Archive for July, 2009

the black ryder’s “Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride” Out In October

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

The Morning After Girls’ progeny the black ryder (lower case, like ee cummings) sent out an email this week announcing a first album out this October entitled By The Ticket, Take The Ride.  Importantly, they also have posted a song from it on their MySpace page (  All we can say is Wow.  “Burn and Ride” sounds like the glorious offspring of a marriage between Spacemen 3 and Luna, with Mazzy Star doing the officiating.

If, following Aimee Nash’s departure from The MAG, they went on to be a little too polished for their original fans, Ms. Nash gives us a reminder of what’s missing.

Watch The Pixies’ “loudQUIETloud”Right Here

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on July 17, 2009 by johnbuckley100

[clearspring_widget title=”SnagFilms Film Widget” wid=”4837b4759c19ccae” pid=”4a60afa94c1fa8d7″ width=”300″ height=”250″ domain=””]

From our friends at SnagFilms.  Enjoy.

The Morning After Girls “Alone” Is A Pretty Rock Classic

Posted in Music with tags , on July 14, 2009 by johnbuckley100

The thing I liked so much about The Morning After Girls’ first album, which had the rather utilitarian name of The Prelude EPs, 1 & 2, was the way it could be both raw and delicate at the same time.  Here was an Aussie band firmly in thrall to the Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols, and all their progenitors and spore.  But that was a long time ago, as Sacha Lucachenko and  Martin B. Sleeman shed and gained new band mates, moved, more or less permanently, to New York, and over the course of the last few years, methodically kept the flame alive.

We’re glad they did, because Alone is a beautiful bit of artisanal crafting, bespoke tailoring on a classic last.  There’s good news and bad news here.  The good news is that they write oft-times brilliant songs — I’ve been grokking on “Who Is They” for months, and the title track is as great a bit of mid-90’s Britpop as anything Noel Gallagher would have produced after a three-day binge.  I hear echos of the Stone Roses, the Charlatans UK, Luna, maybe even Spiritualized: good company.  The bad news is that some of the rawness has been sandpapered smooth.  Sacha and Martin sing very pretty harmonies, and one doesn’t often complain about good singing, but in this case it sometimes sounds pretty for the sake of it.

When they want to, they still can rock — “Death Processions,” for example, packs a wallop.  The show I saw in January at the Mercury Lounge was ear-splitting and occasionally thrilling.  And they have the classicist’s memory of how bands like the Beatles and the Stones really stuck in your mind — it wasn’t just the hooks, the chorus, the solos, it was those tantalizing outros, making you hark your ear toward the speaker as the song fades away.  Oasis knew this from the start, but not many other bands do, nor do they have producers who understand the vaudevillian’s mantra of always leave them wanting something more.

It’s been a long time coming, a long strip tease, as some of these songs have for months been streamable on their web site.  This is a band that, with the proper management and a little luck, could be huge.  Based on the pleasures they offer, they deserve to be huge.  I just hope they don’t forget where they come from.  I don’t mean Australia, I mean raw and thrilling.  Bands too pretty leave me cold.

Saturday At The Getty

Posted in Uncategorized on July 13, 2009 by johnbuckley100

M8, 21 Summilux(1 of 1)

Santa Barbara Pier

Posted in Uncategorized on July 9, 2009 by johnbuckley100

Leica M8, Summilux 21

(11 of 16)

Hey, Baby, It’s The 4th of July

Posted in Uncategorized on July 5, 2009 by johnbuckley100

Independence Day in Jackson, WY.  Link below to get to a gallery.  All photos taken with a Leica M8. of 31)

The Ashes of American Flags On Sundance Channel July 3/4

Posted in Uncategorized on July 3, 2009 by johnbuckley100

Brendan Canty and Cristoph Green’s magnificent Wilco road film will be on the Sundance Channel tonight at midnight EDT, and tomorrow at 6:00 PM.  How fitting that a road film on this most American of bands would be viewable on Independence Day.

Clearly viewed through the eyes of a musician — Brendan was the drummer in Fugazi — it’s a close-up of a band on the verge of greatness.  Visually magnificent, it gives enough of a glimpse of Wilco, the collection of humans, to make us feel privy to their life on the road; we have a backstage pass, and make use of it; but at the same time, the music is the star.  And what incredible music it is.

I was at the 930 Club show that ends the film, so it’s weird seeing something preserved that lingers in memory.  Tweedy throughout the film comes off as likable, if a little over his head when talking about art.  The physical demand of performing as they do is captured with Nels Cline having to wrap his neck in ice after a show — it’s like seeing a football team after a hard game.  The American scenery caught from the bus is like something out of a Joel Sternfeld exhibit.  There are precious little hijinks captured — no hotel trashing, no groupies, no drugs.  Just an incredible band of musicians pleasing their fans, play for immortality, all captured on HD video.

Watch it on Sundance.  Better yet, download it at the iTunes store.

Wilco (The Album), And A Ghost Is Born

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on July 1, 2009 by johnbuckley100

What are we to make of the fact that Wilco has released a fine eponymous album within a week of former member Jay Bennett’s death from an overdose of painkillers? Bennett’s departure from the band after Yankee Hotel Foxtrot removed a destabilizing, if creative, element from the band, and judging from what they’ve produced with the new, by now five-year old lineup — not to mention Jeff Tweedy’s sobriety and seriousness of purpose — the band is better off for his absence.  And yet Bennett’s role as a ghost in the machine has now reached spectral dimensions, RIP.

The album showcases all that’s been good and not so good since A Ghost Is Born.  The guitar interplay between Tweedy and Nels Cline is spectacular.  Not all of the songs thrill, and instead of Southern three-chord rock,  the dynamic stems from subtle guitar squalls rising over placid oceans.  And then there are songs like “Bull Black Nova,” which make you want to shout out loud as the band moves with the liquidity of  mercury through the boogie pop slalom — “96 Tears” as played by Television.  The title song — its title taking PIL’s genericism one step further by being entitled “Wilco” — gets the album off at a thrilling tempo, and it seems perfectly clear to me that Tweedy must have been playing the live version of Derek & The Dominos “Got To Get Better In A Little While” on that long flight to New Zealand, where Wilco went to record Wilco.   (Listen to the two songs back to back…)

There was a time when I was ambivalent about Wilco’s greatness, but everything they’ve done in this decade makes a claim for greatness.  I no longer have the beef that Tweedy seems to glorify heroin.  What he and Nels Cline do on guitars is as great as Verlaine and Lloyd, Moore and Renaldo, Hitchcock and Rew.  Sometimes the songs are pretty for pretty’s sake, and yeah, without Jay Bennett they’ve lost a certain edge.  No matter.  They’re a great band, and following hard on the spectacular Sky Blue Sky, Wilco (the album), delivers the goods.

Note, and plug for a friend: The great drummer — and great guy — Brendan Canty has filmed a wonderful documentary on Wilco entitled Ashes of American Flags.  Don’t wait for it to be available on — go buy it at the iTunes story.

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