Monday, May 30, 2011

Sorority Slasher Horror Remix / My Morning Jacket's Circuital / And Guest Columnist Johnny Hamms Offers a Smart Take on Spring Into Dumber

We're fans of unusual mash-ups and remixes (Chip spends a lot of time superimposing Bieber lyrics atop pretentious indie-rock videos), so we're considering stopping by the Bottleneck's inaugural Horror Remix event tonight at 9:00, in which three sorority-slasher flicks will be pared down to a concise two hour runtime of sex and violence and hosted by two puppets.

Chip: "Actually, I wouldn't mind if they cut out the slashings as well and left nothing but titties and sorority house pillow fights."

Check out the poster in our sidebar and read Eric Melin's full article on tonight's event here


Today brings a new My Morning Jacket album, and we dig reverb (even though the band is far too "jammy" and prone to playing hippie festivals--including a legendary 4 hour performance at Bonnaroo--to be considered hip by hipsters). Pitchfork bestows a 7.2 on Circuital and writes:

"Like nearly all of their studio albums, Circuital may not reach the heights of the band's live show-- a good MMJ concert can recalibrate your gut, it can change you-- but it’s a remarkably solid step for a band that's never stopped evolving."

Richard: "They certainly recalibrated my guts over at the Uptown a few years ago, and I'd consider seeing them there again this August. But I'll pass on their Mulberry Mountain Wakarusa gig. Fucking hippies."


Look out, Larryville! We've got a new guest columnist named Johnny Hamms (like the beer!) in our employ. Unlike Richard and Chip, he knows a little about the technical side of music. Unlike I Heart Local Music, he's willing to be a little critical of the local scene when need be. Here's his take on last Saturday's "Spring Into Dumber" show at the Jackpot. Enjoy.

Spring Into Dumber feat. Ex-Fag Cop, Up The Academy, Mouthbreathers.
Jackpot Music Hall, Lawrence, KS May 28, 2011

Either the scheduled Rooftop Vigilantes cancelled, or played their entire set with amps turned off behind the lowered video screen showing “Caddyshack” while my back was turned to chat with Adam and Ricky from Up The Academy. Methinks it was the former.

So, Mouthbreathers were first-at-bat. And they’ve clearly hit their sweet spot as a live band. I have no idea what the lyrics are to their tunes, and it may not matter, but the way they play together has so much...drama! That’s a compliment, by the way. Drama like the best English punk, or the finest Fugazi tracks. Real tension in the way the guitars and vocals twist around the bass and drums. Nothing “slack” about these guys. I wonder if such intensity can be sustained over time. Will they sound this good a year from now? Who knows...perhaps their moment is Right Now.

Up The Academy up next, with lots of mysterious references to “Carbondale” being directed at the ‘Breathers folks. (I guess both bands were just back from a liquor-fueled gig in that Illinois town Friday night.) You can only experience an epiphany once, and mine for this band was last weekend’s set at the Replay. But clearly, it was no fluke. Losing their track meet costuming for this gig, it was all about the music. It’s hard to describe just what Up The Academy does, and perhaps I should just direct you to their next local gig (Thursday June 2 back at the ‘Play.) But here goes: Up The Academy doesn’t sound at all like The Who, but there is a similar ensemble structure, with Ricky’s extraordinary drumming-as-lead-instrument suggesting Keith Moon, but with a great deal more discipline (not to mention hi-hat). Adam’s bass playing is less about bass “lines” than in these thick granite slabs that really anchor the music. He sounds like 3 bass players instead of just one. Frontman Ron plays a nasty, disturbed reverb-flooded guitar that’s almost more ominous because it’s towards the back of their sound rather than up front. (Again, I have no idea what’s he’s singing about.) It was noted by a few of us how much different they sound with the Jackpot’s spotty P.A. as opposed to the Replay’s spotty P.A. So perhaps I have yet to really hear Up The Academy.

First time seeing Ex-Fag Cop. No bass, two guitars and drums. Don’t know any of the fellas by name. They do make a hell of a rockin’ racket, for some reason making me think of Cleveland’s legendary Electric Eels. Their frontman, placing himself on top of the bottom speakers at the foot of the stage, probably did more than anyone else this night to “Mak Show!” (Beatles-in-Hamburg reference there, music geeks.) A truly exciting live act. But I guess I was a bit let down by the less-distinctive playing in comparison to the other two bands, as well as the samey-ness of much of the material. They certainly rocked but they didn’t quite roll for me. But I’ll definitely see them again, and I think I might possibly hear it differently next time.

We assume he's right about the Vigilantes' cancellation, as they would NEVER turn their amps off, or even down to a reasonable level. And we're sad to hear that the track-suit schtick is not a perpetual part of Up the Academy's live show. And we're certain that the best place to hear Ex-Fag Cop is in a hole in the ground behind the train station (Church of Malt Liquor!). Thanks for the report, Johnny Hamms! Come back anytime.

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