Total Control & UV Race live in Atlanta '13
POSTED THURSDAY 06.20.13
Oh hey, internet. How you? Me good.
Of course, I'd be lying if I said I've not been dying to post to the Chunklet site and read/fawn all over the accompanying comments, but we've been overrun by bots. Bots! In 2013! Can you believe that nonsense? Anyway, I'm sure you're curious where to get Gucci bags, but the comments have been suspended until a new website design can be sorted out.
In the meantime, my show so far for 2013 (apart from a scorching Loincloth who played to 20 people on the same stage a month earlier) is Total Control and UV Race at 529. It's rare that a show bonks me over the head where I make absolutely sure to carve time out for it, but here is such a case. Two of Australia's finest (with Austin's own Paraquet Courts opening) played in a veritable shoebox. A perfect room for this? Oh, you better believe it.
UV Race at 529. Photo by Mike White
I'm not going to bore you, dear reader, with descriptions of both bands' sets, but instead (and entirely with their permission) I'm including live recordings. Yeah! Just like Southern Shelter or NYC Taper or something. How d'ya like that?
A stellar pair of performances and hey, Total Control share more than a couple new tracks which you can spot on the set list (see below, wise guy).
Total Control at 529. Photo by Mike White
Thanks to Sloan for helping polish this recording up slightly.
Also, to those numb nuts that care about this stuff, here's a lossless version of this admittedly trashy performance. And UV Race and Total Control by themselves.
Man...or Astro-Man? Defcon 5,4,3,2,1
POSTED THURSDAY 05.02.13
Man or Astro-Man? have returned to earth for the human masses and after years of hibernation they are now unveiling their finest recorded work to date. It has been nearly 12 years since the band last released their intergalactic sonic wave forms, and the new album, Defcon 5...4...3...2...1 is here now with a striking validity that the band is unquestionably as both tuneful and energetic as they ever have been. The record combines ever-familiar Astro audio tones and the well-established playing ferocity that MOAM? are known for, but yet now, there is an undeniably evolution to the band that is both intuitive, logical and well crafted. Defcon is here and is here with imminent purpose.
Always known as an unstoppably powerful live band, in 2010, the original lineup of Birdstuff, Coco and Star Crunch reformed to play a series of shows, and since then, they have been putting on some of the best performances of their career. Recorded with longtime Astro copilot, Steve Albini in Chicago, IL and also with Daniel Farris of Denial Labs in Birmingham, AL, the new album finds the band bringing their unique powerful style of Science Friction back to greater humanity in supreme form. It seems Man or Astro-Man? haven’t missed a beat, and the newly recorded material finds the band being as inventive and propulsive as ever. Now put on your space helmet on and strap in. The countdown begins now...
Available for preorder now!
Here's a link to just the record.
And if you want to get the record/shirt bundle, click here.
And if you want just the t-shirt, click here.
Jason Molina RIP
POSTED MONDAY 03.18.13
Monday, 10AM. Not the time you expect to get a telephone call from an old friend. But sadly, I'm accustomed to it. Far too much.
On Saturday night, March 16, 2013, Jason Molina, the songwriting force behind Songs:Ohia and Magnolia Electric Company died from a body that had been drowned in alcohol for years on end. He was far too young to die and his friends and fans have experienced a massive loss. Jason was 39.
I first met Jason back in the 90's when touring musicians would book shows on a pay phone while on the road. Jason was having difficulty booking a show in Athens (I was living in Atlanta by this time) and I arranged him to have a show at a tiny bar on College Ave. That was 1998. After that, we became quick friends. He toured the South routinely and would stay at Chunklet HQ and we'd trade quirky stories and laugh our asses off.
Jason was great by himself, but once he had the touring entourage that became Magnolia Electric Company, he really shined brightly. Maybe too brightly.
What many of us were slow to find out is that Molina had a pretty significant drinking problem. This disease, which snuffed out his life, controlled Jason for most of the last decade.
What made Jason so endearing was his lack of pretense. For as intense as he wrote, he was a goofball. But maybe, just maybe, his music was eluding to what was fighting inside him. The demons. The ghosts. The pain. The disease.
I get it. And, sadly, I get it all too well.
Jason Molina by Wes Frazer
About a year and a half ago, I wrote an impassioned plea to Jason's fans. His estranged wife and bandmates would direct people to the post to better understand what he was going through. As a friend and a fan, I didn't want to sit passively while he killed himself. Of course, even with all of his friends never leaving his side, he cashed out on Saturday night in Indianapolis with nothing but a cell phone in his pocket. My sincerest condolences go to his family who received the news.
Jason leaves behind him an enviable body of work that will be continually rediscovered because what Jason wrote wasn't fashion. It was his heart. It was his love. It was his demons. And ultimately, it brought his life to an end.
God's speed, Jason. God's speed.
(including a live performance Jason did a block from my house back in '05.)
Me, JMo and touring bro at Barrie Buck's, 2005
With All Due Humility...
POSTED MONDAY 01.28.13
I'm a huge fan. You're a huge fan. We're all fans. But this reunion can fuck off.
Best of the Best of 2012: Ben Johnson
POSTED WEDNESDAY 01.09.13
Who the fuck does this guy think he is? I’ve been in the business of making fun of music critics for eight years, and I’ve never seen a more lazy, entitled, hypocritical, self-aggrandizing talentless hack of a showboat. This guy writes like he’s got the entire world figured out, but he DOESN’T.
When people on websites start saying things like what Ben Johnson says, it makes me sick. It’s almost enough to make me want to write my own opinions down in some kind of a web-based log of my thoughts, but I won’t do that because despite talking nonstop I at least have enough sense to know that I SOUND LIKE A MORON WHEN I TALK. It’s called self-restraint. You should TRY IT SOMETIME, Ben Johnson.
This is the kind of shit the internet is stuffing down our throats against our will these days? If I wasn’t an idiot, I’d stop reading right now and do anything else with my life. Ben Johnson better watch his back, because I am going to leave a strongly worded Facebook comment about how wrong he is. About everything. In his life.
Here’s his piddlyshit excuse for a top ten of the year list:
12. The Doozer
Keep It Together (Woodsist)
Oh cute, his top ten list is twelve things. Go fuck yourself you precocious little dogfucker. I bet you love everything on Woodsist. Even Woods.
11. Bits of Shit
Cut Sleeves (Homeless)
All I hear is some shitty punk full of Australian accents with a dumb picture of a dog on it. Way to clock in at 20 minutes, guys. And nice motorcycle jackets. Are you guys in a gang or just in a band? Band? Just a band, huh? Intimidating.
Metz (Sub Pop)
How good could this possibly be if it’s on Sub Pop?
9. Cheater Slicks
Reality Is A Grape (Columbus Discount)
Nice try, Ben Johnson. I know you just put this on here because it’s super limited and you want to sell it for $60 on eBay. News flash: it’s super limited because it super SUCKS. These guys would be more overrated than Sonic Youth if anybody gave a shit.
8. Bare Wires
Idle Dreams (Southpaw)
Oh boo hoo hoo I can’t believe Bare Wires broke up and Matt Melton’s just going to call himself Warm Soda now instead. Get a job and/or a haircut, world.
7. Gap Dream
Gap Dream (Burger)
Oh wait, this is actually good. Okay. Well… okay.
Only Children (Trouble In Mind)
Oh yeah sure, because we could really use another J.K. & Co. Suddenly One Summer. That semiobscure album came out 43 years ago. Get over it.
5. Cheap Time
Wallpaper Music (In The Red)
What’s the matter, Ben Johnson? Eddy Current Suppression Ring didn’t come out with an album this year so you had to come up with some bullshit American equivalent?
4. The UFO Club
s/t (The Reverberation Appreciation Society)
The album’s highlight is a Seeds cover. Nice pick, idiot.
On Triple Beams (In The Red)
Oh right, the unthinking man’s Cloud Nothings.
World Music (Rocket Recordings)
What is this, a new Slits album featuring the guy from Dungen? Who’s that on bongos? Manu Chao? Aren’t these guys headlining the “our second album is gonna suck” stage at Bonnaroo?
1. Ty Segall
Twins (Drag City)
Never heard of him.