We finally received another review of our latest album. This one is from Punk Planet. It's short but sweet.
Ashburne Glen - It's All Just a Dirty Game CD Quaint sounding chamber pop that classes itself up with some nice string usage as well as what sounds like some well placed steel drums on its opener "Diseases of the Tongue." Recommended if you can find it! (MS)
The Shins' Wincing the Night Away is my favorite album of 2007 so far. Yes, I live in the future.
This is my official away message for the next week. Don't tear the place down while I'm gone.
After several days of having nothing I really wanted to write about, I'm now covered in all sorts of things to discuss. Should I start with what I love and hate each about two Texas gubernatorial candidates--Chris Bell and Kinky Friedman--one of which will receive my vote? Or maybe I should talk about today's winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature and how once again W.S. Merwin wasn't even placed on the radar.
Actually, I'm going to start with a show last night: Man Man and the Thermals at Hailey's in Denton.
It was a wonderful show. Man Man are really great musicians, and they know how to entertain at the same time.
The Thermals were good. I was telling the Plus One how I think they're like Pavement on speed. She disagreed; she's more of a Pavement fan than I am, so she'd know better how to compare other bands to them. Still, the lead singer's spoken-word singing style and the laid-back chord changes really reminded me of Stephen Malkmus and his crew. (I was informed by the Plus One that Pavement is really a band for smart people, Ivy Leaguers, for example. I would argue that they're more of a band for PCU students.)
I've been noticing something lately. East coast bands usually put on more entertaining shows (such as Man Man and Les Savy Fav), whereas West coast bands usually just get on stage in their raggy T-shirts and jeans and play their music (such as the Thermals). While both can be good, I'm starting to be more interested in bands who actively put some effort into entertaining an audience.
I've received crap about it before, but I'm standing my ground. If you're playing on stage to people who have paid money to see and hear you, put on a damn show for them. Entertain them. Whether that means having a light show, dressing up as animals or running through the crowd while singing, do something more than just stand there looking like you just crawled out of bed and picked up your guitar. If you want to argue that your music is an art and you shouldn't have to entertain people, then do what the Beatles did, stop playing live. Hole yourself up somewhere and just work on your music, release it and repeat the process over and over again.
There is a theory surrounding the North Texas area that bands draw larger and more enthusiastic crowds in Denton as compared to Dallas. Last night appeared to negate that idea. The crowd size was about the same as when Man Man last played in Dallas, and what's worse is that the Denton crowd were more subdued. It was strange: the left side of the audience just stood there with their arms crossed or their hands in their pockets, while the right side of the audience moved and danced and appeared to be having a great time. I never saw a marked line on the floor, but maybe all the people on the right side were from Dallas and didn't care about any sort of hipster poses.
In the end, Man Man/Entertaining an audience: 1; Hipster poses/boring disheveled bands: 0.
On a recent trip to San Francisco, I passed my sick time by watching some TV. Flipping through the channels, I came across the movie selections. Adult movies was one of the catagories, so I decided to see what was available (you know, just looking at titles and movie plots); however, selecting the adult movies option yielded nothing. All adult movies were banned. Now, I didn't call the front desk to see if I needed to request access to the adult movies, because I really didn't care about watching them. Still, the idea of taking away that freedom of choice started to work itself under my skin.
A recent article on HotelChatter tackles the increasing practice of not offering adult movies in private hotel rooms.
I, for one, am deciding not to stay in Omni Hotels in the future, because of their decision to ban adult movies.
Today's issue of Quick featured a questionable spread on pages 10-11.
On page 10, there's a story about the funerals of the Amish girls who were recently killed. Directly across from it on page 11 is an ad for Amish Furniture Showcase, featuring "quality, Amish-made solid wood furniture."
I'm not sure if Amish Furniture Showcase always advertises in Quick. Maybe they do, and the newspaper purposely (or ignorantly) placed the ad next to the story, or maybe they've starting advertising more to get in on all the recent Amish attention.
Probably no one else noticed the story and ad placement, because readers were probably entranced by the huge, phallic corny dog ad under the gay marriage story on the same page.
*Okay, I don't even know what an indie metal hipster really is, but from reading music blogs, I've learned it's fun to make up new names for movements and then make fun of said movement, all the in the same breath.