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Showing posts from June, 2009

Warped Two

Reading through Pete's article on DFW's suburban mall punk, I find myself preparing for a major generation gap at Sunday's Warped Tour date. Seeing myself, a thirty-year-old with an old soul but reluctance to adhere to certain adult responsibilities, being around a bunch of teenagers and college students eating up all sorts of music, multimedia, and extreme sports, will definitely be something I don't see everyday. And that's OK by me. I remember seeing a major generation gap when my band opened for Tilly and the Wall a few years ago. None of us had heard of the band, but there was a line almost wrapped around the venue before the doors opened. We played to our biggest crowd, and many of them were teenagers or UNT students who had never heard of us before. After the show, our lead guitarist came up to me recalling times when he wondered why old guys were at punk shows. Now he was the old guy, and just didn't get what these young folks were about. Personally, I


This Sunday will mark only the second time I've been to the Warped Tour. I was asked if I planned on covering it for the Observer , and I figured what the hell. I figured this will be a worthwhile (and very large) show to cover, so I'm looking forward to it. Of course, I'm over-preparing for a long, hot day with all sorts of precautions. Sometimes I wonder if the Boy Scouts motto of "Be prepared" is more about overpreparing and overanalyzing for things that may or may not happen. I know that all too well. I got lucky when I went to my first Warped Tour back in 1998. Since there was a threat of rain, the entire show was moved from the parking lot to inside the Astroarena. The Astroarena was built for conventions and not built for concerts, but that didn't stop Nirvana from coming through there on the In Utero tour. I never heard any complaints about sound or the sound system, but then again, you can miss a lot of over-ring and flutters with earplugs in. Keep

Taking a break from all your worries

Once again, a look into my motivation to do things and the lack of motivation to do things. In the last month or so, I've decided to take on a feat that seems big and momentous, but I'm up for the challenge. And that challenge is to watch all eleven seasons of Cheers . Watching all those episodes might take the rest of the year, but I don't mind. And I don't mind hearing "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" over and over again. What prompted this desire came from the last show I had a tremendous drive to watch from start to finish: the re-imagined version of Battlestar Galactica . While watching the "Taking a Break From All Your Worries" episode with Ronald D. Moore's commentary on, he confirmed that the episode's title was indeed a nod to the Cheers theme song. Couple that with the fact that the entire series was on DVD, I figured why not. I saw a few episodes of Cheers when it was originally on. But due to the fact that the lighting (yes, th


Well, after months of rumors, the big news is now official : the original line-up of Sunny Day Real Estate will stage a fall tour to coincide with reissues of their first two albums, Diary and LP2 . Couple that with more rumblings about the recent patching-up between former members of At the Drive-In and the Get Up Kids reuniting and touring (as well as Hot Water Music), and you have some really interesting codas to the bands featured in POST . Am I happy that some of the bands I featured have reunited? Sure. Am I in a rush to put out an updated version with the band chapters for the Get Up Kids, Sunny Day Real Estate, and At the Drive-In? Not really. My book covers roughly the years between 1985 to 2007, even though I made the material as current to when my deadline for edits came (which was mid-2008). You can't wait forever for these things. I had heard about discussions of a Sunny Day reunion, but nothing was set in stone. Again, I couldn't wait forever on these things. Be

What a Wonderful World

Something peculiar came over the speakers at the Tom Thumb I regularly shop at a few weeks ago: Joey Ramone's version of "What A Wonderful World." In that moment, I realized that everything is right in this world. Sure there's unpleasantry and unfairness, but to hear Joey's rendition of a song made so iconic by Louis Armstrong, in a place that caters towards anyone and everyone, was great. What I find interesting is how all of my life, up until college, the music played in grocery stores was easily considered soft rock to easy listening. I still love that music to this day, but I understand when certain people curse the name of Barry Manilow or Engelbert Humperdinck for creating schmaltz for the establishment. That kind of music is the opposite of rock music: loose, care-free, and angry. In other words, music that's perfect for parents shopping for juiceboxes and grandparents looking for Fixodent. If anything, I would expect Kenny G's redundant version of

It's Never Too Late

I don't think it's ever too late to see coverage for POST . This one is from last week on the NBC Around Town blog. Also mentioned is Zac Crain's book on Dimebag Darrell. POST: A Look at the Influence of Post-Hardcore, 1985-2007 by Eric Grubbs (iUniverse, 2008) Former Punk Planet scribe and recently recruited Dallas Observer music reviewer Eric Grubbs wrote a book about a lot of the same bands anthologized in Andy Greenwald's Nothing Feels Good: Punk Rock, Teenagers and Emo . Where Greenwald acts as an anthropologist, psychoanalyzing Jimmy Eat World on tour to some disappointment and conducting interviews over instant messenger with whiny, suburban Dashboard Confessional fans, Grubbs is a geneaologist, dissecting At The Drive-In's song structures and tracing trends -- he calls them "bloodlines" -- back to Dischord Records. Grubbs got his brain picked for Greg Kot's Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music , released last month on Simon

The road taken

Yesterday, Donna wrote a very thoughtful post about the road taken and the road not taken with the path she and Noel have gone down. Coming from the perspective of being married with children, there are plenty of trade-offs. Sure, there might be less opportunity to ride rollercoasters around the country, take in ball games around the country, or going out to the movies regularly, but like my sister and brother-in-law say, the emotional rewards of being married and raising children are plenty. The deal is, this way of life is the complete opposite of what my day-to-day life is. As great as it may be, there's plenty that isn't great. I've known people who would like weeks, even months, off from their day-to-day life. The deal is, I highly, highly doubt these people would really know what to do with all this time off. On top of that, trying to adjust to a different schedule would not be easy. You might miss the crap, but you'll miss the great stuff too. As it has been mad

How to Scare the Crap Out of Me in a Film

I recently took in a viewing of The Brood , David Cronenberg's 1979 classic film. While watching it, I found myself severely creeped out. Even though the film's plot has a very common structure (you can guess who's gonna get off'ed from a mile away), the pacing, editing, and music all made for a great racking of the nerves. Yet here I am all these days later, thinking about the things that truly disturbed me or made me feel really uneasy about the film. Turns out I've felt that way before with other horror movies (and believe it or not, documentaries), and I noticed a pattern. So much of a pattern that I thought it would be fun (?) to share these things. Three Ways You Can Scare the Crap Out of Me in a Film 1. Involve young, innocent children being abducted or chased. In The Brood , Candy is just a nice little girl who's dealing with her parents' divorce. Seeing her get all caught up in the mess was not pleasant. Also see the first Saw film and the original

Viva Voce/Cut Off Your Hands DC9 review

My review of the Viva Voce/Cut Off Your Hands/Robert Gomez show is now online. Viva Voce, Cut Off Your Hands, and Robert Gomez Hailey's Club June 12th, 2009 Better Than: imagining Clap Your Hands Say Yeah covering Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends in itsentirety. Hailey's hosted another fine show on Friday night, but only a couple dozen people came out to see it. Luckily, this small crowd really wanted to see the acts. Viva Voce, supporting its newly-released fourth album, Rose City , headlined with a full hour-long set. The former duo (now a quartet) played a handful of fine songs from that latest record, as well as older favorites like "From the Devil Himself." It helped that Anita Robinson, with a gentle, soothing voice, was quite ferocious on lead guitar; from bluesy bends to searing slides, Anita did what great guitarists do--make it look so easy. Read the rest here .


During this move down the hall, I realized that the two bookshelves I inherited can now replace my overstuffed DVD rack. What I'm doing with this rack is using it for its original purpose: holding CDs. While I don't want to say any ballpark numbers, I will say that the number of CDs that were on the floor of my old room on Monday was enough to fill almost the entire floor. When the CDs were mostly put in the big shelf I have, I found myself with a lot of space on my other rack. So I've finally been able to do something I've never done before: unpack boxes (yes, boxes) of CDs that have stored promo CDs I picked up from KTCU, Punk Planet , and various other outlets that never really caught my ear or I never listened to. Yes, I am padding my collection, but I have a very good reason to do this. If I let my collection stand before all the "padding," the rack would tumble over because of a lack of weight. Plus, I'll get a chance to give a good second rope-aroun

How Well Do You Know Me?

If you've seen these "How Well Do You Know Me?" quizes, I thought it would be fun to explain some things behind the one that I created for my friends to take. Since one of the greatest difficulties I had in high school and college was overthinking and second-guessing multiple choice tests (or multiple guess, as one professor I had called it), I figured I could explain some of the ideas and answers. Do I own Grubbs Nissan, the car dealership? a)Of course, and George Grubbs III is my father! b)Yes, but I also own Grubbs Infinity. c)Nope. That's a different Eric Grubbs. d)Maybe, but in a limited capacity. Even to this day, people ask me if I own a Nissan dealership in Bedford and if I'm George Grubbs III's son. Well, I can't get you a good deal on a Nissan, and my father's name is Roy James Grubbs III. So the answer is "C." My sister, cousins, and a few friends answered this one correctly. Which one of the following bands do I NOT like? a)Ben Fo

Movin' on up . . . the hall

I'm currently undergoing probably one of the strangest moves I've ever done before: I'm moving down the hall. More specifically, I'm moving to the back bedroom in the house I've been in since September of 2004. There will be some packing, but very little of it. It's just moving things here and there for the next three weeks into a larger bedroom that was once occupied by Jason. (He moved ten minutes away to a house with his girlfriend, and I have a new housemate moving in during the first week of July.) Prior to living here, I moved a lot of times for college. During my first semester at TCU, I lived in an apartment fifteen minutes away from campus, and cannot say it was the most joyous time of my life. I moved into a co-ed dorm the following semester, then into the newly-built on-campus apartments the semester after that. By then, I had already moved more times than I had ever moved. Frankly, until I moved to where I live now, I never really got the sense that

The End of July

In no fault to the band Sarge or their song "The End of July," but ever since I heard that song for the first time, something usually crappy happens to me in July. Seven years ago, I was told someone was moving into my apartment when the lease was up. Two years ago, two people I highly value were almost killed in a helicopter crash. One year ago, someone I truly valued died suddenly of a heart attack. With almost every year, all the really crappy stuff is saved for July and July only, and I can't seem to understand. I don't think I'm a crap magnet; these are just things that come with life. There's the good and the bad, and how you look at them is big key to understanding life. On one hand with next month, I have jury duty. On the other hand, I have a new housemate moving in. On one hand it will be hotter than blazes, as my mother would say. On the other hand, I might have a new dog to have around the house. On one hand, electricity bills will be higher. On th

Rock & Roll Creation

As much as I liked the ANVIL: The Story of Anvil documentary , I couldn't help but wonder why a lot people, whenever there's a fictional film or documentary on a band, almost always bring up This is Spinal Tap . It's as if there's only one movie out there about being in a band, metal or non-metal, and it's the classic "rockumentary" about the fictional band, Spinal Tap. Please do not think I'm hating on This is Spinal Tap . I love that film, and it's funnier on repeat viewings over the years. What I'm trying to ask is why so many people think bands on film are subject to the drama, dilemmas, and humor only found in This is Spinal Tap . In the case of ANVIL , the comparisons are easy to make because there are many obvious tie-ins: band doesn't get more than cult praise, the drummer is named Robb Reiner, there's a shot of turning a dial up to 11 while they record their new album, the road manager and guitarist fall in love, the band vis

All You Good Good People

Over the weekend, I stumbled upon a large stack of CMJ sampler CDs in Jason's CD shelf. Now, if you ever were in college radio, CMJ is a familiar (and, in my opinion, very reputable) source for telling the difference between the chaff and the wheat. Having a monthly sampler CD included only sweetened the deal. Now, the stack of samplers were from 1994 to 1999, also known as the time that I really got into music beyond what was on regular MTV and radio. From listening to Lunar Rotation or Modern Rock Live to taping 120 Minutes , there was plenty of great stuff out there. And I have to admit, there was a lot of sentimental stuff that came rushing back into my head when I saw the samplers on Saturday night. And -- no surprise -- it got me to thinking. For most of the 1990s, major labels were willing to do things like re-release Catatonia's Equally Blessed and Cursed stateside and release Smoking Popes records. In other words, bands who weren't aiming for the top of the Bi