10 - Los Angeles, CA - Silverlake Lounge
April 11 - Costa Mesa, CA - Detroit Bar
April 12 - San Francisco, CA - Guerrero Gallery
April 13 - Grants Pass, OR - TBA
April 14 - Corvallis, OR - Harrison St. Bar
April 16 - Tacoma, WA - The New Frontier
April 17 - Seattle, WA - The Comet
April 18 - Portland, OR - Tonic Lounge
April 19 - Boise, ID - Red Room
April 20 - Salt Lake City, UT - Bar Deluxe
April 23 - Denver, CO - Larimer Lounge
April 24 - Omaha, NE - Sydney
April 25 - Milwaukee, WI - Mad Planet
April 26 - Chicago, IL - Gallery Cabaret
April 28 - Cincinnati, OH - Southgate
April 30 - Lexington, KY - The Lantern
May 1 - Nashville, TN - The End
May 2 - Johnson City, TN - Capone’s
May 3 - Chattanooga, TN - JJ’s
May 4 - Knoxville, TN - Preservation Pub

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Burgerama 2 - American Pancake Review and YOU TUBE Playlist link--- you know you want it!

Burgerama 2 - 3/22 and 3/23/13

By any and all measurements, Burgerama 2, an indie infused musical festival adeptly engineered and hosted by record store / record label  Burger Records, was a rousing success. The 2 day event was sold out weeks in advance and late comers were trying to secure tickets by any means possible. Fishing on twitter, facebook and even Craigslist for a chance to revel in nearly 40 bands on two stages, eat at the Burger BBQ, gander at lotsa merch and hold pristine bragging rites that "I were there" all in the confines of The Observatory in Santa Ana, California. Headliners were The Black Lips and Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti supported by a rather eclectic mix of artists. Everything from 90's hip hop artist The Pharcyde to the country rock of Natural Child to the dream pop of Summer Twins to the swinging almost jazz pop of Nick Waterhouse to the doo wop punk / 60's garage surf rock of Tijuana Panthers, Shannon and the Clams, Hunx and his Punx and The Memories to the garage post punk/ punk rock of Pangea, Fidlar, Bleached King Tuff, FUZZ, The Lovely Bad Things,White Fence and more. Too many bands to mention but all of them brought their own flavor to the party.

Like all parties that have two stages, there were choices to be made. Many people chose to park their bodies at the large main stage and stay put. I noticed a few who appeared to not leave all day! I wondered if they had not consumed any food or liquids for hours prior to the event as to not have to take any bathroom breaks?? Others seemed to not really see that many bands at all but instead chose to hang out and party in the outside smoking area / bar / BBQ. For the rest of us, there was a constant migratory pattern from the big stage to the little one to the merch upstairs back to the little stage to the big stage and so on. At times when a band finished on the big stage the exiting audience would do a zombie march to the smaller stage. This convergence of bodies would merge into another sea of bodies and it seriously felt like a Tokyo Subway train at rush hour but even worse. At least on the Tokyo Subway you are not carrying a plastic cup of nearly overflowing beer.

While the larger stage area felt nice and cool, the aforementioned merge zone and the smaller Constellation room threw off (at times) sooo much body heat that it had it's own unique climate. It felt like the Amazon, hot, humid and when the room was cranking -sweaty. I think I hallucinated at one point and saw jungle vines hanging from the ceiling. Besides some truly awesome performances there were some wonderfully wacked out things happening as well like...

1. A girl getting her head shaved bald during a rock performance. Yes, if you haven't heard, the ever persuasive Seth Bogart from Hunx and his Punx shaved a girls head with some clippers. Actually, he just started the process and her friend finished it but it was nonetheless a highlight of the night.

2. Public displays of affection by fan to band.  Ok, I have seen the normal fans hugging  performers before they crowd surf but at Burgerama quite a few of the audience members were planting their lips on the performers. A guy ran up on stage to Lauren from the Lovely Bad Things and kissed her on the cheek. Max, the drummer for Fidlar got mauled by a girl who put a lip lock on him for a what seemed like a solid minute. If I am not mistaken some smooching fans had their way with members of Pangea and the Black Lips as well and of course, fan's lips touched Seth Bogart's (from Hunx and his Punx) skin.

3. Massive Security with a "hands off" attitude (yeah, can you believe it). Last year's Burgerama was marred by overzealous security freaking out and getting way too physical with the kids. This seemed to occur most frequenly in the smaller Constellation room probably because it is not set up to house all the people that want to dance to the bands AND there is no barricade in front of the stage. In 2012 a small army of security guys moved in during the Lovely Bad Things set when the crowd was (in their minds) going overboard (they were not). The security clashes happened and escalated when Pangea took the stage. The security guards even got physical with Ty Segall who was crowd surfing and then things went south from there. NOW- someone most of talked to someone else about not being so hands on because during Burgerama 2 the big dudes took a pretty much "stay back" approach even in the Constellation room were kids were stage diving and crowd surfing to their hearts content. YES, I did hear about some instances were the security were being dicks BUT I will publicly congratulate Massive Security for doing a pretty good job this time around. 

Other notable "things"- Well, there was word of public nudity on stage including some genitalia exposed. Apparently, the bass player for White Fang was stripped down to his boxers when someone ran up and pulled down his shorts exposing his little Fang. There were tweets of him swinging "it" around (?) Now was this an exaggeration? I care not to think about it!  In the "that's MEAN" department, I witnessed a girl crowd surfing and some dude pulled off her shoe and threw it about a guh zillion miles away. NOT cool dude!!

Absolute most electric performance for me was muther fucking FUZZ! This is the second time I got to see and video them and I think was makes them so damn good is the heavy, heavy inclusion of blues rock that permeates the post punk vibe. If you could transplant these guys through some wormhole onto a Woodstock stage they would pretty much feel right on. This rock roots core is what I totally enjoy and Charlie Moothart's tone on that guitar. Holy shit!

Pangea's set was also sooo kick ass and it was wonderful to see them on the larger stage. They absolutely owned it. They have always written cool songs but continue to evolve. Their scatological garage rock actually moving toward more tender tones (at least by their punk standards). William Keegan's vocals have always had a rusty hinged feel and drenched in a bit of a fuck you attitude and I love that. I also love that their sound is getting bigger and in some ways grungier.

The Lovely Bad Things once again played to a sardine packed crowd in the Constellation Room. Their newer songs bristling with progressive punk strains definitely have struck a chord with their fans. The energy in the room was something else and hard to put into words so I will leave that to Daniel Kohn from the OC Weekly who wrote: "the quartet was rockin' pretty hard. Bodies were flying and it was impossible to see them without the fear of losing a tooth or breathing in disgusting air or event someone's gross sweat in your face. That's the sign of a great punk rock show."

Fidlar were just so obviously transformed by their recent touring schedule. They have always exuded a go for broke attitude but they seem to have truly honed their balls out sound. This was evident at the Wavves show at the Echo days earlier as well. Elvis' guitar work is becoming more nuanced (yeah I said nuanced, ha).

Tomorrows Tulips can at times feel like they are at one speed but they continue to pull me into their dreamy web and their performance at Burgerama (in the Constellation Room) was no exception. AND when the hell did Alex Knost start giving off this intense Lou Reed vibe??? (or is that just to me?)-  Loved what they were putting out.

Hunx and His Punx always are entertaining. Seth Bogart does tend to follow the same formula at most venues but hell, it works. He always manages to use his razor sharp and nasty wit to make me laugh.

Feeding People always feed my thirst for classic rock based indie eh... I dunno... They are a mixed bag of blendo music that is sooo good. Who could not like Jessie Jones vocal performances. I totally am digging the addition of Tomas Dolas on the keys. At first, I was not sure but his sounds add a crazy carnival on acid feel that really appeals to me. Jessie with her bizarre spectacles and almost cult like white dress was a trip. 

Love Audacity and missed their set :(
Super wanted to see The Garden and missed their set :(
Wanted to see Dixie Band, The Spits, Guantanamo Baywatch, Cosmonauts, Shannon and the Clams but missed their sets :(

EH... SORRY, I decided I best keep this to myself but boy does this band suck ass. email me- ha!

To end this rambling post I will just say that Sean and Lee are not only cool dudes but visionaries!!

Check out my Burger Records Burgerama 2 PLAYLIST on Youtube and enjoy! One hour and fifty three minutes and GROWING!

Video Premiere: Fried Eyes by The Lovely Bad Things

On the heels of a 14 city / 9 state tour to promote their first full length debut "The Late Great Whatever" (Volcom Ent / Burger Records) that took them up Rock Island, Illinois way to do a Daytrotter Session snaking down to multi party / showcases at SXSW to the moshy sold out madness of a Burgerama AND in anticpation of a 13 city / 12 state tour in support of Best Coast, the Southern California garage rockers - The Lovely Bad Things have premiered the video for Fried Eyes on Death and Taxes Mag.

Directed with after midnight aplomb by Cassandra Lee Hamilton, it features a less than high speed race to the death (or not) with the Lovelies, Lauren Curtius, Tim Hatch, brothers Camron and Brayden Ward in crazily adorned (old folks) electric scooters being chased and cheered on by late night party people. Sparks fly and the images pulse to the beat. Turn it up and enjoy the sights and sound.

On tour with Best Coast:

5/26 – Austin, TX – Mohawk*
5/28 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theatre*
5/29 – Nashville, TN – Exit/In*
5/30 – Birmingham, AL – Workplay Theatre*
5/31 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse*@
6/1 – Raleigh, NC – Lincoln Theater*@
6/3 – Richmond, VA – The National*@
6/4 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club*@
6/5 – Philadelphia, PA – Theater of Living Arts*@
6/6 – Boston, MA – Royale*@
6/7 – New York – Death By Audio
6/10 – Asbury Park, NJ – Wonder Bar
6/12 – New Haven, CT – BAR

* supporting Best Coast
*@ supporting Best Coast w/Guards

Video and Tour News- Liars - "The Exact Color of Doubt"

In the run up to a series of live dates in the US and Europe, LIARS - Angus Andrew, Julian Grossand Aaron Hemphill - have premiered a brand new video for “The Exact Color Of Doubt” from their critically acclaimed album, WIXIW.

Director Markus Wambsganss, who collaborated with Liars on Drum’s Not Dead, has described the video as “3D Screen Test Scans in the Villa Straylight”, and explains that this is “a continuation of what the band and I started together with ‘The Other Side Of Mt. Heart Attack’, this time using a hacked Kinect sensor to scan their upper bodies to match the more digital feel of WIXIW”.
The video is also up for a MuVi Award, the FIRST festival award for music videos from Germany. Be sure to cast your vote HERE before May 3rd!

This May as a part of the Wordless Music Series, Liars will be playing two very special shows in New York in May. The first show on May 18th will take place at The Temple of Dendur At The Metropolitan Museum Of Artand feature multi-media and site-specific surprises as part of the MET’s "PUNK: Chaos to Couture" exhibit. For more information on this sold out show head to the MET's website.  In case you missed snagging tickets for that show be sure to grab yours for the band’s Brooklyn Masonic Templeperformance on the 19th.Tickets are still available here.  The band also has tour dates in Barcelona for Primavera Sound and Sónar’s 20th Anniversary (full details below, more European and US dates to be announced).

Self-produced, with additional production from Daniel Miller and mixed by Tom Biller, WIXIW is an album that is hard to shake, tough to pin down, and impossible to get out of one’s head even after an initial listen.

Simultaneously the most accessible and most challenging release from these iconoclasts, it is both a summation of Liars’ work up to now, and a complete break from anything you’d ever heard the band do previously.

Summer Tour Dates:
5/18--The Temple of Dendur at The Met-New York, NY **SOLD OUT**
5/19--Brooklyn Masonic Temple- Brooklyn, NY

European Tour Dates:
5/23--La Cartonerrie-Reims, France
5/24--Bad Bonn Kilbi Festival-Dudingen, Switzerland
5/25--Primavera Sound-Barcelona, Spain
5/27–Circolo Artisti—Rome, Italy
5/28—Interzona-Verona, Italy
5/29--Musica 90 Molodiciotto-Torino, Italy
5/30-- Cabaret Aleatoire-Marseille, France
6/1--Optimus Primavera-Porto, Portugal
6/5—Sterelux-Nantes, France
6/6--Trabendo-Paris, France
6/9--Parklife Festival-Manchester, England
6/13--Sonar Festival-Barcelona, Spain
6/15—Barby-Tel Aviv, Israel

WIXIW is out now on vinyl, CD and download

The band’s first three albums, They Threw Us In A Trench & Stuck A Monument On TopThey Were Wrong, So We Drowned and Drum’s Not Dead were recently reissued on 180g vinyl and a limited edition 7” featuring unreleased live recordings of ‘WIXIW’ and ‘Pillars Were Hollow And Filled With Candy So We Tore Them Down’ is available free, while stocks last, when you purchase from the band’s official shop: