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REAX MUSIC Magazine • MAY 2008 • Page 


06

SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING ISSUE: 24

INSIDE: SOUNDCHECK 08 INTRODUCTION

SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING 10 NEW RELEASES 11 DEAR GLOFFY 12 DANCING ABOUT ARCHITECTURE

LIVE LIKE NO ONE IS WATCHING: LOCAL MUSIC 14 15 16 17

TIDES OF MAN BUILDING THE STATE BLACK KIDS THE DARK ROMANTICS

AVANT-GARDE IN THE NOW 18 THE KIDS IN THE HALL 19 THE SECOND COMING: PALE HORSE ART SHOW BOOK 20 THE T-4 PROJECT

SOUNDBITES 22 22 23 24

THE HANKS FROM FIRST TO LAST LITTLE BEIRUT DURAN DURAN

REAX INTERVIEWS 26 GEORGIE JAMES 28 YO MAJESTY 30 JASON ISBELL

COVER FEATURE

32 SUMMER FEST GUIDE

FEATURE

36 PENNYWISE

REAX SPOTLIGHT 38 KID KOALA 40 ANTI-FLAG

THE SCENE

42 HOT SPOTS 44 FLORIDA EVENTS GUIDE

CREDITS: Publisher Joel Cook jcook@reaxmusic.com

Staff Writers Stephanie Bolling stephanie@reaxmusic.com

Queen Finnie Cook finniec@reaxmusic.com

MacKenzie Pause kenzie@reaxmusic.com

Editor In Chief Michael Spadoni michael@reaxmusic.com General Manager Marshall Dickson marshall@reaxmusic.com Managing Editor Scott Harrell scott@reaxmusic.com Head Writer Michael Rabinowitz miker@reaxmusic.com Contributing Editor Christian Crider christian@reaxmusic.com Arts Editor Aubrey Bramble aubrey@reaxmusic.com Local Music Editor James Ferreira jamesf@reaxmusic.com

Susie Ulrey susieu@gmail.com Head Photographer James Kilby kilbyphoto.com Photography Jana Miller myspace.com/ janamillerphotography Sales Associates Emily LaDuca emily@reaxmusic.com Shawn Kyle shawn@reaxmusic.com Interns Julia Stewart julia@reaxmusic.com Amy Beeman abeeman@reaxmusic.com

Contributors Sean Kantrowitz, Louis Steffy Christopher Kelly, Morgan Morillo, Art Director Kristin Beck, Bryan Childs, Mike Delach Jason Ferguson, Jeremy Gloff, delach@cookwaremedia.com John Prinzo, David Saunders, Justine Griffin, LJ Illustration Noah Deledda noah.deledda@gmail.com Reax Magazine is published monthly and is available through Circulation Manager Florida businesses, music venues, Scott Jenson restaurants, independent record scottj@reaxmusic.com stores, outdoor boxes, and F.Y.E. stores. Reax is also available nationally at over 160 record stores. Go to reaxmusic.com for a full list.

SOAPBOX 54 55 58 59 60

HANDS ON PRODUCT REVIEW MUSIC REVIEWS CLASSICS: PSYCHEDELIC ROCK VIDEO GAME REVIEW WELFARE: REAX GIVEAWAYS

COVER ILLUSTRATION BY: NOAH DELEDDA noah.deledda@gmail.com

Advertisers warrant and represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. Reax Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All letters and their contents sent to Reax Magazine become the sole property of Cookware Media, LLC. Use or duplication of material used in this publication is prohibited without approved written consent from Cookware Media, LLC.


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08

SOUNDCHECK ISSUE: 24

INTRODUCTION TWO YEARS. HAS REAX REALLY BEEN AROUND TWO YEARS? OR, RATHER, HAS REAX ONLY BEEN AROUND FOR TWO YEARS? It seems like longer. And not only because of the countless deadlines, innumerable parties and shows and skate comps, and never-ending conversations about what’s going on with and coming up for the magazine. It also seems like REAX has been around for quite a while now simply because it already feels like an integral component of the Florida original-music scene, as much a part of what’s going on in the supportive venues as the bands and the fans.

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That desire to both document and help shape our homegrown culture is one of the two main reasons why I was excited to begin contributing columns to these pages a year and a half ago. The other reason was my admiration for the idealism and sheer chutzpah implied by the endeavor itself. The newspaper and magazine industries are a shambles these days, as both publishers and advertisers scramble to figure out how the Internet explosion will effect the future of published periodicals. It took huevos the size of pilates workout balls to take a look at that climate, and go ahead with this thing anyway. It was crazy, and I’m almost always down with the crazy. And it’s working. The rag just went national, REAX TV is just about ready to take online programming by storm, and there are even more changes, expansions and improvements on the horizon. As a musician, a reader, a writer and a guy who just wants independent artists to get their due, I’ve gotta thank Joel, Finnie, Spadoni, Rabi, Beauville, Dickson, Delach, Scott J. and everybody else at the magazine for, well, for just doing the magazine. And as a guy who’s been fortunate enough to play some small part in its development thus far, I’ve gotta thank you, the readers, for picking it up and responding to it and making it part of the ongoing dialogue that influences this scene about which we’re so passionate. So thank you. Thanks for needing something to read while you poop, and for making REAX your poop-time-passer of choice. Seriously. Words: Scott Harrell REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 8


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==='226856+8);99/54)53 REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 9


10

SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING ISSUE: 24

ARTIST

ALBUM

LABEL

ARTIST

ALBUM

LABEL

Wolves & Witches Anthologie des 3 Perchoirs Take Refuge In Clean Living HEALTH//DISCO Dark Saland Futurismo Apocalypso Honeysuckle Weeks ExitingARM Brain Thrust Mastery The Arc

Anticon Alien8Recordings Important Lovepump United Orange Twin Luka Bop Modular Nettwerk Lex Astralwerks Mint Records

05/13/08

05/06/08 RUSSIAN CIRCLES STATION SUICIDE SQUEEZE ((Sounder)) Animal Collective The Birthday Massacre

Good Things Come and Go Water Curses EP Looking Glass Black Moth Super Rainbow Zodiac Girl 7” Carney Nothing Without Your Help EP Clinic Do It! The Coup Genocide & Juice Dosh Wolves and Wishes Fleet Foxes Sun Giant Gentleman Auction House The Book of Matches EP The Gossip Live In Liverpool (LP+ DVD version) IAMX The Alternative Kayo Dot Blue Lambency Downward Last Shadow Puppets The Age of the Understatement The Long Blondes Couples Lucky Dragons Dream Island Laughing Language Lykke Li Little Bit EP Matmos Supreme Baloon Meho Plaza Meho Plaza Neil Diamond Home Before Dark Nik Freitas Sun Down No Age Nouns Pattern is Movement All Together Peter Walker Echo My Soul Shawn Lee & The Ping Pong Orchestra Miles of Styles Shy Child Noise Won’t Stop Simon Joyner The Cowardly Traveller Pays His Toll Sinkane The Color Voice Spark Is A Diamond Try This On For Size Tim Fite Fair Ain’t Fair Tokio Hotel Scream

Volcom Domino Metropolis Suicide Squeeze Interscope Domino Wild Pitch Anticon Sub Pop

Dosh Duchess Says Grails HEALTH Instruments Kassin + 2 The Presets Submarines Subtle We Are Scientists Young and Sexy

05/20/08 ISLANDS ARM’S WAY ANTI-

Emergency Umbrella

Kill Rock Stars Metropolis Hydra Head Domino Rough Trade Marriage LL Recordings Matador Better Looking Columbia Team Love Sub Pop Hometapes Tompkins Square

Ubiquity Kill Rock Stars Team Love Emergency Umbrella

Pluto AntiInterscope

05/13/08

Annihilation Time Blackstrap Douglas Armour Explorers Club French Kicks Jeremy Jay Joan Of Arc Mates of State Mudhoney Mudhoney Music Go Music The National Okay Stove Bredsky Sybris VSS Windsor For The Derby

Alan Licht & Aki Onda Bottichellis Catherine Maclellan Cluster Dan Friel Death Cab for Cutie

Apocalypse of Darkness Everydays Old Home Movies Church Bell Blues Berlin 07 Ghost Town Narrow Stairs

Superfuzz Bigmuff (Deluxe Edition)

The Lucky Ones Light of Love A Skin, A Night + The Virginia EP

Huggable Dust The Black Ribbon Award Into The Trees Nervous Circuits How We Lost

Tee Pee Tee Pee The Social Registry

Dead Oceans Vagrant K Polyvinyl Barsuk Sub Pop Sub Pop Secretly Canadian Beggars Banquet Absolutely Kosher Hydra Head Absolutely Kosher Hydra Head Secretly Canadian

05/27/08 ELLEN ALLIEN SOOL BPITCH CONTROL

POMEGRANATES EVERYTHING IS ALIVE LUJO Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O. Recurring Dream and

Tales of The Ancient Age Steal My Horses and Run The Light of a Golden Day, The Arms of The Night Freedom Wind Swimming A Place Where We Could Go Boo Human Re-Arrange Us

Important Family Vineyard Antenna Farm True North Important Important Atlantic

I Love Math Midnight Juggernauts Mt. Eerie Nadja Odd Nosdam Tetuzi Akiyama Walter Meego

Getting To The Point is Beside It

Dystopia Black Wooden Ceiling Opening Touched Pretty Swell Explode The Ancient Balance to Control Death Voyager

Summer Break Astralwerks Phil Elverum & co.

Conspiracy Recs. Anticon Western Vinyl Almost Gold

REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 10


11 CREDITS: WORDS: JEREMY GLOFF PHOTO: LEAH CONNOLLY (MANESTREAM.NET) Happy May everyone! This month we are celebrating Madonna’s recently released Hard Candy album. Y’all ready for a Dear Gloffy full of Madonna?? Dear Gloffy, You’re a leader. As a gay man I look up to you for your fearlessness. You put out music, write, and overall seem very confident with who you are. In saying this, I’m a frustrated gay man. We have no support amongst ourselves here in the Bay Area. Where do we start coming (no pun) together and stop all this hating on each other? Help! Signed, Feeling Trumped in Tampa Dear Trumped, I don’t think the gay scene is unique in that it suffers from inner discord. Our culture is in a place that emphasizes the individual, not the collective. Cliques, elitist attitudes, and stagnant comfort zones all drive wedges through communities. So how does one reverse the trend? I will be honest ... I’m not sure I have a good answer this time. For any sort of progress to happen, one needs to take the initiative to be a leader. Organize events that are all-inclusive. For individuality to be celebrated and cultivated within the context of a scene, start by being a kind and open-minded person yourself. Madonna has hoped for unity via her music in 1983 (“We have got to get together”), 1989 (“Keep people together forever and ever”), 1992 (“Why’s it so hard to love one another?”) and 2005 (“Can we get together?”). Listen to Madge. Let’s start loving and supporting each other a bit more. Dear Gloffy, I am 18 years old. I’ve been out of school for a whole year now and I must make a decision. I love performing music and I know the people and have the resources to make myself well known in the music world. I am willing

to work hard because performing dance-rock and making people dance and get lucky is my dream. It won’t pay the bills but I’ll be happy in a studio apartment with food and a guitar for the rest of my life. But I have to choose between this dream of mine and going to college because it’s partially paid for. Will college drain my creativity like everyone says? Can I have the best of both worlds? Am I rushing things? Is there a sign? Your Friend from Jacksonville, Midnight Griffin Dear Midnight, I think in a case like this it’s important to sit down and actually write out a pro and con list. Why not? Balance the scales. With regard to college draining creativity, from personal experience I have to dispel that myth. I gained a lot of insight studying psychology in college. Not only did I grow as a person ... the scope of my writing was also influenced in a positive way. And is there any reason why you shouldn’t have the best of both worlds? Do it all honaaay!!!!!!! Like Madonna’s character Breathless Mahoney from 1990’s Dick Tracy said, “NOTHING’S BETTER THAN MORE!!!!” See you at the top of the world! YO YO YO go to JeremyGloff. com/Deargloffy and write to me anonymously!!!! Anything you want!!! Tell me your secrets. REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 11


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SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING ISSUE: 24

IT’S TIME FOR SOME NEW LOCAL-BAND SWAG

I can remember when nearly every Bay Area act had at least a couple of merch items beyond the usual tunes and t-shirts. And not just stickers, either. It wasn’t too long ago that some bands seemed locked in an unspoken battle to come up with the coolest, most usable or just plain weirdest logo-festooned product, from the awesome (Barely Pink was the first band I can remember offering beer coozies, and one of the few non-punk outfits to press its own 7-inches) to the intriguing yet questionable (The Gita had black panties, though I’m not sure their more granola-fied female fans wore any) to the downright pompous (seriously people, if you haven’t been on the cover of Guitar for the Practicing Musician,, you don’t need picks with your autograph printed on ‘em). A member of one of my previous bands went so far as to argue, earnestly and at length, for the production and sale of ... how can I put this ... towels for post-coital cleanup. In the end, the world was spared the existence of black-andyellow Joey Sunshine Band spooge-rags. Still, it’s a hell of a lot more interesting than a CD-R, and that ingenuity and sense of humor seem to have drained from the scene’s merch tables in recent years. Yeah, I know the economy sucks, and that you still have a box of shirts with that one really regrettable logo design moldering in a corner of your practice space – we all do. But even if the people at the show don’t buy the leopard print codpieces with your band’s name on them, they’re certainly gonna remember the band that was selling leopard print codpieces at Orpheum. And some folks actually hold on to that stuff. It’s quite cool to show up at a party and notice that somebody’s still got the lighter or belt buckle you gave them when you were loaded four years ago; they dug your shit almost as much as you did, and it’s not like you’re ever gonna hear your old band’s songs on the radio out of nowhere like that – so far as I’m aware, no local station is doing a Tracks By Bands That Never Went Anywhere And Broke Up In The Parking Lot Of The Brass Mug Hour on Sunday nights. It’s a legacy, another way for a group’s impact to endure beyond its lifespan, if only for those that care enough to remember it. So let’s make with the ingenious local-band swag, already. Here are five ideas to get those PBR-addled brain fluids flowing (and five things I’d love to get for free from bands, natch): USB Drives. They’re as easy to get with your name on ‘em as pens these days. Load ‘em up with mp3s of everything the band’s ever done, or go the exclusive-content route with demos, pics, live tracks, passwords to secret pages on your website,

etc. Flash drives can be a little pricey depending on storage, so “limited edition” is the way to go here. Wine Labels. Fuck Vince Neil. Why go to the trouble of bottling your own wine when you can sell a sticker that looks hip and covers up the fact that some of your fans think Chardonnay is actually drinkable? Go for a package of four or five wraparound decals bearing the types of wine your band members actually like to drink, or just take the obvious route and make everything look like a bottle of Mad Dog. Clean Urine. It’s more than just an inside-joke extra level of subterfuge for those fans of yours looking to score a nice, boring cubicle job. (“I’m not just cheating with someone else’s piss, I’m cheating with Shawn Beauville’s piss!”) It’s a part of you, man; you’re sharing so much more than a song. Also, it’s great for athlete’s foot and jellyfish attacks. Diapers. With bands and fans of a certain age, onesies for the tots are pretty much THE merch item to tout. But that’s been done to death. What about diapers? Yes, I know they’re disposable, and they get covered with runny baby leavings. You don’t put your logo on them. You put the logo of a band you think sucks on them. On the inside. Scratch-Off Lottery Tickets. Who doesn’t like scratching off lottery tickets? And who wouldn’t want their very own lottery? It’s win-win, band people, even if not every fan wins an autographed guitar, or a free CD, or even another ticket. (Plus, you can always double up on the collectible angle by taping an autographed guitar pick to every ticket as a bonus scratching-off implement.) REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 12


REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 13


14

LIVE LIKE NO ONE IS WATCHING ISSUE: 24

LOCAL FEATURE

while writing our music,” added singer and guitar player Tilian Pearson. Venturing off the beaten path is a daunting task, and more often than not a thankless endeavor. However, when thrust into times of unwanted change, there is no better cure for the insecurity and nearly crippling depression that tends to follow. The delicate nature of these situations has surely caused many to bury their heads in the sand while amazing things continue to happen around them. Discovering new music and experiencing new things can literally bring a person back to life in times like these. One of the Tampa Bay area’s newest independent rock outfits, Tides of Man, is ready to shake things up in the local scene, and hopefully garner more attention for what has become a relevant local music culture once again. Combining elements of prog-rock with post-punk/hardcore soul and a dramatic vocal flair, Tides of Man are bringing something quite unique to the Central Florida’s music community. Upon first listen TOM sound like they have been playing together for years. “We all knew each other and were working on our own music. Alan [Jaye, bassist] spontaneously booked a show in December 2006 and we decided to unite to fill the booked slot. In a week, we mixed our separate songs together and threw together a show. We didn’t really even have a band name, but we worked well together so we decided to stay together,” guitar player Spencer Gill explained. In just a little over a year, the band already has an acclaimed independent EP, as well as plans for a full-length release, Empire Theory, in the not so distant future. The five-song EP is filled with majestically ethereal prog overtures which offer inspiration and the promise of greatness to follow. When listening to these songs, it’s nearly impossible not to think of the Mars Volta’s brilliant debut, De-Loused in the Comatorium, as well as Philadelphia-based experimental math-rock outfit Circa Survive. I asked the guys their thoughts on the perception of arrogance that has been linked to the Mars Volta’s music, and the relationship between Mars Volta and the band that led to its conception, At the Drive-In. “If it wasn’t for the ‘arrogance’ of our musical predecessors, geniuses such as Bach, Beethoven or Hendrix, Gregorian chants — the ancient technology of power chords — would be today’s pop standards,” said guitarist Adam Sene. “Classical composers were frequently criticized for their inharmonious diminished and augmented chords, [they’re] standard practice in classical and jazz composition today. The Mars Volta are innovators. Some of their music is ugly and a bit out there, but it is intended that way. At the Drive-In was a great band, but the genre was limited.” “I would say that it is more the aspect of innovation that influences Tides of Man. We, however, tend to prefer tastefulness over flashiness, and we keep that in mind

Despite their relatively short tenure as a band, TOM do have larger aspirations. With plans for a national tour currently in the works, as well as the eventual release of their full-length debut, it’s clear that the band isn’t content to rest on their impressive but limited laurels. I was curious about what (if any) national exposure the band has received, and if there were any hopes of a record deal with the release of the album. “We haven’t had much national exposure as of yet. We’ve played with a couple national acts [like RJ Apparatus and Automatic Loveletter],” Sene said. “We’re getting a decent amount of attention from out-of-state, but we have yet to play outside Florida.” “We’re not opposed to being signed by a major label – assuming we get a decent deal out of it – but with the direction of the record industry we’d like to see how much we can accomplish on our own by then,” Gill added. Tides of Man have been able to create a strong identity in their art. With such a dramatic personality already in place, I wondered if there were any plans for a direction change in the future and how the new album would relate to their debut EP. “Absolutely,” confirmed Pearson. “Musicians who aren’t able to expand their abilities and tastes don’t last long. We’re also working to evolve music. There’s no point in remaking music that everyone has already heard. We’re doing everything brand new. Hopefully we will have a lot more time and resources when we do the album.” The introduction of a band like this into central Florida’s music scene is a large part of the reason we do what we do. It’s exciting when acts with talent, vision, and ambition are presented to us. The Tampa scene desperately needs bands of this caliber to thrive if the respect and stability we hope for are to follow. “Honestly, we don’t plan on being a ‘Tampa band’ for much longer,” Pearson said. “We’d be happy to be a band that hails from the Tampa area, and plays international tours. I have noticed, however, that we do run into a good number of local acts that we admire and respect musically, and some we don’t. I honestly wasn’t paying much attention to the local scene before, so it’s hard to see how it’s progressed. But better music is definitely on the rise. Mainstream is becoming less and less important. Intelligent, innovative musicians have more opportunity to succeed now than ever,” Pearson concluded.

MYSPACE.COM/TIDESOFMAN REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 14


15

LOCAL ALBUM REVIEW

Sherry’s

VINTAGE CLOTHING & ANTIQUES ...WHERE VINTAGE STILL MEANS ONE OF A KIND!

TUES - SAT: 11AM TO 6PM SUNDAY: 12 NOON TO 6PM

This four-song EP marks the third release from Gainesville’s ethereal progressive rock quartet Building the State. Admittedly, I was a touch apprehensive towards shining this month’s local spotlight on such a brief record, but the disc is breathtaking, and is as worthy as any other local album I’ve heard recently. Coming in at right around 19 minutes, the driving ambience of this masterfully produced recording makes for a fascinating listen that will leave you thirsty for more.

500

Faces in the Architecture delivers a sound reminiscent of Explosions in the Sky, or even later Sunny Day Real Estate if I really wanted to date myself. This disc has been out for nearly a full year now, so many of you are hopefully well aware of its brilliance. It’s an essential piece of what has been an astounding collection of well-balanced albums from central Florida’s suddenly relevant independent music scene from the past 12 months. Building the State may have evaded my ears for far too long, but I feel it is my duty to help others discover one of our community’s most talented acts. The EP’s closing track, “Open Hands to the Sky,” is a dark yet dreamy showcase of the greatness this band is capable of creating. If you haven’t heard these guys yet, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Faces in the Architecture as quickly as possible. You can check out some tracks from the new album at

REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 15


16

LIVE LIKE NO ONE IS WATCHING ISSUE: 24

BLACK KIDS

There is a point in every young band’s career — those who are lucky enough to make the leap to a wider, national audience — when playing music in public becomes more than just fun and a means to get free beer and chicks. The fine line between being your private self and becoming your public self blurs. Your fans, the press, and your managers all want a piece of you. Expectations are very high. The music is no longer the dominant reason you turn the amplifier on or put pen to pad. Reggie Youngblood, lead singer of Jacksonville’s Black Kids, knows this all too well. After receiving a glowing Pitchfork review of their free-on-Myspace EP, Wizard of Ahhs, the Black Kids, already youthful masters of the dance-pop genre, became the band du jour, and were swept up in a media tornado via a notorious performance at the CMJ Music Fest in NYC this past October, and an ensuing deal with Quest Management (Bjork, Arcade Fire). This led to the quickest backlash in blog history, all in response to the hype. To learn the ropes of music professionalism (or perhaps to dodge the critical eyes of the U.S. press), Quest shipped the group off on a multi-city UK tour. Now, on their first North American tour (and just days before announcing the group’s inking with Columbia Records), Youngblood discussed with REAX the rigors of putting his best game face on for the press, as well as the intricacies of his lyrics and why comedy mixed with tragedy makes beautiful pop music.

REAX: I tried to get an interview with you last year when you played Tampa, but your management said you were prepping for a UK tour and wouldn’t be available. Maybe it’s the cynic in me, but it was right after your CMJ performance and it seemed they were giving you more time to tour in front of the much friendlier British press. Was this the case? Reggie Youngblood: Well, that was sweet of them to look out for us like that! [Laughs] We took a beating in New York (at CMJ), which ultimately was good for us. I don’t think I would’ve changed anything. I am kind of pleased that we went to CMJ and we totally … [Laughs], we totally sucked. I think that’s awesome. It kind of showed where we were at and where we needed to be. REAX: Was there anything you learned in the UK? RY: I think relationship-wise, it confirmed what I already knew. The five of us are intensely private people and it’s hard to be the best version of yourself on the road. [Laughs] I think that is the main lesson I’ve gotten from it, personally. I am not a very good person [Laughs] and it takes some will and self-control to get along even with people you adore. You know, like show some respect. The effort. At least for me. I am sure some people are fine.

REAX: Is this something you had to work on with management? That you need to put on a game face with the press and fans? RY: I can kind of see what you’re saying. The monotony and the rigors of being on the road do get to us sometimes. Especially when you’re dealing with press. Sometimes you are totally up for it, but other times you just aren’t really up for putting on a face. Especially when it seems like not a lot of effort was coming from whoever was there. Sometimes you just have an attitude problem. [Laughs] But you know, it varies. REAX: I understand. Probably, after a while, all the questions just sound the same. RY: Yeah, the questions were the same. And I let it bother me, unreasonably, because I got sick of answering the same questions and I felt like, “Christ, no one is doing any legwork. They are just asking me things they could easily get.” At the same time, if someone pulled like a profound question on me I’d probably be annoyed [Laughs] and forget to give a decent answer. REAX: Hold on. Let me cross off some of these questions. RY: [Laughs] I should be grateful for

questions that I can answer with ease. REAX: Well let me throw some questions that are new, at least to you. First, your lyrics. What drug did you take in the song “Hurricane Jane” that “feels like karate?” And, where can I get that drug? RY: Hmmmm. It is a drug, whether that be booze or whatever your preference is. I am pretty conservative when it comes to my intake of most substances, besides some sugar. And cheese. But yeah, that is a drug reference. REAX: Then there is the song “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance.” You have androgynous lyrics, like “you were the girl I’ve been dreaming of since I was a little girl.” Is this just simple wordplay, or are you referencing something deeper? RY: It’s definitely a form of wordplay because the alternative is just way too boring. If I had gone with just the straight version of that, to say “you are the girl I’ve been dreaming of since I was a little boy” is so mind numbingly boring that a simple switch of gender makes it that much more stimulating and interesting. It’s just a simple little trick. And it bothers some people, which is fun.

BLACKKIDSMUSIC.COM

MYSPACE.COM/BLACKKIDSROCK REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 16


17

LOCAL ARTIST SPOTLIGHT

I did my best James Lipton impression while corresponding with Eric Collins of Lakeland’s The Dark Romantics in an attempt to avoid your typical “tell me your journey as a musician” Q & A. With words like “dark” and “romantic” in his band’s name, assumptions, it must be admitted, were abundant. I expected veiled, cryptic, cool-rock-boy answers. Couple the name with their sound, which has been described as “sexy” and “swaggering”, and I was even prepared for blatantly coy and/or cheeky responses. I was mistaken; turns out the band is made up of two happily married (and talented) couples – think more Abba and less Sonny and Cher. 1. What is your favorite word? Love 2. What is your least favorite word? Amazing 3. What turns you on? A great song 4. What turns you off? Selfishness 5. What is your favorite curse word? “ish.” As in, “I’m in some deep ish man”

6. What sound or noise do you love? My daughter singing to me 7. What sound or noise do you hate? Chewing 8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? NFL player 9. What profession would you not like to do? Musical “artist” 10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “It took a little convincing, but I managed to get your mansion close to Bono’s like you asked.” To sum it up in a word: The Dark Romantics = scrumtrelescent. The band celebrates the release of their Lonely/Roads 7-inch (New Granada Records) with four Florida shows starting May 22nd in Lakeland.

MYSPACE.COM/ THEDARKROMANTICS THEDARKROMANTICS.COM


18

AVANT-GARDE IN THE NOW ISSUE: 24

Some say the YouTube generation is killing the sibling arts of comedy writing and performance, particularly with regard to sketches. It’s certainly an arguable position – why would anybody take the time to recruit a cell of like-minded co-conspirators, hone writing and acting skills, and scam a suitable venue when you can stick a half-full bottle of Natty Light in your rectum, have someone videotape you bending over and throwing up, title it “Drinking Cheap Beer in Reverse” and watch the views rack up? The other side of that coin, however, is user-generated video’s built-in ability to expose millions of viewers to classic stuff they might not have seen before. Blogs, easily embeddable viewers and sites like YouTube might be crammed with questionable talent and out-and-out shite, but they’ve also extended both the shelf-life and fanbases of genius, formerly obscure fare such as British sketch show Big Train (featuring a pre-Shaun of the Dead Simon Pegg), mid-’90s MTV offering The State, and currently-blowing-up Fuse/IFC series The Whitest Kids U’ Know. In short, without the Internet’s anarchic uploadability, fringe-comedy fans might not have been treated to this spring’s reunion tour by The Kids in the Hall – quite possibly the sharpest and most influential troupe of the last 20 years. When Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels shepherded Canadians Dave Foley, Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, Kevin McDonald and Scott Thompson to HBO in 1989, nothing remotely like the quintet’s singular brand of comedy had been seen on American television since Monty Python’s Flying Circus. As SNL settled into current events and popculture parody, The Kids in the Hall attacked office politics, dysfunctional family dynamics, ass-probing aliens, homoeroticism among sports fans, Satan, gay lifestyles, and more with a wicked mix of biting satire and unhinged absurdity. Their show’s most beloved recurring characters – among them a horny lady who was half-chicken, a cigar-smoking womanizer with a cabbage for a head, and a man who defeated his enemies by “crushing their heads” between his fingers from a distance – made Saturday Night’s presidential impressions seem tame; their ability to play women without winking incited both homophobic ire and critical acclaim. It’s no stretch to say The Kids’ bold twists on the genre directly influenced not only virtually every sketch show to come along since, but also the performance-as-theaterworkshop vibe of current alternative stand-up shows on both coasts. The Kids’ TV run wasn’t a long one. They were picked up by CBS in ‘92, and the show’s final episode aired in ‘95. Most fans came into the fold via endless reruns on Comedy Central, allowing the troupe’s one collective film project, ‘96’s Brain Candy, to become a cult hit. Since then, they have worked on innumerable film and TV projects individually and occasionally in twos and threes, coming together as The Kids only for a pair of short tours in the early ‘00s, and a small handful of barely publicized L.A. theater appearances. Until last year, when Foley, McKinney, McCulloch, McDonald and Thompson reunited for a gig at the 25th anniversary of Canada’s vaunted Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. The group found its unique collaborative energy intact, and the new material generated for Just For Laughs demanded another performance (along with a packed Q&A session) at this year’s Sketchfest in San Francisco. Which, in turn, spurred the current North American tour, The Kids’ first in six years. It’s impossible to know whether or not their enduring web presence was a crucial factor in the decision to mount another Kids in the Hall tour. But it’s also hard to believe that all the sites, chat groups and fan-uploaded videos didn’t play a persuasive role. If nothing else, they provide ample evidence of a continued passion for smart, well-crafted fare like The Kids’ inimitable take on sketch comedy. And if it has to share cyberspace with 10,000 clips of dancing cockatiels and skaters farting the alphabet, maybe that’s still a pretty even proposition. The Kids in the Hall perform at Orlando’s Hard Rock Live on May 22, and Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall on May 23.

REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 1818 REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE


19

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In March, Tampa Bay-based graphic design studio and gallery Pale Horse welcomed the apocalypse with “The Second Comingâ€? Art Show showcasing an extraordinary collection of over 50 Four Horsementhemed pieces by over 35 designers, illustrators and ďŹ ne artists from North America and England. The exhibit included new works from established artists such as Kathie Olivas, Brandt Peters, Carrie Anne Baade, Hydro 74, Rob Schwager, Tony Philippou, Horsebites, Steak Mtn., Josh Taylor, Dan Mumford, Chris Parks, Brandon Dunlap and many others, who all brought their unique styles and interpretations to the theme. The opening reception alone drew in over 200 art lovers from across Florida with many of the artists in attendance. Due to the sheer quality of the pieces shown, Pale Horse has produced a full color, bound book featuring artwork from the exhibit, along with opening reception pictures and bios from the artists. This book is available online now at

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20

AVANT-GARDE IN THE NOW ISSUE: 24

Out May 13 on Mental Records, The T4 Project is the brainchild – and labor of love – of Ventura, CAbased musician and creative dynamo, Shannon Saint Ryan. An interesting hybrid of concept album and graphic novel, The T4 Project utilizes the collective efforts of some of punk rock’s most decorated thrashers, like seminal acts Bad Religion, Circle Jerks, Buzzcocks, Strung Out, The Damned, and more. Far beyond simple artistic expression, the project is a call to action for the youth of today to make a positive change in the warped, corrupt world around us. Threading his unique vision into the raucous fiber of punk-rock culture, Saint Ryan pairs his serious message with a good dose of dark comedy and clever production techniques. I had the opportunity to chat with the artist about the vision behind T4, and what it was like to coordinate the recording of an album across two continents with 14 working (and touring) musicians, little to no budget and label skepticism. REAX: How did you come up with the idea for this project? Shannon Saint Ryan: I’d always been running with this theme of this virus. I wanted to just finally tell the story and use it as a metaphor for everything that is wrong and corrupt with the world, with the cell being the youth. I had about 4 years of recording with different bands – you know, old school punk bands and new school punk bands – and what I noticed was that everyone is pretty much going against the grain in the same way, just with different vehicles. So I thought it’d be really nice to bring everyone together, almost like a celebration using the different decades and genres of punk. REAX: Recording in 7 different studios in both Europe and America, did you run into any difficulties putting the album together? SSR: Well at first I couldn’t get funding. I knew it was going to cost an arm and a leg. It was really tough. All these musicians were coming forward to do it just because they believed in it; there was no massive paperwork or release forms. When it came down to budget ... I’m just an average dude. I’ve got my day job, making my

shitty day pay. The way times are changing... I think record labels being worried about how you could tour, and with a lot of labels downsizing, it was a hard thing to invest in. So you find a way. It was a lot of taking out loans and just making it work. The big thing was Southern Studios [in London]. There was this window where I could get the entire rhythm section together. There’s two drummers, two bass players, and of course I wanted to give it more of a live energy of having people together instead of recording individually. So that was a real push, and eventually I just had to bite the bullet because I was running out of time and I had to buy plane tickets. It was nervewracking! REAX: It’s really impressive that you pulled it off, and I think the end result is just amazing. SSR: Well, thank you. Anyone could do it, it’s just persistence. It’s no magic miracle. It’s a bit of working your ass off and believing in what you do. Whatever you do, as long as you do it with heart and the right intentions, and you’re not some bag of shit who’s just trying to make a buck - how can you deny that? REAX: Do you have any plans to do a live performance of the album to coincide with the official release? SSR: I think it’d be great and I’d love to get everyone together. Actually, a lot of these guys are touring nine months out of the year so it’s difficult. But it’s entirely possible for us to get together for a week, do some rehearsals and do two nights in LA, two nights in London, both places where the record came from. There’s a way to make it work where less becomes more. You’ve gotta see the work through, you know?

WWW.THET4PROJECT.COM REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 20


REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 21


soundbites

the hANKS

gOINg the DIStANCe THE HANKS ARE AN ALTERNATIVE ROCK BAND HAILING FROM LOS ANGELES. THEIR MOST RECENT ALBUM, DISTANCE, IS A CATCHY YET ARTFUL RELEASE, WITH ALL THE POLISH OF A MAJOR-LABEL OFFERING. REAX GOT SINGER/GUITARIST JOSH GRONDIN ON THE TELEPHONE AS THEY TOURED THE NORTHEAST.

REAX: How have The Hanks evolved since your debut album, Your new Attraction? Josh Grondin: I’d say about fifteen pounds, collectively, give or take. I guess that we’ve played a lot of shows since then, about two and a half years of touring off that first record, around three hundred live shows. So I think that’s a big part of it. Everyone really develops a lot from that. And [I’ve had] more experience as a songwriter. REAX: There’s a vague notion of belief put forward during some of the tracks on Distance, would you like to expand on this idea? JG: It’s not like a religious thing, or anything. It’s more about how at different points in a band, and as an artist in general, there are times when there are plenty of reasons not to be an artist. For most people, it’s not a very realistic notion as something to pursue. So you definitely have to kind of hold your ground a lot. If you are kind of putting out there, ‘Yeah, I’m a musician, and I want to make a living of it,’ it’s not something that you’re necessarily going to get a lot of support from a lot of people. My parents, in particular, have been pretty supportive, but it’s not something that seems very realistic. REAX: You’ve released Distance independently, what were the major factors behind this decision? JG: Our last record we released independently, and then we re-released it for an independent label. With this record,

Words: Christian Crider

we were going to put another EP out, and then it kind of evolved into a full-length, and we just wanted to go through the whole creative process independently so we could do our own thing and make the record we want to make, and just not be held up at all by trying to get backing by a label. It’s certainly a lot easier to have creative control, and there’s a lot of financial things that are tricky to figure out. That’s obviously the biggest hurdle, the financial backing. But anyway, that was a big plus. In the stage we’re at now, we sell most of our CDs ourselves, through touring and off our website, so self-releasing it allows us to keep 100% of the profits, and since we’re doing most of the groundwork now anyway, it makes more sense to release the record independently. REAX: Distance seems to deal mostly with hopeless or hopeful interpersonal relationships, what was the inspiration behind these themes? JG: It just came on a case-by-case basis. It wasn’t intentionally thematic at first, or anything. The record definitely had a feel, musically and lyrically. We’ve done a lot of demoing and songwriting, and there are some other songs and stuff we didn’t put on the record, and this group of songs seemed to be the most cohesive. When the record was done and all the lyrics were done, I tried to look at the album as a whole and just try to find a simple concept that you could distill everything down to, and that seemed like a good one.

thehANKSONlINe.COM

FROM FIRSt tO lASt INteRvIeW WIth MAtt gOOD

Words: Scott Jensen

REAX: SINCE AESTHETIC YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH SEVERAL MEMBER CHANGES, FOUR DIFFERENT RECORD LABELS AND A DRASTIC EVOLUTION OF YOUR SOUND. WHAT DRIVES YOU TO KEEP FFTL ALIVE WHEN THE THINGS THAT YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH WITH THIS BAND WOULD MAKE MOST ARTISTS GIVE UP ENTIRELY? Matt Good: When I was in high school I decided that I wanted to be in a band and I didn’t exactly know what kind of responsibilities or hardships were going to come with it. The things that I’ve encountered with this band are really nothing in comparison to what I had to deal with to get to the point where we could sustain ourselves. I feel like there’s this initial period where we had absolutely nothing. You can’t really get much lower than that unless you’re homeless, and that went on for so long until we could get to the point to where we could sustain and at least live on the level of a normal person making minimum wage. I feel like I would hate to have that much work just be in vain by giving up.

REAX: The songs from the new album are really hooky and vibrant and contrast Heroine musically, although they still deal with some really dark subject matter. Can you describe what you were going through when you were writing this record and how it affected the music that came out of that process? MG: On this record we were going into it feeling like we had a heavy weight on our shoulders. I’ve never in my life felt like I’ve had so much to live up to. There’s a lot of lyrical content dealing with what it felt like with everything that we’ve gone through in the past year with Sonny [Moore, exvocalist] leaving and getting released from our label. We were being very reminiscent but still trying to keep a positive outlook REAX: Do you feel that FFTL’s most recent on the situation and not being all “woe is incarnation with the lineup that you have now me, the world sucks, blah blah blah.” Just is a completely different animal than when talking about it in a mature manner and you first put the band together or have you addressing the way that it felt. stayed true to your original ideals? MG: We’ve definitely remained true to our REAX: So besides the new album and the original ideals, but to say it’s not different touring cycle that you’re on, what’s next on would be a lie. Our idea of what we want the horizon for FFTL? to accomplish musically is changing all the MG: We’re just going to be doing a lot more time. When we first started, we just wanted to touring. We’re going overseas for a while make music that we liked and that’s different and playing a couple of festivals with Rage and just go for it. Now, it’s still like that but Against the Machine. We’re doing six dates we are pushing to be better musicians and with Kiss. That’s just insane, I’m completely songwriters. And recording too, we’re always blown away by that! We’re just trying to do trying to get better and better. as many new things as we can and pushing FFTL TV and possibly upgrading it in the REAX: So it’s a really organic process then? near future. We’re always looking for new MG: It just takes time, like anything. If you ways to do things and we have a lot of want to be a blacksmith then you apprentice crazy ideas. Hopefully we can make them under a blacksmith and in a couple of years come true. you’re a blacksmith. It’s one of those things FROMFIRSttOlASt.COM where experience makes you better. REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 22


soundbites

lIttle beIRUt A DIFFeReNt PAth

Words: Scott Harrell

THE UNSIGNED-BAND GRIND IS TRADITIONALLY PRETTY ROTE. YOU GET SOME FRIENDS TOGETHER. YOU WRITE SOME SONGS. YOU BASH ‘EM OUT AS QUICKLY AS YOU CAN IN WHATEVER STUDIO/ FRIEND’S SPARE BEDROOM YOU CAN AFFORD. Then you get in the van and drive until A) you attract the attention of someone who can properly distribute your material, or B) you get sick of it and either parlay your selftaught computer skills into a job or take up your Pops’ offer of a warehouse gig with the family business. That’s all fine and good for vagabond twentysomethings and reincarnated pirates. But some folks are still driven to create music – and have it heard beyond their hometown – long after things like family and career become more of a priority than getting scabies from a friend’s carpet after playing to 14 drunks in Spartanburg, South Carolina. “The reality of it is, I’m 37, we’re all about that age,” says Edwin Paroissien, guitarist/ vocalist for Portland, Oregon’s Little Beirut. “I’ve got two kids and a wife and a job ... we can’t pack everything into a van and tour the country. In a way I wouldn’t want to, I’ve done a bit of that and I’m not exactly there at this point. But we’re also sort of bummed. We have a sense that if we could get around and play, we really could get somewhere with this.” Paroissien and singer/guitarist Hamilton Sims have already gone that route. The two met while attending New Orleans’ Tulane University; after relocating to Portland, their band Silkenseed worked the indie circuit to acclaim and major-label interest. When things didn’t pan out, however, Sims headed east for graduate school. “He had in his mind that if he hadn’t ‘made

it’ in music by a certain time, he’d go to medical school,” Paroissien says. But neither friend ever lost the desire to play. They began collaborating immediately upon Sims’ return, crafting the songs that would ultimately become Permanent Kiss, the duo’s coming-out as Little Beirut. With the eventual addition of drummer Alex Inman and bassist Jonathan Trause (both found through Craigslist.com, making Little Beirut perhaps the first group in history to come together successfully through online classifieds), they attained actual-band status and began methodical preproduction for what Paroissien calls their “commercial debut.” The resulting full-length, High Dive, is a lush, finely wrought collection of atmospheric modern-rock tunes whose extraordinary details and orchestration never overshadow their hooks and occasional muscular bite. Since its emergence in early spring, the CD has garnered positive reviews in a swath of media that’s astounding for a self-released disc, bolstering the group’s faith in the idea that the traditional unsigned-band grind is no longer the only way to get the word out on music that truly deserves to be heard. “In the digital age, you can actually get your name out there pretty far and wide just sitting in your basement,” says Paroissien. “We’re serious about our craft, and dedicated to trying to make something happen with this.”

lIttlebeIRUt.COM REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 23


soundbites

“Styles change, but style never does”

– promotional ad for Duran Duran, 1993.

Duran Duran were that rare blend of glimmering pop and rarefied political bent. This style — with substance — has sustained a nearly 30-year career in the music business that goes beyond just survival: four double platinum albums, six platinums, and three golds explain it all. Now they return to the States promoting their latest LP, Red Carpet Massacre, which features beatmaster Timbaland as producer and Justin Timberlake participating. REAX: What led you toward Timbaland to produce Red Carpet? Nick Rhodes: We were all big fans of Timbaland’s work, had been for a long time. He just has a real pop sensibility about him, as well as the groove. We had finished an album, which was provisionally called Repoirtage. We sort of felt that we needed ... I don’t know, I suppose more direct tracks ... we decided we would do a couple of tracks with someone else. Timbaland came up as an option and we said “perfect.” The one person who didn’t make those sessions was Andy Taylor, which was a surprise to us, but we obviously forged forward anyway. REAX: You mentioned Andy Taylor leaving the group. Was it over this new direction with the album? NR: No. No. I don’t think any of us really know why, including Andy. I don’t think it was anything that any of us had particularly

foreseen. He’d been a bit difficult with a few issues, with live dates and things. As with a close-knit band of people, we weren’t seeing eye to eye over everything. But, we had no idea that Andy wasn’t going to make it to those sessions. REAX: In your new video “Falling Down,” the concept is about a troubled celebrity going through rehab. I couldn’t help but think of Britney Spears. NR: [Laughs] It wasn’t that specific, to be honest. There are a lot of those girls that had some trouble with their media friends. We were surrounded by it, everywhere we looked there was a celebrity meltdown ... we always like to put a little humor into the things we do. This seemed to be an iconic and ironic fit with the song, which is really about messing up in public. REAX: Do you see some justification in your career length considering that you

didn’t seek out the huge fame you received in the early ‘80s, it came after you put out your music? NR: Any band that has a career is usually a band that cares about writing songs and live performance and being able to ride through the ups and downs, the successes and the failures. We are always looking to write the best record we can. However we do that or whoever we do that with is part of it. The success of it is a bonus. If something becomes a big success, that is really terrific. But after that period, once you have your audience — and we’ve been very, very lucky that our fans are unbelievably loyal — they are more interested in you doing different things than just churning out the same old stuff. Duran Duran performs at UCF Arena in Orlando on May 18, and Mizner Park Amphitheater in Boca Raton on May 19.

DURANDURAN.COM REAX MUSIC Magazine • MAY 2008 • Page 24


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14246 N. Nebraska Ave. Tampa (813) 978-9316

REAX MUSIC Magazine • MAY 2008 • Page 25


reaxinterviews

GEORGIE JAMES

G

eorgie James’ debut full-length Places (Saddle Creek) sticks to the inside of your ear and stays put for weeks. The tracks are a gooey concoction of gorgeous pop with buoyant melodies that even make delivering a line like “looks like the perfect day to put our soldiers in an early grave” sound cheery.

The Washington D.C. duo is comprised of singer/songwriters Laura Burhenn and John Davis, former drummer of Q and Not U. Though their schedule has been hectic since the album’s release last fall, Burhenn was gracious enough to set aside a few minutes and answer some questions. REAX: Tell me about how you and John know each other – how did you meet? How did it begin? Laura Burhenn: The person I was dating a few years ago sent a CD to John without

my knowledge. I was a big fan of QANU and didn’t think John would be into my solo work. Turns out I was wrong. QANU was winding down, and John was looking to start a new project. We got together and tried playing through some ideas we’d both been brewing. The harmonies sounded great, and before we knew it, we’d written and recorded Demos at Dance Place.   REAX: Did you have a style in mind or did it stem from your musical influences? LB: We didn’t have a style in mind necessarily. It wasn’t like we sat down and said, “Let’s write an updated version of a Kinks record with some flavors of Richard and Linda Thompson and The Jam.” John made me a bunch of mix CDs; we talked about where our tastes overlapped. But the music evolved rather organically. I think you hear hints of our past musical conquests in parts of certain songs. But all in all, we let the music dictate its own direction. We just

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

followed its lead.   REAX: The band’s name is a reference to a Ziggy Stardust type character – why is that? LB: We both have our reasons for picking the band name. In my mind, I liked the idea of creating a songwriter who personifies the conglomerate of John and I as songwriters – and all the songwriters we’ve been inspired by and whose ideas, sounds, etc. find their way into our songs. I also think the name “Georgie James” directly relates to the sound of our music. If you close your eyes and imagine who he or she might be (the androgyny is another aspect I love), it all falls together – the body collective consciousness. REAX: John has been fortunate enough to have relationships with two high profile indie labels (Dischord and now Saddle Creek.) How did you form a relationship

with them? LB: We decided to record Places on our own in part because we didn’t have a label at the time, and also so we could have total creative freedom to make the record we wanted to make. After we’d finished it in 2006, we were looking for a label to put it out. John knew Saddle Creek through some publicity work and also through QANU. John sent them the CD, and they liked it and wanted to put it out. They’re very much inspired by the Dischord ethic, so I think it was a nice transition for John. Besides an incredible roster of artists and some great records on their discography, Saddle Creek has made a name by being “the good guy” in an era of lots of label “bad guys.” I think that translates to fans as much as the music. I, for one, am grateful to be a part of that.

GEORGIEJAMES.COM

MYSPACE.COM/GEORGIEJAMES

REAX MUSIC Magazine • MAY 2008 • Page 26


REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 27


reaxinterviews

YO MAJESTY

S

exual, spiritual and buoyantly unrestrained, Tampa hip-hop duo Yo Majesty burst on to the international lesbian-club and electronic-music scenes before its hometown barely had any idea what it had on its hands. Their danceable sound and pointedly provocative subject matter have made them favorites among empowered women and filthmonger party boys alike, but the music’s positive, live-and-love-your-own-way message rings through in any context for those willing to listen. REAX’s Marshall Dixon caught up with ringleader Shunda K to find her busy with solo projects, promoting fellow artists, and Yo Majesty’s upcoming full-length release. REAX: So you guys are headed out to Coachella, right? Shunda K: Yeah. REAX: Anybody you’re looking forward to seeing out there? SK: I wanna see Prince. We did a remix of “Kryptonite Pussy” [using] “I Wanna Be Your Lover.” We heard he didn’t like people messin’ with his music, so hopefully he’ll show us some love. REAX: How do you describe the trajectory of your popularity? It kind of seems like you guys just kind of blew up, you had that party in L.A. and it seems like an overnight-success kind of thing. SK: It don’t matter if we would’ve started off in L.A. or New York like we were originally supposed to. And the reason I say that is because the party that we had in L.A., it was actually our exmanager’s birthday party. And so him, on some scheming and planning and plotting shit, wanted to step in and do our management because he saw we had all these other dates. But he was exactly what we told him we didn’t want, we want somebody that’s gonna keep it real, somebody

that was gonna be honest, blah blah blah, and he didn’t do that. He was trying to fuck us up the ass from the first time that we met him. So yeah, we did that show and killed it, and then went on and did other things that made it happen, but I don’t want to give him no credit at all.

REAX: And it seemed like with the blogs, you got a buzz on the Internet and it spread. SK: Yeah, you know, word of mouth is off the chain. It’s so powerful. I’m starting to promote clubs here in Tampa now, and it’s been kind of hard to get people in just spending money on flyers, but word of mouth is what’s been really bringing the people out. People saying what a good time they had and so on. REAX: You can put out all the posters and flyers and ads in the magazines you want, but it really helps when someone knows what’s going on and is like, ‘hey, you gotta come out tonight, I’m going here and you gotta come with me, it’s the shit.’ SK: Right. REAX: It’s so much more powerful than a flyer. SK: And another thing I’ve been doing is, pretty much the reason why I wanted to start promoting clubs was to give other artists an opportunity to perform at a live venue, you know, and just kind of create that whole atmosphere where local artists on the block can say ‘I wanna come and play at your club tonight,’ and it’s cool ... It’s gonna be building up real soon, I’m gonna start doing some radio and stuff. And it’s helping Yo Majesty as well, to be grounded here at home, because we really don’t get no love here. REAX: Well, speaking of venues, what is your favorite venue to play here in Tampa, or anywhere in the state? SK: Oh, man. My favorite, actually, is Beauty Bar in Austin, Texas, man. REAX: Front room or back room?

LOVE KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH INTERVIEW WITH SHUNDA K

SK: It don’t matter. All over the motherfucker. We played the back, the front, outside. We just keep it movin’, man. I’m getting ready to tour Texas with my solo stuff, and it’s gonna be called the Real Love Tour. I’m gonna be touring it for the month of August. I have a company called G-MEQCA, that stands for God’s and Man’s Eternal Quest to Conquer All. Within that, I have a management company where I manage other artists, and I’m actually the one that’s been doing Yo Majesty’s management up to this point. Got a production company, I’m trying to make it happen for other artists like I’ve been making it happen for myself, you know? REAX: Do you have a favorite performer that you’re working with right now, anybody that you want to push? SK: I’m pushing all these projects at one time. I have an artist named Bla’que Pop, he’s originally based out of Plant City, where I’m from. And then one very special project that I’m working on right now, I just recorded the first four songs, it’s with one of my artists named Jersey, and we’re doing a mixtape that’s gonna be called The Best Ever Written ... Outkast. We’re using all Outkast instrumentals, and the concept is about the lyrics. I take being a lyricist very seriously, you can’t call me a rapper and get away with it, you know? I bring more to the table than that. So that’s a really special project we’re working on right now, and I’m really excited. REAX: That’s Jersey, or just you? SK: It’s me and him, we’re doing the whole mixtape together. Then, I got another one I plan on doing, The Best Ever Written ... The Beginning. That one, I have a cousin, she’s in Atlanta and she does internship for Grand Hustle, and man, her tracks is off the hook. I think what I want to do is use her tracks for that one. And I’m gonna be doing that with some guys out in Minneapolis, one of ‘em is OSP, that stands

for On Something Personal, and a guy named Contac. We’re looking to have all these artists at CMJ this year. We’re gonna be doing a party in collaboration with Fanatic Promotions out of Manhattan. REAX: So with all these other collaborations you’re working on, what’s your dream collaboration? SK: Um, I really don’t have one. My main thing is that the people hear me and what I have to say, and whatever the Lord would have me say to the people because the most important thing is the spread of love. That’s something the world is lacking right now, and not only love but knowledge and truth. There’s a lot of people hurtin’ out there, they’ve been lied to, abused, misused, and they just need to hear the truth for once and know that they can make it through another day. Just keep it movin’, man. Life is what you make it. I don’t believe that nobody has room for excuses, you know what I’m saying? Everybody has a sad story to tell, but it’s up to you whether you’re gonna drown in self-pity or get up off your ass and make something of yourself. REAX: That’s inspiring. I just got some goosebumps off of that, lady. SK: Right on. That’s what’s up. I’m on the real shit. REAX: I’ve got one last question for you: Are you ladies still getting topless on stage? SK: Well, that’s Jwl. B’s thing. That’s what she’s doin’. She says she don’t do it to try to draw a crowd. It doesn’t happen at all our shows. She says that she just starts feelin’ so free that she can’t contain herself.

MYSPACE.COM/YOMAJESTY4LIFE MYSPACE.COM/SHUNDAK MYSPACE.COM/GMEQUCAPRESENTS

REAX MUSIC Magazine • MAY 2008 • Page 28


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REAX MUSIC Magazine • MAY 2008 • Page 29


reaxinterviews

JASON ISbell

W

hat do we have to look forward to, upcoming from Jason Isbell? Jason Isbell: We just weren’t having fun anymore ... Oh wait, you didn’t ask that question. Thanks. Jason Isbell has been on tour in Europe for the last few weeks and is in Spain as I catch up with him for a quick Q&A. He automatically and jokingly answers the question I was polite enough not to ask: What about the split from the group DriveBy Truckers? About one year ago, every listener of Americana and roots rock wanted to know the same answer, but now in retrospect it is easy to divine without asking. Having joined the southern rock outfit in 2001, Isbell was there for its rise to prominence on the touring and festival circuit, contributing his heartfelt songwriting, vocals and guitar playing to what became one of the most talked-about touring groups in that genre of the last five years. Meanwhile, Isbell was frequently slipping into the legendary FAME studios in Muscle Shoals Alabama, laying down tracks on what would several years later become a

completely different project. This musical work, the New West Records release Sirens of the Ditch, is the reason why Isbell is no longer with his former band, despite whatever rumors you had heard regarding divorces or creative differences. Much like his songwriting on former DBT records, his words are close to the skin; he notices fine-print details and subtleties that make the lyrics unique. One of the standout tracks off Sirens of the Ditch is “Dress Blues,” wherein he describes the funeral of high school friend Matthew Conley, who returned from fighting in the current war to be forever “sleeping in your dress blues”; at the service, “They’re all dressing in black drinking sweet tea in Styrofoam cups.” When asked about the other potent muses of the current record, he confesses that, “Inspiration is the easiest thing in the world to find. It’s the motivation to do the legwork that can give you trouble.” When you’re a prolific songwriter, not every song fits the band that you are in, and if the music needs to see the light of day, then you may indeed need a new band. An Alabama

native and not yet 30 years old, with countless miles of touring behind him with DBT and now in front of him with the 400 Unit, Jason Isbell is making the best music of his career. But we have to know, what exactly is a 400 Unit? “The name is borrowed from a mental health facility in North Alabama. Once a week or so, the administrators will take the patients into town, give them a per diem, and let them loose to find some lunch and stretch their legs. These folks wind up staring and saying some strange things while they’re looking for a sandwich. It seemed appropriate. The guys in this band are all dear friends who I’ve known for years, and they play incredibly. I’m very lucky to work with them. I must say bringing my own band across the pond a year after we first got together is a very special honor to me. Touring Europe is an irreplaceable experience.” And these tours have not gone unnoticed. New West Records has also just released Live At Twist & Shout 11.16.07, a live EP documenting a brilliant live band capable not only of blowing the doors off a venue with

foot-stomping, guitar-wrangling tunes, but also of pulling an audience into the moment with intimate and soul-bearing songs. Recent tours with not only the younger guard of American music like Centro-Matic and The Drams, but also legends like Son Volt and Alejandro Escovedo have been getting solid reviews. Unlike more commercialized facets of American music, those that are touring and performing roots rock and Americana have a sense of unity. “I certainly think there’s a sense of community between us,” Jason notes. “We shared the stage with Centro-Matic last week in Holland, and it really did my heart good to see and hear them again. I stay in fairly close contact with most of the folks you mention and that fellowship is by far the most rewarding aspect of my job.” For REAX Music Magazine’s second birthday party, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit will be coming down to Florida for exclusive shows in Orlando at the Back Booth on May 30 and in Tampa at the Crowbar on May 31.

JASONISbell.COM

REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 30


REAX MUSIC Magazine • MAY 2008 • Page 31


BONNAROO • LOLLAPALOOZA • ROTHBURY • PITCHFORK SASQUATCH! • ALL POINTS WEST • SUMMER CAMP AUSTIN CITY LIMITS OVERSATURATION. THAT IS THE WORD OF THE SUMMER. SO MANY FESTIVALS, SO MANY REPEAT PERFORMANCES, ONE HAS TO ASK IF THE CONCERT INDUSTRY IS TURNING INTO CORPORATE ROCK RADIO: BLAND, HOMOGENEOUS, SAFE. IF YOU ARE LOOKING ONLY TO SEE THE HEADLINERS, THEN TAKE YOUR PICK OF FESTS. THE BIG NAMES INTERCHANGE EVERY WEEK; THE ONLY THING THAT CHANGES IS THE GRASSY FIELD AND CORN DOG VENDOR. THE KEY TO SEEKING VARIETY IN YOUR FEST QUEST IS TO CATCH THOSE UNIQUE AND RELEVANT ARTISTS IN THE SUPPORTING SLOTS. AND THAT WILL BE THE FOCUS OF . . . Words: Michael Rabinowitz

REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 32


BONNAROO THE ROUGH:

DATES: JUNE 15-18 MANCHESTER, TN ($244.50, camping)

Pearl Jam, Metallica, Jack Johnson, Kanye West, The Raconteurs, Willie Nelson, Death Cab For Cutie, Cat Power, Sigur Ros, Tegan and Sara, Drive-By Truckers, My Morning Jacket, Ghostland Observatory

THE DIAMONDS:

Talib Kweli, Mastodon, Ladytron, Jose Gonzalez, The Avett Brothers, Broken Social Scene, Battles, Vampire Weekend

The ‘Roo was once the jam-fest destination of the IS IT WORTH IT? year, a beautiful balance of capitalism and communal hippie values. But given this year’s lineup, can anyone pinpoint Bonaroo’s identity? Can anyone differentiate between this and Lolla (see below)? Even the drug dealers won’t be heading to this year’s event.

BONNAROO.COM

LOLLAPALOOZA THE FAVS:

ROTHBURY THE SITH:

($244.75, camping)

Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer, 311, Snoop Dogg, Primus, Modest Mouse, Medeski Martin & Wood, Drive-By Truckers, Widespread Panic

THE JEDI:

Of Montreal, Dresden Dolls, Gomez, The Black Keys, Beth Orton, Flosstradamus, The Secret Machines, Rodrigo y Gabriella

At first glance, this fest is deceivingly frat guy-ish. Dave Matthews and John Mayer alone present the possibility that the asshole quotient will rise higher than that of “Rehab Sundays” at the Hard Rock Casino’s pool in Vegas. But under that veneer of cargo shorts and wraparound shades lies a sincere nugget of great music. Which makes me wonder: what if Kevin Barnes from Of Montreal ran into John Mayer? What would they talk about? Can you imagine more two polarized individuals than these guys? The tortured, almost suicidal artist (Barnes) meets the happy-go-lucky-getlaid-anytime guitar impresario. What do you want to bet they both fucking hate Jessica Simpson?

IS IT WORTH IT?

DATES: AUGUST 3-7 GRANT PARK CHICAGO, IL ($205)

DATES: JULY 18-20 UNION PARK CHICAGO, IL

Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against The Machine, Kanye West, Wilco, The Raconteurs, Gnarls Barkley, Bloc Party, Cat Power, G. Love, The Go! Team, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Rogue Wave

THE UNDERDOGS:

DATES: JULY 3-6 DOUBLE JJ RANCH ROTHBURY, MI

Yeasayer, The Whigs, Black Kids, The Gutter Twins, Lupe Fiasco, The Kills

Lolla always comes close to collapsing in on itself with way too big names for festival viewers (will grant Park be the best venue for Radiohead’s accoustic tastes?) and corporate sponsorships. If you play the drinking game of downing a shot for every logo you see, be prepared to get your stomach pumped before Saturday’s festivities even begin. The only identity Lolla has this year would be godzilla eating Chicago . . . in less than three bites. The fact that at least four of the headliners performed there in 2006 doesn’t bode well either.

IS IT WORTH IT?

Yet Perry Ferrell gives ticketholders enough new artists to keep this bloated behemoth interesting. Let’s just hope Perry doesn’t have Patti Smith singing anti-war songs at Kidapalooza again, having emotionally scarred a whole generation of tykes two years ago.

($65)

MAINSTREAMERS: UNDERGROUNDERS:

Public Enemy. (That is, if you think VH1’s Flavor of Love makes the group mainstream.) Everybody else. Mission of Burma, Animal Collective, Jarvis Cocker, !!!, Vampire Weekend, Fleet Foxes, Jay Reatard, M. Ward, Cut Copy, Fuck Buttons, Dinosaur Jr., Ghostface and Raekwon

At $65 for three days? Hell yes! Although in the past, the Big Utensil has gone out of its way to be different (last year’s headliner Yoko Ono was the biggest joke ever), and in doing so built up a bastion of hipster credibility against this year’s round robin of repetitiveness. Having Public Enemy performing their entire seminal album, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back is sheer genius. I think this is what will distinguish Pitchfork from all the other fests for years to come. And, it is a great way to generate excitement about older acts people may have forgotten about. Here’s hoping they tap Eddie Money to perform Can’t Hold Back in 2009. . . with Ronnie Spektor! “Take me home toniiiiiiight!!”

IS IT WORTH IT?

REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 33


SASQUATCH!

DATES: MAY 24-26 THE GORGE AMPHITHEATER GEORGE, WA

DATES: JUNE 23-24 THREE SISTERS PARK CHILLICOTHE, ILL ($176, camping)

($154.50, camping)

THE BIGFOOTS:

R.E.M., Modest Mouse, Death Cab, The New Pornographers, The Flaming Lips, The Cure, Mates of State, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Tegan & Sara, The Hives

THE COUNSELORS:

THE YETIS:

The Cave Singers, Battles, Delta Spirit, The Blakes, Sera Cahoone, Pela, Destroyer, The Breeders, Mars Volta

THE CAMPERS:

The scenery at the gorge alone makes this worth it. Imagine being atop a 100-foot cliff, having your brains blasted by the prog-metal meanderings of Mars Volta. And despite the R.E.M. tour invading the top spots, at least Sasquatch! can say it has pop music as its identity. Also, with the Upright Citizens Brigade and The State alums Michael Showalter and Michael Ian Black, comedy is now finding footing in the festival circuit. Finally, you have The Flaming Lips screening their never-ending film project, Christmas On Mars, a movie that defies all cinematic expectations – like plot or thematic structure. What else would you expect from Wayne Coyne? A buddy-cop action movie?

IS IT WORTH IT?

The Flaming Lips, moe., O.A.R., New Pornographers, George Clinton and P-Funk, Blind Melon Avett Brothers, The Roots, Girl Talk, Hot Buttered Rum, The Lee Boys, Elsinore

At last! A festival with personality! It may be a filthy, dirty hippie, jam-band, blue-eyed soul personality, but at least Summer Camp has dug said filthy, dirty hippy feet in the ground and proudly declared its intentions. I would call this Langerado north (without the mosquitoes) or Shroomfest, but the cheery vibes and pro-camping message in a historic town make this an event all its own.

IS IT WORTH IT?

SUMMERCAMPFESTIVAL.COM

DATES: SEPTEMBER 26-28 ZILLER PARK AUSTIN, TX

DATES: AUGUST 8-10 LIBERTY PARK NEW YORK CITY, NY

($170)

($258)

THE BORG:

Jack Johnson, Radiohead, Cat Power, New Pornographers, Mates of State, The Go! Team, Kings of Leon, Rogue Wave

THE FEDERATION:

CSS, Metric, Chromeo, Jason Isobell, Earl Greyhound, Grizzly Bear, Underworld

You would think a music fest in nYC would have more balls than this. Instead, APW seems a weak mix of Pitchfork, Lolla, and Bonnaroo. The organizers were afraid to book anyone who hasn’t done a fest yet. What they should do is move it up to the same weekend as the new York marathon, close of all the streets, set open-air shows throughout Manhattan, and have it be like Boston’s Patriot’s Day. This way, you get the most out of your drunken, obnoxious residents in one weekend.

IS IT WORTH IT?

THE GOLIATHS:

THE DAVIDS:

The Foo Fighters, The Raconteurs, Gnarls Barkley, G. Love, Sharon Jones, Band of Horses, Silversun Pickups, Robert Plant and Allison Krauss, Tegan & Sara, The Swell Season, N.E.R.D., Eryka Badu, Mates of State Man Man, Hot Chip, Yeasayer, Jenny Lewis, MGMT, Delta Spirit

Just this past March, Austin hosted over 1600 bands at SXSW. Are you telling me the promoters of ACL couldn’t find 100 of those acts not named Gnarls Barkley or The Raconteurs to headline? This is THE perfect example of oversaturating the market. And, considering the promoter of ACL, C3 Presents, also organizes Lolla, should it be a surprise to anyone that this Austin event is just a rehash of the Chicago event?

IS IT WORTH IT?


REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 35


reaxfeature

REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 36


Back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Hermosa Beach punk act Pennywise helped redefine the Southern California fast-rock sound, inspiring a legion of followers and imitators. Now, nearly 20 years later, the band is still at the leading edge of its craft; by joining forces with Myspace Records and offering new album Reason to Believe as a free high-quality digital download before its physical release – an offer that almost half a million fans eagerly took up – Pennywise is actively reshaping the music-industry model for the digital age. Reax recently spoke with bassist Randy Bradbury about the group’s groundbreaking new distribution moves, as well as the music they delivered. REAX: How was Australia? Randy Bradbury: Australia was awesome. We always have a good time down there, but it was great being down there with The Vandals, they’re old friends of ours, and Sum 41, they put on big, really great shows every night. And Bowling for Soup turned out to be really cool dudes too. And the crowds were pretty big. We played to double the size crowds we’ve usually played to down there. REAX: The band has been courted by labels bigger than Epitaph before over the course of its career, what made now the time to switch rosters? RB: Well, I think it had more to do with the changing horizon, I guess, of the music industry. We’ve realized the importance of the Internet for a long time, and the opportunity to be on Myspace Records, which is one of the hugest sites around, period, we just thought ... it’s always been our number one priority to get the music out there. The opportunity presented itself, and we’ve done eight albums with Epitaph and have no complaints, they’re like family. We actually went and talked to Brett [Gurewitz, head of Epitaph Records] before we went ahead with this, and he gave us his blessing. So basically, the reason we went now was just so we could take advantage of the Internet. REAX: Was it a difficult decision? RB: Yeah. Like I said, they’re family to us. But also, we all felt like we needed to do something new. Everything just fell into place. Of course it was a difficult decision, but in the long run we felt like it was the best thing to do. And it just panned out that way. And the official number on the downloads was somewhere over 400,000. We could never have done that on Epitaph, it takes years to sell that many records. In retrospect, we’re still friends with everyone at Epitaph, so we get to maintain a relationship with them. And they put out the records in Australia and Europe. It’s the best of both worlds. REAX: Did you expect a number that big? Did you think that 350,000 or 400,000-plus people would get in there? RB: We had no idea. We were hoping. And you’ve also gotta figure that they’ve downloaded that many, but we’re also streaming the songs on our Myspace page, and if you combine the totals of each song, it’s well over a million. We were hoping we could expose our music to

that many people, and it did seem like it was a possibility just because of the hugeness of Myspace. But without them being involved, we never would’ve thought we could’ve done something like that. We didn’t know what to expect. Our biggest question, really was whether anyone was going to buy the album after that. (Laughs)

thing. So when we bring ‘em together for the final tally, we just listen for what we like. Not ‘is this Pennywise?’, just what catches our ear. At the same time we’re trying to offer ... we want the album to have some variation. In the end, we didn’t really set out to do something like that, it’s just what catches our ear. and we try to keep it in mind. But that wasn’t the plan.

REAX: Well, given the loyalty of your fanbase, it’s that community. They’re people who are more likely to still go buy the thing than people who are into more mainstream stuff. RB: That’s the thing. We’ve got a great fanbase, they’re very loyal. We’ve had a long, steady run, and the reason why we ended up with fans in the first place is because we basically have the same attitude – we’re fans. Before I was in Pennywise, I was a fan. We’re all on the same level, so they’re not gonna be alienated anytime soon. We always keep in mind to just do what we do, and – I’m gonna use a cliché – keep it real. (Laughs)

“Alien” was one of those songs, back in ‘98 or whatever, that we thought ‘wow, this doesn’t really sound like a Pennywise song, but we like it, so fuck it.’ That’s kind of what we did on this album.

REAX: Where did the idea to make the album available as a free download come from? Was it the band? The label? You guys together? RB: Actually, we realized that people were illegally downloading music years ago. And we’ve thrown it out there a couple of times almost jokingly. ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if we could just release our album for free,’ not expecting to really be able to do it. But Fletcher [Dragge, Pennywise guitarist] started talking to J. Scavo from Myspace, and from what Fletcher says, J. brought it up. So it was actually something they thought would be cool to do. So it was him and Fletcher talking about the whole format, and then Fletcher came back and talked to the band about it, and we all instantly thought it was a great idea. REAX: The new record is one of the most varied Pennywise albums in recent memory. There’s some more heavy stuff, there’s some catchier stuff, and there’s classic Pennywise stuff. Did you set out to make a more eclectic record? RB: We always keep an open mind. We don’t wanna go and start playing a completely different style of music, but we like to stretch the boundaries of what we do without being too contrived. We’ll all work on songs at home, and then when it’s time to get together, we’ll bring in half-finished stuff and riffs, but we’ll also bring in all our own songs. So it’s gonna be pretty diverse. I go out in my garage and write anything, fast songs, slow songs, and Jim [Lindberg, vocalist] and Fletcher do the same

REAX: Are you guys super-conscious of what you’ve done before? Do you ever throw stuff out because it sounds too much like an older song? RB: Yeah. That happens a lot. The process of elimination, i mean, we had over 60 songs to work on for this album. They get thrown out for a million reasons. I wrote a song that had the word ‘wallow’ in it, and Fletcher just didn’t like ‘wallow’ (Laughs), so that one was out. Everyone has to resonate with the song, and there’s tons of songs where we know we’ve done that riff a million times before. But there are also songs on there that kind of reminded us of the Full Circle era, and we kept ‘em for just that reason. We don’t want to always do the same thing, but that’s been, like, ten years. It’s a nice reference, it keeps us tied to our roots, I guess. REAX: There’s also that nice lyrical mix of the personal and the political, something the band has always done well. Do you think that punk acts in general have a responsibility to weigh in on political and cultural issues? RB: No. I actually think that there should be no responsibility at all, other than to do what feels natural to you. That goes to our message, just be an individual, be yourself. We do that because we feel the need, and we feel good about doing it. I know for us, we enjoy doing it, we sing songs from our own perspective. The band started out more on a friendship level, a brotherhood thing, almost like self-help – you can do it, be the best you can. And as we’ve progressed, obviously things have changed in the country, and things have changed for us personally, so the perspective changed to more political view. So it’s gonna be all-incorporating, that’s all gonna still be in there. You’re basically a product of your own life experiences, you know? You don’t really throw anything out.

myspace.com/pennywise REAX MUSIC Magazine • MAY 2008 • Page 37


reaxspotlight

Words: Sean Kantrowitz Photo: SekondHandProjects Any doubt as to whether or not the turntable is a legitimate instrument is simply an antiquated notion, thanks in no small part to the work of one Eric San (better known as Kid Koala). With over two decades of practical exploration under his belt, Koala is a marquee name on the billboard of the ‘turntablist’ movement, utilizing his deft skills and abundant record collection to create sounds with a turntable that were unthinkable at the time of the device’s inception. But the man himself isn’t necessarily eager to claim the crown as king of the movement. “’Turntablism’ is such a weird term. A lot of people seem to have a preconceived notion about what it should sound like,” Koala says. “Is it really an official genre of music? For me, it describes the process of how it was made, and not what it sounds like. You don’t hear about ‘guitarism,’ or ‘flutism,’ or ‘oh, violinism is really hot this year.’” Koala’s craft implements elements of rock, jazz, blues, and funk, weaving them together to paint a picture or tell a story; if one were to compare scratch-battle techniques to the guitar solo, the man’s got Malmsteen-esque chops tempered by a modest self-awareness that allows him to tastefully get his rocks off. “There are moments that go beyond the aspect of practicing 12 hours a day,” he explains. “Moments that can change the way you play forever. For me, it was when I saw a video of Thelonious Monk playing piano – that just turned my whole universe inside out. Here’s a guy reinventing an instrument that’s existed for hundreds of years. That part of DJing is very inspiring to me.” With that said, Koala’s opening slot on this year’s Hard Sell Tour with vinyl heavyweights DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist was a downright religious experience. “Those guys are always pushing it into a new area,” he raves about his time on the tour. “We’d always run into each other on the road and at festivals, but we never were really able to line our schedules up. For us to be able to go out and do 20-30 dates was a lot of fun. The crowds were great, and I had a great time.” With a Mario Caldato-produced rock/turntable project called Slew in the can (think Black Sabbath meets Public Enemy) and his contributions to the sequel to backpacker cult favorite Deltron3030 complete (“we’re just waiting on Del to finish, but what I’ve heard is great,” Koala says), Koala’s current headlining tour marks the end of what he calls his ‘back to basics’ approach, a style he’s concentrated on since his 2006 release Your Mom’s Favorite DJ on Ninja Tune. “I’m sort of in-between chapters right now,” he says. “My whole M.O. for the past year and a half has been taking it back to the core of DJing, plotting things out. ‘How can I make this sound with this many turntables?’ I had a lot of fun with it, too.” “Next tour is going to be some crazy stuff, like a seal playing a foghorn,” he laughs. “That kind of specialty show is on its way. It’s an ebb and flow thing; I really enjoy DJing, and switching it up every so often keeps me from burning out.” REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 38


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697CA95A9A69F REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 39 CBMCIFB9LHJ=G=H


reaxspotlight

Making their debut at a local Pittsburgh radio station in 1993, Anti-Flag got together for the sake of channeling their disgust at religion, nationalism, and fascism. Justin Sane (vocals/guitar), Andy Flag (bass/ vocals), and Pat Thetic (drums) bopped around their hometown – much to the dismay of local skinheads – while recruiting a following who proudly wore torn-up upside-down flags as patches. In 1997, after releasing a handful of singles, opening for their idols the U.K. Subs, the Exploited, and the Circle Jerks, and briefly touring the East Coast – a trip that led to the departure of Andy Flag – Die for the Government was released, and 20,000 copies, four bassists, and four north American tours later, Anti-Flag had gained their reputation for recapturing the old-school ethics of punk with a new message-oriented breed of hardcore. Chris Head was added to the lineup in 1997; two years later, Chris #2 joined on as well to complete the four-piece. They released A New Kind of Army in 1999 on go Kart Records, hoping to spread their message further and wider. A summer stint on the Warped Tour brought an expanded audience and new friends, including “Fat

Mike” Burkett of nOFX Fat Wreck Chords. The label put out 2001’s Underground Network. Their next effort, Mobilize, was a combination of new tracks and tracks that were recorded live in their hometown. The disc came out in February 2002, the most notable track being “911 for Peace,” a song that reflected the recent World Trade Center terrorist attacks. Their relationship with Fat Wreck continued for their next full-length, The Terror State. not surprisingly, the band also became involved with Punk Voter, a coalition of punk bands and artists working to raise voter awareness and participation within the punk scene leading up to the 2004 election. The band also headlined the Rock Against Bush tour. In a somewhat unexpected move, Anti-Flag next signed to RCA in April 2005; they issued For Blood and Empire the following March. Anti-Flag’s decision to sign to RCA Records was a major source of criticism among critics and fans alike, since RCA is owned by Sony BMg. Some fans found this decision hypocritical due to Anti-Flag’s previously overtly anti-capitalist lyrics. Responding to this in an interview with

English newspaper The Guardian, Justin Sane said, “We’ve been approached by the major labels over the past seven or eight years but we thought we were having an impact where we were. They were never willing to give us complete control. This time they were willing to give us complete control over what we record, the artwork, who we tour with. We won’t be censored. If there was ever a time to take a chance to be heard on a mass scale then this is the time. I feel like we’ve been a voice in the wilderness for too long.” Other defenses of the band’s decision argue moving to a larger label was a practical solution to the problem of communicating the band’s message to new and more widespread audiences. Lately the band has been gearing up for their north American tour in support of their new album, Bright Lights of America, and remaining hard at work for nonprofit groups such as PETA, Amnesty International, and the ACLU. Anti-Flag is also working campaigns of their own, such as MilitaryFreezone.org, which tries to make people aware of, and attempt to counteract, the aggressive recruitment policies of the military in and around high

schools and universities. Bright Lights of America mixes the old hardcore punk standard with a myriad of different musical instruments not used before by the band. Cellos, violins, pianos, horns, and even a xylophone are thrown in. “We really tried to get a different feel to this record” says Chris #2, adding that the new record is also taking a step in a more positive direction compared to the last two Anti-Flag releases. “We just wanted to get the point across that not everything about the U.S. is horrible, that this is a good country, but it is up to us to make it better”. Opening to a chant-along track championing the rights of animals everywhere, Bright Lights of America is shot through with themes of hope and dismay for the state of the punk rock scene, the government, and the country. It all culminates with songs of protest with which we may or may not agree. But we can get behind the fact that the members of Antiflag know what they’re doing in the studio. And live as well; their shows are filled with chanting, fist pumping and ideas that will make you think.

ANTI-FLAG.COM REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 40


REAX MUSIC Magazine • MAY 2008 • Page 41


42

THE SCENE ISSUE: 24

VENUES, BARS, RESTAURANTS

AND OTHER HOT SPOTS

Uncle Sam’s Music 4580 n. University Drive Lauderhill, FL 33351 954-742-2466

Park Avenue CDs 2916 Corrine Dr. Orlando, FL 32803 407.447.PARK

NORTH FLORIDA

Park Avenue CDs Jr. UCF Student Union #102A Orlando, FL 32816 407.282.1616

Skipper’s Smokehouse 910 Skipper Road Tampa, FL 33613

American Apparel 15 S.W. 1st Ave. gainesville, FL 32601 352-372-2262

Red Light, Red Light 535 W. new England Rd. Winter Park, FL 32789 407-539-1711

Mojo Books and Music 2558 E. Fowler Ave. Tampa, FL 33612 813-971-9717

State Theatre 687 Central Ave. St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-895-3045

The Atlantic 15 n. Main St. gainesville, FL 32601 352-264-9866

Rock ’N’ Roll Heaven 1814 n. Orange Ave. Orlando, FL 32804 407-896-1952

Nova Art Lounge 535 Dr ML King Jr. St. n. St. Petersburg, FL 727-821-6682

Stevie B’s Total Guitar Multiple Locations www.steviebs.com

Beta Bar 809 Railroad Ave Tallahassee, FL 32310 850-425-2697

Stardust Video and Coffee 1842 Winter Park Rd Winter Park, FL 32789 407-623-3393

St Pete Times Forum 401 Channelside Dr. Tampa, FL 33602 813-301-6600

Café Eleven 501 A1A Beach Blvd. St. Augustine, FL 32080 904-460-9311

Tampa Guitar School 15349 Amberly Dr. Tampa, FL 33647 813.558.nOTE

Common Grounds 210 SW 2nd Ave., Ste. A gainesville, FL 32601 352-372-7320

Tribeca Salon 920 W. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33606 813-250-0208

Club TSI 333 East Bay St. Jacksonville, FL 32290 904-424-3531

Sharp Hair Design 3701 SR580 Suite g Oldsmar, FL 34677 813-855-2422

Mabuhay Hair Salon 10022 n. 30th St. Tampa, FL 33612 813-972-0880

Sherry’s Yesterdaze Vintage 5207 n. Florida Ave. Tampa, FL 33603 813-231-2020

Daddy Kool Records 538 Central Ave. St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-822-5665 The Hub 719 n. Franklin St. Tampa, FL 33602 813-229-1553 IADT Tampa 5104 Eisenhower Blvd. Tampa, FL 33634 888-315-6111 Independent Bar 29 3rd St. n. St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-820-9514

Drums2Go 204 South Semoran Blvd Orlando FL 32807 407-306-0611

Respectable Street 518 Clematis St. West Palm Beach, FL 33410 561-832-9999

House of Blues Orlando 1490 E. Buena Vista Dr. Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 407-934-BLUE

Local Coffee + Tea 330 1st Ave. S. Saint Petersburg, FL 33701 727-551-0201

Crowbar 1812 n. 17th St. Tampa, FL 33605 813-241-8600

Club Firestone 578 n. Orange Ave. Orlando, FL 32801

Sweat Records / Churchill’s Pub 5505 nE 2nd Ave. Miami, FL 33137 305-342-0953

Atomic Tattoos Multiple Locations www.atomictattoos.com

The Cider House 1752 Central Ave. St Petersburg, FL 33712 727-822-7400

Uncle Sam’s Music 1141 Washington Ave. Miami Beach, FL 33139 305-532-0973

Hard Rock Live 6050 Universal Blvd. Orlando, FL 32819 407-351-7625

Seminole Music & Sound 10720 74th Ave. n., Ste. F Seminole, FL 33772 727-391-3892

The Castle 2004 n. 16th St. Tampa, FL 33605 813-247-7547

AKA Lounge 68 E. Pine St. Orlando, FL 32801 407-839-3707

Revolution 300 Himmarshee St # 2 Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33312 954-356-8149

Kelly’s Pub 206 n. Morgan St. Tampa, FL 33602 813-228-0870

Café Hey 1540 n. Franklin St. Tampa, FL 33602 813-221-5150

Studio A 60 nE. 11th St. Miami, FL 33132 305-358-7625

FL Institute of Recording, Sound and Technology 3315 Maggie Blvd., Suite 100 Orlando, FL 407.316.8310

All Pro Percussion 10101 E. Adamo Dr. Tampa, FL 33619 813-341-DRUM

ARTpool 919 1st Ave. n. St. Petersburg, FL 33705 www.artpoolrules.com

ORLANDO

Culture Room 3045 n Federal Hwy Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306 954-564-1074

TAMPA BAY

AOE Art Supply 12908 n. 56th St. Tampa, FL 33617 813 989-0302

SOUTH FLORIDA

Mean Machine Tattoo Co. 3415 S. Dale Mabry Hwy Tampa, FL 33629 813-831-1106 Mema’s Alaskan Tacos 1724 E. 8th Ave. Tampa, FL 33605 813-247-TACO

The Orpheum 1902 n. Avenida Republica De Cuba Ybor City, FL 33605 813-248-9500 Pegasus Lounge 10008 n. 30th St. Tampa, FL 33612 813-971-1679 PUSH Ultra Lounge 128 3rd. St. S. St. Petersburg, FL 33701 727-895-6400 RedLetter1 1510 E. 8th Ave. Tampa, FL 33605 813-241-2435 Revolve Clothing Exchange 1510 E. 8th Ave. Ybor City, FL 33605 813-241-2435

Skatepark of Tampa 4215 E. Columbus Dr. Tampa, FL 33605 813-621-6793

Vintage Ink 2471 McMullen Booth Suite 7 Clearwater, FL 33759 727-797-4465 Vinyl Fever 4110 Henderson Blvd. Tampa, FL 33629 813-289-8399

Freebird Live 200 north 1st Street Jacksonville, FL 32250 904-246-BIRD Store 101 4647 nW 6th St. gainesville, FL 32609 941-321-7205 St Augustine Amphitheatre 1340 A1A S St. Augustine, FL 32080 904-461-0825 REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 4242 REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE


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MAUDITE, GUINNESS, TETLEY’S PUB ALE, STELLA ARTOIS, BROOKLYN LAGER, BLUE MOON + WOODCHUCK CIDER

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UPCOMING SHOWS:

MAY 02: EARTH BOMBS MARS FEATURING RICH WHITELEY OF UNCLE JOHN’S BAND MAY 03: PIRATE PRUDE CD RELEASE PARTY! + NEW LANDS MAY 08: SMOKESTACK AND THE FOOTHILL FURY MAY 09: DJ GABE DOES THE 80’S AND BEYOND! MAY 10: BRER MAY 24: BUSINESS CASUAL FEATURING MR. ATTENTION + JESSE P MAY 30: SARGE AND THE AEROMEN MAY 31: NOVEMBER FOXTROT WHISKEY + OPEN MIC NIGHT EVERY WEDNESDAY

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MON-FRI: 11AM -'TIL, SATURDAY: 5PM -'TIL, SUNDAY: 3PM -'TIL

REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 43


44 THU

THE SCENE ISSUE: 24

MAY

08

FLORIDA EVENTS

FRI

MAY

09

Uh Huh Her, Angie Mattson The Social, Orlando Cost: $12/$14 Time: 9pm

Rancid Polecats, Boney Fiend new World Brewery, Ybor City Time: 9pm

Orchestra Of Munitions, Flying Snakes, Fatal, Dark Castle, Six Dead Horses Transitions Art gallery, Tampa Cost: $7 Time: 8pm

The Fucking Faggots, Legions, Hatchetface, Ooga Shaka Mooga Baka Pegasus Lounge, Tampa Cost: $5/$7 Time: 9pm

SAT

MAY

10

Crowbar, Ybor City Time: 8pm

+ Villains Club Firestone, Orlando Time: 8pm Isabella, Flowers For Algernon, Fight Or Flight, The Flying Dutchmen 1982, gainesville Cost: $6/$7 Time: 8pm Without Hatred, Powersville, Euphony Backstage Lounge, gainesville Cost: $5 Time: 9pm

Ninja Gun, The Takers, Squeaky, Dirty Money The Atlantic, gainesville Cost: $6 Time: 10pm Phenomenauts, The A.K.A.s, Maladroid BackBooth, Orlando Cost: $8/$10 Time: 7pm Dose Of Reality, The Leo Project, Fast Lane, No One From Nowhere Backstage Lounge, gainesville Cost: $5 Time: 10pm Jofish Loony Brass Mug, Tampa Time: 9pm

The Fall Of Troy, The Dear Hunter, Moros Eros, Foxy Shazam The Social, Orlando Cost: $12/$14 Time: 4pm John Frank (CD Release), Matt MacKelcan, Clayton Senne The Social, Orlando Cost: $8 Time: 9:30pm

THE ABSENCE

BONDE DO ROLE

Bird Street Players, Aych, Win Win Winter, Rebekah Pulley & The Reluctant Prophets, November Foxtrot Whiskey, Blind Buddy Moody Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa Cost: $5/$10 Time: 5pm

Uh Huh Her, Angie Mattson Studio A, Miami Cost: $12 Time: 7pm

RIDDLE OF STEEL

The Black Noise, Apocalypse A Go GO Taste, Orlando Time: 10pm

+ Guiltmaker, History The Atlantic, gainesville Cost: $6 Time: 10pm Kalus, Ghost Of A Tragedy, Warfield, Grim Reality Brass Mug, Tampa Time: 9pm Va Va Va Voom Revue Burlesque Dance Show 210 City Club, Lakeland Time: 8pm

Grayum Fest 6: In Spaaaaaace, Safety, The CV, Rest Of Us, Virgins, Cutman, Cruiserweight, Arm The Poor, Dirty Money, TransFM, Architects Transitions Art gallery, Tampa Cost: $10 Time: 5pm

SUN

MAY

Mindless Self Indulgence Club Firestone, Orlando Time: 8pm

Daniel Fahey, Lane Pieshell, Brock Savage, Jamie Morgan, JC Cur The Atlantic, gainesville Cost: $4 Time: 8pm

Averklou, Boyracer, Brasillia, Human Television, Nervous Systems, Que Possum Common grounds, gainesville Cost: $11 Time: 8pm

Baron Von Bear (CD Release), Thomas Wynn & The Believers, The Sugar Oaks, The Dark Romantics BackBooth, Orlando Cost: $10 Time: 7pm

Maxi Priest Culture Room, Ft. Lauderdale Cost: $19.99 Time: 8pm

Ars Phoenix, Phoenix/Nebulin Backstage Lounge, gainesville Cost: $6 Time: 10pm

Disturbed, Five Finger Death Punch, Art Of Dying Hosue Of Blues, Orlando Cost: $40/$95 Time: 6:30pm

6th Street Rhythm And Blues Review Downtown Plaza, gainesville Cost: FREE! Time: 8pm

Black Finger (CD Release) Bamboo Room, Lake Worth Time: 9pm

Cruiserweight, Architects, Cutman, Virgins Common grounds, gainesville Time: 6pm

Smokestack And The Foothill Fury Kelly’s Pub, Tampa Time: 9pm

Stephen Marley, Gully Bank Soundsystem Freebird Live, Jacksonville Cost: $26/$29 Time: 8:30pm

Red Dawn Club Firestone, Orlando Cost: $15 Time: 10pm

Thrash Unreal, Stages & Stereos Crowbar, Ybor City Cost: $7 Time: 7pm

Inertia!, Oh Fortuna, Oh Sanders, Saint Sweetheart The Kickstand, gainesville Cost: $6 Time: 1pm

DJ Gabe Kelly’s Pub, Tampa Time: 9pm

The Bright Lights, Cannanes, The Courtneys, Holopaw, Nana Grizol Common grounds, gainesville Cost: $11 Time: 8pm

Uh Huh Her, Angie Mattson The Orpheum, Ybor City Cost: $12 TIme: 7:30pm

Black Sheep Caravan, Legacy, Green Sunshine Pegasus Lounge, Tampa Cost: $5/$7 Time: 9pm

Affair D’Coeur, The Elks, A Faulty Chromosome, For Ex-Lovers Only The Kickstand, gainesville Cost: $6 Time: 1pm

The Dead Science, The Buddy System, Giddy-Up, Helicopter!, Super Secret Best Friends, Travel Like Trains Crowbar, Ybor City Cost: $8 Time: 8pm

Riddle Of Steel, The Beauvilles, No Recess new World Brewery, Ybor City Cost: $8 Time: 9pm

Ladyfish (CD Release), Since Always, Alley In Heat Freebird Live, Jacksonville Cost: $5/$10 Time: 8pm

Everise, Sins Of The Father, Til My Rival Dies, Springfield Cubs Pegasus Lounge, Tampa Cost: $5/$7 Time: 9pm

Matt Hires & 42nd Street Kelly’s Pub, Tampa Time: 9pm

Airfields, Brittle Stars, The Buddy System, Giddy-Up, Helicopter!, Ifwhen Common grounds, gainesville Cost: $11 Time: 8pm Kid Koala, DJ Jester The Fillipino Fist, Blac Soap, Kush Wonder, eFFeX, Positive Response, DJ Mega, Business Casual Crowbar [Ultra Lounge], Ybor City Cost: $10/$12 Time: 9pm

Acho Brother, Auditorium, Katherine Kelly PUSH Ultra Lounge, St. Petersburg Cost: $5 Time: 9pm Evolution Heart, Black In The Mind, Killing Hope, Nello Wafer The Social, Orlando Cost: $7 Time: 9pm For He Who Hung The Moon, Whales, Reflexes, Brian Lugo, Giancarlo Transitions Art gallery, Tampa Cost: $6 Time: 7pm

Red Elvises, Truckstop Coffee Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa Cost: $15/$20 Time: 8pm

Citra Super, Fruit Machine, Erin Tobey The Kickstand, gainesville Cost: $6 Time: 1pm

11

The Phenomenauts, The AKA’s, Maldroid, No More 1982, gainesville Cost: $8/$9 Time: 6pm Poverty Branch, Elisa Victoria, LB, Ricky Diamond, Bryan Malpass BackBooth, Orlando Time: 8pm

The Dead Science, Attachedhands The Peacock Room, Orlando Cost: FREE! Time: 9pm Divisions Of Grace, Wrath Of The Inquisition, Plague Of The Hour Pegasus Lounge, Tampa Cost: $5/$7 Time: 6:15pm Women’s Blues Revue, Denise Moore, Liz Pennock & Dr. Blues Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa Cost: $7/$10 Time: 5pm KG And The Band, Shak nasty, Brown Note The Social, Orlando Cost: $10 Time: 8pm

REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 44


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REAX MUSIC Magazine â&#x20AC;¢ MAY 2008 â&#x20AC;¢ Page 45


46 SUN

THE SCENE ISSUE: 24

11

MAY

The Fall Of Troy, The Dear Hunter, Foxy Shazam, Tera Melos Studio A, Miami Cost: $13 Time: 6pm

MAY

DSCProject, Mogul Street Reserve, Tropidelic, 4Souls Pegasus Lounge, Tampa Cost: $5/$7 Time: 9pm

Cori Yarckin, Social Ghost Crowbar, Ybor City Cost: $6 Time: 8pm Jon Crocker, The Dead Songwriters The Kickstand, gainesville Cost: $5 Time: 10pm

Del Castillo, Groovesect, Gandalf Murphy And The Slambovian Circus Of Dreams, Brave Combo Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa Cost: $15/$20 Time: 8pm

The Haas, Down With Paul Riser, Skull And Bone Pegasus Lounge, Tampa Cost: $5/$7 Time: 9pm

Erin Tobey, Inertia!, David Vassalotti Transitions Art gallery, Tampa Cost: $6 Time: 7pm

MON

FLORIDA EVENTS

12

The Gentlemen, Unit Shifters Taste, Orlando Time: 10pm

FMF08 Various Venues, Orlando Visit: floridamusicfestival.com for more information.

FRI

MAY

16

Morningbell, Kentucky Nightmare, Three Legged Dawg, Thomas Calder 1982, gainesville Cost: $5/$6 Time: 9pm

WED

MAY

14

Tony Faline, Jimmy Rhodes, Gage 210 City Club, Lakeland Time: 10pm

Sunday Girl, Elisa Victoria, Acalasia Backstage Lounge, gainesville Cost: $5 Time: 9pm

MAY

SAT

17

15

GREYMARKET + Girls on Film, Incredible Crisis, DJ Nemesis PUSH Ultra Lounge, St. Petersburg Cost: $5 Time: 9pm

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Media Whore Respectable Street, West Palm Beach Time: 9pm The Hate Bombs Taste, Orlando Time: 10pm Select Start, Vega Under Fire, Veara, Hello Alaska, The Fight At The Show Transitions Art gallery, Tampa Cost: $8 Time: 6pm FMF08 Various Venues, Orlando Visit: floridamusicfestival.com for more information. Tropical Heatwave ’08 Various Venues, Ybor City Visit: wmnf.org/heatwave for more information.

18

MAY

SUNBEARS!

Doombot, National Product, Ashes In Arlington, Quadraphones 1982, gainesville Cost: $6/$7 Time: 9pm Blacksnake, Towers Of Hanoi, Trigger Effect The Atlantic, gainesville Cost: $6 Time: 10pm Hollow Days, Kings Of Awesome, Hail Coda Backstage Lounge, gainesville Cost: $5 Time: 10pm

Soulphonics & Ruby Velle, Moodhosa Common grounds, gainesville Cost: $7 Time: 9pm

Watson Park, In The Clear, Juxtaposse Backstage Lounge, gainesville Cost: $5 Time: 9pm

MAY

Eight Fingered Larry, Poundsalt, Autotrain, The Haas Pegasus Lounge, Tampa Cost: $5/$7 Time: 9pm

SUN

Peter Mulvey Café Eleven, St. Augustine Cost: $10 Time: 8:30pm

Surfers On Acid 1982, gainesville Time: 9pm

FMF08 Various Venues, Orlando Visit: floridamusicfestival.com for more information.

Dropping Daylight, Playradioplay, You Me And Everyone We Know, Dear Dakota, Victory Blvd, Eric Throne 1982, gainesville Cost: $7/$8 Time: 6pm

Club TSI, Jacksonville Time: 9pm

Murphee K, Pendleton, Gnarly By Nature 1982, gainesville Time: 9pm

THU

Danny’s Turning Red!!!, Machete Attack, Something Like Hell. Party Time, The Fucking Faggots, Gatorface, Chapstick Cap, Acidikids Transitions Art gallery, Tampa Cost: $5 Time: 7pm

Bang Bang Boom, Bluebird Suitcase Market Street Pub, gainesville Cost: $6 Time: 9pm

Mumpsy, Trés Bien!, Thomas Wynn & The Believers, Brass Bed Crowbar, Ybor City Cost: $7 Time: 9pm Fusebox Funk, Jannussary Freebird Live, Jacksonville Cost: $10 Time: 8pm Pain Principle, Misanthropist, Field Of Glass, Apocalyptic Visions The Haven, Winter Park Cost: $5/$7 Time: 9pm Nonpoint, The Exies, Deepfield, Under The Flood House Of Blues, Orlando Cost: $17.50/$25 Time: 7pm The Hornrims (feat. Joe Popp), Nessie, Deadly Fists Of Kung Fu new World Brewery, Ybor City Time: 9pm

National Product, Hydrosonic BackBooth, Orlando Cost: $8/$10 Time: 7pm

ARTPOOL PARTY!

The Mighty Lester Band Common grounds, gainesville Cost: $10 Time: 6pm

ARTpool, St. Petersburg Cost: $10 Time: 8pm Visit: artpoolrules.com for more information.

CSRaverage, Monkey Music, Hey Rube, Loyola, Blacklite Pegasus Lounge, Tampa Cost: $5/$7 Time: 6:15pm

Landmines, Fiya, The Horror, The Damn Wrights The Atlantic, gainesville Cost: $6 Time: 10pm The Skaelings Backstage Lounge, gainesville Cost: $6 Time: 10pm Left In Ashes, Blood By Dawn, Retaliation, Of Angels And Grave Diggers, By The Horns Brass Mug, Tampa Time: 9pm Soulidium, Getten Deep, Alive Inside, WMP Crowbar, Ybor City Cost: $10 Time: 8pm Drive By Truckers Freebird Live, Jacksonville Cost: $20/$22 Time: 8pm Ace Frehley, Social Ghost, Megaphone House Of Blues, Orlando Cost: $19.50/$53 Time: 7:30pm Fight Night: Hip Hop Open Mick Kelly’s Pub, Tampa Time: 9pm Weapons To Go The Kickstand, gainesville Cost: $5 Time: 10pm

Hat Trick Heroes, Male Order Bride, Auditorium Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa Cost: $7 Time: 5pm Duran Duran UCF Arena, Orlando Cost: $48.50

MON

MAY

19

Play Radio Play!, You Me And Everyone We Know, Dropping Daylight, A New Addiction BackBooth, Orlando Cost: $8 Time: 5:30pm

TUE

MAY

20

One Republic, Dave Barnes, Matt Wertz House Of Blues, Orlando Cost: $20/$32 Time: 7pm

REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 4646 REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE


REAX MUSIC MAgAzInE • MAY 2008 • PAgE 47


48 TUE

THE SCENE ISSUE: 24

MAY

20

She Wants Revenge, Be Your Own Pet, The Virgins Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg Cost: $17/$20 Time: 6:30pm Hatebreed, Type O Negative, 3 Inches Of Blood, Kalus Revolution, Ft. Lauderdale Time: 8pm

WED

MAY

21

Bloodline Alibi, Residual, Life’s Only Lesson Backstage Lounge, gainesville Cost: $5 Time: 9pm Voyeurs, Sarge And The Aeromen, Locolism Crowbar, Ybor City Cost: $5 Time: 8pm The Roots Freebird Live, Jacksonville Cost: $30/$35 Time: 8pm Hatebreed, Type O Negative, 3 Inches Of Blood, Kalus House Of Blues, Orlando Cost: $20.50/$36 Time: 6:30pm

FLORIDA EVENTS

Public Service Announcement, Thunder Under Water, EMA 1982, gainesville Cost: $5/$6 Time: 9pm

Natasha Bedingfield, The Veronicas, Kate Voegele House Of Blues, Orlando Cost: $23.50/$26 Time: 7pm

(Un)Said (CD Release), Gorillafight, Headsnap BackBooth, Orlando Cost: $7 Time: 8pm

Yo Majesty!, Rosetta Stoned BackBooth, Orlando Cost: $10 Time: 9pm

Pennywise Jannus Landing, St. Petersburg Time: 7:30pm

Junkie XL Club Firestone, Orlando Time: 9pm

The Sword, Torche, Stinking Lizaveta Beta Bar, Tallahassee Cost: $10 Time: 8pm

Worldwide Zoo Kelly’s Pub, Tampa Time: 10pm

Yo Majesty (CD Release) Crowbar, Ybor City Cost: $7/$9 Time: 9pm

The Kids In The Hall Hard Rock Live, Orlando Cost: $45 Time: 8pm

A District Of Evolution, A Whiskey A Dance & A Kiss Goodnight, Fight Or Flight The Kickstand, gainesville Cost: $5 Time: 10pm

Business Casual w/ Mr. Attention & Jesse P Kelly’s Pub, Tampa Time: 9pm

“Faces” Art Show w/ M31, The Uh, Insecticide Lobotomy, Insect Joy, DJ Cub Czar Vodka Bar, Ybor City Cost: $10 Time: 7pm-11pm She Wants Revenge, Be Your Own Pet, The Virgins, Switches House Of Blues, Orlando Cost: $18/$20 Time: 6:30pm Lonely Heroes, Rogue Fi The Social, Orlando Cost: $7 Time: 9pm

MAY

The Sea Swallowed Us Whole, London’s Werewolf Epidemic, Tarantulas Attack! The Kickstand, gainesville Cost: $5 Time: 10pm

23

She Wants Revenge, Be Your Own Pet, The Virgins, Switches Revolution, Ft. Lauderdale Time: 6:30pm

THU

MAY

Hours Eastly, The Pull Out Market Street Pub, gainesville Cost: $6 Time: 9pm

The Sword, Torche, Stinking Lizaveta State Theatre, St. Petersburg Cost: $12/$15 Time: 7pm

The Dark Romantics (Record Release Show), Candy Bars, Mike Dunn & The Kings Of New England new World Brewery, Ybor City Cost: $7 Time: 9pm

The Dark Romantics (Record Release Show), Candy Bars, Mike Dunn & The Kings Of New England Red Light Red Light, Winter Park Cost: $7 Time: 9pm

Hatebreed, 3 Inches Of Blood, Clossick, The Absence State Theatre, St. Petersburg Cost: $17/$19 Time: 7pm

FRI

Grabass Charlestons, Laserhead The Kickstand, gainesville Cost: $5 Time: 10pm

Tribal Style, d’Visitors, Bird St. Players, Breakdown, Ranmecca new World Brewery, Ybor City Time: 9pm

Chronic Acid, Black Sheep Caravan, Berlin Airlift Pegasus Lounge, Tampa Cost: $5/$7 Time: 9pm

Kids In The Hall Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater Cost: $42.75/$55.75 Time: 8pm

Halcyon Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa Cost: $12 Time: 8pm

Michael Burks Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa Cost: $10/$13 Time: 8pm

The Sword, Torche The Social, Orlando Cost: $12/$14 Time: 8pm

Yo Majesty, Rosetta Stoned, Mauikai Studio A, Miami Cost: $12/$15 Time: 7pm

SAT

MAY

24

22

Alicia Keys St. Pete Times Forum, Tampa Time: 8pm

SUN

MAY

25

The Sword, Torche, Stinking Lizaveta Common grounds, gainesville Cost: $10 Time: 6pm David Allan Coe Culture Room, Ft. Lauderdale Cost: $22/$25 Time: 8pm Corey Smith, Gareth Asher House Of Blues, Orlando Cost: $15/$20 Time: 6pm

OBITUARY + Denial Fiend, S.W.W.A.A.T.S., Left In Ashes, Disembodiment Crowbar, Ybor City Cost: $15 Time: 8pm

THE VERA VIOLETS + Strangers, The Future of Films in Space Crowbar, Ybor CIty Cost: $6 Time: 9pm The Dark Romantics (Record Release Show), Auto!Automatic!!, Mike Dunn & The Kings Of New England 210 City Club, Lakeland Cost: $5 Time: 9pm

The Northernness, Cassette, Cloudbuster, Marce 1982, gainesville Cost: $5/$6 Time: 9pm Everybody Out!, Anchor Arms, Virgins, The Enablers The Atlantic, gainesville Cost: $6 Time: 10pm Devoradara, Buffalo Tears Club TSI, Jacksonville Time: 9pm Junkie XL Czar Vodka Bar, Ybor City Time: 9pm

Pennywise Mojo Room, Port Saint Lucie Time: 7:30pm

PENNYWISE +Strung Out, Authority Zero, Guajiro House Of Blues, Orlando Cost: $16.50 Time: 7:30pm

Everybody Out!, Pseudo Heroes, Rude Squad new World Brewery, Ybor City Cost: $7 Time: 9pm Flawless Effect, Thoughts About You Pegasus Lounge, Tampa Cost: $5/$7 Time: 6:15pm

Natasha Bedingfield, The Veronicas, Katie Voegele Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater Cost: $35/$75 Time: 8pm

Johnny G. Lyon Band, Quivering Rhythm Hounds Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa Cost: $10/$17 Time: 5pm

Liquid Limbs, Giuseppe, Naked Love, Sorry No Ferrari The Atlantic, gainesville Cost: $6 Time: 10pm

The Dark Romantics (Record Release Show), Save Our Ship, M Captain, With Hatchet Pike And Gun Sluggo’s, Pensacola Cost: $6 Time: 9pm

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THE SCENE

50 MON

ISSUE: 24

MAY

26

Pennywise Plush, Jacksonville Time: 6pm

TUE

MAY

27

Sleep On Alligator, Attachedhands, Discovery Of Magnetic North, A Contrail To Follow BackBooth, Orlando Cost: $5 Time: 9pm

FLORIDA EVENTS

The Night Train Murders, Sultans Of Sin, Whiskey Binge McKinney, Bad Ash, Creepin’ Cadavers 1982, gainesville Cost: $6/$7 Time: 9pm

Johnny Cakes & The Four Horsemen, The Long Johns, That Band With The Fat Kids, Bad Ash Pegasus Lounge, Tampa Cost: $5/$7 Time: 9pm

Flowers Forever, XOXO, Max Green BackBooth, Orlando Cost: $8 Time: 8pm

Destroid, The Ludovico Technique, Frightdoll Respectable Street, West Palm Beach Cost: $15 Time: 9pm

Jaheim House Of Blues, Orlando Cost: $25/$65 Time: 7pm

Augustana, Wild Sweet Orange, Five Tome August Revolution, Ft. Lauderdale Cost: $14.99 Time: 8pm

Augustana, Wild Sweet Orange, Five Times August The Social, Orlando Cost: $15 Time: 8pm

FRI

MAY

Vital Remains, Malevolent Creation, Infernaeon, Fierce Allegiance Beta Bar, Tallahassee Cost: $12 Time: 8pm

The Helio Sequence, The Postmarks The Social, Orlando Cost: $12 Time: 9pm Snake Oil Medicine Show Taste, Orlando Time: 10pm

The Something Now! Taste, Orlando Time: 10pm

SAT

MAY

31

10 Years Freebird Live, Jacksonville Cost: $15/$18 TIme: 8pm

MAY

28

Flowers Forever, XOXO, The Dead Songwriters, Kiiks 1982, gainesville Cost: $7/$8 Time: 9pm Emmure, On Broken Wings, Ligeia, Recon, After The Burial, Endwell, 42Children BackBooth, Orlando Cost: $12/$15 Time: 5pm Band Marino, Baron Von Bear, Rachel Goodrich new World Brewery, Ybor City Cost: $6 Time: 9pm

THU

MAY

Magadog, The Taj Motel Trio, The CV, The Brentford Sound, Paranoia Dance Party!, Skuff’d Shoes, Angry Banana, Rude Squad, The Disregardables, Victims Of Circumstance, That Band With The Fat Kids, Can’t Do It… Transitions Art gallery, Tampa Cost: $10 Time: 12pm

SUN

The Red Death, Catalepsy, Left To Vanish, Silas Transitions Art gallery, Tampa Cost: $8 Time: 6pm

WED

Zombies! Organize!!, Mumpsy, Television Club, Emergency Pizza Party Respectable Street, West Palm Beach Time: 9pm WMNF Presents: The Clash Tribute (Sixteen Bands) Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa Cost: $10/$15 Time: 5pm

Adrian Belew, Jerry Outlaw & Friends Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa Cost: $20/$25 Time: 8pm

30

A New Way Down, Sins Of The Father Pegasus Lounge, Tampa Cost: $5/$7 Time: 9pm

29

REAX 2-Year Birthday Celebration! Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, Thomas Wynn & The Believers, Heatherlee & Jordan Wynn BackBooth, Orlando Cost: $10 Time: 7pm Duppies, Chupaskabra, Taj Motel Trio, Angry Banana, The Punktuations 1982, gainesville Cost: $6/$8 Time: 8pm X, The Detroit Cobras Beta Bar, Tallahassee Cost: $25 Time: 9pm Fruit Machine Club TSI, Jacksonville Time: 9pm James Hall, Spy For Hire, The Nine Volts Crowbar, Ybor City Cost: $8 Time: 9pm Psychostick, Look What I Did, Powerglove The Haven, Winter Park Cost: $5/$7 Time: 9pm

LUSH PROGRESS REAX 2-Year Birthday Kick-off! + DJ Pauly Crush PUSH Ultra Lounge, St. Petersburg Time: 9pm

Sarge And The Aeromen Kelly’s Pub, Tampa Time: 9pm Alejandro Ramos The Kickstand, gainesville Cost: $5 Time: 10pm Parachute Musical, Mirror Pal, Pemberley new World Brewery, Ybor City Cost: $7 Time: 9pm

01

The Ocean, Kylesa, Lair Of The Minotaur, Empyrean BackBooth, Orlando Cost: $10 Time: 8pm

PAINT IT BLACK REAX 2-Year Birthday Celebration! + New Mexican Disaster Squad, How Dare You, Battle!, Stressface The Atlantic, gainesville Time: 9pm

JUNE

The Helio Sequence, Finland Café Eleven, St. Augustine Cost: $8 Time: 8:30pm Dream Theater, Opeth, Between The Buried And Me, 3 Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater Cost: $40/$65 Time: 7pm

JASON ISBELL REAX 2-Year Birthday Celebration! Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit, Will Quinlan & The Diviners, The Beauvilles, Matt Butcher Crowbar, Ybor City Cost: $13 Time: 9pm

Bob Margolin, Sandy Atkinson & The Revelations, Charlie Vegas & The New Blues Combo, Dukes Of Juke, Ronny Elliott Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa Cost: $15 Time: 3pm Nada Surf The Social, Orlando Cost: $15 Time: 8pm

REAX 2-Year Birthday Celebration! Auto!Automatic!!, Mouse Fire, How Dare You, Sugar Oaks, Dangerflight new World Brewery, Ybor City Cost: $8 Time: 8pm Kathy Sohar, The Damned Thing, Laurel Lee And The Escapees, The Ones To Blame, Three Legged Dawg 1982, gainesville Cost: $6/$7 Time: 10pm Mirror Pal, Parachute Musical BackBooth, Orlando Cost: $7 Time: 7pm David Wilcox, Pierce Pettis Café Eleven, St. Augustine Cost: $20 Time: 8:30pm

Paint It Black, Blacklisted, New Mexican Disaster Squad, Foundation, Can’t Stand It, No Harm Done Transitions Art gallery, Tampa Cost: $10 Time: 6pm

MON

JUNE

02

The Ocean, Kylesa, Lair Of The Minotaur Brass Mug, Tampa Time: 8pm The Helio Sequence Common grounds, gainesville Cost: $10 Time: 9pm

Dream Theater, Opeth, Between The Buried And Me, 3 Hard Rock Live, Orlando Cost: $35/$45/$55 Time: 6:30pm

The Dead Popes Crowbar, Ybor City Cost: $6 Time: 9pm

November Foxtrot Whiskey Kelly’s Pub, Tampa Time: 9pm

Nada Surf, The Republic Tigers Studio A, Miami Cost: $15 Time: 7pm

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REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 51


52 TUE

ISSUE: 24

JUNE

03 est.

Dr. Acula, Liferuiner, Hand To Hand, Monroes Overdose, Phineas Cage BackBooth, Orlando Cost: $7 Time: 6pm

2006

The Ocean, Kylesa, Lair Of The Minotaur Beta Bar, Tallahassee Cost: $12 Time: 7pm Todd Wolfe Skipper’s Smokehouse, Tampa Cost: $7/$10 Time: 8pm Jakob Dylan The Social, Orlando Cost: $20 Time: 7pm

WED

JUNE

04

Kylesa, Religious As Fuck, Liquid Limbs Common Grounds, Gainesville Cost: $8 Time: 8pm Malison, Stab The Sky, The Year Ends In Arson, Murder Afloat, Savannah, Paddock Park, Pathway To Providence, Polaroid, Of Angeline Transitions Art Gallery, Tampa Cost: $8 Time: 6pm

THU

JUNE

KICK OFF PARTY! 05

thursday

MAY 29TH

LUSH PROGRESS DJ:PAULY CRUSH & SPECIAL GUESTS

RADIO RESET + Last November, Colourslide Crowbar, Ybor City Time: 8pm Petrograd In Transit, Soft Rock Renegades PUSH Ultra Lounge, St. Petersburg Cost: $5 Time: 9pm Teenage Cool Kids, Rockfist, Criminal Culture, Frantic Days Transitions Art Gallery, Tampa Cost: $6 Time: 7pm

8pm $5 21 & up

PUSH ULTRA LOUNGE MORE INFO: REAXMUSIC.COM THXMGMTLIVE.COM

REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 52


THE SCENE

REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 53


54

SOAPBOX ISSUE: 24

It’s the leaner, meaner version of what was used by the Fab Four. (Yes, the Fab Four refers to the Beatles, kids.)

Noting says “Eutrotrash Romantic” to those in the know like wearing a frayed piece of fabric around your neck in the swelteringhot summertime, especially one that doesn’t match the rest of your outfit. What works in Europe doesn’t necessarily work in the USA, however. When wearing a red scarf in Paris, I was mistaken for a Parisian and not treated like an American dog, which was a very refreshing way to practice my French. Wearing one of these in the USA, though, could have rednecks mistaking you for a terrorist and you may wind up getting to practice waterboarding … but then again nothing is cool without a little bit of risk.

New ones have at least a six-month waiting list. Is it worth the wait? What does it sound like? Why should I want one?

Urban Outfitters, Ybor City FL www.urbanoutfitters.com

PRODUCT

REVIEW

WITH SHAWN KYLE

AmericanApparel, Gainesville FL www.americanapparel.net

OK, here’s the short list of who uses the Rick 330: Johnny Marr of the Smiths and Modest Mouse Guy Picciotto of Fugazi Thom Yorke of Radiohead Peter Buck of REM Pete Townshend of the Who Tom Petty of the Heartbreakers Paul Weller of the Jam Shawn Kyle of REAX I rest my case. To try to track down your own Rickenbacker visit Stevie B’s Total Guitar. www.steviebs.com

A mixture of fresh ingredients, fried goodness and the juxtaposition of Mexican food from Alaska makes these things irresistible. I have no idea why I haven’t reviewed these sooner, as the potential for naughty double entendres is so darn easy. Fish tacos are tasty; how we all love to dive into a fish taco, especially when the fish taco is fresh, but whatever you do don’t try and fit more than 2 fish tacos in your mouth at one time. OK, enough of that. The fish taco I had was made from tilapia, which makes for a great argument with your vegan friends, as the tilapia is a vegetarian fish … get it? OK, that’s enough intelligent humor for one review. I ate a bunch of fish tacos at Mema’s Alaskan Tacos 1724 E 8th Ave, Tampa, FL (813) 242-8226

Have you ever seen someone that had a CD hanging from their rearview mirror in their car? Especially back in the ‘80s when they first came out and cost like $40 apiece? I think that moment was what made me decide that CDs are stupid. Now we all have little key-sized flash drives that hold way more information (and are reusable), and I-Pods that don’t skip when you drive your bitchin’ Camaro over speed bumps too fast, and sexy vinyl records to listen to at home. What do we do with all these damn CDs? Frisbee? Well there’s always that rearview mirror … Product tested at the REAX office, and yes Frisbee is the right choice, by suggesting the rearview mirror I was just trying to be ironic.

Ever doubt the concept of liquid heroism? The company’s motto “Sine Metu” means “Without Fear.” If Jameson wasn’t 200 years old, and that saying wasn’t the Jameson family motto as well, I wouldn’t believe it either. Then again, surely this drink played a part in the Irish revolution, James Joyce’s novels, and the death of legendary poet Dylan Thomas, whose rumored last words after returning to the Chelsea Hotel in New York City were “I’ve had eighteen straight whiskeys, I think that is a record.” It also helped someone think it was a good idea to smash a vintage guitar on the stage at a show at the Crowbar in Ybor City a few weeks ago. Note: Smashing guitars is hard even when you are sober … Product tested thoroughly at the Crowbar in Ybor City FL. www.crowbarlive.com

EXILE ON MAIN ST. A Season in Hell with the Rolling Stones By Robert Greenfield I know it is hard to believe that the Rolling Stones are one of the greatest rock and roll bands ever, when you look at their current, old, atrophied and parodied state. But imagine if you can that you are on the French Riviera with them in the mid 1970s, in a chateau that doubles as a palatial recording studio rented by a young and almost heroic Keith Richards, who spends his spare time waving guns at people, stealing boats, crashing vintage Jaguars, doing every substance imaginable, and entertaining a who’s who of rock and roll royalty. This is the story of the making of one of the greatest Rock and Roll records of all time, with all of the grizzly and beautiful details well-researched and documented. Order it from Mojo Books and Music www.mojotampa.com

REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 5454 REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE


SOAPBOX

55 DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE NARROW STAIRS ATLANTIC RECORDS

WHY? ALOPECIA ANTICON

Anticon posse Lifetime Member cardholder Yoni Wolf’s latest release in the guise of indie-rock unit Why? is yet another almostperfect storm of catchy pop, clever freeassociative flow and wonderfully idiosyncratic execution. Wolf continues to move away from his alternative-rap roots, letting his deadpan nasal delivery lapse into spokenword alliteration less often and pairing his simple melodies with alternately bombastic and fragile structures built on layers of piano, acoustic guitar and interesting bell-andwhistle flourishes. The simple “These Few Presidents” recalls a hastily sketched They Might Be Giants demo; “Song of the Sad Assassin” offers a labyrinthine juxtaposition of keyboard hook and intermittent rhythm; “Fatalist Palmistry” is pure, gorgeous pop. It’s all nicely off-kilter and addictive in a way that occupies a space all its own between novelty and artistry, an exercise in post-Beck experimentation that’s thoughtful enough to be substantial, but never approaches pomposity. Through it all, however, the main attraction is still Wolf’s insane wordplay – his cadences and topical mash-ups remain the stuff of the backpack MC’s notebook, and sound that much more killer against such a musical backdrop. – Scott Harrell

THOSE POOR BASTARDS THE PLAGUE TRIBULATION

Imagine Death himself plopping his ass down at your campfire with his pal and bandmate, Desperation, and they break out in song. What do you think that would sound like? I am gonna say Those Poor Bastards is pretty damn close. Turning down the country part of their doomcountry sound to concentrate on the doom, I would be inclined to say that if there ever was to be a serial killer convention, The Plague would be the soundtrack. Those Poor Bastards have ascended from their depths of despair with eleven new tracks of suffering. Fittingly enough, it landed on my doorstep in the midst of a surprise thunderstorm. I put it on and opened the front door, letting the angry winds in while TPB painted a picture of mankind’s impending doom. While this is probably their best effort to date, TPB still aren’t for delicate ears. However, if you’re in the mood for the sounds of heavy reverb, organs, filth and disease, then The Plague has what you’re ailing for. – Bryan Childs

DCFC takes a narrow stairway from the indie scene and tiptoes toward the mainstream with their sixth studio record Narrow Stairs. It’s the (inadvertent) product of an all-ornothing approach and following the path of musical and personal exploration. The sound is less melancholic and emo, and more catchy and hopeful. Track lengths vary as much as the musical content and the album cover reflects what you hear — colorful snippets overlapping in an abstract adherence. “Cath…,” “Grapevine Fires” and “You Can Do Better Than Me” summon early DCFC, while others like “Talking Bird” and single “I Will Posses Your Heart” delve into a fresher and sporadicly dark mix of vocals, bass, electros, synths and strings. Call it diverse, untraditional or progressive; one way or the other, it’s heaps of intellectual and emotional fun. From the lyrical core of relationships and meanderings of everyday life to the musical ingenuity, Stairs creeps up on you and the sheer magnitude of layers takes days to dissect and digest. Whether it’s loved or hated, the narrow stairway to the heart will keep going up. – Stephanie Bolling

SHE AND HIM VOLUME ONE MERGE

I was never into M. Ward. I never understood what he was all about, but I never really took the time to investigate. He keeps company with all the right people: Yo La Tango, Jenny Lewis, My Morning Jacket and Neko Case, to name a few collaborators. Enter: Zooey Deschanel. I wasn’t sure who she was either – name sounded familiar. Whatever obscurity they shared independently in my narrow view was obliterated with the formation of their joint effort, She and Him. Volume One is a wonderful collection of music. Deschanel’s voice is fragile, haunting, and versatile throughout the album. Although one can hear the jazz crooner within her on every song – especially “Take it Back” – she moves comfortably from ‘60s/’70s pop in the vein of Carole King (as in “Sentimental Heart” and “This is not a Test”) to the Patsy Clineish “Change is Hard.” Deschanel’s angelic voice brings an elegant charm and whimsy to M. Ward’s dignified, low-fi production. “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here?” is my early frontrunner for the best song of 2008. The simple, driving melody accompanied by the Spector-ish hugeness of Zooey’s echoed voice and wall-of-sound approach to her own back-up vocals make an undeniable pop gem which begs to be heard over and over. Volume One is a sweet surprise. Ward and Deschanel seemingly come out of nowhere with a brilliant soundtrack for spring. – John Prinzo


ISSUE 21

56

SOAPBOX ISSUE: 24 FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS SUB POP

This sampling of songs from the New Zealand musical-comedy duo’s first season on HBO serves, more than anything, to illustrate how the Conchords differ from the likes of Spinal Tap and Tenacious D. Where those acts use the oversize trappings of arena rock and metal to create huge satirical mythologies, the Conchords are small-scale stylistic parodists, sending up various genres with equal enthusiasm. They rely fairly heavily on the obvious joke of juxtaposing their white-ass geekiness against hip-hop and urban loverman slow jams (“Hiphopopotamus Vs. Rhymenocerous,” “Ladies of the World,” “Mutha’uckas,” “The Most Beautiful Girl (In The Room),” the classic “Business Time”), but also take on ‘80s synth-pop (“Inner City Pressure”), goofy Middle East-influenced psychedelia (“The Prince of Parties”), misogynist dancehall toasting (“Boom”) and others. Their ability to pepper their broad silliness with smarter, sharper comic details – like the awkward corrections in the conversation that begins “Robots,” and the line about hermaphrodites in “Ladies of the World” that goes “even you must get into you” – is this twosome’s greatest asset. But the record suffers from the same shortcoming that afflicts most of its peers: when removed from the context of the larger narrative, the songs, however good, serve as little more than novelty, and the novelty wears thin pretty damn quick. – Scott Harrell

BROWN JENKINS ANGEL EYES MORIBUND

According to the biographical materials accompanying Angel Eyes, two members of this black metal band left after Brown Jenkins’ last record – 2007’s Dagonite – because they weren’t “receiving proper attention.” This is perplexing. If the perceived lack of attention was for Dagonite itself, the record received positive notices, even from sources as unlikely as Pitchfork. If the perceived lack of attention was for the members themselves (rather than Brown Jenkins guitarist/mainman UA), well ... there’s no crying in black metal, unless you’re wailing against the oppression of the world. Membership shifts aside, Angel Eyes takes up beautifully from where Dagonite left off, extending UA’s use of swampy, miasmic guitars – here played texturally, rather than assaultively – and moving away from the Lovecraft-ian lyrical obsessions of previous releases. The black metal universe is a tough one to crack, especially if you have a sense of humor. But what makes Brown Jenkins stand out is UA’s phenomenally atmospheric guitar work, and his ability to create sophisticated and mature mood pieces that don’t sound like a 19-year-old stuck in his mom’s basement. – Jason Ferguson

MUSIC REVIEWS SECRET & WHISPER GREAT WHITE WHALE TOOTH AND NAIL

It’s never a good thing when an album is plastered with the names of other bands. While it may be a handy reference tool for some looking for bands similar to ones they already love, it almost always tunes your ears to hear similarities that you might not normally hear. That being said, I would highly recommend Secret & Whisper’s Great White Whale, as long as you don’t read the stickers affixed to the package. While the promotional tag points out some obvious similarities to bands like Circa Survive and Saosin, this album stands on its own. The unfortunate fallout from seeing what their label wants you to compare them to is that it may take a few listens before you realize it. The instrumentation is all very post-hardcore and metalcore, with tremendous breakdowns, hooky melodic leads and inventive timesignature changes. Drummer Ryan Loerke is able to pull off some amazingly polyrhythmic patterns while keeping in perfect time. Vocally, Charles Furney does channel Anthony Green’s brilliant counter tenor at certain points, but his voice has a much fuller quality to it; he is able to swing to a much lower register without dropping to a whisper. And when Furney wails you can almost feel veins popping in his neck. There is a distinct lack of song structure on the majority of the tracks on Great White Whale but I think that can be attributed to this being their first outing as Secret & Whisper. While all of the members except Charles Furney have spent time together in the now defunct Stutterfly, it takes time for a band to develop as a cohesive unit when any major contributor to the songwriting process is introduced. All that considered, Great White Whale is still a fantastic listen and it will undoubtedly be in heavy rotation in my car/ iPod/home stereo for a while. - Scott Jenson

PUBLIC RECORD PUBLIC RECORD HIGH TWO

Hailing from Philadelphia, Public Record is a messy, funky and wide-ranging party band. Weaving afrobeat, dub, indie rock, spazzy post-punk, chunks of driving soul and an atmospheric jazziness into their sound, the instrumental sextet is hellbent on defying any strictures of genre expectation, and they certainly succeed. The 13 tracks on this self-titled debut evoke an ideology of musicians unwilling to chase a sound, and far more concerned with the alchemy of new creation. Whether it’s the evocative, Durutti Column wispiness of “Heavy Ornament,” the pounding, semi-Ethiopiques groove of “French Suburb” or the wiry attack of album closer “Comfortability,” Public Record is as much about sonic bravery as it is about sweaty fun. – Jason Ferguson

LUSH PROGRESS ELEVATOR DREAM COPACETIC RECORDS

Tampa-based quintet Lush Progress cut their way into the musical pie and serve up some home-baked goods on their sophomore release Elevator Dream. It’s 11 tracks of indie, rock, experimental and classical all mixed together with a whimsical combination of elegance and skill. Title track “Elevator Dream” encapsulates the medley spirit of the entire album. “Pop Song,” “Tired Eyes” and “Wilhelm Lehmbruck” are catchier songs, while “All in Good Time,” “Sunsets with Pictures of Patti Smith” and “The Ocean, My Mother” feature the impeccable synergy of their craft. Together they harness soundscapes spanning classic Pink Floyd to the modern likes of Radiohead while maintaining their unique sound. The essence of progress is timing and that’s their signature trait. From the ambient streaming of orchestral compositions with experimental edges to the sprinkles of thematic melodies, the album’s moderate pace gives way to a consistency and diversity unmatched by most mainstream work. The musical execution is spiced up with two lead vocalists, a chivalrous cello, tender winds and amicable keys for a cohesive conglomeration of dense transcendence. That’s amore. – Stephanie Bolling

SLIM CESSNA’S AUTO CLUB CIPHER ALTERNATIVE TENTACLES Slim Cessna’s Auto Club comes from the amazingly incestuous Denver country music scene. The only real constant in the band has been Slim Cessna himself, but Jay Munly has served as a pretty key member over time. SCAC writes big songs, I don’t really know how else to describe it. They aren’t heavy, they aren’t loud, and they’re rarely disposable. They are often labeled as “gothic country” due to the intermingling of Old Testament and apocalyptic religion with bad relationships, alcohol, and murder. If nothing else, SCAC is, IMO, one of the best bands in America that hardly anyone’s heard of, and they just released what might be the best album of the year in Cipher. Cipher is woven together by four hymnal refrains entitled “An Introduction to the Power of Braces,” with each focusing on a different part of the person: Arms, Legs, Teeth and Faith, respectively. They seem to loosely divide the album into four themed sections, but I have not been able to get a clear grip on that yet. Between that and the hidden messages in the album’s artwork, one can see how appropriate the title is. The album, thematically, is a lot darker than their previous efforts, but still features their signature harmonies and Cessna/Munly vocal push-pulls, as well as an unrivaled level of musicianship. – Bryan Childs

REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 56


SOAPBOX POWER DOUGLAS PENTECOSTAL FANBREAD FIVESIXMEDIA Part krautrock griots, part afro-centric jam band, part psychedelic freakout, part knifeangle punk, the Brooklyn quartet known as Power Douglas is, quite possibly, too hip for their own good. Whenever a collection of influences so profoundly perfect comes together, one’s first critical instinct is to assume the creators are intending solely to impress their neighbors. And when ALL CAPS production and performance credits include the guest artist’s primary band (“vox written and performed by TUNDE ADEBIMPE of TV on the Radio...” for example), perhaps it’s also safe to assume that credibility is something these guys have occupying a good bit of their frontal lobes. But, seriously, whatever. Power Douglas may turn out to be a fictional band, created in a Bushwick basement solely to see how gullible indie hipsters have become, but their bristling, high-energy debut album is the very definition of what contemporary underground music should sound like. Raw and unpredictable melody lines careen across propulsive percussion, while skittering sonic effects blast off in various directions, defying the listener to make any assumptions about where these songs are going. Though the influences are easy to spot, they come together in an utterly organic and unruly fashion, making for a wild ride that’s far more adventurous than it should be. – Jason Ferguson

POSSESSED BY PAUL JAMES COLD AND BLIND VOODOO RHYTHM

Possessed By Paul James, Konrad Wert was raised in the Florida Everglades by an Amish Menonite preacher, taking on his stage name in honor of this father and grandfather, and he now makes his home in Texas. Released by Voodoo Rhythm Records, Cold and Blind features Wert incorporating fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, stomp box, the occasional diddly boe, grunts, hollers and a kind honesty that you rarely hear, but cannot deny. The Daily Texan described Konrad’s live show as follows: “Wert is known for contorting his face in pleasure and apparent pain, and subsequently shakes, convulses, stomps and yells throughout his performances.” If you are in the mood for some lo-fi, underproduced, old-time Southern folk with a dash of everglades blues that cuts through all the bullshit, then Cold and Blind could be the album for you. – Bryan Childs

57

THAT 1 GUY THE MOON IS DISGUSTNG SELF-RELEASED

How one strange fellow resembling Primus’ Les Claypool occasionally sounds like Marilyn Manson on his record is beyond me. That 1 Guy is a solo act that plays a homemade instrument that looks like some metal plumbing gone awry and wears big wooden shoes. No matter how interesting a gimmick is, if you write annoying songs, that gets old quick and with titles like “Bananas,” “The Moon is Disgusting” and the very clever “Buttmachine,” you can rest assured that if you have booked this one guy for a party, you better hide the tomatoes and make sure to have the hook ready. – George Shaw

BEAN PICKER’S UNION POTLACH inseam records

The Boston-based Bean Pickers Union is Paul Gallo (drums, vocals), Gary Goodlow (guitar), Alan Levesque (bass, vocals) and Chuck Melchin (guitar, mandolin, vocals). Potlatch is their offer to us, and from the moment I saw the dilapidated barn on the cover of the CD, I knew what I wanted from this album. I wanted bitter stories of the death of the American dream; I wanted tales of murder, drinking and bitterness. By the time I got to the halfway point of the album and heard “Independence Day,” with Melchin dropping the lyrics “it was a small block 327,” I was completely won over. “Photograph” and “Warrior” had already gotten my attention, but that line sealed the deal. This album was on the fast-track to the ninebullets.net Essential Listening list, and I figured that if the album played out the way it had started, it was gonna be one of my favorite albums of the year. (It is) Twangville.com has a review of the CD that says “If music is at its finest when it paints a picture, then this album is the rural equivalent of a Hopper painting.” That’s a really good description. The songs really recall the kind of stuff Chris Knight does – distinct stories carried by simple but equally powerful musical arrangements. For a debut, these guys have set one hell of a bar for themselves. I can’t wait to hear what they do next. – Bryan Childs

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VINYL

Thee Silver Mt. Zion www.mojotampa.com | 813.971.9717 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons

Constellation Records 2558 E. Fowler Tampa An intense record. Four tracksAve., clock in at almost an hour long, exploring

Located University Mall, in the andnext building to uponthe the group’s previous themes: long songs, lots of same plaza as Chipotle Grill & Quiznos screaming and howls, an Mexican abundance of nature metaphors, violin shrieks, and thunderous crescendos.

myspace.com/mojobooksandmusic Joan of Arc Boo! Human Polyvinyl Records Not since this project’s 2004 release Dick Cheney Mark Twain has head songwriter Tim Kinsella invited so many musicians to participate in amalgamating their favorite lamentable and cacophonic manias into a stunning celebration of life’s ills and desperations.

BOOKS. CDS. books & music DVDS. NEW & USED BUY. SELL. TRADE. Elliot Smith Figure 8 (reissue) + XO (reissue) Plain Recordings Where’s a time machine to stop Elliot Smith from being murdered? The songwriter’s critically acclaimed and highly influential recordings XO and Figure 8 have been reissued on vinyl after ten years out of print. Were he still alive, I imagine he’d also be releasing something new this spring.

Nick Drake Family Tree Sunbeam Records Comprising recordings made at Nick Drake’s family home and in France before his 1969 debut, its 29 songs range from folk standards and compositions by his mother Molly to early versions of future classics recorded by his Cambridge friend and arranger Robert Kirby at Cambridge in 1968.

VINYL

Love Forever Changes Sundazed Records Arthur Lee skewed from writing typical pop songs in a variety of ways, but on Love’s 1967 album Forever Changes, he raised contemporary songwriting to another echelon with uplifting harmonies and glee-filled orchestration alongside bleak topics and refined blues licks.

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www.mojotampa.com | 813.971.9717

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SOAPBOX ISSUE: 24

CLASSICS:

PSYCHEDELIC ROCK

VARIOUS ARTISTS PAGAN FIRE NUCLEAR BLAST

MEDFORD’S BLACK RECORD COLLECTION ECCENTRICITY NOS DINSDALE

Words: Christian Crider

When psychedelic rock is mentioned, one usually sends one’s memory back to the products of the ‘60s. While some of the best music in this genre first appeared in the ‘60s and ‘70s, there is a good deal of contemporary psychedelic rock to choose from, and much of it is spectacular and refreshing in its own way. Many are familiar with the effect-driven, acidic guitar solos and the chemically challenged vocals, but what makes psychedelic music unique is the often introspective mindset of its proponents, and its mesmerizing effects on those willing to open their minds and truly experience the music.

tool lateralus zoo entertainment 2001

Lateralus is by far Tool’s most psychedelic work to date. “The Grudge” opens Lateralus with a slap to the face of religious persecutors, while at the same time validating a vague form of personal spirituality. Additionally, Justin Chancellor’s smooth yet punchy bass plays a big role in setting the tone for the album. Maynard James Keenan’s soaring vocals lapse into trance-inducing spells invoking metaphysical and philosophical imagery alongside deeply cryptic metaphorical references to religion and interpersonal relationships, especially on the radio hit, “Schism.” “Ticks & Leeches” finds the band dipping into its darkest territory for a scathing indictment against the sycophantic parasites so common throughout life, while Danny Carrey proves that he is indeed one of the best drummers in rock. “Lateralus,” on the other hand, is an almost mystical experience as Tool pulls the listener into an endless dualistic spiral, encompassing the perceptionchallenging focus of the album. While detractors may point to Tool’s metal or prog roots, their song structure, content and intentions often indicate heavy psychedelic influences that are undeniable, even in their mainstream successes.

the brian jonestown massacre spacegirl... candy floss 1993

If you’ve ever seen the musical documentary DiG!, you’ll know what I mean when I say The Brian Jonestown Massacre is the collective effort of one man, and that man is Anton Newcombe. Other musicians in the band have come and gone (to found other bands such as Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and The Warlocks), but Anton remains. Although he is easily provoked, Anton’s musical prowess is unquestionable. Spacegirl and Other Favorites borrows its influences from the vast wealth of San Francisco’s colorful psychedelic musical history, while at the same time cataloging Anton’s intense connection to his music during the early ‘90s. “Spacegirl” is essentially a love song that dives headfirst into psychedelic rhythms and structures, while “Spacegirl (Revisited)” is a strictly instrumental endeavor employing tambourines and synthesizers to maximum effect. Whether you find Anton Newcombe likable or not, one thing is certain: he is one of the most important and skilled musicians of our time, and his work deserves an honest, unbiased appraisal.

There has always been a certain “you can’t handle this” element when it comes to metal fans defending their genre from interlopers. Speed/thrash metal got most of its momentum in the mid ‘80s partially in response to the waves of new Priest/ Maiden fans crowding metalheads out of their front-row seats; the growing popularity (and notoriety) of seriously extreme black metal in the ‘90s could be seen as a reaction to the stadium-sized audiences Metallica was packing in. Now, with indie hipsters worshipping bands who are willing to go super-heavy and/or super-extreme, and the masses flocking to post-hardcore bands who are both fast and brutal, what are the flag-bearers of True Metal to do? Go back to the roots, of course. Looking backward beyond Metallica, Maiden, Sabbath ... hell, looking backward beyond the Industrial Age, the artists on Pagan Fire can be roughly categorized into three genres: Viking Metal, Pagan Metal, and Folk Metal. Lest you think the latter is of the Indigo Girls-with-distortionpedals variety, the Finnish folklore assault of bands like Finntroll and Korpiklaani has vintage instrumentation alongside blast beats and death-metal vocals. The pre-Christian lyrical (and musical) approach is, admittedly, something of a gimmick, since most of these bands fit loosely into the sonic parameters of contemporary death/thrash metal, albeit with the occasional accordion. While some are heavier (Amon Amarth, Bathory) and some are more forthrightly evocative of the past (Eluveitie’s “Your Gaulish War” feels like a **Braveheart** battle cry), it’s nonetheless encouraging to see a compilation like this codify a long-gestating movement. – Jason Ferguson

THE DEVIL MAKES THREE THE DEVIL MAKES THREE MILAN RECORDS

I came across these guys by complete accident. Somebody sent me a PR email about some band whose name I can’t even remember, but instead of direct linking to a sample mp3, they gave me a link to a directory with a bunch of mp3s, including a song by the now-forgotten band that was being promoted. I went ahead and scanned the other mp3s to see what else was in there and one particular band name caught my attention. One listen and I was ordering the CD. And that’s how I came to know The Devil Makes Three. This eponymous album was originally released in 2002 but got the reissue treatment in November of 2007. It’s a vaudevillian mash-up of country and punk, with a little pirate and ragtime tossed in for good measure. The album’s dusty-old-78 feel will almost make you feel guilty about listening to it on your iPod. – Bryan Childs

The Knoxville, Tennessee-based Medford’s Black Record Collection have returned with sophomore effort Eccentricity NOS. Whereas their debut album, The Flattville Murder Album, was a concept album telling a clear and distinct story, the band decided to paint with broader strokes on Eccentricity. Along the way, they also decided to add a drummer and a bassist in Derek Whitaker and Clint Mullican, giving the band more depth to their sound. While Flattville started out as an idea which grew into a song that spawned 19 more, Eccentricity was born from a grouping of songs with no clear plan. Fear not, though, Eccentricity still features the same characterdriven storytelling style so well displayed on Flattville, and while there is no central story to Eccentricity, there is still an overall theme of tortured darkness among the album’s characters. Musically, they are still that Appalachian, new-grass, folk rock outfit, only now they have a rhythm section. – Bryan Childs

VARIOUS ARTISTS CONTROVERSY RAPSTER

Controversy is not the first tribute to the music of Prince. In this era of every artist imaginable being “honored” with lullabye albums, goth reworkings and symphonic renditions of their works, it would be amazing if there weren’t a dozen such albums taking on the man’s prodigious output. However, while Controversy isn’t the first Prince tribute disc, it’s also not the first Prince tribute disc to feature the versions contained within. Back in 2002, XL released a comp that featured the likes of Broadway Project, 7 Hurtz, Hefner and Blue States reworking a well-curated selection of Prince cuts. That disc emphatically restated the out-there electronics, odd phrasings and general stylistic derring-do that has always been a hallmark of Prince’s music. Most of the songs on that disc re-appear on Controversy, and, unsurprisingly, those cuts stand out as highlights. 7 Hurtz (with Peaches) turn “Sexy Dancer” into an electroclash Vanity 6 number, Hefner makes “Controversy” into a mellow bit of ambience and the version of “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” dialed up by the Broadway Project (with Jeb Loy Nichols) is a fantastic bit of electro-symphonic bombast. Yet while Controversy may lose a few points on the originality front (the muchrevered D’Angelo version of “She’s Always In My Hair” starts the disc off), the numbers not found on its predecessor – most notably the sparse and emotional takes on “Purple Rain” (by Stina Nordenstam) and “Condition of the Heart” (by Susanna & the Magical Orchestra) – are worth the price of admission ... and repetition. – Jason Ferguson

REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 58


SOAPBOX RAINBOW SIX: VEGAS 2

TACTICAL FIRST-PERSON SHOOTER UBISOFT

59

VIDEO GAME

REVIEW Words: Christian Crider

RATING: HALF NEXT-LEVEL COMPANION, HALF FRANCHISE CASH-IN When the first Rainbow Six came out on PC in 1998, I was mesmerized by the intricate squad-based combat and the enormous amount of planning involved in executing a successful mission. The franchise has certainly evolved since the clunky days of waypoints and squad selection, making the games more accessible to the masses by streamlining the design. Rainbow Six: Vegas was the first next-gen iteration of the series, and brought with it mind-blowing graphics, fluid control schemes and responsive, easy-to-manipulate squadmates. The cliffhanger ending of Vegas left it wideopen to a sequel, but is Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 really a sequel in the true sense of the word? Yes and no. If you were hoping for a continuation of the storyline from Vegas, you may be shocked to learn that Vegas 2 is more like a prequel-slash-parallel timeline. The plot follows a new character, Bishop, and his team of Rainbow operatives. Elements of the action take place before and during the events of Vegas, so the curious gamer is still in the dark as to the conclusion of the Vegas thread. The gameplay of Vegas 2 is what defines the game as a true sequel. Borrowing from the timeless XP system of RPGs, Vegas 2 now requires players to earn ranks to unlock guns and equipment with the newly implemented ACES system. The process breaks down further into specializations that allow even more unlocks dependent on the player’s style of gameplay. If you like to pop heads from a distance, you’ll gain points in the Sniper category. Transversely, those with a hankering for the shotgun will find themselves earning more close-quarters points as they cling to corners, ready to burst off round after round of shotgun fire into an unsuspecting mercenary’s face. Speaking of mercenaries, the AI is incredibly daft at points, but also quite entertaining. Eavesdropping on your future victims will provide plenty of hilarious breaks from the action. Usually, the baddies are smart enough to fight back and employ various tactics against you. However, there were several instances where the dunces would just stand there, begging to be shot. With new additions such as the ACES

system, character customization and shooting through cover, Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 is certainly a welcome addition to the tactical side of first-person shooters. Whether the storyline is yet another excuse to create more titles in this gargantuan franchise, or a vital component to the “big picture,” remains to be seen. Either way, with the endless threat of “terror” dogging our nation, expect to see many more masked mercenaries marauding popular gambling centers near you – digitally, that is. RAINBOWSIXGAME.US.UBI.COM

Officious Proclamation from The Department of Gamer Rehabilitation* Do you find yourself awake at night, wondering if you could squeeze in another level on your Rogue and still get enough sleep to make it through the upcoming workday? Does Internet terminology slip into your everyday conversations? “LOL, pwned you! ” “Huh?” “Nevermind. Brb.” If so, you may be addicted to video games – America’s newest cultural scourge. Unfortunately, there is no real treatment for gaming addiction. You could go cold turkey, if your gut is made of iron. Withdrawal symptoms include challenging passersby to games of chess, hopscotch or, even more dangerously, tag. You may find yourself assigning XP to certain daily tasks such as cleaning your room. The sun may sting your eyes, and burn your nearly transparent, ghoulish skin. You may notice our gaming awareness commercials on your television (provided you’re not using): “This is your brain. This is your brain on games,” accompanied by the image of Mario sinking down a green pipeline. So while you slowly destroy yourself, ticking away the time on your favorite online shooter – remember: only you can help you, not player two! *Coming to a future near you!

REAX MUSIC MAGAZINE • MAY 2008 • PAGE 59


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SOAPBOX ISSUE: 24

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REAX #24  

REAX - May 2008