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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

March April 2007: Coachella

this girl wins my award for "best passed out person" of the weekend. She wins because 1) face down 2) it's like, four pm on saturday when i took this photo 3) she's passed out oustside the "dome" during a drum and bass dj set! do you know how noisy that is? Plenty noisy.

I liked these cats b/c they had there arms folded across their chest- vampire style. sorry- coffin style. If there is a "look" to have when you are passed out during coachella (hey- just go home!) it is this look. Study it carefully for future reference.

These two are sleeping outside of LCD Soundsystem. Seriously? There is plenty of music I heard at Coachella that made we want to go to sleep, but the outskirts of the Sahara tent- that is not sleepy time territory.

Basically, I grouped every band I saw at Coachella into one of two categories "didn't bore me to death" and "bored me to death." I'm really just looking for someone who can be exciting OR interesting for 20 to 45 minutes. Full sets rarely exceeded forty minutes, and if they do, you leave. Coachella is like an appetizer sampler platter- a musical buffet, if you will. The same rules apply as apply at a buffet: try everything, don't get filled up on one item, don't be the morbidly obese guy or gal that makes everyone uneasy. Only for music not food.

If I could spit out one name for my readership: Soulwax. They were awesome. They were "too many dj's"(are?), used to be on... astralworks? geffen? In some combination. I'm going to get into detail on that partic set- maybe dig up some mp3s, throw up some pics, the whole "mp3 blog" treatment- later in the week.

Ok that's all for now

Previous Cat Dirt 2007 Coachella Coverage: Introduction

san diego's "the prayers" on radio perfik @ TONIGHT!!!

Tune in tonight from 6 to 8 PM to hear Brandon n' Andrew of the Prayers do a l'il acoustic thingamajig and take you aim sent queries:

AIM: Radioperfik
6-8 PM.

works great w/ Windows Media Player & ITunes both.

show review: the muslims, zerox, fifty on their heels, sundelles @ the che cafe

If you like the Muslims you will like the Sundelles, and that's good news for all you readers of this blog who don't venture to the che for shows- because both bands are playing (with vinyl radio) at the ken club on April 6th. That promises to be a top show- and you'll want to arrive early (10:30) to catch the Sundelles. They are from Riverside/San Diego, and the singer used to play in a band with Matt and Matty from the Muslims, and you can hear it, and it's a good thing.

The Muslims are also on the Mr. Tube/Grand Ole Party (or is that Grand Ole Party/Mr. Tube) bill at the Casbah later this month- sure to be sold out. FYI: G.O.P. did their recording thing in lost angeles earlier this month. Kristin- you had BETTER get me an advance of the mastered tracks or I will be very, very upset.

I was super impressed by David Barclay, who was running the show in the absence of Action Jackson(the promoter). He did a fantastic jobs of managing an... um... tense situation. I think really, all the che needs to do is a better job of communicating to the on campus community that they are putting on good old fashion rock and roll shows. My thought is that the perception on the U.C.S.D. campus is that the Che features obtuse and difficult music, and that maybe more people would come if they knew that the bands were going to be "rock and roll". Maybe not. I think I'll probably focus my all ages show efforts on the Che from here on out.

Fifty played a tight set last night, lack of turn out was a bit of a bummer, though if everyone who was hanging out in the parking lot had come inside, it would have been a decent over-all turnout. I was mystified at the folks who elected to stay in the woods during the Sundelles set- so rude. Fifty is going to play the rythym lounge (3048 Midway Dr San Diego, CA 92110 (619) 224-4835) on March 24th- that is going to be a solo show. Folks in the point loma, p.b., o.b., m.b. areas might take that opportunity to check out fifty in a new venue.

Anddd..... Zeroxxxxx (or xerox)... ha. ha. ha. honestly i don't want to go into it- but i would be pretty suprised if zerox ever shares a bill with any cat dirt affiliated bands or shows ever again. that statement has nothing to do with their music- which i still enjoy. have i compared zerox to the germs before? when i'm around that band i actually feel like i'm in los angeles in the late 70s. not sure i would take that comparison as a compliment, but it's a comparison i feel compelled to make.

Really enjoyed hanging out with the Muslims last night- good group of chaps (and chap-ette).

I would like to work on drawing more UCSD students to the Che by communicating an atmosphere of non-exclusivity. I think that is a feasible stategy over a 12 to 24 month period.

So that's what I have to say- there is so, so, so much more to the narrative from last night, but I'm not going to discuss it here. feel free to ask me in person, but devote a good 10-15 minutes for the ensuing discussion. i will also disclose further information via email, telephone and myspace messages, but none of it will be for publication or re-publication. It's good stuff, though- promise.

Show Review: the clipse, them jeans, mc flow @ belly up tavern in solana beach
can we please stop the hand wringing about the state of hip hop? please. especially you white, college educated types bemoaning the sorry state of rap lyrics. shuuutttttttt upppppppp! there is nothing NOTHING worse then "conscious" hip hop. snooze. conscious hip hop, like most of indie rock, bores me to death. it's popular music- not high art.

here's the problem with, um... every single hip hop/rap show i've ever seen:
fifty guys on stage, all of them with microphones, drowning out the music and making the lyrics unintelligible because all the mcs are shouting at the same time.

one of the reasons i actually enjoy seeing mc flow is because she eschews that approach- you can hear the lyrics, you can hear the music, it's actually a good live performance.

i was a little bit nervous for her performance last night- not sure how she was going to go over with the clipse crowd. of course- it was the clipse at the belly up tavern in solana beach, so no need to worry. there were a fair amount of flow backers in the crowd when she took the stage, and as i circulated through the crowd i heard nary a heckle. kudos to belly up for putting flow on the bill- and thanks to flow for hooking me up with the free ticket.

next up was them jeans- or at least, he was on the bill, but he wasn't there last night. instead we got five rappers from chicago. what's up with the inaccurate posters? i guess them jeans was @ sxsw. then there were two more rappers from nyc- always a good idea to tell the crowd who you are, fellas...

then it was time for the clipse. the first three songs were pretty electric- just the two guys trading verses- good stuff. but then, wouldn't you know it- they brought out the whole re-up gang- four mcs in all, plus one dude who did nothing but stand next to the "dj"(by "dj" i mean guy who was pressing "play" on the cd player and pushing the button that made the bomb explosion sound after each song (original!) hey flow - you need another body on stage? call me!

at that point is was just like every other lame rap concert i've ever been to, so i left. props to the belly up for booking the show in the first place- the crowd was well mannered and well behaved. i read lots of bullshit about venues around town being unwilling to book hip hop shows because it brings in the "wrong" (read "black") element and all I have to say about that issue is fuck you you racist assholes. you obviously don't have a problem booking filthy punk bands whose fans are at least as bad as the hip hop crowd, but somehow that's ok because the punk fans are white.

in 2007 it should be totally fucking obvious that white people listen to rap music as much as black people, and that wealthy yuppies are just as likely to be at a rap concert then poor black kids- probably more so, since a ticket is likely to be $20+ at a venue like fourth and b or house of blues(the house of blues isn't afraid to book rap shows- which is the one good thing about that godforsaken hellhole of a venue)

i picked up the mix tape (cd) they had for sale- $5! i love the psuedo-bootleg mix tape world- i must get myself to fam mart and drop some ducats on some local versions...

the belly up was not packed, but those who were there were enthusiastic. over all, glad i went, but the clipse didn't wow me. flow made it worth the drive - go flow!

Show Review: fifty on their heels, roman spring @ the rhythm lounge

I was reading a book about the emergence of corporate power in the United States, and an interesting observation the author made about the growth of metals processing factories in the 1880s-1890s: growth in productivity came not from expanding the physical size of the factory BUT from increasing the SPEED that the unprocessed parts moved through the factory process; most famous example: The Model T by Ford Motor Company.

So I did a show at the Rythym Lounge (3048 Midway in San Diego, CA) FREE PARKING IN BACK!!! The show featured "an intimate performance" by Fifty on Their Heels as well as special guests The Roman Spring. I didn't really promote the show heavily, or really at all, because first I wanted to confirm that I, myself, could recommend the venue on a personal level (example of venue that does not fit in this category: San Diego Sports Club - but that's just me.) I want a venue with zero drama and zero expectations, but with a decent sound system and a convienient location. The Rhythym Lounge is arguably as convenient to the downtown area as the Beauty Bar San Diego, and in the same general direction as the Casbah. It is also closer to the Beach Communities of Point Loma, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. I think, probably that high attendance could be generated in the Point Loma area, since they have a well developed, wealthy demographic- ha ha.

So- yeah- I had a great time last night. I know San Diego crowds dig "novelty" more then anything else in their uniquely southern california psyche- so probably the strongest pitch is go get out there and judge for yourself.

On Friday night, I was shooting the shit with a couple of independent label owners from San Diego and they were talking about how fucking important it is for the band itself to be "hustling". Although at the time I kind of felt compelled to leap to the defense of bands ("they're young", "they're artists") I have to say that at the very minimum, as a record label- it is safe to say that every label looks for a band that seeks active control and expansion of their career. A "lazy" band carries little sale potential, simply because the promotional effort to sell records need to be accompanied by the dedication of time on the part of the band. Thus, even if a record reaches a certain plateau, the failure of band members to increase their promtional efforts would limit further growth.

And bands- ask yourself... at the shows I'm getting- do I control the door money? do i get a piece of the bar? Is the show on a FRIDAY or SATURDAY night? And most importantly- do I get to control the line up? I really can't emphasize the last point enough. so important- ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE LAST MINUTE SHOWS... You want a place that's available on a week night, so you can at least get your friends out for really cool bands. At the Rythym Lounge, you have to pay the door guy $50 and you don't get part of the bar- but it's so easy. And that's what all bands want, right? For stuff to be easy?

Unforch Cat Dirt is going to largely unavailable in April, but I am going back to the rythym lounge...

I saw Roman Spring for the first time last night. They reminded me of Vinyl Radio, and further, of the Strokes. They played Pop Rocks but I'm thinking- Anti-Monday League? They brought people out- I will say that much for them. They are a four piece- kind of laid back guys. The singer is younger. I liked four of their six songs- but I'd like to see them with a Casbah level sound guy...

Fifty on Their Heels was "flamboyantly entertaining". Junior managed to get onto the bar and do a step or two. We really need to work on that bit- it's a good one. Much potential. I'm getting the 7" next week, then begins the difficult process of obtaining "distribution" and "promoting" the record- but I figure I'll do that in the next 4-6 weeks before the "release" date. Do you understand that the major labels "work" a release 9 months before it hits the stores? 9 months- just waiting for the finished album to come out. Yikes.

Attendance was poor (not like the Sold Out by 11 PM? Grand Ole Party show at the Casbah.) But you know- here's the down side to the Casbah: You will never, ever, get to book "your own" show there- with your own line up. And being able to provide a GOOD SHOW for a TOURING BAND is the most useful thing you can be doing with shows in San Diego that in all other respects are leading you nowhere. And to do that, you need to have access to venue on short notice, and control over the line up.

Out of Town and Local Bands need to cooperate on shows in San Diego to generate continuing opportunities for those same bands OUTSIDE San Diego. If you can provide a good show in San Diego- a credible show- then that should be your abiding local show goal.

show review: nurses @ tim pyles anti monday league (the casbah)

fact: nurses sound like new motherfuckers. let me get out my "they sound like early talking heads." poster. I'm a, lugging it in from the other room now.... ah- there. they have a full length cd out, and a management deal. and i'm thinking fifty on their heels and nurses @ the ken club in mid may?

elements: off kilter drum beats, organ music, wierd electronic percussion, guitar playing, nerdy funkiness. reference points: !!!, The Rapture, Foreign Islands, They Might be Giants, New Motherfuckers. They should play the Beauty Bar immeditately!

they are from temecula. don't sleep on nurses! Tim Pyles gets FULL CREDIT for straight up saying "nurses are the shit" in february during the Fifty on Their Heels show.

Hey did I mention they drew fucking huge? Place was packed. Pretty cool looking crowd, if you ask me. Maybe that draw is Buddy Akai's draw- but people were totally into Nurses.

Sorry, again, to Buddy Akai. Someday our paths will intersect... and then... then... Mexico...

Coachella:  Super Secret Shortcut Drive / Back Route

For all of our lovely readers, here's the catdirt super secret shortcut back route into coachella - no traffic, no joke! it's always worked like a darling lil charm for team catdirt - we love driving in refreshed having spent nary 30 minutes in the car while everyone else spent 3 hours slogging it out in traffic. coachella is sold out all three (3) days so don't be a sucker -

Traffic on the freeway the closer you get to Coachella, we hear, is a nightmare - we usually stay in Palm Springs the night before at Casa Catdirt - so if you're driving from San Diego or Los Angeles the day of the show, our advice is to get into Palm Springs, off the main freeway as soon as possible - on the 111 and drive surface streets from there

From Palm Springs -

Take Hwy 111 South/East direction Indio
Turn Right on Washington
Turn Left on Avenue 52
From there, follow signs/policemen into the various parking lots

****remember to take very good note of where you are parked****

Map of Catdirt Coachella Shortcut

hey and when you see us at coachella, go ahead, buy us a drink in the beer garden - you'll be loving us, trust us.


team catdirt

show review: 94/9 Big Day Out Segment 1: The Prayers & Bloody Hollies @ House of Blues(San Diego)

Thought I should give the Bloody Hollies an actual listen, since this blog has slagged them mercilessly. Well, not that mercilessly. Wanted to beseech forgiveness from Garrett of 94/9. And it was at the House of Blues from 10 to 2 PM on a Saturday morning. Can't get more mellow than that. I want to listen to bands in my living room. Habitat! We're coming for you!

Got a chance to actually speak with Garrett, so hopefully it will be all kisses and moonbeams from here on out. Cat Dirt Sez is such an insignificant speck of dust in the cosmos. I told Garrett how awesome I think 94/9 is, and we talked about the "Rise of the Silver Sun Pick Ups." I... don't... want... to get any more specific than that. That is rule number one when it comes to "insider" news- don't let the wrong cats out of the wrong bags! Lyn Chickrawker was there- she helped facilitate the introduction, as did Tim Pyles. Tim is great, but if you read this blog or actually know Tim, you know that.

Missed most of The Prayers set (buying 12 three ring binders at office depot!) but the song I heard ("Clandestino" from the "God Save the Prayers" EP) sounded fantastic. The sound was better today then I've ever heard it at the House of Blues- must have been the 94/9 sound guy?

In between sets I had a v.v. awkward introduction to the Bloody Hollies:
Them: "So you hate us..."
Me: "Really it's my wife."
Them: "Well, we're not bad guys."
Me: "Well, I'm here, you know... to listen."

That was preceded by an even more awkward introduction of me and Lyn to the assembled 94/9 listeners. I was greeted with a sole hiss! Seriously. I live for those moments. social awkwardness never dies.

The Bloody Hollies have a most unlikely looking lead singer- I would never have guessed in a million years that he was the singer. They are a tight garage rock/punk four piece, kind of in the vein of rockabilly with some impressive vocal work. I can see why Europe loves them, and how they might have developed that sound in Buffalo, and why they might have moved to the San Diego area. Obviously, they won the San Diego Music Award. I guess the bottom line is that I don't see them that actively involved in the local music environment, but whatever- they tour europe and shit, so I guess they don't have to deal. It was nice for them to introduce themselves.

It's not really my genre of music- but I can see why 94/9 likes them- kind of like a Social Distortion kind of vibe? Fun, sloppy, rock and roll that isn't too exclusive? I don't really listen to this type of music so its h

ard to provide any kind of review.

I had to split half way through the set. Garrett gave the "big day out" idea credit to Owen Salerno. Great idea... I wish I could pull something like that off. The "rumor" is that the Silversun Pick-Ups are the "surprise" act tonight, which Rosey has been posting about for weeks, weeks people. I'm not going.

Blood Brothers/Mika Miko After Party $5/Beauty Bar San Diego- come prepared to drink. and stay late.

There Will be No "Live Blogging" of Coachella from THIS blog...

Cat Dirt's sitemeter for the last year or so.

Oh My God- Mark Ronson(f. Lily Allen

All I'm saying about Lily Allen is that she's poppy and quirky.  This song has fm radio quality.  Those horns in the hook!  Lily Allen on the vox!  Huh. Mark Ronson is kind of a douche, though.

Mark Ronson's Wiki Entry Makes Me Hate Him

Oh man do I hate "live blogging."  I look at that particular aspect of the blogging phenomenon and I'm like "fuck, maybe blogs ARE as super lame as regular journalists say they are."  Everytime I read a "live blog" of ANYTHING I want to gouge my eyes out with a melon scooper (followed by putting my eyes in an industrial strength blender with some peach sorbet, vanilla vodka, and a touch of cream to create a delicious summer drink).

So: Live Blogging, don't do it.

Honestly, I don't know if there is anything fresh to say about Coachella except the fact that it has peaked.  This could be the year.  Proposed Headilne: "I'm never going to coachella again"?  We'll see.

In the interest of saving everyone time, I will write a review of tonights Jesus and Mary Chain show in Pomona:

Jesus and Mary Chain
The Glass House

For those who've never been, the Glass House in Pomona is a super cool venue.  It reminds me of the Casbah and the OLD 9:30 club in DC.  Super inimate.  The JAMC show was my first visit.  Unforch, got there too late to see Icarus Line.  Mega Bummer! I'd heard great things about them.

In honor of "Coachella Weekend" I ordered a super fruity drink at the bar.  Swear to god, bartender didn't bat an eye lash. I love Los Angeles/Greater Los Angeles Area.  Before the JAMC set the talk was mostly focused on how long it would take us to drive to Coachella afterwards (60 min! 90 min! 120 min!).  This despite my REPEATED attempts to focus the conversation on the fact that my "reporting" of ScarJo had merited me mention on mtv and nme (I know! right? It IS amazing.)  Nobody really shared my excitement other then the obligatory rolling of the eyes, sighing and muttering of "that's really FANTASTIC for you."  Now I know how Pete Wentz feels all the time.

JAMC came on super, duper late, but everyone (all Coachella-ites, I'm thinking) was mellow and a'networking up a storm during the interval.  Hell- I got there after icarus line so who knows how long it took.

Anyway, they came out and were, for the most part, decent.  I kind of compare it New Order at Coachella?  Though some of it was more like Gang of Four at Coachella. I don't want to piss off the die hard JAMC fans out there (Some Candy Talking, what?). So I'll just leave it at that.

The drive to Coachella afterward was non-descript; brief excitement at the rental agency, but 

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