i don't want to be mean about this, but i didn't like the soft.lightes, and here's why...
1) their sound places them firmly within a genre (indie pop/lap pop) that i'm not that into.
2) i'm jealous of the fact that they got signed to the hottest indie label in the world(modular) & a major label(universal owns half of modular) without playing more then one or two local shows.
3) i really don't even view them as a "local" band.
so- that's where i'm at. i am utterly baffled as to why modular chose to sign soft.lightes. not that it matters- by virtue of their record label, and the associated major label support strucutre (did i mention they brought their own sound guy to the beauty bar last week? how does that happen? i've never even HEARD of that at the beauty bar san diego) they're already far ahead of any of the other bands i write about in san diego. they have a better shot at selling records then every other local band that isn't louis xiv or pod.
when you are picking a jury for a criminal trial, a question the prosector always asks jurors is "would you have a problem judging another human being?" the idea being that some religious folks view judging another as a sin- like Quakers. Anyway, ultimately, writing show reviews is an exercise in judgment, but I speak only for myself, and do not deign to make judgments on behalf of any other person. i try to stay away from hating on this blog, but i don't consider this to be "hate", just my opinion: i don't like the soft.lightes.
Dedicated to classics and hits.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
i don't want to be mean about this, but i didn't like the soft.lightes, and here's why...
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
1/2 of a show review: anti monday league w/ fifty on their heels, peter and the wolf, vinyl radio & the strikers
i missed the strikers and fifty on their heels because i was reviewing the justin timberlake concert for blog, san diego. i liked blog san diego even before they hooked me up with the incredibly awesome futuresex/lovesounds tix. so as i head towards 300 visits in a single day (first time ever!), i thought i would add in this mini-review of last nights festivites. rosie at sddialedin & chickrawker both dropped their takes- so you ought to check them out- chickrawker.com and sddialedin.blogspot.com. oh- and troy johnson is blogging off his myspace profile. i heard that city beat was thinking about starting a blog or something. i have also noticed that the san diego union tribune is adding a blog every week- last week it was a breaking news blog(which is actually super cool- you should peep on it) and a restaurant blog(which is utterly hilarious- keep up the hilarity and i promise i'll throw some love that way in august or thereabouts...) clearly blogs are over- but here's the thing- if you're not rocking a blog on blogger(which is owned by google) you might as well not be blogging at all.
ok- i'm getting off track. so- the anti monday league is an important step for the local rock music scene. clearly, tim mays is making a (small) bet on local music by committing to tim pyles on mondays (and tuesday?) nights. this is a real opportunity for everyone in local music because tim mays can book shows at venues like soma and epicentre. tim mays is an independent, non-corporate force on the local music scene who has the track record to work with corporate entities that have access to national networks of influence. hey i've got no problem with benevolent corporate overlords- but a benevolent corporate overlord is still a CORPORATE OVERLORD and you know corporations don't give a flying fuck about you- your band or your scene. DON'T GIVE A FUCK!
so let's take a look at the forthcoming anti monday league schedule:
dreamtiger(san diego)(neo-shoegazer like asobi seksu)
it's a night of local shoegazer music at the casbah! shoegazer! yo, indie blogger nation! check it out!
The Long and Short of It
Bob Wayne and the Outlaw Carnies
Hostile Combover (atari lounge)
Monsters are Waiting
looks like... um sebadoh is playing at the end of feb. shit. and a banter records showcase. fun stuff!
ok- wow this show review got off track. i'm just very supportive and passionate about the success of the anti monday league- i take it personally. that is A LOT of bands i need to get up to speed on all of them since i've heard of ... um...none of them. not one.
so i got to casbah in time for most of the vinyl radio set. they were good. i say, if delta spirit, why not vinyl radio? i think they are both good. delta spirit just has better connections via monarchy records. speaking of monarchy- how about tixs to cwk and delta spirit? i think i'm ready to grapple with cold war kids. i have been personally assured by vinyl radio matt that they have a dynamic live performance. vinyl radio has their misbegotten cd for free @ their gigs- i took five- i need to listen to that. they have a new album they're working on that will have the right songs on it. you live and learn when it comes to releasing cds- mistakes are going to happen.
peter and the wolf played last. i booked the show for peter and the wolf so i felt responsible. i was a little bummed that more people didn't stick around, but that was counter-balanced by the large volume of people who were there- i was remembering back to the show fifty on their heels played @ the casbah in january of 2006- kite flying society, old man hands & fifty on their heels.
i have read other bloggers mentioning the incongrous line up order. the line up i had discussed with tim was strikers, peter and the wolf, vinyl radio and fifty on their heels- but shit happened and tim had to switch it up. this is local music- you have to role with the punches when it comes to scheduling.
anyway- peter and the wolf is a band that would be more suitable for a kite flying society/old man hands kind of bill- it was a guy playing guitar and singing and then like eight dudes playing beer bottles and pots and pans and shit. i thought it was pretty good and the singer- red? has a self assured stage presence that speaks of a certain level of professionalism. also, he's from austin, a pitchfork favorite and has all the indie blogger nation credentials a brother could shake a stick at- so- check out sddialed in rosie's description of the sound. i have pictures but i'm feeling lazy.
i heard that fifty on their heels put on a good set and the place was pretty crowded for their performance. i would estimate the attendance during vinyl radio to be more then 100- not bad for a monday night. it was funny how they turned on the lights after peter and the wolf finished up- it was like "get out"! funny! you'd think they would be stoked that people would still be buying drinks @ 12:30 on a monday night (and they were) but it was like "get out". i thought that was odd- something to work on in the coming weeks.
february is going to be a pretty strong month for the anti monday league based on the shows i see on the casbah website ( i repeat- sebadoh is an anti-monday league show) so i think it's important to turn it out for the next two weeks to make the most, revenue-wise of january.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
first of all, that's what you should be doing if you want to write about popular music. unless you live in los angeles or new york and work for a national magazine or work for a major daily. music critics/journalists are typically accalaimed for the early recognition of bands that later go on to great commerical acclaim/ achieve great critical acclaim.
that's a BIG problem with alot of indie blogger nation music blogs. but if you're spending your time advocating for music that ALREADY has achieved commerical/critical acclaim- well- what's the point? congratulations on hailing stephen malkamus as in introspective genius! no one has ever done that before! if you're writing is telling people what they already know, what purpose to do you serve?
basically you're an amplification device for the public relations department of large corporations. congratulations!
Photos: The Vultures and The Muslims(first! ever! performance!) @ Beauty Bar San Diego
if you're involved in the local scene you need to be interested in increasing the total "market size" for local music. accepting the status quo in regards to the current market size for local music consumption in san diego is fucking ridiculous and if you're taking the current situation as something that will be "forever more" you might as well quit right now.
i don't even think ACTUALLY increasing the size of the market is necessary, even. just working on the perception of potential local music consumers is significant progress.
i think one of the main barriers preventing potential local music consumers from engaging is a lack of information about their options. that's why show review are so important- they help potential consumers find out about bands they might want to check out. so that's why the more show reviews, the better.
last night i went to beauty bar san diego to check out the muslims(first! show! ever!) and the vultures(formerly charles rowland and the vultures). so i got there after 10 and the place was pretty filled up. before the muslims i chatted with "action" jackson- who's g-friend is in The Muslims. He seemed pretty nervous, but man- what a great first show- saturday night at the beauty bar, opening for the vultures? you're practically guarenteed success.
and succesful it was- The Muslims are an exciting new San Diego band. They are a four piece- singer/guitarist, "lead" guitarist, bassist, drummer. The points of reference are: Velvet Underground, The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Excellent vocals from a front man with an engaging presence(his name is Mike, he lived in the same house with Mario Orduno, Brandon et. al.). The Myspace songs don't really do the material justice, you'll probably want to add them, but don't get hung up on the myspace tunes. I'm going to add them to the nominee list for "beat new artist 2007 san diego music awards."
they're playing next week with the prayers at the ken club- saturday night. that's a must see.
Talked to Mario Orduno from Art Fag Records- Prayers 4 song vinyl/cd ep is on the way. He's also releasing The Vultures- he said that Rowland recorded it all(!) in his bedroom(!)- which is pretty funny because as i am about to tell you, the vultures are nothing like the kind of music you'd expect to hear from a home recording project.
The Vultures are a four piece, apparently put together from gig-to-gig since the only permanent member is Charles Rowland. They had Andrew Miller(the prayers) on guitar, Willy(plot to blow up the eiffel tower) on bass, and Brandon(plot to blow up the eiffel tower, the prayers) on drums(!). Would be a pretty easy thing for The Vultures and The Prayers to tour- I'm sure that will happen. Rowland mostly just sings but he plays a little guitar from time to time.
He posseses the same pouty/surly attitude that San Diegans have come to expect(and love!) from the artists formerly of the plot to blow up the eiffel tower. without editorial comment i will present this one line from his stage patter, which i wrote down at the time of the concert:
"the muslims were good but we're going to be better, that's just the way it goes."
So, that gives you a sense of the confrontational attitude. as i've said in my reviews of the prayers (and the plot), i'm not that into the whole confrontational schtick, but- i will say this- it works more for The Vultures then any other band. Perhaps that because Rowland has a more convincing sneer then Brandon, or maybe it's just because the music of the Vultures is more suitable for that kind of attitude.
the music sounded like iggy pop/the stooges/mc5 to me. well executed- good song writing- they covered the clash and the who. not so sure about that.
and, you know, there's recorded material on tap for distribution- likely a (national?) tour with the prayers(i'm guessing), so i think the vultures need to be acknolwedged as a potential player. not sure if that's a set line up or what- but the thing to keep an eye on is the record release date. can a brother get an advance copy? i promise no bootleg mp3 distribution- but maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing? this record could sell!
the muslims are playing at the ken club next weekend and that's where i'll be - you should come out and cehck them out!
one criticism- if you're going to be a confrontational sneering punk front man and not even play guitar in most of the songs, you would be well advised to take the microphone out of the mic stand and get out into the crowd. see the photos for examples of what i'm talking about. the only "move" i saw last night was when he knocked over the mic stand with his guitar(yawn). this small, small criticism should not detract from what is a very positive review for a band that has national potential out of the box! i can't wait to hear the record and/or cd.
it was good to see skull kontrol rocking the beauty bar on a saturday night. they have the dj/band combinations to really pull off the whole band/dj concept, and they have a dif. crowd than gabe vega inc. they are a real asset to the beauty bar and should do more shows there!
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