Friday, June 29, 2007

Random Friday Randomness


Authenticite - The Syliphone Years is an amazing 2-disc collection of music coming out of Guinea between 1965-80, when according to the liner notes "a new nation asserted itself and placed music at the forefront of its identity." lots of weaving reverbed-out guitar and sax, serious issues discussed with a party atmosphere.
The Triffids - In the Pines the one Triffids reissue i hadn't picked up yet because i remember liking it the least, but it's effing great like all the others. radically different (ie non-slick) versions of many Calenture tunes.
White Stripes - Icky Thump still digesting this one, but i can't get track 2 - "You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You're Told) outta my head. i know they're fully invested in The Schtick, but i think i'd enjoy the records better without it...but that's my problem i suppose!

speaking of schtick, the NBA draft was on last night and King Kaufman over at Salon has a typically hilarious breakdown of the whole thing, including something that irritated me while watching it -- Stephen A. Smith was SHOUTING the whole time, even when he was saying things that didn't require that amount of emphasis, which was pretty much everything he said. Kaufman also points over to #1 pick Greg Oden's blog which is really good and funny -- wide-eyed and self-aware in the right proportions. My favorite quote from his description of dinner with Steve Nash is this:
"We went to a Brazilian restaurant that was really good. I usually hate it when there is fruit with my meal but there was the orange slice that came with my meal and I just happened to try it in the middle of me chewing my other food and it was delicious." good stuff and things are looking up for Jailblazers fans.

some new telephone hits the shelves today. tech writer Steven Levy likes it, and he also likes Portastatic so of course i trust his opinion implicitly... but still, $600? and you still have to have an ipod due to memory on the phone not being all that? eh. maybe i'll wait for Mach II.

weekends, have one!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pool Party Wrap

bright sunshiney day in Brooklyn last Sunday at the majestic McCarren Pool. i mistakenly claimed it to be our first public show (as opposed to a show we did a Pratt mid-90's) ever in Brooklyn, forgetting that yes, Coney Island (site of the Siren Festival we played a few years ago) is still in Brooklyn on most maps. +/- sounded great, Oakley Hall were massive, and both made great music to slip n'slide to. the day itself was so damn much fun that by the time we played our 4-yr old (who was tossed onto the slip n slide many times and oddly entranced by the air-filled helio advertising guys) couldn't take anymore fun and passed out during our set. some songs based on our "90's Chapel Hill sound" and "grunge pop" and "drawing heavily on Alternative Rock":

driveway to driveway, animated airplanes, package thief, seed toss, untied, misfits & mistakes, so convinced, european medicine, sick to move, kicked in, hellow hawk, punch me harder, slack. encore: throwing things, hyper enough, precision.

some links:
New York Magazine video blog
Franchise Player
The Pool Parties photo gallery
NY Press
Brooklyn Daily Eagle gets wrong the name of our most famous song and
the LA Record covers Crazy Tony but doesn't understand why people are into superchunk -- "Pavement, maybe, but Superchunk?" i know where you're coming from, girlfriend.

good times...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Windy City Recap, Pool Party Sunday!

Superchunk had a great time in Chicago, 5 years since our last trip to the Metro and for a great cause this time. Ponys rocked, Mountain Goats were awesome as usual, and our set went well despite the fact that i found myself gasping for air 3/4 of the way through the set, oweing to me being not in peak rock-shape:

throwing things
animated airplanes
on the mouth
seed toss
misfits and mistakes
so convinced
water wings
cursed mirror
let it go
without blinking
kicked in
hello hawk
punch me harder
slack motherf%cker

like a fool
hyper enough

it was great to meet Sean Silver's (for whom the Eff Cancer Benefit was put together)
parents, brother Brian and sister Liz, other friends and relatives of Sean's, and to raise some cash for research and support for others with the same type of cancer that Sean had.

heading to NYC tomorrow for the McCarren Pool Party on Sunday -- it's free but you're supposed to RSVP HERE. see you in the pool!

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Superchunkish Week

2 shows in one week, that's about as active as Superchunk gets at the moment, and this is one of those crazy weeks:

Wednesday June 20th we'll be playing at the Metro in Chicago as part of the Eff Cancer benefit concert dedicated to music fan Sean Silver... the show will also involve the fine musics of Mountain Goats and Ponys.

Sunday June 24th Superchunk will be onstage at the McCarren Pool in Brooklyn as part of their Pool Parties along with Oakley Hall and +/-, who were great when i saw them at SXSW this year.

hope to see you at one or both of these rock concerts!

NP: fennesz / sakamoto - cendre

Friday, June 15, 2007

Primavera Sound Artifacts

on the evening of the Portastatic show at Primavera Sound, Jim Wilbur and I also performed a rollicking version of Precision Auto with our Spanish pals Half Foot Outside. for some reason i have no photographic evidence of Jim being onstage -- is he a vampire? does he refuse to be photographed playing a cream-colored guitar? i can't answer those questions, but here's me hollering...i really had to concentrate harder on getting the words right without a guitar to play. also on my dance moves.

HERE you'll find some shaky live footage of the Portastatic set. when it looks like the stage is on fire towards the end of "I Wanna Know Girls" that's just the Smoke Machine Guy getting warmed up for his long evening. good times....

Friday, June 08, 2007

New Friday Jams

hot as h e double hockey sticks outside, and it's just early June....i'm going to start blaming Global Warming for itself. it's hot, we need the AC on, which makes climate change worse...Global Warming, take a look in the mirror! anyway, in addition i drove a car to the CD store, and am also running all sorts of other electronic equipment, like the stereo:

Pelican - City of Echoes the worst thing about metal is usually the vocals. Pelican conveniently leaves that part out for your listening pleasure. heard a track on Salon and went out and got this one, their newest, and while it drags in places there are some really fantastic, heavy-but-pretty moments on here. reminds me of some of
Bitch Magnet's more epic episodes. damn wish i woulda seen this band at Primavera! along with...
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky i'm loving the gentle
Wilco mode, especially the first song "Either Way" and "What Light." i also like the "weird Wilco" of Ghost, Yankee, etc which wasn't really that weird at all, but much of this album sounds more natural to me. damn i wish i woulda seen this band at Primavera.
Tracey Thorn - Out of the Woods psyched to see this get a domestic release. ever since the Marine Girls , i've been pretty much "gimme some Tracey Thorn" from the wispy indie days through the Everything But the Girl (nice splash page there, btw!) disco nights til now. this is still on the electronic tip but some of the keyboard sounds could almost be tounge-in-cheek...a bit lighter in mood than some of the later EBTG. Thorn's voice always manages a great balance of detached and wounded. i just saw on the EBTG site that the b-sides to her new single are Magnetic Fields covers, you can hear 'em on her myspace page and they sound Magnetic Fields-y.
Electrelane - No Shouts No Calls whereas i often prefer my metal instrumental, i like my Electrelane with singing and there's more here than ever. earlier records i enjoyed but didn't engage me like this one, which seems less controlled, more propulsive, and with the aforementioned vocals carrying the hooks along. immediate and lovely.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Ducks Get A Cup

well that wasn't much of a Game 7 last night, and the Senators historical comeback i was hoping for didn't happen. the Ducks of Anaheim took it to them from minute 1 and any time the Sens would get close something horrible would happen like the bizarre "hey Ray, it's Chris Phillips here, there's something caught in your skate...oh, it's the puck...oh, it's in your own goal" goal in the 2nd period. oh well, exciting for Anaheim fans like Snoop Dogg, and i do like Teemu Selanne, i mean the name Teemu Selanne -- it's a cool name. he seems like a good guy too and he looks better with his playoff beard. now Anaheim fans, like Carolina fans here, can spend a year hearing about how no one but them cares about the Finals when they don't involve the Red Wings or Rangers, but you know what? it won't bother them because they have the CUP.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Primavera Portastatic

Primavera Sound is a festival in Barcelona with an insane lineup, a million bands on 6 stages or something. the lineup may be so insane in fact that it becomes overwhelming to the point that you remember that you're in Barcelona and maybe you should just go eat some amazing food rather than staggering around the festival grounds trying to see all the amazing bands until 5 AM. Our set was on Friday night at 6.30 PM, so we were early on and then could relax by the Mediterranean, have some fine Estrella beer and check out some music, though some sets i would love to have seen on our night -- Hot Chip, Built To Spill -- were scheduled to begin in the 3 AM range, and we didn't last that long. did get to meet Hot Chip and give them a "Some Small Things You Can't Defend" cd with the cover of their song on it. also got to see some Blonde Redhead, Band of Horses (feat. Matt Gentling on bass!), Beirut, Girls Against Boys. Jim Wilbur and i had time to sing Precision Auto with a Spanish band called Half Foot Outside which was fun. i was worried i'd forget the words since i wasn't playing guitar and singing at the same time (just singing) but i powered through it. Wilbur played a tele which was a first maybe, and the band played the album version of the song perfectly which means about half as fast as we've played it in about 14 years. Pat from Oakley Hall , claiming to be "terrible" on percussion, tore it up on the cabasa with us and despite being on early we had a good crowd, here was the Portastatic set:

Noisy Night
Sour Shores
Angels of Sleep
Drill Me
Sweetness and Light
A Cunning Latch
San Andreas
I Wanna Know Girls
Song For A Clock

the lobby in the hotel was always a hilarious scene. went down for coffee the next morning and saw Steve Diggle talking to Johnny Marr. almost asked Marr "hey how do you play that little thing in 'Ask'? we tried doing it the other night and...etc" but thought better of it.

Saturday night had a fantastic lineup as well but some stomach-related illness, plus an early shuttle to the aeropuerto the next AM kept me from ever getting back to the festival site. i was especially sad not to see longtime favorites The Durutti Column (though i did get a picture of Vini Reilly's suitcase, see above), Sonic Youth doing Daydream Nation, and Wilco, who i heard was great. what a great city, ate well, took a couple dips in the cold and extra-salty sea, hopefully we'll be invited back sometime!