Dedicated to classics and hits.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Show Review: METZ & mr. Gnome

Show Review
Mr. Gnome
Manuok (pronounced "Man U OK" not "Manuke") *
Eighteen Individual Eyes
Soda Bar San Diego, CA.

Manuok (Band)

* 2010 San Diego Music Award Nom for "Best Alternative" (SOUND DIEGO)
*SoundDiego Spotlight: Manuok (SoundDiego)

    I missed "Man-u-ok."

Mr. Gnome Rolling Stone Album Review

  mr. Gnome I think was the original headliner for this show but then METZ got added- they are not touring with METZ- it was just a cross-over date.  They are from Cleveland Ohio and boast a highly respectable 250k last fm plays.  They got the coveted "three and a half stars" review.  Rolling Stone!

  I'm a big fan of indie fans from Cleveland, OH. who self release multiple records and tour to the west coast and back.   That takes drive, determination & moxie. The Cleveland-Lorain-Elyria Market Statistical Area is the 23rd biggest in the US (San Diego is #14) and it occupies a critical location in between Chicago and New York City.  mr. Gnome plays as a two-piece with the drums/guitar combo that is well familiar to a generation of indie music fans. The difference between mr. Gnome and dozens of other guitar/drum two pieces is Ms. Barille- mr. Gnome ride or die on the basis of the Audience reaction to her voice and performance.   Last night their set was well appreciated by a crowd that seemed perhaps even familiar with their work.  With 250k last fm plays it wouldn't surprise me if they had some local fans in the 100+ crowd last night

Metz Band Live
     It's hard not to like Metz.  Watching Metz last night all I could think was that Metz was to the Refused what the Refused were to Nation Of Ulysses.  Nation Of Ulysses being the genetic progenitor of the spiky sound of post-Hardcore that is common to all three bands.  Metz definitely delivered the goods live, although the obviously lack the rabid local following of closer-to-home hardcore revivalists like Trash Talk.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that everyone who was there to see Metz last night came as a result of the Best New Music award.  Unfortunately I didn't see who came to see Man-u-Ok, but everyone who was there for  mr. Gnome stayed for Metz- about 100 people.  That's not bad for a band that no one had heard of two months ago.

   I would expect Metz to move up the music industry food chain, particularly because their style of music is so muscular and aggressive  it's sure to find an audience with people who listen to bands like TOOL and alt rock radio- which is a good escape route from the niche Hardcore/music derived from Hardcore audience.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Event Preview: Metz at Soda Bar on Thursday

Metz (band)

Event Preview
Thursday, November 8th 2012
Soda Bar, San Diego, CA.
Mr. Gnome
Eighteen Individual Eyes

  If you want to see how Metz broke, just check out their Last Fm profile.  The profile shows you that the week before their Best New Music dubbed LP came out on Sub Pop, 600 people listened to their music.  Two weeks later, they had 6500 listeners.   So we're talking about a demonstrated jump in Audience size of 10x.  If you go back a couple months, Metz was rocking 100 listeners a week, which would be a jump in Audience size of 60x.

Metz (Cathedral)

  From my perspective, the key fact to understand about Metz is that they brought a completed LP to Sub Pop.  The first announcement about the Sub Pop/Metz relationship was that Sub Pop was releasing a Metz LP the next month.

Metz City Map

  The lessons that any local rock band can learn from the case study of Metz is that the best route to viability and a professional career as a touring musician is to combine a well received live act with a finished LP.    Having the live show in your pocket without the LP or vice versa is not going to do it unless you are very, very special and talented.  If you take a finished LP to a label, and you don't have a  live show, any serious label will say, "show me the live show."  If you have a killer live show, and want a label to bankroll your recording process, the label will say, "Hey great live show, but we've got half a dozen bands who have the live show AND their own LP."

   Metz didn't come "from nowhere"- they came from Toronto, and people liked their live show, and they finished an LP themselves.   Also, it should be perfectly clear that artists from Canada have an advantage because of the strong government and corporate support for the popular arts.   For example, Artists who sell a certain number of LPs can be reimbursed for touring expenses.  If an Artist does particularly well, the Government will front recording costs, marketing costs- all the costs associated with the distribution of a record by an indie artist.

   The proper way for any local musician to look at the success of a band like Metz is to look at what Metz did and to ask themselves if they are doing the same things, and if not, why not.   The answer to why a specific band doesn't A) have a good live show and B) hasn't recorded a full album is usually because they aren't serious enough about their art.  Weekend warriors, day trippers- not lifers.

   So when someone looks at Metz and dismisses them as a "Pitchfork band" and ascribes their BNM status as the result of some kind of fortuitous alignment of the stars, that person is really missing what Metz did before anyone cared about them.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Pagan Gods: Minerva/Athena

   You've got to... know your Pagan gods.
Athena Goddess

    The description of Minerva or Athena emphasizes her talent with "crafts," generally meaning techniques that rquire a combination of experience and practical, strategic thinking....

Athena Zeus Birth

     Athena is born out of her father's head (Zeus) with a little help from Hephaestsus, who temporarily axed open the supreme god's skull.  Consequently, many myths dwell on Athena's oneness with her father.

Parthenon Athens, Athena temple Greece

     Visitors to the Parthenon, Athena's magnificent marble temple, can still get a sense among the ruins of how the goddess dominated the city named for her.

Minerva Goddess

    Minerva, the goddess of wisdom, was the daughter of Jupiter.  She was said to have leaped forth from his brain,, mature, and in complete armor.

    One benefit of using Pagan gods and goddesses as an artistic source of inspiration is that they have huge international appeal.


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