Dedicated to classics and hits.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Show Review: The Bronx & Teenage Burritos @ The Casbah

  Friend invited me to this show and I said, "Why not?" because I've been meaning to check out newish San Diego act Teenage Burritos.  Teenage Burritos have a tape out on hyper-prolific tape label/multi media empire Burger Records, a 7" on the way from San Diego's own Volar Records and an LP in the planning stages again with Burger Records.

 They played last night as a four-piece, not sure if Brian Xmas Island is now a full-time member or just helping with the live show- the other members are Lucy Xmas Island, singing bassist Kirsten  and guitarist Rachel.  You can here track one from the Burger Records tape above.  I enjoyed the set- Teenage Burritos deals in familiar sounding K Records/Kill Rock Stars Inspired indie-punk that has a distant relationship to Brian & Lucy's more established Xmas Island project (on hiatus?) but Teenage Burritos is on the punkier side of the K Records/Kill Rock Stars whereas Xmas Island was poppier- I'm using both those terms only in the context of 90s Northwest indie pop- not in their traditional senses.

  I think it's cool that they are putting out an LP on Burger Records but I'm frankly curious as to what Burger Records is going to actually do with all the tremendous buzz they have accumulated in the bank of cool... so far it's live shows, a television channel, putting out a tape a day in January... and maybe putting out an LP or two at some point?  Considering the state of the music business it's hard to argue with the business model but I'd rather see them emulating In The Red instead of an ADD high school student- that is said with respect and admiration- not disdain.  Burger Records is probably pound-for-pound the coolest thing going in all of Southern California right now and it's cool that Teenage Burritos have hooked up with them.

 I would say the contemporary band that Teenage Burritos reminds me most of is Coathangers, but with a smile instead of a frown.

   The Bronx was playing a warm up show for their record release week.  The Casbah was sold out and people were super excited about The Bronx returning from their seemingly decade long hiatus as "El Mariachi de Bronx."  The probably sold close to 1500-2000 bucks worth of Merch which was pretty exhilarating to witness simply as a neutral viewer- I didn't even stay for the post set rush- which surely pushed the nights total above the 2k level.   The band seemed excited about their new record and playing life in San Diego after such a long hiatus, which is always nice to see.  Alot of leather jackets, flannel shirts and beards, but not a total sausage fest- plenty of ladies in the house.

   These days I'm always down for a sold out show regardless of my personal feelings about the band- it's just great to see people coming out and enthusiastic about a band- ANY band.  With all the negativity that permeates every level of the music business like a pea soup fog in 19th century Manchester, the positivity and energy that accompanies a sold out Casbah show is like a shot of adrenaline for me.  It revives my faith that some kind of future is possible for those who want to make a living recording and distributing records.

  If you are a regular San Diego show goer and haven't checked out Teenage Burritos yet give them a whirl in the next couple months.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Museum Review: Extravagant Inventions - The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens

Extravagant Inventions: 
The Princely Furniture of the Roentgens (closed)
Metropolitan Museum of Art 

   Another review of a closed Museum Exhibit in New York City! You are Welcome, readers!

   This was interesting to me because you don't see a whole lot of high-end 18th century European furniture on this side of the Atlantic.  Sure, if you want to hit Paris or Amsterdam the Louvre and Rijksmuseum got suites filled with the stuff, but not so much the United States.  

   Roentgen was a father/son furniture workshop from Germany/Netherlands that sold to a bunch I like to call, "The crowned heads of Europe."  Basically, he would finacle a face-to-face meeting with various royalty and then pitch them on buying furniture which he has either already made or would make on demand.  We are talking, King of France, Catherine the Great of Russia Etc. 

  As one might have every reason to expect, the furniture is amazing because they just haven't made furniture that ornate and detailed since the 18th century- the 19th century kind of killed demand for ornate writing desk's among the Kings and Queens of Europe:  pesky social revolutions!

  But as I sit here today- that time period- the early Modern period where skilled craftsmen made material possessions for royalty using modern techniques of crafte and manufacture- they made some ill shit.   Whether it be jewelry or furniture- the work stands up.  Particularly the techniques used by craftsmen to manufacture articles like furniture and jewelry.  I won't say it's a lost part, but people don't appreciate it like they used to, and there certainly aren't a ton of Kings and Queens sitting around going, "BRING ME YOUR FINEST MARQUETRY."

  People still appreciate furniture, but the appreciation is more likely to take the form of appreciation for the sturdy workmanship of Colonial America or the sleek lines of Modernism.  America wasn't even independent when most of the pieces in Extravagant Inventions was manufactured.  Pretty incredible that these pieces still exist.

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