Mixtape Time Capsules: Driving Mix, c. 1992

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A mix-tape, whatever its intended purpose, is also always a time capsule. A record of a person, a place, a set of feelings, a time that felt like forever, and then wasn’t. Last week I opened a box and a little piece of the ’90s fell out: the first driving mix-tape I ever made. There’s no date on it, but I’m pretty sure it’s from the spring of 1992, since that is approximately when I would have gotten my license. Fun trivia fact: I learned to drive on the Beltway. In a Chevette. Anyway it is a hilarious cultural trainwreck and I kind of love it, not least because a mix that starts with Dwight Yoakam, dips heavily into, among other things, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Elvis Costello in the middle, and ends with Ashokan Farewell probably does still sum me up as a person reasonably well. Also, I have a terrible pop music problem and every time I listen to Five Seconds of Summer’s She Looks So Perfect I start laughing when they get to I got a mix tape straight out of ’94 because, dudes, I was there, I remember, and most … Continue reading

2012: A Year In Pictures: Dec. 2011- March 2012

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A series of highlights, as well as a chronological accounting. At the beginning: shows I went to after I had completed last year’s year-end roundup but before the end of the year.   Naked Fiction, Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, CA, Dec. 30, 2011   we are the Last Men On Earth, Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, Dec. 30, 2011   Pollux, Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, Dec. 30, 2011   Wounded Lion, Brick & Mortar, San Francisco, CA, Dec. 31, 2011   White Fence, Brick & Mortar, San Francisco, CA, Dec. 31, 2011   Fresh & Onlys, Brick & Mortar, San Francisco, Dec. 31, 2011   Thee Oh Sees, Brick & Mortar, San Francisco, Dec. 31, 2011   And now, 2012, starting my first show of the year at the Lakeside Lounge:   Mud, Blood & Beer, Lakeside Lounge, NY, NY, January 5, 2012   Crown Jewel Defense, Irving Plaza, New York, NY, February 4, 2012   Foxy Shazam, Irving Plaza, New York, NY, February 4, 2012   Justin Hawkins, The Darkness, Irving Plaza, New York, NY, February 4, 2012   The Darkness, Irving Plaza, New York, NY, February 4, 2012   Built By Stereo, Irving … Continue reading

Postcards from the Pit: TESLA / Built By Stereo, Irving Plaza, 2/17/12

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TESLA, on the 25th Anniversary of the Five Man Acoustical Jam.  I waited 25 years for this show, and it was worth every minute. The experience was all the sweeter because I made new friends in the line, and they saved me a spot on the rail. So not only did I get to see a band I never thought I’d be able to see live, but I got to be up close and personal with them while I was at it. Best Valentine’s Day present I bought for myself ever! Built By Stereo opened the show. They rocked as hard as they possibly could without falling off their chairs. I was especially impressed with their drummer, who brought some real power and pizzazz to their set. Here are some pictures of them:   The left half of Built by Stereo: Brandon Hood (bass) and Daniel Espinoza (vocals, guitar).   And the right half, with part of the left: Daniel Espinoza again, and also Derek Diesen (drums) and Tony Ricker (guitar).   And then it was time for TESLA. In the early ’90s they got lumped in with other “hair metal” bands largely, I suspect, because they had long hair. … Continue reading