The lovely gentlemen of Parts & Labor have enlisted my services for the next 12 days while they do a little mad-dash tour around the eastern US (I believe the quote that left me with no way out was "NYC doesn't need you, Parts & Labor needs you"). So if you happen to reside near one of these locations, please do come out and say hello. If you see a homeless-looking man in the crowd (BJ), then you know you've got the right show.



11.28 - Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda's w/ Unwed Sailor, Saxon Shore
11.29 - Asheville, NC @ Static Age Records w/ Arena Rock
11.30 - Pensacola, FL @ Sluggo's
12.01 - New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jacks w/ Liquidrone
12.02 - Houston, TX @ Proletariat w/ Baroque Millionaires, Skullening
12.03 - Austin, TX @ Emo's w/ Ume, Camp X-Ray, White Denim, Matt and Kim
12.04 - Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves w/ Bitchin' Kitchen, The Brewers
12.05 - Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck w/ So Many Dynamos, The Legendary Terrordactyls
12.06 - Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle w/ Maps & Atlases, Aloke
12.07 - Cleveland, OH @ Pats In The Flats w/ Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jerk, Child Bite, Ohm's Law
12.08 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Gooski's w/ Centipede E'est
12.09 - Brooklyn, NY @ Asterisk Art Project w/ Dan Deacon, Grey Daturas




So I've been a bit of slacker as of late, but I've been busy with seasonal things (who knew strippers and Thanksgiving went together so well?). I have also been compiling my annual Xmas mix. I like to think this is a particular treat for those I remember to give it to, but it's probably just something for me to take home and listen to for a week during the "only-xmas-music-allowed" holiday stretch. Either way I end up digging in up to my elbows to find some seasonal tunes that don't make you cringe. Hope you like 'em.

• The Sonics - Don't Believe In Christmas

A band's place in myspace.



(the sparkling St. Vincent)

And it's up, the food-fight-fun-inspired music video for Matt & Kim's "Yea Yeah". Watch it now, and remember this moment when you eventually see it on MTV for the first time.



That dirty raunchy electo-dancey thing? Yep, got yers right here. Plus some barking noises.

• The Trucks - Titties

A band's place in myspace.



I've been working a lot and fighting insomnia, so I don't have much to contribute. Although I did come across this collection of bad tattoos, and I suddenly felt better about my life.



Um, the title. And it's good, and a the lyrics are a bit strange, and there's something about his voice.

• The National - Mr. November

A band's place in myspace.



(Matt & Kim shoot another video, more equipment is destroyed and mess is made)

The lovely Matt & Kim have made another video, and I was lucky enough to be there for it. Combine one pristine white set, Matt & Kim with white instruments, and an arsenal of delicious and messy treats just waiting for their cues to fly. . . and you have F.U.N. It was modeled on an accidental food fight that broke out during one of their shows in Houston. There are some surprises in the video that I have been forbidden from sharing/spoiling, so you'll just have to wait till it comes out to get to the good parts. But damn I still crack up thinking about some of them. Good times.

And speaking of music videos by people that I'm a fan of, my friend Cat directed this awesome video for CSS.



This is the song Death Cab was born to sing.

• Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Follow You Into The Dark

A band's place in myspace.



(ever wonder what you'd see one second before being forced to kiss a bearded man's nipple covered with fake skin putty? well now you know)

Les Savy Fav played with Matt & Kim at NYU the other night, photos here. Don't miss Tim climbing a rope he threw up to the balcony at the end.

So I have recently found myself in conversations about bicycles in the city and bicycles VS pedestrians. It seems that when people learn I am a cyclist, they assume I feel that two-wheeled riders rights supercede everyone else's. They mention how much they hate bikers who ride on the sidewalk, looking at me and waiting for a defense of my biking-brethren. They seem surprised when I totally agree with them, and even go off on my own tirade.

I talk a lot about the problems of biking in the city on this site, but the reality is that cyclists can be assholes too. Just like any yahoo can get a driver's license, anyone can get on a bike.

Two points I agree strongly with that seem to be the biggest compliants against cyclists are:
- Cyclists should always yeild to pedestrians, even if they are playing lemming on 6th Ave by popping out from between parked trucks into the bike lane.
- Cyclists should never ride on the sidewalk. Not food delivery men, not little old ladies, not posh girlies on cruisers with tiny dogs in the basket, not anyone. If you're coming from the street, you're going to lock your bike to a sign or lamp post next to the curb anyway. And if you're not coming from the street you should be walking your bike in the first place.

These two things give bikers a bad name, so when issues like more bike lanes come up the average pedestrian is less likely to side with those "reckless riders." And these points are not much more than common sense and being considerate to strangers, which I know can be a lot to ask in NYC. I even see a commonality in the mentality of a biker scattering pedestrians on a sidewalk and a lone driver in a lumbering SUV roaring down Delancey. . . selfishness. Although the biker is a lot less likely to kill anyone in the process.

But maybe this is just a sign I'm turning into an uptight NYer, even though my 10 year mark hasn't quite passed, yet.



This is a f*ckin fun tune. I totally picture a Ramones doppleganger strutting around the 1980s Lower East Side to this song.

• Liam Lynch - United States Of Whatever

This band ain't in myspace.



(photos by Todd Fisher)

So I like photography, and I happen to be a fan of this guy's work, Todd Fisher. And he happens to be having a solo show, The Meaning Of Life (pt.1), opening on Saturday in Brooklyn at Live With Animals (invite here). Go check it out and see all the Brooklyn you've been missing.



I was introduced to Ill Ease while touring with Parts & Labor. Ill Ease is a one woman band, who performs and plays all of the instruments live. She uses pedals to capture and loop either live drumming or guitar, and then switches to the other instrument and sings. A pretty impressive feat to pull off repeatedly in front of random strangers night after night. Her songs are whimsical, humorous, and dirty. She just released a new album, "All Systems A-Go-Go" on Cochon Records. Check it out.

• Ill Ease - New York, London, Paris

A band's place in myspace.


(Les Savy Fav performing at the MoMA, you should have seen the security guards pouring sweat everytime he ran into the crowd)

Les Savy Fav performed at the MoMA last night. There was some weird art project where they took your cell phone when you entered, bagged it, and hung it on a wall with everyone else's phones. Not sure what the idea was behind it, aside from some speech about having a disease and being cured by giving up your cell phone. If that's considered a real problem by people, they need to live a little more. Anyway, LSF went balls-out as always with multiple costumes, cat burglars giving away stolen pieces of "Art", and running around in the audience. Nothing like a sweaty bearded man screaming/spitting in your face wearing a unitard to feel like you're in a house of High Art. Good times.

More pics here.



So I know nothing about Micah P Hinson And The Opera Circut except that they are fom Texas, and I heard a song of theirs on the radio and really dug it. So I went to track down this song, and failed. However I did find two more tracks that I also enjoy, so now I am sharing them with you. They have a fairly different character between them, the first being a bit somber and finger-pickin' colored. The other swells and rolls with the music crashing and rising again, like the very sea that is being sung about.

• Micah P Hinson And The Opera Circut - Diggin A Grave

• Micah P Hinson And The Opera Circut - You're Only Lonely

A band's place in myspace.



("U.F.O." tries to share his side if the story with some of the authors of U.F.O., many sides were shared, no minds were changed)

Did you hear about the new U.F.O. book? U.F.O. as in the NYC graffiti artist (examples of his work here). Well there's a new book out from Powerhouse, aptly titled U.F.O., featuring tons of images of his work. The book busies itself with diagrams disecting his pieces, how-to guides for classifying different U.F.O.s, and then relates it to Aboriginal cave drawings and other such intellectual waxations. The only catch is not only did U.F.O. have nothing to do with the book, but any feedback from him was actually refused by the authors (they claimed it would taint the project). From what I can discern, it's some sort of super-intellectual disection of the authors' pursuit and attempt to understand U.F.O. in lengthy Chelsea-artspeak. Urban antropology is a term they use to describe it. While I can understand this sort of over-the-top approach to creating something fictional and seemingly exciting and interesting, I have a hard time accepting it being done on the back of an artist who has spent YEARS creating art in public space with no interest in any acclaim whatsoever. It cannot help but be exploitative, even though I beleive the authors' contentions that there was nothing malicious about their intentions. It was not malicious, just selfish and near-sighted, but not ill-intended. And it probably doesn't hurt that the exploited subject has no option of legal recourse due to his fugitive status. But whatever, they made their book, Powerhouse published it, and that's kind of the end of the story. As in the conversations I witnessed (and participated in) at the book launch party between U.F.O.'s people and the authors, no minds are about to be changed anytime soon. Although it was good to hear the other side, even if it didn't make a lick of sense sometimes.

You should check out their webpage about the book, read about it and see what you think. Click on the link for the "U.F.O. trailer" for a weird little hunt-n-peck video searching for U.F.O. with flashlights.

Combustive Motor Corp



I never officially wrapped up that little cover song streak I had going, with Halloween getting in the way and all. So here's my final cast into that hole, for a bit anyway (who knows around here). And so here's Man Man's take on Miss Etta James.

• Man Man - I'd Rather Be Blind

A band's place in myspace.



(captions in order: CSS and Spank Rock at the Flavorpill Halloween party; CSS at Pianos; Matt & Kim at the Zombie Prom; Big A Little A and Matt & Kim at 3rd Ward)

CMGay week nearly killed me. Between working all day out in NJ shooting, and then staying up all night going to see my same favorite bands over and over again. . . it was a bit too much. But I should be back to the land of the living soon (and Grub tonight should help). Enjoy some expanded galleries of the photos posted above:

Matt & Kim + Big A Little A at 3rd Ward thanks to Todd P
Matt & Kim - Zombie Prom thanks to I Heart Comix
CSS at Piano's thanks to Brooklyn Vegan
CSS + Spank Rock at the Flavorpill Halloween party

(And while I like a lot of the photos I took at these shows, none of them are quiet as good as the guy who caught flicks of the couple doing it doggy-style in a big white tent at 3rd Ward. A little reach-under action with a point-n-shoot has rarely paid off so well.)



So of all the shows I saw recently, Spank Rock turned out to be the only disappointment. And this is not because his music wasn't great, or that he's not really talented. It's because he was so drunk he couldn't finish his set at the Flavorpill Halloween party. Even after taking a break, vomiting all over the bathroom, and then returning to the stage (with a clean shirt on), he was still only able to last a few more minutes before walking off for good. Kind of a bummer since it was my first chance to see him live, and he seemed to be hitting his stride just before walking off the first time. Oh well, happens to the best of us I suppose. And even in the briefness of his set, I can tell you this man has some moves. Maybe next time. This track is off Spank Rock's mix tape, and if you listen close you'll catch a subtle Halloween reference (and yes, I know I'm about a week late on this).

• Spank Rock - Three

A band's place in myspace.