Category Archives: Music

IBnA Thursday: The Cowbells “More”

***This is the third in a series of  two, wherein I review bands that don’t exist.

Under pressure, almost any musician will admit to having dictatorial ambitions.

A prime example is John Tesh, who in a heated 1997 interview with Geraldo Rivera acknowledged he’d been building an alternate society on Alexander Island, just off the tip of Antarctica. He’d gone so far as to import a large population of Maltese dogs, taught them Moon Phase Farming, and indoctrinated them to believe they were destined to rule the world when the nuclear holocaust occurred. It went unstated in that interview but was implied that he would be their leader, given that nomenclature in this society would refer to the dogs as “Teshians.” When queried the U.S. Department of State would not comment but did confirm that “Maltese are a lovely breed of dogs.”

The Cowbells revealed similar ambitions in their debut release three years ago on Putin Is Really Just Louie Prima In Disguise Records. “Skim Milk is Good Enough For Us and Better Be For You, Too” was a masterpiece of pop ambition, hailed by Rolling Stone as “one of the best records released on April 11, 2010, ever” and called “astonishingly pointless” by Verve.

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IBnA Thursday: Arakacha – “Murmodansay is for lovers”

***This is the second in a series of band & album reviews. Thursday is one of the worst days of the week, right after Mon/Tue/Wed/Sun/Sat, but hopefully expanding your mind with fresh, musically related blog posts will help. If not, there’s always Facebook.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Arakacha, it was in the small city of Cirtu in Southern Argentina in the basement of a sarcastic dairy farmer. I could tell he was sarcastic because he kept declaring his love for soy products, which as anyone knows is the dairy farmer’s biggest competition. But I diverge.

Anyway, Arakacha was on the last leg of their South America tour and appeared to have gotten into a carton of blueberries before the show, unless there’s some other way to stain your face blue that I don’t know about. I’d heard they were wild but wow, they really knocked the socks off of every single person in the place. It was kind of a small space, and all 11 members of Arakacha were in one tiny corner, including their two trombonists who were so close that they occasionally pulled the slide on the others trombone by accident. It was very erotic.

Continue reading IBnA Thursday: Arakacha – “Murmodansay is for lovers”

IBnA Thursday: Sugar B and the Churros

***This is the first in a series of band & album reviews. Thursday is one of the worst days of the week, right after Mon/Tue/Wed/Sun/Sat, but hopefully expanding your mind with fresh, musically related blog posts will help. If not, there’s always Facebook.

“Sugar B” a.k.a. Samuel Barnimon only released a handful of songs during his May – July 1995 tenure as a musician, but during this short time period the world was given access to some of the smoov-est tunes known to man, woman, or child.

Born and raised in the town of Opelousas, Louisiana (pop. 16,000) Mr. Barnimon was the 4th of 3 kids, and regarded from a young age as a strange child, with even his mother admitting in 1993 that “Sugar is a weirdo of the highest order.” Not much else is known about his childhood, though lore has it that he gained his nickname after an incident in which he hid in a 50 pound bag of sugar during a game of hide and seek, which is also believed to be responsible for his early onset juvenile diabetes at the age of 9 and two halves.

Although the Zydeoco style was largely dominant on the local music scene, Sugar B sought a new direction when he began playing in early May 1995. His unusual approach to instrumentation, including the electric ukelele and trading spoons for 2 month old churros when playing washboard, set him apart from other local and regional musicians. He also stated on several occasions that “good music needs lubrication” which gave rise to his cultivating a practice known as “pre-larding” instruments. By melting lard and slathering it over his various musical items, he created a smooth and controversially sexy experience for both the musicians and audience alike.

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Two Bands You’ve Never Heard of Because They’re Full of Degenerates That Don’t Exist

The other day somebody commented that I seem serious all the time and asked if I ever engage in humor.

Heck yah! And I take that seriously too.

As proof I present to you two (fake) band reviews for one of my friend’s upcoming ‘zines, Bands! Vol. 4

Cripple Carl & the Gurgles“Portuguese Penguins in Nambe”

Well friends, fall has fallen and winter’s laying a heavy trip on your fingertips and you know what that means: time to be relegated to the back rooms of your favorite pastoral social parlour drinking orb of night beverages in a desperate attempt to retain your body’s standard issue lukewarm temps. But fear not, there’s help on the way in the form of renowned four finger surf guitarist Cripple Carl and his difficult to decipher backing band, the Gurgles.

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A running start on resolutions, my movie cameo, how you can have Fun-A-Day and thoughts on Not Being Dead

Eventually I was going to write up a post that is a mix-mash of thoughts, and apparently this is that post…

Resolutions

I spent some time this week thinking about resolutions for the New Year, and for the first time ever found myself in the position of feeling like I’ve already started on all the things I want to do next year.

Already in progress are: exercising more, cutting down on drinking soda and alcoholic beverages, engaging in creative physical exertions (biking more, had my 1st massage ever, going to yoga), small but fun art projects, jamming with friends on their ideas, and regularly re-thinking about how I want to live my life.

One of the things I want to focus on is being creative every single day. I’ve been writing and playing music consistently since August. I’ve been writing a song a day and started recording some of them a couple of weeks ago.

Which leads me to…..

Continue reading A running start on resolutions, my movie cameo, how you can have Fun-A-Day and thoughts on Not Being Dead

TaGQ: What responsibility do artists have to drive change?

I saw a film about the Chinese artist and dissident Ai Wei Wei yesterday. It was a beautiful and moving documentary, largely because the director/producer/cinematographer, Alison Klayman, succinctly captured his point of view and gave it context

It left me thinking about the role of artists/musicians/writers. We are often criticized for sharing too much, not sharing enough, or not sharing in a way that makes sense to anyone else. I’ve felt for a long time that an artist first and foremost has a responsibility to share her/his point of view, and if possible to also reflect a society back to itself. As it goes with an individual so it goes with a larger community: when we know ourselves better we can be better.

I was struck by Ai’s understanding of the implications of even the most simple activities and his ability to challenge the hidden assumptions present there. At one point during the film he met supporters for dinner and they ate around an open table in front of the restaurant. Local police arrived with a camera to “document” the activities and further harass him. They asked him several times to eat inside, and when he replied that they were going to finish eating outside they asked “how long?” He repeated himself a couple of times, saying they would be done “when they were finished eating” before finally quoting them 30 minutes.

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