Sunday, August 19, 2007

Just So You Know

1. We are still alive.
2. I doubt Jake is still listening to that same Smog album.

Confirmation on both of these items, Jacob?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Few Things Jake Can Post About

How to make a piñata
10 of his top favorite things he likes about alice
Gerard Grisey
Steve Malkmus
Lester Bangs
Least favorite band name
His recent trip to California
Thoughts on "To Catch a Predator"
Which headphones he would buy if he was buying headphones?
Hearing loss in people born after 1979
The death penalty
The radio
Brief history of the 6 day war (حرب الأيام الستةة; מלחמת ששת הימים)
Most annoying piece of music ever
Favorite gay indie rockers
Who likes female musicians?
Favorite bill put before the current 110th U.S. Congress
Short story ideas
The ethics of dairy
Songs about milk
Songs with his name in them

Friday, August 3, 2007

Bad Brains, Revisited.


Okay, has anyone else heard the name Bad Brains come up several times in the past year and brushed it aside each time thinking, "yeah, they say it's Bad Brains, but they probably mean some crappy reunion thing with some random guy on vocals doing a bunch of reggae?" Does anyone else feel really stupid for ignoring the fact that one of the best bands on earth released an album over a month ago, or has played a spate of live shows recently with all four original members?

The two of us that make up Gathering Evidence have never claimed to be on top of anything or particularly up to date when we talk about music. We don't scour the web for the hottest new thing or even let you know when bands we like are playing in your town before they actually play (Mae Shi, Brooklyn, last night.) But still. I am getting all worked up, not because I have been neglecting Bad Brains for the last month (or year,) but for the past ten years.

You might relate when I say sometimes there are moments when I am listening to a piece of music and think this band/musician/song/album/etc. is perfect in every way. I'll remember something like that for a period of time and then file it away while I start looking for other things that make me feel like that. For a short period of time in high school I was totally in love with Bad Brains. It seemed hard to imagine anything better than 4 black guys into jazz and reggae and prog rock playing hardcore punk with random dub intervals. Even cooler to think they started in the late seventies, before the Clash released Sandinista! (the only other album I'd heard of that attempted to mix genres like that), and before Minor Threat (often cited as the originators of hardcore) even existed.

Turns out it is still hard to imagine it. That and the fact that they are all incredibly skilled musicians -- something that's not actually all that common in a lot of punk rock -- makes them all the more impressive. Most obvious, I guess, are H.R.'s vocals. He sings so fast it can be hard to differentiate lyrics from total gibberish, but he's got some serious range. In the video up there for "Pay to Cum" he sings the verse "I came to know with now dismay/ That in this world we all must pay/ Pay to write, pay to play/ Pay to cum, pay to fight" in under three seconds and then gets almost soul-y with the chorus "And all in time/ With just our minds/ We soon will find/ What's left behind." Mad props. But his brother, Earl Hudson, is probably just as proficient on drums. Same goes for Dr. Know's guitar-playing and Darryl Jenifer's bass. They're a really tight band.

So I am excited to get the chance to hear the new album, Build a Nation, which, incidentally, was produced by Adam Yauch (MCA) of the Beastie Boys. I probably won't blog about that, though.

Note to Jake: Go here. Wait to load. Fast forward to about 2:50. Repeat as necessary.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Shame On You

Yeah, all of you, but mostly you, Jacob Wunsch. I know you read music blogs. I know you check out Pitchfork on a regular basis. You are supposed to do these things not just for your own interest, but so I don't have to. Why no mention of Dan Deacon? Is it because he's unattractive (Jake prefers attractive people, hence his frequent interaction with me?) He got on the Pitchfork best new music list back in May. I haven't bothered to read the review, but I hear Spiderman of the Rings got an 8.7 or something. Did you keep this information from me because he is annoying after more than one listen?

I've decided that maybe more reviews should be done upon the very first impression of particular piece of music. None of this "I think I'll play it a few more times to see if it holds up" business. Because isn't that first experience valid too, even if the music doesn't turn out to be destined for heavy ipod rotation? I have a good time listening to a new album, it can be really fun, especially if it sounds something like Spiderman of the Rings.

I want to be more impressionable. I will change my profile pic to that of Frank Ramos to show my solidarity with Dan Deacon fans.

So, I could be wrong, but I think Dan Deacon is a genius. "The Crystal Cat," "Okie Dokie," and "Snake Mistakes" make me feel lucky to be living in the 21st century. Though I can appreciate ye olde timey things like record players, typewriters and monocles, you will rarely hear me badmouthing anything that pulls us a little further out of the dark ages. So when someone gets his masters in electro-acoustic and computer music composition he gets points in my book.
Dan Deacon's music's not all haphazard college like you might expect, either. He just likes to use technology to his advantage. Here's a nice interactive video of how Dan Deacon works. Though the vocoder might be one of the more annoying instruments out there (think that stupid Cher song that goes "do you believe...",) it looks pretty fun to use. So does the other stuff, actually. Jake? Want to go to some flea markets?

Please view this unpopular but extremely enjoyable (in my opinion) youtube video of the song "The Crystal Cat." Warning: this may trigger seizures.


Seeing him play is supposed to be like hanging out at a giant dance party with him in the middle of everything. It's unfortunate that the next time he plays in New York will be at the infamous Webster Hall, opening for Girl Talk. Maybe he'll set up somewhere other than the stage?

September 6th - Seattle, WA @ The Vera Project
September 7th - Portland, OR @ Holocene
September 8th - Chicago, IL @ The Hideout Block Party (5 pm)
September 8th - Chicago, IL @ AV-Aerie (2000 W. Fulton) (8pm)
September 12th - Toronto, ON @ The Phoenix*
September 15th - New York, NY @ Webster Hall*
September 17th - Philadelphia, PA @ Starlite Ballroom*
September 20th - Charlottesville, VA @ Satellite Ballroom*
September 21st - Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel*
September 22nd - Atlanta, GA @ MJQ Concourse*
September 23rd - Hattiesburg, MS @ Thirsty Hippo
September 24th - Houston, TX @ Walters on Washington
September 25th - Austin, TX @ The Mohawk
September 27th - San Diego, CA @ Epicentre*
September 28th - Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex*
September 29th - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore*
October 4th - Oberlin, OH @ Dionysus Disco
October 5th - Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue*
October 6th - Iowa City, IA @ The Picador*
October 11th - St. Louis, MO @ The Billiken Club
October 12th - Grinnell, IA @ Grinnell University Gardner Lounge
October 19th - Bennington, VT @ Bennington University
October 20th - Alfred, NY @ Alfred University
*=opening for Girl Talk