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Showing posts from September, 2011

Near Wild Heaven

As much as it's old news at this point -- and many thought this should have happened a number of years before -- I've been meaning to write about R.E.M.'s decision to call it a day last week. With this week's edition of My First Show featuring a remembrance of seeing the band on the Monster tour, I have a few things to share. I read plenty of well-written tributes to the band last week, but the one that really rang true for me was -- no surprise here -- the one The A.V. Club did. With fond memories in them, writers like Noel, Josh, and Kyle hit the bullseye on what's it like to be a fan of this band. Keith's final line really hit me: Some music you hear. Some music marks you, and shows you where you’re headed before you even know. Referring to where he was in his life when he heard the R.E.M. records that impacted him the most, it's interesting how the band was there at pivotal moments. I, along with many others, can understand the sentiment. Even th

Crawl Space

After many months of trying, I came to a conclusion last night: Breaking Bad will probably not be one of my favorite all-time TV shows. I say this fully acknowledging the show is very well-written, acted, and produced, but at the end of the day (moreover, when I'm thinking about something to watch over dinner), I cannot join my friends in the near-universal praise. I played catch-up with the series during its hiatus before season four began, so this is my first season I've watched week-to-week. And I've passed the point of whether or not I should continue watching the show. I don't hate the show per se; I can't give up on a show with characters I've taken a lot of time to know. I want to know how the series will end, so I'm hanging on through the end of this season and I will watch its final, fifth season when it airs. Without going into spoiler territory, I point towards never-ending chasing of tails. When there's a problem that seemingly can't

In the end, all you can hope for is the love you felt to equal the pain you've gone through

Two weeks ago, I reviewed Tim Kasher's show at the Loft. If you haven't read the review yet, I thought it was a great show overall that became a little unglued at the end. Well, at the end of every show review for DC9, we do a "Critic's Notebook" mentioning personal bias, random quotes, or whatever else we feel like sharing that wouldn't fit in the body of the review. In the case of the Kasher show, I wrote the following in my Personal Bias section: I am a fan of Kasher's stuff, but there are times when I find Album of the Year and The Game of Monogamy very hard to listen to. It's not because of the music -- it's the brutal honesty and vulnerability found in the lyrics. I think I needed this show. There was a sentence between the second and third sentence that didn't make the final draft. I'm not pointing fingers or whining at why it was excised. Rather, I figured I'd explain a little more about what I was talking about. Frankly,

My first show

This week's edition is with Eric Larson, bassist for Ume. He grew up in Houston and his first punk show was at the same venue that mine was. Great talking with him, and Ume is incredible live. And if one just wasn't enough for this week's edition, I also interviewed Tom from the Horrors on his first show experiences. Read that one here .

First World Problems

I've recently encountered a phrase that fits perfectly into understanding the severity of something: first world problem. Often a hashtag on Twitter, the phrase has stuck and it's spawned some funny sites like this one. In many ways, I find this an evolution of the Stuff White People Like blog : white people with a certain amount of financial security and particular lifestyle habits poking fun at themselves. It's all harmless and I find the humor in it is as well. Yet knowing about this self-awareness makes me even more cautious to talk about my "problems." It's a great gauge to understand what's an earth-shattering problem and what is not. Merely watching snippets of a Real Housewives show or My Super Sweet 16 can show you plenty. I try to be careful about what I whine about -- knowing full well that I am a lucky and fortunate person. It's like that line in Swingers (in the same conversation that spawned the title of this here blog), where Rob

Postcard from 1952

A few years ago, I hoped to interview somebody from Explosions in the Sky for a Punk Planet feature. Their album, All of a Sudden, I Miss Everyone , blew my mind and I wrote a very lengthy review. Well, I never got to interview somebody for a Punk Planet item because the magazine closed down, but I was happy to make up for it with the Observer . In addition to yesterday's My First Show, I did a half-page feature that also runs in the print edition. You can read it here .

Where you're from, where you are

In hopes of making interviews into friendly conversations, I'm always searching for icebreakers. Be it the town they're from, mutual friends we have, or when I saw them play live, I like to have things a little loose and fun. I definitely don't want to sound like a robot feeding questions into a mainframe computer. Lately, I've talked with many a folk who are from the Houston area and it's always a fun topic. Earlier today, I conducted an interview for an upcoming My First Show piece and Houston was brought up quite a bit. Given how pop-punk was brought up as well, the conversation went deeper than the surface. It's about searching for reference points and finding spots to explore more, even if it's about a past life. These days, I visit my hometown only a couple of times a year. I try to strike a balance between having my own life in Dallas and having Houston as my home away from home. I'm always welcome to make the four-hour drive, yet I prefer to be

Cold Love

In this week's print edition, I wrote the main feature . It's on Maleveller, probably the only metal band I've interviewed where we could have talked at length about Richard Hawley and Elliott Smith. Also, I covered Tim Kasher's show last night. It was epic to say the least!

My first show

For this week's edition , I interviewed Tim Kasher, someone I've been a fan of for many years. So far, I've seen Cursive four times and the Good Life once, and I've never come away disappointed. And if that wasn't enough, I also interviewed David Rogers-Berry from O'Death for a bonus edition of the column.

Tied to the '90s

I've spent a lot of time during this Labor Day weekend combing through many used-CD bins at a couple of Movie Trading Company locations. With a special of "Buy two, get one free" with 99-cent CDs, I've amassed a few small stacks for a total price of three new CDs. While this makes my library even larger, I can't help notice what I've bought: almost all of these CDs were by bands I remember from high school or college. Only a few came out after I graduated college, which was ten years ago. I'm talking Neil Finn, Dance Hall Crashers, Catatonia, Space, the Juliana Theory, and Underworld, to name a few. Records that I remember holding, whether I was at a Best Buy or at my college radio station. There's a different set of memories there -- and quite different from seeing songs saved as MP3s on my computer. I find this stuff to be treasure. I doubt some of this stuff is on the Internet -- and it's been cheaper to get them in the used bin instead