Thursday, November 30, 2006

Local Love on XM Radio

I just received word that two local artists will be on tonight's XMU Radar Report. DC's Paul Michel will have the song Wait featured and Baltimore's Two if by Sea will have Report from Damage Control featured. If you aren't familiar with either of these artists, you should definitely check out their new albums. Two if By Sea just released Safety and Paul Michel just released Quiet State of Panic. If you don't get XM and you are interested in hearing it @ 10PM tonight, let me know.

Paul Michel -Wait
Two if By Sea - Report from Damage Control

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Throwback Thursday: The Pixies

I have to admit that this is one throwback that I have been wanting to do for a long time. The Pixies are one of my favorite bands. While they were only together a short time (ignoring their recent comeback), they did things that will forever be admired. They may not have ushered in college radio, but they certainly helped put it on the map. Any band that can be this melodic, eclectic and loud is always welcome in my CD player.

Come On Pilgrim (1987)
Holiday Song

Surfer Rosa (1988)
Where Is My Mind?

Doolittle (1989)
Here Comes Your Man

Bossanova (1990)
Dig For Fire

Trompe le Monde (1991)
Planet of Sound

Various Live Tracks
Monkey Gone To Heaven
Gouge Away
Wave of Mutilation

Bonus Track
The Shins - Holiday Song (live)

Past Throwbacks
11/16/06: Prince
11/09/06: Ben Folds Five
11/02/06: Beastie Boys
10/26/06: Joy Division
10/19/06: They Might Be Giants
10/12/06: The Psychedelic Furs
10/05/06: The Clash
09/28/06: The Smiths
09/21/06: A Tribe Called Quest
09/14/06: R.E.M.
09/07/06: The Cure
08/31/06: Morphine
08/24/06: The Lemonheads
08/17/06: Depeche Mode
08/10/06: New Order

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Interview: The Quiet

Editor's Note: This interview was written and conducted by Greg Scelsi. He is a Baltimore musician who occasionally writes features for the site.

I am not a member of The Quiet, but I am an admirer. I asked Kevin, a guitarist and bassist in the band and Chad, their drummer, a couple of questions about defining what a “band” is and their thoughts on the business. They play in the Baltimore, Maryland area and their music speaks for itself. I wanted to get to know them at a more conscious level. They gave me some really honest answers and I think that you will enjoy reading the interview. As a band, they really are growing and testing their boundaries. The Quiet (or whatever they change their name to) definitely has a dark moody side that artists like Joy Division, The Smiths and even Duran Duran could tap into. The vocals can be angelic and always add to the musical landscape. There are solid rock elements that can drive the bass and drums into tempered storms. Musically, they fit on stages with post brit-poppers and creators of Mogwai-ish tension twisters glistening with Icelandic drifts (as Pitchfork as I want to be).

What are the core concepts that bond you four independent individuals into one band? Is it politics? Is it a career? Is it just for fun?

Kevin: No concepts really. We just want to make good music, that we like. We have pretty different backgrounds, so we all bring something a little different to the group. Even though it’s rock music, there are certainly different types of rock music. A good song is a good song, so if there’s a concept, that might be it. At this point, it’s more of a personal enjoyment thing, but making a career at it would be very welcome.

Chad: I think its rather simple actually. Aside from just a basic need to play, we all love music and want to create it. We all have very different tastes at times, but I think this tends to create a friction that only enhances our sound. When you draw from various genres of music, you tend to get a more original sound. If I had to describe our common ground, it would be a love for melody. Melody transcends styles of music. It speaks to a person directly.

I noticed there are several other bands on myspace with the name The Quiet. Has that caused any issues with other bands or lawyers?

Kevin: No, not yet.

Chad: Well it's an issue with us internally, if nothing else. I think that we could have a better name, personally. We are very capable of coming up with something more original. We all like The Quiet to some degree, but at this point it’s a common goal to perhaps change it by the time we put out our first record. Which is currently in its final stages.

Under what circumstances would you sign to a major label?

Kevin: They’d have to be offering some real support and not just signing us to an extreme amount of debt. Unfortunately, being good and selling music have little to do with each other. Anything that starts out helping smaller bands, usually gets corporate pretty quick. MySpace is a good example. Do the Foo Fighters really need to be the featured band (that’s who was on there today)? It’s their right to be, but they sure don’t need it. It’s not like it’s Dave Grohl logging in to see how many friends he has. Actually, that would kind of make it ok if he did. I’m not knocking the Foo Fighters. I’m sure they have nothing to do with it. I guess that has nothing to do with the question, huh? Short answer is that we would sign, if they could make us the featured band on MySpace.

Chad: I have never had this opportunity, so it is difficult to answer. It would have to be a label that enjoys our music, someone who really believes in what we are doing. I would definitely want a manager at that point for sure, someone who could make good business related decisions. It seems like I can barely balance my checkbook.

What are your thoughts on effective touring?

Kevin: I think you need to have a somewhat successful record, a good manager and great marketing. You could also get lucky and get on a good bill. I can’t see touring otherwise. Who wants to drive 13 hours to play at a dive, with no one watching? Maybe “paying your dues” that way used to mean something, but I don’t think it does anymore. Clubs don’t do anything to get people there, so they put all the pressure on the bands. There are even clubs that make the band buy the tickets to sell. So if you don’t sell as many as you buy, you’re losing money. They make it sound as though the band is making the profit. It’s really ridiculous. You might as well invite your friends over to watch you practice and tell them to bring a six pack and save yourself the hassle. My point is that without a record, manager and marketing, you could be stuck playing these kinds of places and what’s the point of that?

Chad: I have never gone on tour. I would love to have the opportunity at some point. It's any musicians dream... but like most dreams, it requires a ton of hard work and sacrifice. I think that just being in new and different environments, would be enough of a reward to make that sort of commitment. Although I'm sure that walking away from a gig with gas money and just enough food to hold yourself over for a day, can be really frustrating as well. Either way, I would definitely like to experience the reality of what a tour brings. I have a lot of respect for people who can take that chance and just go for it.

What was your favorite record when you were 13 yrs old?

Kevin: Metallica, Master of Puppets

Chad: I would have to say that it was probably Bad Brains’s Live.

What is your favorite song right now and why?

Kevin: It changes daily, but I just saw Mew last night so they’re the favorite today.

Chad: I'm really enjoying a band called, Daylight Dies. They are a doomy metal band from the states. They have a new record called Dismantling Devotion. I can't stop listening to the title track. The album is full of old school growls which is half comical to me these days, but the song writing is flat out brilliant. I'm also digging on Paatos. They have a song called Won't Be Coming Back, that I really enjoy.

Do you think there is a Baltimore “sound”? Why or why not?

Kevin: I don’t think that I’ve seen enough bands to say. It wouldn’t be fair to the bands I haven’t seen, that may be really great. I certainly have my favorites that may be of a certain sound, but that’s because those are they shows I look for. I don’t go to see hip-hop or country or metal bands – I’m sure they’re quite different sounding.

Chad: No, I don’t actually. I think Baltimore is full of some very creative and original folks. The problem with Baltimore, is that most people are too lazy to pursue their dreams as musicians. This could be due to the fact, that it’s a very small city and it's extremely hard to be recognized here. A lot of people who are serious about what they do end up moving away, but I really think that we have a lot of really creative people here. It’s a shame that a lot of them throw in the towel, due to being discouraged by these limitations.

Anything you want us to know about the Quiet, new shows, recordings, mandates of truth?

Kevin: We just finished recording seven songs that we are very excited about. We hope to get it ready for release soon, so we can get a record deal, effectively tour and make a career out of this. Thank you, Greg.

Chad: We keep trying to push ourselves to a different style of writing. I think that we have been able to take more risks as of late and I hope this trend continues. Whether people love or hate our sound, I think that we have something pretty unique going on here and that’s not an easy thing to achieve these days. Thank you.

The Quiet - Memorandum

Sunday, November 26, 2006

What's Coming To Austin

*Updated 11/26*

This is a quick list of select upcoming shows. All of these shows and several others will be covered in detail during the week of the event. Please check back frequently to see who else has been added and get those tickets early! Email me if you think I overlooked something.

11/28/06: Pernice Brothers @ Cactus Cafe
11/30/06: Soundteam/IV Thieves @ Emo's
12/01/06: Ziggy Marley @ La Zona Rosa
12/01/06: Spoon/Black Angels/Octopus Project/The Oranges Band @ FunFunFun Fest
12/03/06: Mates of State/Asobi Seksu @ Emo's
12/04/06: Bound Stems/Rahim @ Emo's
12/08/06: Centro-matic @ Emo's
12/08/06: The Boxing Lesson @ Red Eyed Fly
12/11/06: iForward Russia!/Snowden @ Stubb's
12/12/06: The Faint/Ratatat @ La Zona Rosa
12/13/03: Joanna Newsom @ The Parish
12/20/06: Amos Lee @ La Zona Rosa
12/31/06: Starlight Mints/Octopus Project @ Emo's
01/19/07: Ghostland Observatory @ Hogg Memorial Auditorium
02/16/07: Of Montreal @ Emo's
02/24/07: Madeleine Peyroux @ Paramount Theatre
03/10/07: Snow Patrol/OK Go/Silversun Pickups @ Stubb's

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Not So New Release Tuesday: Fear

Everyone has those albums that made them evaluate where they were musically and shaped where they are today. Toad The Wet Sprocket's Fear is one of those albums for me. It was the early 90's and I was stuck somewhere between Rap and R&B. Then I heard Toad and everything changed. All of a sudden, I realized that there was music out there that actually spoke to me. It understood where I was, where I had been and where I wanted to go. It was a like a giant neon sign flashing in front of me... "Joe, listen to college radio, R&B sucks." I think you pretty much know the rest of the story.

The song selections for this one were kind of hard to make. I had to include All I Want, because it played such an integral part in my musical transformation. Walk on the Ocean is one of those calssics that always makes you sing when you hear it on the radio, even if you don't want to. I Will Not Take These Things For Granted was on every mixtape for like 5 years. I could have gone in a number of directions for the last pick. I decided to go with Stories I Tell, because I feel that it is still a pretty powerful song. This is just a great album.

Walk On The Ocean
All I Want
Stories I Tell
I Will Not Take These Things For Granted

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Monday at Ottobar

There is a pretty good show happening on Monday night at Ottobar. Robyn Hitchcock will be in town with his new band, The Venus Three. This group includes Peter Buck from R.E.M. and his Minus 5 bandmates, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin. Mark Pickerel of Screaming Trees fame, provides support. Also on the bill is excellent local band, The Payola Reserve. The show starts at 8:30. If you are in town, definitely check it out.

The Payola Reserve - Lay In Wait
Mark Pickerel - Graffiti Girl
Robyn Hitchcock and The Venus Three - Adventure Rocket Ship

What's Going On and Contest Winners

Things have been quiet around here lately, so I wanted to take a few minutes to update everyone.

Let's start with The Friday Rant and Vince. He has been groing through a few things that he needs to deal with. We both agreed that it was best for him to take a few weeks off to get things in order. If all goes well, he should be back to causing trouble the week after Thanksgiving.

Mike has been kind of quiet lately too. The reason is that he has been preparing to come to come here for an extended trip. He got in late last night and will be here until 11/26. You should be getting an update from him soon. The two of us should be hitting several concerts over the next week and a half (more on that later) and I know that Mike's excited to get his east coast fix. One of us is sure to update you on our exploits. I haven't seen him in 11 months and won't see him again until sxsw, so this should be fun.

Me? Well it has been a lot of behind the scenes things. This site has been taking a lot of interesting twists lately and that has tied up a lot of my time. I'll go into more detail on this later. I do have some time off next week, so I hopefully will be able to catch up on some of the backlog and head in to December with a clean slate.

Speaking of next week, it will be a weird one with Mike in town and the holidays. Due to this, things will probably run a little different than normal. Not so new release Tuesday should run like usual, but the mutiny and throwback will probably both take a week hiatus. The good news is that there should be some east coast show reviews from both of us and who knows what the hell else. It's not like we have ever been in the same time zone since this site began, so who knows what will happen.

I almost forgot to tell you something. My friend Greg, who has atleast 3 music projects going on in Baltimore at any one time, is going to write occasional features for the the site. He just finished his debut piece. It is an interview of one of his favorite Baltimore bands. A musician talking to other musicians about the business, it is a rather interesting read. So look for that soon.

Alright, some contest updates...

The autographed Jeremy Enigk CD was won by Steven of Gresham, OR.

The 2 Can Joann CDs were won by Craig of Durham, NC and Roopa of Baltimore.

Congrats to the winners. If you don't receive your prizes in a week or so, let me know and I'll figure out where they are.

We are still sorting out the Middle Distance Runner contest, but I should have those results soon.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Throwback Thursday: Prince

I am not ashamed to admit it, I am definitely a Prince fan. In college, my girlfriend (at the time) and I had a game called who's better, Prince or Michael Jackson? I was convinced that I was right then and time has proven my point. Hmm, Neverland Ranch, freak shows and melting faces or one of the greatest songwriters of his generation? Whether it's Little Red Corvette, When Doves Cry, If I Was Your Girlfriend, Kiss or any of the countless others, the guy rules. I'll leave you with a walk down memory lane.

For You (1978)
Soft and Wet

Prince (1979)
I Wanna Be Your Lover

Dirty Mind (1980)
When You Were Mine

1999 (1982)
Little Red Corvette

Purple Rain (1984)
When Doves Cry
Purple Rain

Around The World In A Day (1985)
Pop Life
Raspberry Beret

Parade (1986)

Sign 'O' The Times (1987)
I Could Never Take The Place of Your Man
If I Was Your Girlfriend

Alphabet St.

Diamonds and Pearls (1991)
Diamonds and Pearls

Past Throwbacks:
11/09/06: Ben Folds Five
11/02/06: Beastie Boys
10/26/06: Joy Division
10/19/06: They Might Be Giants
10/12/06: The Psychedelic Furs
10/05/06: The Clash
09/28/06: The Smiths
09/21/06: A Tribe Called Quest
09/14/06: R.E.M.
09/07/06: The Cure
08/31/06: Morphine
08/24/06: The Lemonheads
08/17/06: Depeche Mode
08/10/06: New Order

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Two if by Sea's Mutiny

Editor's Note: This post was written by David Hardy, guitar player for Baltimore's Two if by Sea.

Hi. I’m David from Baltimore's Two if by Sea. Our sophomore album, entitled Safety, was just released on Silverthree Sound Recordings. It debuted on October 17th, and we’ve spent the past month touring the live circuit and visiting the best dive bars in America.

We’ve been described as post post-punk, compared to newer bands like Editors & Interpol, and compared to older stuff too, like Echo & the Bunnymen, Psych Furs, & The Cure. Admittedly, we were influenced by Factory Records material when we started & even played & recorded a version of Joy Division’s “Transmission.” People tried to label our first album as similar to The Faint, Interpol, or Franz Ferdinand, but we had never heard of those bands when we started writing Translations in 2002.

We were never fully comfortable with the labels that were trumped by fashionable buzz-bands circa 2004, and ultimately associated with us. Safety is our reaction to that. Our sound has evolved in the past two years & has become more organic in the process. We feel that our influences are more Winger or White Lion than The Killers or The Bravery.

Seriously though… instead of writing about who our influences are or how important they are, the exact formula for my guitar tone, blah blah blah, I’ve decided to just make a 10-song mix of (mostly older) songs that help me remember why I started playing music in the first place...

ULTRAVOX - Frozen Ones

In 1977, only six-months after their debut record (produced by Brian Eno) had been released, Ultravox dropped their second full-length, titled Ha!-Ha!-Ha! on Island Records. Still years before singer / songwriter John Foxx would leave the band to pursue a solo career (and let them descend into a glut of self-obsessed new romantic, forgettable material), they were full-on art rock at this point. Their debut had been more on the glam side of things, with the Eno influence, but this record captured the essence of the (now gaining) punk movement while yet embracing synthesizers and electronic production. They only managed to ride this fine line for a few years before becoming too self indulgent in songwriting and production. This song starts off minimally with an eerie synth melody over finger snapping, but quickly gains momentum and approached an anthemic-like quality. The music and vocals are immediate, but pulled back just enough to avoid the banal clichés that so many would use as their calling card for years to come.

EMPIRE - Hot Seat

Remember Generation X ? Well, after Billy Idol turned into a mega-star, former bandmates Mark Laff & Bob Andrews started this short-lived band. You can hear guitar riffs reminiscent of genx, slowed down to half-speed. Though commercially unsuccessful, they influenced the DC post-hardcore scene in a BIG way. They released an album called Expensive Sound in '81 and if you listen to this, you'll hear where EMBRACE, RITES OF SPRING, AND DAG NASTY got their sound from... completely addictive.


The Furs were relatively unknown in America until the release of Talk Talk Talk, but this gem comes from their debut LP. This was a pretty adventurous opening track, with a two minute-plus soundscape intro (that would fit nicely into the score of "A Clockwork Orange") that builds into the pounding drums that start the actual song. They really turn up the energy from there on, with a sound that fits somewhere between the Velvet Underground and Bowie. Richard Butler's vocals have an appealing raspiness, which lends a slight nod to John Lydon.

A CERTAIN RATIO - Do the Du (Casse)

Like their peers Joy Division, A.C.R. was one of the earliest bands signed to Factory Records. Initially, they got compared to Ian Curtis & crew (touring with them compounded this), but the addition of dance / funk elements to their music set them off in an entirely new direction. Their style was furthered by acts like the Happy Mondays. Modern bands directly influenced by them include The Rapture, LCD Soundsystem, and Radio 4. This track is off their debut, The Graveyard and the Ballroom.

PUBLIC IMAGE LTD. - Public Image

After the Sex Pistols' breakup in '78, John Lydon was inspired to start a new, dub-inspired project. The result was the debut, First Issue. They admittedly spent a significant amount of the recording budget on drugs, resulting in a not-quite concise album in terms of production. Still, it was groundbreaking for it's time, and this single is no-doubt the most accessible on the record. The lyrics are a verbal attack against Malcolm McLaren and his perceived manipulation of Lydon during his career with the Sex Pistols.

XTC - Making Plans for Nigel

XTC's third album, Drums and Wires, was their first full-length for Virgin Records (1979). Although this found the band embracing a slightly more traditional rock sound, the record still captures an art rock meets dub sound with its drum-heavy production. The album was riddled with overt political references; this first single sparked controversy by making a lyrical reference to British Steel. Andy Partridge sarcastically quips about dominating parents pushing their son into a dull-career. Although they went on to have several more popular singles before Partridge had a nervous breakdown onstage (Paris, 1982), this one is my fave...


Another very short-lived band, but way ahead of its time considering they came from the culturally starved and geographically isolated boundaries of Iceland. They're considered the first serious music project of now enigmatic singer Björk Guðmundsdóttir. Three years before the Sugarcubes (who just announced their 20th annoversary reunion), Bjork was fronting a slightly exotic punk / pop band that resembled Souxie and early Cure, as well as (musically) sounding VERY similar to (yet unknown) R.E.M. They released one album in '83, called Miranda. The band's name has a rather lewd meaning, coined by the bass player's father. I'll let you look-it-up for yourself. The lyrics are in Icelandic, which add to the haunting appeal...


Released in November of '85, the debut Psychocandy was a blueprint for the NoisePop genre, combining raw feedback with elements of The Beach Boys, The Velvet Underground, and a production technique that yielded an eerie Spector-like wall of sound. JAMC had a reputation for their chaotic live set, which often ended in equipment trashing. Their supposed penchant for LSD & amphetamines only fueled the mystique they carried. This release paved the way for later Creation Records' acts like My Bloody Valentine, Slowdive, and Ride.


The Whigs were riding on the wave of notoriety at the time they released Gentlemen. As the first non-northwest band to sign to SubPop, they were buzzworthy by the time they signed to Elektra to release their fourth album. Their mid-tempo, minor key tunes were the product of their whiskey-soaked ego's, and the bands early tours were described as a blur or drinking and fighting. 1993's Gentlemen oozed of equal parts bar-rock, R&B, and punk. The depravity was completed by Dulli's lyrical themes of love, sex, addiction and the dehumanizing combination of them. This single was the most well-received on the record, but they achieved only moderate success—Rolling Stone described the band as spending "the bulk of their career on the brink of stardom".

PULP - Party Hard

This song starts with the line; "I used to try real hard to make friends with everyone on the planet." This pretty much sums-up Jarvis Cocker's attitude on Pulp's 1998 penultimate album This is Hardcore. Jaded with the price of fame, he followed up '95's award-winning pop masterpiece, Different Class with a concept album of introspective gloom. "Party Hard" depicts washed-up club goers trying to embrace the last throes of youth by drinking & drugging to the point of exhaustion, "just to prove we're alive."
There are moments on this record that capture the best of Roxy Music, yet without being the least bit derivative. A pop record that embraces the slow, downward spiral can be a beautiful thing as they prove here, even if it means alienating a share of your former audience.

Due to our recent tour, this is all I have for you. I hope to be back early next year with the rest of the guys. I would like to leave you with two of our songs. "All the Reasons to Leave" is off of Safety. "The Affair, Act II" is a reworking of the closing number off of Translations, and was unreleased until now. You will only find this track here, so enjoy!

Two If By Sea - All the Reasons to Leave
Two If By Sea - The Affair, Act II

Previous Versions of The Midweek Mutiny:
What Is This?
Faster Faster Harder Harder
Low Red Land
Can Joann
Middle Distance Runner


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Not So New Release Tuesday: It's A Shame About Ray


Since Mike went new this week, here is a classic gem for you. The Lemonheads It's a Shame About Ray, is the kind of disc that you can bust out years later and still enjoy. I was just talking to someone about this CD last week. As I have mentioned before, The Lemonheads were my first indie rock show. This CD always reminds me of those days. It's amazing how relevant it still sounds over a decade later. Everyone is probably more than familiar with this disc. For those who aren't, here are a few tracks to get you started.

It's a Shame About Ray
Alison's Starting to Happen

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New Release Tuesday: The Drawing Board

Ok, so it wasn't released today. I got my hands on it Saturday night at the short notice show (with The Boxing Lesson and Black Before Red) at Mohawk, but I will go into details of that in another post. Who are these guys? Just an Austin band that plays great music. Keep reading.

The title of record is Clear to the Far Side of Way Over Yonder. Quite a mouthful. The cover art (above) captures the essence of the title, drawn into the air by a balloon, not knowing where the wind may take you and the album also takes you somewhere you haven't been before. Over half the songs are new to me, not hearing them performed live (granted, I've seen them only three times) or not listed on the 3 song disc or their myspace page.

The album kicks off with Clear to the Far Side, a short (less than a minute) opening soundscape of feedback, pedal steel, and backing vocals underneath Justin Tapp's ranging croon for some reason gives me images of Pink Floyd and The Beach Boys together in a lounge in Vegas (how's that for an image!). From there, use of different styles take us all over the musical map. The rocker Something I Can't Have slips briefly into glam mode as the vocals rise into falsetto over gleaming guitar riffs during portions of the song, but still has the Beach Boys-esque harmonies everpresent. The pure power-pop guitar and the call and answer chorus of Haven't We Been Through This creates probably the most catchy song on the album. Try not to sing along.

The rest of the album shows more of a mellow side. The musically upbeat, but absolute lyrical downer of Happy With You is bouncy, smile while you cry over someone music, while What About Me has a hard rock vibe (brief guitar solo case in point) flowing underneath jaunty guitars and harmony-filled vocals. It would be hard to stop tapping your foot to these songs. The ballad Opposite of Home reminds one of coffeeshop troubadors telling a sing-song story over acoustic guitars (with some keys thrown in for good measure). It's a Lie gets overtly political. One is unlikely to notice though, as dream-like vocals and quiet strums of acoustic guitar will make you forget the world around you and get lost in the music. The capstone of the album is the ethereal final track, Lose My Mind, drawing upon a definite later-era Beatles influence.

On the whole, Clear to the Far Side of Way Over Yonder is well put together musically. Every song has some hook to it that keeps you there and doesn't let you skip ahead to the next track. The use of different instruments that are not of the norm in rock today (pedal steel, glockenspiels) is a welcome addition. I cannot say much about the actual lyrics as I have not sat down and tried to grasp all of them yet (and no lyric sheet). I am having a hard time getting past the great intrumentation and vocal quality in the songs.

With all that gushing from me, I want to hear from you all. What do you think? Am I crazy? Or am I right on the money? Also, check out the other post about The Drawing Board after I saw them the first time. Big THANKS to Justin, Brandon, Dave, David, and Adam for the great music and the CD. Now get out there and support these guys!

Here are some songs off the CD that are not found anywhere else. Enjoy!

Happy With You
Lose My Mind

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Weekly Smackdown: 11/13/06

We were trying to come up with a way to deal with all of the music that bands send us. We get to some of it, but we don't always make it through all of our mail. Some of the stuff that we miss is very good and shouldn't be ignored. I came up with a fun little way to get more music on here and Mike agreed with my idea, so we are proud to present The Weekly Smackdown.

Every Monday, we are going to post two tracks. You have a week to vote on them. The winner will go against a new challenger the next week. If a song wins for 3 consecutive weeks, it is retired and we will have the band on for a special feature. To keep this as fair as possible, only e-mails (not comments) will be accepted for votes. Each person can only vote one time per week. If we catch a band voting for its own song, they will be disqualified.

For our first ever smackdown, it is The Windy City vs DC.

Band: The Interiors
Location: Chicago, IL
Track: The Bug
CD: Demo

Band: Death By Sexy
Location: Washington, DC
Track: Blow My Mind
CD: Big Hit

Go ahead and start the voting. The winner and their next challenger will be announced next Monday. Like always, send us any music that you want considered for inclusion on our site. Remember that for this feature, only e-mails will be accepted for votes. Leave comments only for actual comments. Please take a couple of minutes to listen to these guys and vote. Thanks!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

PJ Harvey Peels Off The Layers

By now, everyone know what PJ Harvey can do. She brings a female perspective with the intensity of a man. She has made a long string of solid albums and has an excellent live show. What a lot of people do not know, is that she was good friends with the late, great John Peel. They recorded several sessions from 1991 through 2004, that give an interesting perspective on her entire career. Finally those tracks have made it on to a CD, which was just released. I have had the pleasure of hearing some of them and highly recommend the disc to long time fans. For those who have never listened to her, this is a fine place to start. Check out a couple of tracks and see what you think.

PJ Harvey - Sheela-Na-Gig (1991)
PJ Harvey - You Come Through (2004)

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Beggarstaffs

Ask almost any New Yorker and they will tell you that they live in the best city in the world and their whatever is better than anyone else's whatever. Well, this next band is only going to feed that ego. After hearing them, I can't argue.

The Beggarstaffs are a New York band that formed earlier this year. They didn't play their first show until a couple of months ago and if you didn't know that, you never would have guessed it. They only have a 5 song demo and I can honestly tell you that all of the tracks are solid and sound like the product of a much more seasoned band. I literally picked numbers out of a hat to decide which 2 tracks to include in this post. I am really impressed by these guys. Get acquainted with them, because I suspect that there is much more to come.

For those of you in New York, you can catch them at the following dates:

11/11/06 Galapagos (Brooklyn)
11/16/06 Snitch
12/06/06 Sin-e

Please check out the tracks and let me know what you think. If you agree with me, you can download an excellent additional track on myspace.

The Beggarstaffs - Blue Light
The Beggarstaffs - Two Point Perspective


The SLIP released a new disc this week. EISENHOWER will be supported with a US Tour. For those of us in the Northeast, you can catch them on the following dates:

11/27 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
11/28 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
11/29 - Harrisburg, PA - Appalachian Brewing Company
11/30 - New York, NY - Roseland Ballroom
12/01 - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
12/02 - Boston, MA - Avalon Ballroom

All of those dates are supporting My Morning Jacket, except for the one in my neighborhood. Harrisburg is a headlining show.

The SLIP - Even Rats
The SLIP - Children of December

The Weekend in Austin

Howdy Ya'll. Its a great weekend for music, especially the locals. I expect to see you out there.

The Black

Get the weekend started right Friday at Waterloo Records at a free in-store by The Alice Rose. That's at 5 PM. Grab some grub and head back on out to the scene. Big road show at Antone's with Regina Spektor. South Congress comes alive at Trophy's with an all local show featuring The Black, Horse + Donkey, and Lomita. Or if you'd rather go for something a little more instrumental and electronic, check out My Education and Skies Falling at Mohawk.

Just got word of a show today. I will be attending Saturday at Mohawk. Great local bands Black Before Red, The Boxing Lesson, and The Drawing Board (I know you heard of these guys) are sure to entertain. Come on out and party with me! And thanks to TBL for reading the site! Elsewhere, down on 6th at The Parish, Lomita (again!) with CD release partiers For Her and the Snow. Emo's has Headlights, and then catch them with Pompeii at End of an Ear at 4 PM on Sunday. Trophys has another great show with the local flavor showcasing Aux, Them Shakes, Lalaland, and Prom Nite. And over at the Hole In The Wall, San Antonians Buttercup play with Hilary York in support.

It's an Austin band weekend. Show them some love, people. Get out there and party.

The Alice Rose - Easter Anne
The Black - Cellblock
Horse + Donkey - The Riddle
Lomita - Green Eyes
My Education - Snake In The Grass
Regina Spektor - Fidelity
Black Before Red - Goddess In Trauma
The Boxing Lesson - Back From The Dead
The Drawing Board - Haven't We Been Through This Before
Aux - Angus
Them Shakes - I Like What I See
Lalaland - Crack Up
Prom Nite - The Office
Buttercup - Anti-Antarctica
Hilary York - I Need Your Love
Headlights - Put Us Back Together
Pompeii - Numbers

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Robbers On High Street

I have a little bit of new music for you. New York's Robbers On High Street have a new EP coming out next week called The Fatalist And Friends. This will be followed up with a full length in the spring. If you live in the Northeast (like me), you can catch them very soon.

11/29 Boston, MA - Middle East Upstairs
12/02 Pittsburgh, PA - Club Cafe
12/03 Cincinnati, OH - Alchemize
12/04 Chicago, IL - Subterranean
12/05 Cleveland, OH - Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
12/07 Washington, DC - Rock and Roll Hotel
12/08 Brooklyn, NY - Union Hall
12/09 Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda's

Robbers On High Street - The Fatalist

Throwback Thursday: Ben Folds Five

The 90's were a weird time. All sorts of different things were happening. Through all of that mess, there was one band that really seemed to stick out to me. That band was Chapel Hill, NC trio Ben Folds Five. Maybe Ben is right and they played "punk rock for sissies." Whatever it was, they really spoke to me.

I must credit another Chapel Hill band for reminding me how much I love these guys. Can Joann's mutiny last week included Song For The Dumped. When I was putting that together, I dusted off the old BFF discs and was like "damn, they are definitely next week's throwback." So, thanks Joel.

Ben Folds Five (1995)
Jackson Cannery

Naked Baby Photos (1997)
Philosophy (live)

Whatever and Ever Amen (1997)

The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner (1999)

Check out our 3 current contests, including an autographed Jeremy Enigk CD.

Past Throwbacks:
11/02/06: Beastie Boys
10/26/06: Joy Division
10/19/06: They Might Be Giants
10/12/06: The Psychedelic Furs
10/05/06: The Clash
09/28/06: The Smiths
09/21/06: A Tribe Called Quest
09/14/06: R.E.M.
09/07/06: The Cure
08/31/06: Morphine
08/24/06: The Lemonheads
08/17/06: Depeche Mode
08/10/06: New Order

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I just realized that we currently have 3 contests running. I can barely keep track of them, so I am sure that many of you are clueless. I will break down each one and tell you the expiration dates.

1) Chapel Hill, NC's can joann is giving away 2 copies of Hurt People Hurt People. The winners will be announced on 11/13. The information to enter is here. You can listen to their music in this post.

2) I am giving away an autographed copy of Jeremy Enigk's World Waits. The winner will be announced on 11/13. You can find the information and listen to samples here.

3) DC's Middle Distance Runner is giving away 3 copies of Plane In Flames. There is also a special mystery prize for the 100th comment on their contest post. The winners will be announced on 11/16. You can enter here and listen to their music here.

If you enter any of these through e-mail, please state which contest you are entering. Thanks and good luck.

MDR's Midweek Mutiny: Contest

Editor's Note: This was written by Stephen Kilroy from DC's Middle Distance Runner. This is part of a series of posts that they are writing today. Continue to the bottom, to link to the rest.

So you fucking survived that huh? We are feeling so freaking giddy that we decided to have a contest. We are giving away not one, not two, but three copies of Plane In Flames. Leave your first name, e-mail and area of being below or shoot an e-mail. We'll pick a winner whenever the hell we feel like it and have Joe announce it (or we will just hack in and do it ourselves). For the person that posts the 100th comment to this post, we have a special prize. See you in hell...


Check out the rest of MDR's Mutiny:
Choose Your Own Adventure Extravaganza
Ian's Loves and Hates
Stephen's Lyricists

Previous Versions of The Midweek Mutiny:
What Is This?
Faster Faster Harder Harder
Low Red Land
Can Joann

MDR's Midweek Mutiny: Stephen

Editor's Note: This was written by Stephen Kilroy from DC's Middle Distance Runner. This is part of a series of posts that they are writing today. Continue to the bottom, to link to the rest.

Hello blog. Stephen Kilroy here, with a list of my favorite lyricists! Blog blog blog blog glob!

I am choosing to focus on lyricists because most people don’t seem to give two shits about lyrics, and there’s nothing I love better than being irrelevant.

People will make up their own lyrics to songs and never bother to learn the real ones, whereas that cannot be done with a melody. That makes them interesting, whether you like it or not! I don’t think anyone knows the lyrics to Walk This Way, for instance. (Not to say that it is at all necessary to know them. Aerosmith sucks, after all.) In fact, most people don’t bother to learn a song’s verses unless the lyrics directly relate to a bad life experience or are a prerequisite to a drinking game.

I’m so bitter.

Enough griping out of me, though. Here are my top five lyricists, each with a short description and recommended listening. Enjoy!

Bob Dylan:

The obvious first choice, he wrote and sang like a 70-year-old at age 20. A good delivery is as important as anything a lyricist writes on a page, and can ruin a song or make it great. If you don’t believe me, listen to Joan Baez’s version of any Dylan song, and you’ll see exactly how much his voice gave to the significance of a song, and how hers was a poor substitute.

Everyone and their Aunt Sally are writing songs about George Bush these days, but somehow a verse that Bob Dylan wrote 40 years ago is more relevant than any of them. It looks like this:

Yes my guard stood hard when abstract threats

Too noble to neglect

Deceived me into thinking

I had something to protect

“Good” and “bad”, I define these terms

Quite clear, no doubt, somehow

Ah, but I was so much older then

I’m younger than that now.

-Bob Dylan - My Back Pages

Maybe it’s not universally applicable. Maybe I fall into the category of people who want lyrics that they apply to the way they feel. Who knows. All I’m trying to say is that the man wrote this when he was 23, and it’s something that will apply in perpetuity, throughout the universe.

Additional listening: The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carrol

Stephin Merritt:

The singer/songwriter/frontman of Magnetic Fields. Merritt is alternately (and sometimes simultaneously) cynical, hilarious, depressing, and uplifting. His lyrics can alternate between clever bitterness and sweet sincerity in a line. Examples:

I had a dream and you were in it,

The blue of your eyes was infinite,

You seemed to be,

In love with me,

Which isn’t very realistic.

-Magnetic Fields - I Don’t Believe You

Oh you may not be beautiful,

But it’s not for me to judge,

I don’t know if you’re beautiful,

Because I love you too much.

-Magnetic Fields - Asleep and Dreaming

His rhyme schemes range from the very simple (see above), to the very complex. Sometimes, entire lines rhyme with each other. Sometimes, a rhyme takes a whole verse to resolve. In other songs, such as those quoted above, he structures verses almost like children’s rhymes. The choice usually depends on the subject matter, the latter being used for his more sincere, affectionate songs. His attention to this sort of device always impresses me on a technical level.

Merritt’s matter-of-fact tenor gives the listener the sense that he is exhausted by his own superiority much of the time, but if you can stand his listless delivery, his lyrics are a lot of fun to listen to.

Additional listening: I Wish I Had An Evil Twin

Robert Plant:

Sexual white boy blues + Lord of the Rings references? Fuckin’ awesome.

Recommended listening: Led Zeppelin - Ramble On

Sufjan Stevens:

His delicate enunciation and deliberate word-choice have literally stunned me from time to time. Sufjan Stevens is another lyricist whose voice is the perfect accompaniment to his message. Whether a song is about God, his mother, or a murderer, his timbre sounds fragile but sage. His voice allows him to hover above his subjects. There is never a tone of self-righteousness, however. Usually, his lyrics are merciful or sad instead of angry, even when anger is justified. About his mother, Sufjan sings:

We saw her once last fall,

Our grandpa died in a hospital gown,

She didn’t seem to care,

She smoked in her room and colored her hair.

And I was ashamed,

I was ashamed of her.

-Sufjan Stevens - Romulus

His quiet, sad superiority is much more palatable than Stephin Merrit’s self-pity, in that it represents a lyrical shaking of the head, as opposed to a wag of the finger. Another example, this time about John Wayne Gacy:

And in my best behavior,

I am really just like him.

Look beneath the floorboards,

For the secrets I have hid.

-Sufjan Stevens - John Wayne Gacy Jr.

He says it with such pity and sadness that the listener simultaneously feels sorry for the subject and the singer. His voice and his choice of words give him the power of a savior, the power to condemn, forgive, and accept blame in a single verse. And it’s believable.

I saw Sufjan Stevens perform at Mercury Lounge in New York (where we played our first NYC gig!), and I had never heard him before. His voice and lyrics put me in a daze, and when he played Romulus as an encore, it was probably the most moving performance I’ve ever seen in my life.

Additional listening: To Be Alone With You, Flint (For the Unemployed and Underpaid)

Sam Beam:

Armed with a paternally comforting voice and a former cinematography professor’s (he was one) sense of imagery, Sam Beam (A.K.A. Iron and Wine) knows how to set a scene. Similar to Sufjan Stevens in subject matter (mostly God, family, and geography), Beam’s lyrics are usually much less abstract, and thus much more accessible. Unlike Stevens, Beam sounds very earthly, singing about mud and church doors as if you were both standing in front of them, him describing them to you. Like Stevens, however, he can cripple you with a single, devastatingly poignant line:

Mother I made it up from the bruise on the floor of this prison,

Mother I lost it all of the fear of the Lord I was given ,

Mother forget me now that the creek drank the cradle you sang to,

Mother forgive me I sold your car for the shoes that I gave you.

-Iron & Wine - Upward Over the Mountain

He even makes a point of portraying Jesus Christ in the form of a humble Mexican child:

Naked, the Judas in me

Fell by the tracks, but he lifted me high

Kissing my head like a brother

And never asking why.

-Iron & Wine - Jesus, the Mexican Boy

It’s enough to make you want to believe in God.

Sufjan Stevens taught me how to write abstractly, about things I have never seen. Sam Beam taught me how to write about things that everyone sees, but nobody notices. His metaphors are often simple and straightforward (“slept like a bucket of snow”, “woke like a tree full of bees”, both lines from Sodom, South Georgia), but they come across like universal truths, never poetic hyperbole.

Additional listening: Southern Anthem, Muddy Hymnal, Passing Afternoon

So there it is. Now that I’m finished, I realize the one thing that all of these people have in common is that they created voices (both literal and in their writing) that could be believed. If I can’t believe a singer, whether he’s singing about God or mom or Hobbits, I don’t much care to listen to them over and over. Lyrics, for me, are as much about the performance as the words, and each one of these lyricists is a great performer in addition to being a great writer.

All the while, you get the sense that they understand something about their subject that you don’t understand. I think that to be a great lyricist, you have to know what you’re talking about, or at least how you want to say something. That’s why I try to sing about what I know, like babies, legs, hurricanes, slates, air, fog, beds, dens, husbands, eyes, rubble, human sacrifice, planes, flames . . .

Check out the rest of MDR's Mutiny:
Choose Your Own Adventure Extravaganza
Ian's Loves and Hates
Stephen's Lyricists

Previous Versions of The Midweek Mutiny:
What Is This?
Faster Faster Harder Harder
Low Red Land
Can Joann

MDR's Midweek Mutiny: Ian

Editor's Note: This was written by Ian Glinka from DC's Middle Distance Runner. This is part of a series of posts that they are writing today. Continue to the bottom, to link to the rest.

I'm Ian -- bass player for Middle Distance Runner. Like most people, I hate things and I love things. Because this is a music blog, I was forced to can my original idea of just talking about how much the original Maniac Mansion computer game kicked ass.

Instead, I figured I'd list a bunch of things I hate and love about music and then the name of the most appropriate song to go with those feelings. This is a fun game that I just made up, and now I'm going to play it with myself.

1. I hate the Rolling Stones because of what they did to The Verve.
The Verve - Bittersweet Symphony

2. I hate Oasis for having all but disowned their third (and best) studio album, Be Here Now.
Oasis - D'You Know What I Mean

3. I hate the fact that nobody seems to regard Kent as one of the greatest bands of all time.
Kent - Bianca

4. I love the Super Furry Animals for recording The Undefeated.
Super Furry Animals - The Undefeated

5. I love it when the ends of Blur songs remind me of Nintendo games, even though they don't sound anything like a Nintendo.
Blur - Beetlebum

6. I love it that when I was 10 years old, the best thing I'd ever heard was on a George Harrison seven inch.
George Harrison - When We Was Fab

7. I love it that I'm in the band Middle Distance Runner and we recorded a song that let my bass sound like the bass from Oasis's Go Let It Out.
Middle Distance Runner - That's a Lie

8. I love it that the first CD I ever bought in my life, was Garbage's self titled album.
Garbage - My Lover's Box

9. I hate it that I got into a car accident on the way to a Radiohead concert.
Radiohead - Climbing Up The Walls

10. I hate it when the best song Oasis has ever recorded ends up as a B-Side to a single from an album that the band hates and pretends they never recorded.
Oasis - Flashbax

That's it, folks. Love it or hate it.


Check out the rest of MDR's Mutiny:
Choose Your Own Adventure Extravaganza
Ian's Loves and Hates
Stephen's Lyricists

Previous Versions of The Midweek Mutiny:
What Is This?
Faster Faster Harder Harder
Low Red Land
Can Joann

MDR's Midweek Mutiny: CYOA 8

Editor's Note: This was written by DC's Middle Distance Runner. This is part of a series of posts that they are writing today. Continue to the bottom, to link to the rest. You may want to start at the beginning, to have this make any sort of sense.

You decide to be a REAL JERK and stop reading this blog. How rude! Not even Clay Aiken, the world's biggest jerk ever, would be so rude! Anyway, the world starts spinning around you ... you hear a buzzing noise. BUZZ! BUZZ! BUZZ!

Suddenly ... you wake up to the sound of your pulsing alarm! It was all a dream! And thank goodness. “What a crazy dream”, you think. And it was!

You roll over in the covers and feel a strange lump next to you. You thrash back the covers to find a fat, useless face looking up at you from beneath a reversed red ball cap.

“How’s your back?” he says, with a chilling amount of relish, the kind of relish that can only be summoned by FRED DURST!!! It wasn’t a dream!!!!

“You suck”, you tell him (and he does!).

“I know”, he says (with great relish!).




Check out the rest of MDR's Mutiny:
Ian's Loves and Hates
Stephen's Lyricists

Previous Versions of The Midweek Mutiny:
What Is This?
Faster Faster Harder Harder
Low Red Land
Can Joann

MDR's Midweek Mutiny: CYOA 7

Editor's Note: This was written by DC's Middle Distance Runner. This is part of a series of posts that they are writing today. Continue to the bottom, to link to the rest. You may want to start at the beginning, to have this make any sort of sense.

“Hey, Jay. What do you say?” you say, thinking you are being clever by rhyming.

“Jay stares at you blankly.

“I said ‘hey’”, you say ... again.

“I don’t speak to mortals”, he wheezes, huskily, with excessive breath.

“Why not?”, you ask with great uncertainty and dubiety.

“Cause I’m SUPER goth”, he croaks as his long, black bangs seem to irritate his face.

“LAME”, you say.

“Shut up”, he says.

You refuse, and Jay casts a level three shutting up spell on your mouth. The spell doesn’t actually do anything because it’s only outfitted with light armor, sans oratory enchantments, and because he’s actually not a wizard, just a goth guy. Erik is slouched in the hot tub, his head just above the water, laughing at Jay. Jay scowls at him from underneath the hood of the black robe he is wearing.

“So what do you do in the band?” you ask.

“I don’t consider myself part of a ‘band’, per se”, he hisses. “I am a sovereign entity, a pillar of light . . . dark light . . . and wisdom. I am afloat in a sea of mediocrity, a buoy of truth bobbing on the waves of iniquity which are drawn upward by the moons of ignorance. I play guitar.”

“Really? I always thought you played the keyboards ... isn’t that you playing keyboards at the beginning of Naturally?”

“NO, GODDAMNIT!!” he protests. “THOSE ARE NOT KEYBOARDS! THAT IS MY GUITAR! WHY DOES EVERYONE THINK I PLAY KEYBOARDS?! I’M SO MISUNDERSTOOD!!” Fed up, Jay grabs Erik by the hair and wrenches his head from the water. Oddly, Erik’s expression does not change. Then you realize why . . .

His head is no longer attached to his body!!!! WHOA!!!

Then Jay’s voice drops like 5 . . . no, like 10 octaves, and he booms with relish, “Nobody laughs at Jay Smith and continues to enjoy a bubbly hot tub!!! Nobody!!!” He flies away into the November sky, leaving you wading in a bubbly pool of bloody water, wondering where he’ll land and whether he’ll catch cold from that soaking black robe.

The rest of the band apologizes profusely, saying, “He had a lot to drink tonight. We’re really sorry . . . he’s not usually like that.”

In the background, you can hear Fred Durst rapping ... no, wait, he’s rocking ... no, wait, you’re not really sure what Fred is up to back there. Perhaps he is rapping and rocking at the same time. Oh well. Whatever.

You try your best to zone out Fred and continue your conversation with ______.

If you choose to talk to Steve, CLICK HERE.
If you choose to talk to Ian, CLICK HERE.
If you choose to talk to Erik, he's dead.
If you choose to talk to Allan, CLICK HERE.
If you’re confused and want to start over, CLICK HERE.
If you're sick of this and want to quit, CLICK HERE.

MDR's Midweek Mutiny: CYOA 6

Editor's Note: This was written by DC's Middle Distance Runner. This is part of a series of posts that they are writing today. Continue to the bottom, to link to the rest. You may want to start at the beginning, to have this make any sort of sense.

“Hey, Allan…”

“Fuck you!” Allan says, compulsively.

“Sorry”, you say, “I just . . . I just wanted to ask you if it was really true . . . what they say about your bassists.”

“What?! That I killed them and ate their brains?! Hellz yeah, it’s true!!!”

Stunned, you say, “I’m stunned. That’s so stunning. But why did you do it?”

“Cause they fuckin’ interrupted me when I was soloing in my room! In fact, when I got into this hot tub, it was a block of solid ice. Then I put a solo on it and it became this tropical, bubbly situation! I love to solo!! Scratch that . . . I tough love to solo!!”

You look closer and see that he has a guitar underwater and is playing a ferocious solo! It looked like this:

Then you look again, and you realize it’s not a guitar at all. You see that he is weeping uncontrollably, and say, “Hey man, why don’t you take a break...”

Allan spits at you! “Don’t tell me how to live, punk biotch!” he shouts with loudness.

You shudder.

He senses your fear and pounces with more relish than you’ve ever seen!

You die.

Allan eats your brains, continuing to yell at you. After he is done, he runs off. In the distance, you can hear the sounds of guitars wailing and human children crying.

You are miraculously reanimated by a rogue “Revive Dead” spell cast from deep within the spooky forest.

Given your second opportunity at life, you decide to spend it by chatting with ________.

If you choose to talk to Steve, CLICK HERE.
If you choose to talk to Ian, CLICK HERE.
If you choose to talk to Erik, he's uh... busy.
If you choose to talk to Jay, CLICK HERE.
If you’re confused and want to start over, CLICK HERE.
If you're sick of this and want to quit, CLICK HERE.

MDR's Midweek Mutiny: CYOA 5

Editor's Note: This was written by DC's Middle Distance Runner. This is part of a series of posts that they are writing today. Continue to the bottom, to link to the rest. You may want to start at the beginning, to have this make any sort of sense.

“Hey, Ian. Is that Mega Man 2 you’re playing on that original Nintendo Entertainment System?”

“Hang on ... I’m almost through Flash Man’s level...” Ian says.

You watch Ian totally school all the enemies on Flash Man’s level. He makes it to the boss and beats him in ten seconds flat. He pumps his fist in celebration.

Now free of distraction, he turns to you. “Phew ... okay, what were you saying?” he asks.

“Do you always play Nintendo while you’re in the hot tub?” you inquire.

“Yup.” He says.

“Cool. So Middle Distance Runner is an indie band. What are some of your favorite indie bands?” you ask.

Ian likes you, so he gives you an iPod nano. You look at it and see the following tracks:

The Hard Tomorrows
- There's No Reason (expired)
Soft Complex - Barcelona
The Sketches - Fly Baby, Right Now
Black Tie Revue - Red Everywhere
Cedars - Holiday For The City
Telograph - Eye For An Eye
Death By Sexy - Blow My Mind
Greenland - Forward Frame to Frame
Ennui - Change

“Awesome! Thanks!” you say, thankfully. That doesn’t mean you are thankful that you said it, just that you said it with great thankfulness.

Well, that was fun. Time to talk to someone else. You turn to _____ and say “Hey...”

If you choose to talk to Steve, CLICK HERE.
If you choose to talk to Allan, CLICK HERE.
If you choose to talk to Erik, are you stupid?
If you choose to talk to Jay, CLICK HERE.
If you’re confused and want to start over, CLICK HERE.
If you're sick of this and want to quit, CLICK HERE.

MDR's Midweek Mutiny: CYOA 4

Editor's Note: This was written by DC's Middle Distance Runner. This is part of a series of posts that they are writing today. Continue to the bottom, to link to the rest. You may want to start at the beginning, to have this make any sort of sense.

“Hey, Steve,” you say.

“Hey, brah,” Stephen says, contemplatively. “I’m the singer of Middle Distance Runner. I like lyrics and acoustic guitars, ‘cause I’m chill as beans. What’s your name?”

“I’m [your name],” you say into the shrill silence of the October night, through the aphrodisiac steam of the hot tub. “Do you play any instruments?”

Steve looks pensive and lugubrious, as he is wont to look, and replies, with a nostalgia not altogether fond, yet not wholly bitter, “Yup . . . guitar and keyboard . . . some tambourine . . . whatever.”

“Well I love the album!” you insist.

“Oh yeah, you fucking phony? What’s your favorite song from it, then?” he says.

“______________, of course!”

If you choose Naturally, RIGHT CLICK HERE!
If you choose Man of the People, RIGHT CLICK HERE!
If you choose Up in a Tree, RIGHT CLICK HERE!
If you choose Out of Here, RIGHT CLICK HERE!
If you choose Momma (the super secret hidden track that you can only access by rewinding the CD from the beginning of track 1), you’re clever ... but you don’t get to click on anything.

“No way ... that’s my favorite song, too! We’re totally vibing right now.”

As you half-heartedly mask the pleasure of the bubble jet on your no no parts combined with the striking beauty of the singer, you continue the inquiry. “When did you guys start playing music?” you ask, with less relish than your previous question.

“Allan, Erik and I started about 9 years ago right about the same time that we started growing hair in weird places,” Steve answers, most conveniently. “Jay came along as the 2nd guitar player about 4 years later, and then Ian joined us last year on bass.”

“You didn’t have a bass player for 8 years?” You ask.

“We did, but all of our other bass players disappeared mysteriously. The FBI couldn’t find any dirt on us, so the case fell apart. Then that bitch, Soledad O’Brien, started poking her nose around the practice room. She said we were ‘in cahoots’ with Satan, and that we had beheaded our bassists in his name. Well, I tell you, I don’t even know what a cahoot is, let alone how to get into several of them with the dark lord. Anyway, that whole OJ thing happened and then all of the media hullabaloo subsided.”

“Well, I believe you”, you say out loud with sound waves and vocal cords. “Soledad O’Brien is a bitch!”

“And how!” Steve conveys through language. “Well, I better be off. I’ve got a 2:00 massage with Fred Durst. He’s got a real talent ... and it’s giving massages.” But as he rises, your no no parts recoil in horror, as you realize that Steve is completely naked except for a loincloth fashioned from the scalps of the bassists of Middle Distance Runner past!!!!! You feel an emotion suspended neatly between disgust at the garment and arousal at the perfect male form encased therein.

You almost immediately ____________.

[If you choose “rub one out,” go to the next line.]
[If you choose “barf,” go to the next line.]
[If you choose “barf while rubbing one out,” go to the next line]

With Steve gone, you’re forced to converse with one of the other guys.

If you choose to talk to Ian, CLICK HERE.
If you choose to talk to Allan, CLICK HERE.
If you choose to talk to Erik, again why would you do that?
If you choose to talk to Jay, CLICK HERE.
If you’re confused and want to start over, CLICK HERE.
If you're sick of this and want to quit, CLICK HERE.

We are currently running 3 contests, including a signed Jeremy Enigk CD. Check them out.

Check Out Other Editions of The Midweek Mutiny:
What Is This?
Faster Faster Harder Harder
Low Red Land
can joann *HIGHLY Recommended*