Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Say My Name, Say My Name

been trying to come up with a name for the new portastatic album which'll be out this fall, let me tell you the names ain't flowing too freely. the good ones anyway, but we do have a barrefull of duds. i won't share them all, but sufficeth to say that "Scotland Junket" and "Fish Feet" were discarded for being just too timely and too political.

anyway there's no point in naming a record when the two best record names of the year (perhaps ever) have already been taken by Sonic Youth and their excellently-titled new album Rather Ripped you can listen to here and of course Yo La Tengo are champions with their I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass album, which i can't wait to hear.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Hockey Night In Carolina Pt II

It's a cliche to say that there's nothing like playoff hockey, but it's a cliche because it's true! And of course it follows that OT playoff hockey is another notch up on the heart-attack meter...Carolina came back from a 2-goal hole to win in OT last night, again silencing the legions of "let's go buffalo" black shirts surrounding us up in the cheap seats. What a game... i think Carolina is clearly the better team at even strength though the Sabres are really freaking fast so any bad giveaway or silly penalty can turn it their way in a hurry. Gerber, who shut out the Sabres in their building in Game 2, was yanked after giving up 3 goals, and 22-yr old Cam Ward came in to shut 'em down the rest of the way, including a ridiculous save in OT.

Turns out Cam likes rock and roll music as well -- they've got his "playlist" up on the Hurricanes site here and right in the middle he's got Merge recording artist (and Habs / Sens fans) The Arcade Fire! from his description of "Power Out" ("It's upbeat with good bass and variety of sounds") it sounds like when this whole hockey fad blows over he's ready to write for Spin, or at least Vice.

At age 22 what were you doing? I mean not that performing in such rooms as The Zodiac Club or JC Dobbs isn't a high-pressure situation, but seriously to remain so composed in the situation he's in is kind of insane. He seems like a good guy in interviews, whereas the other youngster Mr. USA Ryan Miller pulled a bitchy little cheap shot move last night tripping Justin Williams after period 2 had ended. Probably not a bad guy, but also maybe losing it a little after giving up the lead?

Game 6 Tuesday night in Buffalo, which incidentally is exactly as far from the nearest NASCAR track (Watkins Glen) as Raleigh is to the one in Charlotte.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

First Blogging, Now This...

in between watching hockey (go 'canes, who tied up the series last night by dominating the sabres like we all know they can, 4-0) and trying to finish writing the score for The Unknown, i'm also attempting a freaking PODCAST you heard me a podcast. the focus will be on the Who Loves The Sun soundtrack coming out in a couple weeks, and other soundtrack-y type stuff. podcasting sounds easy but i have a feeling it's the kind of thing you can pixelate into oblivian and never be done with... who knows, maybe i'll actually finish the podcast before the album comes out. when i do it'll be on the merge site. i think i'm going to use Audacity unless anyone has some other brilliant tips!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


We've begun rehearsals for the Seattle Film Festival, where Portastatic will be performing music along with silent film The Unknown (1927)... currently still writing the music as well, which always takes longer than i think it's going to. the movie's only 50 minutes long but that's no consolation when you've only got 6 minutes of material! looking forward to hearing the whole group play it, which won't happen until the week of the show.

Taking breaks from that process for a little playoff hockey as well and after outplaying the Sabres for 2/3rds of Game 1 Saturday, the Hurricanes dominated last night and got the W to even the series at 1-1. find somewhere to see a replay of the goal Glen Wesley saved, unless you're a Sabres fan. in which case, please stay in Buffalo -- they may not be a representative group, but the fans who came down for the games this weekend were easily the most noxious fans i've encountered, outstripping DeadWings fans even, which is saying something...i like boisterous fans, even of the opposing variety, but unfunny macho hammered fans who spend most of the time not exactly rooting for their team rather just seeking to irritate others, eh stay home...most irritating of all perhaps (other than the wasted trash-talking in the parking lot) was the "USA USA USA" chant that followed even the most pedestrian of saves by Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller (who has been ridiculous). Our seats are in the top row and i was ready to push someone down the stairs, it would have been a long roll for a drunk in a Michael Peca jersey. Anyway, winning is the best revenge obviously and it's almost a relief to know i'll be watching the next couple on TV, despite the less than ideal OLN as the conduit.

OK enough sports, more music: go see the band Oakley Hall if they play near you, you won't be sorry. unless you don't like music or bands.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Who Loves the Movies

The new Portastatic album is called Who Loves the Sun and it's a film score; it's in store June 6th which is coming right up, but you can order it now from Merge & get a jump on the whole thing. Probably a good idea -- if you've ever seen the mob scene typically trashing your local record boutique on an indie instrumental film score release date, you know what i mean. You don't want to get involved in that kind of melee.

On an unrelated note, i went to Louisville, KY last night and saw Bob Pollard and the Ascendant Masters tear it up in a hotel ballroom, Calexico did the same -- it was part of a non-commercial radio convention thing i don't claim to fully understand. Anyway, after the show we hit a bar called Freddie's and it was one of the best bars i've ever been to. Old, cheap, dark, quiet (even when the live music started -- at 2 AM -- it was still soothing) and awesome. Anyway, next time you're in town to visit Ali, check it out.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Hockey Night In Carolina

well i had to give up my ticket to the Carolina Hurricanes v NJ Devils playoff game tonight for some mother's day festivities (happy mother's day, moms), and the festivities were great, seems like the game was too (we do have a television, and watched it), for a couple reasons:

a) Canes close out the series 4-1, first time the RBC Center has seen a series-winning game...intense hockey throughout

b) at one point during a fight (featuring Hurricanes defenseman Mike Commodore) "Punch Me Harder" was played on the PA system!?!

Martin, the publicist at Merge, delivered a few cds to the arena a couple games ago but i really thought they wouldn't even listen to them, much less put a song in the rotation...awesome.

Go Canes.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Look Ma, No Arms

Portastatic has been invited to provide a live score to 1927 Tod Browning silent film The Unknown at the Seattle Film Festival. The Unknown features Lon Chaney aka The Man of a Thousand Faces and Joan Crawford in a horrific tale of a three-thumbed man (who also has no arms!) and a woman afraid of the embrace of men. Murder! Intrigue! Amputation! It's a pretty crazy film.

The Portastatic lineup will be the full band of that we had on tour last fall which was me, my brother Matthew, Jim, and Margaret White, augmented by Carrie Shull on oboe, Jeb Bishop on trombone, and Laura Thomas on violin.

Superchunk did a similar thing for Page of Madness at the SF Film Festival a few years ago and it was a great experience, i'm really looking forward to this one.

The performance will take place on Friday, June 16th at the historic Moore Theatre.

A limited number of tickets will be available to the general public beginning Sunday, May 14th.

check out for more details...

Monday, May 08, 2006

still in shock from learning that Grant McLennan died this weekend, in his sleep at his home in Brisbane. horribly sad. one of my favorite songwriters ever, i was starstruck when i got to meet him at the Livid Festival when Superchunk played down there back in the 90's, and had the pleasure of opening a show for the go-betweens reformed at maxwell's. the guy wrote classics and was incredibly friendly and enthusiastic in our brief interactions... just sad, don't know what else to say about it.

here is an obit on the go-between's website, and the heartbroken (and some heartbreaking) testimonials are piling up there on the message boards.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

welcome to the portastatic blog, if you are reading this you must have done some serious web stumbling because it's not like i sent out a press release...yet. i can't believe i have a blog, though i guess these days that's like saying "i wear shoes". been working on a new portastatic album so i figured it's a good time to get going on some serious blogging.

too hungry for serious blogging right this moment though, so later for that...