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A Brief History of People of the North April 30, 2010
Good morning and welcome to the POTn history lesson that I promised you. Their first album, Deep Tissue is available NOW and you should go snap it up before you're left out in the cold... do it, cold kind of sucks.
Once upon a time, in a dive bar far, far away, POTn were the greatest band in the world. You may think I'm nuts but I have DOCUMENTATION to back it up.. and the last time I said that my friend posted it on facebook so I know I'm right. Shot by one of Pgh's finest filmmakers (and bass players, come to think of it), Tricky Powers, and a small crew, it's a show that went down in Pgh history... some of us haven't recovered.
So we're freaking out, the vibe was one of pure bliss, one of those nights where everyone is this goofy town loved each other and couldn't stop smiling, and suddenly FB invites an audience member to join them on vocals. With Rickety mad scientist S. Boyle already in the mix up stepped J. Lingo to the mic and history was made.
Thank You to POTn for that stolen night in Gooski's, and thanks to Pittsburgh for participating in and capturing it for posterity. I still need a digital copy of this show. JEFF!! When are we doing that hard drive swap?? You have been officially called out, buddy.
In a similar vein, if you are in NYC this weekend, you should check out Soldiers of Fortune at the N+1 Issue 9 Launch Party Saturday. Talk about a Supergroup that I forgot to include in the 'Supergroup' post, whoops. If you do go see them you'll have one up on old Blood, I had but one chance to see SoF in my lifetime and I spent their set sipping a clear/orange-flavored malt beverage out of a brown paper bag in line at a Best Buy somewhere in Manhattan. It still hurts. I don't ask you for much, dear readers, but if you're feeling like doing your girl a solid, go to the show and demand they come to Pgh on my behalf. Thanks!
Spring and Deep Tissue are in the air! April 28, 2010
Hey, it’s Blood. So.. we’re putting off the history lesson.. it’s timeless, it can wait. I’ll give you a hint: it pertains to the fact that People of the North’s Deep Tissue is available now!! Released yesterday!! Looks and sounds amazing!
So this recent email exchange between myself and Editor-in-Chief Kid Millions warranted posting… or maybe it didn’t, but too bad. Anyway, I’m sitting here trying to write an an intro and I’m not coming up with anything better than what Kid said: “we're meditating on crushes and how we compromise ourselves if we think the artist is cute. . .and how that's kind of pathetic.”. To-wit:
Bloody Powers: Yeah, tonight I'm going to see Heavy Trash/taking a break from Melwood Avenue.
(disclaimer: Heavy Trash is not totally my thing but Becky is flipping over them and Jon Spencer and Matt Verta Ray are cute.) (Editor’s Note: the drummer (Sammy?) is brutally cute too.)
Kid Millions: Hear you. . .heavy trash is kinda bad but what are you gonna do. I would probably go see Avril Lavigne for free. I would go see Joanna Newsom. . I've met her. She was like an eccentric grandma. . .she was kind of awesome.
I think I would rather go meet Avril at a book signing - like if she wrote a cookbook. Or maybe at a hockey charity event. . .I would probably do that. . .
I've had indie rock crushes before. . .Alicja Trout, Eleanor Friedberger. . .I've talked to both of them. . .albeit briefly in each case. I just enjoyed talking with them and thought they seemed cool.
I had a moment with Neko Case when I heard "People Got A Lot Of Nerve". . .she seemed pretty upfront about what she was all about. She looks really put together. She's older. She has a beautiful voice and great hair. And she doesn't seem completely bonkers. She also posed with hockey skates in a New Pornographers photo shoot.
I liked watching this video and feeling like maybe we'd hit it off. The lyrics are too pat. . .but I think we've all been there. We end up with the wrong guy or girl. . .At the same time maybe she's too into the destructive persona. . .I'd buy her dinner though - see where we ended up.
Actually - I have a confession related to Neko Case. . .I think it was the first time I bought an album because I had a crush on the artist. First and last time - like I might watch this just b/c I've got some feelings for Neko Case:
BP: haha, I agree Neko is fine but her music never really spoke to me. I saw her in Cleveland, my friend talked me into it so he could be in a room with her... after her set she was at the merch table where he could have talked to her... but I did all the talking. She was really sweet. Great hair indeed.
I can't take the sound of Newsom but I get why dudes like her. The epitome of "hipster grandma", ha.
I'd likely see 30 Seconds to Mars cause Jared Leto is wicked hot, I'd go to see if I could chat him up, definitely.
Totally have a crush on Dallas Good but it doesn't really qualify since The Sadies are great.
Um, Jack White! I'll deal with anything that man does, no matter how pretentious/unremarkable. This song/video kind of kicks my ass:
I've checked out Aleka's Attic in recent years because my teenage lust for River Phoenix has never dissipated, now THAT was a terrible band.
(Editor’s Note: I have to add this second River Phoenix youtube… I can’t help it. I know every word of this song. If this isn’t a place to drop guilty pleasures, I don’t know where is.)
I can't really think of any others.. So many current indie rock dudes look like girls these days.
KM: I can understand the Dallas thing of course. . .I'm just giving you what you need here. . .
In closing, M V-R, if ever you're in the neighborhood looking to get a drink or married or something, you know how to reach me.
I’ll see you all in a few days, readers, I’m not sure if it’s totally apparent but I have a rather steep hangover to deal with.. I’ll be back in a few days with our regularly scheduled program.
J. Palumbrah Doubles Down, Writes About it April 26, 2010
Happy Monday, Blood here. When I saw an ad for KFC's new "Double Down" sandwich and I was not replused... I concluded that I'd likely try one but then I promptly forgot about it. Fast forward to a few days ago when I was reminded of it in a most delightful way... a review of the same by our Senior Correspondent out of Chicago, J. Palumbrah! I know! I was psyched too. She truly has a gift. And her post reminded me that there's a KFC right down the street from the my crib, though only time will tell how dearly I will pay for that reminder.. and I'll be sure NOT to report it to you. Take it away, J!
When Kid first asked me if I would like the honors of becoming Chicago’s Senior Correspondent for Brah Records, I never in my wildest dreams thought such a title would plunge me into depths of saturated fat that I’ve never sunk before. OK- YES- perhaps the tidepools in the deep-frier would have pulled me in on my own accord, but Brah has given me a unique gift: the gift of purpose. Truly, my new status as “correspondent” gave me a legitimacy I’ve never experienced in previous episodes of over-indulgence. Polish Buffet? Don’t mind if I do, I’ll just eat 3 plates of potato latkes, pork shoulder, sausage, kraut, and cheese blintzes so I can write that Political Op-Ed article for Brah. All you can eat bacon? Yes, please and thank you. I have important research to do for the Brahs and Sahs. Double Down Triple Date? How does one say no to a sandwich “So meaty there is no room for the bun?”
Answer me that?
The obvious choice was to get down with a Double Down on a triple date with my favorite gluttony buddies, Matt and Kendal (circa all you can eat bacon). It’s my destiny. My calling. My JOB.
A few weeks ago was the first time I heard of the Double Down, KFC’s FUCK YOU response to recent fads of fast-food chains offering such healthy options as apple fries, wraps, salads with Paul Newman Light dressings, baked potatoes, and tendergrill chicken sandwiches. The Double Down, released April 12, features two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken fillet “buns” enclosing two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey and pepper jack cheese all resting in a pool of Colonel’s Sauce. Even to me, a seasoned veteran, this sounded unreal, even comical. I immediately went to the source: I sent Kendal a text: “Double Down?” Her response: Matt is in the car getting me one right now. Fortunately, the Double Down existed. Unfortunately, Matt got there at 9:05 missing the 9:00 closing time. Fortunately, the three of us made plans to reconvene and have a double down triple date. Unfortunately, when we got there the counter boy delivered the news that there were only TWO Double Downs left in the entire restaurant. “We will take your entire stock of Double Downs” said Matt Hannigan, Age 26 of Logan Square.
We briefly debated visiting a second KFC to acquire the third double down, but since Kendal confessed to being still full from her “fat girl lunch,” we decided double Double Downs would have to do.
540 calories, 145 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,380 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of fat*, and 4 grease soaked napkins later the jury is in: Delicious.
As always, I am willing to put myself in bodily harm for you, dear reader.
* “By this measure, the Double Down is indeed quite unhealthy, but some other sandwiches are just as bad. The Burger King Chicken Tendercrisp (1.00 DDs), which has less cholesterol but more fat and sodium, is comparably unhealthy to the Double Down on balance. The chicken ranch sandwiches from Sonic (0.94 DDs) and Jack-in-the-Box (0.98 DDs) are close. And surprisingly, some sandwiches from "fast casual" restaurants that have a reputation for healthy food do even worse. Panera's Chipotle Chicken checks in at 1.49 DD's -- it has almost 50 percent more bad stuff than the Double Down -- and Boston Market's Chicken Carver at 1.14. So do some products that stretch the definition of "sandwich". A chicken burrito from Chipotle with rice, black beans, cheese and corn salsa will cost you 1.16 Double Downs: load it up with sour cream, guacamole, and picante salsa as well and you're up to 1.69. A pack of five McDonald's Chicken Selects with a side of ranch sauce is worth 1.23 Double Downs.” - source
Thank you so much J, Matt & Kendal for your excellent work.. please keep it up!! We love it.
Another thing we love? Bands making it to the road. Sightings is out there right now, you should catch up with them and grab a copy of City of Straw while you can. Or grab it via that link I just gave you (no excuses). As usual we have lots in the works and you'll be hearing from me soon. I know you're pleased, it's no trouble.
Great Moments in recent Cavs History Part II April 22, 2010
Yo, it's Blood. Hey, Sightings are playing in Oberlin tonight at The 'Sco!! Headz should go check them out. Here are the rest of their tour dates if you, like I, can't get to Oberlin tonight. If you are there and/or can get there please do rep for those of us who are in some way indisposed.
I was all "what in the world am I going to say to intro Lauren's next piece?!" and then I read "Part 2" and was all "whew, this girl's posts need no introduction" so I'm going to keep it short and turn it over to Lauren Podis, Brah's Cleveland Sports Correspondent... !
The Big Shot
It may seem odd to include this one, coming as it did in last year's bitterly disappointing Eastern Conference Final match-up with the Orlando Magic. LeBron saved the game, but in the end he couldn't rescue the series. Still, to me this defines a Great Moment in Sports. Despite a large and early lead, the game ended up so close by the end that I was reduced to pacing the length of our apartment back and forth, from the living room where the TV blared to the kitchen where I had the game tuned in on satellite radio. Every other minute I was convinced that the Cavs were doing better when I was in one room rather than the other, and, not being able to bear the thought of being responsible for a loss, I had to adjust my position accordingly. As the final seconds raced away, Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu scored to put Orlando up by two. And that was that, or so I thought. The Cavs would get the ball back, but then what? Time out, inbound and then try to get off a 3-point shot with like half a second left? No way. Forget it. Give me the bourbon. Al tried to tell me that if anyone could do it, LeBron could, but at that point I was past reason. I remember screaming "I can't look!" as I tried to stick my head under a sofa cushion, but before I could make any real progress on that front the ball was in the air and then in LeBron's hands, where it rested only briefly before continuing its journey toward the basket. For a good five minutes, once I had stopped hyperventilating, all I could do was repeat "Oh my god." The conclusion of the series may have been painful, but that big shot was the perfect example of the joy and insanity and passion and anxiety that can sometimes converge into brilliance.
The Big Drive
I think every possible superlative has been used to describe LeBron's performance against the Pistons (and it really was him, solo, against the Pistons) in Game 5 of the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals, so I won't bother trying to pile on a few more. We'll just stick to the facts, for those who are unaware of what went down that night at the Palace. It's like this: LBJ had a 48-point game. Yeah, great. But listen–what makes that figure truly noteworthy is that 25 of those points came in an uninterrupted streak during the final 12 and half minutes of a game that stretched into double overtime. His teammates? They were around, I guess, although it's not like anyone (least of all the Pistons, who by that time were quadruple- or quintuple-teaming James) would've noticed if they had decided to go grab some nachos. They certainly weren't getting anywhere near the ball. LeBron had apparently decided that it was time to offer a literal interpretation of oft-rendered judgment that the Cavs were a one-man team, and god help anyone who stood in the way that night. This is one of the cornerstones of his legacy, and with good reason.
The Big Hug
Here's one that can still bring a tear to my eye. Veteran center Zydrunas Ilgauskas was drafted by Cleveland when LeBron was, like, twelve (I'm serious) and then quietly suffered through multiple injuries and some historically terrible seasons before experiencing somewhat of a renaissance during the King James era. He was an All Star in 2005, and then two years later came the magic moment. Following James' legendary Game 5 performance, the Cavs returned from Detroit to finish off the Pistons in Cleveland and earn their place in the 2007 NBA Finals (which did not end well but you take the good, you take the bad etc). Once the final buzzer sounded, LeBron's first order of business was to embrace Big Z. Pandemonium abounded throughout the arena, but for a few seconds the pair were as oblivious to the outside world as the couple in Eisenstadt's famous photograph. This unlikely friendship between a stoic Lithuanian old-timer and a brash young gun who makes his own rules might sound like the stuff of a 70s cop show, but it was business as usual at the Q.
Aw. Thanks, Lauren!! Speaking of Cleveland sports, I heard some really interesting news yesterday about a certain d-bag who a Cleveland sports writer referred to as "the 'Law & Order' episode that has become their starting quarterback" (hahahaha!). It seems that our Clevo divisional rivals may be interested in a trade. Personally, I'm not caring who takes him so long as he goes, but I have to say the thought of my belovedSteelers D crushing him into the turf no less than twice per season has me almost giddy. Like, there may be hope after all... I don't want to get ahead of things, he may not go anywhere and I'm aware of that, not necessarily prepared, but aware...aaand I'm pretty sure I already have one ulcer over all this so I'm trying to chill a bit, but I've been fantasizing about Ben in orange/brown and I am INTO IT.
Wow, we have so much good stuff on deck... I still have to drop a history lesson on all you fiends, Chicago Senior Correspondent J. Palubrah is BACK with a sick look into clogged arteries, and there are records that will soon be available that you should gift yourself with and bands on tour that you should be checking out... what can I say: it's a Brah's world, we just live in it.
Until next time this is Bloody Powers saying OVER AND OUT.
Cleveland: Beefs, Basketball and Burning Water April 19, 2010
Hello friends, Bloody P. here. Did my blood run a little cold(er) when I received the newest blogstory from Book Editor/Cleveland Sports Editor Lauren Podis? A little. Why? Cause she's CLEVELAND and I'm PITTSBURGH and thanks to the BONEHEAD(S) on my team I cannot, at this time, look down my nose from atop my high horse at my divisional rivals. But then, when I shook off the initial panic and actually read the post, I saw that it was about basketball and with basketball I have no beef, I don't care about it and even if Pgh had a team I'd likely not follow it. But then again, this isn't about me.
You may remember Lauren from her outstanding post a while back: "books found in Al's Mom's laundry room". I'd link it here but I can't sooo.... just trust me on that, or dig through the archives, it's there, I promise. And now heeeere's Lauren!
If I never see another article on the subject, it will be too soon. I've lived it, man, and I don't need some sports "journalist" who didn't pay his dues in Municipal Stadium telling me what time it is. So as we move into another NBA off-season in which the Cleveland Cavaliers once again seem poised to possibly, maybe, finally GO ALL THE WAY, I wanted to offer my own list of memorable moments from the recent past. Let's have some new stories, please.
The Shove (AKA The Gloria James Gang Rides Again)
High-spirited Gloria seems to be the wild card in the carefully managed house of LBJ, so it's a testament to both the savvy of LeBron's marketing machine and the ultimate regard that she has for her son's career that the worst detractors can point to is a damaged CMHA cruiser and the purchase of a Hummer years ago that might have been slightly unethical. But while the days of her showing up to games and taunting opposing fans while wearing a "LeBron's Mom" jersey may be long gone, 2008's intense playoff series with the Celtics proved that there's plenty of life in the old girl yet–as Paul Pierce would discover when he committed a hard wraparound foul on the driving LeBron. The combined momentum of the pair carried them into the baseline crowd...where Gloria just happened to be. And she wasn't about to take this bullying of her only child sitting down (pun intended). I have no idea what she screamed at Pierce after she launched herself at him, but I'm sure it was colorful. An exasperated LBJ, perhaps a veteran of similar outbursts, loudly instructed her to "sit [her] ass down." Thanks to the NBA's fondness for tight close-ups, this directive was clearly visible to millions of viewers–a fact that left LeBron to sheepishly comment after the game that at least it wasn't Mother's Day.
Things aren't easy for Delonte West. According to Google's search box, the most popular terms following his name are herpes (let's set the record straight: it's a birthmark), arrest, bipolar, guns and girlfriend. Still, it's almost impossible not to love this man. True, he was arrested after cutting off a police officer while speeding in a three-wheeler (obviously not the most intelligent course of action). That girlfriend thing may seem innocuous enough, but it relates to an episode years ago in Boston in which his irate, drunken S.O. tried to strangle him. And he is bipolar, an issue that he decided to go public with last year. And yes, guns were involved in the aforementioned arrest (several of them, actually, including one carried El Mariachi-style in a guitar case). Adding to this list of woes, he talks like a slightly more urban version of Boomhauer. But despite, or maybe even because of his many travails (trust me–NO ONE loves an underdog like Clevelanders do), Delonte has become one of the Cavs' most beloved members. Aside from what he brings to the court (and he brought much more than anyone was expecting when he arrived as a spare part in the deal that brought us a fading Ben Wallace), fans respond to his senseofhumor, his passion for the game and his loyalty to his team. And of course, for committed Delonte-watchers, there's always the possibility that he's going to do something interesting. After last year's bruising series with the Magic, media attention focused on LeBron's angry departure from the court without bothering to shake the hand of his rival, milkshake-swilling manchild Dwight Howard. But in the immediate aftermath of game, my attention was drawn to Delonte, who was being tracked by the cameras as he congratulated his college teammate-turned-playoff competitor, Jameer Nelson. The two exchanged pleasantries and then bro-hugged briefly. This, however, was apparently not enough to convey Delonte's depth of feeling. He threw off his jersey and went in for a second hug, this time topless. Nelson, to his credit, accepted the sweaty tribute with equanimity, but I was jolted out of my whiskey-benumbed stupor. And that's what I now remember most about that dispiriting Game 6–Delonte being Delonte, offering a surreal moment in the midst of what seemed like the end of the world.
Please check back Part 2 later this week. Thanks, Lauren!
What else? Sightings are currently on tour... check them out!! I hear the mixing of the new DF record should be finished tomorrow (a most appropriate holiday for that, no?), doubly sweet cause John needs more time to help me build my sunflower garden.
We have a nice/busy summer coming up and lots to talk about so keep your friends close and this blog even closer.
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Hey everyone – so this piece has been brewing almost as long as the follow up to The Enchanter Persuaded. . .this is Kid talking. I read this review by the great Rick Moody and realized he was as addicted to rock biographies as I. So I decided, what the f’ – I would write to him and take his pulse on music bios. What follows is our reconstituted email exchange with our recommendations sprinkled in... Read on!