Late last night, internationally acclaimed rock musician Chris Lutzko and myself set off on foot from Trailer Space to try and catch the Cheater Slicks’ set at Beerland. We were well aware we’d be running the Red River gauntlet of horrible crowds and random noise coming from all corners, but it was either that or sit around and wait for the passed out guy in the Sid Vicious tee to piss himself (trust me, it was a coin flip).
At some point around the Sheraton on 12th Street, we were accosted by a young gent who said he didn’t know the area, seemed thoroughly unfamiliar with SXSW, and claimed he’d been separated from a band that was playing somewhere downtown.
“Have you guys heard of Immortal Guardian?” No, we hadn’t. Our new friend claimed the band in question were practitioners of “portable metal”, and were masters of the burgeoning genre known as “intense shredding”.
This was all sounding a little Faxed Head for my tastes, and when he asked if could use our phones, we both declined.
About 5 minutes later, we came upon a quintet who’d set up shop in the narrow bit of real estate between Red Eyed Fly and the Hot Dog King. Though they seemed to playing through the equivalent of an Easy Bake P.A., “intense shredding” (or at least shredding) would be an apt characterization for the path they chose to trample. And as you might’ve already guessed, the big, light-up sign above them read, “IMMORTAL GUARDIAN”.
What can we learn from this episode? For starters, if there’s any justice in the world, these guys passed the Red Eyed Fly audition (if not the Hot Dog King’s). Secondly, just because a young fella is jabbering mindlessly on Austin’s busiest public thoroughfare, that doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to run away with your smartphone. Or mine.
TODAY : During an action-packed SXSW, I will contain to maintain this is the stacked bill to beat. The Austin debut of Protomartyr (!)… a victory lap for Spray Paint after a middling ‘Still Single’ review…The Golden Pelicans’ first Red River show (of the day)…the Maytag dependability of Minneapolis’ Blind Shake…the more unpredictable-than-Johnny Rodz stylings of Lafayette, IN’s TV Ghost…the two biggest things to come out of Ohio since Greg Oden, THE UNHOLY TWO and OBNOX…an early afternoon patio set by NOLA’s BUCK BILOXI & THE FUCKS…and the whole mess is topped off with a 6pm patio performance by Tempe, AZ’s masters of truth in advertising, Destruction Unit.
There’s no cover. Wristbands, badges and RSVP’s are as useful as a print edition of The Deli Austin (ie., not at all).
Once upon a time, this blog was actually updated more than once every 12 hours. Traffic rivaled that of Dino Costa’s Tumblr. Advertising revenues were routinely cracking triple figures each month, and there was even an abortive discussion with a rep from Entercom about all the profitable ways CSTB could be neutered. Heady times to be sure, but rather than bask in cheap nostalgia, I’m instead going to drag this motherfucker into it’s 2ND DECADE OF AWESOMENESS with our 5th annual not-at-all-affiilated with SXSW free event. Past participants have included such rock legends as Endless Boogie, The Muffs, Puffy Areolas, the Homosexuals, Wiccans, Wounded Lion, Dikes Of Holland and many others who used the occasion as a launching pad to semi-obscurity random mentions on blogs with even worse traffic than this one.
At the risk of, well, telling the truth, this year’s lineup is not only the strongest to date, it might be the greatest collection of talent ever assembled under one roof. Think of it like a reverse version of Laurie Gallardo’s Good Music Club. In addition to return performances from past CSTB “don’t provoke the SXSW legal dept.”show vets TV Ghost, Unholy Two and Obnox, we’ll be hosting the Texas debut of Detroit’s Protomartyr.
As always, there’s no cover charge, RSVP or rock biz credentials required for admission. Just bring your shitty attitude and be prepared to spend several hours complaining about the huge clusterfuck on Red River that you willingly attended (again).
“Though their imperial rolls are exquisite,” SFist’s Brock Keeling calls 6th & Market’s venerable Tu Lan Vietnamese, “a dank shit hole wrapped in rice paper and wafting piss fumes”. It’s also one of the great cheap eating experiences in Northern California or anywhere else, but the SOMA fixture’s very existence is threatened this week by the overzealous food-gestapo calling themselves the San Francisco Health Department. From the San Francisco Chronicle’s Craig Lee :
Health department inspectors found that Tu Lan, the famous and sometimes infamous establishment nestled in the gritty Sixth Street neighborhood south of Market Street, stored food at improper temperatures, didn’t have proper hand-washing stations, was crawling with cockroaches and mice and wasn’t bleaching its cleaning cloths.
Hungry customers calling for $5 lunch takeout Monday instead reached an answering machine message that said the restaurant had closed for a month and asked them to call back after Aug. 20 for an update.
A notice of violation dated Friday was taped to the front of the restaurant and said that Tu Lan’s permit had been suspended due to “serious or repeated” health violations and that the restaurant was closed until further notice.
Health-violation shutdowns are old news at Tu Lan, said Stephanie Cushing, a city health inspector. Tu Lan was shut down for a day or two at a time in January 2011, September 2011, April 2012 and on Friday.
Each time, inspectors found different combinations of the same health violations, including live mice and cockroaches in the cooking areas, standing water in the kitchen, improper refrigeration and unsanitary food handling.
“They had eggs sitting out for three days, four days,” Cushing said. Workers “weren’t washing their hands – they were scratching themselves and handling food.”
Manny will be spending a lot of time at the Emeryville, CA location, but what better way to get an early start on picking out new furniture than in the relatively calm shopping environment of the Round Rock Ikea?
PROS : Within walking distance of the Round Rock Factory Outlets
CONS : Pretty good chance Manny is getting tased in the parking lot, hoodie or not.
Chances are, Manny’s already made plans to take his River Kings teammates out for an afternoon on the links.
PROS : “This 18 hole Clifton-Ezell-Clifton design has captured the hill country beauty with views that reach 30 miles to the west. The rolling hills provide a challenging 7,200-yard layout whose 5 different tees will challenge golfers of all ages and abilities. ”
CONS : Are you kidding? They’ve got snipers on the clubhouse roof, ready and waiting.
I realize basketball is more up Greg Ginn’s alley, but I’d like to think one deeply misunderstood icon would welcome another with open arms. And perhaps Manny can snag a copy of B’last’s ‘Take The Manic Ride’?
PROS : Having earned more than $200 million in his baseball career, Ramirez might be looking to diversify his portfolio. And what could be a better investment than SST’s exciting new projects?
CONS : Have you heard B’last’s ‘Take The Manic Ride’?
And that’s pretty much it. Once upon a time, Manny could’ve sought out free wifi at Sandoro’s Coffeehouse & Cafe, but that’s no longer an option.
At the risk of sparking a real life version of Earles & Jensen’s “Ed Asner Strongest Related Idea On CD”, I wonder how the members of Cheap Trick must feel about a framed 8X10″ glossy of themselves, circa ‘In Color’, hanging adjacent to the Joseph Brooks-autograph sheet music on the back corner wall of New York’s Palm Too? The disgraced Academy Award winner would probably find himself unwelcome in many of the city’s finer eateries had he not offed himself earlier this year, but it appears that either the Palm Too is shrugging at his sex crimes, or perhaps they’ve just not considered changing the decor in several years.
“Those Guys Have All The Fun : Inside The World Of ESPN”, James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales’ widely leaked oral history of the 24/7 sports network hits bookstores today, and what better time could there be for the Bristol Press’ Steve Collins to consider whether or not Bristol, CT — perhaps a city lacking the sort of cultural stimuli to satisfy the likes of Steve Phillips and Sean Salisbury — deserves such a bad rap? ““ESPN has chosen Bristol for its home even if some of its cast of characters haven’t,” declares Bristol Mayor Art Ward, a man too humble to point out his lovely town has both a Quizno’s and a Domino’s.
ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys said Monday the “Bristol bashing was done by former ESPNers, many with egos larger than our small city.”
Former ESPN Chairman Steve Bornstein, for example, told authors James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales that Bristol is “one hundred miles from real civilization.”
He said that the result was “the kind of testosterone, jock mentality, frat house approach that’s pretty much a recipe for stupid decisions being made.”
Bornstein pinned the blame for many of the questionable activities among ESPN hotshots on Bristol itself.
“I think part of the sexual harassment stuff was location,” Bornstein said.
Ward said that blaming the company’s location for any employee issues “totally baffles me.” “That’s at best shirking the responsibility for stepping up and addressing the atrocities” that Bornstein should have been clamping down on, Ward said.|
“People locally can be assured that ESPN is appreciative of Bristol,” Soltys said.
You’ve heard about the Ben Weasel impersonation of Brett Myers. You’ve read about the Vevo/Kanye/Seaholm Power Plant disaster. Maybe someone told you that SXSW organizers hope to shift the blame from serious security problems at big, splashy events and attempt to crack down on the only things keeping the fucker interesting or relevant (ie. the sort of unofficial parties / house shows that were a thousand times more fun than the lemming-fests that took place through much of downtown). And perhaps you had to listen to me moan for far too long about how The Unholy Two destroyed what’s left of my hearing / mental acuity and it’s gonna be their fault when I’m shot during a dispute at Whole Food’s.
But none of that really measures up to Jeremy’s take on The Week The Circus Came To Austin. The Flesh Lights’ debut LP on Twistworthy is coming soon, and I can promise you it will go down better than whatever Mr. Steen consumed Saturday afternoon.
ESPN™s mother-ship, the Walt Disney Company, made the decision to engage in some creative destruction and the ESPN Zones were just part of the fat that was trimmed. This included the very popular locale in Baltimore™s Inner Harbor. But there was one problem with this hard-nosed business decision: the 150 workers in Baltimore, shocked that their high-traffic restaurant closed, were told with less than a week™s notice. Federal law, according to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires sixty days of notice and severance. Instead, the workers at ESPN Zone were given the bum™s rush. Even worse, many didn™t hear the wrenching news through their boss. Instead, many found out their jobs were yesterday™s news in the Baltimore Sun or even on Facebook.
Now the workers are fighting back and fighting mad. On Monday, October 25, the former employee filed a class action lawsuit against ESPN™s parent company, Disney, to get the Mouse to comply with the penalty associated with violating federal labor law. The penalty for violating the WARN Act requires that Disney pay workers for sixty days at the rate of their last paycheck. The severance that Disney offered, which is shameful, is separate from this penalty. Their attorney, Andrew D. Freeman said, œDisney™s severance payments were inadequate as a matter of law and as a matter of human decency. The lawsuit also shines a spotlight on the most vulnerable people in today™s economy: people who live day in and day out working non-union, service industry jobs that can be here today and gone tomorrow.
1) Endless Boogie, Thursday afternoon at Max Fish. Your editor used to live in a tiny closet above this bar. The old, ‘well, I’ve got a huge living room downstairs” line worked slightly more often then, “well, I’ve got a room upstairs.” Back in the mid ’90′s when he wasn’t beating the skins for a far less heralded Ludlow St. rock band (or watching NY Giants exhibition games when he should’ve been onstage), E.B. drummer Harry Druzd was slinging drinks in this very tavern. For one afternoon, anyway, the vibe was awfully familiar at the Fish, though I’m certain the influx of NYU kids and the more-money-than-brains crowd filled the room to capacity many hours later (which, to be honest, was exactly the sort of thing some of us were bitching about on the weekends 17 years ago).
2) How many people do you know who were the subject of a Solex song? Pittsburgh’s Randy Costanza, ladies & gentlemen, shown here at the WFMU Record Fair paying tribute to an era in which the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting QB had more Super Bowl rings than rape accusations (apologies to Randy, who didn’t know I was gonna come up with this caption)
3) Randy says, “hey, you like sports, right?” Well, I used too….
4) As seen at the WFMU Record Fair, The Offense Newsletter, Jan. 29, 1988. TKA always had great taste and he was smart enough to recognize the burgeoning genius of the Leeds-based Dustdevils long before certain NYC dilettantes hopped on the background.
5) (New Era Flagship Store, West 4th St.) Since I’m OLDER THAN DIRT, I have no idea what this cap is supposed to mean. However, since I’m a Jewish-American, I’ll just guess the worst and declare that I support the message, however crude.
Finding the above establishment didn’t totally make up for my disappointment at not securing any Las Vegas Locomotives merch at the airport gift shop, but at least I got to meet some really cool new friends. Now that I’m back in Austin, normal (?) service will resume shortly.
(clockwise : The Muffs, photo taken from Deana Flows, The Spits, TV Ghost, Awesome Color)
….you’ll be thrilled to learn that after last year’s universally beloved CSTB-sanctioned 7 band bash at Beerland, we’re returning to the scene of the crime with yet another star-studded bill. On Wednesday, March 17 from noon onwards, America’s 37th most popular sports blog is presenting The Muffs (first Austin appearance since 2004), The Spits, Woven Bones, Awesome Color, TV Ghost, Cruddy and Denton’s fantastic Uptown Bums. Admission is free and all we ask in return is that you TRY NOT TO BLOCK THE DOORWAY when a certain publisher is carrying large boxes to and from his vehicle. Is that too much to ask? Can you please attempt not to stand right in the fucking path of persons pushing inhumanly heavy objects thru the most narrow of corridors? For once in your lives?
I’m in Las Vegas on one of my annual (ahem) fact-finding missions this week, and though I’ve yet to secure a ticket for tomorrow night’s welterweight title bout between Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto, I can happily report bobbleheads of the two combatants are available in most of the hotel gift shops for a measly $40. That’s a pretty good deal compared to the $10 commemorative Pacquiao/Cotto cans of Tecate.
Tickets are a tad hard to come by to see the defending World Champs at Citizens Bank Park, so who could blame Nationals president Stan Kasten for touting next week’s Philadelphia/Washington series as a great opportunity for visiting Phans? DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg for one, writing “if you’re representing D.C. sports you can’t–CANNOT–open your arms wide in a fuzzy embrace of visiting Philly fans. You might as well just take the D.C. off your caps at that point.”
Kasten was on the Jody Mac and Harry Mayes Show today, the mid-day sports radio program of ESPN 950 in Philadelphia, and he turned the segment into an advertisement for next week’s home series with the Phillies. Good tickets, apparently, are still available. The first question was about the Nats’ roster, and after Kasten wound his way through that question, he ended with this. Unprompted.
“It will be fun, and I think Philly’s our best, closest National League rival. We always have great games with them here, because there’s so many Philly kids in college here. So we always have great, enthusiastic crowds, and we hope you all come back again. We have an opening day here Monday, we’d love for all our Philly fans to come down, because I know it’s gonna be so hard to get tickets in Philadelphia this year. It’ll be much easier if you drive down the road and come see us in Washington.”
No, Stan, no. Stop now. Hang up the phone. Tell them you just realized you have a lunch appointment. Tell them you need to go watch a MASN re-broadcast. Don’t make it any worse.
“You can come here early, we open two and three hours early, have a good time,” he said later, when asked specifically about visiting Nats Park. “The neighborhood, which had so many plans for an exciting nightlife waterfront area, frankly has been pushed back a year or two because of the economy, so there’s not a lot in the neighborhood. But let’s face it, any trip in Washington, which is among the world’s most visited cities, among the world’s best tourist cities, there’s plenty else to do if you want to make a day of it or a night of it. But I promise you, just coming to a ballgame will be more than worth the trip.”
“Hey, you’ve got an opening day hat!” Kasten said, when asked about any giveaways on Monday. “It’s a Nats hat, which is ok, but we do feature for sale many Philly hats in our store, so come on by.”
Good gracious me on the tombstone of Walter Johnson, really? You’re going to say that on Philadelphia airwaves? “We do feature for sale many Philly hats in our store?” That’s not being tone-deaf, that’s deliberately going out of your way to play everything in E-flat when you’re living in a D-major city. I’m trying to think of a more blasphemous thing a D.C. sports executive could say. Yup, still trying.
As seen at Allston, MA’s Sports Depot. I can get over the omissions of Ted Williams, Bobby Orr, Larry Bird, Jim Plunkett and Carl Yastrzemski, but cannot quite reconcile why there’s a basketball growing out of Tim Wakefield’s shoulder.
(Bradenton, FL Mayor Wayne H. Poston, prepared to mediate all disputes between local thugs)
Tim Marchman spent a month last weekend in Bradenton, the Grapefruit League home of the Pittsburgh Pirates and a town whose Chamber Of Commerce would probably prefer you read the burg’s wiki entry than the following from the Slate baseball scribe.
I spied a corrugated metal shack promoting boxing on weeknight evenings, storefront Pentecostalist churches and donut shops with hand-painted window signs out of Walker Evans, grim pawnshops with long rows of shotguns for sale, local headlines revolving around the travails of the dog track, storefronts for rent for $800 and cars for sale for $600 and lots of kids on bicycles, and shared good times at the Greyhound station with two toughs trying to one-up one another with absurd tales of their time inside and knowledge of obscurely nicknamed and highly fertile Ft. Myers thugs. You will not hear a bad word about Bradenton pass my lips.
JetBlue opened the long awaited Terminal 5 at New York’s JFK Airport earlier today, meaning your road weary editor had the dubious pleasure of being one of the first touristas (other than this creepy character) to stumble into the newly opened WFAN Store. I’m sorry to report most of the swag on offer is fairly generic licensed NY team attire, with a handful of WFAN tchotkes (mugs, hoodie) strategically hidden at the back of the shop.
How much longer must travelers wait to purchase an anatomically correct Steve Somers plush toy? Or, for that matter, the hottest Halloween costume in recent memory, the WFAN Joe Benigno Mask & Cape?
There’s hardly been a shortage of fine performances at Gonerfest 5 thus far ; under normal hit-or-miss rock fest circumstances, the Sic Alps’ reverb-soaked set Thursday night would’ve been a gig-of-the-year contender (please, save the “you must not go out very often” chatter for someone else — I go out all the time, I just have much lower standards then you). But much like the fateful auditions for the voice of Poochy The Rockin’ Dog, the Sic Alps have been forced to relinquish the crown of The World’s Greatest Band (Of The Past 48 Hours) in favor of the London trio Black Time.
To paraphrase Giuseppe Franco, I don’t have anything to do with Black Time. I don’t know a thing about them. But I do know that unless or until the Scanlon/Hanley X 2/Burns/M.E.S lineup of the Fall reforms, I’m unlikely to see an English band (or perhaps a human band) so totally locked-in. I don’t know of many bands under the age of 100 that could’ve held their own alongside Chain Gang, the Panther Burns in their prime or the first couple of Flesh Eaters incarnations, but I’m not exaggerating when I claim Black Time are the perfect antidote to feed whichever of your friends complain about contemporary music sucking. I’ve got a couple of (borderline) pals like that, and if they don’t make it to Emo’s on Monday to see Black Time, the Cola Freaks and the No No No Hopes, at the very least, I’ll know who to delete from my social networking buddy list.