Never a huge Seaweed fan but I always loved the video for Kid Candy. Was telling my girlfriend about it today when talking about having a few of my bikes stolen as a kid. Thought I would share it with some of you who may not have ever seen it.


Three Kings Tattoo & Jawbreaker

I had a birthday this week and one of my gifts was some tattoo work. I'm a huge fan and hope to pretty much be covered one day. I've been getting work done for over 15 years and my mother actually got me my first tattoo as a birthday gift when I was underage. I'm not even sure if parents can still do that! I had an artist I liked very much back in California but after moving I knew the search would be on for a new artist.

When I first moved here I went to a shop that has a great reputation but found the experience to be underwhelming. A girl I used to know got some really great work done so I asked her for the artist's information and she pointed me in the direction of Alex McWatt. Not only is he an amazing and talented artist but he is also an incredibly nice and funny guy, and he is the only tattoo artist I will go to now. Alex is one of the owners of Three Kings Tattoo located in Brooklyn. He certainly doesn't need my help in getting business (he's booked solid all the time with at least a month long wait right now) but I'm always so happy with the work that he does that I feel I should spread the word even more. He's currently doing a graffiti piece for me that is in progress. Perhaps, once finished, I will post a photo. It looks awesome half done which I think says quite a lot.

One time while getting some work done (or maybe I was with a friend getting work done, I don't recall) we somehow ended up talking about Jawbreaker. While there on Tuesday night we discussed his love of Brooklyn. I thought it would be nice to post my favorite Jawbreaker song, Do You Still Hate Me?, in honor of my favorite tattoo artist. I haven't heard the new Blake Schwarzenbach fronted band yet but have heard it's more Jawbreaker than Jets To Brazil. I should track down some songs!


The Polyphonic Spree

I must start this by saying that I hate a band with a shtick. Especially costumes. Or too many members. Or a band that has too many members wearing costumes. These are the things that turned me off of this band. I know that the singer was in Tripping Daisy and Sonic Bloom is credited as a cover, but I've never heard the original and though I remember the band name I cannot tell you if I have ever even heard them before. I've probably only heard 4 Polyphonic Spree songs and for whatever reason this is the only one that grabs me. It really grabs me though! Just pure exuberance. The chorus of people in costumes is not annoying, it is necessary for this song. It propels itself forward and takes you on a 4 minute long ride of joy. I usually post bummer songs but this is a little pick me up from all that being sad music.


Holiday Flyer

Sad twee kids rejoice! Holiday Flyer started out as a brother/sister duo before later expanding and then changing into a different band. They are also from my hometown. In fact, they used to do instores at the record store I worked at fairly frequently or at least what felt like fairly frequently. They also got the nod to open for the Red House Painters every time they came through town it seemed. They had a few songs I liked and two I love. This is the cream of the crop though. Runaround is the classic story of having a crush on somebody but getting the feeling that you're their little secret that they're ashamed of. It's written well enough that you can apply it to any crush situation! I know, I've done it! If you're feeling sad about love you may have a new song to enjoy here.


Roxy Music

I have NO IDEA how I got into Roxy Music. It's kind of bizarre given my memory for how I first heard a band. I think it was jr high though. Seems like a band my friend Chasz would have liked. Oh! I know! I think we got into Roxy Music from our interest in Concrete Blonde. Now that I have that sorted... I will say that seeing Bryan Ferry in concert was the only time I have ever teared up because of a vocal performance. His cover of Jealous Guy (the John Lennon classic) had me covertly wiping tears.

So, Roxy Music. Between 1972 and 1975 they released five records. They released three after that but I don't think that they are very good. The gold is in those first five. My all time favorite Roxy Music song comes from their third record, Stranded. That song is Mother of Pearl, a six and a half minute long masterpiece. Generally I am not a fan of long songs. This song has no filler and doesn't get boring which are my usual complaints for long songs. It starts off with lead guitar, rock drums, and Ferry whooping it up on vocals. Then it totally segues into a slower piano part before the drums and vocals come back in. This makes more sense when you're taking in the lyrics as well. Lyrically it's masterful storytelling which is not easy to sustain in a song this long. Ferry wasn't afraid to use real language to convey what he wanted. Really though, there is no way to describe this song - you just have to hear it. Preferably on vinyl with headphones on. So if you enjoy this mp3 please do go out and find a vinyl copy.



I recently did a post on my friend Sara's covers blog Blowin' Your Cover and I actually intended to do a post where I could talk about my love of this cover. I got sidetracked by some Beat Happening covers so I thought I would go ahead and post this song here.

I first remember seeing the video for the Bauhaus cover of Ziggy Stardust on 120 Minutes. Seems like I probably heard my older sister play it when we shared a room but for whatever reason the visual is the memory. I thought their version was better than Bowie's! The blasphemy! By happenstance I found a post punk/goth leaning show on KDVS that was on in the middle of the night around the time I discovered Bauhaus. (I've suffered from insomnia/being a night owl since I was a child - I am writing this at 4:42 a.m. as I write most all of my posts at an hour close to this) I thought some of the songs were silly (Bela Lugosi's Dead is just not that good!) and some were awesome (Crowds) but never got into the whole goth subculture. As easy as the internet makes things like discovering music I wouldn't trade those late Sunday nights watching 120 Minutes or listening to the static of the low wattage college radio station through headphones.

I keep losing the plot here. The only real point here is that I still consider this to be one of the all time great covers. If you have not heard it you should give it a listen.


The Bananas

I think that I've mentioned here before that I'm originally from Sacramento. In my opinion, the best part of Sac is the music scene. It's a city not exactly supportive of the arts or live music really. However, a group of people make sure that great bands still come through town there and have a venue or house to play in. For a city that size it's fairly ridiculous the lack of venue and the scrambling that has to be done to put on a show. It looks like things have stabilized a bit with Luigi's Fun Garden getting the brunt of the shows now. Throw in a few houses and the occasional wild card venue and you can catch a decent show there pretty often. Plus, KDVS! If somebody were to ask me what I miss most about Sac I would definitely say the music scene. A lot of bands have come up since I left town but today I will post my favorite song by one of the long standing Sacramento bands.

The Bananas are practically legends at this point. Releasing consistently great songs since the early 90s they have also toured around the U.S. and even went to Japan a few years ago. I didn't quite grasp how popular they are outside of Sac until I went to see them last summer in Brooklyn. Tons of kids singing along to every song and just having so much fun. A packed room full of people that reminded me of seeing the band back home. It was a really good time and I got the chance to catch up with Scott, Mike, and Marie plus their trusty tour companion, Mr. Smith. Anyway, My Charmed Life is just full of great snotty lyrics. I often find myself singing it for no reason other than it's a great song to sing when you're feeling apathetic. Since I mentioned him in the last post I will note that this is an early Chris Woodhouse recording - predating that A-Frames song by 10 years or more!



Out in the unsafe face to face real world I have a reputation for being very cranky, sort of heartless, and a lot of people I know have the idea that I discard people easily. None of this is true. Well, I am pretty cranky. However, I am actually too sensitive for my own good and not remotely heartless or cold. Further, I don't discard people easily. Maybe partially because I am eaten alive by memory. I can usually excuse atrocities if I can find a particularly good memory of somebody in my brain. I find it more troubling when I can have a fond memory of somebody but know that a relationship is irreparably damaged. Welcome to Chemical by the A-Frames.

I had this group of friends for a number of years that I think of as saviors. We went thru some shit together, we had a lot of fun together, and now most of it is all fucked up never to be fixed. Which is fine, ultimately, because people change and I guess memory is to remind you of good things and having that is better than having some shitty friend albatross around your neck. Anyway, this song in particular reminds me of a night spent drunken robot dancing to this A-Frames record. It was recorded by Chris Woodhouse who I have had the pleasure of knowing for over a decade and who has recorded a couple of bands I was in. (He is currently playing music in a band called Mayyors that I say good luck to you in tracking down their 7"s which seem to go like hotcakes!) If I recall correctly, when one of the bands I was in was recording with him he previewed us a few tracks before this record was even released. Maybe it was just out. I don't exactly recall. All I know is that it is the best drunken robot dancing record ever made. When I listen I think of that and it's bittersweet.


The Beach Boys

So it occurred to me recently that I kind of got away from something I wanted to do here. Originally I think I wanted to write about songs more than bands. I fixate on songs, on very minute things in songs, and while I don't think it's worth analyzing or anything, I do like to mention such things. Sometimes it's lyrics, phrasing, the way something is delivered, and sometimes it's the music itself. I plan on focusing more (exclusively?) on this now.

While on a road trip this summer I got Fun, Fun, Fun by The Beach Boys in my head. I was trying to explain to my girlfriend why I love it so. It comes down to this - it contains one of the most ridiculous yet awesome and funny lyrics ever.
"She makes the Indy 500 look like a Roman chariot race"
The best part of it all is that I ejected the cd we were listening to and started scanning the radio. I knew if I could find an oldies station that chances were decent we would hear the song. Probably within 30 minutes of the conversation it came on. I don't think anyone I know finds this lyric as amusing as I do. Perhaps one of you will?

I'm a native Californian surviving my 4th NYC winter. I love living here but The Beach Boys always make me miss California. I am clearly a sucker for the marketing genius that was The Beach Boys. Also, I prefer the stupid surf related songs to the drug songs which I blame on my mother who is fond of oldies radio. It's probably in my DNA that I like The Beach Boys so I blame that as well. 2009 - the year of blaming others.