As you may or may not be aware, the debut album from Austin’s Meet Your Death is released this coming Friday (August 12), coinciding with a show at East 6th Street’s Hotel Vegas also featuring labelmates James Arthur’s Manhunt, Atlanta’s Omni and early contenders for Best Band Little Steven Would Have A Problem With, Borzoi.
Anyhow, a local website graced us with their opinion of Meet Your Death’s forthcoming album and declared the band’s repertoire, “music so obscure and varied that most wouldn’t recognize the songs unless they had an extensive musical knowledge.”
The reviewer has a point. What did Bo Diddley or Mose Allison ever accomplish compared to say, Moving Units?
Still, while each critic is entitled to his or her opinions and biases, deeply entrenched or not, there was one sentence in particular that I must take exception to ; “perhaps because Meet Your Death is comprised of seasoned performers, or perhaps because they have friends at 12XU, it seems we’ve been asked to consider this as a record by a developed band.”
The reason folks are invited to consider ‘Meet Your Death’ the work of a developed band is rather simple : John Schooley and Walter Daniels’ individual resumes and discographies look like a virtual who’s who of crucial players in US underground rock history. The rhythm section of Harpal Assi and Matt Hammer have merely been key components in 4 of Texas’ most acclaimed modern outfits (and that’s a modest count). Collectively, the band has been playing out for two years. But the implication that efforts to bring their work to the wider public are a byproduct of “friendship” could not be further from the truth.
For starters, I can’t stand these guys. When I see John or Walter on the street, not only do I cross to the other side, I hop in a cab, head straight to the airport and purchase a one-way ticket to the furthest-away domestic location. You ever wonder why I’m nowhere to be found after they play? Because I’d sooner cut my own throat than discuss topics like, “was the guitar loud enough?”, “how was the lighting?” or, “do you think they’ll have us back?”
I realize it makes convenient copy, suggesting the label roster is one-big-happy family, but truth be told, I work with a never-ending succession of horrible, horrible human beings and I need to take drastic steps every day to make sure none of their character flaws rub off on my otherwise perfect self. My sole motive for documenting their endeavors is complete and thorough appreciation for their art (and the fervent desire to exploit the fuck out of it). But do I consider these musicians to be friends? Listen, if any of ‘em showed up at my doorstep asking to use the bathroom, I’d demand a doctor’s note and a $50 deposit.
Greetings members of The Yankee Universe and those who wish in their most personal moments-in-the-dark they could somehow be a part of it. But hey, maybe in two years’ time, Jay Bruce. Enjoy playing out the string surrounded by a Triple-A lineup andundocumented laborers struggling to move 2016 National League Champs swag marked down to 80% off.
But enough about our (alleged) crosstown rivals. Listen, I realize the narrative is that our organization’s “baseball” people somehow prevailed upon yours truly to trade assets like Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller for a boatload of prospects, but do you really believe, in your heart of hearts, that such cunning moves didn’t really have my fingerprints all over them? The only thing harder to comprehend than the local media’s love affair with our oversexed General Manager is his inability to think with his brains instead of his dick, but I know my readers aren’t nearly that gullible. Everyone from Baseball America to Tom Verducci to Meredith Marakovits assures me our future is blindingly bright and by this time in 2018, the entire sports universe will once again be KISSING MY ASS, 24-7 as we run away with the American League East.
Of course, you can’t start a new era with closing the door on the old one, and as I’m sure you’ve heard by now, our lineup will soon be free of the single biggest clubhouse cancer/contractual albatross in modern sports history. Some may call it unbecoming to gloat over vanquishing a rival, but I’ve worked tirelessly the last few years to make this day a reality. Allow me to gloat. It’s not as though you’ve accomplished anything with your pathetic lives.
(illustration courtesy Tim Cook)
Cynics will point out that Alex Rodriguez will still be paid the remainder of his 2016 and 2017 salaries, but that’s assuming he doesn’t manage to do something so embarrassing, so shameful, he’d sooner leave those tens of millions on the table than allow a certain accomplished executive to release a certain video recording he’s hoped against hope didn’t really exist.
So make no mistake, A-Rod’s merely “retired” from putting on the pinstripes and facing major league pitching. His days of LOOKING OVER HIS SHOULDER are only beginning, however, and I’m not at all inclined to kiss that money goodbye. While the intensely creepy Brian Cashman is trying to pick up librarians on social media claiming his name is Ryan Moneyperson (for fuck’s sake, was “Dick Tate” already taken?), I’m the one person in these offices who is working late into the evening, trying to figure out how we’re gonna be able to afford Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper and Noah Syndergaard. Hypothetically, I mean. It’s not tampering if no one reads this blog anymore, right?
(Luis Guzman is not simply the bus driver, but he’s also super wise and has many mystical insights and/or Dylan rarities at his disposal)
The best thing I can say about Cameron Crowe’s “Roadies” (Showtime) is that it could not have very easy to make “Vinyl” seem super realistic/accurate by comparison.
(other works “Roadies” manages to make seem very realistic : “Battlefield Earth”, “The Island Of Dr. Moreau” (Brando/Val Kilmer version), the entire M Night Shyamalan filmography).
That said, I’m hopeful the series can inspire a new game where people start showing up for terrible bands’ soundchecks (in cities where such things exist, anyway) and proceed to lose their collective shit at the sheer rock’n'roll majesty of well, pretty much fucking anything that’s being banged out (insert random story about Van and Jim Morrison vomiting into each other’s mouths, did you realize the tour bus is about to stop at the birthplace of Chicago’s Terry Kath, etc.)
I guess if i had to choose between a reality in which ISIS rules the globe and one in which the entire road crew for generic arena bands consists of nothing but uber-fans who’d lay down their lives for sub Loggins & Messina garbage, I’d probably pick the latter. But I’d have to think about it for a least a few minutes.
Also, we’re nearly six hours in and there’s no Kozelek cameo, WTF.
TPPRC: You recently wrote the book, Under Our Skin, about the racial divide in America. Do you have any unique insight about how race factors into the issue of abortion?
BW: I wouldn’t say I have any unique insight. I do know that blacks kind of represent a large portion of the abortions, and I do know that honestly the whole idea with Planned Parenthood and (Margaret) Sanger in the past was to exterminate blacks, and it’s kind of ironic that it’s working. We (as minorities) support candidates, and overwhelmingly support the idea of having Planned Parenthood and the like, and yet, that is why she created it. We are buying it hook, line, and sinker, like it’s a great thing. It’s just amazing to me and abortion saddens me period, but it seems to be something that is really pushed on minorities and provided to minorities especially as something that they should do. In the public, it seems to be painted that when minorities get pregnant they need to get abortions, especially when it comes to teen pregnancy. It’s like when black girls are pregnant, it’s like a statistic, but when white girls get pregnant, they get a TV show. My book talks about race, and how all these things are kind of forced into our brains. When we think about abortion, what’s the picture we get in our minds? It’s usually a minority, and those images are reinforced in culture. We sit here and talk about advancing the black agenda, whatever that means, we talk about our interests, and what’s important to us – like having political power and advancement and all those things – and then we are turning around and we are killing our children. And we are buying the lie that it’s our personal decision to make. Honestly, I am sympathetic, I am. Because I know it’s a hard decision. I don’t know exactly what it’s like to be pregnant and to be a single mom, or even to be a married mom and not want the child. I would never assume people are having abortions flippantly. I know people have them for convenience, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a tough choice for the mothers to make, so I always want to be sympathetic to that.
TPPRC: Men are often told they aren’t welcome in the discussion on abortion because it is a “female” issue. How would answer that challenge?
BW: It’s a women’s issue, but a lot of the women wouldn’t be having abortions if the men would step up and be a part of what they are already biologically a part of. Raising children and having children, even though the women birthed the child, is designed for two people to do it. And there is so much undue stress and pressure on the woman if the other one isn’t there. So, really one thing we do is say it’s a woman’s issue, forcing the woman to have to deal with it on her own, so that way men don’t have to. As a man, I am going to passive-aggressively tell you you are in control, when really I am just telling you that because it makes my life easier, cause that way I don’t have to step up and make a decision. I obviously think that a man has just as much invested in that child as the woman does. He need to be there to support her through the physical changes of the pregnancy, and help and provide emotional strength, and do it together. As much as he has a role in making the baby in the first place, it needs to take both of them the whole way through. Any idea that a man doesn’t have a role in it is not true, and is simply more about politics and making a man’s life easier. If you are going to say, “It’s your choice” and she decides on an abortion, then at least be man enough to go with her through the entire process. You should have to sit with her through the entire procedure (and recovery) if you are going to go that route…
People sometimes ask “what are you looking for in a candidate?” I always answer that I’m looking for someone who can successfully reenact the scene in “(The Day Of) The Jackal” remake where Bruce Willis blows Jack Black’s arm off. With as little advance training as possible.
If Barneys can charge $265 for a Black Flag shirt (echoes, I reckon, of Kayne’s $8K Discharge jacket) there’s some serious money being thrown around/flushed in the pursuit of authenticity. Comical, yes, but I would truly like to see the people I love and respect hop on this gravy train:
Don Walsh’s Rusted Shut Fantasy Camp ($3000 for two days, Don might not attend due to other obligations) Von LMO Segway Tours of Coney Island ($350, must supply your own Segway) Taylor TX, SST Superstore “Supermarket Sweep” For Charity* ($1000 for 90 seconds, all the Jambang overstock you can fit in a shopping cart) touring company of “Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” starring Curt Low (understudy, Neil Patrick Harris)
* – cat rescue, of course
“I know my teammates and I think they knew what I meant by what I said,” Niese said at Citi Field before the Mets faced the Yankees. “And from what I said, I never really meant to criticize the Mets’ defense. All I really said was that I was excited to pitch in front of the Pirates’ defense, so it’s unfortunate the way it got turned around, because it’s certainly not what I meant by it.
“But I have talked to a lot of the guys in the clubhouse and they respect me and I respect them and I’ve always loved them from the first time that I have played with them.”