Live from K's

Perhaps the last bastion of Andy Griffith-esque life in Troy, Ohio -- K's Hamburgers, right there on Main St. hasn't changed much since it began in 1935. At least it hasn't changed a bit since the last time I had dinner there. I've been hankering for nostalgia every time I head home, and this seemed like it would conjure up the most. Was I making too big a deal out of their little crispy hamburgers, "wet" fried and smashed on a smallish bun? As of this visit, the answer is no. The interior remains the same, the malts still there, the grizzled 70-something wait-staff still cackle 'your order's ready' in no discernible direction, the tiny men's bathroom still reminds me of some back-alley in a more industrial baby-boomtown, the price so low you can eat like a king (at least king of the Trojan Square) for under $5. Now that the festival's have shut down, my latest obsession falls with the fabled eateries of Western Ohio. Stay tuned, as I'm destined to go that way as much as possible, if only for the comfort of the Elliott family fireplace.


Those the Shjips I Was Looking For

When I first heard "Dance California" and read the description laid upon San Francisco's Wooden Shjips, I thought it was a collective of like-minded late-teenagers finally finding the truth in kraut, forgoing anything post in order to jam cosmic. Six months later I'm inebriated mere hours past noon, the Austin sun is beating down on the pavement, and I'm in a cave-like bungalow known as Beerland with only a handful of know-it-alls bobbing heads to a bearded forty-thirty-something bohemian with the raddest guitar seen in my life. It was Wooden Shjips -- in all their old-age, long-haired, infinite wisdom -- handing out free vinyl after the smoked had cleared. Well I played that 7" into the ground, and made many believers in its wake, but that full length? Let's just say it doesn't hold same sonic blister as does the live show.

Their limited Sol '07 almost did the trick, since it was an actual live recording, but it wasn't until their Sub Pop debut, Loose Lips, that I became devout towards their magnetic output. For some reason this is indicative of the performance more that anything before it. The keyboards and bass are far out front, the vocals not to intimidating (simply going with the flow), and the guitars carving on forever (the bread and butter of the band). Carving on forever, and ever, and ever. You'd think the song was 15 minutes.

Seriously, go buy this.


Keeping Up with the Gibbons Brothers

For Siltbreeze Alasehir's The Philosophy of Living Fire is release number nine. It's fitting considering that the trio is pretty much Bardo Pond sans vocals and oblique instrumentation, things that might get in the way of the Gibbons Brothers living room meditations/excursions. I'm afraid if Mr. Woodbe (or Lax) has one soft spot in his body, it's kneeling at the temple of the Pond, a Philly institution that has become more religion than band. Really, this duo should pass around a charity plate whenever company comes over and they just so happen to both pick up guitars. Imagine what those Matador Records (there's four to dig into) would sound like stripped to their bare elements, endless blooze jams pounded out into endless mantras, those enormous amorphous miasmas sapped of colour and tinted black and white while the listener floats in infinite gray-space.

Who knows how much drugs play a part anymore? I don't know the bros personally, but I remember a dorm room, a bong hit, and a cassette copy of Amanita at a very impressionable age. It was enough to make a believer outta me. Within the three tracks of Philosophy the trio finds the core of freedom, some repetitive release from past musics, chiseling deep into dark space. An endless boogie? After all, Alasehir is the modern name of the holy city of Philadelphia, Turkey. Look it up. There's certainly something sacred about these recordings.

And that brings me to Siltbreeze, and how they've got the cache to receive such grail. Oh how you've done so much for my social life this 2007. May I suggest a couple ideas for your 10th release? Just to end the year in a nice round number? How 'bout a vinyl comp. of all the strange voice mails you must receive in a given week, or yourself reading the correspondence that gets shoved through your mail slot? Or better yet, a little comp. of the best of the trash you get sent on a regular basis. Surely there's a teen from Ulan Bator recording "collage-scape" that we all don't know about yet. It's prolly worth hearing. Basically I'm saying, you've saved a lot of independent face this year. Saved Matador. Written the greatest one-sheet in the history of music promotion (I've read through a million). And turned me onto DER TPK,Pink Reason, Sapat, Factums, all long-players of the year. What's your sweater size?


25 Mintues With Pre (And Dry Jeans)

My time with Pre was brief. I wasn't expecting Pre, I wanted Pissed Jeans, but they had bedtimes apparently and when I arrived they were huddled around the dim lamppost outside the Bobo, looking like regular dudes, not the scum-rock fist-punk saviors found on Shallow. By all accounts their live show was great, but I'll stand by the razzing I gave Hope for Men, a disappointment that should be fully ignored. Shame on Sub Pop.

Back to the four blokes and nymphet from the United Kingdom that seized my attention in spastic spurts of proggy nihilism. I'd thought that I'd grown out of this Skin Graft state of mind -- I was once fascinated with the free-form skronk of Space Streakings and the detailed velocity of Melt Banana -- Pre however seemed to play with unconscious primal ism instead of studied histrionics. This is not Beefheart on 45. Each tiny knick and twist accelerated to Soul Disco absurdities. They've got Boredoms on the brain and that's a movement I can get behind.

Speaking of behinds, I saw the word "shtick" cleverly scrawled on a cocktail napkin to describe the singer's skimpy attire and sexual gyrations. Sure the sausage in the front row were drooling on their used shoes, but the sheer amount of sweat this girl shed allows her any uniform, any form of shock tactics she wants to throw down. The sleazy force of Pre prefectly fit the dingy environs and by night's end, or 25 minutes later, I had to crank my jaw back into place.


Mission Statement Revisited

You're probably as sad as I am that Stylus is dead. They were a nice fit for me. And somehow, having this blog linked through that site I was getting a lot of traffic (spam). So I thought I'd start anew here with the mission statement as read on the Stylus link:

“Teenagers Unite” is the permanent mantra heard in the World of W├╝mme, for though we age gracefully and our tastes become more refined, we forever cling to that 18 to 35 demographic until we choke out our last breath. If anything, this blog is a resource for young soldiers fighting a daily culture war on the streets. It’s a document filled with detailed tactics and strategy handed down to future generations aimed at creating a brave new world. We have a responsibility to reverse the predictions of an Orwellian fate and to build, to unleash a vertical proliferation of kaleidoscopic colors and deafening sound.

Happy November Already.