the dynamite boy reunion show

Dynamite Boy played a reunion show this past Saturday at Emo’s. They were greeted by a venue full of fans that was impressive for a show featuring all local bands. They’ve been one of my favorite pop-punk bands, and I’ve seen them multiple times over the years.

We showed up a little late, because parking in downtown Austin on a Saturday night is a nightmare. When we got to the door, Cruiserweight was already about fifteen minutes into their set.

I didn’t get too many pics at this show like I did at the Thrice show. This is one of the few pictures I took where you can see Dusty on the left tucked away in the corner. He was in the shadow where I was standing most of the show.

This was one of the fun black-and-white photos I took where it looks like history being recorded.

Sean pulls off one of his amazing solos.

Stella and Yogi (with cowbell in hand) from Cruiserweight join the fun on stage.

Adrian rocks out on the bass. He is one of the members of the first band to go on, The Armour.

Again, I have to apologize for the low-quality blurry photos. The DSC-T33 can be a hater when it comes to taken pictures under low-light conditions.

the thrizz and the trooper

Thrice played an amazing show at Stubb’s BBQ on April 23rd. Their next two volumes of The Alchemy Index was released the day before, and the set they played a great selection from their three latest albums: The Artist in the Ambulance, Vheissu, and The Alchemy Index.

I was being a total shutterbug at the show. This was something like my tenth time to see them live. I stopped counting a while back. I first saw them back when they were promoting The Illusion of Safety, their second record released on Sub City Records.

Riley rocks out on the drums.

I had a better picture similar to this one, but I couldn’t help but post this one up due to the heaven light interrupted by Teppei shredding.

Again, I had a better picture of Eddie but check out the awesome light pattern on the left!

Dustin looking mesmerized while a beam of light slips past him.

This was one of the better pictures taken with my DSC-T33. The camera really dislikes low-lit scenery and rapid movement. Fortunately, this one isn’t too out-of-focus since they were playing one of their calmer songs.

Dustin plays acoustic during one of the songs on the Earth record.

They played Stare at the Sun, Deadbolt, and The Earth Will Shake as their encore songs. We were disappointed that they’ve abandoned their faster, heavier songs like To Awake and Avenge the Dead but I’m sure they’ve grown out of the whole punk/metal hybrid not to mention that so many bands have given that style of music a bad name. Nonetheless, they played an excellent set that made the highlight of that week.

the alchemy index vols. iii & iv review

the alchemy index vols. iii and iv reviewOn April 15th, the third and fourth volumes of Thrice’s concept album, The Alchemy Index, will be officially released. The two volumes are titled Air and Earth. I had the privilege to listen to the records for the first time last night, and I’m listening to it a second time as I write this.

I initially compared these volumes to the first two that were released, Fire and Water. The first two really followed their elemental concepts. Fire was a very heavy, disoriented record, and Water was much more fluid and calm. Lyrically and musically, Air and Earth both follow their elements as well. Air has themes related to breathing and flying. Earth relates to existence and uses acoustic instruments such as piano, banjo, and of course, acoustic guitar.

I enjoy how the last track of the first volume on each pair of The Alchemy Index transitions into the second volume. Silver Wings transitions well into Moving Mountains on this set. The Flame Deluge transitions well into Digital Sea. Whether this was intentional or not, it helps make the volumes seem like two full-lengths versus four EPs which makes it more satisfying.

The Alchemy Index impressed me as a whole. I plan on listening to it from the first volume to the last. I really feel that Thrice has channeled more of their musical influences and expanded their horizon with this collection. The songs are very different from each other which keeps the listener interested track to track. Thrice proves that they have grown as a band both musically and mentally. They did an excellent job producing this record themselves which is a feat in itself.

Many fans will miss hearing the angst-driven rock that Thrice hatched with The Illusion of Safety and evolved more in The Artist and the Ambulance, but I understand that bands that are meant to succeed will grow and seek out new directions. The progression of their sound was hinted in Vheissu and came to fruition in The Alchemy Index. You will notice many styles of music that include but are not limited to: experimental rock, post-hardcore, electronic, folk, alternative rock, and acoustic rock.

Since Thrice put away their flams and finger-tapping solos, they’ve explored more options in expressing themselves through the beautiful music that they create. All four volumes of The Alchemy Index prove this. To me, The Alchemy Index to this decade is what Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness was in the ’90s. They are both solid concept records where each band took their experience as musicians and brought it to the next level.

Check out their site for current updates from the band.

the 3hirty (aka the april post challenge)

Similar to what I did in February, I am challenging myself to do the same for the month of April. Will this be a bimonthly challenge? I don’t know but by the looks of it, quite possibly.

I have another post that I will be writing tonight, and this will be the April kick-off post.

What’s going on this month?

I turn another year not this Friday but next.

Uncle Sam & friends get to keep the piece of what they borrowed from my paycheck and hopefully I’ll get some of it back. These past few years haven’t been too nice to me in regards to tax returns.

My mother’s birthday is this month. To be exact, it’s on Earth Day.

That same day, Sleepercar’s debut album, West Texas, will officially be released. I’ve gotten the chance to listen to it already, and I enjoy it. I hope they return to Austin soon, because I will definitely attend.

The following day, Thrice will be rocking out Stubb’s. I’m excited about this show. I really hope that they play To Awake and Avenge the Dead, but that may be unlikely with the direction they’ve taken their music. I can hope though, right?

_____________

Thrice: If you somehow found yourself reading this, please play To Awake and Avenge the Dead at your Austin show in April. We miss that song, and we were disappointed when you didn’t play it at your last show. NOFX played The Decline in its entirety, and I never thought I’d get to witness that live. Is playing one of your most loved songs by some of your most loyal fans too hard to fulfill?

I know you have to promote The Alchemy Index, but To Awake… doesn’t even clock in at three minutes so I’m sure it’ll leave plenty of space to play all those songs. I probably sound like I’m begging at this point (which I am ’cause I’m on my knees typing this… j/k), but I’m sure Ian would lose more faith in you if you don’t play that song.

Ian, High Priest of the Church of Ianism, represents the status quo of your fanbase. He’s loved you guys since The Illusion of Safety and has attended every show you’ve played in Austin since. So have I, and this is our only request: Please play To Awake and Avenge the Dead at the Austin show. I know you guys listen to your fans ’cause you guys aren’t some artificial formation cooked up in a major label’s lab.

_____________

OK… enough of that. I think those are the main highlights of April. Well, today is technically April Fool’s Day. I’m sure my workmates, who can be very dimwitted at times, are going to want to play an office prank or two on me or each other at work later today. They actually tried to pull the ol’ “keep the optical mouse from functioning correctly” prank, and I debunked that sucker in less than two seconds. WEAK!

Lesser highlights this month will include my two visits to Pluckers, one of which is tomorrow. Their food is delicious, and with Tuesday being fifty-cent wing night and two-dollar Shiners, my experience is improved that much more. K$ is claiming to get on the Wall of Flame eventually and had mentioned that he was going to conquer some Fire in the Hole wings tomorrow. I’m not sure if he remembered, but we’ll see.

This is the kick-off post for the April Post Challenge. Wish me luck. Peace out.

the sleepercar

This past Easter Sunday, Sleepercar paid a visit to Mohawk’s in Austin, Texas.

Jim Ward, better known as the frontman for the rock band Sparta, has formed Sleepercar, an alt-country band heavily influenced by bands like The Old 97’s and Wilco. Their debut album, West Texas, will be released on April 22nd on Civil Defense League/Doghouse Records.

sleepercar

Sleepercar was greeted by a crowd of around fifty people and impressed them with a stellar performance on the narrow inside stage. The sound quality was excellent, and the audience was very supportive.

Sleepercar opened the show with a full ensemble version of On My Way Back Home Again, the first song from Jim’s solo EP, Quiet. Some audience members really wanted to capture this show with their camcorders on tripods and others with high-end still cameras with quality flashes.

Jim has been very prolific in creating music and performing live. I saw him last month at Red 7 in support of his solo record. He also played another solo show and a couple others with Sleepercar during SXSW.

the cartoon craze

Last night on the way home, I picked up some cough syrup, Lysol and satin floss at Wally World. Before checking out, I had to stop by the dollar DVDs section of see if I could find more Toon Factory or Cartoon Craze classic animation compilation DVDs. I found six for a total of eight! w00t!

I landed a collection of Bosko, a cartoon from the 1930s, that I thought I’d never see again. Bonus. Classic cartoons have been something that I’ve been on a collecting kick this year.

I haven’t been feeling 100% since last night hence the cough sizzurp. I’m trying to get better as fast as possible. I don’t want to miss watching Sleepercar play at Mohawk’s tonight.

It’s painful to realize that my three-day weekend is almost over. I did get a great deal of relaxing in, but it was all exchanged early for the ‘under the weather’ feeling. I’m not sick sick, but my head feels congested and my throat feels a little sore. I’ve coughed up a few thick loogies, and my body aches. Those are all pretty much symptoms of being ill, but I can still operate like nothing was wrong with me.

I joked with Mare that I’m infected with both the Shanti virus and the Monstar virus. Cite those references.

And to throw out something random, an animated video for Ben Weasel’s Got My Number by Ben Levin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s22S9kjY9vU

the noah fecks

NOFX - February 29, 2008 - Austin TX - Stubb's BBQ

NOFX played a sold out show this past Leap Day at Stubb’s. I’ve been to Stubb’s many times, but I’ve never seen it this crowded.

I took some video, but I still have to have it cleaned up and enhanced by the talented N.

I also took some photos, but none of them turned out well. I’ll share a couple with you just so you can get an idea of the mayhem that ensued that night.

NOFX live on Leap Day @ Stubb's BBQ, Austin TX

On the left with his arms out is El Hefe. Fat Mike is holding the mic in the middle. Behind the drums is Smelly. Melvin is cut off of this picture at the very right.

NOFX live on Leap Day @ Stubb's BBQ, Austin TX

In this shot, El Hefe is playing the trombone at the end of The Decline. His wife is playing guitar for him next to Fat Mike.

Their performance was amazing. I am impressed every time I see this band. They crack jokes between songs, and their sound is just as good as what you hear on their albums. They are a very entertaining bunch to witness live.

Here’s an incomplete setlist of what they played that night in as near of an order as I was able to jot down:

  • Dinosaurs Will Die
  • Franco Unamerican
  • Perfect Government
  • Seeing Double at the Triple Rock
  • The Decline (!!)
  • Radio (“Rodeo”)
  • Leave It Alone
  • Pump Up the Valuum
  • Leaving Jesusland
  • Linoleum
  • See Her Pee
  • Eat the Meek
  • Bob
  • Murder the Government
  • The Brews
  • Bottles to the Ground
  • Stickin’ In My Eye
  • Kill All the White Man (encore)

They played a cover between See Her Pee and Eat the Meek, but I wasn’t sure what the song or who the artist was. They also played F**k the Kids somewhere in the mix. I may have also missed a song, but I think I got most of them.

I should have a video or two up here soon. The quality won’t be so great, but it’s a memory captured in digital worth sharing.