Cap’n Jazz were such a short-lived band that their entire musical catalog fits on a double album. But what a double album it is – a sloppy, cryptic, energetic, engaging masterpiece – and it’s being reissued by their erstwhile label, Jade Tree, as a double vinyl LP on June 15, 2010. To celebrate, the boys are getting the band back together for a set of reunion shows in select cities, including two sold-out shows in their hometown of Chicago. Cap’n Jazz’s influence extends well beyond those 34 songs. Their musical family tree includes other Monsters of Emo – Make Believe, The Promise Ring, American Football, Owls, Ghosts and Vodka, Joan of Arc and Owen. This is the kinda musical act you make a road trip to see. And, unless they add a Detroit show, I will have one in my future. Or maybe I’ll cash in some SkyMiles so Sean and I can geeeeek out at the LA show, the way we did when we saw The Promise Ring in Austin back in the day.
Over the weekend I ran into an avid 3hive reader, Rick R., who first blamed us for the recent departure of sizeable chunks of cash leaving his wallet in exchange for music we’ve posted on the site. I love hearing that. Then he complained, good-naturedly, that our Punk section was all over the place (which 3hive genre section isn’t??). I love hearing that as well. When I asked him what persuasion of punk most buoyantly floated his boat he mentioned New Mexican Disaster Squad. Ah yes, a new generation of classic, old-school punk. Musically, punk has moved beyond the early sounds of Minor Threat and Black Flag, so much so that, with the exception of just a few bands, music like this, fast, angry and completely skateable, has been relegated once again to the margins. Fine by me as long as bands like NMDS keep keepin’ it real.
Little did I know in my struggling years as a young(ish) shoegazer back in the early 90s that one day bands would be labelled “post-shoegaze” as a badge of honor. Atlanta’s Snowden have been given that tag, but there’s oh so much more to them than just that. Pop and rock are equal parts, and they use a special technique that my friend Mike G taught me after our band broke up many years ago. I was complaining about the stuff I was doing on my own, and his wise advice was to throw on more reverb and more distortion. The result was fantastic. Snowden have taken that same advice. Their debut album comes out August 22nd, and their EP can be downloaded from their website.
I probably shouldn’t call attention to the fact that this post is very late. Maybe I’d be able to sneak it in at the eleventh hour, literally, with little fanfare. But Sam, Clay, Shan and Joe all know I’m late because we just had breakfast this morning at Veselka in New York and Sam straight up asked me, “Sean, aren’t you going to post today?” So my secret was shattered over a plate of raspberry blintzes. It was the largest gathering of us 3hive kids since we started this thing up. We talked shop and helped Joe finish off his potato pancakes. Anyway, my apologies to anyone who noticed the lack of new music for the better part of the day. You’ll find it was worth the wait with this “country-noir” track from Micah P. Hinson. Jade Tree is thankfully re-issuing Hinson’s debut EP, The Baby and the Satellite and will be shedding new, well-deserved light on this young Texan. His album from last year, Micah P. Hinson and the Gospel of Progress was one of my favorites, and seemed to make more noise in the UK than here in the States. Here’s hoping folks start catching up.
Clay’s Moose post got me thinking, Am I even capable of narrowing down my personal all-time Top 5 songs? I could probably do artists or even albums, but songs for me are more specific to certain people, places, and time. When I stumbled across this stash of genius charmers Girls Against Boys, a flood of memories returned from a hazy, crazy summer when I took a few classes, worked at a CD store, and lived in an extremely well air-conditioned condo with my pals Kent, Matt, and Danger. As I try to recreate the house rotation I specifically recall a conversation Danger and I had about “In Like Flynn” (both the expression and the song from Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby). My fave GVSB tracks would actually come out a year later on Cruise Yourself (see “Kill the Sexplayer”), but I didn’t know that at the time. For the curious, here are my Top 5 Non-GVSB Songs of the Summer of 1994:
Soul Coughing “Down to This,”
Fluf “Sticky Bun,”
Beastie Boys “Sure Shot,”
Ride “Let’s Get Lost.”
Until recently, Dave Bazan could have been filed under Great American Author or Songwriter. His arresting narratives of loneliness (“The Longest Winter”) and moral dissonance (“Rapture”) just so happened to be tuneful. On their latest, Achilles Heel, Bazan and company let the instruments do more of the talking which really brings the songs to life (“Discretion”). Don’t get me wrong: I wouldn’t change a note of their back catalog, but it is amazing what a little swirling keyboards or soaring guitar can do.
Elastic, eccentric punk-wave with some really rewindable lyrics. Plus they’re from Regina, which makes me giggle.