Friday, February 27, 2009

Oops: Nachtmystium Get Kicked Off Scion Rock Fest

The guys at Brooklyn Vegan just posted this about Scion's decision to kick Nachtmystium off this weekend's Scion Rock Fest in Atlanta over issues regarding their supposed Nazi leanings.

Weird. I never really got that vibe from them.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stoned & Droned: Witch and Earthless Live


It's odd hearing people break out into applause over a drummer's sound check. But I guess when that drummer is slacker legend J Mascis, all bets are off. Which would also justify the amount of paparazzi-like sleuths who snuck in snapshots of the gray-haired Dinosaur Jr. founder as he set up his kit. Then again, maybe all the attention was appropriate since tonight's bill of Mascis' Witch, plus Earthless and Children was completely drummer-centric.


Though I neglected Children due to a Lost-induced time suck, I managed to get my ass to the Music Hall of Williamsburg in time to see the brilliant stoner psychedelia of Earthless. The instrumental trio were a joy to watch, and it's no wonder why they placed drummer Mario Rubalcaba's kit dead center on the stage. Even with his minimalist, rose-glitter setup, the guy rocks like Animal, and sets the tone for Earthless' sunny but trippy freeform sound. Earthless inspired tons of head-bopping and hippie dancing in the process; easily reminding me that these guys are pure West Coast flower power. I look forward to seeing them again at High Times' Doobie Awards (and putting Rubalcaba on my make out list).


Headliners Witch took a very different approach. Sounding like a modern day Grand Funk Railroad with punk sensibilities, the newjack heshers ripped through tracks from both their self-titled debut as well as their brand-new opus, Paralyzed. More thunderous and dirty than Earthless, Witch are the perfect band to grind to—which would also explain the tons of skateboards I saw at the gig. Overall, it was a great night of stoner rock with nary a boring moment. Light 'em if you got 'em—and be sure to check out Earthless next month if you're in Austin.

For more crappy pix, click HERE.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

So, You're Heading To Atlanta This Weekend...

Many of my friends are going to the big Mastodon/Neurosis-headlined Scion Rock Fest this weekend in Atlanta. And while I sadly won't be making it down there to hang out with Petrika, Eric, Jyl, Strutter, Kamal and the Mastodudes & their fabulous spouses, I created a list of my favorite places for my NY-based friends to enjoy. Then I decided to share the love. For fuck's sake, people, someone bring me back a slice of proper red velvet cake from Publix.

I recommend going to Piedmont Park (Atl's version of Central Park) and seeing the lake, the GA Aquarium (I am almost positive you can still buy beer in their cafeteria), The World of Coca-Cola, The High Museum (like MoMa, they have that Chinese Terracotta Army on exhibit there now); the Cyclorama (a giant 100 yr old painting depicting the Civil War, presented in the round and completed with a choice of mildly racist souvenirs); and the MLK stuff. And if you're a nerd, there's always a CNN tour to be had downtown next to Centennial/Olympic Park.

Then there's the Clermont Lounge. If you go to Atlanta and don't go to Clermont, you are a pussy. Imagine an elephant's graveyard for strippers in a place that makes CBGB seem sterile, and you are just touching upon the glory of Clermont. It is truly the 8th wonder of the world. Ask for Porsche or Blondie.

Other approved strip clubs (girls are all young, nude, booze is served) are Cheetah, Pink Pony and Tattletales (as name-checked in the Crue song). You might need a black sponsor if you try to go to Magic City, so call your favorite Atl rapper. I recommend Killer Mike (miss you!).

There's a neighborhood in Atlanta called Little Five Points. Folks will try to convince you that it's like the East Village and all "crazy/cool" people are down there. Don't believe them. The people there are elitists towards anyone without tattoo sleeves and Bettie Page bangs, and seem to have forgotten they they live in a second-rate Southern city. Fuck Little Five Points... but I almost guarantee anyone hanging with Mastodon will wind up at El Myr. If you do get stuck in L5P, make someone take you to Star Bar to see the Elvis shrine. Plus, Nashville Pussy is playing there on Thursday (as if you needed another reason!).

Also, avoid Buckhead and Virginia Highlands unless you are a yuppie, dying to go mall shopping, or are a frat boy.

Instead, go to East Atlanta Village. Besides the fact that The Earl is located there (half rock venue, half bar/restaurant) that has a renowned "dunch"—their version of weekend brunch—within walking distance are tons of bars like the Graveyard, Gravity Pub (giant gourmet beer selection), Flatiron and several others. Also, anyone looking to get a commemorative tattoo can go upstairs from Flatiron to 13 Roses Tattoos and ask for Danielle. She's from NY, so you know she's cool. Mention me, and she probably won't overcharge you.

I like food, food tastes good. The time I spent down there gorging on fried chicken are some my happiest memories of Atlanta. None of the places below are high-end, except for Flip. Instead, they mainly fall under three primary food groups: BBQ, fried chicken, burgers. And breakfast. That's a food group, right?

The Vortex (Midtown, not L5P location) - Both locations are good, but I think I made my feelings known for the latter neighborhood. The best burger I've ever had in my life was at Vortex, and there are plenty of varieties to choose from. They also make a nacho plate with TATER TOTS!!! Actually, tater tots are plentiful in the A. The Earl also makes an amazing burger; Highlander also serves food, but it's your standard bar stuff. And I hear amazing things about Richard Blaise's Flip Burger Boutique, which opened after I moved home.

Fat Matt's Rib Shack & Chicken Shack (Midtown-ish) - Apparently they couldn't keep all the awesomeness in the same place. These two are next door to each other, and both are amazing. This is probably my favorite fried chicken joint. Another BBQ place that's a local favorite is Daddy D's (Grant Park).

Other fried chicken options are: The Colonnade (same 'hood as Fat Matt's), Mary Mac's Tea Room (Midtown), South City (Midtown), but it's a little more high-end.

For fast food, the greatest place is Willy's Mexican... like Moe's, but 100x better. There's a location right off Piedmont Park, so it might be a nice place to sit, drink a beer and have a burrito.

The Flying Biscuit (Midtown, the other location is out of the way in Grant Park) - Breakfast all day, and amazing biscuits, as their name implies. Ria's Bluebird is also yummy for biscuits and gravy/breakfast food, and Six Feet Under's (Grant Park) seafood is good, too. SFU also overlooks Oakland Cemetery, which is another interesting tourist spot filled with Civil War (or as they call it in the South, "The War of Northern Aggression") relics.

Did you know the very first Krispy Kreme ever is located on Ponce in Midtown? It's also open 24 hrs. and smells like heaven. Homer would be proud. And since it's about the simple things in life, stop by any Publix supermarket and buy a piece of their red velvet cake, covered in proper cream cheese frosting.

The Varsity - The one time I ate here, i felt like i was being punched from the inside of my stomach out.
Taqueria Del Sol - Why go to the Southeast for boughie Mexican food? This place is the most overrated spot in all of Atlanta.

I covered a lot of these above (The Earl, Flatiron, etc.), but the Highlander (Midtown) is probably still my go-to spot for the cheap booze, decent food and metal music. There's also Estoria (Cabbagetown), Trackside Lounge (Decatur, closes at 3 am). There's also Righteous Room (Midtown) and the Highland Ballroom.

Across the street from Clermont are two other spots, The Local and MJQ Concourse/Drunken Unicorn. The former is a fun straightforward bar that serves boiled peanuts (if you're into that sort of thing), while the latter is a three-room dance club/rock venue that gets better the later you go. My recommendation is always to start drinking at The Local before going to Clermont. You will need to drink some courage first.

That's all I could think of offhand, and I'm sure new fun places have popped up in the months I've been absent. I'll just have to check them out when I come down for a visit.

Oh yeah, someone bring me home a slice of that damn red velvet cake!

UPDATE: Some of my ATL friends hit me up to let me know that Fat Matt's Chicken Shack is gone (but the Rib Shack remains) and that Trackside burned down last month. Guess nothing good can last forever. I'll pour out a little grease for the fallen.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

SxSW Countdown

It's 27 degrees in NYC, there's been a dire lack of good shows (though this week's Witch/Earthless/Children and Bloody Panda/Wetnurse extravaganzas might placate me) and I miss actual, good Southern food. Time to head to Texas.

And while this year's SxSW headliners (Metallica, PJ Harvey, Devo) are more nostalgic than cutting edge, there is one party I am most definitely looking forward to: HIGH TIMES' 2009 Doobie Awards show.

OK, technically, you do have to pay to get in—even with a badge—but, what you do get is two stages filled with some amazing bands, FREE beer, and some other fun stuff you know HT wouldn't do without. And, there may just be a surprise or two... the kind of epic, reunion surprise you can definitely brag about and get stoner rock cred for experiencing. Trust.


I'll be twittering and blogging for (HT's "everything but the weed" lifestyle site). Follow me!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the $13 Tattoos

I’ve long been a fan of silly, nefarious tattoos. That’s why the Friday the 13th tradition of shops offering $13 tattoos tickles me so damn much.

The concept is simple: most participating shops provide custom 13-themed designs created especially for the limited one-day run—and the tattoos costs only $13. Call it a recession special and a shout at the devil, all in one.

Below are just a few of the tattoo parlors around the world offering the Friday the 13th special. If you do decide to take the plunge, remember to get to your local shop early as lines tend to form quickly.

And while I won’t be queuing up this time around, don’t put it past me in the future ;)

13 Roses

Death Or Glory

Tilted Halo

Mastermind Ink

Forevermore Tattoo

Classic Tattoo

Twenty12 Tattoo

Daredevil Tattoo

Rogue Parlour

Tattoo Zoo

To get you in the mood, check out some more 13 tattoos I found on Flickr.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Give My Regards to Brodaway

Here's more proof that no one gives a shit about New York's G Train (ie: the Ghost train). Apparently when the G/Broadway stop in Brooklyn was being remodeled, no one notice that they spelled the name of the station wrong on one of the tiles. In that person's defense, when you say "Brod-a-way" quickly, it does sound the way half the accented people in the city pronounce it. Just sayin'...

For more on the story, click HERE.

Monday, February 9, 2009

15 Step

If my addiction to DVR wasn't already justified, watching this year's Grammy Awards solidified it. I pretty much fast-forwarded through all the eye-roll inducing Coldplay pomp and circumstance—not to mention all those bloated performance numbers. John Mayer repping guitarists? Bitch, please! Enough with your sex faces.

Still, there was only one highlight that mattered (especially since M.I.A.'s water didn't break on stage all over Kanye's sneakers, as I'd hoped) and that was Radiohead's performance with the USC marching band.

And I don't even LIKE Radiohead. Still, good shit... check it out!

New York Comic Con '09

Normally, I'd be all over New York Comic Con. But with one of my best friend's wedding falling on Saturday, my participation in the con and all the partying associated with it was sadly kept to a minimum. In the end, though, it was all worth it. Dannielle and David's wedding was a lovely affair and went off without a hitch—and it even had a few comics-related moments of its own.

For one thing, the ceremony and reception were held on West 37th Street, a short distance from the convention. As I exited the cab, I had to chuckle when spotting some light saber-weilding Jedi neophytes migrating east. Then during the cocktail hour, I was surprised to see the groom's cousin, comic book artist Judd Winick (yes, that was him on Real World: San Francisco), was also in attendance. What can I say? The nerd cred just materializes.

Though I'm sure I missed the best costumes and attractions on display at the NYCC on Saturday, I was still happy to bask in my comic book and Japanese toy obsessions on Sunday. As usual, it was great to gossip with friends in the business, see the latest movie trailers and people-watch. (For the full photo gallery, click HERE.)

And for those of you who are more word-oriented, here's a detailed recap of the trends and cultural anthropology that caught my eye as I made my way across the Jacob Javitz Center floor.

With the lawsuit settled and a firm March 6 release date in place, the biggest buzz at the convention was the forthcoming Watchmen movie. A panel and preview of the film was held before a capacity crowd, and people lined up for four hours in advance of artist Dave Gibbons' autograph signing. Bright yellow promotional items, deluxe-edition graphic novels, action figures, props and costumed conventioneers were everywhere.

How cool is this giant chalk drawing?

Chalk Watchmen

This look goes way beyond standard fanboy behavior—especially since most of the guys who dress up in tight, shiny costumes generally don't have the bodies to fit them. Trust me, seeing The Flash coming was a lot more painful than seeing him going. No homo.

As for the ladies, there were many a Baroness in the house... to various degrees of success [see below].

The Back View is Waaaay Better

I suppose the family that dorks out together, stay together—but the least they could do was pick a unifying theme and stick with it.

Nuclear Family

...Just like these guys! Blue is a theme, right?

Post-Nuclear Family

FYI: The foam toilet seat cover around the girl's neck is a promo item for the full-length film version of the defunct Showtime series, Dead Like Me. Apparently its an obscure reference to a death scene in the pilot.

All weekend, the talk of the NYCC was about which NY-based celebs were seen perusing the aisles and making unlikely appearances. Everyone from Jon Stewart to Method Man were reported to be in the building. Shit, even the Mastodon dudes were spotted taking light saber lessons on Friday.

The only celeb I spotted was 30 Rock's Scott Adsit. Not too shabby!

30 Rock's Scott Adsit

Though I was too antsy to stand on line for a 15-minute demo of the Wolverine video game to get the bonus giant foam clawed hand that came with it, I made sure to get my hands on a Wonder Woman tiara from the DC booth (thanks, Vince!). Exhibitors resorted to all sorts of interactive stunts to grab the attention of the sold-out crowd, including Cinemax, who provided hyperbaric chambers in which anyone 18 or older could watch scenes from their softcore porn/medical series, Forbidden Science.

Skinemax's Softcore Porn Booths

Though I'm balling on a budget these days, I couldn't resist picking up a mini blind-pack Kid Robot toy from their line with Portland artist Ryan Bubnis, Heroes and Heartbreakers. Appropriately enough, I got Lil Franky. I also picked up a Things That Hurt zipper pull (and got a money bag! Hopefully a good omen).

Lil Franky

That's the wrap for '09. According to Reed, the company that runs the New York Comic Con, next year's festivities will be pushed back until October 2010. Will we be buzzing about the Preacher flick?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Boy Toucher In The 'Hood (Who's Not Me)

OK, this really isn't THAT funny of a story... but I admit that the proximity of this story to my home—as well as my own reputation as a Cougar Cub—made me chuckle.

What is true: provided that they're not psychologically scarred, these boys will be PAYING strippers to behave this way in a few short years.