Friday, February 29, 2008

Look Ma, All Hands!

The Whigs - The Visulite, Charlotte, NC 2-27-08

Around the time the set reached it’s half way mark Phil leaned over and yelled into my ear, ‘you can feel the push of air coming from the drums.’ Pounding, thrashing and ramming with an onslaught of precision, Julian Dorio and The Whigs bled it all out and then rung it dry this past Wed at the Visulite. It is the best I have ever heard them and the energy they exert, well you just can’t help getting caught up in how good they make rock ‘n roll sound. Big, bad and loud; The Whigs are ruthless.

But the evening didn’t come to fruition with such zeal and raw intensity at launch.

Seated across from Phil at Zada James, one of the better-known breakfast spots and sandwich joints in town, we were dumbfounded at the $20 entrees and the candlelit ambiance did little to set the tempo for the evening at hand. Grubbing down nachos as fast as I could get my paws on them, Phil and our waitress flirted over a few micro-brews. After which we wasted no time settling the tab and packing up the scene to a more suiting atmosphere seeing as ‘ol wide-stance had arrived.(see Flaming Lips at Amos’) Now perched at the bar in NoFo the drinks came easier and the buzz of anticipation began to hum. Also dining are assorted members of Charlotte’s own The Sammies and a couple of Spinto Band cronies. A few laughs, a couple good stories, some new beers in grasp and an intriguing variation on a white Russian. Thanking the barkeep these three wise men made our way to the Visulite.

Taking the fat black stamp to the backside of my hand, Phil used his corporate know how and opted for the underside of the wrist, note taken. Reconvene with familiar faces from the QC and Athens as Spinto Band uber-sockhoped their way through a set of ‘we’re not cliché indie-pop unless you say we’re cliché indie-pop’ noise, to which to retorted ‘you’re cliché indie-pop.’

I had a chance to speak with Julian before they prepped to take the stage and spoke about the tour, the growth in recognition and shamelessly I took credit for the fantastic turnout on a Wed. night in a town that prides itself in not having fun on a work night. We shook hands, I wished him a good show and then plugged another brew into said void finding a spot down front to gain true vantage.
Just before the boys took to hammering away it was noted that there was a sizeable hole in the front of Julian’s kickstand. I assured Parker that this had nothing to do with a load in mishap, but rather a likely run in with a swift kung-fu kick unleashed down on petal. I’m proud to say that reputation was once again upheld and Julian’s playing once again makes me want to break things loudly, leaving the pieces strewn in a confused mess.

A few months back I reviewed an Atlanta show and down played Tim Deaux and his abilities. Perhaps that was just an off night. This time around he might have stolen a healthy portion of the spotlight and deservedly so. Nothing against Hank leaving, but it did alter the feel of the trio and filling an original members shoes is never easy. But now it’s blatantly obvious that Tim has no interest in ‘filling in,’ he’s bringing his own zest and spunk. This works, works pretty damn well I’ll note. Tim flew through the chords and his based was amped up perfectly, he definitely kept the trio’s sound popping.
Mission Control’s taste is crisper, more direct and at times harder than Fat Lip. It’s so good that it has made listening to Lip a little difficult as of late. Curious to see how the full on new material would lend itself to the defining sounds of their humble origins, I was wildly rewarded with a near flawless performance that alluded to no signs in weakness or contradictions in direction of the group’s music.
Parker is unstoppable and gritty per usual. The lyrics are showing tremendous growth and the delivery has all the makings of rock’s true lead man. And there it is. The defining explanation of The Whigs. In an era were it is so hip to be bizarre, confusingly innovative, post-this, pre-that, a variation of this mixed with splattering of Eastern Euro folk music or some such obscurity, The Whigs take grasp and say fuck it! We’re a rock band and we do what rock bands do. WE ROCK YOUR ASS OFF!
That’s an understated attribute and a testament to superior things to come their way. People love to feel empowered, to blow it out, to get caught of up in an unexplained calling of loudness and at their core, people just want to hear a damn good rock ‘n roll band. It’s as American as Willie Nelson drinking a Budweiser, riding the backseat of a Chevy with two bikini clad babes in a Fourth of July Parade, and there’s nothing better than seeing it done with a little southern class.

The crowd eagerly backed the band throughout the night, singing along to songs old and new. Joy abound, the crowd forces the band into an celebratory encore, during which I hear my first Whigs cover, Get Off Of My Cloud, The Rolling Stones.
The Whigs have their hands full these days with a ongoing trek across the great 50 and the earned pressure of performing at the A game night after night. But if you ask me, it’s really the rest of those pretenders out there that have their hands full. Not only can the Whigs deliver with all hands on board, they can double dog dare ya and then do it blindfolded. See ma, I told we could!
It’s nothing less than an awesome show from an awesome band. Godspeed you Whigs and here’s to having the honor to rock with you again soon!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Early Sounds of '08

The Black Keys are set to rip out their new LP Attack and Release.
Take a listen to the single Strange Time hear.

Catch a brief into vid to the DJ Danger Mouse produced album in the studio, exciting new direction for the band, this comes highly anticipated for me.

While you're giving new songs a whirl, get a taste if Hang Them All, the single from Tapes 'n Tapes upcoming LP Walk It Off.

Shoot, might as well check out the new stuff Destroyer is working on while I've got ya clicking links.

Friday, February 22, 2008


I’m a jerk.
I’m a jerk with a big heart.
I just don’t know that yet. The part about having a big heart. I’ve known for years that I am a jerk.
Despite such a level of pathetic realization I’m closer now than I ever have been to coming to terms with myself.

This consciousness strikes me as I slice through the basil and lemon encrusted Sea Bass with yellow saffron rice and the seasonal vegetable medley, slightly over steamed. It is not going to rank among the most upscale of locales that I have pulled this before, but it looks to be an above par night. More than a few of the mid-life crisis assistant vice-president to the associate director of vice-presidential associates, assistant types here as well as a scattering of aspiring heroes and one whom I am certain has a background in medicine. There’s something oddly familiar with this place, I pause and stare down the suspicious and knowing eye of the pimply faced bust boy. Cramming a wedge of sourdough to plug the carrot strips down above the herbed Bass that’s slipping itself into an impasse above my Adams apple I know it’s far too late to change course now…I’ll have to wish beyond better judgment that I’ve never eaten here before.

What did she have in store for me? What is the goal she had hoped to accomplish? Why could I never learn to accept any of it?

My mother, or rather what’s left of her, speaks past me now. I’ll never get the answers I need, I crave, I starve for. Had she forced me into being the slack that sits at table E7, non smoking, with the oversized fork load of snowpeas slugging down his face onto his unironed shirt in a steady stream of his own drool?

If dealing with sex addiction was as easy as collecting rocks…I’d build me a wall. A wall to keep me away…from me. And everyone else.

But am I such a bad person? Do I not fill a void, answer a question, put to rest that which has remained unresolved in so many for so long?

Even Jesus had to of screwed up a few before he starting getting it right. Am I just selling myself short?

It can take a lifetime, and sometimes longer to know these answers. Without oxygen I’ll be dead in the next 2min and 28secs.

Flailing across the hardwood, face shades of disappointed maroon and desperate violet; I feel my eyes rolling back as sweat pours from my scalp and brow. Kicking hard in an untimed stammer I’m scuffing up the walls and shins of onlookers.


One by one, the rocks stack higher. The stones are varied in shape, weight and color. They form a mighty wall. Is it enough to keep me contained?

The slightly balding, father of 2.5 kids and owner of a second mortgage feels at one with the moment. He knows he can redefine his life…do something of worth…save a wretch like me.


Anne, Susan, Michelle, Jen, March, Megan and that girl from work in her colonial stockings down around her ankles. Why could I never speak to my mother about these things?

Tonight’s hero, glasses tossed to the side, sport coat handed to the soccer mom in state of sheer terror as she rips into the underpaid waiter on line with 911’s ear, is pounding on my chest and thrusting heavy garlicky breaths of hope into my lungs. I’m dark purple and my hands have turned clammy. If he pulls this miracle off he’ll be indebted to me for life. He’ll send checks and little hand written post cards to stay in touch. He’ll want to know how med school is going and if I ever reconciled with my estranged mother. I’ll of course have to pretend to remember him and refer to my ledger to compose a ‘going through the motions’ response.

It’s the most defining night of this poor saps life. For me, it’s Tuesday and I wish I had ordered the Ribeye.


Being addicted to sex isn’t the same as being as addicted to alcohol. Given the choice I’d choose the later at this stage of my life, because then at least sex isn’t a necessity…it can still have meaning.
But what in my life has meaning?


I’m almost dead. Dead from having never really lived.

This is the part I’m never prepared for, no matter how many times I’ve done it. The rush and return. The tears, his and mine. The pissing of the pants, the regurgitated food coughed up on his and my shirts and onto the shoes of the couple on their 6month anniversary.

This man has been has been given the opportunity of a lifetime. I’ve been given an excuse to skip out on my tab.

All those lies…did I ever really help anyone?

The stones crash down mightier than they rise.

I can say that I’m a jerk with a big heart, but all I know for certain is this:
I’m a jerk that’s been spared once again.

I’m a jerk.

Friday, February 15, 2008



Do your American duty and vote; the Whig party must win the election.
YAHOO'S Who's Next Competition

Thursday, February 14, 2008

LTME says 'Happy Heart Day'

A classic from a class act.

Satisfaction - Otis Redding

You kids have a good night.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Watch OUT!, The Whigs are coming your way...

Mission. That's just not the right word. Cause. Conotation of those in need, that won't work either. Purpose. Too defining. Excuse. If by excuse it's implied that I was planning on day drinking, talk to shop owners and slap Whigs garb over town to promote the show already, well then yeah, roll with that. The Whigs. The perfect excuse...not that I was in true need it was a damn near perfect day.

Pics, sweet pics, of team QC putting out the good word.

And just in case you were wondering that is Phil T on a white 'Off the Wall' skateboard circa 1986 purchased on a healthy mid-afternoon buzz for $25 and no he was not wearing a helmet!

Thanks to the Rat's Nest in NODA for the well placed sign, knowing of the Whigs (and the Sammies) and for selling Phil a rad board.

A little signage at my favorite sandwich spot, Common Market Deli...the folks there are just so friendly.

Another fine Deli for those kids over in NODA, Salvidor Deli does the good deed. Then some brews at Solistice Tavern. All the kids in NODA were supportive, gracias amigos.

Promoting made us thirsty and in need of a few rounds of corn-hole before we made the final push to South End for Manifest Records, Fat Burrito and American Apparel...HOLLA!

Thanks to Thomas St. Tavern, the Penguin, Lunchbox Records, Philosopher's Stone and the crazy thrift store on Central with the hip mamma that discussed retro chairs with us...Phil buy one!

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Big Snub from the big show

Saw this interesting run through of the biggest names in music that never had the 'honor' of receiving one of the coveted prizes. List is basically a 'Who's Who' in Rock history, defends the notion that the Grammys couldn't be more out of touch with the real music scene/industry as a whole. I mean it's likely that Animal Collective or Menomena may be overlooked this year!!! WTF???

Ones that blew me away with neglect: BOB MARLEY!, The Beach Boys, Hendrix, CCR, Bowie...some like James Brown, The Stones and Dylan recieved far too long after they had earned them.

Take a look...Stars the Grammys Forgot.
Warning, some ass clown put 2-Pac, 50 and Ms. Romo's Distraction on this list, rest is worthy.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Jools has 200 episodes, we reap the benefits

Clips from Later with Jools Holland's 200th episode..

Sealion - Feist

Bodysnatchers - Radiohead


Monday, February 4, 2008

The Whigs say Hey! VW says Hey! Hey! Hey!


Hello Kids,

The Whigs are ecstatic to announce that they will be joining forces with fellow Athens, Ga. rockers Drive By Truckers for a tour in mid-March. In addition the Whigs will head to the 2008 South By Southwest Music Conference to open a show for My Morning Jacket and Yo La Tengo at the Austin Music Hall! The past few weeks have been extremely exciting and we’d like to thank to everyone who watched the band on David Letterman the other night. If you missed it, you can check it out HERE. The Whigs are currently featured in People Magazine, Rolling Stone, Teen Vogue, and Relix. Be sure to check out Julian Dorio’s spotlight feature in this month’s DRUM! Magazine which includes drum tablature to the Whigs song “Already Young.”

I also joined the Whigs Street Team and am expecting some flare to arrive in the mail soon so I can warn Charlotte of the onslaught...story to be followed up.

HERE's a catchy video from Vampire Weekend; A-Punk

Friday, February 1, 2008

Revs...if you're into the whole brevity thing

It has come to my attention that you people have trouble following my reviews for various reasons. I try to make my interpretation different from the norm, else why bother. But with a time press to post this week and nothing that has overly inspired me to review, here is the simple man’s review to three new albums.

Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend
Catchy, simple, pleasing pop tunes. Evokes everything from Arctic Monkeys to island music with a splash of the Clash/Specials and the indie spirit. Short, focused songs, similar in style but varied enough in structure and tempo to make the album worth listening to in whole. This will be a great album to play come Springtime.

The Whitsundays – The Whitsundays

If the lead singer of the Cure was into Buddy Holly, this is the album he would make. This album is light in ambition but strong in delivery. Nothing earth shattering, but sometimes keeping it simple and making it sound good is the best route to take. The songs have a floating sound and make for ideal background music.

In the Future – Black Mountain

I miss the funk and fun of their debut, but if you can put what’s missing aside the core of this album is impressive. Far darker, less joyous in melody and instrumentation, the second album for Black Mountain finds itself deep in the psychedelic realm. The songs are powerful, but the creativeness seems lacking. I expected far more from a band that took this long to follow up on a stellar debut.

Hope you are happy, that was boring for me.