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Super Groups Throughout Sordid History February 18, 2010
There are a lot of "supergroups" out there: musical projects wherein the performers are already known by their previous projects, wherein the stars align and strange combinations of musicians decide to band together for the good of the public. We thought we'd take a break from talking about our in-house supergroups Home and Sightings and take a look at some lesser-known projects that surprised or otherwise amazed us by their mere existence. To-wit:
Sammy Hagar (Van Halen) - lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Joe Satriani (solo artist) - lead guitar, keyboards
Michael Anthony (Van Halen) - bass, backing vocals
Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) - drums, percussion
This is the most publicized of the groups we're outlining here today. Whether it's the "disparaging term used to describe the peace sign" or "a chicken's foot has three talons and there were three of us [at first]" is the reason, the name is off-putting. Sorry, true. Despite my issues I give you this, my gift to you all, Chickenfoot's sick jam Soap on a Rope.
Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse Present: Dark Night of the Soul:
James Mercer (The Shins), The Flaming Lips, Iggy Pop, Suzanne Vega, Vic Chesnutt, Scott Spillane (Neutral Milk Hotel), Frank Black, etc. - vocals
David Lynch - photography
Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse (who I, incidentally, loved once and who I, now, cannot bear to listen to, it would seem) got together with David Lynch and decided to collarborate on an album featuring a plethora of vocalists from all walks of sound with Lynch on board to do a 100+ page book of photos to serve as a "visual narrative to the music". EMI, on the other hand, did not agree with the collab and put the, as they say, kabosh on the album, citing rights violations. 5000 copies of the photo book were released along with a blank CD-R with the message "For Legal Reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will". That'll show 'em.
Paul Di'Anno (Iron Maiden) - lead vocals
Pete Willis (Def Leppard) - guitars
Janick Gers (White Spirit/Gillian) - guitars
Neil Murray (Whitesnake/Black Sabbath) - bass
Clive Burr (Iron Maiden) - drums, percussion
I'm going to out on a limb here. I dig Maiden, I dig Def Leppard, I don't hate Black Sabbath, and I can't even say I hate Whitesnake. What I do hate, or to be nice, what I do not dig, is this song. A 10-day snowstorm has plagued my area recently and thanks to it and the resultant cabin fever I was called out by a roommate for being a too much the hater at times. I say this: If pinpointing items that invoke deeply negative vibes within me and avoiding them at all costs is wrong, I don't wanna be right.
Thom Yorke records a solo 7" and enlists Flea to help him bring the effort to life. They played 3 shows in LA in Fall '09 and then no one heard a peep til last month when it was announced that they will play Coachella this Spring. The only thing I can come up with is that I know how to say "!!!" but this - "????" - has me stumped.
Taylor Hanson (Hanson) - vocals
James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins) - guitar
Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne) - bass
Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick) - drums
When I look at the list of participants in this project it seems like one of those grade school IQ questions, "which one of these items is not like the others?", only I can't tell whether "Hanson" or "Cheap Trick" is the right answer. There you go stumping me again, pop music!!
Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots/Velvet Revolver) - vocals, keyboards
Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray) - vocals
Jay Gordon (Orgy) - vocals, synth
Ryan Shuck (Orgy) - guitar
Ian Astbury (The Cult) - vocals, guitar, harmonica, percussion
Ken Andrews (Failure) - guitar, synth
Shannon Leto (30 Seconds to Mars) - drums
I'm going to be totally straight with you all here. I put this song on. Then I put it on again. I may have even put it on again (ok, I did, sue me!). I'm into it, and I'm as surprised as you are. My first question is: where the F were these cats hanging out when this idea popped up? And my second question is: who invited Mark McGrath?
In closing, my research on "the supergroup" has taught me this... sometimes it's amazing, sometimes it's not as bad as you might think, and sometimes it should have remained drunken "middle of the night" talk at an afterparty in the Hollywood Hills and nothing more. I thank everyone mentioned in this post for making it possible... you all just keep doing whatever it is you do and we'll keep paying varying amounts of attention.
Sightings City of Straw & Brahject 4: Red Dawn II February 11, 2010
I sincerely hope you've known about Sightings prior to this post. And I don't mean UFOs (there are a bunch of weirdo sites you can surf for that stuff, freaks), I mean the 'sonic-assault-of-a-band that hails from Brooklyn' Sightings. Their new album City of Straw (artwork pictured above - free track "Tar and Pine" if you click title link!) drops April 13th on this, our beloved Brah! label. Superhero/Editor-in-Chief Kid Millions interviewed Sightings recently and you can "katch up" (I'm aware this joke is weak, just not caring) on that HERE. I've even given you a link so you don't have to move your arm another inch. How's that for service? Seriously.
But before you jump over to KM's interview (or after, but not at the same time b/c it is said that "to do two things at once is to do neither". How deep is that?!) I'd like to share with you some photos from another Brahject: The Recording of Red Dawn II. They rage supreme and are pretty cute while they're at it.
Here is Allison ripping while Captain Millions looks on sternly:
Here is Wolfy. I bet he's screaming, or preparing to scream:
Remember when I said they were cute? Not lying.
I, for one, cannot wait to hear what they did that difficult day. Difficult in the sense of "too much to drink last night", not in a "creative-struggle" sense, at least as I understand it. I'm a fan of cognac too, I feel them on that.
Check back often for updates, tour dates, notable moments in Brahject history and lengthy babble about things no one cares about but us. Now go read the Sightings interview if you haven't and make a note to yourself to pick up their album April 13th! Or don't and I'll just keep reminding you! I don't mind a bit.
The Brah Guide to the Super Bowl II February 5, 2010
I can't tell you how pleased I am that Brah! correspondent JJ Bail sent me his Superbowl Rooting Guide cause damn it I'm still bitter. In an effort to overcome my pain and general lack of interest in the game I'm concentrating on the food instead. Can't say I'm well versed (or versed at all, ha) in creole cuisine but I'm going to do my best, and I'm making my first-ever King Cake for extra good voodoo. It's all yours, JJ. GO SAINTS!!
Ask yourself: are you going to be Manning up? Or is life just such a Brees that you are still reading this sentence after those two atrocious puns? With a sparkling, new, crappy decade comes a sparkling, new, crappy football championship game, per usual represented in an obsolete numbering system meant to provide gravitas to the world’s greatest advertising vehicle, the Superbowl! Ring up XLIV on your Roman hand abacus and get set for some bombast! Caution: Solomon Wilcots is involved! Can you handle!
It’s XLIV time. That’s right, we’re going to x-live the x-game of the x-year. Xs and Os, baby. And a L, I, and V, just to juice things up. And we’re going to drop this shit – where else – at Joe Robbie Stadium! I mean Pro Player Park. I mean Pro Player Stadium. I mean Dolphins Stadium. I mean Dolphin Stadium. I mean LandShark Stadium (yes, after the beer produced as a joint venture between Budweiser and Jimmy Buffet). I mean Sun Life Stadium (which I believe is a protein shake created as a joint venture between Capri-Sun and Iggy Pop). Hell, who knows what the name is anymore. It’s in Florida, so who cares anyway.
Whatever the case, the fine folks at Brah have asked me cobble together a bunch of half-assed internet links, slap on the title “Superbowl Rooting Guide,” and put it up on the internet for searchbots to read. Below are some random categories with an entry for each team. For those without a clearly-defined rooting interest – I’m looking at you, Houston Texan fans, if there are any of you out there – this guide will help you determine which team to cheer for on Sunday, much the same way the SAT “helps” you decide where to go (or not go) to college. Bring on Super Sunday!
IND: In 2008, the Colts opened their new monument to civic appropriation, Lucas Oil Stadium. Redefining theft upwards (with retro touches, I’m sure), the Colts pay only $250,000 per year in rent (while generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue) and contributed only $66 million to the $719 million cost. Looking like a cross between a centipede and a breadbox, it didn’t take long for things to sour.
As if that wasn’t enough, it wasn’t just human assholes dropping their debt on the public, mouse assholes were dropping their debits ono food service areas.
I especially like that this employee asked for his identity to be hidden. Wouldn't want to jeopardize that seasonal, min-wage job cleaning up mouse shit!
NO: In the spirit of editorial equanimity, I should probably track down some salacious facts about the Superdome. But we all know what tragic events took place at that location. Indeed, the stadium has become a symbol of so much mismanagement and calamity that it wouldn’t be right to lump it in with all the other monuments to greed and graft. Hey, this isn’t about football at all! Did someone just fumble or what! Touchdown!
TEAM STADIUM SPONSOR:
IND: Lucas Oil apparently makes petroleum products or something. Their catchy advertising slogan is "It works." Chalk up a promotion for the junior adperson who thought that one up. They don't call them "creatives" for nothing. "It works" boldly counters the "It doesn't work" narrative that plagues so many automotive products. The website features a fun Testimonials page featuring such comments as this one by Allen Dowty: "just to let you i was not much of a beleaver in you products,,i took a trip to readding calf, from tucson and i put your turn up in a bottel in my tank 2 times and beleave me i got 30 miles a gl in are crv and i have told people how will it works and they now are using it thanks."
Wowzers. I hope Lucas Oil products work better than the American education system! Zing! Hell, with spelling and grammar like that, you might as well call them testi-groan-ials. Zoink! It is, however, a bit disturbing to note that the "Slick Mist" product testimonial page is currently empty.
Perhaps it doesn't "work." Or maybe customers are simply mistaking it for a sexual lubricant. If it is the latter, who knows what they'll think of the product currently in R&D testing, Lucas Tool Box Buddy, Aerosol.
[Editor's Note: I think you're on to something with the 'sexual lubricant' theory. This product "STOPS DRY STARTS"! -- BP]
NO: N/A, amazingly.
IND: The Colts mascot is a psychotic-eyed horse named, inventively, Blue. His homepage is here and features a neat little widget called "Blue Tube", which must get about 10 million porn-seeking search engine misdirects a year. His site also contains a certain type of public service message: "Warning: prolonged exposure to Blue may cause spontaneous, side-splitting laughter, cheek burning, and results in peeing of the pants." I, for one, can tell you that I've perused just about all the content available on this website, and my pants are entirely dry. I'm not sure who Blue is spending his time with, but perhaps Blue should be looking elsewhere for the causes of this incontinence.
Or perhaps there is another reason, hinted at in Blue’s bio:
“Early in his training, he realized he was much different from all the other horses. One day he woke up and noticed a blue spot on his fur. He tried to hide his embarrassing spots from the other horses by wearing his saddle all day and night. Each day he woke up, and his spots were growing bigger and bluer, Bigger and Bluer, BIGGER AND BLUER!”
Bigger and bluer indeed. And can someone tell me what’s going on with Blue’s outfit in this picture:
Of course, the activity pictured below is bound to make him “bigger and bluer.”
And lastly, here is an inexplicably picture of Blue either taking a crap, sporting wood or, disturbingly, both:
NO: "Gumbo" is the official mascot of the Saints. His page is here. I especially like this one of Gumbo's listed interests: "Cruising on my Saints Scooter in the French Quarter." Hmm, I'm pretty sure I know what "cruising in the French Quarter" is a euphemism for, but a "saints scooter?" Does Lucas Oil make a product to service said scooter?
Here is a picture of Gumbo frightening our nation's senior citizens:
Sir Saint is another Saints mascot, though he is apparently “unofficial” and thus warrants no space on the team’s website. Take a look at his picture below. Could his unofficial status be attributable to the fact that he has a scrotum for a chin? You tell me.
IND: The Colts are owned by Jim Irsay. Requisite idiotic picture:
Irsay paid $2.3 million for Kerouac’s scroll of “On the Road,” because nothing signifies literary appreciation like outright commodification. He collects guitars. He writes poetry, including this gem about the Colts last Superbowl victory:
Once upon a time – oh, what a time it was, a time that moved within us – the seeds of our humble beginnings,
We would gather in our circles and pray together on sore, bended knees, holding hands to keep our dreams from escaping from our hearts,
We had heard about a time, a time that might be ours, a time that the spirit might deliver – when long tired days were shared within those rooms,
And we would lose some along the way, but we would honor them with a gift of conviction and faith,
We would hold on with nothing left within us except the will that says, ‘Hold on,’
We would cry and we would laugh,
We would suffer and we would rejoice,
We would get angry and we would meet sadness,
But we would always find our circle,
With clenched hands and heads bowed, and ask for the courage when the distance seemed too far,
Then, on a rain-drenched, windy night, hiding deep inside a magical, Florida winter, we finally walked softly into our time.
Yes, he started a poem with "Once upon a time." Genius. Hey, he's rich and buys a bunch of crap and friends and success. He must be cool too, right? Rolling Stone certainly thinks so. But then again, so does Forbes.
NO: Tom Benson, owner of the Saints, is perhaps best depicted in this video:
Oh fine, he’s old, he’s confused, he’s rich. What do you expect? Do you expect him to boogie (at 1:37)?
Rumors have circulated for years that Benson wants to move the Saints out of New Orleans and he pointedly refused to confirm the team would remain in the city after Katrina. Success at the Superbowl will surely only spur him to seek an even-sweeter deal from area residents. If he shows up on the broadcast on Sunday, then you’ll know who won the game. Or maybe not.
IND: The Colts website is rather standard, though it does have The Polian Corner. What, is this where he pressures the league for rule changes that favor his team? Or pressures the team to hire his son as GM?
NO: As of this writing, the Saints website proclaims "The Saints Celebrate the Greatest Season Ever!" Now, I don't want to be accused of raining on their... (hold on, wrong metaphor), but couldn't they maybe wait a week for that proclamation? I know they've never gotten to the big game before, but is losing the Superbowl really the greatest season ever? Let's not be satisfied with our success or anything, boys.
IND: If Peyton Manning shills a tree falling in the woods and nobody buys it, does he then shill for something else falling in the woods? Or does he just pair up with Eli, Donald Trump, a Donald Trump impersonator and participate in one of the stupidest advertising campaigns ever created?
Oh, I see, it’s making fun of selling out! Oh no you didn’t!
NO: I'm sure Brees hawks his fair share of watery BBQ sauces and disposable adult diapers, but it is hard to think of him the same way as you think of "Soupy Sales" Manning. However, here is an amusing article of their respective scores on The Dave Brown Index which is a "qualitative" index of celebrity appeal or some such idiocy.
BATTLE OF THE BACKUP TEAM QUARTERBACK:
IND: Manning's regular back-up, JIm Sorgi, is on Injured Reserve, thrusting rookie Curtis Painter into the spotlight. He got his first action in Week 16 when the Colts began resting their starters (which everyone bitched about at the time, but you don't hear mentioned much lately, do you). Painter's take on the experience: "I was excited to get the opportunity. Unfortunately, it didn't go well.
NO: The backup to Brees (I really couldn't figure out how to make Brees possessive, is it like 8 apostrophes or something? Can I somehow signify a birthmark with punctuation?) is Mark Brunell, longtime Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback. Now it wouldn't be the Superbowl - America's Game - in Florida without a little dash of America's newest game in Florida (and everywhere else), real estate litigation! Brunell is being sued over defaulting on a $2.24 million real estate loan. Naturally, he is countersuing the bank for failing to provide a follow-up loan. Ah, Florida!
Unfortunately, we at Brah couldn’t find many interesting non-team player blogs. It’s either self-promotional sites or team-sponsored blandness. So, here goes:
IND: DB Kelvin Hayden and TE (TE/WR for fantasy nerds) [Editor's Note: noted. Clark was on Nightmare Squad this year.] Dallas Clark have worthless team blog entries.
NO: TE Billy Miller was keeping a weekly blog for the Saints site, but was injured in Week 3 and went on Injured Reserve (ending his season). Guess where his blog ends?
AUGURIES OF THE ABSURD (wherein the Rooting Guide finds hidden (and, naturally, puerile) categories of team identification):
CELEBRITY SUPERBOWL PICKS:
(We're not going to run down the whole list of washed-up athletes and Hollywood z-listers pretending to follow football, but you can scroll it here.)
IND: Rod Blagojevich, Danica Patrick NO: Jimmy Fallon, Valerie Bertinelli
Valerie Bertinelli’s logic is infallible:
"Saints 24-21. With those two quarterbacks, there has to be some scoring because they are both brilliant. The Saints have a deep offense and the defense is so good they will hold the Colts back. It will be a great game no matter what...especially when the Saints win.”
Technically, Vals, the over/under is 56, so 45 would not be considered much scoring by Vegas standards. You implication seems to be that scoring will be plentiful, given the collective brainpower in the radio helmets. However I do commend you on the comedic misdirection of your last sentence. Indeed, it will be great game… if Valerie Bertinelli says so!
SUPERBOWLS OF THE FUTURE:
Decide yourself which team is the Crushers (53) and the Resistors (39).
Proposition wagers are wagers on specific events outside of the normal wagers placed on football games (win, spread, total points). These are usually based on player/team stats and game events and have very low or high payouts. Each years Bodog prints a long list (100+) prop bets and includes a few dozen 'novelty props' for the marketing juice. The full list can be found here (team & miscellaneous) and here (players). These are all real wagers, btw.
Which sideline reporter will be on TV first after the opening kickoff?
Solomon Wilcots: -115
Steve Tasker: -115
If any member of the Who smashes their guitar what does the guitar hit first?
Every year the mayors of the two cities represented in the Superbowl make a wager. Depicting the continued bankruptcy of local governance, here are some articles, this one really defining down the concept of "escalation".
So it breaks down like this:
IND: Shrimp fucking cocktail.
NO: Coffee, doughnut mix, CDs, and “beads and other trinkets.”
Way to get into the spirit of things, guys.
IND: There are no known drinks which characterize Indianapolis, unless you want to include the previously-mentioned shrimp cocktail.
NO: Needless to say, New Orleans has its own official cocktail, Sazerac. Yes, official, as in voted on by the state legislature. Nah, they don't have anything better to do.
IND: Classy Chassy (the first time those words have ever gone together), Babes East (item, location), Brad’s Brass Flamingo (a tangled mix of inferences).
[Editor's Note: when I finally make it to New Orleans, THIS is the place I'm taking my $1s to. -- BP)
NO: Celestial Bodies (astronomy-themed), The Ship’s Wheel (nautical-themed), Scuttlebutt (butt-themed).
Dare we say it… Go Saints!
Enjoy the Game!
Home Instore Tomorrow! Brah Session 3 February 3, 2010
This is the moment when Home signed their lives away to Brah Records. We were at a terrible restaurant in Williamsburg probably 5 years ago.
To celebrate that inauspicious moment for both of our organizations, tomorrow night (Thurs) Home is playing an in-store performance at Sound Fix Records at 7pm (to also celebrate the release of their new killer LP - Seventeen).
Sound Fix is on 44 Berry Street in Brooklyn. . .and I recommend that you drag your ass out to it.
In other news - here's some shots from our third Brah Studio Session with Chaw Mank!
A few weeks ago Brooklyn's Chaw Mank (featuring Richard from Sightings and Brian from Mouthus) graced the Ocropolis with their bass and guitar improvisations.
Brian contemplates the crisp taste of an imported lager.
That's me. . .what a sweater! It's warm. Thanks sis!
We are in the middle of recording many many digital singles for a project that will see the light of day this summer. . .
Do not do any blinking until then.
"Excellent" Band Names/HOME Reminder January 28, 2010
(click this link and then click the image for a larger version of Wolfy and Kayrock Screen Printing's list)
This post is an ever-expanding list of unused yet excellent band names.. please feel free to use them for your project(s), just do let us know which one you've claimed or our legal team will be suing your a**es once you've begun to make some $$. Oh, and we've taken the liberty of mining a little internet gold/attaching some photos to the names, think of it as inspiration, a call to reach higher and achieve more. You're welcome!
Unused/Excellent Band Names (words by MT; Pics by KM & BP)
And last but absolutely not least: The Avocados (they´re either a Californian neo-hippie band or else a Canadian funny band like Barenaked Ladies) [Editor's Note: I went with the 'Canadian funny band', obvs]
I hope you've enjoyed this little reminder of what happens when cameras and computers fall into the wrong hands. Now, do I mean those pictured, or those posting? One can only guess. Thanks to Wolfy at Kayrock Screenprinting, Inc. and MT and DK working their way through SA for their help, we all had a hand in this masterpiece.
I just found that sweet pic of the Home boxset. I thought I'd use it to illustrate this reminder that Seventeen is available!! Right now!! Why haven't you ordered it already?!?! Do you love when I repeat myself?!!?! Cause I'll keep doing it, I don't mind at all!! Believe me!!
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Hey everyone – 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 f’ – 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!