Dedicated to classics and hits.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Posts About Crocodiles band

The Fray: Denver's Augustana and Adult Contemporary Stars

Some people ask "What is the artistic intent?" behind a music act. I think a better question is "What is the commercial intent?" This is yet another spin-off of the entire "Why does Pitchfork likes Wavves and not Crocodiles question?" although it isn't related to either of those bands.

I would postulate that Billboard's "Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks" is the lode-stone, not just of american radio programming, but also of the entire American music industry. To a lesser extent "Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks" shares that status, but Hot AC is the tops.

Now, let me ask you a question, "What music do young white people with terrible taste in music and culture listen to?" Answer: The music on the Hot AC chart. Why? Because it's on ALL THE TIME EVERYWHERE THEY GO.

Here is an additional observation that ties to the fact that people with no taste in music buy/listen to Adult Contemporary acts: You only need one album, because adult contemporary fans only want to hear "the hits" and don't care how crappy the rest of your music is.

Tell me, is your lead singer this pretty?(Augustana)
A band like The Fray or Augustana, they don't come from nowhere. I notice they tend to have piano playing lead singers and traditional rock formulation behind (drummer, bassist, guitarist.) Can Piano Rock be anything other then "Adult Contemporary" music? But note who they toured with initially: Weezer and Ben Folds Five.

Another commercial trend in this area is the integration of hip-hop acts. I won't go there now but I will say to all the mellow rock acts out there in San Diego- you know who you are- "What's going on in your band that makes you think it could be listened to by the people who listen to adult contemporary music?" You're far more likely to get there then the rock chart. If you look at the "rock" acts your looking at acts that are much "harder" then your typical retro/soft San Diego rock four piece. Indie bands can learn everything from just listening to the songs that are on the hot ac chart- that is what America wants to hear. Sad but true.

New York Times Loves Crocodiles 5/4/09

brandon from the plot/prayers @ che cafe 10/06

Who needs Pitchfork when you've got the New York Times backing you? Seriously- I'm asking...

“Summer of Hate”
(Fat Possum)

Crocodiles, a San Diego duo, caused a stir in the indie blogosphere late last year, even before releasing an album or signing to a label. What started it all was a peer review: No Age, a big fish in the Los Angeles art-punk pond, listed the Crocodiles tune “Neon Jesus” as one of the year’s best songs. Soon the band — Brandon Welchez on vocals, Charles Rowell on guitar — had plans to release its debut, “Summer of Hate,” on Fat Possum.

Now that album is here, and among its small surprises is the omission of “Neon Jesus,” a compact blast of post-post-punk in which Mr. Welchez sings this promising couplet: “I’m a stranger in the Holy Land/But I keep my strangeness close at hand.” There’s nothing quite so memorable on the nine tracks of “Summer of Hate,” unless you count the title refrain of “I Wanna Kill,” which drips with too much smugness to feel like a threat.

To their credit, Mr. Rowell and Mr. Welchez aren’t cagey about what matters to them, including the Jesus and Mary Chain, whose sound they flagrantly evoke, and Echo and the Bunnymen, whose album “Crocodiles” clearly means something to them. The crude drum programming and pealing guitar distortion on this album are badges of taste, as is the strobelike synthesizer drone on a hazy reverie like “Sleeping With the Lord.”

But if Crocodiles revel in a strain of insolence too familiar to feel transgressive, the band also manages some catchy choruses and efficient low-fi landscapes. The album’s retro-trashy title track leads compellingly into “Young Drugs,” a synth-pop valediction; “Soft Skull (in My Room),” with its tangled layers and dirty echoes, needs no improvement.

And “Flash of Light,” a dark prowl, ends with Mr. Welchez repeatedly singing “one flash of light,” before the song dissolves in a feedback loop. Whether that’s a metaphor for the trajectory of Crocodiles hasn’t yet been decided; the band is on a tour that brings it to the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, on May 22 and the Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan on May 23. NATE CHINEN
Crocodiles One Year Promotional Cycle is Off With A Bang! 5//4/09

brandon of the prayers @ beauty bar san diegobrandon of the prayers @ beauty bar san diego 2006

The Crocodiles are about a week into their year long promotional cycle for Summer of Hate and Wow! It looks like it's going to be a great promotional cycle for them. They have dates line up all over the U.S. through June, and many of those places are places they've already toured once, before anyone cared. Extra hipster bonus point! Music professionals describe the post-release period as the promotional cycle, the standard period is one year, so this is almost as good it can get- with actual conflict being generated in terms of a critical response. That's even better then uniformly good reviews.

They'll be playing the Beauty Bar on May 7th in Las Vegas and have what can only be described as a triumphant home-coming show on May 11th at the Casbah. I wonder if anyone is going to come to the San Diego show? It would be funny/sad if it wasn't that crowded, but the Crocodiles have achieved everything outside of San Diego.

I think you would have to say that they are guaranteed a second record with Fat Possum, so they should probably be working on that right now so they don't lag between cycles of promotion...

Show Preview:  Anti Monday League Presents Spectrum, Crocodiles 5/6/9

Next Monday, May 11th, Anti-Monday League presents Spectrum, Crocodiles & Tape Deck Mountain @ The Casbah tickets $8/$10. Don't miss this exciting show combining the young with the experienced. It will certainly be an outer space experience for your ears.

The Rise of No Age and the Growth of  Abstraction in Popular Indie Music 5/7/9

I call my new project "Grass Thumb"

As should be perfectly clear to a perceptive observer of contemporary popular music, No Age started something. But what did they start? Take a look at the photograph above- What's going on there?

1. Some idiot was getting ready to take a photo of someone and snapped a picture of the ground where he was standing.
2. Some idiot was trying to take an "artsy" photograph of grass and covered the lens with his thumb.
3. Some genius was trying to take an "artsy" photograph involving the play of morning light on the grass, and stuck his thumb in front of the lens.
4. Someone was trying to purposefully take a photograph of a field of grass with a thumb in the photograph, to make some kind of artistic point about the nature of photography in contemporary life.

These four takes on the photograph are somewhat analogous to the reactions elicited by No Age, Abe Vigoda, Crocodiles, Wavves, etc. The albums released by these artists are like the photograph that leads this post. In the sense that, I'm writing about that specific photograph that is up there- not some abstract idea of a photograph that I'm describing to you. Listeners look at the photo/hear the record and generate an opinion based on the text in front of them.

Heres the point: The judgment on the photograph above in large part depends on the context. I.E. if that photo is hanging in a museum of Modern Art with 150 similar photographs taken by the same artist as part of a giant project on grass/thumbs/shadows, that's one thing. If your idiot buddy shows you this photo as you are standing around in the backyard with your pals waiting for him to put his damn camera phone away, it's different.

And all I'm saying about bloggers and their reaction to this abstracted pop music/noise/low fi indie rock, is this "They have no idea what the context of this music is." They don't know the artists, they haven't any idea whether this music is created by an actual individual or some kind of giant plot by the manager of L'il Wayne and Columbia Records. And the context makes a difference.

Let me say one last thing: All the artists discussed in this article share the same context. It isn't some random coincidence, it's the culmination of lots of bands, lots of shows, lots of thought. I can personally attest that while the music industry has taken big notice, their input in the creation of this music of is present mostly by it's total absence: Labels, Managers, A&R, etc. I'm not talking about the reception/dissemination of the music, rather the production of the music.

In that way it's similar to other great american musical genres. Why do you think Fat Possum released both Wavves and Crocodiles? Think about it.

Show Review: Spectrum, Crocodiles, Spirit Photography @ Casbah San Diego CA.  5/19/09

Crocodiles - 2009 Tour Dates

05-19 Indianapolis, Indiana - The Vollrath #
05-21 Boston, Mass. -Middle East Upstairs #
05- 22 New York, New York - Studio B @
05-23 New York, New York- Bowery Ballroom #
05- 24 Baltimore, Maryland - Otto bar #
05- 25 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania- Kung Fu Necktie #
05-27 Washington DC - Rock and Roll Hotel #
05-28 Cleveland, Ohio - Grog Shop #
05-29 Detroit, Michigan - Magic Stick #
05- 30 Chicago, Illinois - Empty Bottle#
05-31 Minneapolis, Minnesota - 7th Street Entry #
06-03 Bellingham, Washington - Night Life Lounge #
06-04 Portland, Oregon - Doug Fir #
06-05 San Francisco, California - Bottom of the Hill #
06- 06 Los Angeles, California - Troubador #
06-07 San Diego, California - Casbah #
06-08 Tuscon, Arizona - Plush #
06-10 Dallas, Texas - Lounge on Elm #
06-11 Austin, Texas - Mohawk#
06-12 Houston, Texas - Walter's #
06-13 Baton Rouge, Louisiana - Spanish Moon #
06-14 Birmingham, Alabama - Bottle Tree #
06-15 Atlanta, Georgia - Drunken Unicorn #
06-18 Brooklyn, New York - Union Pool
06-20 New York, New York - Mercury Lounge
06-23 Cleveland, Ohio - Beachland Tavern
06-26 Denver, Colorado - Bluebird Theater
06-27 Phoenix, Arizona - Trunk Space
# w/ Holy Fuck
@ w/ Japanese Motors, Finger on the Pulse DJs

So I saw the Crocodiles first show at the Brick by Brick. I'm pretty sure I saw their first show at the Casbah and I had supported the Prayers and was bummed that didn't work out. So I saw the first couple of shows and was like "of course san diego isn't going to like this." And then over the winter they were like "hey- we got this offer from Fat Possum" and I was like "Wow cool." Then the SXSW NY Times story, the Pitchfork review, the New York Times review and people are like, buying the record.

The show at the casbah last monday was a scene must-see. I mean... Saul Q was there? What was strange is that alot of people were there for the Crocodiles. People who were wearing Crocodiles t-shirts? People buying the record and carrying it around. And a guy in a full-on press vest with a camera. And it was like "weird."

San Diego based Spirit Photography led off. They have a 7" on Sacred Bones Records. Spirit Photography was a revelation in it's own right. I'm not going to get into it, but the fact is it was just objectively really good whether you're a hipster or, say, someone programming an alt-rock radio station. They didn't have a drummer but managed to set up a constant rhythm using looping pedals I think. Craig sings and plays guitar. He also runs Volar Records with his... partner Melissa. And that's all I'm going to say other then they have a show at the Soda Bar on Wednesday May 27th.

There was genuine anticipation and excitement for the Crocodiles set and I was just like "wow." Not something you see alot in San Diego for a touring band, let alone a local opener at a Monday night Casbah bill. Crocodiles have def. got their live act down. First of all, they have a genuine hit to open the set with. Second of all, Brandon has his act down. Third, they've worked out the lighting and staging. And the crowd fucking loved it. It's a good show. They deliver the goods.

Spectrum was fine. I didn't stay for the whole set but I get it. Spaceman 3 yeah yeah. In summary the answer to the question "How are the crocodiles live? is "really good."

Crocodiles German Write Up 7/14/9

Heute Abend (21 Uhr) spielen die Crocodiles im K4 Zentralcafé (oder heißt das jetzt Zentralcafé im KuKuQ?!) und das könnte ein ziemlich interessantes Konzert werden. Die Band aus San Diego, die vor kurzem ihr Debütalbum “Summer Of Hate” veröffentlicht hat, war zuletzt mit Ladytron und The Faint unterwegs und befindet sich nun auf einer ausgedehnten Tour als Headliner. Musikalisch erinnert der melancholische Shoegazer-Pop der Crocodiles oft an The Jesus & Mary Chain, wobei bei den Kaliforniern ihrer Heimat entsprechend stets auch ein Hauch von Sunshine-Pop mitschwingt.

Eröffnet wird der Abend von Killing Mister Moonlight, Tickets kosten an der Abendkasse acht Euro. Ich würde mir das gerne ansehen, muss aber leider lernen – manchmal Siegt eben doch die Vernunft.

Art Fag Recordings West Coast Summer Tour Dates 8/3/09

Art Fag Recordings tour featuring DJ Mario Orduno (Art Fag Recordings) selling 7" w/ Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles, Pens and Grafitti Island whilst on tour- white vinyl fyi.

08 19 San Francisco, CA - Rick Shaw Stop !
08 21 Portland, Ore - Doug Fir !
08 22 Seattle, WA - Chop Suey's !
08 23 Portland, Ore - SMMR BMMR @
08 25 Sacramento, CA - The Blue Lamp $
08 26 Santa Crux, CA - Crepe Place !
08 27 Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland !
08 29 San Diego, CA - Casbah #

! w/ Crocodiles, PENS & Graffiti Island
@ w/ Graffiti Island and PENS
$ w/ Crocodiles, Pens, Graffiti Island & Christmas Island
# w/ No Age, Wavves, Crocodiles, Graffiti Island & PENS

2009 Official Street Scene After Party Poster: No Age, Crocodiles, Wavves, PENS, Grafitti Island 8/20/09

2009 Official Street Scene After Party 2009 Official Street Scene After Party

2009 Official Street Scene After Party
@ the Casbah
Saturday, August 29th
No Age
Grafitti Island
& DJ Mario Orduno

Tickets are $15 @ Casbah website.

Street Scene 2009 Set Times, Picks & Tips 8/21/09

Casbah Stage
Donald Glaude : 9:20 - 10:00: If you haven't heard the DJ stylings of electronica music legend Donald Glaude then boy are you missing out! He really "rocks the party" as the kids say. Don't miss him at Street Scene 2009!

Zarabanda Stage
Shooter Jennings : 5:45 - 6:30: Do I even need to say more then "Shooter Jennings"? THE Shooter Jennings! He is the man, he is a legend...OMG OMG I can't believe he's playing the Street Scene 2009 Festival

SingerDirty Sweet!

Fulana Stage
Dirty Sweet : 4:20 - 5:00: A local band that does not get enough respect for their solid craftmanship & enthusiastic fan base.

Fergie attitude"It's Fergie, bitches!

Fulano Stage
Black Eyed Peas : 10:45 - 12:00: BLACK...EYED>...PEAS!!!! If I had to pick my favorite band at the Street Scene 2009 it would be Fergie. She is "fergie-licious" as they say. The Black Eyed Peas have two number one jams right now: "BOOM BOOM BOOM" which is amazing! And that "TONIGHT" which is even more amazing! I party down to that song ALL THE TIME. Oh so. excited.

Saturday August 29th

Green Stage
Delta Spirit : 10:30 - 11:15: A local San Diego band that has really done good for itself, they will be bringing the "blues influence rock w/ a little bit of indie kookiness" BACK to San Diego for the Street Scene 2009 Festival. I hope that singer Matt Vasquez will do some of his solo material because I missed his recent headlining show at the Casbah.

Casbah Stage
Crocodiles : 4:30 - 5:15: This is ANOTHER local San Diego band that is also making a name for itself in the old blog-o-sphere, even though some bloggers say they are bad and others say they are good! It's all very complicated, and I don't understand any of it, but all I know is that their song SUMMER OF HATE reminds me of Jesus and Mary Chain and I LOVVVEEEE Jesus and Mary Chain. At Coachella? C'mon.

Zarabanda Stage
Busta Rhymes : 6:15 - 7:00: I don't usually listen to rap music because I don't like it: There I said it. But I remember listening to Busta Rhymes in my college dormitory because our next door neighbor was from New Jersey. His songs often sound different then other rap songs, and he has an unusual style of rapping that makes him very recognizable! I've never been to a hip-hop concert, so I'm excited to see Busta Rhymes at Street Scene 2009.

Jack staresJack White of the Dead Weather: Such a charmer!

Fulana Stage
Silversun Pickups : 7:30 - 8:30
The Dead Weather : 8:35 - 9:35

How do you pick one band between the Silversun Pickups and The Dead Weather? You Don't!!! My butt will be glued here at this stage back-to-back (like the beers I'm going to drink there)! I think my head may explode!!!

M.I.A // Coachella 2009.m.I.A: sHE'S kooky

Fulano Stage
M.I.A. : 10:45 - 11:45: I'll be the first to admit that I didn't "get" MIA first: I mean she is from India or something like that. But she's also British? And she is always saying crazy things about this and that in all capital letters. But then I went to see Pineapple Express? Basically because it had her song in the trailer. And then the song wasn't IN the MOVIE????!!!! So I then figured out who sang the song- and from there, well, I do want to see her, even if I don't really buy into the politics.

AFTER PARTY: The Tilted Kilt in the East Village is the place to be!!!

SATURDAY NIGHT SHOW: No Age, Wavves, Crocodiles, PENS & Grafitti Island @ The Casbah 8/26/09

2009 Official Street Scene After Party


Saturday, Aug. 29

Like it or not, 2009 is the year San Diego music was defined by current Fat Possum labelmates Wavves and Crocodiles, and it’s hard to imagine two bands stirring up a such controversy from relatively inconsequential actions. But I guess that’s what music is all about these days—blog-bashing and gossip. Sure, some of the stuff is funny to read, but nobody outside of the indie-rock bubble gives a shit, so here’s the deal: You either like the bands or you don’t. Let’s leave it at that. Stop acting like 12-year-old girls writing in a slam book. L.A. neo-DIY favorites No Age headline, and British newcomers Pens and Graffiti Island open at The Casbah ($15). (SAN DIEGO CITY BEAT)

No Age, Crocodiles, Wavves, Pens, Graffiti Island @ The Casbah: Miss these bands at the actual festival? The “official Street Scene after party” (whatever that means) will likely be packed to the brim with scenesters and sycophants, but Crocodiles and Wavves should be awesome if they’re: A. sober and B. haven’t melted from the sun. Saturday, Aug. 29.(SAN DIEGO CITY BEAT)

SHOW REVIEW: Blank Dogs, Crocodiles & Cosmetics @ Casbah San Diego 4/26/10

April 24th, 20110
@ The Casbah, San Diego, CA.

      Historians of science have a good model for how ideas spread in human populations.  First, new scientific  ideas are advanced by individuals.  These individuals attain notoriety for these new ideas.  Ideas become accepted for reasons far beyond the actual truth value/merit of the idea itself.  Also, individuals who first describe a new idea are not always the one who become associated with the diffusion of that idea.

     The success of any scientific idea is inevitably linked to the success of individuals who espouse that idea.  However, the success of an individual in the arena of scientific progress doesn't mean that person is a "genius."  It could mean that they are well connected, or that they are a persuasive debater or that they are particularly charismatic. Scientific ideas are transmitted person to person.   So it's entirely possible that a successful scientist could be totally wrong AND be successful at transmitting that information to people who then re-transmit it, etc.  Scientific knowledge progresses when a given individual successfully convinces a large enough network that his ideas are correct, and contrasting, preceding ideas are wrong- that's what he called a "paradigm shift" and it's probably something close to what the 'tipping point' is, even though I don't read Malcolm Gladwell.

      This approach was applied by Thomas Collins to the area of philosophy in his epic "The Sociology of Philosophy."  Taking into account that there is no absolute "right" and "wrong" in the arena of philosophy (unlike science).  He was none the less able to chart the path of philosophy by applying the method pioneered by Kuhn in the area of science.

     I would posit that the same analysis can be made for any situation where there is a market, intellectual, commercial or otherwise for a specific idea, product, etc.  In science, it manifests itself in adopting a new "paradigm."  In philosophy, it manifests itself in shifting popularity of various contrasting philosophical schools. And in markets for music, it manifests itself in sales and more unquantifiable measures such as "influence."

     An example of what I am talking about in the world of popular music is best expressed by the oft repeated  chestnut that, "Everyone who saw the Velvet Underground went on to create their own band."  The chestnut is inevitably put forward to justify the merit of another band (not the Velvet Underground) on the basis of something other then sales (because the Velvet Underground didn't sell records.)  This statement tries to take advantage of a bastardized version of the reasoning I described above, but it's a false statement, because the Velvet Underground certainly were a band that was on a major label, drew significant media attention, etc.  They may not have been a dominant commercial Top 40 pop act circa the mid 1960s, but they weren't laboring in obscurity.
     The Velvet Underground fallacy is simply the most recognizable of whole galaxy of critical errors made by people seeking to relevant popular music acts to some sort of intellectual significance.  It starts with Lester Bangs, continues with Malcolm McLaren and Greil Marcus, and it never stops.   Attempts by critics of art to philosophize are naturally limited by their underlying ignorance of the actual ideas expressed in philosophy, because those ideas are complicated, and most pop music critics are stupid and lazy (Why you writing about pop music instead of getting that phd, bro?)
  This was not the first Blank Dogs show in San Diego, but it was the second.  Crocodiles have recorded their second lp and assembled a five piece touring band with an eye to preaching  the gospel world wide.  Blank Dogs is, of course, Mike Sniper, who also runs Captured Tracks, whose first release was also the first Dum Dum Girls record (?- Hozac 45 release date? someone help me here?)  Sniper also collaborates with Dee Dee in Mayfair Set.  He's also involved in a similar relationship with the guy from Gary War.  He also lives in Brooklyn and is the single most identifiable beneficiary of whatever "lo fi" means.

       The first band was Cosmetics from Vancouver, CAN.  I think Vancouver is a thriving cultural center, and I'm waiting for a band to break out of the garage/indie scene up there, but I'm not sure Cosmetics are going to be it.  They have a 7" out on Captured Tracks.  Although they appear as a three piece, with a drummer and a female singer,  the artistic creator of the group appears to be the bassist/synth player.  I can't seem to find his name, but it seems to me that he has a promising future if he keeps writing songs and seeking talented collaborators.   Cosmetics have a synth-y, female singer-y vibe.  The songs only really took off on those where the bassist/synth player really worked his bass.  The second or third last song played before the end of the set was a real stand out, and I would urge them to open with that track.  With a 7" on Captured Tracks, they will no doubt draw attention on upcoming dates, and I'm interested to see how other audiences receive their music and live performance.

       Blank Dogs played as a three piece- no drums.  Mike Sniper performed with a hoodie over his head.  I think that is standard.  The Casbah was crowded and attentive.  Sniper was able to show off his songs in a live setting, and as a Blank Dogs listener, it was cool to hear them played at the Casbah.  Blank Dogs has been so prolific that I would wager few in the audience are familiar with his entire output, but hopefully this show will spur people to purchase physical media.  Not to mention the fact that Captured Tracks is the standard bearer for the new indies.  I look forward to seeing Sniper in whatever acts he chooses to tour with (Mayfair Set?) for many years to come.  For the live show, people want to come here identifiable songs- and Blank Dogs has plenty of them, but the output has been so prolific it's hard for listeners to focus.

    The atmosphere was electric for Crocodiles.  They are now playing as a five piece, with Alianna and Robin joining pre-existing members Marco, Brandon and Chuck. I can honestly say it was as excited a crowd as I've ever seen at a Casbah event.  Judging on the reactions of the audience, the Crocodiles blew the doors off the Casbah.  A lot of photo taking, video taking, excited clapping, enthusiastic responses, etc.  They played some new material- so new that I noticed videographers NOT TAPING hahahahahahaha.  You blew it!  And if you did happen to catch one of the new tracks- don't put that shit on line unless you talk to the artist FIRST.


May 14/15 - Great Escape Festival - Brighton, UK
May 17 - Stag's Head - London, UK
May 18 - Hare and Hounds - Birmingham, UK *
May 19 - The Harley - Sheffield, UK *
May 20 - Arts Centre - Norwich, UK *
May 21 - Sound City - Liverpool, UK #
May 22 - Stag and Dagger - Glasgow, UK %
May 23 - Deaf Institute - Manchester, UK *
May 25 - Heaven - London, UK *
May 27 - Primavera Sound Festival - Barcelona, Spain
May 31 - Pure Groove Records In Store - London, UK
June 1 - White Heat @ Madame Jo Jo's - London, UK

* = w/ A Place To Bury Strangers
# = w/ Titus Andronicus
% = w/ a super cool surprise band 

Dum Dum Girls/Crocodiles West Coast Tour Poster 6/8/10

Dum Dum Girls  (Sub Pop/Hozac/Captured Tracks/Zoo Music)
Crocodiles (Fat Possum/Zoo Music)
DJ Mario Orduno (Art Fag Recordings)


Show Review:  Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles in San Francisco, Los Angeles 7/6/10

  Dum Dum Girls and Crocodiles are "leading the charge in a Southern California indie rock revival that both borrows from past traditions of surf rock and hardcore...incorporating newer, weirder, chiller sounds into the mix."  A "renaissance," as LA RECORD argues.  Certainly, these reviews indicate an audience for this proposed renaissance.  Something you can say about Southern California rock revivals generally is:  RIGHT PLACE.  A band from the greater Southern California is always going to be in the "right place."  A band from Cleveland or Columbus is going to have to do a lot more, all other things being equal, to attract the attention of the culture industries.  The important words in the series of "Southern California indie rock revival are "Southern California" not, "indie rock" or "revival."  All art movements in the same place, be they fine artists or popular artists, relate to all other movements in the same physical location.  


     The two bands, along with a couple others, are leading the charge in a Southern California indie rock revival that both borrows from past traditions of surf rock and hardcore, as well as incorporating newer, weirder, chiller sounds into the mix. This renaissance has led to a lot of excitement in L.A., and out back there was plenty of recognition and high fiving among friends and acquaintances. (LA RECORD)


     The loud, reverb-heavy rock translates just fine onstage. Crocodiles’ sound is, for lack of a more refined phrase, shoegaze with balls, a combination of atmospheric sonic swirls, echoey vocals, and blasting garage-rock guitars.  (CRAWDADDY)

      There’s no denying the sex appeal and spectacle of the Dum Dum Girls on stage, but don’t let it fool you; the band has the rock chops and catchy song crafting skills to blow your mind and melt your ears. Their blend of punk edge and lo-fi pop stands a cut above their counterparts, and the live version of things is no different. (CRAWDADDY)


   The crowd swayed along nonetheless, and even danced a little in the corners as Mario Orduno, the man behind ultra cool San Diego 7-inch label Art Fag Recordings, spun classic soul, surf and rock between sets.  (LA RECORD)


    It’s music made by grown ups who remember what it was like to be angry, scared, raging teenagers but have come to respect and even love the soft innocent California heritage of beach bunnies and girl groups, and it’s delivered in classic rowdy rock and roll style.  (LA RECORD)

   It’s anachronistic, fashionable and sometimes quite beautiful. It’s teen music for adults.  (NEW YORK TIMES)

Crocodiles *Sleep Forever* Video @ 7/4/10


Fun Fun Fun Fest Announces Full List of Performers 8/3/10

Suicidal Tendencies
"Weird Al" Yankovic:  I'm including him because he does state fairs out here and KILLS IT.  His life show is EPIC.  You MUST see him.
Dum Dum Girls
Best Coast
Bad Religion
Cap'n Jazz
Woven Bones





   Hey there are some great shows coming up in AUGUST... STARTING TUESDAY!!!!  ALL EVENTS IN SAN DIEGO CA.


@@@ TIN CAN ALE HOUSE  $7 21+





Show Review: Abe Vigoda/Heavy Hawaii/D Wolves/Ancient Crux @ Soda Bar 8/16/10

 I guess you could nit pick the planning and execution of the North Park Music Thing, but from where I'm sitting it's a triumph.  I'm not going to get all cheerleadery but all credit to Kevin Hellman and the San Diego Music Foundation.  I've had my differences with City Beat and the music hierarchs at the Foundation over the last five years, but if you are going to talk smack about the NPMT in 2010 you are a sad rube.  It's easy to stand on the side lines and throw rocks but Kevin and his buddies are making a positive impact in the local music community which is impossible to ignore.  It's easy to trash an annual awards show or a music conference from a certain artistic perspective but that attitiude is itself anachronistic.

     When you talk about the San Diego Music Foundation, you are not talking about the French Academy in the pre-impressionist period (a panel of professionals who determined the market value of paintings in mid 19th century France).  The San Diego Music Foundation works in a diverse, multi-faceted environment where multiple viewpoints compete in a media rich world.  It's not like the NPMT tells people what to think.  It's just a setting where people who give a shit about music can talk about themselves and hopefully learn from professionals.

    After my poorly attended panel @ 11 AM- the "hang over" panel as I and others called it, I went to the beach with my wives family, then it was back to North Park for the- and I want to get this right so I'm going to copy it off my ticket:


    I was able to watch Lesands perform for three songs.  Their myspace top 16 does a great job of summing up the concept: Delorean, Neon Indian, Teen Daze, Class Actress.  They are lead by Austin Taylor Tirado- and it's funny because I am pretty sure Kinslee Morlan gave him a shout out in city beat last week but didn't refer to the band.  Lesands are opening for Abe Vigoda in Los Angeles on September 12th and that's a decent gig!  I had to leave early because I was taking Josh Feingold of SESAC to his showcase at the Soda Bar- otherwise I would have gladly watched the entire set- no disrespect Indigenous Promotions...

      The SESAC/ART FAG RECORDINGS SHOWCASE was at the Soda Bar- originally scheduled for Friday night but changed because Abe Vigoda had to open for No Age in LA on Friday night or something.  The first band to play was San Diego's D/Wolves- I loved City Beat calling out the Joel Williams/Nate Williams connection in their NPMT preview, classy, guys- real classy.  D/Wolves turned out their posse-  Mrs. Williams was in the house- someone should sign her up as a scout.  Tim Pyles and Rosey SDDialedin where there.  D/Wolves, by all accounts, killed it.  Their songs were so strong!  I think probably if you can find a band where me, Rosey and Tim Pyles agree strongly in favor, that you've got something going, regardless of what that something is.  Local music fans should take the opportunity to search them out and formulate your own opinion.

   Ancient Crux is still a work in progress- there were some cool hooks and guitar work, but the vocal mix was super muddy and the lyrics and indeed the singing was indistinct.  I would need to hear the vocals more clearly to give a full opinion.

  Heavy Hawaii was strong but seemed kind of bored by how great they are.  They need to hit the road!

  Abe Vigoda KILLED IT.  SO GOOD! They have a synth element going that really connected with me- strong songs- interesting vocals- great package- watch out world here comes ABE VIGODA.  I think they've got the right idea the right time to make a dent.

  The turn out far exceeded my expectations- Tim Pyles came back, Kevin Hellman himself watched Heavy Hawaii and Abe Vigoda and a whole bunch of folks- including Jackson and Craig from Single Screen showed up to watch Abe Vigoda.  It was hard to ignore that the place was filled with people I never see out at shows with similar line ups, and that many of the people I do see at those shows weren't there.  Hard to say that's a bad thing: 51 weeks a year it's one crowd, one week of the year it's another- that's cool.

  The Disc Jockey sets by Martin Ordontez and the CROCO smiles were very keen and much appreciated.  Don't forget to check out Crocodiles with Woven Bones & Heavy Hawaii this Friday night @ TTHEEEE CASBAHHH.

Show Review: Crocodiles, Woven Bones & Heavy Hawaii 8/23/10

  If you are going to spend any time going to local rock concerts, it's important to understand the relationship between local music shows and the music industry.  They are overlapping ovals that meet in the middle.  The middle is occupied by venues that book local and touring bills,  a&r executives that will occasionally sign bands, musicians who start in local milleu and end up making a career of it.  Then you have artists who never perform for more then 50 people firmly in the local circle, and arena rock acts that have been touring for half a century.  One big area of overlap is geographic space.  Every city in the United States has local music and the music industry co-existing in time and space.  Audience members can traverse the two circles way, way, way more easily then can musicians.

  As a ticket buyer, I can go to a $5 local bands night at a bar one night and see Lady GaGa the next.  On the other hand, the musicians playing on the local bands night might as well give up on the chance of ever performing on the same stage as Lady GaGa.

  Very few people are going to spend time talking about the national music industry in a vocabulary other then the language written and approved by paid publicists.   Local music, on the other hand, operates in a   publicist free vacuum (or almost.)  Transitioning from one world to the other is historically difficult for artists, since partisans of local music adopt an attitude of hostility towards the national music industry, and the national music industry sees local music as a resource to be exploited.

   Artists and audiences alike in local music scenes should be clear about where their choices put them in this pair of intersecting ovals.  Both artists and audiences make conscious choices involving spending and time usage that place you in one or the other circles at various points in their lives.

  One thing should be clear under this analysis:  the local music space is characterized by the absence of the music industry.  Although local audiences and artists may themselves be wholly unaware of it, their very existence is to support one another's existence.  The music industry, by it's very nature interposes itself between artists and audiences for the purpose of profit.  If there is no profit, it's not the music industry.

    I would suggest that local artists would be best to try to consciously disassociate themselves from benchmarks embraced by the music industry itself.  For example, ticket sales, album sales.  The exponential increase of those indices is simply caused by the application of capital to artistic creativity.

       On the other hand, it's important for local artists to have a deeper understanding of their audience then is required by those who participate in the music industry.  A thorough  understanding of audiences by music industry professionals is rendered irrelevant by the vigorous application of capital.   This remains true even as the audience itself disappears.

      An artist who focuses on their relationship with the audience in a local setting can create interest in the music industry, but it's not the only route available.  Nor is it a certain route to success.  The needs of money intensive music industry institutions like public relations require a great discipline in terms of production and touring ability.   If you are a big sloppy jam band with 12 members that can sell out a 500 person venue that's great, but you still need to record and you still need to tour- if you don't do those things, the music industry will never be interested.  If, on the other hand you make a great record in your bedroom and tour the country twice as a solo act in a sub compact, the music industry might care even though you can't draw more then 30 person a night.  The music industry wants people who are professionals.  In a local music environment, such professionalism is at best, unnecessary, and at worst, can actually inhibit success in a local music environment.

   I thought about all those things as I watched Woven Bones perform.  They were amazing- a water tight three some playing garage rock hits with poise and attitude.  They were a real force last night- real legends in the making.  But what impressed me most was their ability to interest the crowd and generate the feeling of communitas that I think needs to remain central to the discussion of any local music event.  If people aren't going to have a good time and feel good about it, there is literally no point.  Woven Bones generated that feeling in a crowd that was curious, but unconvinced at the outset.  For me, the show was a needle mover, from in the black to in the red.

   Heavy Hawaii and Crocodiles also performed.  I have recently reviewed both bands multiple times in this space, and they are both great live bands, well worth your time and money to see in a live environment. I can personally attest to seeing both bands creating a feeling of communitas among audience members, and that is proof of success.

Raven Sings the Blues Crocodiles Post 9/3/10

          Sure if you want to be honest it plays off the template several bands have touched upon, but before you go crying that its all been done before, ask yourself how astutely any other miners of influence have pulled it off. Ask yourself how seamlessly a band has translated the marriage of noise and melody that those two beacons of yore were able to. Well guess what non-believer Crocodiles have and its pretty fucking beautiful, that's what it its. The album's structured in a way that as soon as its short, yet arguably perfect duration culminates in the last throws of decay, you immediately wish it began again.  (RAVEN SINGS THE BLUES)


  Hey everyone in NYC- As part of the official CMJ related festivities in and around the greater New York area, IMPOSE MAGAZINE is proud to present Art Fag Recordings/Zoo Music night with bands:


   That is tonight, and it's in Brooklyn...  ALL FREE--- NO BADGES NEEDED!!!!!  Go--- FUN!

Crocodiles 2011 West Coast US Tour Dates 12/8/10

   Not just a West Coast U.S. Tour, but an epic journey through time and space.  Crocodiles are also playing New Years Eve at the Soda Bar in San Diego, CA. with Heavy Hawaii and Raw Moans.

01-14 Santa Cruz, CA. - Brookdale !
01-15 San Francisco, CA. - Slims !
01-18 Portland, ORE. - Doug Fir Lounge #
01-19 Seattle, WA. - The Crocodile  #
01-22  Denver, CO. - Larimer Lounge  *
01-24 Albuquerque, NM. - Launchpad &
01-27 Costa Mesa, CA. - Detroit Bar ^
01-28 Los Angeles, CA. - The Echo  ~
01-29 San Diego, CA. - The Casbah %

! with Fresh & Onlys, Magic Bullets
# with Flexions, Dirty Beaches
* with Overcasters, Hearts in Space
& with Mariachi Nuevo Sonido, Los Primos @ The Mariachi Spectacular De Albuquerque Winter Celebration of Saint Antonio de Abad (Pet Church Day)
^ with Lord Huron, Heavy Hawaii
~ with Tamaryn, Heavy Hawaii
% with Tamaryn, Raw Moans, Colleen Green

Top Ten List Stuff 12/21/10

   Here are some more top ten lists of note:

  Weekly Tape Deck had Dum Dum Girls #21, and Flight Lead Riders EP at #19.  Raven Sings The Blues had Woven Bones at #14, Flight Lead Riders EP #5 and Crocodiles #2.


There Are Shows In San Diego In January and February 1/11/11

There's a ridiculous amount of shows set up for San Diego set up by Art Fag Recordings. Take a look!

Friday January 21 - Young Prisms, Melted Toys, Heavy Hawaii & DJ Mario Orduno @The Tin Can. $7 MORE INFO

Monday January 24 - Weekend (Slumberland Records), Mrs. Magician, Plateaus & DJ Mario Orduno @ Soda Bar. $5 MORE INFO

Saturday January 29 - Crocodiles, Tamaryn, Colleen Green, Raw Moans & DJ Mario Orduno @ The Casbah. $10 MORE INFO

Tuesday February 1 - Wild Nothing, Abe Vigoda, Heavy Hawaii & DJ Mario Orduno @The Casbah. $10 adv/$12 day of MORE INFO

Sunday February 20 - BAMBI'S BIRTHDAY PARTY!! Cheap Curls (featuring all members of Dum Dum Girls), Colleen Green & DJs Jeff Graves & Mario Orduno @The Tower Bar. $5 MORE INFO

Show Reviews: Crocodiles, Tamaryn, Colleen Green & Raw Moans 1/31/11

Colleen Green
Raw Moans
+ DJ Mario Orduno
January 29th, 2011
The Casbah San Diego, CA.

   I've said before that a sold out show is it's own review and that nothing more needs to be said about the matter.  But there are different things to say about a sold-out show: the size of the sell out, the intensity and enthusiasm of the audience, and of course a description of the performance itself.  It's interesting to see the highly developed state of the event preview vs. event reviews.  The first type flourishes, unabated by shifts in media habits amongst the audience.  The second category is about as relevant as the market for 78 RPM records:  Interesting to history buffs.  But I think if you go back to a period when event reviews were significant for individual musical artists, the construction of a narrative of progress around the headlining artist is the essence of a concert review.  Today, I think the point of many event review has shifted to a focus on "the emotions of the audience member about the artist."  That bit is a shame, and frankly I question the relevance.

   The Crocodiles showed the performing chops that have left audiences gasping for breath: Echo in Los Angeles, sold out, 450 in San Francisco, 300 in Seattle, 200 in Albuquerque- shows taking place in the middle of the winter with little or no label support.  That is a narrative of momentum.  I suppose the downside of momentum is losing it or going backwards.  That is the complicated part of having a sell out at a venue like the Casbah:  An artist can sell it out on the way up, on multiple occasions, or on the way down, but the sell out of a venue is a fact.

  I was just as interested to see Tamaryn, who I feel is billed like a solo act but is actually a fairly potent band.  The initial duo of Tamaryn and Rex John Shelverton and frankly, I think it's an insult to call Shelverton a side-kick.  His guitar playing was stand out and elevates the impact of the performance straight out of the blogosphere and into something approaching "major label viable."  I thought the songs were stronger live then they are on the record.  My only remaining question is just how deep the audience passion for Siouxie inspired showgaser vocals go- not a question that pertains solely to Tamaryn, but also to more electronic-y sounding artists like Nite Jewel and Glasser.  It just seems like there is a ceiling there- but I'll certainly be listening to it and cheering it on.  Tamaryn def. needs to tour national- I can't wait to see the reaction in smaller markets in the mid-west and south...

  Colleen Green is going to exist in a space that was essentially carved out by the Best Coast phenomenon. I'm not assigning a moral value to that space, but it was something that was essentially created in the environment of the southern california indie scene, and I would argue that it is something that can be replicated in another artist.  The key, of course, is whether that artist exists or not, and whether he or she makes similarly good decisions.  Best Coast, of course, was a two person group from the start, whereas Colleen Green is solo- something that tells me that an artist is incredibly passionate about their music and dedicated to performing.  In short, I think it's great, and I think that Colleen Green has a viable present and future writing, recording and performing music.

     Raw Moans has an ethereal pop/electronic vibe that shows potential but needs work.  The singer needs to be more dynamic in terms of physical movement, and there need to be some faster songs.  I think the idea of having a male singer performing in the more conventionally female space of electronic duos is intriguing, but the live show needs to be developed so that the singer is making a better emotional connection with the audience- tough to do as the first band on a four band bill to be fair, so no points taken away for giving a good effort in a hard slot.  There were more people there at 915 PM for the first band then I have ever seen in my entire life at the Casbah.  I heard they were doing something on Art Fag- what's is up with that?

   The next step for the Crocodiles is to play 500 capacity venues on the West Coast, but I think they would need strong support.  They are def. ready for the "next step" in western US venues.

Crocodiles & Dirty Beaches April May USA Canada 2011 Tour Dates (NOT TOGETHER) 4/9/11


April 19th, St. Louis MO @ Billiken Club
April 20th, Chicago IL @ Lincoln Hall
April 21st, Cleveland OH @ Beachland Tavern
April 23rd, Brooklyn NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
April 24th, Philadelphia PA @ Kung Fu Necktie
April 25th, Washington DC @ Red Palace
April 26th, Raleigh, NC @ Kings
April 27th, Atlanta GA @ The Earl
April 28th, Birmingham AL @ The Bottletree
April 29th, New Orleans LA @ Republic
April 30th, Austin TX @ Psyche Fest at Seaholm Power Plant
May 1st, Denton TX @ Rubber Gloves


04/24 Portland, OR, Holocene                           
04/26 San Francisco, CA, Rickshaw Stop
04/27 Santa Barbara, CA, Muddy Waters
04/28 Los Angeles, CA, Echo
04/29 Phoenix, AZ, Trunk Space                        
05/01 Austin, TX, Mexitas Event Center (Austin Psych Fest)                   
05/03 Dallas, TX, City Tavern                
05/05 Oxford, MS, Cats Purring
05/06 Atlanta, GA, 529
05/08 Charlotte, NC, Snug Harbor
05/09 Washington, DC, Black Cat – Backstage
05/10 Philadelphia, PA, First Unitarian Church (Side Chapel)                   
05/12 New York City, NY, Mercury Lounge
05/13 Brooklyn, NY, Glasslands
05/14 Boston, MA, Slaughterhouse Gallery        
05/16 Montreal, QC, Casa Del Popolo
05/18 Pittsburgh, PA, Brillobox
05/19 Chicago, IL, Schubas



JUNE 16th 2011
SOLID GOLD presents
NXNE @ The Silver Dollars

purple hill



  I will be there, celebrating a record-business related achievement- multiple actually, that shall remain secret for now.  I will be carrying copies of Dirty Beaches Badlands record, on my person, if you are around you may ask for one.

  Due to the celebratory nature of this NXNE trip, I have cause to reflect on my relationship to this blog, and the word that comes to mind is "profit." Not in the small-minded narrow sense that Wall Street analysts use that word to mean "gain" (Profit: pecuniary gain.)(DICTIONARY)  Rather, I use the word in the sense that it was likely most often used BEFORE the 19th century:

 Profit: to gain an advantage or benefit: He profited greatly from schooling.

  In other words, I think I've profited in ways OTHER then financially.  Specifically, I think I've contributed to a greater consciousness of local music events in my community, and I've helped people gain access to music that has effected their lives.

   Here are my picks for NXNE starting tonight:

Silver Dollar Room
486 Spadina
Toronto CA.


Lee's Palace
529 Bloor W
Toronto CA.





Show Review
@ The Casbah, September 30th

   In the past I've reflected that musical trends move in 3 year cycles.  The cycles begins when a music trend of genre is "named."  It ends when the acts synonymous with the cycle either "move up" or quit.  The process of discovery/expansion/co-option is not specific to any music genre, but Artists and Audiences have genre specific patterns of discovery.

      As 2011 draws to a close, the so-called Lo Fi revival is closing with it.   Between 2008 and 2011 a number of Artists and Audience members embraced the Macintosh recording program Garage Band, and succeeded in gaining entrance to the music industry.  Like other musical revival movements, lo-fi trafficked in nostalgia  and limited budgets.  Artists who emerged from under the lo-fi banner in the period of 2008 to 2011 faced challenges similar to those faced by Artists who emerged in other revival movements.

      The Lo Fi Movement drew from American, British and European influences, but the sponsoring institutions were largely located inside the United States, with New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Southern California all seeing the growth of separate lo fi "scenes."   All of these separate scenes contributed Artists and institutions.

    Lo Fi is characterized by a heightened interest by the Artists in the institutions of the music industry- Lo Fi Artists have also been Label Owners and Writers/Thinkers.  Like other musical revivals, Lo Fi benefited from generational change over among  publications covering the music industry and technological changes in how the Audience listened to music.

    I would argue that Colleen Green is the last great, new Artist to emerge out of Lo Fi (2008-2011.)  She is, in a sense, the last of a lineage that includes Bethany from Best Coast, Piper of Pearl Harbor/Puro instinct and Dee Dee from the Dum Dum Girls.  In a sense though, Colleen Green is braver, bolder and infinitely more radical then the other three Artists.    For example, Dee Dee emerged as the member of a band.  Piper began playing with her sister and added a drummer.  Bethany wasn't IN Best Coast till she hooked up with Bobb Bruno and he was always part of the act.

   The essence of the appeal of lo fi to a broader, non passive audience is the immediacy of the connection between the Artist and Audience.  All the twittering, facebook updates and general self awareness is something that passive listeners LIKE because it allows them to "know" the Artist.  In this regard, Colleen Green is a pure connection- so when you SEE her perform,  you're more likely to pay attention when she plays a show, more likely to "look her up" on the internet, etc.

    Before Dirty Beaches came out in March of this year, lo fi was already 'over' as far as the cutting-edge tastemakers were concerned, but the fact is that the genre was in full swing, with the associated Artists playing major festivals, being featured in mass media publications on a monthly basis, and selling quantifiable, but not spectacular, amounts of music.  As it stands, several lo fi Artists have already established careers in the Music Industry and their presence will extend after the "end" of the revival itself, in the same way that bands like Green Day and Blink 182 emerged from a "wave" of bands in different geographic areas with similar sounds around the same time.

   You can already see this in effect in the prior wave of "garage rock" bands, Black Keys being a notable example, but also Black Lips.  "Garage Rock" and "Lo Fi" stand shoulder to shoulder in time.

  BUT my main thought watching Colleen Green last night is that she was going to be the last one through that particular door, and that she is the apotheosis of all the associated Artists because her vision is  BOTH the most AUTHENTIC and the  most STYLIZED.  That's a golden combination in popular music.  So I'm interested to see Audience reaction on this upcoming tour.  Her CUJO EP is avaiable for vinyl pre-sale and digital starting TUESDAY.  BUY THAT SHIT.

  Crocodiles are on tour in between records.  But the way I look at it, the Artist is an electrician, and they need to go to all the different markets and "turn on the lights" to make sure that people give a shit when their next record comes out.  The energy to "flip the switch" comes from the live performance- it's generated by the interactions that small groups of people have while attending the show.  Last night, Crocodiles turned on the lights in the room, let's put it that way.

  After the Dum Dum Girls took the stage I noticed that Richard Gottehrer was "in the house" specifically standing next to the sound board.  HE WROTE "I WANT CANDY"" AND "MY BOYFRIENDS BACK."  HE WAS AT THE SHOW.  Along with Scott Cohen, Orchard honcho and Dee Dee's manager.  So then I was like, trying to watch the show through his eyes, since he's obviously going to be giving advice.  And you know, I could see it- I could tell that Jules and Bambi had more elaborate hair styles and that Dee Dee was singing more expressively and generally speaking that Dum Dum Girls looked and sounded better then they did last time I saw them in Toronto.

  Here's a Dum Dum Girls anecdote, I was standing in the back by myself and there were two gay bros slow dancing to a Mario Orduno selection.  The Audience had a significantly higher bro AND gay Audience then before.  It rather suggested a future for Dee Dee and the Dum Dum Girls as campy Vegas style characters.

  As I watched their set, I had in mind a show that Dirty Beaches was playing at a Night Club in Philadelphia- with Anika and FACTORY FLOOR, and I was thinking about how Night Clubs must have more money to spend on talent then rock clubs.

  You could perhaps see a world in which Dee Dee DJed outside the rock club circuit.  Perhaps the future in an alternative world.  I think the decision to have this tour play smaller venues was the right one, since the goal is to generate a strong electrical charge- and a larger audience at a much larger venue might have a weak charge among the attendees.   Also, the "family" connection between Dum Dum Girls, Crocodiles and Colleen Green is as "authentic" as music gets, with genuine DIY roots and relationships fostered via both record sales and touring.  I say, as long as you're promoting the new record, play that up.

       It's something DIFFERENT at least, then being an Artist who is anxiously eager to suck the dick of the Mass Market.

CMJ 2011 SHINANIGANS 10/17/11

 WOW- HOW MUCH DO I HATE CMJ AND/OR SXSW???  Probably because I'm creeping towards middle age (35)- although to be fair there never was a time when I LIKED CMJ- going back to when I worked at a college radio station and might have gone as a legit attendee.  But, as my friend Mario Orduno has said, "Just because you don't have a good time doesn't mean others shouldn't."  AGREED.


Thursday, October 20th
At Ding Dong Lounge (929 Columbus, NYC)

Punks on Mars
Tropical Popsicle

Friday, October 21
(20 Meadow St. Brooklyn)
Co-Curated by Art Fag Recordings
Special Secret GuesTTs (presented by Terror Eyes)
White Fence
Colleen Green
Young Prisms
+DJ Toy Story 3

Dum Dum Girls
Royal Baths
+ DJ Mario Orduno
Bowery Ballroom (NYC)
SOLD OUT sowwwwyyyy

SATURDAY October 22nd
@ Cake Shop- DAY SHOW

Also Saturday October 22nd

@Moves Gallery (BROOKLYN NYC)


 Psychic Dancehall is Charles Rowland of the Crocodiles and Hollie Cook of the Slits.  Their debut live performance is on January 11th, 2012. (LAST FM EVENT LISTING.)  So many reasons to go I briefly considered purchasing a plane ticket.  I know there are at least two regular readers of this blog in the UK- and I implore you, personally, although your identity is unknown to me, to go see the first live Psychic Dancehall show in London.   THEY WILL DELIVER THE GOODS.




2/21/12 until 3/11/12.

Show Review: Crocodiles,  Bleeding Rainbow & Heavy Hawaii 3/12/12
Bleeding Rainbow (fmly Reading Rainbow)
Heavy Hawaii
@ The Casbah Sunday March 11th, 2012

  Second show in a row where I missed the headliner- booooo me.

  Heading to the Crocodiles show last night I had a few questions on my mind:

 1.  How many people would show up?  Specifically, would Crocodiles- en route to SXSW, no new album out, playing on a cold Sunday night in March- draw a respectable sized Audience?  What would the composition of that Audience be?

2.  How does the four piece Bleeding Rainbow sound different from the two-piece Reading Rainbow?

3.  Does Heavy Hawaii have its shit together, in terms of performing a set with neither muss, nor fuss?

  Pleased to tell you that the short answers are:  (1) Plenty of people- good mixture. (2) More powerful, less delicate, kept some of the good attributes of the two piece, but abandoned other appealing characteristics. (3) Emphatic yes, Heavy Hawaii looks and sounds like a band that is ready for national inspection.

(1)   Mario Orduno of Art Fag Recordings and I take different positions on the importance of being involved with local show promotion.  It's something that Mario sees as integral to his identity as a music professional, whereas I have sulkily turned my back on it out of a mixture of pure spite and lack of time.  However, there are many observations about local rock shows that we share.

   The main principle we've jointly discerned is that the show is not going to do well from an Audience size perspective until the BROS COME OUT.   You want a sold-out Casbah show- you are going to have to get me 150+ BROS to come out.  Basically you can have a smaller show with a "cooler" crowd and break even and/or lose money OR you can have a show with a percentage of Bros and actually make a living.  YOUR CALL.

    Last night there were some Bros- but not too many.  It was a good family-friends/hipsters/bro's ratio.  One thing last night lacked was the third demographic Audience segment that might push a crowd of 200-350 to 500: white people.  These are grown-up folks with spouses and kids who still listen to music.  They are mostly white- but there are other ethnicities who simply share the same taste in music.  It's an Audience segment I very much to see on display at the Dum Dum Girls May Belly Up show- Encinitas and the San Diego North County Coastal region is the very beating heart of this third Audience segment.

(2) I have a long history with Bleeding Rainbow- formerly known as Reading Rainbow.  First of all, I assisted Zoo Music in putting out a 7".  Second of all I saw them on Saturday, September 18th, 2010- opening for Dum Dum Girls.  I also missed their show opening for the Dodo's in San Diego on September 9th, 2011.   I knew that they had added two members to their band but hadn't heard how that changed the sound/experience.

   Having seen Bleeding Rainbow as a four-piece, I'm of the opinion they made a good decision.  It's true that the four-piece Bleeding Rainbow lacks some of the delicate preciousness of their Prism Eyes LP on Hozac Records- but it's equally true that those Artistic characteristics were/are preventing them from gaining a sufficient Audience size.

  To look at the "BRO" prospective Audience- there are clearly a lower number of Bros who like music with close harmonies and indie-pop cuteness vs. Bros who like distortion drenched close harmonies and punk rock toughness.

 Four piece Bleeding Rainbow is a band with a larger potential Audience then was two-piece Reading Rainbow. Theoretically, Sarah and Rob could switch back and forth depending on the occasion.  Professional Artists should have different "looks" they can give different Audience sizes.   The additions to the band were solid.  I'll be interested to see how that translates in the new recordings- they'll need to have recordings which are closer to their present live sound or they will lose potential fans over time.

  Bleeding Rainbow compared favorably with a Bleached for example- the fact that they have the close harmonies down- even amongst distortion heavy squall, shows a mixture of talent and craft, and I came away from the performance believing that they were moving in the right direction.

(3) Just Yes OK.  Honestly, I don't care what the Audience reaction to a local opener is- it simply doesn't matter.  What matters is, does the band have an Album out or coming out?  Are they capable of getting on and off stage in something resembling a professional manner.  Can they hold the attention of an Audience of 50 people or less?

    Heavy Hawaii meets all the criterions I just laid out- LP coming out on Art Fag Recordings this year, yes they can, and yes they can.

  I was bummed I didn't get to stay for the Crocodiles, but once I saw there were plenty of people there- even on a Sunday night- even in March- and saw that the band members seemed happy and in good spirits, I'd "seen what I needed to see" and left with a light heart.

  The solidity of the venues in local music scenes obscure the fragility of the Artists that pass through.  The truth is that there is something to appreciate in every successful local rock show, if only for the delicate nature of the Audience that is stitched together by happenstance and then spends the evening together, socializing and watching music performed live.

 The fewer shows I attend the more I appreciate the Audiences that go to shows.

Crocodiles Read Poetry Tonight; Open For Temper Trap on the West Coast in June 4/4/12

 I heard members of Crocodiles would be reading verse tonight at Ducky Waddles in Encinitas, but I can't find independent confirmation.  For what it is worth, they do appear to have semi-regularly scheduled poetry readings at Ducky Waddles- next to Lou's, in Encinitas, CA

  And, according to my go-to source for all things punk related, PUNK NEWS DOT ORG, Crocodiles are opening for The Temper Trap on their West Coast dates in June.  For those who don't know, the The Temper Trap are an alt-rock four piece from Melbourne Australia with a last fm play total of 13 million.  Their hit is called "Sweet Disposition," and the You Tube video has just about 10 million plays.  The Temper Traps are signed to Glassnote/Columbia in the United States.  They are like an Australian Snow Patrol (71 million last fm plays, so shut up.)

 If someone can confirm the Ducky Waddles event tonight, that would be great.

Apr. 11 Brooklyn, NY Glasslands
Apr. 12 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
Jun. 10 Dallas, TX House Of Blues*
Jun. 11 Austin, TX Stubb's (outdoors)*
Jun. 13 San Diego, CA House Of Blues*
Jun. 15 Los Angeles, CA Hollywood Palladium*
Jun. 16 San Francisco, CA Warfield Theatre*
Jun. 17 Portland, OR Roseland Theatre*
Jun. 18 Seattle, WA Showbox At The Market*
Jun. 19 Vancouver, BC Malkin Bowl At Stanley Park*

* w/ The Temper Trap

  Here is The Temper Trap video for their hit song, Sweet Disposition, out now on Glassnote/Columbia:

  Here is the Snow Patrol video for their new single, Called Out in The Dark  which in my opinion sounds like Sweet Disposition by The Temper Trap:

Crocodiles Drop Title Track From New Album Endless Flowers  5/2/12

They’ll then launch ‘Endless Flowers’ aboard a boat on the Thames on June 7th, 35 years after The Sex Pistols’ infamous boat party of 1977.  (LOUD AND QUIET) -- DOWNLOAD TITLE TRACK ENDLESS FLOWERS FROM CROCODILES LP3.

Crocodiles 2012 UK May/June Tour Dates:

MAY7th NOTTINGHAM, Rock City (supporting Cribs)
8th LONDON, Troxy (supporting Cribs)
9th BRISTOL, 02 Academy (supporting Cribs)
10th PRESTON, Mad Ferret (headline show)
11th GLASGOW, Barrowlands (supporting Cribs)
12th MANCHESTER, Academy (supporting Cribs)
13th EASTBOURNE, Winter Gardens (supporting Cribs)
2nd LONDON Field Day festival
7th LONDON The Royal Princess Cruise Liner Boat Party

! Johnny Marr is no longer in The Cribs.

Crocodiles Endless Flowers LP3 In Stores NOW!!!  6/5/12

#812 on AMAZON CO UK


2012 San Diego Music Awards Nominees Announced  6/18/12

 Full list over at SD DIALED IN.  Congratulations to ALL THE NOMINEES!  Still waiting for an invitation to join the Academy who decides these things, BUT IM NOT HOLDING MY BREATH.

Song of the Year
Delta Spirit - California
Jason Mraz - I Won't Give Up
Low Volts – Blame it on the Break Up
Crocodiles - Sunday (Psychic Conversation #9)
Switchfoot - Afterlife
Blink 182 - After Midnight
Angels & Airwaves - Surrender
P.O.D. - Lost In Forever

Album of the Year
Steve Poltz - Noineen Noiny Noin
Rob Crow – He Thinks He’s People
Delta Spirit - S/T
Crocodiles - Endless Flowers
Jason Mraz - Love is a Four Letter Word
Gregory Page - Shine Shine Shine
Blink 182 - Neighborhoods
Cattle Decapitation - Monolith of Inhumanity

Artist of the Year
The Silent Comedy
Little Hurricane
Sara Watkins
Gilbert Castellanos
Unwritten Law
Slightly Stoopid

Show Review:  The Temper Trap & Crocodiles @ House of Blues San Diego 6/20/12

The Temper Trap lead singer,  Dougy Mandagy

Show Review

The Temper Trap
@ House of Blues San Diego
June 13th, 2012

     I sat on this review for a week because Crocodiles were still on tour with The Temper Trap, and while the intent of this review is neither to insult The Temper Trap NOR to claim that people associated directly with the band (publicists, label execs, super fans) would read this insignificant blog, I am cognizant that merely putting "The Temper Trap" and "live review" or "show review" might summon the modern music industry equivalent of a Genie, "Google Reader Alert, I summon thee."

    First there was, of couse, the venue, House of Blues San Diego.  Since the show last week I've wracked my brain in an attempt to be "fair" to what is basically a corporate constructed personality masquerading as a live music venue.   While I was there, the comparison that most sprang to mind was the decor in the Haunted Mansion ride in Disneyland, but with blues singers instead of ghosts.

 In defense of the House of Blues San Diego, the following observations are appropriate:  The sold-out all ages crowd was managed effectively- the environment felt perfectly save for the pre-teens(!) who were in attendance with their Dads or whomever.  Next, the bartender working the side bar was just incredibly good at her job.  I can honestly say she was the most efficient bartender I had seen in my entire life.  It was objectively impressive considering she was by herself in the side-room handling the between sets rush.  So she was amazing and whomever hired her deserves credit.   Finally, the "crowd"- a very specific to the House of Blues environment- was super excited to be out and "partying" at 830 PM on a Wednesday night.

   Look, I'm all in favor of early set times, but this is still live rock and roll we're talking about, not a show at Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater in Balboa Park.   The Audience was about as close to the "general audience" as you are likely to see outside of a show at an Arena or Fairgrounds.   Just people- people who like hits- and dulcet alt rock tones.   Judging from the fact that the show was old out before the doors open, The Temper Trap could immediately step up to a larger venue.  In fact, I would be interested to know just how many people they could draw in a city like Los Angeles or New York. 5000?  Certainly 1000-1500.

     Now, I fully expected this Audience to be a 'bad' audience, but I was totally wrong.  I watched a sea of sorority girls and Gaslamp bros doing their best to rock out to Crocodiles.  They weren't wildly enthusiastic, but seriously, the fuck do you expect?  The Casbah crowd isn't wildly enthusiastic about anything and it they don't show up 800 strong on a Wednesday evening at 8 PM.  Honestly, during this set I finally understood why a band like Crocodiles would benefit from opening up for a band The Temper Trap- it's because the Audience is excited about something- now- granted that they are excited about The Temper Trap, but they are in what you would call a  receptive state for the transmission of new ideas.

      Considering how hard I've been on the House of Blues San Diego over the entire life of this blog, it pains me to say this, but I could see why a band would want to play a House of Blues show- especially in some of their Southern Markets: Atlanta, Houston and Dallas to name three.  I know there are alternatives in all three places, but you could go from Atlanta to San Diego in a week and play five House of Blues show, sell them all out at 25-35 a pop and make a boat load.  House of Blues San Diego capacity for a show is maybe 800 or 1000?  That is a lot of scratch for a show that runs 8-10 PM.  Sure it only works that way for the headlining band, but I can at least see why you would want to be the headlining band.

     In between sets Crocodiles worked the floor like the proper gentlemen that they are.  It looks like most of the people were in the friends and family category, but while I waited my turn to talk with them, I swear I saw two sorority girls- general audience members- giggle and then they went over and got a picture taken with one of the Crocodiles band members.   I mean, I assume a moment like that is like witnessing the birth of a "fan."  Does she go home and buy the album on vinyl?  Probably not.

  The Temper Trap took the stage to what I would call an "appreciative murmur."  The band they most resemble is  Snow Patrol.  Calling them "the Australian Snow Patrol" is entirely fair and I would fully cop to having said that.  Australian-ness is manifested through the Indonesian  surname of lead singer Dougy Mandagi(as suppose to the "British-ness" of Snow Patrol.  While I would describe the rest of The Temper Trap as, "coolly professional," Mandagi has clear star quality.  Now again, we are talking star quality equivalent to a Chris Martin, but man, Chris Martin has sold a shit-ton of records, so that comparison means something.

  For me, the key moment in the rise of The Temper Trap to Snow Patrol level success was the ability of their US Label, Columbia Records, to get their single, Sweet Disposition on multiple radio formats last year: Both adult contemporary, top 40 and rock/alt rock stations.   Whether you are a hip-hop Artist or an Australian rock band treading in the well-worn path of Coldplay or Snow Patrol, you just can't do it better then getting your single on more then one type of radio format at one time.

  And really, that's the biggest difference between The Temper Trap and Crocodiles: The Temper Trap wrote a song three years ago that was good enough to not only draw the attention of Columbia Records, but convinced Columbia Records to put enough weight behind Sweet Disposition to convince multiple radio formats to play it at the same time.  That is both expensive and simply hard to accomplish from an aesthetic stand point.

    After you get the song to that level, the Audience really starts paying attention to the underlying Artist, creating the Audience demand for a sold-out Wednesday night show at the House of Blues San Diego. Tickets were 35 USD!  We're talking 30 g's a night.

   I certainly don't have anything to say about the three songs I saw from The Temper Trap other then to note that they are not opening with their hit, that the crowd fucking loved them, and that they sound like Snow Patrol.   It felt like going to the first local edition of a popular chain eatery opening in your area. All the fixtures are fresh, and people are excited to be trying something new.  And I'm not saying that's a bad thing to be.  Especially if you are going to be flying in from Australia, you want to be the musical equivalent of IKEA or you are bloody well wasting your time.

  Anyways, I'm sure that if The Temper Trap can write another multiple-format radio hit they will do great in America, but they need another one because the first song is so old. And I wish them the best of luck in their endeavor.  My interest in this show was spurred almost entirely by the presence of the opening band, and they were such a small, small part of the larger The Temper Trap phenomenon, I was like a West Virginian snake handler walking into a Synagogue in West Los Angeles.

New Crocodiles US Dates / Tour w/ Eternal Summers 6/21/12

I swear I saw a listing on Last fm for a September show in Munich that was Japandroids, Crocodiles and Dirty Beaches- Japandroids and Dirty Beaches have same US booker.  That would be a pretty big deal..

Crocodiles w/ Eternal Summers  2012 Summer US Tour Dates

06-22 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry
06-23 Chicago, IL - Reggie's Music Joint
06-24 Frendale, MI - Magic Bag
06-25 Toledo, OH - Mickey Finns
06-26 Pittsburgh, PA - Brillobox
06-27 Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell's
07-13 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
07-15 Baltimore, MD - Ottobar *
07-16 Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle *
07-18 Orlando, FL - The Social *
07-19 West Palm Beach, FL - Respectable Street *
07-20 Miami FL - The Vagabond *
07-22 Atlanta, GA - The Masquerade *
07-24 Morgantown, WV - 123 Pleasant Street *
07-25 Philadlephia, PA - Johnny Brenda's
10-04 Ferndale, MI - Magic Bag

* with Eternal Summers

Blog Archive