Archive for The Ty Segall Band

At Comet Ping Pong, Mikal Cronin Replenishes The Tree Of Real Rock’n’Roll

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on June 22, 2013 by johnbuckley100


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Seeing Mikal Cronin play at nearby Comet Ping Pong was as disorienting as it would be to see Ty Segall play at your child’s elementary school cafeteria: at once familiar, intimate, but almost dream-like in its jumbled combination of figures you never expected to see in that particular locale.  His set relied, it seemed, far more on songs from his eponymous first album than on the brilliant MC II, which loyal Tulip Frenzy readers know we have grokked so thoroughly that it haunts us.  He kicked off the set with “Is It Alright” and played “Apathy” before getting to the amazing “Am I Wrong” from the new album.  Playing an electric 12-string while fellow vets from the Ty Segall Band thrashed out his unique mash-up of Beatles’n’Beach Boys-meet-punk-rock’n’Lemonheads, a cool ocean breeze from California beaches swept through a room ordinarily given up to vicious ping pong matches between fathers and their six-year old daughters.  It was a fun evening, and he was great.

We wonder if, had we stumbled across Cronin outside of the context of Ty Segall — like everyone else this side of Laguna Beach, we first became aware of him via his collaboration with his pal on Reverse Shark Attack — how would we rank him? Where would we sort him on our taxonomical scale? Which aquarium would we try to place him in lest he eat the comparative guppies or get eaten by the bigger fish? The temptation is to view Mikal as an Earth-sized planet revolving around Ty’s Sun-sized talent, but MC II reveals him to be far more than that.  Yes, we are anxiously awaiting Ty’s August release of Sleeper, but it’s going to have to be darn tasty to exceed the savory pie Cronin released in May, not to mention the live show we saw last night at our favorite children’s pizza place cum ping pong stadium.

Still, it’s sufficiently impossible to separate Cronin from Segall that there’s no point in trying.  Segall plays on Cronin’s album and vice versa, Cronin’s songwriting has surely benefited from close collaboration with the freshest American rock’n’roll songwriting talent since maybe John Fogerty, and they share, among other things — a locale, an approach, a drummer — a gloriously catholic take on modern rock’n’roll — Segall a tad more influenced by Kurt Cobain, Cronin by Brian Wilson.

Word has it that Mikal stuck it through to get a college degree from music school, and recently.  We don’t know if that’s true, but if so, it reveals something about his earnestness and responsibility.  And ambition.  Based on how excellent he and his band were last night, even in the face of the expected bad sound in a small back room in a pizza parlor, given the genius-level pop chops revealed on MC II, this is a kid who completely has it together, and is going far.  The tree of rock’n’roll is replenished by the fresh blood of talents like Mikal Cronin.  This morning we are groggy from the experience, but grateful, and at peace with the future.

Some Warning Signs From The Latest Ty Segall Offering

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on July 6, 2012 by johnbuckley100

The release of Slaughterhouse is fun’n’pretty good, but it isn’t even the best Ty Segall offering of the past three months.  That distinction, of course, goes to Hair, which the young tyro mushed together with his only slightly older comrade Tim Presley d/b/a White Fence. Whereas Hair showed what happens when solo recording monkeys get to play together, Slaughterhouse is a release of the Ty Segall Band — that’s right, a band — and we had high hopes for it.  Some of them are realized, but I can’t help but feeling like this is the climactic scene in one of those old James Bond movies where inside the villain’s multi-zillion dollar lair, the red lights and sirens are beginning to go off, and a recorded voice dispassionately declares, “Danger: We Will Self-Destruct in three minutes.”  And you root for the good guys to get out alive.

See, it’s not like the songs aren’t good. Maybe as many as five of them are great, beginning with “I Bought My Eyes,” which could have been on Melted or Goodbye Bread, the amazing solo albums Segall released, well it only seems like ten minutes ago.  Same with “The Tongue,” and “Tell Me What’s In Your Heart,” and a few other ditties that qualify as tuneful garagemetalpsych.  But on this ‘un, on the whole Slaughterhouse project, replete with a version of “Diddy Wah Diddy” the world could have lived without, we get the feeling that Ty’s just getting off bashing around, that songwriting comes so easily to him that he could probably put out an album a month, and — brace yourself — may even be revving up to do so.  No, we’re not going to invoke Ryan Adams, and what happens when someone dripping with talent has a compulsion to dabble in multiple genres and release stuff at a pace that makes Joyce Carol Oates seem like a slacker.

The warning here, if we may slip into avuncular advice mode, is that if he doesn’t watch it, Ty Segall could become the next Robert Pollard.  I mean, when was the last time anyone got excited about a new Guided By Voices or Pollard offering, other than the band’s first cousins and next of kin?  With Pollard/GBV, you know there will be four or five good songs, maybe even a couple of great songs, but the sheer energy it takes to wade through and locate ’em begins to daunt after a while.

Right now Ty Segall, with the energy of youth and the talent of Michelangelo, is having a blast, critics love him, the music is of a higher order, he’s inventive and fun, and its always a joy to witness someone who colors even outside of punk rock boxes.  But it would be nice to channel his talent sufficiently to get some shape to his career.  Yeah, career.  Nice if he would now set his goals on making something great, which he is more than capable of doing, as no doubt teachers told his parents as far back as kindergarten.  And we don’t mean making the best Whitesnake tribute album ever.  We mean rising to produce, with a band, or a partner like Tim Presley, or all by his polymath lonesome, something that  makes Nuggets and Beggars Banquet seem second rate.  We wouldn’t suggest it if we didn’t think it was within his grasp.  We’re rooting for him, even as we carve a little self-protective critical distance, dreading the potential for future disappointment.

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