1) The funniest thing I’ve heard in recent memory is being at Tom Thumb and hearing a commercial for the Wildflower Festival in Richardson on May 20-22. I don’t know if it was an in-house situation in which Tom Thumb uses cashiers for recording their audio messaging, or alternatively, the Wildflower Festival actually hired someone’s grandmother to announce the three-day concert event’s highlights for an ad buy occupying the space between the announcements for hamburger patty specials and John Mayer songs. Either way, when you’re baked like a pie and at an impasse in the Chips/Crackers aisle because you wanted Triscuits but “woven wheats” are dramatically cheaper, and you hear an old lady’s disembodied voice say “Duell” on a grocery store’s PA, it’s startlingly hilarious.
Anyway, what I really wanted to say was that Duell are opening for Wild Throne and Torche at Three Links on Wednesday night. The more I listen to Torche, the more I think they should play fun house parties, especially if there is a chance for people to get thrown in a pool. Wild Throne is the most “metal” of the three bands, but having Duell play first pretty much makes the show a party right up front. If you’re free and like hard rock, this should be your destination; you can sit at your regular bar and talk about John Bonham drum solos on a different Wednesday. This link goes to Torche’s website; it’s not a video about Torche, it’s a video game about Torche! Save Miami from robots!
2) I have seen think pieces about “peak vinyl,” though I have not bothered to read them, because I didn’t want to be in a bad mood about something that probably doesn’t really matter. If some band wants to not pay themselves from shows for the next five years just so they put their records out on vinyl, far be it for some freelance writer grubbing for $40 to tell them the market is already saturated and not to do it. If more people bought vinyl records and turntables, the prices of those things would go down, right?
I’m not an economist, so maybe the market for vinyl obeys different rules. However, I do understand why crusty, dusty record collectors wrinkle their nose in distaste when some brand new “hipster” spot with rough-sanded wood on the walls or whatever gets on the vinyl bandwagon. Believe me, I was not stoked when the biggest meathead at my high school became a fan of NOFX, so I know how it feels when something or someone you dislike appropriates something you love. But fuck, get over it. Life is short. What’s not short, however, are albums that came out in the ’90s, aka the decade in which CDs tried to supplant vinyl records with dubiously superior qualities like physical hardiness, clearer sound representation, and the ability to fall out of a Civic’s sun visor and across the dash, not to mention a far greater capacity for music. During the golden age of vinyl records, ten songs were plenty, especially since space on vinyl is limited, not only by the medium’s physical dimensions, but also by the decline in sonic quality as the record’s groove gets closer to the center. Not so for CDs. I remember trying to get to the end of Too High to Die and wondering if 13 songs was maybe more Meat Puppets than I cared to hear. Same for Cracker’s 1993 album Kerosene Hat, which had 16 fucking songs on it! It lists 12, but there are four hidden tracks, which you have to sit through extended periods of silence if your boombox didn’t have a fast forward function.
One exception to ’90s-era, CD-bred album-bloat is Weezer’s Pinkerton, which packs ten songs into less than 35 minutes. I don’t care to debate its merits, though “Across the Sea” sounds even creepier now than it did in 1996, and “Tired of Sex” still wants me to punch Rivers Cuomo in his fucking stupid glasses. But in honor of Pinkerton’s 20th anniversary, there’s a new vinyl edition of it. Way-long story short, 44Bootlegger (1411 Magnolia Ave), which has recently remodeled itself to include a wine bar, has a DJ event on Thursday night (I can hear you record store snobs grinding your teeth already) from 7-10pm centered on Pinkerton’s re-release on 12” vinyl LP.
44Bootlegger is partnering with HD Vinyl and HiFi, which as near as I can tell is a service that helps you buy the right equipment to enjoy the subtle pleasures of the vinyl listening experience, as well as Vinyl Me, Please; Vinyl Me, Please is a service that delivers “must-have” or “important” records to your mailbox. If we’re at peak vinyl, then things like re-releasing music on media it wasn’t originally intended for and sending it to you via a subscription-based curation service are both probably symptomatic. But don’t you old-school record geeks have fond memories about Sub-Pop’s seminal 7” of the Month Club? How is that different than someone getting Blonde on Blonde (or, I guess, Pinkerton) in the mail now because they missed it on vinyl the first time? I know there are valid arguments to that, but I’ve already written nearly 600 words on a friggin’ DJ night. There’s also trivia, apparently, and some vinyl giveaways. Sounds like fun to me! Still wanna think about whether Pinkerton is a good album or not? Here’s some person’s review on YouTube:
3) Boy, I sure let that one get away from me! This one is short: Caves Lounge’s 13th anniversary is actually on Friday, which, as your favorite tattoo shops have likely reminded you, is actually Friday the 13th. What a funny coincidence! In celebration of 13 years of Arlingfun, the Division St. bar has The Hendersons, Animal Spirit, Lindby, and Party Static. There’s free BBQ on the patio starting at 6. If you wonder if Party Static shot this footage in some kind of post-apocalyptic pallet fort, you couldn’t be farther from the truth; it’s actually the Foundry in Dallas:
4) Also on Friday: Telegraph Canyon, with Kevin Aldridge and the Appraisers, and Taylor Craig Mills. Last week, Kevin Aldridge put a bunch of material up on his Soundcloud page from Chatterton, the band he had with producer and session-player Scott Davis in the mid-to-late-aughts. Maybe some of that old gold will make its way into his set! This is a pretty good live video of Telegraph Canyon:
5) Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School isn’t a music show, but I’m listing it anyway, because there will probably be some music heard, even if it isn’t live. Since it features a burlesque performer, I’m also calling it a show. But basically, it’s a live burlesque drawing class held at the Grotto (517 University) once a month. Bring your own sketching materials and money for drinks. You can learn more about Dr. Sketchy in this video: