Archive for February, 2009

Is First Communion After Party The Best Twin Cities Band Since NNB?

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

I think yes.  Since midweek, I can’t quite get to listening to any other band.  Sorry For All The Mondays… doesn’t have a single bad song on it.  Yeah, below you can see the initial reference points: Jefferson Airplane, shoe-gaze bands like Spaceman 3, bands like Black Mountain and the Black Angels and the Warlocks.  But these guys are magical.  Aside from having the best band name since The Rolling Stones, they’re the best Minny band since the legendary NNB of Big Hits From Mid-America fame, whose 30th anniversary hits this summer.  (They’re going to have a festival at the Hump Dome to honor the occasion.  Editor: no, they’re not.)

Tulip Frenzy wouldn’t steer you wrong: download “2CB” and if you don’t like it, we’ll give 99 cents to the charity of your choice.

Austin Get Ready: First Communion After Party Is Playing SXSW

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , on February 25, 2009 by johnbuckley100

Ah, I still remember my first communion after party: all the seven-year olds swimming on a bright May Sunday, school almost out, summer near.  Maybe we saw God, but probably not the way First Communion After Party does.  These guys are maybe the best neo-psychedelic band to have emerged in recent years, which when you think about it, is saying something.  If they set their amps up in a Catholic church parking lot, the Warlocks and Black Angels would put down their bingo cards and listen.  They’re that good.

If Byron Coley isn’t a charter member of the FCAP fan club, I’ll give up music for Lent.  See, they’ve got this Grace Slick/Marty Balin, Exene/John Doe thing going on vocals.  The guitarists have spent a lot of time listening to the 13th Floor Elevators.  I’ve seen an interview in which they deftly eschew the comparisons to the Brian Jonestown Massacre, but admit to getting their noses into the same batch of altar wine: Spaceman 3, Spiritualized, the Darkside, that whole tribe.

Austin get ready, these guys are going to be the biggest thing hitting SXSW other than the premiere of the film The Least of Me (which has a simultaneous premiere at, FYI.)  If you want a little taste right now, go to the iTunes Store and download Sorry for All The Mondays and To Those Who Can’t Sing, which is either the best album title I’ve heard in a while or the worst, I can’t decide.  I do know this: if my First Communion After Party had sounded like this, I might have kept the faith.

Maids Parading Feather Dusters On The Path Just Over There

Posted in Uncategorized on February 21, 2009 by johnbuckley100

Ok, ok.  Palm trees in paradise.  Leica M8, 35mm Summilux.


Robyn Hitchcock’s “GoodNight Oslo” Meets A.C. Newman’s “Submarines of Stockholm”

Posted in Music with tags , , , on February 21, 2009 by johnbuckley100

It’s one of life’s great paradoxes that Robyn Hitchcock, perennial jokester, can also write the most emotionally breathtaking songs.  Going all the way back to his earliest days with the Soft Boys, Hitchcock’s shined underwater moonlight on creatures from the deep, as if afraid to deal with things on the surface, straight up with a frontal view.  Maybe it’s because when he looks at life head on, he captures it so beautifully.

It’s hard to go wrong with Peter Buck and Scott McGaughey in your band, though admittedly there are the usual batch of fish that should never have been landed, that flop around the dock.  I count six keepers, which is a pretty good catch in stormy seas. Still, while not as great a collection of songs as Ole! Tarantula was a few years back, Goodnight Oslo’s in the upper tier of Hitchcock’s solo work, with shimmering guitars and the Minus 5 glee club out in force. “I’m Falling” is as pretty a song as he’s written this century, as pretty as “Raymond Chandler Evening,” and the title track lingers in the mind like a painting by Edvard Munch.

In Get Guilty, A.C. Edward’s second solo album, the best song finds him chugging into the Stockholm harbor, running silently and deep as thrillingly as in any rock song reference to submariners since the Swell Maps.  Tulip Frenzy’s taken a while to write about this album because it disappointed, though it’s since grown on us, like a small tree emanating from our forehead.  Look, The Slow Wonder was such a magnificent work, a bridge between New Pornographer outings Twin Cinemas and Challengers, that we had really high expectations.  While The Slow Wonder never once seemed like these were songs to which Neko and the gang had shaken their heads, “uh, no,” there are moments when Get Guilty does seem like it could be a demo tape for the next New P’s outing.  A consumer report would clock this one as having maybe four really good songs, which is well below Carl’s standards.  But this is A.C. Newman we’re talking about, and when he’s good, he’s great.  “The Collected Works” ranks up there with “Fortune” and “Secretarial” and “Spanish Techno.” There are reasons to throw your hat in the air and whoop.  Just don’t do it in a submarine.

Why Tulip Frenzy Has Seemed To Be Checked Out

Posted in Uncategorized on February 17, 2009 by johnbuckley100

Um, worth 1000 words and all that.  M8 with Tri-Elmar, ISO160, f/11.


Bigger Than The Led Zep Reunion, Magazine Comes Back for Five Gigs

Posted in Music with tags , , on February 7, 2009 by johnbuckley100

Beginning next weekend, alas, across the pond.

From the Guardian:

In subsequent years, one of pop’s great talents has been frustratingly detached. A 1983 solo album, Jerky Versions of the Dream, was followed by two albums as Luxuria and a reunion with Shelley for 2002’s Buzzkunst. In the meantime, Magazine’s legend has grown. Devoto was working on some music under the name Death Sweet and, typically, thinking of donating the proceeds to the campaign for assisted suicides (“Not very commercial, hah!”) when the group’s former members began working – separately – on a Formula solo album. A promoter offering Formula some live dates subsequently sent a “very hesitant email” enquiring as to the possibility of reuniting Magazine. Formula contacted bass player Barry Adamson, drummer John Doyle and Devoto.

“Dave made me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” says the singer, drily. “He said ‘Howard, it’s your last chance to be venerable.'” Sadly, McGeoch won’t make the reunion – he died in 2004, meaning the band are again having to replace “one of the batteries”. However, Formula insists that when they take the stage again – with Devoto’s former Luxuria partner, Noko, on guitar – they will “be Magazine”. Perhaps, back in the band who are loved more now than at the time, Devoto will finally achieve that sense of belonging.

“I still see the three guys I hung out with in my teens,” he considers, allowing himself a smile. “I like old gangs.”

· Magazine play London Forum (February 12-13) Glasgow Academy (16) and Manchester Academy (14 and 17). The Complete John Peel Sessions is out now on Virgin/EMI


So this is what Howard Devoto looks like now (link below.)

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