Sexy Water Spiders [Band]

There is something undeniably uplifting about a band like Sexy Water Spiders.  The funk element infused with rock and roll is something we have really been missing lately.  Also the weird as fuck element has been missing as well.  And these guys definitely bring a heft portion of each into their crazy stylings.

Sexy Water Spiders have been rocking out the city of Portland, Oregon for quite some time now.  They’ve been known to run amuck with likes of The Dandy Warhols, 1776, and The Upsidedown.  Needless to say, the gang is in good hands.  And like their fellow brethren, they are known to be insane showmen, another element that seems to get lost in the shuffle lately.  They are pure guitar wielding entertainment at it’s finest.  When the apocalypse surely comes upon us, these are the sort of curators of the weird that you are going to want to have around when the world goes mad.

Even without knowing these cats personally, it seems perfectly reasonable to assume that these are the types of souls that live to rock.  They want to perform for you, and make you lose all sense of being (and possibly your bowels) and the worry of being another senseless hack amidst the millions of other senseless hacks on this bloody and sometimes disgusting earth.  The screaming may surprise you.  The funk may guide you.  And let it be known, while you are fixated upon the circus of rock before you, all the fucks you used to give will surely be the furthest thing from your mind when you let Sexy Water Spiders take over.

Head on over to the band’s website to find out what they are up to these days.

Anxiousness and Despair: Words En Route [Travelogue]

Airports are all the same.  Whether your in Spokane or Seoul,  it really makes no difference at all.  Half a day ago I was sitting outside the international drop off site at San Francisco International.  Now I am writing from a marble floor in the Incheon Airport in Seoul, South Korea.  Using an airport as a judgement of a location can create a terrible sense of idealisms.  Red Bull is still expensive, and you can’t smoke anywhere!  You’re going to pay 7 dollars for a sandwich you could make at home for 65 cents.  Getting drunk in an airport is only for the upper middle class and above, as it would cost an entire paycheck to accomplish that feet!

But, alas, a long day of traveling has come and gone.  A quick jump from Spokane down to San Fran, and then the longest damn flight I have ever had the “privilege” in taking part of from San Fran to Seoul.  11 hours in a confined space.  4 movies, 2 dinners, and probably 45 minutes of something maybe resembling sleep.  And all of that time.  All of that time of anxiousness or despair.  I chose despair.  I usually do.  I closed my eyes to sleep and saw the face of my wife and my three kids, and my heart began to sink when I realized that, here I was, abandoning them all once again, and I thought I might cry.  I’m hardly ever anxious upon leaving the country, it’s usually my route back that makes me anxious and irritated at every little set back imaginable.

a little bit of 30 Rock over the Pacific. Just like home!

I anticipated a long flight, and did my best to prepare myself.  But, I would be a liar if I said I didn’t find it to be “that bad”.  If it makes me weak to hate 11 hours of sitting in a small space, then so be it.  I was thankful to have an aisle seat, although it was almost debunked by the other side of me, a Frenchman with a terrible attitude.  I avoided all temptation to simply order as many cocktails as I could before I passed out, and opted for Ginger Ales to even avoid caffeine in hopes that the 2 hours of sleep I had in almost two days would pay itself off.  I guess it wasn’t meant to be.  I could barely doze.

But, I arrived in Korea, made it through immigrations and customs (which by the way, is so more lax that coming into the States, which many of you will probably wet yourself knowing) to find out that I have to wait for a bus, coming in three hours.  I made a few feeble attempts at getting ahold of Melissa via Facebook, and eventually got the bright idea to charge my phone on my computer, which has an astoundingly great battery life.  I made what was probably a ten dollar phone call to my sleepy wife (it may be 5 p.m. here, but I am in the future), told her I missed her like hell already.  For those of you who mock modern technology and our utter and stupefying dependence upon it, try doing what I do, and you will see why it is so special.

But, alas, here I am in a damn Airport again.  I’ve been trying to contemplate how much of my life I have spent in Airports.  Technically, I am in a whole new country, right?  My seventh country!  But, no, this is an airport.  In an hour or so, I will be touring the country/city side via a tour bus, just as I have done across the state of Wisconsin, the country of Kuwaitt, and more.  I guess that will bring me closer to Korea.  But, I should fret not, I have an entire year in this place.  A place I really don’t want to be, but continue to vow to myself to try to make the best of the experience.  Or as my dear friend Chris Eaves would say, “find some happiness”.

Later…..

I arrived at Osan Air Base.  An hour and half bus ride completely evaporated into time.  I hardly remember a damn thing.  I actually strained to keep my eyes open as we passed the bright lights of Seoul.  But, I could not fight the urge to sleep for at least a while.  I knew I would be back.  Sleep was necessary, ogling was a privilege.  I chose what was necessary.  I moved into a hotel in Songtan, and began the route of finding happiness.  Like a slow dog in the hot rain, I drag on.

Neil Nathan: Sweep The Nation [Album]

A couple of years ago, singer/songwriter Neil Nathan blessed us with a beautiful album of melodies and well-timed progression changes that was easily became of the finest albums I heard back then, and still continues to find its regular rotation in my iTunes library.  And now, Neil is back.  But the man who once made “Do Ya”, a track that should be a staple at every wedding across the planet, has a new sort of progression.  Yes, this light-hearted strum master is back, but with a vengeance.

Neil Nathan’s new album Sweep The Nation is an all out, tooth to the curb attack and acknowledgement of the corruption and greed that emulates the modern society that has been slowly but surely destroying our way of life.  Sweep The Nation is definitely a beautiful call to arms for the common man, and begging them to stand for themselves against the tyranny that surrounds us.  And dammit does it sound great.  Neil’s voice is just as majestic when he is angry as it is when he is in love.  And although Nathan’s regular fan base my not be used to the intensity factor he spews out on a track like his cover of Lou Reed’s “There Is No Time”, everyone is going to dig it regardless of what they are used to.

If there is one thing that can be continually affirmed about Neil Nathan, it is that he is a very passionate man.  Whether he is confessing is love for a devoted woman, or expressing his contempt for a torn apart nation, Neil is a strong-willed and amazing talent that we are fortunate enough to have around these days.  And whether or not you like him better at his quieter times, or in all out attack mode, this cat is going to entertain you, make you think, and divulge the truest of human emotions one could ever have.  Guaranteed.

Ronnie Fauss: I Am The Man You Know I’m Not [Album]

A good storyteller is a gift from God or earth or sea, wherever the hell you believe great talent comes from these days.  But, what seems to make the finest story to be told?  Is it a psychological analysis of the intrapersonal relationships human beings manifest for or in spite of one another?  Why, actually, no.  No, it takes realism.  It’s tales of love, loss, hate, loathing, joy, happiness, togetherness, etc, etc.  You know, all of those things that make us real people!  The average human emotions brought on my our own psyche or personal triumph or torment.  Basically, the tales of all of us!  Just be real!  And few people understand this art of story crafting that Dallas based singer/songwriter Ronnie Fauss.

Fauss has demonstrated his folk and old school country influence on three previous E.P.’s before his most recent debut album I Am The Man You Know I’m Not.  This gritty debut laced with fairy tales for the wicked, and love ballads for the empty hearted lover in all of us is a spectacular display of the old day’s influence on modern musicians, and how an old soul like Fauss can bring out the best of all words.  This is an album that is so full of life that is hard to try to find a stand out track.  With a the voice of Bradley Wik, and the soul of Corey Chisel, Fauss is a man that deters regularities.  Although, a stand out track of sorts would definitely have to be “This Year”, a beautiful ditty about the yearning and hope for better days, and that moment before it all comes tumbling down on your poor sad heart.

As Fauss plucks away at that good old fashion and recognizable country twang, he sings songs about the places where dreamers go to die, and the pretty ladies vanish from their ordinary days to relinquish their daily misery.  The entire world is a dusty bar with peanut shells and bottle caps on the floor when you are listening to a Ronnie Fauss record.  And I can’t think of a better place to die, live, breath.

Thom Carter: All That You Love Is All That You Are [Album]

How is it possible, really?  When you think you’ve heard the best of an artist (especially when they have dozens of pieces of work to their credit), they simply continue to impress you and make you reflect everything you have ever known, seen, heard, in your own short plane of existence.  Thom Carter is no stranger to Trainwreck’d Society, and is definitely not a stranger to my own musical criticisms.  I have been listening to this man for many years, and his ever evolving and beautiful ways and means simply never ceases to amaze me.  And as a self proclaimed Thom Carter enthusiast, I am here to say this…..Thom Carter’s release All That You Love Is All That You Are is his finest work to date, and definitely one of the finest albums of 2012.

His voice just brushes over you like a desired lace quill.  His piano work is a blessing that impacts you with each and every push.  His signature folky guitar work spills out like a fine wine begging to make you drunk.  With each and every track on All that You Love Is All That You Are, the enticement ensues and fills a void you probably didn’t even know you needed filled.  Feeling misery whilst listening to a Thom Carter album should be entirely impossible.

Each track on this album is pretty long, but definitely not drawn out.  Carter packs an impressive amount of punch into an 8 minute or so segment and still manages to leave you yearning for more.  All That You Love Is All That You are is definitely a perfect demonstration of the work of a man who has never failed to impress you with each and every release he puts out.  Yes, Britain’s own indie king has done it again, and has created his finest record to date.  To date, because he seems to only be getting better and better with each passing year.  The future is definitely bright for Mr. Carter.

Thom Carter: Pussycat Tales [Album]

Once again proving himself as one of the most versatile musicians in the world, Thom Carter has another wonderful release for you fine folks, with a brand new instrument to be showcase.  Well, new for this guy.  He seriously plays a hundred different instruments, and probably invented a few of his own.  Yes, on Pussycat Tales, we hear Thom bust out the ukulele for 5 quick, and dare I say sassy, tracks for your listening pleasure.

It really doesn’t matter what exactly Thom Carter is singing about.  He’s always going to to entertain, and basically make you feel great, and right in place wherever you are at any given moment.  Pussycat Tales rightfully seems like a project that was simply a fun afternoon with a man who obviously seems to know what it takes to make a person smile.  This is a quality we could really use more of these days.  Yes, the hardest working man in indie rock has done it again.  And now he has a batch of tracks that you very well be able to sing to your kids, and let them enjoy some enlightenment in the indie rock world as well!

Thom Carter has been a busy man in 2012, just like every other year.  This is third release this year only under his given name.  And at least 4 other albums under his numerous monikers.  This is a man who simply doesn’t quit.  He has had an illustrious career that exemplifies exactly what it means to be a hard working artist these days.  And Pussycat Tales, no matter what name he releases it under, is another fine example of the beauty and magnificent bevy of emotions that Thom Carter continues to give to the world with each and every piece of musical goodness he leaves for the world.

Easter Egg

Cold Specks [North American Tour]

Creating a beautiful song is a tough job in itself.  But, creating a continuous amount of heart-felt, inspiring, and also beautiful songs can seem almost entirely impossible.  But, then you hear a singer/songwriter like Cold Specks, who makes it seem so natural, and hope can fill the vacant void in your soul once again.  And throw in the intoxicating and raspy yet light-hearted vocals Al Spyx gloriously holds, and you simply just can not go wrong.

And much to the delight of this beastly American, this UK based troubadour and a few friends are heading across the pond to sing for you!  You should feel so lucky!  Yes, in support of her latest album I Predict A Graceful Explosion, Al is coming to perform her heart warming tales all across North America.  Cold Specks is without a doubt a performer that you simply do not want to miss the opportunity to see live.  Her majestic ways and means on the guitar and tantalizing vocals are a precious commodity one would do right to respect and soak right the hell in.

Cold Specks will be performing all across the US in a city that is surely going to be near you, and even heading up to our neighbors up north.  Be sure to visit her website for all the details.

And be sure to catch her in a city near you, listed below.

11/8 – Mercury Lounge – New York, NY11/9 – First Unitarian Church – Philadelphia, PA

11/10 – Jammin’ Java – Vienna, VA

11/11 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA

11/13 – Dan’s Silverleaf – Denton, TX

11/14 – The Mohawk – Austin, TX

11/17 – Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Museum – Los Angeles, CA

11/18 – Bottom of The Hill – San Francisco, CA

11/20 – Doug Fir Lounge – Portland, OR

11/28 – Cedar Cultural Center – Minneapolis, MN

11/29 – Schubas – Chicago, IL