Monday, February 18th, 2013 | musiX | No Comments
I’m not ready to return to the States just yet. After spending the better part of last week in New Zealand, I now flap my arms northwest to India, a country not known for its rock bands. Despite their confusing name, Peter Cat Recording Co. is actually a band. The New Delhi four-piece released their excellent debut record Sinema back in early 2011 and the spaced-out followup Wall of Want last year (you can download both for free at their Bandcamp). They’ve received some press in their neck of the woods, but not outside their country … which is insane.
Peter Cat Recording Co. take elements of Bollywood, Hindi folk and American psych, and turn it into something otherworldly. The band—well, the concept at least—started a few years ago by guitarist-vocalist Suryakant Sawhney, while he was studying in San Francisco. PCRC is rounded out by Rohan Kulshreshtha, K.S. Pillai and Karan Singh, all of whom moonlight in New Delhi metal band Lycanthropia.
Kulshreshtha told me the band is working on new material, which should surface this year, and they’re planning some U.S. shows. Of course, I’ll keep you posted right here. In the meantime you can chew on PCRC’s new video “Love Demons,” easily the best cut from Sinema, and perfectly captures the band’s frazzled, out-there soundz.
“Love Demons” – Peter Cat Recording Co. (Sinema)
“Sweet Sweet Poison” – Peter Cat Recording Co. (Wall of Want)
Friday, February 15th, 2013 | musiX | No Comments
The final installment, but not the enz of my current Split Enz obsession. I leave you with a short documentary on the band’s calling it a day in 1984 (boo!), followed by a clip of The Enz performing “History Never Repeats” during a reunion show in 2007 (yay!). I’m now realizing how many music videos these guys made—Split Enz were prolific, weird, and fantastic popsters (and still somewhat underrated in America). Dig it, and dig in.
Thursday, February 14th, 2013 | musiX | No Comments
Happy Valentines Day, the day I celebrate my love for my wife … and also Neil Finn. Released as a single in 1978, and later added to 1979′s Frenzy LP, “I See Red” is The Enz’s punk rock song. It also seems kind of fitting for today. Frenzy was the first record to feature Tim’s younger bro Neil, and it continued the band’s progression into simpler pop.
Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 | musiX | No Comments
I’m still deep in the Split Enz wormhole, and I like it … it’s great for productivity. This pre-Neil Finn clip comes from the band’s 1976 Second Thoughts LP, their last with original member Phil Judd. More great pop, but this preceded the band’s New Wave leanings that were to come. But the theatrics are still there, courtesy of member Noel Crombie, who played the spoons and served essentially as the band’s artistic director.
Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 | musiX | No Comments
I’m on a Split Enz kick … now, so are you. For the rest of the week I’ll be posting video earworms from my time down in the YouTube wormhole (not such a bad place if you can avoid the comments section).
I start with this one—one of the great pop songs … well, ever. And, of course, the video for “I Got You” shows why these kids from New Zealand were ready-made for MTV. It also gives me an intense flashback of eating Cap’n Crunch and playing drums along to it with markers on the arm of the couch.
Monday, February 11th, 2013 | musiX | No Comments
I didn’t watch this year’s Grammys. Instead I caught a blow by blow account on Twitter, which is just like being there. Yes, millions gathered to essentially Mystery Science Theater the shit out of the Grammys. Some of it was even funny. Steven Hyden of Grantland got this gem of a jab in: “Did you know they set jazz musicians on fire to keep Katy Perry’s hands warm backstage?” What was even funnier (meaning sadder) was the number of people who still buy into the concept of the Grammys. They sent out heartfelt congrats to Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers, two bands whose sound I liken to rustling paper (I’m also a little suspicious that I’ve never seen these two bands in the same room together). And there was no in-between. You were either completely on board, or you were the kid making armpit fart noises in the back of the classroom.
In fact, if the Grammys didn’t provide the endless stream of snarky comments, I’d say there’d be no real reason for them to exist. It’s amazing to me that—with the changes in the music machine over the past decade—that this gala event still rolls out its boney carcass every February, still unaware that there are rock bands out there other than the Black Keys and the Foo Fighters. Even Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney have to be thinking, “Yeah, how the hell were we nominated over Ty Segall?” And this year’s nominees for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance were the same names that got Tipper Gore’s panties in a bunch/my parents pissed at me almost three decades ago.
Of course, it’s no secret that the Grammys (the Grampys?) are out of touch. I mean, come on, no sideboob? I’m pushing 40, and I’m getting too young for this shit. But they do still have the pop down in 2013: Adele (who hasn’t put out an album since 2011), fun. (Best New Artist, formed in 2008), Justin Timberlake (FutureSex/LoveSounds came out in 2006), Frank Ocean (lost out to Mumford & Yawns), Beyoncé (released 4 in the summer of 2011), Kelly Clarkson (can do no wrong). Other than that, I don’t really see the point in all this. It’s like Bizarro world, but not nearly as bizarre. Even Jack White seems to be going through the motions these days. And the most interesting stuff isn’t even televised. At least the entire thing ended with a performance by Chuck D, LL Cool J, Tom Morello and Travis Barker from Blink-182, who brought rock and hip-hop together for perhaps the first time ever.
So what is the point of the Grammys? It’s obvious. To give something for cynical pricks to crank on about, and to give a few artists the distinction of having their names prefixed by “Grammy Award-winner.” I just learned that Dave Grohl has 13 Grammys—I wonder if he puts them on the mantle? I bet Taylor Swift does.
Thursday, February 7th, 2013 | musiX, pdX | No Comments
I’ll be playing tunes this Friday at Hawthorne Theatre with my good pal, DJ Bob Ham. It’s always a fun time—I mean, it is Happy Hour on a Friday.
I suppose the goal will be to get things warmed up/getting people hot and bothered for the Hot Water Music show later that evening. I think we can do it. But despite what the photo to the left implies, we won’t be spinning records. Instead we will be gazing into the glow of our laptops, which will likely resemble two grown men playing Battleship. Less sexy than records, but still very, very sexy.
We will rock and roll all nite from 6-8 p.m. inside the Hawthorne Theatre lounge. Beers will be cheap(er). And I’ll be digging deep into the folders on my desktop for some digital nuggets o’ rock from all over the globe … from my computer.
A few new things I’ve been munching on of late: Kiki Pau, Foxygen, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, new Thermals(!), Holy Grail, Eat Skull, Ty Segall/Mikal Cronin. Older stuff: Pere Ubu, Monoshock, the Saints, Urbane Gorilla, the Feelies. It’ll be good. Promise.