Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Of Montreal's Skeletal Lamping Review

If Wes Anderson was filming a 1970’s themed orgy scene for an upcoming movie, Of Montreal’s new release Skeletal Lamping might be it’s soundtrack. Pounding synthetic beats and bass provide a solid, sexy backbone for Kevin Barnes to explore his cross-dressing stage persona Georgie Fruit. From the exotic, ass-shaking twist and turns to the intricate musical layering, Bowie and Prince are two artists that come to mind whenever I put this album on. But be warned, Barnes ups the ante when it comes to sexually bizarre.

While the album is ultimately a pop album filled with love songs, Barnes touch makes it seem all right to love pop again. It is filled with falsetto harmonies, a variety of instrumentation and tempo changes that keep the album moving steadily for right under and hour. The album’s title came from a hunting technique that involves using high powered flood lights that are turned on simultaneously to cause animals to panic and scurry, giving hunters an overwhelming amount of opportunities to take home some meat. I can’t think of a better title for this record. Skeletal Lamping is one of the most intense journeys through the mind of a musical genius.


**** out of *****

Fake Problems at New Brookland Tavern

Tuesday, Oct 28 @ New Brookland Tavern

Of Angels and Lions will be playing October 28 at New Brookland Tavern with Fake Problems. You may know Fake Problems from their opening slot on the Against Me! show at Headliners last year. If you haven’t had the chance to hear Naples, FL’s Fake Problems, they have the raspy punk rock vocal texture with a poppy indie folk twist. As much as that might sound like they sounds like Against Me!, and considering they did play with them, the major difference is they have a more conventional pop nature to them and more timbre (at least in their recordings). Also on the bill are Look Mexico and Movers & Shakers. Doors are at 7 and $8 to get in.


The Bouncing Souls In Columbia

Tuesday, Nov 2 @ New Brookland Tavern

I don’t know if listen to punk music is still cool to kids these days, but if it is, and you’re trying to find out how to get into it, I’ll give you a hint, The Bouncing Souls are a punk rock staple. Formed in 1987, these New Jersey punk rockers have been going at it for almost as long as I have been alive. They will be hitting New Brookland Tavern with Strike Anywhere, The Casting Out, and Gimme Drugs. Doors are at 6 p.m. Listen to “Kate Is Great” and “Ballad of Johnny X” if you need any convincing.


Phantom Planet Hits Erskine College

Saturday, Nov 1 @ Erskine College in Due West, SC

You don’t hear a lot about Erskine College, a small college in Due West, SC. Every year they have a Fall Festival with inflated games and a cookout followed by a concert. This year they picked Phantom Planet. If you haven’t heard of Phantom Planet you are either a robot or an idiot. They recently released their fourth official release (excluding bootlegs they’ve released through their fan club and online) Raise The Dead, but most known for their single “California” from their album The Guest that was made famous a year later as the theme song for The O.C. 


Fall Fest doors open at 7, and music starts at 8. The Rustlanders start the night out and Phantom Planet will follow. The event is free to Erskine students, $7 for alumni and $10 for the general public. 

Halloween Letters To The Reader

 Dear “slim shady” dude that always threatens to punch the actors in the Jaycees haunted house,
 That act may impress your mouth-breathing girlfriend, but the rest of us—after years of enduring your retarded ass—wish you’d just admit that you’re scared. Due to a mixture of low I.Q. and rural superstition, you’re actually frightened by some fake blood, black plastic tarps and strobe lights. And the only way you can cope is to punch a guy in a rubber mask who’s volunteering for charity on his night off. Even more ridiculous is the fact that you usually brag about it later in the parking lot, as if you actually defended yourself from a real monster. This year, just skip the spook house if you can’t deal. And, go put on a shirt, man. It’s October.
  Columbia City Paper 

Show Dates

Live shows from Oct 23-Nov. 5

This Machine Is Me at Headliners

Friday, Oct 24 @ Headliners

This Machine Is Me will be releasing their new EP “Make Your Move” at Headliners Friday, Oct 24 as a part of the Friday Night Live series presented by ROCK 93.5. This Machine Is Me traveled to Clearwater, FL to record with producer Byron Sellers, then returned to Columbia to work with Justin Register of former Madison Fair fame to do vocals.
“’Make Your Move’ means to never expect things to suddenly happen for you, as a band or as a person,” said keyboardist Blake Arambula. “To fill a room with excited fans, you have to do the work to get them there, and that starts with letting them know you exist. You have to take that initial step, because no one is going to like your band if they still haven’t heard you yet.”
The EP has a lot of synth and electronic drums mixed in with their normal instruments they use live. The production is great, and the songwriting and arrangement has gone leaps and bounds above previous work by this Columbia-based five-piece. I am interested to find out how these songs translate live. Doors are at 8 and $7 at the door.



Jennifer Hudson & upcoming events


Peace and blessings! Fresh off a big Core DJ weekend in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and the ABU FEST in Bad News Virginia (Shouts to Abys, BornNaturals, and the whole family) we are back with another edition. Much love to everyone who showed love on the DJ edition (Shouts to DJ Lazy). Be on the lookout for next issue’s surprise guest DJ. Enough talking for now…Let’s get it!

Water in the desert

Pop Music According to Man Man

“Pop” is one of the most confusing words that can ever appear in a conversation about music. Britney Spears is a Pop Star. Simon and Garfunkel were Pop Artists. This is not a value judgment between the two. Really, it’s an example of how the word “popular” has been abbreviated and consequently changed in meaning over time to meet the needs of whatever musical context it is being used in. For Philadelphia’s Man Man, that context is one in which an underground band has the freedom to explore not what pop music is, but what it has the potential to be.

“We’re just trying to talk our own language,” frontman and piano player Honus Honus told me, “but most people don’t want to hear it. We try to write pop songs, but clearly I have no concept of what real pop is.” This last statement may be true, but it certainly doesn’t affect his band’s willingness to ignore the conventions of what one might typically consider “pop music.” Man Man’s sound is definitely difficult to categorize. They garner a lot of favorable comparisons to Tom Waits and Captain Beefheart, but these comparisons are largely due to the gruff but earnest vocals of Honus Honus.

Definition of "Wab"

picDear Readers: I don�t like to rerun columns �cause it makes me look like a lazy Mexican, but I realize that, as my column invades foreign terrain (Chattanooga! Columbia, South Carolina! Steamboat Springs, Colorado!), new readers might not understand some of my running gags. Following, then, are the two most-frequently asked questions about the Mexican�s methodology:

Friday, October 17, 2008

Halloween in Columbia

photo of Shallow Palace courtesy of Shawna Simmons

What’s going on for Halloween Columbia?  Well, in the world of music, there are a few things going on.  First off, on the 30th, the Five Points Association is having their Five After Five event Halloween themed.  Starting at 5 there will be trick or treating with the merchants in 5 Points, a pumpkin carving contest at 6, and music by Twlight Armada and Tootie and the Jones.  There is both a children and an adult costume contest with prizes from 5 Points merchants.

Atlanta-based Nine Inch Neils, a Neil Diamond tribute band, is playing the 2nd Annual Hollywood Halloween at 5 Points Pub.  Doors are at 10 PM.

New Brookland Tavern is having two shows on Halloween.  The early show (doors at 6 PM) features California’s pop rockers A Cursive Memory with Mercy Mercedes, The Urgency, and Go Crash Audio.  Tickets are available at New Brookland Tavern or for $10 in advance.  Day of show the price jumps to $12.

Starting at 10, Bacardi and Columbia Quad Squad are throwing a Halloween bash with Medicine Veteran, Cats and Cobras, and Shallow Palace.  There will be a costume contest at 11:30 for Bacardi prizes and a bar tab.  Expect Bacardi sampling and drink specials for a party after you’re done trick or treating.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Good Old Boys: A Modest Review

The American South has long had an association with cultural anomalies and taboos such as institutionalized racism, a poor system of education, fundamentalist Christianity, archaic values and beliefs, and a regional history rooted deeply not only in the Confederacy, but mythology and lore. Good or bad, true or false, the South exists more in how it is viewed by the rest of the nation than what actually goes on here. If perception is reality, than it must be noted that there are a lot more people perceiving the region from afar than there are people consciously analyzing the experience of living here. There are many people all across the United States who greatly misunderstand the region, and misunderstanding often leads to backhanded criticism, which is separated from mockery by only a very fine line. Throughout his 1974 opus Good Old Boys, Randy Newman treads this line carefully, never stripping himself or the American South of any basic dignity. Newman is rightfully revered not only as one of America's Great songwriters, but also as a cultural satirist, with a sharkbite wit and keen eye for injustice. With Good Old Boys, he set his sights on the Deep South, compiling twelve songs into one semi-conceptual album.

Good Old Boys: A Modest Review

Written By Michael Spawn

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rockin' The Vote Goes Intergalactic

For the first time in the history of my existence have I found an incentive to attend an event that’s goal is to encourage me to vote. It’s not free pizza, a t-shirt, Diddy or anything like that; this is something unimaginable. On October 27, The Beastie Boys (along with Sheryl Crow and Santogold) will grace Charlotte’s Amos Southend for a “Get Out And Vote” event.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Music Calendar

Live music dates Oct 9-23rd

Dear haunted teddy bear,

Dear wack job from high school that somehow succeeded,
 Yeah, we�ve all heard the cliché about the nerd in school who founds a Fortune 500 company and lives like a billionaire playboy, while the star quarterback runs a hotdog stand for the rest of his life. But, dude, you were a train wreck. How can a guy who once stuck a paintbrush up his ass and made crude portraits of passersby at a party now own a company on the west coast worth millions? Not that I begrudge your success or regret going to college and taking up journalism. I guess what I�m saying is� can I borrow $50 till next month?
 Columbia City Paper  

 Dear haunted teddy bear,
 In hindsight, the cackling old man at the curio shop should have been the tip-off. But, like an idiot, I bought you anyway. When our five-year-old daughter kept blaming the knife marks in our mattress on you, Mr. Teddy, we just thought she needed therapy. Then the specialist we hired mysteriously disappeared after she voiced concern over little Annie�s relationship with you. (Hell, between you and me, I just figured she was out of town at a conference or something.) 
 But, now that you�re standing at the foot of my bed, your eyes glowing red and my filet knife clutched in your furry little paw, I�m starting to connect the dots. If everybody would just stop screaming for a second, maybe I could get a grasp on all this and react in some way. Or at least reach over to the phone and call Donny on third shift at work. He�d never believe this crap!
 Columbia City Paper  

 Dear guy who just woke from a coma,

 Listen, I know this is going to come as a shock, but Pluto is no longer a planet, the icecaps are melting and polar bears will likely go extinct in the foreseeable future. �Are you sure you want to hear about politics and the economy? The nurse said to stay calm. �OK, well, gasoline hovers around $4 a gallon, the government just bought $700 billion in bad debt from private banks and, on the upside, the U.S. is on the verge of electing an African American man to the presidency. �Football? Man, we really shouldn�t go there. Your heart is still weak. �You insist? �Well, uh, Vanderbilt is Number 1 in the SEC East and� Oh my God! Nurse!
 Columbia City Paper 

 Dear attempt at reconciliation after a bizarre spat,
 Listen, sweetie, I�m sorry I got mad because you said you never would�ve have dated me if I had primordial dwarfism. I mean, theoretically, it would still be me, just in a smaller frame, but�you�re right, we shouldn�t get into it again. Just curious, though: What if I contracted a shrinking disease tomorrow? �You might �stick around?� You�re a horrible human being! What if I told you I once dated a girl with Elephantitis?! �Great, so now you�re saying I�m too shallow to date a girl with Elephantitis! Well, maybe I am, but you know what, baby?! You need help!
 Columbia City Paper

New Music Releases

One of the most important and heartfelt albums of 1968 gets a labor of love deluxe reissue next week. On Tuesday Columbia Records releases the Legacy Edition of Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, expanded in two CD’s and a documentary DVD. With expletives restored and the revelation of an entire second show that was “lost” (except for a few selections culled for the original 16-song release), the box set contains a total of 51 tracks and a massive liner note essay by Cash biographer Michael Streissguth. As dark as the setting and the personal material, there’s a certain joy and breath of freedom in Cash’s deep voice that make this recording an American treasure. Highlights include special guests missing from the original set, with Carl Perkins’ “Matchbox” and “Blue Suede Shoes,” and a trio of songs by The Statler Brothers, “Flowers On the Wall,” the witty “You Can’t Have Your Kate and Edith, Too” and the beautiful hymn “How Great Thou Art.” 

Mexican advice


Dear Mexican: I�m half-Catalan, and the women on my mom�s side of my family have spent most of their lives being hated by Mexicans. I�ve never understood it. My mom and aunts warned me as soon as I hit junior high that I was going to have a target on me because they had one too when they were my age. It didn�t make sense�I�ve had the same Mexican friends since kindergarten. Most of my life, I grew up in a mostly Mexican neighborhood, and I speak their language. But it didn�t matter�my mom, her six sisters, and most of my cousins and myself have been called �coconut� or some other mean thing because of our background, and all of us have been threatened by at least one MEChA member. It wasn�t only our fellow students�none of us could take a Spanish class without a teacher telling us that we were completely wrong, that no one talked or wrote like us anymore. But no males in my family ever experienced this. Can you please tell me why Mexican women hate Spanish women?

Barcelona Babe

Skate and Create

The second annual “Skate and Create” exhibition was a great success both in terms of raising money to build a skate park in Columbia and to change the perception of skaters from skinny, tattooed teenagers to artsy athletes who are just as passionate about their skateboards as about their skating styles