Archive for January, 2009

The Morning After Girls At The Mercury Lounge 1/27/09

Posted in Music with tags , on January 28, 2009 by johnbuckley100

The Morning After Girls are ready for prime time, ready for their close up, with a live set that takes the best from their new material — “Who Is They” finished the set — and the best of the old.  This is a powerfully constructed band, with tight vocal harmonies woven like a sash between Sasha Lucashenko and Martin B. Sleeman, who share guitar duties.  

Long ago, the story goes, novelist Scott Turow mentioned to his law firm partners that he would soon have a thriller out, and his partners asked if it was going to be big.  He was confident enough – and knew his publisher’s budget – to say, “It’s going to billboard-on-the-back-of-the-bus big.”  So goes the suspicion about what the Morning After Girls could  be.  They could be Oasis big.  They’re also going to delight critics, most of the time.  Think of the Stone Roses, at least for the vocals. And they split the difference between the louche ’60s guitar sound of the Brian Jonestown Massacre and the tight hook-laden pop careerism of the early Dandy Warhols.  You know they were torn over who to root for when they saw Dig!

The problem with the Mercury Lounge as a showcase is they got about two seconds to set up, and the sound’s bad to begin with.  And this is an ambitious  band whose guitar lines are precise, who use pedals and phase-shifting atmospherics, and whose harmonies need to jell. Too often it sounded like one of the guitars was just a little out of tune, or at least stuck in the maw.  Oh, but when they rolled through “Shadows Evolve,” and got to “Chasing Us Under” it all worked.  The vocals were on, the guitar lines snaked over and around each other.  “Chasing Us Under” was worthy of Dean Wareham and Sean Eden, maybe even Lloyd and Verlaine.  For a band built on melody and guitar dynamics, they put up a big ruckus.

The new members of the band play tight.  Can’t wait, for their sake and ours, for The Morning After Girls to play a set with clean sound, after a sound check.  A very good New York debut under less than ideal conditions.

The Morning After Girls Speak

Posted in Music on January 26, 2009 by johnbuckley100

An interview here:

It reads more like an email exchange than an actual conversation.  News:  album expected “at this time” in March/April, at which point a US tour is being pulled together.

One More Happy Face From The Inaugural

Posted in Uncategorized on January 25, 2009 by johnbuckley100

Leica M8, 35mm Summilux.  By the Rayburn House Office Building just before going through the mags.  (Who knew that as we were getting in, some 10,0000 people in the Purple Section were trapped and blocked from the swearing in?) supllement

The Soundtrack of Our Lives’ “Communion” Is The First Great Album of 2009

Posted in Music on January 25, 2009 by johnbuckley100

At last we have the first great album of 2009, and it’s about time, too.  After all, the year’s three weeks old and so far nothing.  Maybe 2009 knows there’s a recession, and it’s getting off to a lazy start.  And no, it’s not the Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion (though as a Washingtonian, I like the title.)  That album is so utterly boring and utterly praised you know it’s going to be #1 on critics’ lists at the end of the year, unless Portishead come out and do a reggae album with Willie Nelson and Radiohead or something.

The Soundtrack of Our Lives are rock classicists, the way Kelley Stoltz is a rock classicist, the way Robert Pollard and Bob Mould are rock classicists.  They understand that the basic form of songwriting created by Ray Davies and Pete Townshend worked pretty well in rock’s Pleistocene Age, and can still serve as a bedrock foundation for whatever ambitions they have.  In this case, Communion is a 24-song double album that has as many adventures as there are hours in the day, as there are plotlines for Jack Bauer.  By turns beautiful, thrilling (cf. “Thrill Me”) and full of freeze-dried fruits from Scandanavia, it’s as impressively structured as the new Swedish Embassy.

Somehow, I don’t think the crowd drooling over Animal Collective is going to go for a band that has Keith Moon drums and power chords.  But down here at Tulip Frenzy World HQ, the gang thinks this is the second best thing that happened this week, following the little changing of the guard on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Morning After Girls Post Free Dowload, Info On New Album

Posted in Music with tags , on January 23, 2009 by johnbuckley100

The song “Shadows Evolve” is now available for download here:

On the Mercury Lounge website, previewing their show Tuesday night, there’s a write-up that gives us more information on their new album, which would appear to be called Life, Alone, than we have gotten on either their website or MySpace page.   (See below.)

“Shadows Evolve” is pure BJM guitar goodness, with softer vocals.  Good stuff.  Can’t wait for the album.  Also, note below that they declare they will be touring extensively in the US in 2009.

UPDATE: So I wondered why the British version of the album we know as Prelude EPs 1 and 2 was called Shadows Evolve, and of course it is because the song is 4 years old…  So not from the new album.  Though great — so great, one wonders if in its entirety, the new album can live up to the standard set by their first releases.  So far, based on what’s on their website, the answer is yes: great guitar work and song structure, though the vocals seem a little… prettier.  We shall see.

The Morning After Girls
over the past year and a half, the morning after girls have taken the time to reflect upon their journey so far. in this time of fast development, transient communication, and transparent meanings, they felt it was their responsibility to take the time to really contemplate what life, music and basic human existence means for us all today. what resulted from this, is a new album, resting on the creative base of sacha lucashenko and martin b. sleeman. over the past year, the album has journeyed through different times, different places, different relationships, different personalities; all of which are so vital to gaining a complete representation of what it’s like to live through the days of this thing we call “life”. the album was recorded in various parts of melbourne, australia, and was mixed and produced by martin and sacha, with alan moulder at the helm.

in an age where the speed of development is thought to bring people together, it seems that most of us may feel a greater sense of isolation than ever before. technology seeks to connect, but it seems many of us feel a lack of the reality which binds us all; meaningful connections. this is not a new theory by any stretch of the imagination, but, simply, over this past year and a half, the morning after girls have managed to celebrate this very feeling of aloneness by creating an album that is simply an exploration of the very things which makes each one of us truly unique, truly apart from the next, purely, alone.

as was always planned, martin and sacha relocated to new york city in 2008, and with the inclusion of ej hagen (bass guitar), alexander white (keys, sounds, percussion), anthony johnson (drums, percussion) and alexander white (keys, sounds, percussion) , the band will again be touring extensively throughout the usa and abroad in 2009, starting with shows at new york’s mercury lounge (jan 27th), and los angeles’ viper room (jan 29th).

indeed, it is easy to say that Life is a constant flow of beginnings and ends, inhaling and exhaling, rising and passing. well, the morning after girls’ voice remains steady and stronger than always, and as you join them on this journey, you will see that there is not a call, nor text, nor an email that you need to attend to. there is simply the true presentation of the bond between your heart, soul and mind. all binded by the beauty of that which can never be broken – music.
they are here to stay,and are grateful to have you with them.
thank you for joing them.
there is no other way.
thank you.

Moment Of Truth (And Photos From The Inaugural)

Posted in Uncategorized on January 20, 2009 by johnbuckley100

For a gallery of photos from today’s Inaugural, as well as the Opening Ceremony, go here:


For a sense of what it was like, see here:


Bush Party Over, Thaw To Begin

Posted in Uncategorized on January 19, 2009 by johnbuckley100

Leica M8, Elmarit 28 (cropped and converted in LR2.)


Bush’s Last Trip Back From Camp David, The Crowd Waiting For Obama

Posted in Uncategorized on January 19, 2009 by johnbuckley100

Leica M8, Summilux 50, Lincoln Memorial, January 18th, 2009heli

Pride (“In The Name Of Love”)

Posted in Music with tags , on January 19, 2009 by johnbuckley100

Happy MLK birthday from the Lincoln Memorial, January 18th, 2009. Leica M8, 50mm Summilux.u21

Double Barack

Posted in Uncategorized on January 19, 2009 by johnbuckley100

At the concert at the Lincoln Memorial.  M8, 50 Summilux.  Yes, look left and right, image and reality.


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