Dirty Projectors at The Granada

July 18th, 2012 by Kansas

After many misadventures I finally made it to a Dirty Projectors show. Sure I was a little late and completely missed the opening act Wye Oak, but I did make it there for the entire set by the Dirty Projectors.

Having heard that The New York Times called it “evil new jack vibe” I was curious to see if I had a Judd Nelson cowering from Wesley Snipes and Ice-T moment. The answer, my friends is yes. About half-way through the set of what @bananasuit refers to as “alien tribal music for goblins” came a song with such irregular beats and dissonant harmonies that I was suddenly right in the middle of New Jack City.

Two songs later the crowd was treated to cuneiform writing projected behind the band. I doubt anyone was trying to translate the writing as they were too busy dancing. Overall it was a great show.

Part IV of 2666

July 8th, 2012 by Kansas

Midsummer of 2012 a female between the ages of 30 and 35 finished Part IV, The Part About Crimes, of Bolano’s masterwork 2666. The female was later identified as a member of the PBR Book Club, a local group of literary elitists with a penchant for Pabst Blue Ribbon, a popular beer by all accepted standards. The woman had long hair, but it was often kept up wrapped tightly in a bun, due to her training in the library arts or to give potential murders a better look at her neck, where the hyoid bone lies protecting her non-functioning thyroid. Perhaps it was a hormonal imbalance or just the gentle disappointment that comes with finishing a work of brilliance, whatever the cause the woman was found fully clothed, rocking back and forth mumbling “vaginally & anally raped, swabs, broom handles, it was those cousins, working girls never get a break,” and perhaps most telling, “why, why did it end?”

Reports had been filtering in throughout the summer of others in similar states, but none quite as distraught. Some claimed there was a backlash against so-called tedious reading. It was said those readers started drinking early and quit only upon reaching Part V. Others hoped to recapture the experience of Part IV by continual rereading and referencing, and thus were able to maintain employment and social obligations. The cases were pursued for a few weeks, but ultimately shelved when no further evidence surfaced.

Best Coast &b Heartless Bastards

May 29th, 2012 by Kansas

So the past few days have been chocked full of live music. A last minute decision to go see Best Coast was rewarded with Bethanny of Best Coast repeated saying “dog cock.” She is just too adorable for that not to be hilarious. Overall the Best Coast show was exactly what I was expecting. Sometimes I thought that I was trapped in a Miranda July story, but overall it was just too cute.

Besides the over 21 hand stamps were so twee. Apparently it translates to “a little bit more.”

 

Heartless Bastards was another story. Well sort of the same. I ended up on the guest list last minute, but the show itself was entirely different.

Even better than the baby in hearing protection headphones, and playing count the librarians (at least 3), was the music. Heartless Bastards are great. They were described to me as Black Keys-esque. I guess sure as both are from Ohio and both have a blues influence, but Heartless Bastards have an amazing front woman whose voice could make you cry or come depending on song really.

I know that Ohio is a depressing place. It was once described to me as a chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate chips or sugar. Thus the fact that so many blues influenced bands are coming out of Ohio is not a surprise. What is a surprise is how much better Heartless Bastards are than the Black Keys. Seriously why are the Black Keys so famous? It doesn’t make any sense. Everyone quickly to your local record store or iTunes or Amazon or whatever and buy one if not all 4 Heartless Bastards albums. You will not be sorry.

A Very Minor Prophet Book Review: In which the author overcomes her disdain for zine-culture, accepts Portlandia, and questions the survivalist movement

April 18th, 2012 by Kansas

I began this work full of wonder and hopefulness. According to the dust jacket it was “a valentine to coffee and bikes and rain,” and I like all those things. How could this book make me want to seek out the author and punch him in the face? I’ll tell you. I HATE ZINES. I loathe shoddy workmanship which is the main calling card of a zine. They are xeroxed. Ugh.

The main character, Bartholomew Flynn is a zine-ster. Aren’t 20-somethings whiny enough without the added copypaper zine? Then something wonderful happened, the “inserted” zine pages were actually funny. Flynn went from the everyman of the Midwest to the scribe. He captured not only the story of Booker, but the Portlandia of Portland.

As the exploration of Portland unfolds through “Coffee Breaks” and commentary from Flynn the dream of the 90′s shines through. Unlike the actual IFC show Portlandia, this Portland is one I want to visit. I want to get a Voodoo doughnut and ride around on a fixie.

The survivalists of the work, the C.H.V.C.K. boys are aggressive in a weird way and never fully explained. Do they really know how to survive in the wilderness? Raggedy Andy’s experience tilts the answer to yes, but how much of it was just him not bathing? It could have all just been a set up.

Overall a good read and perhaps the next time I see a zine I will resist the urge to wipe my ass with it. Perhaps.

It’s My Jesus Year

April 9th, 2012 by Kansas

This year Easter fell on my birthday. It seems very appropriate since it is actually my Jesus year. That’s right, I am now 33. I got the best card that brings it all together as well.

With love from the Easter bunny & Jesus

Now I’m starting this year off right, headed to PBR book club this evening. There will be lots of ironic looks and PBRs consumed.

Youth Lagoon & Death Metal

March 15th, 2012 by Kansas

Monday evening Youth Lagoon played at the Jackpot. I couldn’t resist a small venue show that would consist of a guy, keyboard, and a drum machine. Arrived a few hours early to do my favorite thing, read and drink PBR. I was there for sound check which in all truth was louder than the Radiohead concert the night before.

Three PBRs and five short stories in the place was packed. In fact my produce stalker was even in the house. The opening band completed their soundcheck (having arrived late) and started their set.

After the opening band I headed to the dancefloor/stage viewing area to await young Powers. He was introduced with a terrible joke, which all the hipsters seemed to know the punch line: What does a fish say when he swims into a wall? (Dam.) Touring Youth Lagoon consisted of Trevor Powers and his friend on guitar. Powers vocals almost sound like what I imagine Elmo will sound like as a disenchanted young adult. Youth Lagoon played exactly the length of time I expected and brought it full force. Overall a good show.

After the show I took a walk down to the Tap Room to get some air and hey another cheaper PBR. As I approached I could hear the music from about half a block away. The door guy yelled $3. The bartender asked if I was here for the death metal show. I yelled back, no. Thought I would grab a better and cool off. $6 later I had a PBR in hand & was back out on the patio where the metal heads were yelling at each about how great the Triumph motorcycle is.

Apparently if one actually ventured downstairs to where the show was the sound level was well above 130 decibels. One guy went there sans earplugs in hopes to dislodge his sinus infection. Overall a fitting end to my music weekend. Now it’s on to basketball.

Radiohead: The Concert

March 12th, 2012 by Kansas

I have missed Radiohead by days, hours in the past. I wasn’t able to make it to their Bottleneck show in’95. I missed them by a day in Tokyo. There was talk of seeing them as part of APW a couple of years ago, but I hate festivals. So this was it finally seeing Radiohead live, in concert.

When the opening band did a quick 30 minute set I got excited. That meant that Radiohead was allotting at least 2.5 hours if not 3. I was ready. The show started out as I figured it would, lots of the new music. Traquil, napping music. Let’s face it people, Amnesiac was the beginning of the end of the great rock from Radiohead. I’m not saying the new stuff isn’t enjoyable, but seriously how does one dance to it? If you were the girl in front of me the answer is spastic with elbows to my face; the guy behind me a gentle head bob.

The house lights came up during one number which woke me up a bit, but overall the entire first hour was nothing more than a nice warm up. The real show started with the encore. The light screen was finally used in a more dramatic way. Unfortunately the first encore was only 5 songs, while the second was a short 2. Total playing time for Radiohead came in just over an hour forty-five. This from a band with nearly 20 years of music. Shocking, appalling not worth the $70 and sexual harassment of the floor seats.

A note on the stage design. There was a light board directly behind the band with movable screens. So much could have been done with this. What did we get? Repeating patterns and shots of the band. Le sigh. Beck had a similar set-up 4 years ago and did more with it, as did Thievery Corporation. Overall Radiohead, you were nothing but a disappointment.

 

Beck at United Palace in 2008

Better use of lightboard

 

It’s True. I come from a family of handsome women

October 13th, 2011 by Kansas

And men who wear hats.

Bon Iver

September 10th, 2011 by Kansas

Last night was the Bon Iver show at the Uptown Theater. This was my first trip to the Uptown Theater and wasn’t too sure how the parking would play out. As it turned out I got there too late to park in the adjacent lot, but was able to get a spot a couple of blocks away. As I had gotten used to walking over to Terminal 5 in NYC this was a prime spot in my mind.

Usually I try to make it in time to catch the opening act, but decided against it this time. There is only so much sad guitar I can take. Thus I arrived about halfway through the openers set, which was too much of it for my taste.

Bon Iver went on around 9:30 and just killed it. I was looking for a photo on the web, as I saw people taking them, but alas none have been posted. The audience was under the spell of Justin. I haven’t been a part of an audience like that for a while. It was quite nice.

In other news I did complete a 10k a couple  of weeks ago. There are photos, but they are all copyrighted.  You should be able to view them by going to the Northface Endurance Challenge website under the Kansas City results. My bib number was 1320.

It’s getting close to start training for the half marathon, because clearly I’m insane.

Conan

August 31st, 2011 by Kansas

I had heard that the Conan remake was terrible, but much like a car wreck I had to see it for myself. So I hit up a matinee to witness the train wreck that is Conan the Barbarian 3D.

The lack of Valeria already had me bummed, but Rose McGowan was in the film and it was shot pre-disfigurement so she is still pretty. Plus Ron Perlman. How can that be bad? I’ll tell you. In the opening scene after he cuts his child out of his wife’s uterus he holds him up Lion King style. WTF.

So let’s skip ahead. Preteen Conan is pretty bad-ass up until after his father’s death and he pulls a sword out of a body and holds it up Masters of the Universe style. Again what the fuck? The same pose happens two other times in the movie. It made we wish I was watching the Dolph Lundgren vehicle (at least he wore a loin cloth).

Finally we meet the heroine. I couldn’t figure out if she was badly rewritten or just a weak character. Every five minutes she was yelling for Conan. Conan save me I can only sort of wield a blade; I can’t even defeat Rose McGowan who isn’t using any of her witchy powers.

Boo filmmakers. Boo.

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Drunken Ramblings featuring random references to the Library of Congress

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