Do They Know It's Christmas Time At All?!

It’s sort of problematic that they’re associating Black History with underprivileged children. It’s more than a little bit silly that the decidedly white owner of the team appears in the ad, especially with his less than sterling record of race-relations. But really, why celebrate Black History Month (that’s February for those of you keeping track) in March (not Black History Month)?It’s no wonder...

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Obits make adult contemporary indie.

Brooklyn-based Obits are coming at you with a new release, Moody, Standard and Poor. Obits is an indie supergroup of sorts, featuring singers/guitarists Rick Froberg (Drive Like Jehu, Hot Snakes) and Sohrab Habibion (Edsel). Obits play a reverb-drenched variety of straight-forward rock that seems to borrow equally from surf and pyschadelia and, to a lesser extent, blues. After respectable careers making cacophonous punk rock, they...

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Burning Out and Fading Away, Part 2.

Quick round up of other examples of burning out and fading away, in reference to my previous post. One thing of note is this is all subjective; I do not have a solid metric on this. It’s all opinion-based. I suppose you could measure all of this in terms of commerce or by doing straw polls, but I’d much prefer to force my opinion on everyone. That’s just what happens when you wallow in the anonymity of the internet....

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Back to the Constant Future

I’m going to say this, as neutrally as I possibly can. Parts and Labor are one of the most under appreciated bands on this planet. I never bought into that whole sad song about how there are so many musicians who are brilliant but don’t make it; I generally feel that there’s a very distinct reason why certain bands attract healthy followings and certain bands wallow in obscurity. With a few exceptions, parents feed...

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Today's roundup of public humiliation

This is one of those ideas that I can picture being born in a smokey conference room, packed full of “idea men” who are trying to “contemporize the brand.” Truly, don’t hate these men: they have good intentions.Really, wow. Just…yuck. What audience are they targeting here? The awkward whiteboy/aspiring rapper subset? Were the 1985 Chicago Bears booked? There’s an obligatory Vanilla Ice...

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Sign of the times

It can be tedious and tiresome, being perpetually bombarded with the cry of “It’s a bad economy!”This is something else though:TAUNTON, Mass.—A Massachusetts employment organization has canceled its annual job fair because not enough companies have come forward to offer jobs.Richard Shafer, chairman of the Taunton Employment Task Force, says 20 to 25 employers are needed for the fair scheduled for April 6, but...

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Obits Interview

Obits are coming to the Elevens on Thursday night. Earlier this winter, I was given the opportunity to interview Sohrab Habibion, the band’s guitarist and sometimes singer. Obits put out an album, Moody Standard and Poor on March 29th. I liked it. How did Obits come about? We all knew one other person in the group, I knew [lead singer/guitarist] Rick, Rick knew [drummer] Scott, and I knew [bassist] Greg. Greg and I were working...

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Sign of the Times, Part II

Everyone knows the print industry has been withering away for years now…but what does it say when our award-winning sports scribes must turn to the seedy underworld of prostitution to pay the bills??!?

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Kobe Bryant thinks you're gay, but not literally

Steve Buckley, one of my favorite sports columnists, came out of the closet in January. It was a touching event; Buckley described an outpouring of support from some of the best of the Boston sports community. Stalwarts like Dustin “The Destroyah” Pedroia, the Kraft family, Terry “Tito” Francona, Kevin “Greek God of Walks” Youkilis, and Curt “Never Met A Soundbite I Didn’t Like”...

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Local Legend Dave Witthaus and Platterpus Records Are Moving On Up (And Over)

I’ve referenced Dave Witthaus before. Dave is the owner and sole proprietor of Platterpus, Too, a music store that I use and endorse. Platterpus was a fixture in Westfield for years, before taking an unfortunate ciesta in the Hadley mall, dying, and resurfacing as Platterpus, Too in Easthampton.For reasons only he understands, Witthaus is moving Platterpus from its current location at 74 Cottage Street to 28 Cottage Street in...

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Fighting the War on Marriage, One Athlete At a Time.

I’ll admit I’m more than a little bit partial to this piece of news, as I did a relatively extensive report on the issue of homosexuality and sports in college.Sean Avery, noted asshole, came out in support of gay rights.It’s not the word of a beloved athlete, but at least it’s the word of a known athlete. This, combined with Kobe Bryant’s confirmation that he’s a petulant jackass, and Atlanta...

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John Boilard: “Where Are All The Punkers?”

The beauty of DIY/Punk scenes is that, sometimes, really great things happen at really obscure places. That being said, I’ve seen some of my favorite shows in the Valley at Diamond Junction Bowling Alley in Palmer, MA. The space is set up just behind the lanes, so you can bowl while you listen or enjoy the purity and comfort of a great DIY shows.I recently spoke to John Boilard, who, along with Michael Switalowski, has been...

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Reality Finally Sets In, in 2011

Dave Markey is having quite a renaissance lately. Last month, Flywheel hosted a showing of his documentary 1991: The Year Punk Broke, featuring a q and a session with no less than Thurston Moore. 1991 is an epochal documentary that shows Nirvana (just before they were Nirvana), Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. firing on all cylinders across the Europe summer festival scene. While I’m sure Nirvana is the selling point, rest assured...

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The Reality of Reality sets in.

Just a follow up on the previous entry- Dave Markey did an interview that answered a lot of the questions I had surrounding the surfacing of Reality 86’d. Check it out.What’s interesting is that a Henry Rollins column about music piracy in LA Weekly evoked this.In Rollins’ article, he talks about how Ginn has stiffed him on Black Flag royalties for years. Makes Ginn sound like kind of a jerk.…Which is why it...

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Bob Mould's Celebrated Summer

June is a good month if you’re a fan of Hüsker Dü or Bob Mould in general.The singer/guitarist has had quite a diverse career since the flaming car-crash breakup of Hüsker Dü. Mould has come out of the closet, been a deejay, written plot lines for WCW (wrestling is fake? no way), and composed the Daily Show theme song.He also put together a solo career that has a disproportionate amount of gems. This includes...

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Screaming Females: the last living punk rockers

A personal story, if you care to listen.Several months ago, I ordered a record from the Screaming Females website. Within a weeks of receiving the first reocrd, I ordered another one. When the second record arrived, the mailing sleeve had a personalized note from their drummer, taking note of my sporadic ordering habits.Maybe that means nothing to anyone else. I’m willing to accept that; to me, it was a small gesture that speaks...

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The Virtures of Cow Urine and Rat-roasts

Went to see the subject of last week’s Advocate cover story at the Calvin last night.It’s rare that you’re able to say this, but really, the show lived up to its billing.I was fashionably late, spending an unfair amount of time outside the venue trying to give away an extra ticket.For free, mind you.That being said, I missed The Warblers. There’s another blog, in this neighborhood of the internet, that is...

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John Lennon and Sarah Palin: Kindred Spirits?

Interesting article here, making the claim that liberal icon John Lennon was, gasp, a Republican.I don’t lend much validity to the claim, especially because it comes from one of the many vampiric hangers-on that tell outlandish stories about Lennon. As the article notes, the accuser in question was convicted of stealing Lennon’s possessions.It’s not beyond reason to think that someone with those credentials might...

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Good News From the Music Industry and Other Rare Phenomena

According to this article, music sales are up for the first time in seven years.“It’s always good to be up, but considering album sales have been in total freefall for years (at this time last year, sales were down 11 percent compared to the same time in 2009), there was really no place to go but up.”So says the article.I disagree. The music industry has, since the advent of the internet, displayed an uncanny knack...

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AWM Returns With Fury Toward a Borderline 90s Icon!

Due to personal reasons, I had to take a little break to deal with a lot of the utterly unfun but very real day-to-day issues. Nothing serious, but it was all very time-consuming.But I’ve returned, and I have my sights set on one man: William Patrick Corgan.I always found the Smashing Pumpkins to be a bit “homeless” when one looks at their musical time period. They were lumped in with other alternative bands somewhat...

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Fun News Day

So, last night, the story drops that Sarah Palin did cocaine and former basketballer Glenn Rice.I personally doubt the validity of the claims in the book. Regardless, the uproar is silly. Politicians are generally a shifty, immoral bunch. Their personal lives tend to make most normal folk look downright tame in comparison. I wouldn’t vote for Palin anyway, but not because she indulged in a little recreational nose powdering and...

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Food For Thought and other stupid puns

I don’t really care if you want to abstain from consuming meat; that’s a personal choice people make. Me, I love meat and find no ethical problems with sitting at the top of the food chain. Other people might disagree, which is fine.What we should really unite over is a shared outrage over the utter insanity that PETA chokes up for public consumption.Their latest work is below.I have trouble following them here.I never...

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Freedom of Discretion

Freedom of speech is a funny thing.The concept itself, when implemented correctly, allows for the press to question the government, for artists to express themselves without fear of repurcussion, and in general, for an open discourse.Sometimes, people misuse the concept for much more unwholesome reasons.Recently, Hank Williams, Jr., aka the guy who sings the Monday Night Football song, made some puzzling comments about President...

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Freedom of Discretion, Part II

Bryant Gumbel, not content to let Hank Williams, Jr. take the title of “Most Inappropriate Historical Comparison,” compared NBA Commisioner David Stern to a plantation owner.See below:While it’s perfectly reasonable to have a negative opinion of David Stern, to compare a man who has stuffed the pockets of innumerable African-Americans over the years is reprehensible Gubmel has a history of puzzling racial comments,...

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Geriatric Rock: Metallica and Lou Reed.

So, I’m sure you’ve heard about Metallica and Lou Reed doing an album together. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a joke. Then I thought it was a horrible idea.Then I heard the album, and I was right on both counts.Metallica really can’t help but do completely inane things, seemingly hell bent on proving “the haters” correct in their notion that they’re a bunch of spoiled, worn out...

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Beavis and Butthead Come Back For No Good Reason

I’m an unabashed fan of the original Beavis And Butthead, for reasons equally nostalgic and sincere. Watching it today, it seems like a perfect relic of the 90s in general, a twistedly stupid take on “the slacker generation,” involving two dimwits with interests that read like a dinoysian shopping list.When I heard that MTV was bringing the show back, I was cautiously optimistic. It was probably not going to be as...

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New Blood at Sierra Grille Thursdays

For the past few years, restaurant Sierra Grille has been known for its Thursday night rock shows, which featured a bevy of local and natioanl indie rock bands.Recently, Valley residents Candace Clement and Tessa Simonds took over booking responsibilities. I caught up with them via electronic mail to get the low-down on what they’re bringing to Thursdays at the Sierra Grille. What is your prior experience with the music scene in...

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The Best News 2012 has to offer

The basement-dwelling internet clique receieved astonishing news today, as it exploded across the blogosphere that post-hardcore pioneers At The Drive-In were reuniting. Nowadays, At The Drive-In are known, tragically, as the band that came before The Mars Volta, who are pretty popular in their own right.While the Mars Volta is an adequate band, their self-indulgent “art” looks downright embarassing next to At the...

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File Under “Spoke Too Soon.”

This poll states that a staggering 43% of Americans think that nauseating attention seeker/NFL Quarterback Tim Tebow owes his “success” to Divine Intervention.No matter where your religious beliefs lie, this has to be seen as another absurdity in Tebow’s already absurd reign as a flavor of the month. Were I Christian, I would be revolted at the concept of an NFL Quarterback being anointed this elite status in...

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Musicians Say The Darndest Things…

I grew up reading Time Magazine once a week, religiously. I don’t remember it being a particularly well-written magazine, but it certainly never stooped to this low-level of quality.The basic angle of the above article, written by a pair of brothers, is that it costs $100,000 to pursue “rock ‘n roll stardom.” The pair make it entirely too easy to poke holes in their argument, which seems to be written from the...

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Conceptualize This:

Indie darlings of years goneby Cursive have released a new album.This news should be met with collective yawns, and not just because they’re little better than a nostalgia act for twenty something emo kids. There is a far more sinister reason that the new album, I Gemini, should be met with apathy.It’s not because it’s a generally lukewarm experience from a band that is languishing 8 years past its prime.No. Far...

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Post-Modern News

I’m sure everyone is familiar with the satirical news site known as The Onion. It’s a pretty hilarious take on news that always astounds me with its ability to evoke a laugh.What’s even funnier is when you come across a news story that reads as if it’s an Onion story, but is actually legitimate.No less a comedic goldmine than the Arena Football League provides this extended laugh track.The narrative is...

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Slam Dancing IS a Crime

True story: I recently witnessed Worcester’s own Bovachevo live. They tore, playing a mathy hard rock that reminded me a lot of Drive Like Jehu. They raked, plain and simple.I was pretty into the show, except for one simple problem.The dripping, idiotic, testosterone-laden specimens who insisted on ruining my show experience by slamming into me, knocking me over, and generally disrupting the experience.This all ties in to the...

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Sgt. Pepper's Lucky Sperm Club Band

In what could turn out to be a fascinating experiment in the nature vs. nurture debate, news broke this week that the offspring of the Beatles might be starting a band together.It’s highly unlikely that their work will rise above being a cheesey gimmick act, but the idea is nonetheless delicious. You just have to wonder whether they could even come close to creating the same magic that their fathers were able to. Again,...

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Absolute Monarchs

I am still more than a little in awe of the seemingly endless amount of good music that the Pacific Northwest has turned out over the past 20 years. Nirvana, The Melvins, Unwound, Bikini Kill, Modest Mouse, Sleater- Kinney, Wild Flag; I could go on forever.That’s hyperbole. I could not go on forever. I’m weak, limp wristed, and apathetic.Fine.You got me.Oh yeah, and I never cared much for Elliot Smith, but that’s...

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