Tuesday, January 31, 2006

all the gusto you can get...and 9.6 ABV too!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Curt Kirkwood - Kings - continued...

Tuesday night, didn’t know what to expect; it’s hard to predict the crowd. So, we got to Kings before they even unlocked the door, killed some time at the next welcome mat down, Poole’s Luncheonette. One beer later Kings was ready to serve. We covered the door got another malt beverage and took residence up top by the soundboard. Pretty sharply around 9:30 local duo Viswas started their raga-style music on sitar and tanpura, very good.

Not long after their set Curt Kirkwood came in quietly and alone with his guitar and began to set up. It turns out that the crowd is a rather anemic thirty, more or less.

I had been anticipating this show for a couple of weeks. I really had a feeling it would be something above and beyond the mainstream and I was not disappointed. Kirkwood's gritty performance exceeded my lofty expectations and then some. He won a fan.

Curt Kirkwood, musician, visual artist, was born January 10, 1959, a good Capricorn boy. Long gone are the locks of flowing deep brown hippie hair tangle that framed his punk rock bumpkin from Phoenix persona with the Meat Puppets.

Like most, I came to the Meat Puppets and thereby Curt Kirkwood through Nirvana. Kurt Cobain seemed to have the insight to instinctively know which bands were really worthy of his stealing from them, you know, doing something new, original, and special. Cobain championed the Raincoats, the Vaselines and the Meat Puppets. All three were completely unique and their influence is everywhere.

As vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter with the Meat Puppets, Kirkwood established himself as a major talent. It is generally agreed that II is their benchmark CD, released by SST in 1983 and reissued and enhanced by Rykodisc in 1999. Anyone who knows the ‘pups will be familiar with Curt’s art, his paintings grace nearly every Meat Puppets CD cover.

Kirkwood’s music is a genre of one, a singular inspiration, and an archetype without boundary or limitation. Call it psychedelic cow punk jazz? Call it Americana? I don’t know; but what I do know is that Kirkwood plays his music at the edge, with passion, sincerity and humor. This approach leads to a tension filled atmosphere where anything can happen, brilliant, dazzling moments, moments where he paints himself into a corner a bit but he is never out of control, always pulling it back before all is lost.

His compositions are so unique and personal that some people will not “get” him but artists like Kirkwood are exactly what we need more of, performers who offer their own singular idiosyncratic vision and step out of the checkerboard square of sameness. Kirkwood’s music is traditional and cutting edge at the same time. His riddles and rhymes reveal a sense of humor peppered with a flair for the absurd and the surreal, seen through eyes wizened by life’s little curveballs and tragedies.

The ex-pup does not cut the rock star figure. His Little Dog Records bio calls him a modern day troubadour, the "psychedelic" Woody Guthrie and it is hard to argue with that. He is a major, thought little known, singer-songwriter putting it on the line bare bones, just him and his guitar, in the spotlight. Curt Kirkwood pulled it off with a ragged soulful voice, rasp-like wit and six-string virtuosity that made his Gibson Hummingbird cry and sing.

He played, I think, every song from his new solo release “Snow” among a set of thirty or so, mixing in old ‘Puppets favorites like “Plateau”, “Lake of Fire”, “Backwater” and a few tasteful covers. A highlight for me was his excellent take on Roky Erickson’s “Nothing in Return”. I am really glad I didn’t miss this one.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Curt Kirkwood - Kings - January 24, 2006

Friday, January 20, 2006

Hollywood Squaretet – Tet Offensive (GULCH 603)

Tet Offensive is spontaneous free flowing freak the funk out. If you want your muffin skronked, skreeed, bleated and blowed, here’s the place to get that done. The Hollywood Squaretet is Kenny Kawamura on saxophones, former Angry Samoan, Todd Homer, on bass and occasionally alto sax with Larry Copcar handling drums and wise cracks. Guitarists Gil Chinn, Larry Robinson and Mikaleno sit in.

Frantic desperate saxophone wailing with enough humor to set it apart from the mainstream. “Cooked” is a tune that Captain Beefheart would be proud of and like Larry says, “Come for the food but stay for the ‘fuck you’”.

GitM - People is Beautiful (GULCH 602)

Gays in the Military; this is a stylistic train wreck between a not so typical vagabond punk rock band from Chicago and mid-sixties psychedelic lounge act, right out in the broad daylight for everyone to see. It is lewd, crude and rude. An indecisive grudge match fought to a sweaty bloody draw at the astro-sonic jazz festival, all filmed in gorgeous technicolor by Toho. Oh no, there goes Tokyo. There is just too much going on here to sort out. This is pure chaos but has a very cool cover by Peter Bagge and does have a few times when the clouds separate to reveal moments of coalescence. You should seek advice from your parents before you listen to this. Best track: “Hips or Lips?”

Angel Corpus Christi – Louie Louie (GULCH 601)

Accordionist, pop singer, Andrea Ross, wife of Rich Stim, pays her tribute to Lou Reed complete with faux “Transformer” cover. This has all of the cliched and most banal aspects of the velveeta coke sniffin’ Studio 54 danceteria sights and sounds, décor and so much more, yet done in a way that says, “yeah, we all get the joke, now lets daaaaance.” The tongue is held firmly in cheek but in the chest beats a rock ‘n’ roll heart.

All but three of the bakers dozen are Lou Reed compositions, albeit some very odd ones. Richard Berry’s title track, Serge Gainsbourg’s “Je T’aime” and Ross and Stim’s own, “Lou Reed’s Hair” are the exceptions. “Lou Reed’s Hair” is the prime cut here. It evokes and revels in the best of the Velvet Underground’s quieter times, yet has a wicked barbed wit that would draw blood, then kiss it and make it all better.

Guest artists include ex Galaxie 500 and Luna guitarist Dean Wareham, Britta Phillips, Sonic Boom, George Earth, Matt Price, Don Ciccone, Rich Stim and Luther Blue.

In this retro schmaltz format Ross uses the accordion in a way that does not draw attention to the instrument itself but to what is being played, what she can do with it. Good, intelligent, funny, well executed and true to it’s dance floor roots.

A trio from Gulcher Records


Like a drunken bat out of Bloomington Indiana, Gulcher Records was hanging ten at the leading edge of the cresting do it yourself wave, releasing the Gizmo’s rookie EP (GULCH 001) in 1976. Along with Terry Ork’s release of Television’s “Littler Johnny Jewel” (Ork 81975) from ’75 and Patti Smith’s Robert Maplethorpe financed “Piss Factory” (Mer 601) in 1974, Glucher helped usher in punk’s do it yourself era. Greg Shaw of Bomp Records issued the Flamin’ Groovies “You Tore Me Dawn” somewhere in this same time frame and let’s not forget Ralph Records’ “Meet the Residents” from ‘74. All contributed to the grassroots DIY ethos that is still going strong today with self released, home burned CD-Rs. Another Gulcher related band from the early bubblings of punk DIY was MX-80 Sound. Their debut waxing “Big Hits” saw the sun break the dawn in 1976.

you better slow that Mustang down...

I would be seriously remiss to allow the passing of one of the truly great truly original voices in rock and roll history to go unrecognized; ladies and gentlemen a warm adieu for Wicked Wilson Pickett. 634-5789 that's my number.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

close cover before striking

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I AM EXPLODING Berkeley 1-12-05 in pictures

Thursday, January 12, 2006

TONIGHT!!! ska/punk at the Berkeley Cafe

Checkered Entertainment Presents...


The Semantics

I Am Exploding


High School Football Heroes

Thursday January 12th 8:00 pm @

Berkeley Cafe
217 West Martin Street
Raleigh NC

over 21 $5.00
under 21 $7.00


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Rebound Romance

Long slender fingers
wrapped around a long neck Lone Star beer.
A look that lingers
dancing in your eyes glancing over here.
Are you bouncing back from broken love?

Soft tender kisses,
As sweet as the wine almost as wet.
My hits his misses.
I forget what I came here to forget.
Are you bouncing back from broken love?

On the rebound.
On the rebound.

Star crossed lovers,
nameless passion passing in the night.
Forsake all others.
It’s strange but you make me feel so right.
Are you bouncing back from broken love?

Rebound romance.
Rebound romance.

I wrote this as a joke. It was supposed to be a parody of "country" music. Here is a demo recorded at Duck Kee by Michael Dupree.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Tune Up and Cry

Bartender, pour me another Miller Lite.
Tell me one more naughty story.
The rusting hog outside,
the one we used to ride,
is fading into the cold dark night.

Big spender, drop another coin in the jukebox.
You and I could dance the night away.
My empty heartless pride,
could be pushed aside,
melting into your arms tonight.

Hold me close, pretend you care tonight.
Hold me close, just be there tonight.
Set me up a few more memories
Before I tune up and cry.
Before I tune up and cry.

Hey stranger, buy me another drink or two.
I’ll be your honky tonk angel.
Drinking to forget
But I remember yet,
We just met but I think I love you.

this was written for J Love (& the Janitors) but was never recorded.
Michael Dupree recorded this demo at Duck Kee.

Friday, January 06, 2006

the voyage of the piper

happy birthday Roger Keith Barrett

60 years old today but Syd remains forever young...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

one goat to another one said...

HaPpY bIrThDaY jEaNnE!!!

I love you.

Sunday, January 01, 2006


I try to write.
Words won't come.
I try to get meaning from

I try flight.
Wings broken.
I try to get meaning from

hopeless, hopeless.
Speak to me
in wordless expression.

I try to fight.
Bruised and dumb.
I try to get meaning from