Notable Noise

I've seen a few shows over the past couple of weeks, but nothing can compare to the all-out awesomeness of Dinosaur Jr.'s reunion-tour kickoff at House of Blues July 7. Almost completely uncommunicative (as usual) and deafeningly loud (as usual), J Mascis reminded me why indie rock used to be good: because it rocked. No pose, no clothes, no point; just three weirdoes on stage playing a bunch of self-absorbed love songs as loudly as possible. They played "The Post" and I almost wept; they played "Tarpit" and I almost started laughing, I was so happy. Mascis' guitar work is simply some of the most amazing around, and the way he leaned into those extra-special moments of wah-noise was truly transcendent. When they closed out the night with an encore of "Just Like Heaven," "Chunks" (!) and "Mountain Man" (!!!), it was just like seeing them oh so many years ago. And that, my friends, is an awesome thing.


Publicists are amazing creatures. To wit: I recently wrote about the new CD from locals Through You in this very space. The general tone of the review? That is was a shitty record. Boring, predictable and just awful enough that the great unwashed masses of "kids" looking for an easy fix would surely like it, at least for a couple of minutes. A couple of weeks later, a press release shows up in my inbox, trumpeting critical praise from Orlando Weekly which consisted of two negative sentences (with the negative bits excised), spliced together to read like one positive sentence. Incredible. For the record: Through You is an amazingly awful band and you shouldn't ever go see them, nor should you buy their record. Now, I can't wait for that to show up in a press release, reading "Through You is an amazing … band … go see them … buy their record."


Nice to see the folks responsible for the Florida Music Festival are continuing their supposed "mission" to help Orlando's local music community. A recent profile on local label One Eleven Records in Axis magazine not only conformed to the publication's typically embarrassing editorial standards, but also went out of its way to take a swipe at The Social (who pulled out of FMF, by the way), Social Recordings, Fighting Records, the community-building efforts of Josie Fluri's musicians' meetings, all the bands that are involved with those entities and, of course, me. To top it off, they followed it up with an absurdly exaggerated and self-aggrandizing retelling of the "bidding war" that got a band they manage (Big 10-4) signed to Universal. Nice.


Got a press release about a new club opening in the space that used to be the upstairs area of Mulvaney's. It's called 23 and promises private wine storage, cigars, wireless Internet, dark wood walls and plush leather chairs. I'm guessing that shorts and T-shirts probably aren't allowed, and thus it's unlikely I'll be sampling any of their 12-year-old scotch. Oh well. Maybe someone will be nice enough to give me a tour when the club's not filled with a bunch of fat white men sitting around congratulating themselves on screwing working people out of yet another nickel. Not that I'm generalizing or anything.


The Social has a new website that works the same as the old one, but is much prettier … The Sun is a cool pop-rock band that's releasing their newest album only on DVD and vinyl (the DVD will contain data that's rippable to iTunes), making them the first CD-era band on a major label to not release an album on CD … Longtime skate rats got a chuckle a couple of weeks ago when Nike got called out for ripping off/appropriating (they say "paying homage to") the classic graphic design of the first Minor Threat EP for a skate-shoe ad. Of course, they quickly pulled the ad, blamed it on someone else and pledged that they'd never use sweatshop labor again … oh, wait. I made up the last bit.


Now that iTunes has implemented podcast capability, a word that I was already tired of has become completely ubiquitous. Since I haven't the time to create an MP3 blog nor the patience to wade through the licensing issues required to generate some sort of Orlando Weekly podcast, in the spirit of DIY, I figured I'd just give you list of great songs and you can make your own damn podcast. These, in case you were wondering, are the 20 highest-rated songs on my iTunes that I listened to in the past week, in no particular order:
"Big Brother" – Stevie Wonder
"Minneapolis" – That Dog
"Chicken-Headed Racoon Dog" – Melt Banana
"Eli's Game" – Al Green
"Best Mistake" – JamisonParker
"Pam" (live reunion show in France) – Slint
"Solomon" – Derrick Harriott
"Which Way Do We Run?" (live) – Gov't Mule
"Virginia Plain" (live at Live 8) – Roxy Music
"War" – Mos Def
"Soul Meets Body" – Death Cab for Cutie
"Outerspace" – Need New Body w/Sun Ra Arkestra
"Cassavetes" (live) – Fugazi
"A Change" – Aretha Franklin
"Curiosidade" – Tom Ze
"The Post" – Dinosaur Jr.
"Borderline" – MC5
"Stop Coming to My House" (BBC session) – Mogwai
"Harmon Session Special" (unknown remix) – Black Star Liner
"Chain Smoking" – Dykehouse

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