Moving In Stereo
By: Darren Paltrowitz
Only two months have gone by since Volume 8 of Moving In Stereo, but as planned, that time has seen my enrollment in a Masters program, a re-location to Suffolk County and yet another financially-burdening (while relaxing) trip to Japan. But with a lot happening within the various fields of entertainment during that "downtime," there's much to report yet -- as per usual -- a word limit to adhere to.
--From The Island
Recent winners of a Battle Of The Bands at The Downtown, SGT recently wrapped up a new five-song EP, Two Hearts, with Diffuser frontman, Never-Enders bassist and Hollywood Records A&R rep Tomas Costanza at the helm. First single, "Spinning," has already earned some spins on WLIR--Featuring ex-members of Skycamefalling, The Sleeping has been getting a lot of rave reviews for Believe What We Tell You, as out through One Day Savior Recordings. Filled with screams and undeniable hardcore energy yet hooks and thick guitars, Believe also contains impressive conceptual artwork. I'd prefer not to ruin the surprise of the latter--Sprout and Sunday Luck fans might be surprised to see that it's Jordan Plosky behind the kit for Ryan Cabrera. High-profile appearances have already been made by the drummer on programs like The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Live With Regis & Kelly and TRL; updates from the road can be regularly spotted at www.jordanplosky.com--Under the name Transistor, the Huntington-based American Laundromat Records has a new 16-song compilation out. My favorite of the eight bands featured is The Modifiers whose Replacements-esque "Favorite Waitress" is a stand-out--Congratulations are extended to ASOB -- The Arrogant Sons Of Bitches -- whose Discography has just earned distribution through Fat Wreck Japan; a tour out in the Far East indeed may be in store for the ska veterans.
--From The Shelf
Whether you're a musician looking for more exposure, a writer in search of new outlets, or just a regular person craving to know more about the music biz, The Indie Bible is a must-have for those of the aforementioned folks with a bookshelf. Compiled and updated annually by David Wimble, the regularly-updated Bible contains listings for thousands of outlets throughout the world, in addition to exclusive articles and essays--Although an unauthorized biography, I had trouble putting down the latest from John D. Luerssen. Titled Rivers' Edge, Luerssen's book is an investigative look into the world of Rivers Cuomo, the eccentric, unpredictable and undisputed leader of Weezer. Featuring interviews with members -- past and present -- of Weezer, rare photos and exclusive anecdotes are also utilized from tour-mates and contemporaries. I assure that this book will teach message board-reading die-hards more than a few things--Even In Blackouts mouthpiece (and former Screeching Weasel sideman) John "Jughead" Pierson is taking a unique approach by posting the first three chapters of Weasels In A Box, an in-progress semi-non-fiction work, online at http://weaselsinabox.blogspot.com. No word yet on when the next installment of Weasels will be up.
--From The Stage
As part of the annual CMJ Marathon in New York City, I was able to catch a pair of shows during Night #2. After experiencing a powerful set from Dutch quintet Oil-- whose aggressive and confrontational brand of metallic punk rock positively stood out from the poppy bands also part of the Amsterdam Calling showcase -- it was time for The Figgs at Crash Mansion. Hitting the stage promptly after King Of France, the Boston-based power-pop trio played an entirely different set than this columnist had witnessed two months earlier at The Knitting Factory. But as per usual, lead vocals were contributed by all three Figgs and extended versions of "Inside The Disco" and "One Hit Wonder" were show highlights. Live bands don't get much tighter nor more exciting than The Figgs (whose guitarist Mike Gent contributes part of his tour diary to Rivers' Edge), so it's a wonder why the group hasn't yet showcased such with a proper live CD--Although not in attendance of the reportedly unforgettable CMJ set from Surferosa at Don Hill's, I was amongst those shoved and spit on by frontwoman Mariann at Rothko. Switching off between new, yet-to-be-recorded material and selections from the new wave-y Shangai Moon, a performance from this Norweigan band is not one that any act without pyro would want to follow. Whether in concert or in recorded form, "Saturday Night" is an undeniable pop-metal anthem, while Mariann's skin-tight wardrobe and antagonizing of the audience ought to get her in some legal trouble soon; or, at the very least, get the band a U.S. record deal in the near-future--In support of Live At The El Rey, his Moving In Stereo-approved DVD, Stephen Lynch co-headlined two sold-out gigs with Mitch Hedburg at Town Hall in the midst of CMJ's madness. Rob Cantrell, the self-proclaimed "comedy fluffer" (as best known for his appearances on Last Comic Standing and Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn), opened the evening to a rousing response without resorting to cheap laughs or hack material. While Lynch's twisted yet melodic songs brought on countless applause breaks -- an early walk-on from Mark Teich during the late show nearly warranted another one -- Hedburg's hour of one-liners, quick-paced anecdotes and improvised fire-backs stole the show. But regardless of one's preference out of these comics, rarely do comedy shows come along that are this well-rounded and entertaining, yet also economical.
If you have news to report for the next edition of Moving In Stereo, press releases and all other correspondence for Darren should be sent to [email protected].