Monday, March 26, 2007

Punk Love, and How I Got My Mojo Back

I stumbled across the book Punk Love, by Susie J. Horgan, at my local book store recently, and I highly recommend taking a look at it. This book documents the early ‘80’s Washington, DC, hardcore scene through photos taken by the author, and includes writing from Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye. I was drawn to this book because I have always loved the above photo (shot by Horgan) from Minor Threat’s first album. Horgan’s photographs of early DC bands such as Minor Threat and Black Flag truly capture the DIY ethos and intensity that defined these incredible bands. The cool thing about these photos is that Horgan was not an outsider journalist trying to capture the image of the music for some magazine, she was a friend of the musicians and had access to their lives (she met Henry Rollins when he hired her to work with him at a Georgetown Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop).

The author and her photos are hitting the road this spring. Check it out.

April 5:
Gallery exhibit & presentation @ Powell's bookstore in Portland, OR

May 4:
Book signing @ Artifacts 20th Century in Northampton, MA.

In other news, I am back to riding my bike to work, and am slowly starting to feel healthier and stronger again. The cold and wet winter weather forced me into a six week hiatus. I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I started riding again. I scored a new 44 tooth titanium chainring from my local bike shop for $20, so now I’m not spinning as much as with the old one. This new gear ratio of 44/18 seems ideal for our relatively flat riding around here.

Listening to: M. Ward- Post-War

Sunday, March 04, 2007

TV On The Radio @ The Avalon, Boston

Wow, has it really been almost two months since I've posted anything here? No excuses, been busy working and hanging with the family. Just too tired at the end of the day to post anything.

Moving on. It's been about 48 hours since T. and I saw TV On The Radio at the Avalon, and I'm still coming back down to Earth. Mind blowing. I was first drawn to this band through Tunde Adebimpe's lyrics and vocals, but I have the hardest time trying to explain TVOTR’s sound to people; is it art rock, electronic, post-punk? Their music is in a category all of it’s own. Friday night TVOTR were in full-on rage mode, with doses of punk, funk, jazz, soul, and world music thrown in. Less produced than their albums, yes, but none of the power of the music was lost when played live, if anything it was more powerful. It amazed me how they were able to create the same vibe live as on their albums, without all the samples and loops. Definitely more organic and raw. The five members of TVOTR seemed totally focused and in the moment, and you got the sense that they could have played all night (and they probably would have if the Avalon didn't transform into a trendy nightclub at 11:00). These guys really enjoy the shit out of making music, and you can tell they enjoy one another. From my perspective, Dave Sitek, with his fuzzed out guitar playing and wind chimes, seemed to be the leader of this machine (I know he does production duties on their albums). He would play with his back to the crowd, inches from his amp, producing some of the craziest feedback I have ever heard. Other times he would drop his guitar and play percussion alongside drummer Jaleel Bunton. I couldn’t keep my eyes off Sitek and Kyp Malone’s guitar playing, but it was Bunton, and bass player, Gerard Smith, who kept everything tied together. Those two are a force not to be messed with. Smith’s style is very laid back, he would seemingly disappear at times, but his heavy bass lines or keyboards were always present. The horns were provided by four local college students, whom the band had met the night before in Providence and invited them to play the show with them. These four horn players definately knew their shit, and were able to keep up with the band, so it only added to the richness of the night. Sometimes you go to a concert, have a few drinks, enjoy the music, then go home. The music may be great, but the next day you move on with your life. Not so this time around. Seeing TV On The Radio is like reading a good book, you have to digest it, and if you do, it will inspire you.

Check out this Video of ‘Wolf Like Me’ from Letterman, I love Dave’s reaction at the end of the song.

"TVOTR!!! That's all you're lookin' for!"-- Dave Letterman