Ty Segall’s Epic 930 Club Show Was A Crowd-Surfing Frenzy

Posted in Music with tags , on September 16, 2014 by johnbuckley100

Ty Segall 4

Last night at D.C.’s 930 Club, Ty Segall showed that the best songs on his new double album, Manipulator, are so many and strong that he can go for a 45-minute stretch before dipping into his glorious back catalogue.  Beginning with the title track and ripping through “It’s Over,” “Feel,” and an electrified — and electrifying — version of “Green Belly,” it’s no wonder the audience took to lemming-like launches into the waiting arms of their sturdy compatriots, who passed them around the venerable club like so many sacks of ecstatic jute.

For the better part of the decade, Ty Segall has been a one-man tent revival preaching real rock’n’roll, jacked into the absurdly varied electrical circuit that brought us garage rock, psyche, metal and the Beatles, a melodic and propulsive reminder of what the genre, as it dies, once was capable of.  And now he is hitting a city near you, toting his most commercially viable album ever, and putting on shows which, if last night is the par example, remind us all of what once was, and what still can be.  When we say he’s been a one-man band, in the studio it’s true; as alway when playing live, longtime sidekicks Mikal Cronin, Charlie Moothart, and Emily Epstein prove they can kick forward and back too, an undulating mass of throbbing gristle and Twisted Sister hair playing the best punk rock on the planet.

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From our vantage point — and we were smart enough to get upstairs — this was among the most tumultuous shows ever played at the 930 Club’s second incarnation.  (We offer a pro tip to young ‘uns swept up in the crowd-surfing impulse: if you choose to dive from the stage after 30 of your cohort have gone before you, don’t hit precisely the same spot, as the audience will have tired arms and sweaty, slippery fingers.)

Ty Segall 2

Readers who grant us the Talmudic inspection our writing deserves will know that while we believe Manipulator has a boodle of boss tracks on it, its overt play to get Black Keys-like radio love — by subverting, with the addition of newfound R&B riffs, Ty’s strong suit in melodic hard rock with punk’n’metal overtones — left us wondering if the delivery of what we once had wished for — the boy producing a solid slab o’ commercial potential — was a deviation from what we most enjoyed about this latest Savior of Rock’n’Roll.  But last night was the clincher: the album is truly worthy.  We’ve long predicted he had a future on the stage at the Verizon Center, and maybe this is the last time we will see him in a club the size of 930.  But honestly, why — money aside — would you want to play Verizon, where they get huffy about crowd surfing, when you can fall back on the audience and they will carry you for a moment before gently returning you right back to the stage?

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We were happy to hear the songs from his best album, Twins, and the songs from The Ty Segall Band’s Slaughterhouse were a reminder of a previous moment when it took the live set to reveal how great the album was.  When we stepped out into the street, we felt like we’d survived the mayhem Ty unleashes.  Mayhem and ear-to-ear grins.  Hell, our ears were grinning too.

Street Nirvana

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on September 8, 2014 by johnbuckley100

M Street September 2

Morning Has Broken

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 28, 2014 by johnbuckley100

Leica M-240, Vario-Elmar-R 80-200.

Tulip Frenzy SBG 10-2

Ty Segall Is Ready For His Close Up

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on August 28, 2014 by johnbuckley100

As longtime readers of Tulip Frenzy are no doubt aware, we believe we are living in a Golden Age of Rock’n’Roll, thanks largely to the emergence of Ty Segall, Thee Oh See’s John Dwyer, and White Fence’s Tim Presley.  Ty is clearly the freshest platter o’ grass-fed beef in the steakhouse, a fuzz-tone wunderkind whose solo albums since about 2009 have shown artistic growth in a compressed time frame  that, it is not an exaggeration to say, exceeds that of previous saviors-of-the-genre like The Clash.  

You can never have too much garage-rock psyche mixed with Beatles chops, we always say, and over the past four years or so Mr. Segall has delivered the goods in spades.  Way we see it, the arrival of Ty in our summer sky was like the return of the comet that brought us the British Invasion, swept back into view with the Summer o’ Love, made a hasty swoop ’round the planet during the punk era, but then went back into the cosmos for a long and dilatory snooze before three wiseacres came out of the East bearing Frankenstein and Murine, announcing His arrival.

If you are getting the message we believe the sun never sets on Ty Segall’s full talent, yeah, we cop that plea.  So it is with genuine mixed emotions that we greeted the release this week of Manipulator, the 17-song opus Segall’s been promising to drop all these years.  There is a fantastic album contained within it, but going for the double-album glory has brought slightly mixed results.  Let’s offer up the good, bad, and ugly in the spirit of friendship and avuncular advice.

We imagine that Ty, a smart 27-year old who can hit for distance and for average, looked over at Dan Auerbach and the success he’s had with the Black Keys and said, hmmm.  Until the Black Keys hit it big, they were an interesting, authentic Ohio blues band with traces of soul.  Segall is an interesting Cali punk-rock demigod with traces of metal.  Objectively, there is no reason why the Black Keys should play sold-out shows at the Verizon Center and Ty Segall can’t.  Manipulator, then, is an album that is at once mostly true to Ty’s prior work while also a straightforward play for the radio programmer’s heart and soul.  Viewed as such it is a complete success.

That said, when the essential Ty Segall playlist is made up in, say, 2018, we bet we will put many more songs from Twins and Goodbye Bread, or rarities like “Children of Paul” on it than songs from Manipulator.  If “Green Belly” breaks wide open on XMU, or “Who’s Producing You” becomes the biggest hit on Beats Music, no one will be happier than us.  For the uninitiated, Manipulator is a fantastic album.  For those who believe that Ty lights up the night sky, yeah, we get it, and we hope it sells in the mega-millions.  And we’re left just a little bit disappointed — not by the first, say, seven songs, but by what shows up in the back nine, some of which is filler.  For the first time, as catchy as it is, a song like “Susie Thumb” seems slightly formulaic.  Unusually, in “The Hand,” he sounds just a wee bit generic.

But on the title track, on songs like “It’s Over” and “Feel,” the magic is there.  Oh brother, is it there.  We exult in it, and hope those listening for the first time — and we suspect millions will — are moved by this ‘un to press the music wide-eyed on all their friends and family, and then go explore the earlier, rawer albums, and the associated recs by Thee Oh Sees and White Fence that have been made better by the knowledge that Ty was out back, recording his new one in a cheap and scuzzy garage.


Wait, You Mean You Can Buy The Complete Basement Tapes Now Legally?

Posted in Uncategorized on August 26, 2014 by johnbuckley100

Even in the tourist precincts of Cape Town, the word is out. Leica M, 50mm APO-Summicron-Asph.

Tulip Frenzy SBG 8

Lo And Behold! Dylan Announces Release Of The Complete Basement Tapes

Posted in Music with tags , , on August 26, 2014 by johnbuckley100

“When there’s too much of nothing/it can cause a man to weep,” sang Dylan on one of the greatest songs on possibly his greatest — if incomplete — collection.  And so we have, over the years, wept when faced with only the two-disk, 1975 official version of The Basement Tapes by Dylan and the Band.  Sure, we’ve bought the 6-cd bootleg, and gloried in some of the snippets, half-songs, the Johnny Cash covers.  But it’s not the same thing as having a relatively high-fi version.

Today came the blessed email from bobdylan.com announcing The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 to be released November 4.  

This is even more welcome than the forthcoming release by Elvis Costello, Jim James, T Bone Burnett and others of their Wilco-does-Woody-like recording of music made from Basement Tapes-era lyrics that Dylan handed over to them.

We will finally get to wallow in rock’s greatest trove of music thus far denied an official release.  And on this day we are so pleased to have new music from Ty Segall, the New Pornographers, and Robyn Hitchcock to listen to, the notion that the autumn will only get better is too much news to handle.  Please, whatever you do, don’t tell us the Stones are finally going to release the live album from their ’72 tour.  We wouldn’t be able to take it.

Split Screen

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 25, 2014 by johnbuckley100

Even in Africa, thinking of the remarkable Saul Leiter.  Leica M, 50mm APO-Summicron-Asph.

Tulip Frenzy SBG 6


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