September 24, 2009

New Blood: Secret Tones

As of January I didn't really know of anything from San Luis Obispo besides it's mission. That is until i stumbled upon Secret Tones, Secret Tones are a gothic sort of post punk band that Thee Outernet describes as "Cure at their best, (and) Bauhaus at their most intense". Amidst San Luis' clean coastal air and beautiful clear skies Secret Tones have gradually got on their feet playing live aswell as recording and releasing their debut tape "Morning Never Comes". The second week of October finds them embarking on their first mini tour of Southern California and Arizona with dates with Trudgers Blessure Grave and No Paws. Also it will mark their Debut on Family time with a 6 song Cassette and Cdr still untitled.

This is the song "Soft Pulse" off of their self released tape.

Secret Tones Mini Tour Dates
Thursday Oct 8th Back to the Grind-Riverside W/No Paws and Trudgers
Friday Oct 9th TBA Pheonix or Tempe House Show W/Blessure Grave and Trudgers
Saturday Oct 10th Soda Bar -San Diego W/ Blessure Grave No Paws and Trudgers

All of these are going to be Trudgers first shows with its current line-up and with his debut release "Stag at the Social" on Hi Shadow!!

ALSO! Blessure Grave is playing on the 12th of October at the Part Time Punks Fest in Los Angeles!

New Blood: Tan Dollar

I saw this band awhile back when Kevin Greenspon dragged me to the Echo Curio after seeing some friends play at The Smell. I was kind of tired, and bummed that I was going to a show so late as I would probably miss a lot of bands. I missed Hell Kite, which was shitty, but I am sure she will come back soon enough. Anyways, I went to this show with little to no hopes or expectations only to be pleasantly surprised by the closing act. Tan Dollar was the only band that I caught at the E.C. that night, but they absolutely justified my having gone.

Synth rock for days, I became instantly nostalgic of when No Paws wrote pop songs and had Jillian singing. The synth is robust, and creates a sort of dynamic energy that makes you shake at the songs crest, and smile at the sweet release. The drums are on point, but subtle as fuck. I feel like if they had a crazy stupid drummer, then they would sound like Religious Girls or any other exp. band trying to be punk. Luckily, they don’t. The vocals are often nonexistent, but when the singers do chime in, it is as complimentary as the drums. This band seems to exemplify the meaning of balance.

I went home and added them on myspace, and after a few short months they threw up two different EPs for free download. BLISS. The first one I got was “Pink Sky,” and that one was and still is my jam. Less vocals, but excellent sound craftsmanship throughout and a surprisingly good recording quality. The other EP available is untitled, with more pointillist synth rhythms and much more vocals. It is also a good listen.

This band is solid. Download their shit, and go see them play at Ports O Call on Dec. 9th with Baby birds don’t drink milk, Kevin Greenspon, and Nicole Kidman.

September 20, 2009

New Blood: Former Ghosts

This is an interview with Freddy Ruppert about Former Ghosts.

Family Time: From This Song is a Mess but so Am I to Former Ghosts you have changed your sound completely, but still most of your songs that I have heard stress sorrow and longing. Do you feel that the sadness has spilled over from your personal life, like in This Song is a Mess? Or do you find it most natural to create in that way?

Freddy Ruppert: It is kind of weird, but it seems that the only time I am actually able to create music is from an emotional place of sorrow. Anytime I am happy and I try and create something it just doesn't seem to work. Maybe someday, I hope that it will come naturally at some point in my life. I think I would like that a lot actually. It seems like for now though, I tend to use music as an outlet to express things that I have no other means to express. It seems when I'm really happy I over express that to people in many ways other than music. I would hate for people to get the idea that I'm a crazy depressed jerk because of my music; there is a lot more to my life than just these songs. A lot of my part within Former Ghosts comes from feelings of longing, love, and desperation. The biggest influence for me on the upcoming record is love at all of its most extreme points with a particular person.

FT: With that said, what is your favorite "sad"(for lack of a better word) record?

FR: I think my favorite "sad" record of all time is probably It'll End In Tears by This Mortal Coil. It's just brutal. Completely brutal.

FT: This Song is a Mess... albums were pretty lengthy, not in a bad way, but I have been finding more and more artists are doing shorter albums that consist of 9 or 10 tracks. On "Fleurs" how did you realize that this album was complete? This is a strange question; but I’m just curious as to how "Fleurs" was completed considering it is a debut.
FR: It is a little hard to explain because it has more to do with a personal feeling. I guess for me, when I set to work on a release it's about capturing a snapshot or making a photo album about a time in my life. "Fleurs" mainly deals with love and and longing and events with a particular person in my life. Originally, I would just record a version of the song and post it on my personal blog for her to see them and then I would take them down. But for whatever reason, it seemed to be an effective way for us to communicate. The theme of "Fleurs" isn't love in general and I think I just knew that my part of the album was done after I felt like it captured those feelings for me at that time? All of my lyrics on the album are really simple and straightforward. I can't speak for the songs that Jamie and Nika sing because they wrote their own lyrics.

FT: Because "Fleurs" is a snapshot of your personal life, with its completion has your outlook changed of it? I know that sometimes people can feel differently about something with time and adjusted perspective.

FR: This would happen a lot with the This Song Is A Mess But So Am I releases. It just captures a part of my life and then it kind of gets let go. It becomes a part of the past. When I look back on it, it just becomes this sort of thing where it's like "ok this is what I was feeling at the time so I put this out there" and whether that's for better or worse, or the motives behind it, or whatever, people will always have their opinions some of them mean spirited, some of them nice. It doesn't matter. It's just what I do. It's too early for me to say anything about Fleurs. With the This Song Is A Mess But So Am I stuff, I wrote most of it after the event, after the fact, looking back at it in a way, as a way to deal with the passing of my mom. With Fleurs, it is kind of different because everything was written simultaneous, as it happened. So I don't know. I'm sure my perspective of it will change as time goes by, what that perspective will actually be yet, I can't say.

FT: "Fleurs" isn't out yet but I feel it’s safe to assume you have been working on more music, what is next on your release schedule?
FR: I'm not sure yet because it seems to be shifting for me. I originally had a lot of split 7"s, and split EP's, and vinyl lined up for Former Ghosts stuff but I'm currently writing a lot of stuff that seems to be fitting together so I think I'm just working on the follow up to Fleurs? I don't know at the moment, but yeah I've been working on a handful of things post Fleurs and I'm really interested in working on more things for Nika to sing and to work more directly with Jamie on the song writing.

FT: What was the scenario that Nika from Zola Jesus came to sing in former ghosts?
FR: Well, I'm a huge fan of Zola Jesus. Everything she has done is completely incredible and I love her voice. I asked Nika if she would sing on a song on the album called "This Is My Last Goodbye" and when she sent it back I was completely blown away and I knew I had to keep working with her. It is an honor to have her be a part of Former Ghosts.

FT: I haven't had the chance to see you yet, but besides playing in the bay a month or so ago, not many people outside of LA have. What is your live set up like right now, and what will it be like for your tour in October?
FR: When I play solo the set up consists of just a laptop, a synth/midi controller, and me. For the upcoming tour in October the set up will consist of me and Jamie, a laptop, two synths, and probably a snare drum and cymbal.

FT: I noticed that Jamie is going to be with you for the tour but what about the tracks that Nika is the main vocalist?
FR: As far as this tour goes, unfortunately we won't be able to play the songs live that Nika is the main vocalist. Nika is extremely busy with school at the moment and it would be impossible for her to do the upcoming tour. But hopefully soon!

FT: I saw pictures of your show at the El Rey and it seemed like there were a lot of people there, how do you feel about bringing Former Ghosts to fresh ears?

FR: This show was pretty amazing. Playing with Los Campesinos was unbelievable. I think they are one of the best bands in the world right now. It was a weird show, I haven't really played places that big before and I usually don't like playing up on a high stage so I tried to ask if I could play on the floor but the venue denied me. The support from people regarding Former Ghosts so far has been pretty overwhelming. It's always a weird feeling; I'm really flattered and it makes me blush when someone else relates to it.

FT: I know you have ties with PPM and the smell scene that has gained popularity within the last few years, what are your thoughts on that community 3 years ago in comparison to now?

FR: It's really crazy. I've been going to the Smell probably since I was 16 and I'm 26 now. It was an amazing place then and is still an amazing place now. It is really crazy to see how much it has changed. When I first started going to it the stage was basically a one-foot tall plywood box! But Jim who runs the place is incredible and it is really awesome to have an all ages space in Los Angeles where people will now go to shows just because it's at the Smell. It is really important to have a place like that in the music community. A place where the person running the venue actually cares about the bands and the people involved in the bands and the people making the music care about him and the venue. Any time I ever needed to set up a benefit show or anything Jim has never hesitated or thought twice about doing it. On the very last This Song Is A Mess But So Am I tour I played a show in North Carolina and someone was asking me about The Smell. It is really crazy and inspiring to see what it has grown into.

FT: Since you post so many pieces of art on your blog, can you list some artists right now that you are really excited about?

FR:Felt Drawings, Noveller, Zola Jesus, White Leopards, Railcars, Silk Flowers and Elvis Presley.

FT: Who did the art for the cover?
FR: The artwork layout was done by Paul Jackson of Othila who is really, really, amazing and who has done the layout for a ton of Current 93 records. I nearly wet my pants when I found that out. The actual cover photo is of two people in love.

FT: With the understanding of how big some LA bands have gotten within the last few years how would feel about Former Ghosts being that big? Do you ever plan for Former Ghosts to be your "bread and butter"?

FR: I have no intentions for music to ever be my bread and butter. It's not what I want to do with my life.

"Fleurs" is coming out on Upset the Rhythm October 20th. But I'm pretty sure you will be able to get copies from them when they begin their US tour at the beginning of October.

10-02 Phoenix, AZ - Trunk Space
10-03 Tucson, AZ - Solar Culture
10-05 Austin, TX - Mohawk Inside
10-06 Houston, TX - Orange Show
10-07 Mobile, AL - Alabama Music Box
10-08 Atlanta, GA - Drunken Unicorn
10-09 Durham, NC - Duke Coffeehouse
10-10 Washington, DC - Comet Ping Pong
10-11 Wilkes Barre, PA - Cafe Metropolis
10-12 Philadelphia, PA – First Unitarian Church Chapel
10-13 New York, NY - Monkey Town
10-14 Boston, MA - Middle East Upstairs
10-15 Montreal, Quebec - Il Motore
10-16 Toronto, Ontario - Whippersnapper
10-17 Chicago, IL - Chopin Theatre
10-21 Vancouver, British Columbia - Media Club
10-22 Spokane, WA - Empryean Coffee House
10-23 Seattle, WA - Vera Project
10-24 Portland, OR - Lewis and Clark
10-27 Merced, CA - The Partisan
10-28 San Francisco, CA - Hemlock
10-29 San Jose, CA - Works Gallery
10-30 San Luis Obispo, CA - Arts Center
10-31 Los Angeles, CA - Synchronicity Space

Former Ghosts - Hold On

Thanks Freddy!

Should stay home

i stumbled onto a really dope documentary about Manchester music centered around New Order, Buzzcocks and others check it out. John Peel helped make it

Rock Family Tree

Watch all the parts it is really well done!

September 17, 2009

I saw Blink-182 yesterday

Blink-182 - "down" off of their S/T record

The drops of rain they fall all over
This awkward silence makes me crazy
The glow inside burns light upon her
I'll try to kiss you if you let me
(this can't be the end)

Tidal waves they rip right through me
Tears from eyes worn cold and sad
Pick me up now, I need you so bad

Your vows of silence fall all over
The look in your eyes makes me crazy
I feel the darkness break upon her
I'll take you over if you let me
(You did this)

September 10, 2009

Fuck Hippies/Woodstock?

i have been saying it for a long time, but i feel that lately with the anniversary and that movie woodstock movie coming out i feel really sure about it. That is before i was just being a jerk!

i feel like woodstock was a huge example of how contradictory that "generation" was when thinking of the idiotic nature of the people attending, the rampant drug use, and the massive amount of garbage left on this giant field.

September 09, 2009

Reissue Madness

Is it just me or does it seem like everything has been getting reissued within the last couple of years? Im not against it, im just wondering if this is a way major labels are trying to make more money?

Memory Lane: Geisha Girls

I just started using my ipod again after a long long time and i started listening to Geisha Girls again. A perfect three piece from Costa Mesa CA. The singer sounds like he has a heavy infatuation with Robert Smith and at times their delivery may give people thoughts of Gang Of Four or Warsaw. They also did a cover of "Ceremony" that i have yet to hear. They were only around for a year or two, but in that time period i think they put out some really good stuff.

With a debut 12", 2 7"s, a full length album, a couple west coast tours, and short stint playing early Bad Brains material for HR solo, they called it quits. I don't really know why, but i ran into the drummer after Fuck Yeah Fest a couple of years back and he said that the singer became a Buddhist and moved far away, whether or not that is true i don't know.

Though their existence now is little, they left behind some good records worth listening too. I have both of their 7"s and their album. The 12" debut is most praised but i have yet to get it besides a couple songs here and there. The full length doesn't seem to go anywhere, not to say that it has nothing good on it, i feel they had nowhere else to go. That may also be the reason that they broke up?

Here is a little portion of their history that was never released. It is a live set on KUCI that i recorded a couple years ago and cut it up.
Geisha Girls-Live on ZM RADIO

Geisha Girls "Buckingham" from their 7" on Backflip Records

September 08, 2009


Right now i wish all of my friends could take all their
beef and put it into a big meat grinder, then i would make a bunch
of burgers out of it to be consumed together then following consumption,
after our beef is gone, we would realize that we have some really amazing
people to be around.

i miss you rhys and dani, this blog has nothing to do with you but i miss you dudes, i just found this picture in my computer. i doubt you guys read this or know that i have a blog but whatever, i miss you guys.


okay I'm back, i had a good break to get shit together and shape up for my upcoming quarter at college.

with that said I'm back and again i attempt write about stuff...

This is me on the edge at Patrick's Point in some part of Northern California.