Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spectre Folk "Black Meds II" release at Shea Stadium

The new Spectre Folk ep "Blackest Medicine II" drops this Thursday via the Woodsist label. To commemorate the event the group will perform at Brooklyn's Shea stadium. Spectre Folk (the band with Pete Nolan, Steve Shelley, Peter Meehan, and Aaron Mullan) will appear with Devin, Gary and Ross (a killer psych/rock/noise/art/damage unit featuring renowned visual artists Gary Panter and Devin Flynn) along with EP! luminaries the Tall Firs. It should be a rad night, so come out if you're in Brooklyn!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Markers 5

Well I seem to have fallen off the blogosphere for a few days. Haven't had any innernet since NYC. I just found out about the earthquake yesterday and it makes this stuff seem pretty dumb to write about. I don't really know what to say about that, except that our hearts go out to everyone who's struggling to stay alive and have lost so much.

Shows that have happened: played Manhattan at the firehouse from Ghostbusters (no joke). It was a big concrete space inside. The show doubled as a celebration for the 100th issue of showpaper, so there were like 10 Todd P interns running around dolling the place up like a birthday party for a 3 year old... balloons, streamers, etc. Gary War played a cool set of alien power pop. Total Slacker was a co ed rock band. We got up and had to set up all super rushed but still seemed to take forever. I left the room for a second and when I came back Matt Hartman's PA was smoking and blown and we had to switch everything to the house system. Amidst all of the uptightness we layed into a straight and heavy set that was just 3 songs. The Alps played a great set that night. Maybe my favorite one. It was also rad to have my wife Julie at the show cause she never goes out. So we got to dance plenty. Also rad to hang with Meehan and Ibold who got reprieved from Daddy duties for the night.

In our two days in NYC I made 144 pieces of jewelry, ate homemade rigatoni with marinara and sausage, some pizza, a grilled cheese, hung out with my baby and my mother, and played 2 gigs. The 2nd one was at a kind of secret spot on Kent street next to Glasslands. It was pouring rain all night. The first band was Hubble, solo electric guitar dude that slayed really loudly. Pretty impressive sound. Next was PC Worship, this brooklyn band that I really like. They were also super loud. Their band had a dude playing slide guitar and saxophone and they were super sludgy and awesome. We played probably our best set of the tour. We kind of layed waste to the room. There was a lot of ungrounded action and Elisa was getting zapped the whole time. Sic Alps played good but their equipment was wet and not staying tuned so they were kind of bumming.

The next gig was up at Bard College in Red Hook new york. We played out in a barn on campus. It was very cold but as people finally came it warmed up. 2 opening bands were cool. I can't remember the name of the second band but it had our host Eve in it. They were really great instrumental and kind of Bluesy. The show kind of erupted into a dance party as we played songs like Don't Talk in Your Sleep that it turns out are pretty good to dance too. Super, Super, Fun show. Sic Alps played a cool set that was loose and fun.

We stayed at the house of Brian from Gang Gang Dance with him and Dan Hougland from Excepter. Really fun night. Brian had a fire place and it was really nice to finally have a night hanging with the Alps and telling jokes and stuff. Brian was working on a solo art exhibition, so his house was filled up with all these rad sculptures and paintings.

Next day was a long drive down to Pittsburgh. Drive jokes included, a facebook dating status of "It's Complicated" meaning "I'm in love with a horse". The gig was really nice! Cool space filled up with people. We got to eat really good Vietnamese noodle soup around the corner at a place called Tram and hang with Mike Donovan. Scarcity of Tanks played a solid set. Alps played 3rd tonight and they got their sound just right so it was a really precise one. Very good, but shorter than usual. We played our most accurate set and I was very proud of our music, but maybe accuracy doesn't always translate to exciting and I think I'd say we did better in that regard at the dance party gig. Stayed with some nice kids. This morning as John got up he said "I have to take shower to cover tears." We might be playing last minute gig at Feeding Tube Records in Northampton tonight if we can get up there in time. Elisa has recently been featured in the guardian UK as one of J Mascis favorite guitar players. Check it out here>

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Markers 4 kind of

Hey... Seems I posted some misinformation in the pages of this blog. Last nights Markers show was in Manhattan at the Firehouse. It was really fun. Sorry for those of you who thought it was happening tonight (Thursday). Tonights gig is in Brooklyn at an unnamed venue. Here's the write up from a hip new webzine called the New Yorker:



With the success of nearby late-night haunts like Glasslands and Death by Audio, a Saturday night in this otherwise desolate corner of Brooklyn can feel like Fat Tuesday in New Orleans. This raw, as-yet-unnamed warehouse venue adds to the edgy celebration with its occasional shows. March 10: Sic Alps and Magik Markers (see the Downtown Community Television Center).

March 10

285 Kent Ave., Brooklyn
No phone

Read more

I'll have a more exciting post next time. I'm currently hanging with my family/slaving in the Jewelry mines of Brooklyn. Pizza Party!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Markers 3

So we headed North from Durham... long drive. Had a few bad ideas on the way. One was to buy the item pictured above. It was the most strangely horrible thing I've ever tasted. I was trying to put aside my prejudice towards pork skin and msg... but fishy fried pig skin ain't my thing I guess.
Drove and drove and made it to the gig at the Rotunda in Philly. No time for a soundcheck so we drank a beer next door instead. Caught the end of the first band Purling Hiss. Dude was awesomely shredding on the guitar like some kind of Edward Van Halen meets Blue Cheer guy. Pretty cool. We set up and did what we could. No monitors and it seems like the sound guy didn't have half the mic's turned on. The mic's he did have turned on were feeding back. It was a free gig so there was about 200 people there. However there was no alcohol so everyone was just kind of looking at us. Kind of unnerving. Sic Alps did a good job.

Stayed with Willie Lane and Franny. Those guys have a rad house in Fishtown that was renovated by Grant Acker of UN fame. Beautiful little house from 1701. Got up in the morning and met up with John's family.

John's wife Anna's Grandpa was the Executive Producer of American Bandstand throughout the 1950's. He told a bunch of rad stories about the dawn of the teen age and how Dick Clark did his commercials by recording his voice into a tape recorder and reciting along to the sound of his own voice from a tiny earpiece.

Tonight we play in New York! Again!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Magik Markers tour part 2

So we left hanging with Nate in Baltimore and went over to Twig and Carly's Tarantula Hill urban estate. We got lost and went to East Pratt instead of West Pratt "Boy Twig and Carly's neighborhood got fancy!" "I don't remember that Pagoda?" When we finally got there Carly showed us around. We hadn't been since the fire. It was awesome. Hilites include a beautiful sunlit orgone accumulation/meditation/hypnotism zone with an apothocary jar filled with sparkling water from the 1800's still sealed. 4th floor has a rad recording studio with a record cutting lathe. They have a patio on the roof with a "7th level" garden and beekeeper zone that brought us right back to Jafa "Love Here" on the heliport.

Motored down to Durham.. made some lp's and tapes along the way.. stopped at Wawa.. slept.. not a bad drive. Went to the show space, which it turns out was just some dude's house. "This doesn't look like a Punk House." Dude Craig was rad.. his house was filled with all kinds of ephemera. "So you have the SCTV box set huh?" He regailed us with stories of his former job as a music industry professional for yuprock records. Harrowing and dramatic. He sent us off to eat at a good bbq place, which we couldn't find. Instead we were lured by the place pictured above. It was really hard to resist actually. I only made it halfway through my sausage dog before my throat seemed to close up unwilling to accept anymore of the sausage dog topped with bacon cheese and ranch dressing french fries. It's probably for the best as the food had a distinctive gasoline flavor.

Met up with the Sic Alps at Craigs crib. Hung out drinking beers and hearing about their tour adventures to date. "We've been hittin' the boozes."

First band American's in France was cool. The guitarist had one of those black guitars with the speaker built in. I love that guitar. We played second. Didn't monkey with a setlist for this one. Just followed each other's impulses and I think wound up with a pretty good set. It was super fun anyway and rocking.

Sic Alps sounded great and I'm super stoked to be seeing them every night! They played new and old tunes and the audience was stoked. I read some Charlie Brown comics from 1950. I love Snoopy. Went to a good Mexican place after the gig and got a burrito called the Garden which was a good antidote to the gasoline dogs we had for dinner.

Now we're at a place which doesn't have live chickens unfortunately, but does have fresh eggs. Now we will eat them.

Monday, March 7, 2011

MM Tour Report

So I guess day one of the tour was our gig at the Stone on the Lower East Side the other night. We set up in a circle with our amps all facing each other in the center of John Zorn's tiny performance space. We made them help us drag the grand piano out, which almost fell through a hole in the floor. I also had my pick of the cool 60's jazz dude drumsets they have piled up in the basement. Set it all up real quick and sound checked while a crowd gathered in the freezing cold outside.

After the crowd settled in we took down the lights for Aaron Rosenblum's super cool projection show. We started playing some piano based songs.. Bad Dream, Ballad of Harry A. .. and let that stuff get all free and bleed into a mix of wild jams and a few new and old songs. Super fun free wheeling set. Thanks to everyone who traveled to check us out and sorry to those who couldn't get in.. but we're playing another New York gig in like 2 days.

Chilled in the basement for a bit with my main cat Tom Surgal who, along with his partner Lynn, is curating events at the Stone for the next several months. There's about a million good gigs in their series so check out their schedule here. Six Organs of Admittance played the 10 o clock gig, and holy shit, this was some of the best guitar playing I've ever seen in my entire life! This guy has total mastery of his instrument. Truly inspiring to see someone making such complex and beautiful art right before your eyes. Dude has some hits too! He managed to weave tons of awesome acoustic guitar shredding throughout the whole thing and by the end the crowd was screaming for an encore. Awesome show.

The next night we didn't have a gig.. but Elisa and John came over and hung out with my wife and I for a pizza party. I made a kind of Margherita pizza with a bit of Spinach.. It's all I had but the second pie turned out pretty good I think. We all stayed up telling stories and jokes till like 1 in the morning.

Yesterday's gig was in Baltimore. Everyone came by my place in the morning to pack and work on a tour cdr consisting of the gig we had just played at the stone. We had a really good recording and with a few tight edits it was all set! I grabbed a Captain's Daughter sandwich from Saltie for the road. It was a strange sandwich with anchovies, hard boiled eggs, capers, onions, I can't remember what else. It was really good tho. It caused much ire with Elisa however who thought that it was just dumb and not funny at all to name a fish sandwhich after The Captain's Daughter. I thought it was also dumb but funny. I asked Elisa to come up with a better sandwich. Her idea was top bread dark rye walnut bread... bottom loaf light rye with sunflower seeds.. filled with Iberian ham, prosciutto etc. It would be called the Knut Hamsun. I think this is a better name. Not sure about the 2 types of bread.

Our gig in B more was great. Afternoon Penis ruled hard in a dreamy synthy way. Old School Nautical Almanac was confusing and very good. We played a tight but free rock set including such numbers as Taste and You Buy It. Lower Dens was very cool. Their guitarist was temporarily playing drums but their great songs still shone through the less tight sound.

Tonight we're playing with Sic Alps in Durham so come see us! Gotta go cause the battery is dying.