Sunday, July 30, 2006

Attention Faithful Readers!

And by faithful readers I mean Morgan, who is sitting three feet from my right.

Sorry for my lack of posting, I am currently residing in the Windy Shitty, about to enjoy day two of the Pitchfork Music Festival. Of course I'll post a big nerdy wrap-up complete with pictures and mpthrizzles, but for now I tell you that Art Brut and the Joggers are two of the best live acts ever. Run out and buy, download, steal, whatever.

More to come. I need sleep and to not to get cockeyed every night....but the way things are going it's gonna be blackout or die...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Denver Post's top 300 bands

Well duh.

I mean, yeah, I agree. All the top 10 bands are great fucking bands. It's just very predictable. You can read the whole article here. Make sure you click all the 'related article' links.

Congrats to the Morning After roster as they nabbed three of the top five spots! And I promise next year we can expect more of the same from Adam, Dan, and company. (And maybe next year we will see bands like Everything Absent or Distorted and The Life There Is move into the top 10.)

My few gripes are that 300 is an absurdly large number of bands. Also, Cost of Living and Against Tomorrow's Sky aren't even bands anymore...maybe I'm still a little bitter that Grace Like Gravity never made it on the list ever even though we had friends on the panel and were a decent-sized local act with a respectable draw!

That's right, Matt Clark is petty!

Not really.

When I feel less shitty from my binge-drink yesterday, I will post about the Sucked Tour and the sweet Gym Class Heroes afterparty at Pete's. It was a do one for the ages.

Listen to this!

Grace Like Gravity - Your Life As A Film
The Life There Is - Come Over Here

Friday, July 21, 2006

weekend I prefer the weekend

So I fucking hate everything about the Warped Tour but I did get a line on a super cool guy press pass (thanks to the Brain), so I thought I might stop by and get extreme. Maybe shotgun some energy drinks before hittin' the pit with my brahs. And getting to see The Living End with uber-fan the Brain is gonna be fun.

You have fun this weekend, too. Before eating all those barbeque ribs you've got there, listen to this shit!

So I think I pissed the Viceroy yesterday off with a comment about Waxwing. I did not mean to call him out, I kinda just wanted him to listen to this band. Waxing is brothers Cody and Rocky Votolato, with Rock on lead vocals and Rudy Gajadhar on drums. The `Wing pistol-whips you in the face with jangly guitars and raw emotion (and maybe even a cock-slap or two thrown in for good measure). A great band that died so three other (better?) music projects could flourish (Blood Brothers, Gatsbys American Dream, Rocky solo). This cover of "New Year's Day" is one of the all-time great cover songs.

Waxwing - Kill The Messenger
Waxwing - New Year's Day (live)

I don't have to tell you that TV on the Radio is the shit. Their new album Return to Cookie Mountain (wtf?) releases on Tuesday FINALLY- but if you're a dork you've been listening to it for months seeing as how it leaked a while back. I was gonna include the epic "Tonight" but decided on this track instead. Little faster, little more jaunty. Oh, and fucking Bowie guest-stars on the record. That is way cooler than even this.

TV on the Radio - Playhouses

Thursday, July 20, 2006

a delicious wedge salad recipe from me to you

1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into quarters
Blue cheese dressing
1 tomato, minced
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup cooked bacon, crumbled

On each salad plate, place 1 wedge of lettuce turned on its side. Pour blue cheese dressing on wedge. Sprinkle with tomatoes, green onions, crumbled blue cheese, and crumbled bacon.

This is not my recipe.

Here are some MP3s to listen to while you enjoy a wedge.

The Rapture - Get Myself Into It
From the Rapture's new album. Believe the hype, these guys are the shit...but this song does kinda sound like a B-side from Echoes.

Fire When Ready - A Funeral With Wedding Vows
Fire When Ready just recently went on an 'indefinite hiatus' (read about it here). I like that they aren't losing or gaining any members, they just wrote songs so different they couldn't justify being the same band they had established themselves as. Oh well. This song rules.

Bands from my formative years: KILL CREEK

I was really really high when I first heard Kill Creek, rolling around Miami with Peter Sargalski in my 'vintage' Mercedes 190E (not as cool as it sounds, or as classy- but it did have that little hood ornament). He had a Mammoth sampler that featured Kill Creek's "Fruit Pie". I thought the song was amazing, and as soon as I sobered up I ran out and picked up St. Valentine's Garage. At the time I was listening to any band that local radio station WVUM would play, like Superchunk and Archers of Loaf, and I was already a huge Pixies fan as well. But St. Valentine's Garage was new to my ears...I now believe they were my first emo band. They were my gateway into the world of sweet late-90s Midwestern emo such as Braid, the Promise Ring, and the Get-up Kids (is Kansas considered Midwest? I'm not cool enough for that kind of knowledge, I'm from a big metropolitan place with ZERO cows).

When Kill Creek released their second full-length, Proving Winter Cruel in `96, I searched in vain for a copy, however none of my local record stores carried the record. Not even the famous Y&T in South Miami, the greatest record store in the world. So, and keep in mind, this was in the very early days of the internet, I emailed the band about mail order. I got into a weird email exchange with Scott Born, the lead singer and guitar player- basically the brain behind the band. I can't remember the details of the exchange, but it was some kind of running joke about body hair. Anyways, he sent me a promo copy of Proving Winter Cruel and a promo postcard with a note on the back saying "Dolphins Blow, Johnson Sucks, Think Chiefs in the AFC".

Then they kind of fell off the map. And this was before DSL and a million music blogs and shit, so there really was no way to find out what the hell the band was up to. They never updated their website with anything relevant, and Mammoth had since disappeared into obscurity.

(The Kill Creek site makes an interesting read however. It almost seems like they were so busy cataloging and keeping records of the band that they forgot to BE a band. I always imagined Scott Born and crew to be a bunch of hermits living in a cave updating their website with inside jokes and minutiae that only they find entertaining.)

After a few years I still listened and turned as many people on to the Creek as I could, but kind of forgot about them. Rumors of a reunion show abounded. Then one day in 2002, they released a new record (Colors of Home) with little to no fanfare. Immediately after that they put out a fan-club only "greatest hits" of sorts, and in 2004 released the double-disc The Will to Strike, a collection of just about every song the band ever recorded.

A few years ago I worked as a merch lackey on tour with Seville, a band from South Florida, featuring members of another band from my formative years (the Agency). We did two weeks touring with Rocky Votolato, who is signed to Kill Creek's new label Second Nature Recordings. Second Nature's label head, Dan, joined the tour as a fellow merch lackey for Rocky. One night in Arizona, I was heavily intoxicated and finally asked the very reserved Dan about Kill Creek.

"Kill Creek..." he said, "those guys are a bunch of hermits."

Made sense.

Kill Creek - Unsteady
Kill Creek - Fruit Pie

Monday, July 17, 2006

what is the matter with me

At least I'll be doing something as opposed to doing nothing (get it?).

July 29th-30th Pitchfork Music Festival, Chicago IL
August 4-6th Lollapalooza, Chicago IL
September 15-17th Austin City Limits, Austin TX
September 15th-16th Sufjan Stevens, Austin TX (and totally having to forgoe Massive Attack but hey...its Soofs.)
September 24th- Sufjan Stevens, St.Louis MO

Sunday, July 16, 2006

you should probably watch this over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over

Or go here to see it in much better quality. I love everything Michel Gondry has ever done...he inflicts a sense of loneliness on you without you even knowing it. Like when you're a kid, and the doctor tells you to look at the fish tank before pricking your finger to draw blood. You're distracted by something beautiful, and you never see the pain coming.

three things.

1. Is this not the music nerd's dream show? This is day 2 of the Pitchfork Fest, July 30th in Chicago.

1:00 Tapes ‘n Tapes
1:30 Danielson
2:00 Jens Lekman
2:35 The National
3:30 Liars
4:20 Aesop Rock & Mr. Lif
5:10 Mission of Burma
6:10 Devendra Banhart
7:10 Yo La Tengo
8:10 Spoon
9:10 Os Mutantes

Oops. Better bring the diapers.

2. I know I am getting older because nowadays a night of drinking=gnarly heartburn. Thanks Rolaids for making my mouth taste like even more shit than it already does after a night spent swilling Stoli Blueberry pres.

3. I fucking love Aziz Ansari. I just had to imbed this. He is also doing one at the Pitchfork opening night party at the Metro (with Eugene Mirman and the JOGGERS! Jealous yet?).

Saturday, July 15, 2006

my hips enjoy wedge salads

After getting home from another exciting night getting frat boys and hot chicks with douchbags wasted, I came home and tried to finish the massive road soda I took with me. I watched Young Guns on TBS or something, and during commercials flipped it to VH-1, where I saw this video

Okay, yeah, she's hot and everything, but girl's voice sounds like some kind of Cher-esque retard vocoder. It just doesn't appeal to me, I'm more concerned with the bubble in her throat then the verity of said hips. Then Wyclef comes out and does his dumb talk-sing thing with really generic lyrics like
Hey Girl, I can see your body moving
And it's driving me crazy
And I didn't have the slightest idea
Until I saw you dancing

Boooring. Still waiting for the JT 'Sexy Back' video...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

ARCHIVE: Feb-13-2006

what do you mean I'm not 22 anymore?

A few weeks ago I was deathly ill, and had spent three days locked in my house just hurting. On the third day I finally got human contact in the form of band practice. I was bitching to Chip about how I had been getting sick a lot recently, and that is was pissing me off. I couldn't understand why this was happening (I think one of my reasons why I shouldn't ever get sick was "I take a multivitamin"- lame). Chip humored me for a minute then he looked at me and said,

"You drink too much, you smoke too much, you go out all the time, you stay up late, you don't exercise, and you don't eat right. Matt, I hate to say it, but you're not 22 years old anymore. That kind of lifestyle is not conducive to staying healthy."

Of course those weren't his exact words because I doubt Chip would ever use the word conducive.

But that really stuck with me. Anybody who knows me has heard me tell this story eight thousand times. When did we become old? I can't go out, shoot whiskey all night, smoke a pack and a half of cigarettes and not get home until 6am without consequences anymore? This is fucking bush league. Bush! But he's absolutely right. Something's gotta give.

At least when I'm out on the piss I'm not trainwreck status like a lot of people. Scott Longman once said that if the whole world got drunk like I do there would be no more war. Or something like that. And speaking of drinking...

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, the second stupidest holiday behind Easter. Let's go see Stars and listen to songs about broken hearts and drink way too many whiskey sours. Deal?

ADDENDUM: I stayed relatively sober on V-Day and had a long depressing talk wth Chris 'Franchise' Plummer (read about it in his myspaceblog). But Stars fucking ruled! The last song before the encore was Your Ex-Lover Is Dead (duh) and dude was like 'dedicate this song to the person you hate the most!'. I hoisted my whiskey in the air, awkwardly danced with Elroy and ate those silly French Canadians up.

100 shows update.

Since my last post I've been kinda slacking.

3oh3!/Signal to Noise/Facing New York/the Photo Atlas
Metal Hearts/William Elliott Whitmore/Murder by Death
As Tall As Lions/the Junior Varsity
Russian Circles/Mono/Pelican
the Sleeping/I Am the Avalanche/Halifax/Bayside
Mayday/Wreckonize/Ugly Duckling/the Procussions/Aceyalone
the BOD/In Case You're Curious/Murder Comes In Rows/3oh3!/Grace Gale
Authority Zero/Against All Authority
Everything Absent or Distorted/Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin/SOUND team
In Fair Verona/The Axe That Chopped The Cherry Tree
the Life There Is
the Photo Atlas/Russian Circles/Criteria/the Appleseed Cast

As of right now, I have seen the Photo Atlas and Signal the most this year. I expect to being seeing more of Atlas, but not so much of Signal (they're off recording their full-length for Eyeball). I have lots of little anecdotes about all these shows...maybe at the end of the year I will write up some sort of year-in-review.

ARCHIVE: Apr-29-2006

you'll be happier with lower standards.

The last month or so really was a do one*. Let's play catch up.

After the near liver failure whimsically referred to as my 'birthday week' (which consisted of four shows, two blackouts, and one lovely dinner with friends), I decided to jump on that jaunty little wagon.

Not a sip, slop, or surp of ardent spirits to coat my throat and soothe my soul. And you know what? Easy. My year as a boozer, blackguard, carouser, drunkard, dipsomaniac, pie-eyed wanderer was filled with stories, bad decisions, depression, festivities, good friends, and that wistful halo of romanticism that is a drunk. The day after my birthday the battle cry was "he's human after all!".

How did I spend the waking hours between sleep, work, and an acceptable time to begin imbibing? Don't know. Nights spent wandering the northwest Denver streets, drinking from sprinklers and walking so flat-footed my ankles swole. Mornings spent bleeding from falling off my bike wasted, laying in the middle of 15th street wishing only for my mother.

I rediscovered Tom Waits and the Pogues, as any good drunkard should.

I devoured books and spit the spines out whole, unfortunately forgetting most of what I had read.

I developed an astonishing arsenal of toasts (thanks in part to Plummer and Gabe).

I wrote shitty songs and learned to record them. I fell asleep composing concertos and awoke to find a splintered mish-mash of stolen ideas.

Not to say that I am done with alcohol; quite the opposite. It's just that a little break was much-needed/long overdue. Quite the eye-opener. So anyway, I realize it seems a bit dumb to coax congratulations for something as minute as a week off the sauce, but those that know me well know it was not an easy feat by any means.

I'm still hearing stories about my birthday. Shirtless on the bar? Shots of jager? Failed attempts to play guitar? A cat named Stevie Wonder? We may never know what happened, because all my wingmen were just as wasted as I was.

April has been the busiest month at Pete's I've ever seen, and it just seems to get busier. I keep wondering when it will peak. Once the Real World lands a few blocks away, I'm afraid all hell will break loose.

Naomi is my boss. Although it kinda feels like the Marquis is our own little playground, save for the expensive drinks and corporate-type boss men.

It snowed again, one last snow. It was beautiful. I love living in the Highlands because it is so quiet at night. And when it snows the only sound you can hear is your own blood pumping. There is nothing more lonely than the quiet of a 3am is only akin to the lonely of a door slam or an empty apartment. Close the book on winter...I'm ready for spring.

Fishing, kickball, indoor soccer (stop laughing- the season starts tuesday), barbeques, Miami, patios, Bloody Buddy Sunday Funday, street wiffle ball, camping, bicycle, Sasquatch, Pitchfork Fest, Lollapaloser, new band?, Anna Karenina, banjo, Mayt Mayhem, New York Shitty. This is the menu for the spring/summer.

I write these words with a pen, over and over again to make sure everything is just right. This is who I am. This is who I always was. This is who I continue to be.


*Do one (due-won): a versatile phrase used to describe affirmatives, the having of fun, the drinking of libations, drunkness, sex, the attractiveness of a member of the opposite sex, etc. The phrase was coined in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 2005 by Matt Hergenreter, and overused by the author. Do one is also quickly becoming a worldwide phenomenon, appearing anywhere from Blackout Pact stage shows to Dairy Queen commercials.

"Did you get drunk last night Gabe?"
"Oh man, it was a do one."

"Matt, I would love to introduce you to this girl I know."
"Is she a do one?"

"Justin, did you do one with that girl last night?"

"Want to do a shot?"
"Do one!"

Also can be used in such instances as getting too drunk (do two) or having a quiet night (do a little one or do half of one).

ARCHIVE: Mar-11-2006

it's official...

...I am in love with Jenny Lewis. If you don't own a copy of "Rabbit Fur Coat" you should get one. Everyone should listen to it at least once. Absolutely amazing.

One of the best shows I've seen in a really really really long time.

ARCHIVE: Mar-21-2006

two crosses around my neck.

Grandma Jenne.

For a short time I lived in Tallahassee, Florida. I was attempting to go to college there; in reality I was doing every drug I could get my hands on. I got into some serious trouble with the law, and was feeling really really low about my life. Luckily for me, my grandmother on my mother's side, Jenne, lived in Tallahassee. I was such a little piece of shit and this kind, loving woman never judged me or yelled at me, even when I stole her car. Grandma Jenne was beautiful and funny and did ridiculous things like buy a pair of rollerblades and drive a beat-up old Mustang until the family forced her into a new one. We always had a bond between us, because she always looked out for me in Tallahassee...made sure I was eating right and that I had clean clothes, and that I was doing okay, especially after everything that happened. Every couple Sundays I would go over and spend the night...we'd have dinner or watch a movie. I think I even went to church with her a few times. The day I left Tallahassee to face my parents and little brother she drove me to the airport and gave me a silver cross on a chain that she wore around her neck. She had given me a similar gift before, when I was quite young. Grandma Jenne was a religious woman, and worked in churchs and sunday schools, but she didn't give me the cross so that Jesus or someone would go with me, she gave it to me so that she could go with me.

Well anyways she passed away in her sleep last night. I think she was 86.

Towards the end of her life, she became very frail and had issues with her memory. She would often refer to me as her son, John. It always broke my heart. I saw her over the holidays, and I didn't spend as much time with her as I should have, because I thought it was too much to deal with. And now I don't get to spend any more time with her ever again.

I still have the two crosses, and wear them whenever I fly on a plane. I'm not a very good flyer, but for some weird reason I always feel like nothing bad can happen to me if I have these two little silver crosses around my neck. I've even nearly missed flights because of turning around to get them.

People die, and you feel sad, but my grandmother and I were so close for a time back then. I just wish it could've always been like that always. She was an amazing woman. I miss her already.

ARCHIVE: Jan-20-2006

my favorite albums of 2005 in no order...

sufjan stevens 'illinoise'
stars 'set yourself on fire'
a wilhelm scream 'ruiner'
minus the bear 'menos el oso'
death cab for cutie 'plans'
fiona apple 'extraordinary machine' (yes laura i caved)
red sparowes 'at the soundless dawn'
pelican 'the fire in our throats will beckon the thaw'
the blackout pact 'hello sailor'
comeback kid 'wake the dead'
bright eyes 'i'm wide awake it's morning'
dangerdoom 'the mouse and the mask'
the photo atlas 'no, not me, never'
horse the band 'the mechanical hand'
doomriders 'black thunder'
the hold steady 'seperation sunday'
city on film 'in formal introduction'
every time i die 'gutter phenomenon'
...and you will know us by the trail of dead 'worlds apart'