Moving in Stereo
Volume 18 (In Music We Trust Magazine)
By: Darren Paltrowitz
Since Moving In Stereo: Volume 17 hit browsers, shelves, and tables around the world, a lot of worthwhile and attention-worthy releases have reached the office CD player, including:
-Supergrass "Road To Rouen" (Capitol)
-Let Go "Let Go" (The Militia Group)
-Cave In "Perfect Pitch Black" (Hydrahead)
-Starbreaker "Starbreaker" (Frontiers)
-The Churchills "The Odds Of Winning" (Near)
?From The Stage
While away in Japan, I was fortunate to catch MxPx at Shibuya?s Club Quattro. Following an opening set by The Starting Line, the Washington-based trio instantly had the near-capacity crowd eating out of its hands. Mixing up tracks from "Teenage Politics" and "Life In General" with more recent releases like "Before Everything & After" and "Panic," fans were treated to a career-spanning setlist. But in hearing so many consecutive should-be hits, this writer quickly found himself pondering why MxPx isn?t headlining arenas or garnering mainstream airplay. Songs rarely come as catchy or hook-oriented, so it?s a wonder why fans of Taking Back Sunday and My Chemical Romance haven?t begun to latch onto the influential artists of the pop-punk genre?Several nights later at Harajuku?s Astro Hall, Hot Hot Heat played a one-off club gig while en route to Australia. Playing the majority of both "Make Up The Breakdown" and "Elevator," the Canadian quartet?s dance-rock sound shows more originality in concert as the keyboards of vocalist Steve Bays add more to the mix. Although the crowd seemed more eager to hear older material like "Talk To Me, Dance With Me" and "Bandages," the band seemed as if they could do no wrong to the always-moving on-lookers. Such had also been the case a few months back at New York City?s Webster Hall as the band?s hour-plus set ended to unanswered calls for an encore?In support of "Oh Me Of Little Faith," Oakland?s The Plus Ones gigged at Sin-E for their first New York-area appearance in nearly three years. Recently spotlighted on "The O.C." and as part of an America Online campaign, Joel Reader and crew have received widespread exposure through a variety of media. Although mostly sticking with tracks from the indie-pop-rock record that is "Oh Me," the band?s set was capped off with a dead-on cover of Elastica classic "Stutter." A follow-up cross-country U.S. tour will soon be underway in the Fall?The rare classic rock tribute act actually endorsed by the artist, KISS Nation seems to be the preferred KISS cover band by both Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley. While easily arguable that this act?s "Paul" (Benny Doro) sounded and looked little like the original Starchild, the "Gene" (Carlos Espada) was shockingly similar to the "God Of Thunder" vocalist, from the mannerisms to the singing to the style of bass playing. This particular evening?s setlist at B.B. King?s Blues Club focused on all eras of the New York group?s catalogue ? from "Parasite" and "Love Gun" to "Heaven?s On Fire" and "Psycho Circus" ? but readers ought to know that both the songs and costumes tend to vary from performance to performance.
?From The Screen
Recent DVD releases from Shout Factory have gotten rave reviews in "Moving In Stereo" ? namely "The Fearless Freaks" about The Flaming Lips and "The Dick Cavett Show: Rock Icons" ? and even more TV-centered sets have come out from the California-based company. Those who appreciate classic sketch-comedy should be enamored with "SCTV: Volume 4," as featuring the likes of John Candy, Martin Short, and Eugene Levy. Die-hards of "Freak & Geeks" may want to check out "Undeclared: The Complete Series," the short-lived coming-of-age sit-com from Judd Apatow, as named one of television?s top shows in 2001 by Time Magazine. And fans of that prior Dick Cavett title ought to keep their ears out for additional editions spotlighting the likes of Ray Charles and John Lennon & Yoko Ono?Utilizing modern technology for a re-issue, Music Video Distributors has upgraded "Live 1980" from Devo and made it into a Dual Disc. While the video is grainy at times ? we are talking about a 25-year old concert ? the audio for the 21 songs is perfect and shows Mark Mothersbaugh in top-form. There is not much in the area of extras on "Live 1980," but the ability to flip the DVD over in your CD player and play it as a regular album is indeed a plus?Recently reunited and successful as ever in their native country of Japan, the original lineup of Loudness is back with an English-language full-length, "Racing," and a tour-chronicling home-video, "Rock-Shocking The Nation." Although "Rock-Shocking" brings out the heavy metal favorites you?d expect from the crew led by frontman Minoru Niihara and shredder Akira Takasaki, there is plenty of behind-the-scenes action showing there to rarely be a dull moment with these guys. Even those who do not understand Japanese will find themselves entertained and amused by this bunch, who are rumored to be headlining an evening at Budokan for their 25th Anniversary next year. But in the meantime, those musicians who purchase this DVD will surely be getting their money?s worth as the booklet also includes the full vocal, guitar, bass, and drum tablatures for the 10 songs featured in entirety.
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Copyright 2005 ? Column used with permission from Darren Paltrowitz. All right reserved.