Friday, March 31, 2006

Saved by a hair

I heard two opinions regarding the Jesus Mullet prior to seeing them for the first time at Babylon on Tuesday. The first was that they suck - this, if I recall, from a musician friend. The second, from a lady bartender at the Dominion was that they were awesome. I have to go with the lady bartender on this one, because I was definitely impressed with ultraheavy psyche rock. Shades of early Electric Wizard, High on Fire and similarly crushing power trios.

First an introduction from a roomie.

Jay Chapman flames out.

Mark McGee, ready for some marathon drumming.

Andrew Rashotte in motion.

Heavy action! I've also finally realized that I can just slap a link to a larger version of the picture on the smaller pic itself instead of saying "larger here!" - click on the first and last snaps for more.

This was the shoot my old Sunpak flash finally gave up the ghost on. Some strange photos came out of this shoot as I tinkered with my camera's built in flash ...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Everything's golden

Camera's charged, so here are a couple of shots from last night's show.

Nate Hurlow and Darrell Angus from The Golden Famile.

Stephen Pitkin and Mark Sasso from Elliott Brood.

I used my 50mm macro lens, and the crowd was large, so no big group shots this time. Further photos to come, as time allows.

Electric blues

I went to see Elliott Brood and Golden Famile and snapped a bunch of photos of both - photos you won't see for awhile because I took so many that my battery ran down. No doubt this is a byproduct of my prolific flash use on Tuesday. I still haven't had time to size those Jesus Mullet/Mighty Eagle Band photos down, so I'll just tantalize you with one more.

I ... er ... think it's something guitarist-related. By the way, today is Rolf Klausener of The Acorn's birthday, so wish him a good 'un if you see him.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

In stereo

It's going to take me a little while to process my latest photos (if I've taken any - I'm actually writing this Monday, on the assumption that I've been to see The Jesus Mullet and Mighty Eagle Band in the meanwhile) so instead you will be subjected to a list of cool stuff I've been listening to lately, ranked in the order I thought of them (which may or may not be significant).
  1. Young and Sexy Panic If You Find It. The other pop band on Mint now has three excellent albums of Beach Boys influenced boy-girl duets. I can hardly wait until April 15, when they play Zaphod's.
  2. Mott the Hoople Mott. Reissued along with All The Young Dudes, the great lost rock'n'roll band of the 1970s.
  3. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds The Road to God Knows Where/Live at the Paradiso. A more ferocious live set than 2003's God Is In The House, and all the better for it - though the fact they spliced the performance so that Cave's suit jacket keeps appearing and disappearing is a little disconcerting.
  4. Residual Echoes Phoenician Flu and Ancient Ocean. It's on Holy Mountain and it's the offspring of a fellow traveller of Comets on Fire. Needless to say, it is crazy-ass psychedelica.
  5. Motorpsycho Black Hole/Blank Canvas. Damn - it looks like banjo-playing drummer Hakon Gebhardt has left the band, leaving core members Bent Saether and Hangus Magnus Ryan to cut back on the International Tussling and returns to the band's harder rocking origins. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
And now, a show reminder: Elliot Brood and the Golden Famile play Zaphod's tonight. They were scheduled to play Friday, but the date has been moved up.

Mighty Mullet

Just back from Duty Calls. Saw Jesus Mullet. They're good! Saw Mighty Eagle Band. They're also good! And my flash died. That's not so good! I ordered one to go with my new digital camera a little while back, so I hope it arrives soon, because I'm going to need it.

Your Jesus Mullet: Andrew Rashotte, Jay Chapman and Mark McGee.

Your Mighty Eagle Band (well Neal and Shawn, anyway, with a bit of Matt Rose in back):

By the way, I hate those red-eye reduction flashes. When some rocker is showing off his moves, I really do not want to wait until they're done flickering so the shutter can actually snap. Must be a way to shut the damn thing off ...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Kill Cheerleader, kill!

Kill Cheerleader have been lauded by Lemmy and praised by Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue, but I can't imagine them rocking a stadium. Not because they don't sound great, but because there's just something about them that demands they play sleazy dives. Mavericks is a fairly well-maintained sports bar, but a bunch of dirty rock fans did manage to make it out to mosh with marked enthusiasm as the band formerly know as Cheerleader and Cheerleader666 romped through songs from their new album All Hail and old favourites like Shit City. Nasty rock, both west and east coast varieties, figures in their sound. Add in some Smack (the great Finnish band that Guns'n'Roses shamelessly aped) and you've go the KC vibe.

The man formerly known as Cawke, Ethan Deth.

Chad spreads.

Kriss Rites in mid-wallop.

Drum solo!

When your strap goes, it's a good time for feedback.

This is the only photo I shot where you can actually see Chad's face.

As the night wore on, the fans were getting a little loopy. One guy with a beard and a fedora turned to me and yelled "I DON'T KNOW YOU!!!" and laughed like a hyena. I didn't know him either, but I did detect a pronounced resemblance to Dr. Teeth from The Muppet Show. A short girl jumped on Skottie Lobotomy, causing him to fall on me. Another drunk and diminutive dame tried to spritz beer on Chad, gave up when she realized the bottle was empty and just tossed it at his feet where it shattered. In sum, they should be on a bill with Jake Lovetart ...

Monday, March 27, 2006

"So much like escape"

Nikki Sudden Waiting on Egypt (1982)

This week started with the death of Nikki Sudden. I have 23 different CDs of his various albums and collections. So you can say I'm a bit of a fan without fear of contradiction. I'm listening to the Swell Maps as I type (Vertical Slum from A Trip To Marineville) and no doubt I'll partake of his work solo, with the Jacobites and with Birthday Party guitarist Rowland S. Howard in the near future. I had brief and distant dealings with Nikki Sudden a few years ago. I wanted to buy some of his back catalogue, so I e-mailed his website and soon heard back from the man himself. There was some back and forth in the following days about how I might pay him. In the meanwhile, the albums in question arrived in a padded envelope that judging by the accretion of postmarks on it had already travelled between Spain, Germany and Taiwan. Yes, Nikki Sudden was the sort of guy who would mail $100 worth of CDs to a total stranger on 24 hours notice. He was either very trusting or totally disorganized. I did manage to pay him - to be more precise, he asked that I send the funds via PayPal to Secretly Canadian supremo Chris Swanson. Swanson was responsible for seeing a large chunk of Sudden's catalogue back into print, and I'm grateful for it. The man born Adrian Nicholas Godfrey a little less than 50 years ago will never be a household name, but he'll always be remembered by me for carrying the torch for rock'n'roll when too many others had dropped it. Rest in peace, Nikki Sudden.

We just want to give you The Creeps

The Creeps are yet another band in a too-long list of local acts I've mysteriously missed seeing - until last Friday, when I saw them opening for Kill Cheerleader. They played a snappy set, as you'd expect from a bunch of Ramones fans.

Last time I saw Scottie Lobotomy, he was being tackled by Jon Bartlett at Barrymore's (and consequently ended up being covered in green sparkles).

Jordy throws in some vocals.

I'm not giving Bevans a shot of his own because he's in just about every other picture! (In fact, you can see him in the background of this picture from Barrymores - same shirt, same hat!)

Speaking of Saint Patrick's Day, here the band gives three cheers to a pal whose birthday they missed because they were out getting hammered March 17.

This next one has a big brother ...

This guy jumped on stage to sing one of the tunes. (Actually, audience members were using the stage as a thoroughfare - and getting in my shots, darn it!)

No frills and cool.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Two minutes each

Eight Minute Veil were just setting things up as I arrived at Mavericks. In addition to some space rock and heavy jam sounds they had some rap and hand-drumming. I just couldn't find a camera setting I was happy with so these pictures are mostly too dark or too light or just plain wrong, like this one of bassist Matt's radioactive eyeballs.

Neal on guitar and drum. Not at the same time.

I am led to believe by their website that Dave actually eats his drum kit.

The horrible truth is that my other pictures of Graham are worse.

Matt, sans glowing orbs.

And now some assorted rock action.

The whole lot.

The didn't sound much like either The Creeps or Kill Cheerleader, which is a good thing in my book (Oops, a last minute edit: It's because I like a varied bill of different sounding bands, not because I don't like The Creeps or Kill Cheerleader - actually, they're both more in line with my regular listening habits).

Saturday, March 25, 2006

From Akron

Well, actually, Akron/Family are based in New York; guitarist Seth Olinsky and Dana Janssen (drums, banjo) come from Williamsport, PA., while Miles Seaton (with the bass guitar) came from California. At least Ryan Vanderhoof is from Union Springs. They've become well-known in independent music circles thanks to their association with Michael Gira of Swans notoriety and Angels of Light fame. While plainly serious about music, this is a group that isn't afraid to goof around. There was some nonsensical repartee about dolphin riding, beating up otters and some rude but funny remarks about Paul McCartney and his wife from self-proclaimed doofus Seaton. They had the house lights turned up so they could get a look at the audience and brought their own bric-a-brac to enliven the stage.

First was the quiet bit ...

Quiet, quiet, quiet with Seth on slide whistle.

Still quiet with Dana playing his mini-xylophone with a bow.

Granted Miles isn't really the quiet type.

And now the noisy bit! "We cut that otter down the middle and set it on fire!!!"(?)

After several minutes of well-received feedback, the band settled down a bit. Dana came out from behind his kit to play some banjo.

This was followed by some gesticulation ...

All was now in place for the rise to the big finish!

I regret missing Dear Judah - aka Adam Solomanian - but other than that everything was just as I'd hoped (well, except they weren't quite as bearded as I'd heard). This was a really excellent show. I had been joking earlier with John Westhaver of Birdman Sound that "all three of Ottawa's Swans fans" would attend. Presumably they were there, but plenty of other folks were too. It was a full house - if not a sellout, close too.