Archive for November, 2012

Perhaps A Reminder The Inauguration Is Coming Is In Order, Right About Now

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on November 30, 2012 by johnbuckley100

Leica M8, 50mm Summilux, January 20th, 2009, in the 3rd Street tunnel (not the side that got blocked).  It was 18 degrees outside.

Capsula, The Greatest Rock’n’Roll Band In The World — Yeah, You Read That Right — Are About To Release A Remake Of “Ziggy Stardust”

Posted in Music with tags , on November 30, 2012 by johnbuckley100

There’s a reason this site is called Tulip Frenzy, not Tulip Placidity, and it has to do with the team here’s thoroughly warped love of real rock’n’roll.  Recent readers might get the impression we think the world revolves around young Ty Segall, and yeah, it sort of does.  But if there is one band in the world today that absolutely twangs our woogie, it’s Capsula, the Buenos Aires natives who, a few years back, moved their operation to Bilbao, Spain. (They did it because they couldn’t earn a living playing across South America, given the distances between the cities; in Bilbao, they can play anywhere in Europe and be back on Monday.)  Longtime Tulip Frenzy denizens will remember, we think Capsula is the greatest punk rock band of our sorry age.

We first heard Songs & Circuits, which came out in 2006, after their move, and after they’d begun recording in English. Our mind? Blown like a 50-amp fuse.  We would have moved to Bilbao, too, but they’re, like, touring all the time.  So we stayed put and just kept playing their music, pressing cds into the hands of friends and saying, “You won’t believe it, but these guys are up there with the Clash, and Gang of 4, and the Ramones, and Richard Hell and the Voidoids.”  (Things got worse, of course, when they actually played on an album by former Voidoid Ivan Julian. The release of The Naked Flame converted our mere fandom into a full-blown, well, frenzy.) All signs of skepticism would drain from said friends’ faces by the time the second power chord was played.  Songs & Circuits is still the high water mark, but they’ve released two albums since then, the very good Rising Mountains (2009), and the awesome In The Land Of The Silver Souls, which made Tulip Frenzy’s Top 10 List last year.

And now we find out that on Tuesday, they are releasing their version of David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust,” entitled Dreaming Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars, and featuring old friends like Ivan Julian on guitar.  Moreover, they’re releasing a DVD on their making of the record.

Whoa.  We did not see this coming! Everything will be available Tuesday AM.  We plan on camping out all night, right outside our own den where the iMac sits.

And wait, there’s more!  The three previously unreleased, Spanish-language albums they recorded in Argentina just showed up in the new iTunes Store.  This’ll tide us over ’til Ziggy‘s out next week.

Watch this space.

The Gentleman Has No Idea Batgirl Is Standing Right Behind Him

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 27, 2012 by johnbuckley100

Leica M9, 50mm Summilux

White Fence, And The Bands That Didn’t Make It Onto This Year’s Tulip Frenzy Top Ten List: An Explanation

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on November 27, 2012 by johnbuckley100

Making a Top Ten List is hard in years when there is a lot of good new music.  And just when you think you’re done, inevitably you find you missed stuff.  (One of the most fun aspects of December is reading other people’s Top Ten lists and getting turned on to bands that had not punctured your force field.) But while we’re sure we’ll be doing, if not addenda, then at least announcements of bands we discovered after we’d cast our vote, right now we want to do something else. We thought we should report, if not on the runners up, then at least on the bands that were in contention, or should have been, but which didn’t make it, with some explanation of why not.

White Fence – Family Perfume, Volumes 1 and 2

Tim Presley is a deity in our house, with the shrine next to the bird feeder, on top of the old 8 Track.  Some will remember that Darker My Love’s last outing, Alive As You Are, was Tulip Frenzy’s Album of the Year in 2010.  Of course, Presley is represented on this year’s list by his collaboration with Ty Segall on Hair.  But while aspects of Family Perfume, the epic 29-song double album he released in two parts, in April and May, were as weirdly coherent as anything out of the E6 brotherhood, in the end, we found its extreme lo-fi production coupled with what we can only imagine was an intense psychedelic ambition was excessively confusing.  We almost wanted to shake Mr. Presley by his shoulders, urging him to focus.  We can say honestly that virtually everything his friend Segall does by his lonesome has visceral appeal, but as White Fence, recording all the instruments, Presley’s work is too ethereal, too diffuse.  There’s too much of it and, while snippets are appealing, ultimately it doesn’t rock. And while it is unfair, perhaps, to compare him to Ty Segall — a once in a decade talent — on a good day, Tim Presley’s one of the most compelling figures in all of rock’n’roll music.  Did we mention that just two years ago we gave an album he recorded with his colleagues in Darker My Love our highest honor?  White Fence — Presley and musicians, real sidemen, not imaginary friends – just launched a European tour.  May they knock ’em dead.  And come back and record an album as amazing as Tim Presley’s talent.  From where we sit, Family Perfume didn’t stink to high Heaven, but it just wasn’t it.  We play it, and enjoy it.  But we want more.  We want candy.

The dBs — Falling Off The Sky

God, it was magical hearing Peter Holsapple singing with Will Rigby and Gene Holder kicking down the tobacco barn behind him, and maybe doubly so to have the whole family together with Chris Stamey.  We loved Falling Off The Sky, a genuinely fun album recapturing the magic of Winston-Salem’s finest-ever export to Lower Manhattan.  Both Holsapple and Stamey’s songwriting was strong, and the band is as charming as ever they were.  “Send Me Something Real” was the best Stamey song in years, and “That Time Is Gone” was classic Holsapple. This is the case of a band just barely missing the list, beaten out by Patti Smith, of all people, whose Banga was just that much better.  They were half a game out of the playoffs when the season ended.  Wait ’til next year.

Brian Jonestown Massacre — Aufheben

We got so much joy out of hearing the first really good album from BJM in a decade, and performing the songs live this summer at 930, Anton Newcombe seemed to have a new lease on his plectrum.  In a weaker field, Aufheben would have made it, for it was in many ways classic Brian Jonestown Massacre.  But it wasn’t a weak field, and they didn’t.

Alejandro Escovedo — Big Station

Al’s third Tony Visconti-produced album in the last four years was good, but didn’t make the list because it was third-best among those offerings.  It was good, but something’s missing. We love Alejandro, but admit to a minor disillusionment now that, at least on this album, and for the last two or three tours, he’s gotten away from the larger orchestration of multiple guitars, rockin’ cellos, boogeying violins, etc.  This is a guy who for years would come through town each summer playing punk rock with a real band, and then a few months later return with just cellos. And he would rock just as hard with just the cellos. But when he plays punk rock in a pared-down quartet with just bass, Hector Munoz on drums, and a lead guitarist, something that was so magical about the old Alejandro is missing.  We mull the etiology: whether Al feels the need to play the hard rocker, or whether economics keeps him from performing with a larger set of musicians.  All we know is that, now that he is getting perhaps the most sympathetic listen of his career, with the strongest promotion (Hell, he has Bruce watching his back), and even finds his songs played on the radio… NOW is the time to tour with the whole shebang, the cellos and the peddle steel guitar, the violin and double guitars.  What once was the most magical act in rock’n’roll has been pared down to its essentials, but we want him to give us something more.  We want what Al offered all those many years when we dragged friends to see this guy they’d never heard of, only to have them so blown away, they quit their jobs to follow him like Deadheads.

He Did It His Way

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 24, 2012 by johnbuckley100

Leica M9, 50mm Summilux.

Uncut Mag Gives Ty Segall “New Artist Of The Year”

Posted in Music with tags , on November 24, 2012 by johnbuckley100

We’re not exactly certain how you can give a 25-year old with at least ten albums under his belt (both solo albums and as a member of The Traditional Fools, Epsilons, Party Fowl, the Perverts, among others).  But heck, if you want to recognize what he accomplished in 2012 — three amazing albums, two of which, as you will see below, tying for 2nd place in the Tulip Frenzy Top Ten List ™ — that’s not a meaningless accolade.  Even though of course they should drop the “New” and just call him “Artist of the Year.”

But in the write-up, the following few sentences simply made us sigh: “Segall was born in 1987 in Laguna Beach, down the coast from LA.  He was seven when Kurt Cobain died.  He still remembers playing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on his first boom box.”

Okay, we’ll do what Uncut shoulda: we pronounce Ty Segall Tulip Frenzy’s Artist of the Year.

Relaxing On Black Friday

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 24, 2012 by johnbuckley100

Leica M9, 50mm Summilux.

SHOCKER: Woods Beats Out Ty Segall To Take Tulip Frenzy’s Album Of The Year!

Posted in Music with tags , , , on November 23, 2012 by johnbuckley100

If you followed the internals of the polling, did not try to skew them, but had a rationalist’s belief in data, by Election Day it would have been clear for all to see: Woods’ brilliant “Bend Beyond” was shooting up like a rocket en route to taking Tulip Frenzy’s Album of The Year, even beating out the great Ty Segall, who many people believed would be a lock.

But if the phrase, “Album of The Year,” has any meaning, of course it would go to Woods.  For Bend Beyond is an album that encapsulates all the musical goodness of 2012 — a glorious mix of garage rock, Byrdsy jangling, and smart songwriting — and is one of those records we’ll still be talking about ten years hence.

Here’s what we thought when we first heard it — and we should note, we’ve played it almost daily since then:

Bend Beyond ranks in the Pantheon with Darker My Love’s Alive As You Are, John Hammond’s Southern Fried, Luna’s Penthouse, and The J. Geils Band.  You know where this is heading: yes, the declaration that Bend Beyond is a *perfect* record.  That’s right, perfect.  As we’ve commented before, perfect records are as rare as baseball pitchers’ perfect games.  (Even with that pronouncement, whether it will end up as Tulip Frenzy’s Album of the Year is not yet known, for as perfect as it may be, and it certainly is, the world has to account, and likely this year, for the greatness that is Ty Segall.  Does “World Historical” beat “perfect”?  We shall see.) [Editor’s note: And now we know.]

“Bend Beyond does something we never even considered possible, it is an expression beyond our previously far too limited imagination, for it melds the aforementioned folk-rock marriage between Neil Young and Galaxie 500 to farfisa-lubricated garage rock with ambient traces of psychedelic fireworks exploding softly on the edge of your vision.  Somehow, like a Ben’n’Jerry’s flavor combo moved to the realm of geographic mash-ups, we have achieved this brilliant union of Brooklyn with Woodstock with Topanga Canyon sliding in muddy goo right on top of it, and the tasty output, while perhaps a mite bit lacking in carnivorous gristle, is nourishing and fine.

“Go listen to “Find Them Empty” and tell me to my face that if it were slipped into a pail of nuggets taken from Lenny Kaye’s latest archaeological dig, you wouldn’t think it was the ’60s garage find o’ the year.

“Tell me — we dare ye — that if you heard “Cali In A Cup” while lying outside on an autumn sunny day, headphones on while you stared at that red leaf falling from a maple tree, you wouldn’t contemplate chucking it all to go work in some Williamsburg wine bar, dedicating your evenings to reading Richard Brautigan novels.

“Play “Is It Honest” loud from your Mustang while driving on Sunset Boulevard, and the remnants of the Paisley Underground would all march out with their hands up, their eyes blinking from behind Roger McGuinn half-shades.  ”Hey man, what is that?”

“It’s Woods’ Bend Beyond.

Like we said, a perfect album.”

And now it is Tulip Frenzy’s Album Of The Year.

Tulip Frenzy’s #2 Best Album of 2012 Is A TIE Between Ty Segall and Ty Segall (and White Fence)!!!

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on November 23, 2012 by johnbuckley100

Back in April, we grokked on the gloriousness of young Ty Segall and the eminent Tim Presley a.k.a. White Fence joining together to produce an album.  We thought Hair was an unqualified masterpiece, stating at the time, “Hearing the ruckus created by Segall’n’Presley on Hair, it’s clear that just walking into the studio together got these young’uns to throw their very hearts and souls against all four walls, no doubt to their neighbors’ consternation.  Does not play well with others is one of those black marks on a child’s life, but if anyone doubted what young Ty could amount to, just listen to this.  The squish of the fruit from his labor with the more experienced Mr. Presley is sonically fine,  more fun than a barrel of Fleshtones, taking the crunching guitar work Presley’s delivered in his previous incarnation and smashing it down upon Segall’s Brendan Benson pop inclinations, like what the Raconteurs would have sounded like had Jack White been into the Byrds and psychedelic drugs, not Zep and Delta blues.”

In June, The Ty Segall Band released an album that, while some folks went nuts over it, we thought was a little disjoint, a disappointment.  But in the fall, Segall came roaring back with “Twins,” an immensely fun return to solo status, Segall playing with just his imaginary friends in a band that existed only in his own mind!

As we noted, “On Twins, Ty Segall proves he has gone way beyond being simply a young tyro.  Yes, he plays all the instruments, and usually that’s self limiting, because few are the one-man bands that can actually swing, for it takes two to tango, and three to play drums, bass, and guitar with any kinda pogoing lilt.  And yet on this ‘un, Sir Ty may as well be Crazy Horse jamming with the Jeff Beck Group: Twins is rock’n’roll nirvana, and Nirvana-esque rock’n’roll — loud and catchy, fast and bulbous, jacked into the mainline SF psych scene circa Summer O’ Luv even as it pulls off a Pin Ups-quality homage to late ’60s Britrock, such as it was.  As is clear from the terrific profile of the young surfer from Laguna Beach, by way of Haight-Ashbury, Ty Segall doesn’t just have a future, the dude has caught his wave.  The jury at Tulip Frenzy has a big November crisis to face, and we don’t just mean where do we move if Mitt Romney wins?  The question we have to contend with is how many slots of the 2012 Tulip Frenzy Top Ten List will be taken up by albums on which Ty Segall plays?  Stay tuned.”

Well, we know how the election turned out, and the good news is we don’t have to leave the country.  Better news is that, after spirited debate, the gang at Tulip Frenzy decided not to try figuring out which of these two albums was better and we awarded the first tie in the history of the Tulip Frenzy Top Ten List ™.

Tulip Frenzy’s #4 Best Album Of 2012 Was Spiritualized’s “Sweet Heart Sweet Light”

Posted in Music with tags , , on November 23, 2012 by johnbuckley100

What a joy it was, back in the Spring, to listen to the return of Jason Pierce, in comparatively fine fettle, releasing the gorgeous “Sweet Heart Sweet Light.”  This was the best outing for Spiritualized since 1997’s Ladies and Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space. 

As we noted at the time, “Sweet Heart Sweet Light is variously thrilling, beautiful, a little sappy, uplifting. It is a glorious rock’n’roll album, exciting and pretty in turns.  Pierce’s affinity for taking minimal numbers of chords and drenching them in maximalist orchestration —  not just strings and horns, but wicked guitar feedback and blues harp, trilling piano and gospel choruses — is back, fifteen years after Ladies and Gentlemen. Spiritualized’s music is, at times, so over the top, and also so simple: R&B informed by the Brill Building’s lessons taught to young Lou Reed.  ”There She Goes Again” meets “Heroin.”  We find spirituality in the ecstasy that comes from music, not music that comes from Ecstasy.   For us, Spiritualized’s cup runneth over.  We are so glad that Pierce has survived to deliver something this pleasing, both to his old audience and, potentially, given the amazing run of media coverage these last few weeks, to new ones.”

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