How Many Live Albums Can You Put Out?

AKA Rise Of Decline

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - 10:14:35 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
How many live albums can a band put out? 2 isn't the limit, according to Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers. Hot off the press, the band is releasing yet another live album, starting Feb 2nd.

Maybe it's just me, but it really doesn't seem like Live At Billy Bobs came out that long ago. Admittedly it's been about 3 years, however given the much slower pace of the band, it doesn't feel like that long. Particularly I guess since it's been so long since a substantial release (in quantity and quality), being ¡Americano! in 2004. Further to that, their live and best of type release count matches that of their new albums (Honky Tonk Union, Sonoran Hope & Madness, ¡Americano!, No More Beautiful World, Turbo Ocho (5) Real 2 Reel, Live At Billy Bobs, Four Unlike Before, Glow In The Dark (5) ).

Not that they aren't (or at least weren't) an awesome live band, but really, 3 live albums over your career is showing a lacking in the song writing department.

The other thing I found very interesting about this is that one song will be released / streamed from their website, each week for the next 14 weeks. Given the shit storm and backlash following the Turbo Ocho Viva Cast last year (about this time last year actually), it seems like a very interesting move. But hey, maybe they've found a way to secure the audio better this time around.

The other sore point is that, like Four Unlike Before, this will be a digital only release. For a home grown, organic band, it really does not seem that they have a problem in leaving the past behind. I said it when Four Unlike Before came out, and I'll say it again - "I won't trade my pony for the iron rail". Really Rog, really?

All this ironically comes after some really long and in depth discussions with my associate over the weekend in relation to the band, and the frustration that comes from the Rise Of Decline. It's something that has been going on for quite a while now, and certainly the decline just becomes more and more obvious, but as my associate points out, it being expected isn't much consolation to the frustration of it happening. It's not a surprise to me, I've come to expect it, the continual evidence of it each time I've checked in has not been a shock. But all the while, despite having the realization that things are what they are, there is still a level of frustration. Certainly which becomes forefront when listening to the earlier material. Similarly on the weekend as part of our discussion, we came across a clever piece of art, and after the discussion I found myself unconsciously singing "my second home is a third world catina..." while having a smoke, and immediately had that sense of frustration, without even thinking about it.

I guess at the end of the day it's that that keeps me checking in, and mustering the energy to write about, despite the negative feelings. I've always been an optimistic son of a bitch, and that'll be my downfall. I know I shouldn't care, I'm pretty much over it, but I guess somewhere is a small spark of hope that things will change for the better, despite my better judgment. Maybe that's just what happens when, with the right eyes, you can still see the high watermark - the place where you can see where the wave finally broke, and rolled back (to quote H.S).

Are you with me, or against me?

Frontline Acoustic

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 04:17:22 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
To continue on from cool videos sent from Aaron, we also got one of Josh recently at his open mic night doing Frontline acoustic. One word: WOW! I was expecting it to be more footage from the Moods on New Years Eve. Frontline is not a song I'd even imagine acoustic, but this version is unbelievably haunting!

Not that it isn't one of my favorite Black Moods songs anyway, but god this is good!
Now Playing: Josh Kennedy - Frontline

Make It Last

And Random Thoughts On Blogging

(Add / View Comments) (0)Saturday, January 24, 2009 - 02:25:28 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
So the other night I ended up reading through a whole bunch of old blogs, which typically whenever I do, I think about how, in retrospect, the blogging thing is so cool. Why? Because there is a whole bunch of shit I always forget about. A lot of things were a trip out - like remembering that in Mexico was the first time I'd had a taco. Which seems bizarre, given how these days it's rare to go a week without having tacos. Or to discover that I've actual heard The Last Exit, since the Moods played it when I saw them in 2006. Being reminded of Bobby Scott joining the Moods that night, and wondering whether the songs they did were to be Violet Wild songs (which frustratingly, I have no way of remembering).

The latest occurance of this, only a few days later, comes from Aaron sending us some more Johnson videos. To my delight, the latest being Better Beautiful Than Perfect. Have a version of that to put on my iPod is freaking awesome. But that is actually beside the point, isn't it? Yes, yes it is. This prompted Katie to question whether I'd seen Scotty do this live before, which of course I have! This prompted me to revisit Rock 'n Roll - The Jet Lag Cure to confirm whether it was the first night that I saw Scotty do it. The blog post doesn't say, although I'm confident that he did it that night. However, reading through this blog, the following was very interesting:

Which reminds me, that on one of the last songs with Troy (Make It Last Forever, possibly), Scott played a kick ass solo, with killer harmonics
Wow! When the record came out, I had an influx of questions about Make It Last for Katie, which immediately became arguably my favorite song on the record, particularly questioning whether it was a new song. Katie was sure I'd heard it before, and I was (and have been to this day) been sure that I hadn't until the record came out. But what do you know!

Thank you to my blog, settling Mark & Katie arguments all over the place (though, sadly never in my favor!)

The Sail Inn Is Back

(Add / View Comments) (0)Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 07:28:28 pm
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
Some cool news via the Phoenix New Times is that the Sail Inn is back!

Phoenix - Up on the Sun - The Sail Inn Returns

The fact that the bar had closed soon after I was in Tempe and I hadn't had a beer there was a bit of a sore point with me. In highensight anyway, although I at least had the foresight at the time to go venture to the carpark while I was there. It re-opening is really cool.
Now Playing: Beat Angels - Never Grow Up (Demo)

Convenience Fees

Not Really That Convienent!

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 10:49:34 pm
(Posted Under: Rants)
We just booked our flights for spending Valentine's Day on the Gold Coast - pretty cheap flights, discounted through the internet. However, at the end, there was a $18 convenience fee? Really? Convenience? These tickets have to be booked online. I bring the computer. I bring the internet connection. I bring the printer and the paper. I do all the work. So, why exactly am I paying a convenience fee? *shrug*.

Anyways, we're looking forward to the weekend away!

Random Statements About Music

Tied Together By Hurricane Katrina

(Add / View Comments) (0)Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 10:56:55 am
(Posted Under: Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene, Music Music)
Two random musical observations, only related by the Katrina benefit put on at Last Exit years ago (which I was listening too today).

Firstly, Whiteout (Tramps & Thieves) is fucking amazing! It's impressive that no matter for how long, or how many times I've listened to it, the acoustic guitar intro never ceases to invoke something within me! It's been quite a while since I've listened to the version for this show, and doing so today was a religious experience! Not that it generally isn't, regardless of the version, but listening to that today was like a gust of wind from days gone by blowing throw the room.

Secondly, as this as as old news as how good Whiteout is, is how awesome Trainwreck is / was. Talk about an incredible band that seemingly were here one minute, and gone the next. I have no idea what happened to them, or if they ever did anything else, but geez, just great songs. It never ceases to amaze me how much they sounded like a seemless continuation of the Ten O'Clock Scholars, despite the 20 year gap. Neither does it cease to amaze me how little of a stretch it is to imagine Hopkins playing with those guys. It really sucks that Dave McKay showed up again out of nowhere (it seems) and was gone again...Trainwreck was something I definitely wanted to hear more of!

I've been hung up in the white out, with no direction home.
Now Playing: Tramps & Thieves - Whiteout (Last Exit, Tempe, AZ - 10/04/2005)

It's Not Every Day You're In The New York Times

(Add / View Comments) (0)Tuesday, January 20, 2009 - 09:23:45 pm
(Posted Under: No Category)

We Are The Black Moods

New Years Eve Footage

(Add / View Comments) (0)Monday, January 12, 2009 - 10:04:44 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music, Tempe Music Scene Tempe Music Scene)
Last week video of the infamous Black Moods reunion gig started appearing. One word - wow.

Thanks to Brad and our brother Aaron, we've seen a fair bit of the show and some of the rehersal. Firstly, this is by far the best video of the Black Moods I've seen. Secondly, you can't not watch this and curse that they broke up! Geez, when was the last time you saw Josh rock so hard?

Highlights for me thus far are that they played both Venice and the old Chalmer's song Getaway.

Watch this video and try to tell me that these fuckers don't have to stay together! Tie 'em up and keep them in a satin box (preferably placed on the stage at Last Exit!)

Steve Larson

(Add / View Comments) (0)Friday, January 9, 2009 - 10:44:46 am
(Posted Under: No Category)
"Too many churches, not enough bars, what would Jesus say if he were here?"
Listening to Drinking In A Dry Country (Harry Luge's version), I can't help but this how less cool the world without Steve Larson in it. The guy really doesn't get enough props.

If / when Steve hangs up that black cowboy hat, it'll be a sad day for rock 'n roll!

Oh, and if anyone is wondering, he'd say it was a damn shame that you can't drink your whiskey just depending on your geography. He'd turn the lake water into wine and drink it up for you an me. Jesus that is, not Steve. Well, Steve probably would too!
Now Playing: Harry Luge & Haywire - Drinkin' In A Dry County

The Seizures @ The Ding Dong Lounge

(Add / View Comments) (0)PhotosFriday, January 2, 2009 - 11:30:59 pm
(Posted Under: Music Music)
Photobox ImageTonight was The Seizures show @ The Ding Dong Lounge in China Town. Right off the bat I have to say it's a pretty cool venue, which was nice given how early we were there. We'd headed out to the city to look at digital photo frames (which is a blog in itself), gone down to St. Kilda beach to kill time, and arrived at the bar a little after 8 only to discover the band went on at 11 and were only playing for an hour.

Now, the band - y'know, The Seizures. No? Okay, so it was a secret show for a band recording their new album Seizures. A.K.A Kisschasy. One of the advantages of having a wife who is all over this stuff is finding about sed 'secret' shows. Pretty sweet deal, the tickets were $16, which even given the annoying Mostix fees was still a cheap show.

The opening band The Scissor File were actually fairly good. Probably a bit green and need some more experience, but had really good guitar hooks IMO. The second band, The Inheritors didn't do a lot for me however.

Photobox Image
The particularly nice thing about this show in addition to the intimate setting, was the lack of prepubescent screaming girls that we were plagued by at the The Palace last year. Since the show wasn't that secret, I thought we'd have to deal with that again. However, we didn't, and were able to stand at the front without being pushed by 15 year old girls bags and didn't have to listen to a sea of girls singing over the band on the hits. The sound wasn't as hard hitting as the show last year, but bring on the intimate venue setting!

All in all it was a good set, mostly songs from Hymns, with the band road testing a couple of their new songs. Kinda hard to make an opinion on them on just on listen, but they did seem a bit more alternative and aggressive than their current stuff. A good thing? A bad thing? I don't know, we'll see when the album comes out.

The setlist went something like this:

  1. A Perfect Way To Meet
  2. Strings And Drums
  3. Opinions Won't Keep You Warm At Night
  4. Tarantula (New)
  5. Face Without A Name
  6. Generation Why (New)
  7. Weekend (New)
  8. This Bed
  9. Reminder
  10. Dissolution
  11. Do Dos & Whoa Oh's
  12. Spray On Pants
  13. My Bible Is A Scrap Book
We were both hoping for a bit more off of Too B Or Not Too B, but the only song they played was Reminder. I'd also wondered if we might get a cover of Hey Jealousy during the set, or encore (which there was none), given the nature of the show, but no such luck. Though, all in all it was a good setlist, and really good to see the band in such a bar setting.

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