Wednesday, March 29, 2006

(AUDIO!!) the best thing the Disco Biscuits (n)ever played...

4-9-99's Bionic Basis (courtesy of Chris Killian; thanks!)

Basis for a Day is the quintessential Disco Biscuits song. Back when I was getting into the Disco Biscuits and I would discuss their trancefusion music and the dirty dance party it would produce with my jaded Phish phan phriends (sorry, it had to be done there), they would always counter any good thing I had to say about my new favorite band with:

"They may be good, but they don't have a Y.E.M."

(Quick note of explanation: Y.E.M. is probably the quintessential Phish song, a carefully orchestrated opus with defined sections and some perfect examples of a band building up tension and releasing it with a bombastic aural orgasm.)

Inevitably, I would counter with:
"You may be right, the Disco Biscuits don't have a Y.E.M., but Phish doesn't have a Basis."

And it was true. No matter how good Phish was (and let me tell you, at times they could be incredible), they never had a Basis.

As far as songs go, Basis for a Day really doesn't have much to it. The only semblance of lyrics is the repeated synchronized shouts of "ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" at the raging freight train of a tune's most climactic moments. The song is actually a journey from Point A (a composed introduction) to Point B (a composed climax) to Point C (a composed ending). Each of the these orchestrated sections come complete with their own peaks and valleys, making Basis for a Day a combination of freeform journey amidst tightly knit destinations.

The Disco Biscuits have a strange tendency to play the beginnings and endings of songs in, well, let's say, a non-linear manner. Sometimes the beginning comes after the end, and sometimes the beginning and end of a song will be played days apart. It tends to make them a complicated band to follow, as oftentimes their sets zig and zack back and forth between tunes with a reckless disregard for listeners' state of comprehension.

On April 9, 1999 at the Trocadero Theater in Philadelphia, the Disco Biscuits played this ridiculous show:
Set I: Run Like Hell> Little Shimmy In A Conga Line, Bazaar Escape, Voices Insane, Basis For A Day> The Thieving Magpie

Set II: The Very Moon> Hot Air Balloon, Above The Waves> Basis For A Day, M.E.M.P.H.I.S.> Above The Waves

Encore: I-Man
(thanks, PhantasyTour for the setlist! LINK)
Rich Steele's excellent remastered recording on

Notice where Basis for a Day is in the setlist. It is there twice, which means that, in this particular case, the beginning was played separated from the middle and end. And that is where Chris Killian came in. He edited the two separate segments of the song into one super-duper continuous version of the song, creating what will forever be known as...

Here is what Chris had to say about his project:

The marriage of the 4/9/99 basis, an unholy alliance that will rule the world for all eternity. This is tDB at their peak (imaginary, as it didn't quite happen this way).

The name, and what Chris has to say about the track, is fitting. It is just that good.

Listen to it. Dance to it. Bang your fists off your steering wheel while playing it at 120 decibels. (Regret the hearing loss later.)

Church Sign Generator

Church Sign Generator

Have you ever been on a peaceful drive through through the heartland of America when all of a sudden: BLAM!! a great, big offensive sign with movable type jumps into your line of sight, spreading its Christian dogma with corny witticisms and cliches?

Well, now you can have your own fun using the Church Sign Generator. Type in what you want to see, and BLAM!! it appears on the sign, just like magic.

For instance:

So have fun with the site, and if you like, send me the best signs. I'd love to see 'em.

Monday, March 27, 2006

(VIDEO!!) Phish Big Cypress Videos

I've always been rather astonished that since the turn of the century (or the millennium or whatever the technical term may be), I've been able to look back on December 31, 1999 as the best night of my life. Maybe it was the most fun night of my life and I am unable (or unwillingly) to distinguish between the two.

No matter.

I've also found it pretty amazing that I was able to listen to the great night by throwing on a CD from the Phish show I attended that weekend at the Big Cypress Indian Reservation in the Everglades (just 36 miles from my parents' house!).

I dug these two videos off the nether reaches of my hard drive. I have a newfound obsession with YouTube, and have been uploading things that I have acquired over the years. My reasoning is twofold. I can clear my hard drive a little bit by uploaded to the net, and; I can share some of the stuff with the rest of the world. So that means I'm only trying to upload videos that are not available on YouTube.

Anyway, here is Farmhouse from 12-31-99:
And here is "Bug" from the next night:

I don't know where these came from, and I don't know who created them. In fact, until I found them today on my hard drive I had no idea that they existed or that I possessed them. So if you do know the answers to any of these burning questions, please let me know through the comments feature. I want to give credit where credit is due.

(VIDEO!!) Once the Fiddler Paid: a trailer for the Hot Air Balloon rock opera by the Disco Biscuits

A few years ago this sweet video was being hosted by the fine folks over at BiscoRadio. This past weekend I tried to show it to a friend and I discovered that there were technical difficulties that prevent it from being viewed on their site. I remembered that I had saved it to my work computer, so today I brought it home to share with all y'all.

A brief explanation:

The Hot Air Balloon is a rock opera, written by Disco Biscuits' guitarist Jon Gutwillig, that was debuted on 12/31/98 at the Silk City Diner in Philadelphia, PA.

For the songs, a synopsis of the story, character sketches and a bunch of other cool stuff from the Hot Air Balloon, take a click on the Very Moon.

Some more info on the video you just watched, from the Rumor Page on Phantasy Bisco:

[01.17.05] "Once the Fiddler Paid", a segment of the "Hot Air Balloon", has been produced by Troy Carlton and Michael Kuhn for release on or on DVD soon. Scripts for the rest of the songs are in the process of being written in hopes of becoming a feature movie. [CONFIRMED]

Sunday, March 26, 2006

(REVIEW!!) Bela Fleck & the Flecktones - March 23, 2006 - Pompano Beach Amphitheater - Pompano Beach, FL

I woke up pretty excited on Thursday morning. Time was inching towards the end of a very long week, and I had an exciting weekend planned. But I also had a more immediate reason to be excited: I was going to see Bela Fleck & the Flecktones that evening. For those of you who have never heard of the Flecktones, I strongly recommend that you take a listen to their bluegrass-influenced, funky instrumental music. And if you ever get the chance to see them live, take the opportunity--run, don't walk to your local venue and get as close as you can to the stage, because you don't want to miss anything that the group's four virtuosos are doing on stage.

And when I say they are virtuosos, I really mean it. Bela Fleck is arguably the best banjo player ever to pick a string. Victor Lamar Wooten's name is often mentioned in the same breath as Jaco Pastorious when discussing best bassists ever. Saxophonist Jeff Coffin is the only horn-blower I've ever seen blow two horns at the same time.

And then there is Futureman.

Futureman is actually bassist Victor's brother. But he might have been abducted by aliens and turned into a super freak (in the most Rick James sense of the term). He plays an instrument of his own design and construction known as the 'drumitar', which can only be described as a mix between a guitar (it looks like one) a MIDI controller (it acts like one) and a drum kit (it sounds like one). Futureman is the only person in the world who plays this instrument, and it is actually the only one in existence.

(I wish I was able to find a good picture of the Drumitar--and of freaky looking Futureman---to post, but alas, Google Images and Flickr have both failed me.)

(EDIT: Thanks, Ross for pointing me towards these awesome pictures of the Drumitar!)

Space age percussionist Futureman (of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones fame) and the Drumitar, an instrument of his own design.

The Drumitar, a percussion instrument designed and played by Futureman of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.

Now, back to Thursday. Another day like any other day, until the rain started. Now, we're in the midst of the dry season here in South Florida, but that doesn't mean that it is always dry. A brief shower here, a torrential downpour there: we have to do something to keep the damn tourists and spring breakers on their toes!

And boy, did it rain! But then it stopped, and the sky was gray, and the clock struck five o'clock, and I was off the show.

I knew to come prepared with a rain jacket; after all, I was a professional. So I brought the jacket, and I even had the sense of mind to bring an extra for my lovely lady friend.

Too bad they didn't even help once the rains came.

But I'm getting ahead of myself, just slightly. We had actually made plans for dinner, but upon arriving at the restaurant, discovered it closed. We headed to a second choice, only to find a ridiculous wait before us. So we picked the first place we could find that had no line and sat down to some pizza and beer.

After shoveling dinner down our gullets, we headed around the corner to the amphitheater and handed out tickets over. First stop (as always), the bar for some quick and easy (though certainly not painless: $7 for a single, $13 for a double) lubrication. There were two bar tenders working the bar: the first was a dude, and he seemed pretty busy pushing Hypnotiq, the blue cognac-based liquor that I am afraid to drink.

The second was a talkative lady who knew how to hook it up. I ordered a double Jack-and-Coke (hey, if I was gonna spend thirteen bucks on a drink, I'm starting with the hard stuff!), and made a joke to her about wanting a standing twelve count on the pour.

She actually gave it to me before splashing a drop of Coke (in this case, Pepsi) on top. Needless-to-say, the drink was quite stiff, and was putting me well on my way to loud and obnoxious.

We walked up the stairs into the concert area, and there were, quite literally, no more than 100 people there. Perhaps the days rain was scaring potential patrons away. Or perhaps South Florida' recent saturation of good music was hitting some people hard in the wallet. I knew that was the case with me (though I still managed to be there).

We made our way to our sweet seventh row seats and starting conversing with the people sitting behind us: a fifteen-year old high school kid and his dad. I thought that it was pretty cool for the dad to be taking his kid to the show; my pops never took me to a concert, though we have been to a zillion sporting events around the country.

Anyway, the show was delayed due to technical difficulties associated with the puddles of water dotting the stage. Eventually the show started, and the seats started filling up, though venue capacity was never reached. Having already finished Jack-and-Pepsi number 2, I was feeling loose and getting my groove on. Unfortunately, security man didn't like me dancing in the aisles all that much, and came over to tell me so. I looked behind me and realized that I was--quite literally--the only person standing up in the entire venue. So I apologized to the nice folks behind me for dancing in front of them and continued to bust my white boy dance moves.

About three songs in it happened. We knew it was coming, we just didn't know when.

The skies opened up and let loose their liquid fury. By the time I was able to get into my bag to grab my jacket, I was soaked. The entire crowd rushed the stage to take advantage of the two feet of head cover that was there. I just danced in the rain, jumping up and down and the concrete steps like an adolescent, splashing my neighbors with the puddles.

Once you're wet, you're wet, right?

It was a crazy storm for about 10 minutes. And then it completely stopped.

Remember the security guard who reprimanded me for dancing in the aisles? Once the rain started the show became a free-for-all, a situation that remained throughout the remainder of the performance. Mr. Security Guard had disappeared, and all the rules were thrown out the window.

Unfortunately, the mass exodus of people out of our row caused the unfortunate spillage of two $7 cocktails on the ground. Luckily, the bartender (heavy pour female, not wussy pour dude) made up for it when she gave my lady friend a free Jack-and-Pepsi.

The show was fun. Wet, drunken and fun. The music was good. Not earth-moving, but good none-the-less. I had a great time

Monday, March 20, 2006

(VIDEO!!) Sony BRAVIA - The Advert

Still shot from the filming of the Sony BRAVIA commercial.

Sony BRAVIA - The Advert

(Thanks Boing Boing for the heads up! LINK)

Here is a pretty cool commercial, I think it is for a Sony television. But the interesting part about it is that it uses the same music (José González's "Heartbeat") as the video discussed in this earlier post.

(EDIT: Apparently, this is a cover of a song originally by the the Knife.)

And I take back what I said about the cool part about the commercial being the music. I don't really take it back--the music is pretty sweet--but the fact that you can watch tens of thousands of brilliantly colored bouncing balls running wild through the streets of San Francisco is also pretty cool, I must say.

(VIDEO!!) Videogame Theater - Pac Man: the Insatiable Hunger

Videogame Theater - Pac Man: the Insatiable Hunger

(thanks Boing Boing for the heads up! LINK)

still shot from Pac Man: the Insatiable Hunger

What if Pac Man, the star of the old school Namco co-op arcade game of the same name, turned into a washed-up has been, much like one of the many former child stars turned losers of the last twenty-five years?

What if he was strung out on drugs and took his excess aggressions out on Ms. Pac Man?

What if he hallucinated red ghosts chasing after him right after he chased the dragon?

For the answers to all these burning questions, check out this hilarious short from the fine folks at Videogame Theater.

(VIDEO!!) Fake Phish tickets on MTV's Boiling Points

Do you remember that short-lived candid camera show on MTV called Boiling Points? In it, operatives of the show and their accomplices did their damnedest to piss off random people; the one who didn't get too upset would win one hundred bucks.

In this clip, watch a condescending employee of MTV sell fake tickets outside one of Phish sold out shows at Coney Island's Keyspan Park during June of 2004.
See the Phish kidzzz get really happy because they have found a seemingly impossible ticket, and then get really angry when they find out that it is fake.

See one lucky schmuck win $100.

Its a good thing this didn't happen to me, because I more than likely would have gotten violent had this dude did what he did and said what he said to me.

State of the Blog

Blogger has been very temperamental the past few days, making it extremely difficult (read: impossible) to make updates. My Langerado review is languishing in incompleteness over a week after the festival's conclusion...

Hopefully the site is up-and-running at full blast so I can catch up some more after work.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Lollapalooza dates and initial lineup anounced!!

Lollapalooza 2006 - August 4-6, 2006 - Grant Park - Chicago, IL

I wish that there was no such thing as hurricane season and I could plan to go to this (or one of the other festivals this summer that I'll end up missing).

130 bands for 130 bucks.

Check the lineup: (acts I'm psyched for in bold)

Red Hot Chili Peppers
Kanye West
Manu Chao
Death Cab For Cutie
The Raconteurs
The Flaming Lips
Queens of the Stone Age
The Shins
Ryan Adams
Umphrey's McGee
Sonic Youth
Thievery Corporation
Nickel Creek
Blues Traveler
Broken Social Scene
The New Pornographers
Iron & Wine
Poi Dog Pondering
Coheed And Cambria
The Secret Machines
Panic! At the Disco
The Disco Biscuits
She Wants Revenge
The Dresden Dolls
Horton Heat
The Smoking Popes
Andrew Bird
Gnarls Barkley
Lyrics Born
Lady Sovereign
Nada Surf
The Frames
The Hold Steady
The Go! Team
Mates of State
The Redwalls
Mute Math
The Subways
Of Montreal
Blue October
Jeremy Enigk
Living Things
Sound Team
The M's
Hot Chip
The Benevento-Russo Duo
Matt Costa
The New Amsterdams
deadboy & the Elephantmen
The Burden Brothers
What Made Milwaukee Famous
Husky Rescue
The Towers of London
Ohmega Watts
Boy Kill Boy
Jim Noir
The Standard
Be Your Own Pet
Elvis Perkins

and more to come...

Now THAT's an impressive lineup. I think this fest is going to be better than Coachella this year.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

(AUDIO!!) Langerado bittorrent (and links

Only a few days after Langerado's final notes of music (the Disco Biscuits ripping through a stripped down, unannounced mild trainwreck of AC2B), and the tapers (if there is a higher power looking down on us from above, may he bless these kind, hard-working souls) have already started to upload their recordings to the net.

I'm gonna post links to the torrent files (EDIT: and to shows posted on that exist on public trackers. As more pop up, I'll add the links.

If you're a bittorrent virgin, I suggest you head HERE to bone up.

SOUNDCHECK - March 10, 2006

Buckethead - Swamp Tent (thanks!)

Hot Buttered Rum String Band - Sunrise Stage (thanks!)

Perpetual Groove - Swamp Tent (thanks!)

March 11, 2006

Lake Trout - Swamp Tent (thanks!)

Lotus - Everglades Stage (thanks!)

RJD2 - Swamp Tent (thanks!)

Umphrey's Mcgee - Everglades Stage (thanks!)

the Meters - Sunrise Stage (thanks!)

Flaming Lips - Sunset Stage (thanks!)

March 12, 2006

Brothers Past - Swamp Tent (thanks!)

Pnuma Trio - Sunrise Stage (thanks!)

The New Mastersounds - Everglades Stage 24-bit recording (thanks!)
The New Mastersounds - Everglades Stage 16-bit recording (thanks!)

Robert Randolph & the Family Band - Everglades Stage (thanks!)

MOFRO - Everglades Stage (thanks!)

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra - Sunrise Stage (!)

the Secret Machines - Swamp Tent (thanks

Keller Williams - Sunrise Stage (thanks!)

Wilco - Sunset Stage (thanks!)

Black Crowes - Everglades Stage (thanks

Late Night Shows

March 10, 2006

Disco Biscuits - Revolution - Fort Lauderdale, FL (thanks!)

March 11, 2006

Umphrey's McGee - Revolution - Fort Lauderdale, FL (thanks!)

March 12, 2006

Brothers Past - the Culture Room - Fort Lauderdale, FL (thanks!)

Monday, March 06, 2006

(AUDIO!!) Langerado Countdown - 4 Days!

I was bad this weekend, and didn't make the updates I had planned on. But I'm going to make up for it with a plethora of previews of bands that are playing this weekend at the Langerado Music Festival in sunny Sunrise, FL (no joke, that's the name of the town. It is located right next to Plantation--P.C. police take note!).

Today I decided to drop a little Afro-Beat on y'all. (And the show is from last year's Langerado, ta-boot!) For the uninitiated, Afro-Beat may be the most danceable genre of music on the planet. Take the tribal rhythms of African music and add the funky rhythms of late 1960s era James Brown and early 70s Parliament, and you have the music of Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

I'm not going to go into the importance of this man on the music, politics and culture of not only Africa, but the world, as there are true scholars who have been working on this (and will continue to do so) for years. You've heard people talk about the socio-political contributions of Bob Marley?

Multiply his impact by, oh, let's say one hundred times and there you have Fela. I strongly recommend any of his dozens of albums.

Fela Anikulapo Kuti, a.k.a. the Black President.

But enough digression, I'm here to write about a band that is playing at Langerado this weekend. Unfortunately, Fela passed away in 1997 after a long battle with HIV/AIDS.

But his legacy is strong, and the torch has been passed to the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic musical collective from the long lost land of Brooklyn, NY. These guys bring it, and they bring it hard.

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra singer/conga player Duke Amayo with a very intense look on his face at the Langerado Music Festival in Sunrise, FL. March 12, 2005.

I actually was very fortunate when it comes to this band. I was still in university when they were signed to Montreal's own Ninja Tune Records, and to celebrate the momentous occasion, the label booked the group (I believe they were at 13 or 14 pieces for this show) into the tiny Pub Quartier Latin. Luckily, I was on the guest, but buzz was high and there was a line around the corner. So many people were there that management attempted to clear out the room between each set to pack more people in.

The narrow room was jammed, and the band had to ask the normally nic-fitting Montrealers to refrain from smoking due to the fact it would irritate the horn blowers. So we didn't smoke, and were richly rewarded with a most explosive spectacle of tightly played tunes.

Since then, I've seen the band in packed venues and open festival fields (as well as in an academic setting when they dropped serious knowledge on Fela and the use of music as a form of social protest at a symposium I attended a few years back).

The show I'm linking here (thanks, Internet Archive!) is from last year's Langerado. Unfortunately, some sort of technical difficulties cut short the group's set, but they still sounded awesome, and I shook it like the white boy I am.

Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra - March 12, 2005

Now the only problem is going to be deciding between Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! and Antibalas, as they're playing at the same time...

Friday, March 03, 2006

(AUDIO!!) Langerado Countdown - 7 Days!

One week from today I will be preparing to revel in South Florida's most eclectic musical event, the Langerado Music Festival. I've mentioned it here before, but there is always more to said about this festival: It opens the summer festival season with a little bit of Spring Training (in the middle of Spring Break for y'all still lucky enough to be students) down here in Sunny Florida.

In honor of the festival, and as a way to try to introduce my readers (if there are any) to some of the bands playing at the festival, I'm going to try to post tunes from some of the acts that I am excited to see.

Today I'm going to go with Brothers Past (watch the punctuation!) for the sole reason that an excellent sounding multi-track recording from a recent show was just uploaded to the Internet Archive.

BP is one of my favorite bands these days, and I'm more than excited that I'll get to see a bunch of them next week. Even better is the fact that they are opening for the Disco Biscuits on Thursday night, giving me a rare opportunity to see two of my favorite bands in the same room on the same night for the same price.

There are similarities between Brothers Past and the Disco Biscuits, but don't discuss them with fans of either band, since they both want to disassociate from the other. The Biscuits are a bit more balls-to-the-wall, while BP has some seriously talented songwriters in Tom McKee and Tom Hamilton (my man crush!).

Brothers Past guitarist/computer wizard Tom Hamilton performing at the Langerado Music Festival in Hollywood, FL. March 6, 2004.

These tracks are taken from Brothers Past's February 18, 2006 performance at the Recher Theatre in Towson, MD. Thanks to Rich Steele for taping, remastering and uploading this recording. The whole show is available for download here, but I've selected a juicy little segment for y'all.

Year of the Horse >
Getaway Somehow >
Year of the Horse

The sound on these recordings is amazing, and the jams are pretty sweet, too. Expect pulsating dance beats, nasty song sandwiches and emo-ish lyrics from this band. If you get a chance (and you like what you hear) pick up their latest album, This Feeling's Called Goodbye. I honestly think it is one of the best albums of last year, and hope that it wins the Jammy Award it was nominated for.

Brothers Past bassist Clay Parnell performing at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale, FL. March 5, 2004.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Advertising Slogan Generator

The Advertising Slogan Generator

I work in public relations, so the whole field of advertising and communication sciences (I definitely just made that up) is interesting to me. I find it fascinating that there is a whole field devoted to convincing people to agree with you or purchase your product or turn on your enemy.

So does advertising and its offshoots really equal propaganda?

I don't know the answer to that question, though I've pondered it long and hard.

What I do know is that somehow I came across this spiffy web site. It is one of those _____ generators. You know, the kind of site where you put in your name and press enter, and within a few seconds your pirate name or rap star name or porn star name is spit out.

With this one, a random advertising slogan is provided. Its pretty funny to see classic slogans bastardized and brutalized.

My boss and I have been putting the name of our employer in and getting some good ones.

But here is my favorite:

Lipsmackin' Thirstquenchin' Acetastin' Motivatin' Goodbuzzin' Cooltalkin' Highwalkin' Fastlivin' Evergivin' Coolfizzin' Scooters Spot.
Not a bad way to blow off a few minutes at work...