THE REPLACEMENTS I was reading about The Replacements (minus Chris Mars on Drums and obviously Bob Stinson on guitar) recording some new songs for another greatest hits record. This time at least it's not a Reprise collection of everything wrong with The Mats, but I'm still pretty sceptical since Paul Westerberg's solo music and later era Replacements pretty much sucked so the new songs have to suck too, right? But who wouldn't want to see The Mats playing cuts from Sorry Ma... and Let it Be? Would they? Are they going to tour? Who could they get to open? Husker Du? Now that would be insane, but highly doubtful since Grant Hart recently said in a Magnet Magazine interview, "I think people realize Bob (Mould) has lost it or wasn't the main driving force (behind Husker Du) in the first place." He also called Mould a prick. Ha! Gotta love band fights that last twenty-some years. But Mould and Hart did get on stage together a couple years ago so I guess anything is possible especially when money is involved. Will they, won't they... who knows? But both The Mats and Husker Du recorded some of the best damn music to ever find its way to my ears. And while I'm pretty much rambling now, I can't help but dream of this fantasy tour. I'd totally sport a handlebar moustache to make it happen. Wouldn't you?
THE NEW FIDELITY
Interview by Joe Malone These Long Beach boys plug in, tune up, and lay it down every night. Whether they're out playing a show or making their neighbors ears ring, music is always in the air. With Phil Spector-esque melodies and lovelorn lyrics, The New Fidelity's self-titled cd blends everything wrong in love with all things right in music. Known as the New Fi to their following the band have been playing around the Long Beach / L.A. area for over a year now. A regular fixture on L.A.'s Kiss or Kill, they've been scoring airtime on Indie 103.1, and are single-handedly keeping Big E Pizza from going under. Lace up your Puma's kids and go dancing with The New Fi.
(click here for the interview and MP3's)
Interview by Joe Malone Aaron Kraten hails from Costa Mesa, CA, grew up listening to punk rock music, and still rides his skateboard. If that doesn’t make you want to get to know him, maybe his art will? Full of vibrant colors and emotion, his work has the ability to make you feel happy and sad all at once. Kinda like when you meet someone you really like, but know the phone will never ring. Wait, that's just sad, but I think you know what I mean. Aaron might not wear his heart on his sleeve, but his illustrations do. This self-taught artist has compiled over 58 one hundred-page sketchbooks and nearly two hundred paintings. He began showing in galleries back in 1997 and just this week opened a new show at Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana, CA titled, "Three Ring Circus".
(click here to read the interview)
KHAELA MARICICH (aka:The Blow)
Interview by Todd Kephart
(reprinted with permission from Kettle Magazine)
When people think of Olympia, Washington, they usually don’t think of techno-pop dance music. Olympia is known for the ultra liberal Evergreen University and as a breeding ground for cutting edge punk music, having spawned a plethora of punk greats over the past 20 years. From the dissonant complexities of Unwound on the Kill Rock Stars label to Bikini Kill and the Riot Grrrl movement of the 1990s.
Enter Khaela Maricich, aka The Blow. Khaela’s form of intimate folk-pop
tinged with techno beats and electric blips has been met with much excitement
and rave reviews. Her live performances are marked by frenetic energy,
dance, spontaneity, and on occasion: a miniature opera. A departure
from Olympia’s punk platform, The Blow fits right into K Records eclectic
collection of independent pop artists. Her most recent album, Poor Aim:
Love Songs, is a pop masterpiece featuring the radio hit, “Hey Boy”,
and was born from collaboration with Y.A.C.H.T.’s Jona Bechtolt. (wanna
Enter Khaela Maricich, aka The Blow. Khaela’s form of intimate folk-pop tinged with techno beats and electric blips has been met with much excitement and rave reviews. Her live performances are marked by frenetic energy, dance, spontaneity, and on occasion: a miniature opera. A departure from Olympia’s punk platform, The Blow fits right into K Records eclectic collection of independent pop artists. Her most recent album, Poor Aim: Love Songs, is a pop masterpiece featuring the radio hit, “Hey Boy”, and was born from collaboration with Y.A.C.H.T.’s Jona Bechtolt. (wanna read more?)
ANGRY SAMOANS "The Unboxed Set"
In true Angry Samoans fashion I’m going to keep this under a minute. If you haven’t heard them, or haven’t heard them in a while, go buy the “The Unboxed Set” because it includes all their studio recordings, plus some live tracks, all on one disc. 43 songs in 75 minutes. Now that’s punk. But please don't write off the “Yesterday Started Tomorrow” EP. Sure it’s tame by Angry Samoans’ standards, but it’s oh so good. Anyway, pick up a copy and “get hip to the lights out way”. Lights out!
BEAUTIFUL LOSERS exhibition catalog
The Beautiful Losers exhibit opened in March, 2004 at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, Ohio and has since been dropping jaws across the country. The accompyining book, Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture, published and edited by Christian Strike and Aaron Rose of Iconoclast Productions, is 256 pages of lip smacking goodness. From Craig R. Stecyk III’s intimate photography to Barry McGee’s mind numbing paintings, you’ll find yourself wanting to rip out its pages and tack them to your wall as if it were an old copy of Thrasher Magazine. Artists such as Raymond Pettibon, Mark Gonzales, Clare Rojas, Neil Blender, Brian Donnelly (KAWS), Ed Tempelton, Cynthany Connolly, Chris Jonanson, Ryan McGinness, and many others are well represented within its pages. A simple, yet well crafted layout is easy on the eyes and informative essays by Alex Baker, Aaron Rose, Jocko Weyland, and others do an excellent job documenting the scene and ad to its coffee table appeal. Display this book proudly and be the envy of your friends. Click here to find out more.
"YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL"
A juicy t-bone steak on the grill makes my mouth water, but it doesn’t compare to the full-flavored happiness I feel when I come across a You Are Beautiful sticker or installation. Those three simple words stuck to a bus shelter or lamp post can change the way you go about the rest of your day. This is not a consumer marketing campaign, but rather a statement poised to counteract those campaigns. You Are Beautiful is not selling you anything other than smiles. If you visit their website, the introduction to their artist statement sums up their purpose. It reads, “Let our statement inform you, but feel free to forget it all, and simply enjoy the message. Let this project be what it is for you.” Read on if you like, but it’s all the same if you were to stop there because You Are Beautiful is whatever you want it to be. Around Chicago, installations began popping up in 2003. The first appeared underneath a Metra train line and was composed of colorful found letters that looked like blackboard magnets from a grade school classroom. Over the next couple years the street installations grew in number and size. Some daring ones included tagging a high-traffic interstate billboard and beautifying an old water tower. Others you wouldn’t even notice unless you happened to trip and fall face to face. The website contains photo albums and locations of many of the installations as well as information on the postcards and “You Are I Am” books that have been circulating around the world. 111 books were printed with the words 'You Are' on the front cover and 'I Am' on the back. Each “participant responds to the statements on the front and back of the book. As the pages are filled, the line of distinction between ‘You Are' and ‘I Am’ blurs”. These books will be on display at Open End Gallery (Chicago, IL) July 30th, and will move to Foundation Gallery (Chicago, IL) on August 5th. These words will continue to hoist smiles as long as we (yes, you and I) keep it going. If you want to be a part of You Are Beautiful in your neighborhood, send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope to
You Are Beautiful
PO Box 220175
Chicago, IL 60622
and they'll send you out some stickers or download a template from their site and make a trip to your local copy store.