Wednesday, June 28, 2006

i write stuff.

March, huh? So you say you haven't felt like posting since last March and even then it was just a photo of Damon Albarn?? For shame.
Yes, it's true; I lost interest in the blogging. I even lost interest in reading most other blogs as well. I still read you ain't no picasso daily; because, let's face it, Matt blogs so often that he pretty much covers all the bases. There's also Optical Atlas; being an E6 friend it's crucial for me to keep abreast of all new happenings in that circle. Really, that's about it. But this may mark me getting back into the game here.
I recently began writing for the music website Harmonium. Reviews, previews, witty anecdotes, etc. I may also start contributing to other publications as well and thought that it would make a lot of sense to also post my musings here. Because I can. Pictures too. So, here's the most recent:

Late B.P. Helium / Thee American Revolution
The Dame in Lexington, KY

The mere existence of Robert Schneider’s new band, The American Revolution, is no secret. However, details about the band are being left intentionally vague. Through a series of dropped hints, their song “Subscriptions to Magazines” being featured on a local compilation, and two deafening performances, some of us have gotten a chance to put some of the pieces together. The band performs as a trio; however, whenever Robert refers to the band he lists only himself and his brother-in-law Craig Morris as members, but also points out that there is a separate mastermind at work, guiding the band in the direction of his choosing. A man Robert addressed as “Billy” and thanked halfway through TAR’s set.
As far as the music itself goes, it has been described as “super fuzzy lo-fi psych-pop”, “retardo rock”, and “acid rock”. Think perhaps Deep Purple meets The Stooges meets (early) Pink Floyd. The music is very heavy and psychedelic and would be best accompanied by a fog machine and a liquid projector.
While this is all true, Schneider and Morris are still pop masters, and these sensibilities come through even in their TAR songs. The droning, distorted guitar lines never fail to fade long enough to hear a handclap or two and the songs contain excellent vocal melodies sung by Mr. Schneider himself.
There are very few TAR recordings; the band probably played every song they know onstage Monday night. They kicked into a magnificent psych-pop tune entitled “She's Coming Down” and while sounding as if all the fuzz may implode the speakers, it was all too perfect. The band played about nine or so more songs before closing their set with the favorite “Subscriptions To Magazines”, which Schneider claims he and Morris didn’t even realize was a rip-off of “Smoke On The Water” until after they had recorded it. But honestly, it didn’t matter if no one there knew any TAR songs by heart; it didn’t matter that some people didn’t know who Robert or Craig (lead guitar) or Otto (drums) were. If they happened to wander into The Dame in Lexington, KY on the night of the 26th they got their asses blown out by Thee American Revolution and that does matter.
One day everyone is going to know about this band and they won’t be playing to crowds of 20 anymore.

The Late BP Helium is the moniker under which Brian Poole performs and records. It may seem as if a self-proclaimed acid rock band would not be the most logical choice to precede the pop-rock, kazoo wielding Poole but, in actuality, they’re not far off from one another. B.P. has always been an experimental musician, manipulating and moving vocals around, not shying away from incorporating any type of instrument (no matter how un-pop they may be), and even perhaps including an unnerving chant into a track. Having played with Elf Power and Of Montreal, B.P. is also a connoisseur of delightful pop songs and is no stranger to the sweeter side of things, much like Schneider himself.
The Late BP Helium performed to, perhaps, the smallest crowd they had ever seen Monday night. It may be hard to imagine a band such as LBPH live, as opposed to banging on chicken wire in a studio somewhere, twisting knobs and recording themselves in bathrooms in order to get the sound that they do. BUT it’s certainly not a difficult show to watch. LBPH were magnificent and rocked socks off throughout the bar. Granted, there weren’t many socks in attendance but still.
The songs are filled out by guitars, guitars, guitars. B.P. and touring guitarist Casper Fandango (of Casper and the Cookies) could even be seen playing their instruments with their mouths at various points in the evening and B.P. even invited Schneider and his wife Marci Mars onstage to play percussion on “Candy For Everyone”. All of The Late BP Helium's songs have such a momentum to them, it makes you feel as if you're being thrust through the air while actually you're glued to the spot, transfixed and unmoving.
In the past I have claimed Late BP Helium to be an updated version of the Velvet Underground and they more than solidified this grandiose declaration with their performance Monday night. The only thing I’m left wondering is why B.P. spends so much time touring with other bands and not doing this full time.