Boris Show Review by C.Rawls


In Baltimore a few weeks ago I finally saw Boris (Japanese trio on Southern Lord Records, I'm still kind of perplexed as to why more people in Raleigh aren't aware of this band, that could change though). Formed in the early '90's, their records tend to come out in America a year after they've already been available in Japan and up to this point I had seen very little in terms of interviews and photos of them. I just knew it sounded like Blue Cheer...well, Comets on Fire and Mudhoney could be cited as well and they named themselves after a Melvins song, but I would dare to say they sound more proto-metal than "grunge". They've collaborated in the past with Japanese sublime avant guitarist Keiji Heino. The production on their album Akuma No Uta is a beautiful, muddy, hissing masterpiece. The cover of the album is a take off of Nick Drake's Bryter Layter, their live presentation however came across as the antithesis of anything related to Nick Drake's spartan like aesthetics.
Stacks of Orange amps (even Prince has finally discovered the joy of the Orange amp), Sunn amps (heavy in sound and weight), and many effects pedals are employed. Guitarist Wata is a tiny woman who like Angus Young makes a regular sized guitar look gigantic. Bassist/guitarist/vocalist Takeshi employed a double neck bass/guitar combo Steinberger (that's a serious prog-metal connotation right there). Drummer/vocalist Atsuo has a gong! I do love gongs. But some of his antics put the entire presentation into a Tommy Lee realm...not a bad thing, just kind of a guilty pleasure perhaps.
Using a cordless, headset microphone, he often stands up, points at the crowd, yells "YEAH" a lot and is a total ham for the most part. Not a bad thing once again for a band who's two other members remain motionless, but it's just you know...kind of cheesy.
Thus bringing up the Masterpiece Theatre syndrome. Joe Carducci, though coming across as a bit of a homophobe, is rather dead on in his 1990 book Rock and the Pop Narcotic. Carducci often cites the Masterpiece Theatre syndrome wherein as with the old PBS Masterpiece Theatre series, movies of questionable merit were lauded simply because they were foreign yet just as unctuous as any American popcorn film, certain musical acts also seemed to get a free pass for being "foreign" (and let me add sports into that mix, with it being World Cup time I must say soccer is just another game with what appears to be even more obnoxious fans than one would find at a certain gynasium in Durham, NC....but hockey, that shit rules!)
Would Boris draw much of an audience with fans of acts like the Thrones and Growing (who shared the bill on this night in Balitmore) if they were white? Granted the Thrones (Joe Preston) employs a rather seriously dangerous looking heavy metal bass guitar with no tongue in cheek, but this was essentially an indie/punk (albeit in a grimey Baltimore guise) sort of audience that tends to smirk a bit towards metal (though if you like it, you like it, no reason to use irony as a crutch).
In the end, it's the aural element that wins. In spite of the visual spectacle bordering on late '80's prog metal (I personally don't care for it, but whatever floats your boat...and that could perhaps open Boris up to a different audience re: Dream Theatre fans), the shit rocks, I just wish the drummer would sit down.


How to Tell Your Insides You Hate Them

Yesterday, Tha Nood and I woke up early and headed out to the disc golf course near Jenn and Gabe’s house. It was hot (duh), and a little overcast. By the ninth hole, though, the clouds had burned off and we were in serious sun. This course was probably one of the nicest courses I’ve ever played (we were told by a guy we saw on the course that it’s the second most played course in the U.S.). The terrain was pretty much ideal, a little rocky, some good vegetation, trees, etc. And the fifteenth hole was the most fun hole I’ve ever played in my life, and not just because I got my only birdie of the day.

So, Austin really should change its name to, Awesome, because that’s what it is. Now, we're on to New Orleans. Got some new snacks to snack on. Corn Nuts® brand Nacho Cheese flavored snacks. Not bad. Not as good as plain Corn Nuts®. I found a new flavor Gatorade®. It’s orange + tropical fruit. Again, not bad. But not as good as the best flavor ever: Citrus Cooler. Citrus Cooler is so Braddamned good! General orange flavor, with just hint of lemon somewhere on the finish. And I finally realized the perfect snack to satisfy my salt craving without turning my tongue inside out, as happens to me with potato chips – the Better Cheddar®. The only thing that could make the Better Cheddar® actually better would be a big ol’ can of Easy Cheese®. I fully intend to pick one up at our next stop.

Space for Rent by Who Made Who

We played most of this album as we crossed the bayou of Louisiana. It's not offensive or anything, but at the same time, not awesome. The beats are stale throughout, and I think it's their biggest weakness. The lyrics could benefit from some actual inspiration, as well. Mostly, it's just another generic electro-I-hope-they-like-this-in-the-clubs album.

Modern World (Original) by Wolf Parade

I'd not heard this version of the song before yesterday, and I have to say, it's effing sweet! A little lo-fi, but it gives it some nice space. And the having the synths way up in the front makes you realize that Wolf Parade isn't as straightforward a rock outfit as you might think listening to the rest of the album or seeing them alive.




Holy Hipster, Batman! It's Austin!!

Jesus we drove today. And yesterday. In fact, I drove today, which is something I rarely get the chance (or offer myself) to do. Today was all about getting the hell across Texas. Last night, we stopped over in El Paso to put in our day's worth info about California and Arizona. All generalizations aside, El Paso sucks. And on the way out, I was feeling very agitated and anxious. Being in Texas, for someone like me, is like being in middle school. Everything about it pretty much makes you want to disappear. Or for it to disappear. Just so long as one or the other ceases to exist.

Thankfully, the sun fell. After that, things got pretty awesome. Tha Nood and I decided to push the driving, so we could get within an easy drive of Austin, our midway destination, our safehouse. The temperature dropped. The skies were clear, and full of stars. The traffic eased. Good time to drive. We spent the night in Ft. Stockton, TX. Unless you are tired, I'm pretty sure there is no other reason to go there.

We made Austin in great time. Got in touch with Missy's sister, Jenn, who was also an old neighbor of mine from Boston. She and Gabe (other neighbor as well), showed me and Tha Nood a real good time. Recommended bars: the Shakepeare, the Casino, Sidebar. Everything we had in common: the Pixies. If Gabe didn't have to go on a trip at 6am, I would've suggested we party all night.

Bone Machine by the Pixies
I went and saw them when they came through town last summer. Usually, I balk at reunion tours - too many bad ones. But the Pixies are a different breed. See, it doesn't matter that they've grown older. They haven't gotten old. They can be as relevant today as they were when they began. It's a reunion show that sucks where the band in question is clearly doing it for the paycheck (go to your local fairground for one of these. . . Shit, at this point, you could go to just about anywhere to find one). No, the Pixies clearly had a good time onstage at my show, and by most reports, at most of their shows on the tour. I won't try to speak for all of them. Shit happens.



Cactopus: More Songs from the Road

The desert is hot. Real hot.

Yesterday, we drove down from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I hadn’t been to L.A. since I was, like, 10. We stopped by a friend’s house and went to the Coach and Horses, over in Hollywood, to watch the last game of the Stanley Cup Finals. It is one of the darkest bars I’ve ever been in, and painfully hip. Good game. The bartender gave us a round of Hurricane shots, because we were not only the only Hurricanes fans, we were the only ones in the bar who even remotely gave a shit about the game. Afterwards, we caught some Thai food right up the street from Amoeba Music. I was told it was known for hiring real cute Thai girls. I wasn’t too impressed. After dinner, Tha Nood and I decided to make tracks for Arizona. This was, at best, a hasty decision. We made it, but there wasn’t a campsite anywhere even close to us. After an ill-fated attempt at sleeping in the back of the truck at a rest stop, we doubled back into California and got a motel room.

While in L.A., though, we saw some cool shit. My friend, Missy, lives in a sweet neighborhood. She’s five or so blocks from Amoeba, just a block from Sunset, on which are just tons of cool boutique stores and the like. Not so much on the food tip, but she does live right around the corner from this place, Baby Melt. It’s got every imaginable collectible you could think of for the Giant Robot set.

Serenade by Steve Miller Band

I don’t care how cheesy Steve Miller is. I love this song. I think it’s probably my favorite of any of his songs. And it’s a perfect road jam. The guitar has momentum. The percussion work (especially the cymbals) accentuates that momentum. And the vocals are pretty cool in the way that Steve Miller warbles his voice here and there. Sure, the lyrics are pretty bad. But that isn’t the point. In fact, I like lyrics because they are bad. Tha Nood wanted to kill me when I put it on yesterday.

Los Angeles by Frank Black

Yes, I am aware of how trite it must be to listen to this song as you drive into L.A. And again, I don’t care. This song is awesome. I can’t think of one bad thing about it, other than it isn’t infinite.

Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt by We Are Scientists

OK, this song sucks in almost every way. The lyrics are hopeless. The melody is tired. And the drumming is so sloppy as to render the entire song just about unlistenable. We heard this abortion on our way out of L.A. I’d been hearing a lot of buzz about this band, and was pretty curious. Well, my curiosity is assuaged, and Tha Nood and I can assure you, you need not look further into this band.


Road Trip! A travelogue in love.

San Francisco is a great town. I don't think I need to explain why.

So, after an arduous journey, through a couple of our nation's second best airports, I got here. We ate a delicious pizza at a place called, Delfina. Dudes made some good pizza, and I didn't realize Green Goddess is an actual style of dressing. Afterwards, we met up with some crazy folks and got obliterated. Go figure.

Today's post is all about the road music. I learned a lesson last time I was out about the importance of bringing classics along for the journey. You can't just bring your most recent favorite music along with you. It usually just doesn't fit the bill of shit you need to hear. No, there's something about older music you know and love. Songs everyone has heard and can relate to. I found myself wanting to hear Neil Young, and kicking myself for not bringing it along. This time, better.

Sedan Delivery by Neil Young

The stand out rocker of the album. This is some serious we're-driving-across-the-desert song. Nothing is better than when Neil Young decides to rock out. And he's dirty. But his voice is sweet.

Powderfinger by Neil Young

This song, however, gets there. The imagery in Powderfinger is masterful. Towards the end, he kinda loses the voice, but that's just me being picky.



Better than Fredo Starr on Moesha

Okay...check this out.
I like vampires withs guns. I like hip-hop. Wha happen when you put the two together?
Good thing Blade's character always wears sunglasses cause then bad guys would be like, "Are you talking to me or that dude? Cause one of your eyes is looking at me but you're facing him."
In other news that doesn't really matter but I find hilarious:
Did you know MC Hammer has a new song? I'm not even going to try and convince you it's real by posting up a snippet. I will tell you that the chorus goes like this :

"Where you get it from?
/I got it from the town
/so how you gettin down?
the way the town gettin' down"
The title of that song was "I Got It From the Town."

I think you should buy it just so you can say you wuz down with hip hop when MC Hammer was trying to make another comeback.
I'm only down with the king.

OH YEAH! Before I forget...it's GAY PRIDE MONTH according to the Itunes Music Store! So go buy some gay music! Apparently I don't have to since I pretty much already own every fucking song(except the Brokeback Theme) on their list.
Assholes...I live with my girlfriend, okay?
Nuh-uh, buddy, YOU BETTER RELAX!
WHO the fuck is FRANKIE anyways?


Dude, Get Some.

I'm a big fan of tiny labels with consistently cool rosters. The Social Registry is one such label (and two of their most recent releases are featured below). A couple years ago, they released a 12" only EP by Jah Division (a side project that included Kid Millions, of Oneida) with the track, Dub Will Tear Us Apart, on one side. It's kinda awesome.

Right to Lite Tonight by Blood on the Wall

These people like to rock. Their album, Awesomer, pretty much testifies to that. It starts off with a slow heater, but then hits its stride and chugs right along. This is my favorite track. It's the guitar line. I can't put my finger on why I like it so much, but it's great.

January Rain by Psychic Ills

I had heard of Psychic Ills before, but hadn't really listened to their music. This is from their forthcoming album, Dins. I'm a total sucker for some reverbed-out guitar and hushed, whispery lyrics.



You're Going To Be On Letterman One Day

Marathons by The Heist and the Accomplice

What the hell did you do the summer between graduating from
high school and starting your first year of college? If you were like me you probably sat on your ass watching syndicated re-runs of "Salute Your Shorts"and "Hey Dude" knowing full well that your life officially sucked big fat ones and that the "Betty" of the show was going to eventually marry Ben Stiller.

BUT if you're like the guys in The Heist and the Accomplice then you were probably travelling around with 4 of your best friends playing free shows and promoting your self-released CD and telling peeps that you sound like Broken Social Scene. Oh you cute little scamps! You don't have to tell me that to impress me. The fact that you're 17 or 18 and your cd is pretty damn good for 27 or 28 year olds is impressive enough.

I've added this song to my "Summr Jamz" playlist.
Don't worry...my life is pretty awesome now.


I'm Ecstatic!!

Penny, Look Down by Decibully

I saw these guys open for DeYarmond Edison in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Dude has a real sweet voice. This track doesn't showcase it as much as some other tracks do, but it's probably their most upbeat. This song stomps, and I like that.

Free Man by Awesome Color

When I was at the record store recently, a friend gave me Ecstatic Peace's Sweet Release #1, which is a self indulgent little publication put out by Thurston Moore and Andrew Kesin. Ecstatic Peace is their label, and they accomplished a hot feat by securing a distribution deal with Universal Records, which will basically allow Ecstatic Peace to function as a major, but with better taste. Awesome Color is the first band on the accompanying cd in the back of the zine. It's easy to see why Moore would be interested in them, because, besides being Awesome they sound just like Sonic Youth. Still, the song is solid, even with all that Sonic Youth sound alike stuff.



Anda 1, Anda 2, Anda 1 2 3 4

Follow these instructions.
(via Music Thing)


A Little Thing Called Effort

It was 06/06/06, around 10pm, when it all went to shit. I went and saw the Omen.
That movie is just plain bad. Would it kill a major studio to put a little effort behind a movie? I mean, everything that happened, happened for no discernible reason. I didn't realize it was such a gigantic pain in the ass to create a little motivation for your script. You can't just say that a child is the son of the devil. You need to show me that shit. Give me a reason to believe he's Satan's child. And having Mia Farrow do a psycho job, killing people is not a good enough reason.

Punks In the Beerlight by Silver Jews

This song came on the radio as I was driving around, running errands the other day. I've had the album for a little while, and this song just made my day. See also the video for "How Can I Love You if You Won't Lie Down."

Cattle and the Creeping Things by the Hold Steady

For a good eight months or so, I would pick this album up and look at it because I was pretty sure I wanted it. But invariably, I'd put it back on the shelf and end up buying something else. Mistake, mistake, mistake. This is some of the best rock that's been made in years. Years. Sure, it's bar rock. But it's good bar rock. And that is the shit!


Chewbacca Rock

Gnarls was the only entertaining thing I saw last night. George Lucas should re-do that scene from the Return of the Jedi where Luke pulls off Darth's mask and instead of a crusty-mothball-and-old-spice-smelling-old-white dude you get the Soul Machine.
On another note-
I really want to buy this DVD if just for the song in the trailer but I can't find it online anywhere. Maybe I should just fly(walk?) to the UK and go to the local Barnes and Noble or Blockbuster or Starbucks and ask if they have
"Icy Streetz the DVD." While I'm there I guess I could also pick this track up instead of watching the video over and over again.
Would that make me CRAAAAAZY...your left eye is LAAAAAAAZY...I'm ghost like SWAAAAAAYZE...or Bill CosBEEEEEEY!



Some idiot editor at Spin Magazine said that people were buying the Gnarls Barkley CD because of Dangermouse's production rather than Cee-lo Green's presence.
Dude, are you fucking stupid?
I like DM as a producer but unless DM starts singing and rapping, he doesn't have anything on Cee-lo. I'm sure you may want to bring up The Grey Album and the commercial success of Gorillaz but guess what?
  1. Cee-lo is in Goodie Mob.
  2. Ceel-lo is in the Dungeon Family.
  3. Cee-lo wrote all of "Dontcha"!
How's that for skreet cred and commercial whatever?
I mean, sure, Cee-lo's daughter was/is annoying but come on!
I wanna punch that idiot editor in the back of the head real hard.
Hard like bricks.


Camel Clutch!

Man I miss racial stereotypes in pop culture. It just made my life so much easier knowing that peeps from the Middle East wore curly toed boots and had really awesome mustaches. Oh how I miss the days of everyone thinking I was smart and knew kung-fu. Piston Honda, Soda Popinski, Mike Tyson, where are you guys?
P.S.- This video is not representative of what is really going on in the world right now. It it were, Hulk Hogan would be a total scrub and Iron Sheik would roll up all like ,"Bring it, bitch" as he squeeze a can of crude oil into his mouth like this.


Wowwee Zowwee

Wolf Like Me by TVOTR

What's up with all the wolf shit lately? Tiger Bear Wolf(rock),Wolf Parade(rule), Wolfmother(rot), Wolf Eyes(roctk)?! I mean seriously...I know people have been talking about this trend for a while but seriously. WTF?
Don't you all remember that kid who wore those black t-shirts with super elaborate collages with the close-up wolf face on top of a forest landscape on top of another wolf howling at the moon on top of a pack of wolves running in the wind?

Was that cool in middle school where you grew up?....?......?.......?

You kids and your irony.
BTW, the TVOTR song is amazing.
Preorder this(OMG!)album or the wolves have won.
Pump up the volume all you Christian sLaters.



I know the song is old news, but I've never seen the video. Slightly underwhelming since I saw them play at the 9:30Club a few months back, and there's nothing like an indie rock super-group big band, and I'm def not talking about this or this.


A Backwards Glance O'er Travelled Roads

This is the name of a mix tape I got for my high school graduation from a dear friend. It was probably a pretty typical mid-90's indie rock tape. But it was all new on me. I can directly place my musical taste now back to this tape. I think it may happen to everyone at some point, and I can be nothing but grateful this tape had good taste.

This is the second song from the Backwards Glance tape. Spent was an early Merge band. There were two songs by them on the mix. This is my favorite by them, and maybe my favorite from the whole tape. I have to say, though, if you were to go back and listen to it now, the tape acts as a sort of greatest hits of a generation. Mostly, I remember loving the lyrics to this one. To this day, I still love the title to that song. It comes from the album, Songs of Drinking and Rebellion. I recall being pleased as punch to make this discovery when I went to buy the cd from the Newtown Book and Record Exchange.

Plenty is Never Enough by Tenement Halls

There are certain songs you listen to because you like the lyrics, and others you like because something about the music, be it rhythm, melody, what have you. Sticking with the Merge theme, this band's most recent offering does both for me. But mostly, I love that hook. The lyrics are icing for me on this song. There is a certain bounce to the melody that just brings great memories from my early twenties to mind. And the end of the song lingers like the final moments before a party is over. The guests are trickling out the door, and the hosts look at one another and smile.


5 Things I Want Right Now...

  1. Fall and Winter...FUCK 98° the band and the temperature
  2. Electroma
  3. The SSCM
  4. Cat Synth
  5. Is It Meat Or Is It Butter?
Speaking of #2, here's a link to their mix from Coachella via Crydamoure's page on Pedophispace(I love that picture...I bet you can get mad discounts on Marc Ecko gear now!)
Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo or whatever are all like, "Look at us, we're French and our set from Coachella was all the buzz and we posted up our 143MB mix for free and our film debuted at Cannes and we have limited edition 12" Medicom action figures of us in our fucking dope robot suits that reflect more light than the grillzez of 1 million Paul Wallzez...aren't we the shit?"

Why yes...yes you are. You guys are the shit.
p.s. Does it make me an asshole or a nerd if I can name every single song in their set?