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Brahject 6: Wingdale Community Singers + SIGHTINGS TOUR! April 16, 2010
Hello, I'm Bloody Powers and welcome to Brahject 6: Wingdale Community Singers. They stopped in at the Ocrop and recorded a jam with KM and Showtime, and Zach took photos. I'm told the song, "So What", is "awesome" and I don't see why my source would lie so hey, it's awesome!
You know what else is awesome!? SIGHTINGS! The record dropped, the guys are kicking off their US Tour TONIGHT in Providence, and they are spending their last night of the tour with me! I mean, with my band (calm down)! So glad this is happening... I haven't seen T since my bday when he told me what my present was (before I had gotten it) and then disappeared into the late afternoon.
It looks like the Wingdale Community Singers are having a fine time at the Ocrop! Sometimes I pine for the big city, I think about leaving my sleepy little Pgh life and joining forces with the amazing creative-types that I've come to love so much in BK. Then I remember my <$200 rent and think "hmmm, I'll just keep visiting them as often as I can!" BUT given the state of (football) things around here I'm def keeping all my evacuation options open.
What else? I have a history lesson to give you but I think I'll save it for next week. I'm supposed to see the video taken of my band who shall remain nameless in the next few days, if we can live with ourselves after seeing it maybe I'll share a little here. In the meantime GO SEE SIGHTINGS!! Oh, and tomorrow is Record Store Day so you should make sure to support your local stores, bands, artists, etc. Will Bloody P. get more or less drunk at Jerry's than she did on Xmas Eve? Only time will tell.
Sightings Release Day! & my interview with Hallie Liebling! April 13, 2010
Oh sh*t, it's April 13th!! F taxes, F rain (where applicable), F everything except the new Sightings joint, City of Straw, available today!! They are heading out on the road this weekend and you should check them out when they hit your town, or plan a roadtrip around the date closest to you. Worth it, and you need to get out of town anyway.
So, yeah, a short time ago I discovered that Pentagram was coming to Pittsburgh. On Good Friday. The last night of their current tour. In my web searches for recent reviews I happily stumbled upon halcoholic.com, a style blog run by Hallie Liebling, wife of Pentagram frontman Bobby Liebling. To put it simply I was hookedÖ I read the entire blog in a day, and died repeatedly over her wardrobe (most of all the jewelry). When I learned from the blog that Hallie would be on the road with the band I contacted her and she was kind of enough to invite me on the bus to talk for a bit before Pentagramís set.
Bloody Powers: To start, as I mentioned, I love your blog. What made you start it up?
Hallie Liebling: I was checking out all the different types of style blogs, Iím a fan of Jack & Jill, luxirare, Iíve always loved clothes, couture fashion, and Iím a writer. I started it to give my own take on fashion and to support the designers I love.
BP: SoÖ how did you and Bobby meet?
HL: A friend and I called him up, he was living in Maryland. He wasnít sober, 30 lbs lighter, one foot in the graveÖ he moved to Philly to be nearer to his manager and moved in a few blocks from my house. We started out as friends and it just grew. Iím so proud of him getting better, of his musicÖ touring for the fans is what he was born to do. Iíve read on messageboards that I married ďthe guy from PentragramĒ for his moneyÖ what money? I would have married him he were a janitor. [Editorís Note: As we were talking Bobby was nearby talking to some other visitors and I overheard him say that Hallie is his soulmate, the only woman heís ever married, the woman he was meant to marry. It was ADORABLE. - BP] [Look, I don't get all that girly on here all that often, deal with it!]
BP: And youíre pregnantÖ congratulations! When are you due?
HL: Thank you. August 15th. We donít know the sex yet, weíre going to find out when we get home. It feels like a boy.
(Hallie & yours truly)
BP: How do you manage to look so good on tour? I definitely give up a few days in and by all accounts you are killing it.
HL: Ha ha, some days I give up too, I have my comfortable lounging clothes with me. But I bring along a few things that I know will hold up, 2-3 pairs of boots, like the ones Iím wearing, Iíve worn these for most of the tour.
BP: Those are amazing, one of the many things that stuck with me after reading the blog.
HL: They are by Ann Demeulemeester Ö She designs the most incredible shoes that could survive the apocalypse. Iíd rather spend money on things that will last and that I can pass on to my child instead of a $30 pair of shoes that will last 4 months. Rick Owens is another amazing shoe designer. Iíve gotten bigger on this tour and about 5 days ago couldnít fit into anything I brought, I bought the dress Iím wearing now at the culture shop around the corner.
BP: And the crow necklace youíre wearing? Thatís another piece from the blog that I canít forget, I stalk the designerís etsy and have a few things picked out for myself. All of your jewelry is pretty fantastic.
HL: The designer of the crow necklace is etsy seller billyblue22, he makes pieces of amazing quality. [Editor's Note: Mine is on it's way to me as we speak... I know you care! - BP] I like to wear statement pieces, family heirloomsÖ I wear mostly sterling silver and white gold, and I really like animal pieces. A friend recently made me a beautiful bronze body chain but Iím having some trouble matching it with other things. My fingers have swelled so Iíve been struggling to get my rings on them. Pamela Love made the cross Iím wearing, sheís amazing, and Iíd love to have her publicist!
BP: There are always good and maybe not-so-good nights when on tour... being the last night, whatís your overall feeling about this one?
HL: We werenít sure this tour was going to happen. Guitar player Russ Strahan quit and Johnny Wretched (of DCís Wretched) stepped up to take his place hours before we headed out. He had big shoes to fill but is doing great. In Lincoln there were maybe 50 people at the show, but they were diehard fans. Our Tour Manager and the dedicated musicians have made it possible. On this tour the sets are less doomy, less traditional metal, more boogie/bluesy rock & roll. Younger people want to hear that.
BP: I just read that Budgie is coming to Pittsburgh soon, thinking about checking that out.
HL: Oh really? Thatís great. Burke Shelley of Budgie is an influence, his glasses are the reason I wear the style of glasses I wear.
BP: I read on your blog that you have some projects in the works, some things coming up?
HL: Iím going to start blogging for Maxís Kansas City. Iíve been a writer since I was really young, I was the editor of my high school newspaper, I write short stories, memoirs. The blog is kind of an extension of that. Writing is really cathartic for me, but writers are often pretty crazy. Iíll get up at 4am because I HAVE TO WRITE but struggle with it more when Iím ďsupposedĒ to be writing. Iím working on a memoir now, and looking for a literary agent.
BP: And did I read that youíre going to be designing some clothes?
HL: Iím doing a collaboration with Revelnation, mostly knitted accessories, and there will be some ready-to-wear pieces, sweaters, scarves, hats, knitted goods.
BP: And itíll be available on the blog?
HL: On my blog, in smaller boutiques and at sample sales, for the time being.
Thank you so much to the lovely Hallie and the gentlemen of Pentagram for hanging out with me!!
OK, I don't want to address it, but apparently I have to since I've been inundated (3 total) with emails/texts on the subject. I have no idea what's up with the Steelers. I cannot fathom why #7 doesn't have an advisor... and how about a stylist? I mean, did anyone see the press conference yesterday? Holy crap. I can't even find a pic of "the mullet" online because I think the Steelers publicity dept. were like "omg, we cannot let this fly", though it could be argued that the damage control could have started about a month ago. [Editor's Note - I found a pic of the mullet... you're welcome! - BP] What can I say? I don't call the shots. For a multitude of reasons I will miss you so much, Santonio. For your tippy-toes of steel, your commitment to excellence, that unbelievable nude photo that circulated a few years ago, your love of botany. You are more than welcome to stop by the Rickety House on your way to NY, #10, you might not be the brightest bulb on the team but I'm truly sorry to see you go.
[Editor's Note: Let the record show that by the time Ben met with Roger Goodell last night he had gotten rid of his heinous mullett. You're welcome, jerk. Now somebody CUT HIM. All the discipline in the world isn't gonna make this right. - BP)
Jesse Jarnow takes us out to the ballgame! April 6, 2010
There are so many things about that pic that make me laugh.. if baseball looked like that more often I'd likely watch more of it. In case you were wondering, this is Blood, and this is the team I'd have to root for. I'll stick with football despite our currentstruggles.
So glad Jesse Jarnow is back to talk ball with us. Does it bother you that our indie music blog is this over-run with sports talk? Then why are you still reading it? Mmmm hmmmm. Anyway, let's see what Jesse has to say.. and I'm including another fight pic cause, well, because I can, take it away, Jesse!
If you're like me--which is to say, a Mets fan--you're probably bumming that Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran are missing the start of the season, and maybe a little suspicious of the quackery that hovers around the attendant sports medicine like weed smoke around a brah or sah. Reyes, most recently, was benched cuz of an "elevated thyroid." And both have received platelet-rich plasma injection therapy. That is, they each had an ounce of blood removed, spun for 20 minutes in a centrifuge, and injected back into their injuries -- a procedure that is very likely bullshit.
Lest you start sobbing into your Mama's of Corona sandwich (now located in the deep right field corner at Citi Field), kick back and dig quack science's long relationship with the American pastime, an almost direct lineage from the medicine shows of yore.
In the '40s, for example, players "kept a jug of orange juice mixed with honey to drink as a pick-me-up and also a bucket filled with ice and ammonia," David Halberstam wrote in Summer of '49. "[A pitching coach] would dip a towel in the bucket and drape it over the pitcher's neck between innings. 'Florida water,' they called it." Players were only allowed to gargle actual water between innings. Actually drinking it would, doctors believed, bloat them up and slow them down.
At almost every turn, there have been doctors trying to figure out what's wrong with ballplayers' bodies and getting it wrong, but glazing it in medical-speak anyway. Plenty got it right, too, or at least right enough to be useful, like generations of self-medicating middle relievers gobbling speedy diet pills they called "greenies." (Jim Bouton's Ball Four is a totally essential read, about real-life bullpen culture circa 1971.)
The most recent example of a major quack figure, and probably one of the most important baseball characters of the past half-century (Ken Burns would surely add portentous narration about him) is Victor Conte. Dude began his career as a bassist for Tower of Power and Herbie Hancock (really, 2nd from left).
But he made his name by selling "zinc magnesium aspartate" or "zinc monomethionine aspartate," depending when you asked him, to Barry Bonds. Conte used a device called a "plasma spectrometer" (normally used for industrial analysis) to test clients' blood, hair, and urine. More often than not, they found--surprise!!--deficiencies. Solution? ZMA! Which didn't work, really, as well as the Human Growth Hormone he prescribed later. ("I'm just shocked by what they've been able to do for me," Barry Bonds said around the time he hit 73 home runs in a season. "Before, I didn't understand how important these nutrient levels were, because I was just listening to old standard nutritionists.")
For a decade the quacks won, at least as defined by the home run races, and were (to some degree) heavily reprimanded. Anti-doping policies increased heavily, almost unquestionably to the detriment of baseball. In 2006, the league began testing for amphetamines. The following season, Ritalin and Adderall prescriptions in the majors more than tripled, going from 28 to 103 players. But injuries also rose about 26%, likely in part because of the lack of amphetamines. Like everybody else, players used drugs to get through the pain. Without greenies, you get teams like 2009 Mets.
It's a sloppy line, y'understand. But the Mets are generally the sloppiest option in town for baseball, which I can appreciate, and over the past few seasons, I've learned to vibe on every knife-twist of their utter failure as if the blades had been lubricated by Roger Angell himself, all the ridiculous, improbable injuries, like Luis Castillo twisting his ankle on dugout steps, or a few days later, when I turned on the radio mid-game to hear Howie Rose announce, "--AND NIESE HAS FALLEN TO THE MOUND AND IS WRITHING IN PAIN." There's nuance here, and there's nuance to platelet-rich plasma injection therapy, but probably not the kind the Mets' training staff thinks. Ditto the kind of speed that sportswriters will be praising when Reyes and Beltran return.
Thank you, Jesse! For the post and the opportunity to post a pic I took of the Slugger Museum in lovely Louisville. I forgot about those photos until just now, and I would like some props for NOT embarrassing a Brah or two with some silly pics.
Oh the time is coming, it's so close, the day when you too can be the proud owner of the new Sightings record, City of Straw. And we have more releases and more interviews and more brahjects coming your way. I know, this website is the best, we can't help it.
Jesse Jarnow's Dead Post Part 2: The Reading List April 1, 2010
You can say a lot about me, Bloody Powers, but you can't say I don't keep my promises. Well, when possible. I am, after all, human, though I sometimes wish I were a vampire, or a witch of some sort. Not necessarily a bad witch, but not a totally good witch either. Wtf am I talking about?
Up above is the logo of the Station 12 Fire Department in The Haight, SF, CA. This is a documentary that I watched recently that is def not for everybody. This is quite possibly my favorite street in the world, at least as far as those I've traveled. Below is my new favorite pic of the Dead. And below that is Part 2 of JesseJarnow's post, the Deadhead Reading List. Frankly I had no idea I was so behind. I hope to one day have time to read books again cause I'd love to work through those I haven't already read. Perhaps when that sugar daddy shows up to take care of me... ha! Take it away, Jesse!
A selected Deadhead Reading List:
o A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead by Dennis McNally: The definitive bio on the band, written by their longtime publicist, who got the job cuz Garcia liked that he was a Kerouac scholar.
o Skeleton Key: A Dictionary For Deadheads by Steve Silberman and David Shenk: A knowing, hilarious, well-written A-Z guide to Deadhead culture written just before Garcia's death.
o The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe: Essential portrait of Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady, and the Pranksters.
o Conversations With the Dead by David Gans: Some articulate conversations with the band conducted by Grateful Dead Hour host and journalist David Gans.
o The Complete Annotated Grateful Dead Lyrics by David G. Dodd: A long-running site, the Santa Cruz based librarian Dodd unpacks all the references and helps illuminates many of the nuances of Robert Hunter and John Perry Barlow's lyrics.
o Garcia by the editors of Rolling Stone: solid anthology of Rolling Stone Dead coverage, including some seminal features, including a few crazy weeks on the road with the band in '69 from Michael Lydon.
o Deadbase edited by John W. Scott, Mike Dolgushkin, and Stu Nixon: all the setlists are online at Deadlists.com, but nothing beats a nice well-thumbed 560-page Deadbase, filled with pre-webgeek stat-crunching, tape reviews, surveys, and other head marginalia.
o Garcia: Signpost to a New Space by Charles Reich, Mountain Girl, Jerry Garcia, and Jann Wenner: One of the sections is entitled "A Stoned Sunday Rap..." and it certainly is. Takes some familiarity with Garcia's world to appreciate fully, but lots of great tangents. Maybe the closest yer gonna get to getting baked with Jer and babbling about nothing/everything.
o The Grateful Dead Reader edited by David G. Dodd and Diana Spaulding: Essential articles from over the years, including several pieces by Robert Hunter, the Prankster and novelist Ed McClanahan, San Fran critic Ralph Gleason, and others.
o Polaroids From the Dead by Douglas Coupland (fiction): A series of fictional vignettes set in the late '80s Dead lot nails the sweet/frequently sad tenor of the era's Dead parking lot scene.
o Tiger In A Trance by Max Luddington (fiction): Set on Dead tour in the early '80s, Luddington's debut gets into the sketchier, strung-out borders of the Dead's world and does so vividly, though--by then--Dead tour is mostly just a distant backdrop.
o The Deadhead's Taping Compendium edited by John R. Dwork and Michael Getz: A massive three-volume work detailing every known Dead tape at the time of their turn-of-the-century publication. I only feel the need to own the first volume, covering 1959-1974. Perhaps you need more.
o All Graceful Instruments: The Contexts of the Grateful Dead Phenomenon edited by Nicholas Meriwether: A great overview of the Deadhead academic world, which meets annually at the Southwest Popular Culture Association Meeting in Alburquerque. Meriwether also founded Dead Letters, occasional academic journal devoted to the Dead.
o Grateful Dead and the Deadheads: An Annotated Bibliography by David G. Dodd and Rob Weiner: Academic-quality Dead bibliography. If you think you need it, you probably do.
o Home Before Daylight by Steve Parrish: A memoir by Big Steve, Jerry's roadie and brah. There's a reason Jerry trusted him, so it's not terribly scintillating, but it's pretty fun. Lotsa debauchery. .
o Deadhead Social Science: You Ain't Gonna Learn What You Don't Wanna Know edited by Rebecca G. Adams and Robert Sardiello: The sociologist Rebecca Adams kicked off the Deadhead academic movement when she brought her UNC class on summer tour. Their slightly crunchy results are contained therein.
Thanks, Jesse! I hope to hear from you again (in Blood-speak that means "write us more posts, please, do it, thanks!").
I def have no room to talk when it comes to dumb tattoos (or missing/useless digits, come to think of it) but that tattoo is just CREEPY. Freaking me out. Not quite as much as this movie freaked me out last night, but close.
Nearer comes the release of City of Straw by Brooklyn trio, Sightings. Here is an article about the new record... and the release date is APRIL 13. And the last stop on their tour is PITTSBURGH because saving the best for last is just the way we work around here.
I got a few things in the works this weekend so expect to hear from me soon. I just typed "here" instead of "hear". Goodness. Oh! And if you're up too late on Saturday nights as I often am you should check out Bring Out Your Dead on East Village Radio. I was going to demand that you all call in and harrass the DJ but it's pre-recorded soooo you will have to harrass him via email or in person. Thanks!
Jesse Jarnow's Dead Post Part 1: Taper Culture March 30, 2010
What's up, spinners? It's Blood. Hey. I had a rough day last Friday, so when I got home I wondered, "what should I listen to.... what will make me feel GOOD...?" The answer to that question, for me, more often than not, involves Jerry. The musician, not the entrepreneur, though both are a help during tough times. As soon as I opted to jam my favorite (at least at the time of this post) JGB show I saw that I had received an email entitled "dead post". That's what I'm always trying to impart to you in my writings (with varying success), we simply operate on a next level here at Brah. I don't know how, or why, it's not explainable, and def not always for the best, but's it's always true.
So how pleased was I to get a new post from our friend Jesse Jarnow! Jesse is a writer and a DJ. Yeah, that's currently the second sentence on his blog, but I already knew it, so there. He contributed to the latest issue of Relix Magazine and, should you choose to click the link you may find that you know another contributor as well. Psych Records List. See any Brahs? I thought so.
I've broken Jesse's post into two parts so you're gonna have to check back for the second installment later this week. I know I ask a lot but it's usually worth it, right? Don't answer that. OK, it's high time I hand it over to Jesse...
Somewhere, I still have this Dead soundboard from their starting-to-get-highly-questionable years that I taped from WBAI's still-running Morning Dew when I was in high school. The tape's most redeeming property (besides an admittedly sweet "Caution" jam with some early outer space synth blurps that probably seemed heady in 1979) came because my family's living room stereo had a fucked-up recording head that gave many of my tapes a continuous Doppler-like warble for the first 10 minutes of each side. On this one in particular, it opened up into total clarity exactly at the peak of (hoo boy) "Estimated Prophet"--the Dead's hippie reggae jam in 7/4--as Weir bellowed "shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnne," imbuing it with a majorly psychedelic third eyeball awakening that was (and is) unmatched by any other band on any other recording, like, ever, as far as I'm concerned. (Maybe.)
(Pgh readers: I had no idea Lingo had such a sweet spot in the Taper's Section... did you?)
I owe this pleasure entirely to the work and practices of the taper dorks before me, some of whose history is documented in the rigorous three-volume Deadhead's Taping Compendium, compiled by Johnny Dwork, the former editor of Dupree's Diamond News, and Michael Getz. I only own the first book, 1959-1974, which conveniently covers the Dead's music almost exactly to the point when drug use turned to drug dependence. Nicholas Meriwether's 25 meticulous pages about the Acid Tests are totally sober and straight-forward (nice contrast to Tom Wolfe) but especially bitchin' is Dwork and Alexis Muellner's chapter on the formation of the Deadhead tape exchanges in the early 1970s, which--right here in New York--began to organize the taper infrastructure, still formidable in 2010.
We brahs owe a lot to the Bronx-based Hell's Honkies and Sheepshead Bay-reppin' Dead Relics, who--long before the Dead officially permitted taping--made concerted efforts to begin cataloguing and disseminating recordings, refined the art of making their own (including tactics for avoiding square security guards and surly, mustachioed roadies), and established the righteous only-trades/no-selling ethos. They made business cards, hosted listening seshs, and ventured far across the boroughs in the hunt of the elusive jams. They knew their shit and were into it. No pussyfooting.
Still wondering if trying to dig up that tape would be a good idea or not, though.
Part 2 later this week... and thanks, Jesse!
Oh look what he did, I'm on a youtube tear now.... the above is another song from the same show (my favorite). Oh wait here's another, whatevs, deal with it.
In other news: I'm busy, so much so I've been experiencing nosebleeds. Don't panic, it's only natural. Um, right?
I'm doing an interview this coming Friday that I'm excited about but I'm not going to tell you who it is. There's a record coming out on April 13th that I MAY HAVE MENTIONED HERE BEFORE, I don't know how "Pgh Hype" translates to the rest of the country/world but the kids here are dying for Sightings. Looks like someone should tell the VV to get with the program, Sightings are closing out their tour at our beloved Gooski's on 5/8. Yay!
A LOT going on here this summer, I'd suggest you make this site a fave so you can keep up. Yikes, I just said "fave". And "Yikes". wtf? Happy Easter Passover Ostara Springtime to our Brahs/Sahs everywhere.
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Hey everyone Ė so this piece has been brewing almost as long as the follow up to The Enchanter Persuaded. . .this is Kid talking.† I read this review by the great Rick Moody and realized he was as addicted to rock biographies as I.† So I decided, what the fí Ė I would write to him and take his pulse on music bios. What follows is our reconstituted email exchange with our recommendations sprinkled in... Read on!