Class(Y) A Baseball

These are the hopeful few, the guys who, if they could just turn a double play, catch a couple more balls, or just get a few extra base hits, or not give up two home runs in the first inning, could be headed to the Harrisburg Senators.

This picture will serve as a reminder that I should always bring my camera. I went to see Class A Baseball hosted by the Potomac Nationals in lovely Prince Williams County, Virginia. This is what I saw:

  1. The Starting Pitcher gave up two home runs in the first inning
  2. A guy sitting along the left  field fowl line was sporting only his speedos on a hot sunny day.
  3. The short stop rocketed a ball into the first base box seats during warm ups in between innings.
  4. The DH for the Nationals got struck in the face somehow by a pitch and collapsed like a ton of bricks.
  5. I watched a helicopter land on a little league field. They had to stop the game in the eight inning because a fowl ball almost hit the DH while he was on the stretcher.
  6. Ben’s Chili Bowl has a stand at Pfitzner Stadium.
  7. People in Prince William County smoke a lot of pot in their suburban home and their kids are mutants.

Essentially, it was the most nuts-o baseball game I’ve ever experienced and I got to sit on the third base line. It was pretty awesome. Also, all the players on both teams make themselves available for autographs and high fives. These are the hopeful few, the guys who, if they could just turn a double play, catch a couple more balls, or just get a few extra base hits, or not give up two home runs in the first inning, could be headed to the Harrisburg Senators. This early in the season, there were no scouts. Maybe they never come. It’s low rent baseball. Hardly a step up from the high school and summer leagues most of these kids were playing at last season. But it was the most exciting, sloppy baseball I’ve ever seen.

Posted in Uncategorized

Plan It X esque records.

Paul Baribeau
Unbearable

Self Released

A few years ago, I went to this movie called Juno that you’ve probably heard about it. It was about a girl who got pregnant. My friend Mike Geary liked it, even though it was kind of a touchy feely indie movie, so that’s how I knew it was good. Anyway, there was this song and it had this line that went “Paul Baribeau took me to a big tire swing” and I screeched out loud. It’s not every day you go to a major motion picture and hear the name of some dude you played a show with in some weird performance space at a multipurpose space in front of like 30 hippie punk kinds into “folk punk” (for the record, I don’t think the music I played back then could have been considered folk punk and even though I played with a lot of Plan-It-X groups, none of the kids were into my shit). Folk punk is a stupid genre title, akin to emo. Anyway, Paul Baribeau is a pretty nice guy, a bit spastic and plays and sings real well. He didn’t get famous, though I guess Plan-It-X sold a few more records then normal after that movie came out.

As it stands, Plan-It-X is fading into the sunset in 2012 before the world ends, so I guess in a way it’s appropriate the Paul Baribeau released his new album Unbearable on his own. The kids these days just don’t understand the importance of record labels and I fear that this is going to be detrimental to musicians who are not business minded. It seems from perusing the blogosphere that not a lot of people even know this album is out and it sure hit me as a surprise when I saw it one day on the Plan-It-X website.  But this has little to do with how great this record is. Paul’s prior two efforts have been largely short bursts of poppy punk energy, and while Unbearable remains ripe with those qualities, it’s feels as though Paul was only just scratching the surface.

Though he inhabits a very powerful voice in his own right, Unbearable features some doubling of vocals at key moments and this simple recording trick gives this album a bit more sonic matter making the often solemn songs that much more brooding. Also his chord progressions, which were always pretty intense have gotten hectic. The opening for “Rolling Clouds,” a cleaner version then the one release on a split 7″ last year, is one of the greatest intro’s I’ve ever heard. His playing is subtle and powerful all at the same time, traits that hundreds of loud ass bands fail to accomplish with mountains of distortion and thundering drums blasts.

Unbearable is not quite the album that Paul hinted out when he dropped that split 7″ last year, but it definitely shows growth in some new territories. His lyrical poetry is akin to the storytelling of many of the greats, Springsteen (who Paul admires) or John Darnielle from the Mountain Goats come to mind. If he ever decided to get a backing band or was given the opportunity to spend a proper month in the studio really letting the imagination burst from him, I think he would make one of the greatest records of a generation. But he seems contained by not have the budget or the time, no matter how much exposure a silly movie might have brought his way.

Imperial Can
Hey Fuckers

Plan-It-X Records

Punk rock is a precarious term, open to the individuals interpretation and so scrutinized under so many different microscopes that it almost seems like a lost term. Most “punk rock” could really have always been called rock music. Don’t get me wrong here, I love the Clash, but they didn’t really revolutionize rock and roll. There approach and politics may have been different and I wouldn’t argue otherwise either. I guess what I am saying, which I’ve probably said a hundred times before, is that punk is more of an attitude and an approach. There is nothing significantly punk about Green Day these days, that doesn’t mean they aren’t a great rock band, but they operate within a context that has little to do with what punk rock really embodies. And I bet if you made a rational argument they would probably agree.

Imperial Can are a punk band though, through and through. We could start with Chris Johnson’s history if we wanted to, but instead, I’ll just ask you to go to the Plan-It-X website and tell you to order the Operation:Cliff Clavin and Ghost Mice CD’s and you can see for yourself. So, musically is this a new direction for Chris, no, not at all. But that’s not really the fucking point. It’s got some awesome poppy punk guitar chords, lyrics that examine and sometimes criticize society as we have it today, and pretty much it’s short and to the point. At times it gets a bit overbearing, Chris as a song writer has a tendency to loose site of self editing. It’s clear he’s putting a lot of thought into the ideas he sings about, but sometimes it’s to the detriment of the music and the song. But frankly, if you don’t know that going in, then I can’t really help you out here.

But this is clearly a fuck you type album, so truly, who am I to say anything (full disclosure, I’ve played a few shows with Chris and even got to go on a few days of tour with him last year). The cover features a penis skewered on a stake and being erected by an army of rats. Honestly, I’m not sure what to make about that. It’s a bit unnerving actually. But the album does feature song titles like “Hey Fuckers”, “Sometimes a ‘Fuck You’ is Called For” and “The End of the World Came…It Was Bored, It Left”. So while the record is smart and sonically awesome, it also has that bratty quality that makes for the best of a Plan-It-X records. The snarky, intelligent punk rocker is a rare find, and I fear the day when Plan-It-X is no longer providing this perspective to the world.

This record isn’t just about the band Imperial Can, which is a bit unfair of me to say. But it is representational of a community and of a certain idealism that has all but faded from the musical landscape. Everyone seems to need a booking agent, myspace, free downloads, 10 t-shirt designs and a tour manager (when the fuck did bands start getting tour managers again?) in order to “make it”. Plan-It-X has always made it themselves, whatever they wanted to do and in a way that used to be be sustainable to the label, fair to the bands, and more importantly, fair to the supporting fans. Hey Fuckers should be a wake up call to all the kids as all the great ideas and great people that make this art are being either co-opted by bullshit or are being forced out of the picture because all that above bullshit has made punk rock less then sustainable. I don’t want to see that happen, it’s just too important to me. But when Plan-It-X closes shop, a lot of what I love will be no longer.

Posted in Uncategorized

Episode 6 – A New Hope

The KYS Department of Taxation on Every Breath You Take brings you this, the 6th podcast. I know one of you fuckers knows someone who knows something about how to get this fucking podcast on fucking itunes. I tried reading the internet and it’s too much for my drug addled mind to understand so fucking get yr 13 year old nephew into My Chemical Romance who dresses like a werewolf (WTF?) to help me out.

The KYS Department of Taxation on Every Breath You Take brings you this, the 6th podcast. I know one of you fuckers knows someone who knows something about how to get this fucking podcast on fucking itunes. I tried reading the internet and it’s too much for my drug addled mind to understand so fucking get yr 13 year old nephew into My Chemical Romance who dresses like a werewolf (WTF?) to help me out.

People Like You Like They Like This Intro
Ambulars – Northern
God Made Monkeys, Then He Made Man. He Got It Right The First Time.
Mass Movement of the Moth – Translucent Insides
Eulcid – Two People Holding Hands
Puerto Rico Flowers – Let’s Make Friends
Slices – Nightmare Man
Sick Fix – This One’s For Katie
I once shot Clay Pidgeons With Krist Knoveselic and Dean Ween, it was a low point in my life, but I’ve been to rehab and am better now.
Young Livers – Suffering From
The Max Levine Ensemble – Somebody’s  Got to be the Instigator
Defiance, Ohio – This Feels Better
The Measure (SA) – Get it Together
Faith – Another Victim
Little Known Fact About Me, I Get Paid to Make Babies Cry
Tobacco – Little Pink Riding Hood
Imperial Can – Flies
Make Up – Have You Heard The Tapes
No Friends – Permanent Black Eye
Mancake – Bring it on.com
Listen asshole, Des Ark is the greatest band ever so you should just go out and buy all the music they have made and stop fucking around with your stupid pathetic life. Idiot.
Des Ark – Girls Get Rough

Watch Movie, Die Laughing

DC Short Film You Should Probably Watch. Then Shut the Fuck Up and go outside.

Issue 4?

Basically, I’ve been forcing myself not to just have a total emotional breakdown and cry all day. Which for me is really weird. I hate crying. I think crying is totally fucked up and it bothers the shit out of me when other people do it and I feel totally like an asshole when I do it (the rare times that happens).

Hey Fuckers, this is the internet, it’s totally bullshit. Also, eight people read this blog apparently. It’s a bit strange. But I have some useless news.

#1 – read this blog here. It’s written by my friend Rebecca Armendariz. I accidentally cyber stalked her tonight. See, I had a really bad morning. I was just overwhelmed and made the mistake of listening to Statehood, which features Reba’s late boyfriend Clark Sabine (it’s gonna be really embarrassing when she tracks back and finds this blog and I feel stupid as shit writing this while listening to the new Dead Weather album). I had this fucked up emotional moment, sent her this fucked up text message and sat on the side of the road and cried for about ten minutes on my way to work. Truth be told, I feel like a total fucking mess right now for a variety of reasons. Basically, I’ve been forcing myself not to just have a total emotional breakdown and cry all day. Which for me is really weird. I hate crying. I think crying is totally fucked up and it bothers the shit out of me when other people do it and I feel totally like an asshole when I do it (the rare times that happens). But honestly that or getting tattooed are the only things that make sense right now. Also I am fucking sick and shit is totally fucked up and I hate it. So anyway, yea, I accidentally found Rebecca’s blog looking up stuff about Clark because I’ve been thinking about him all fucking day and I pretty much just want to cut everyone in the face.

#2 – Since basically I have eight awesome friends that read this, thanks. I appreciate it. Please tell yr other friends about this blog. It’s gonna probably get a lot better soon. I think once I relocate, Franconia Station, my other blog, is gonna be morphed into this one. So you’ll get pod-casts, music review, pictures from shows, and the occasional personal spiel the internet is so ripe to provide despite it being a completely inappropriate forum for this bullshit. People want content, I intend to give it to them.

#3 – Issue 4, does it actually exist? The answer to that question is yes. I have written about 10 pages of text for issue #4. It’s a fairly personal zine where I talk about how much of a pansy I am dealing with malignant skin cancer shit and acting like a shitty, emotional wreck and then talk openly about some fucked up shit and it’s really embarrassing. The thing is, I continue to find moles and shit that need to get looked at. It’s kind of fucking me up a lot and I’ve put this third round off. I’m actually getting pretty concerned at this point. Melanoma is fucking aggressive. I haven’t put it off because I don’t think about it or am scared or just giving up, I’ve just been so busy and preoccupied with the immediate shit other people keep putting in my face. Frankly I just want to tell them to go fuck themselves. I realize it’s been a year, but believe me, I still think about it.

#4 – I am hoping soon the podcasts are gonna contain audio interviews with bands as well as music. We shall see. I haven’t figured out logistics or anything yet. Also, since I am moving that might be short lived. Anyway, next weeks is really boss. check it out.

#5 – My cat keeps sneezing. It’s weird. Also, the photo up there, that’s Kiki from Body Cop. Body Cop is amazing and she’s pretty incredible to watch. Punk rock needs strong, brash ladies like her. I don’t know her or anything, but after seeing Body Cop twice, I’m pretty blown away. Fuck everything else. Body Cop is the shit.

The Department of Bad Names and Bad Faces Presents Podcast #5

Episode #5, brought to you by the fine, but increasingly busy folks at our Department of Bad Names and Bad Faces can be found here. Korrupt Yr Self Corporation for world Domination has man departments in many areas of expertise. But our technological department is severely lacking. It would be awesome if someone could get us an RSS feed set up and help us get this podcast all available on iTunes and shit because frankly, podcasts that don’t have those things are bo-bo.

Episode #5, brought to you by the fine, but increasingly busy folks at our Department of Bad Names and Bad Faces can be found here. Korrupt Yr Self Corporation for world Domination has man departments in many areas of expertise. But our technological department is severely lacking. It would be awesome if someone could get us an RSS feed set up and help us get this podcast all available on iTunes and shit because frankly, podcasts that don’t have those things are bo-bo.

Anyway, here is the play list. Thank You.

We Don’t Have Corporate Sponsers, But It’s Not Like Were Above That Shit
Edie Sedgwick – Who’s Tht Knocking At My Door (Blacula Mix)
I Made A Mess of My Life, Now it’s Time I Fuck With Yrs
Karate – If You Can Hold Yr Breath
Medications – Home is Where We Are
Spinanes – Kid In Candy
Air Miami – Pucker
Blue Tip – Hot Fast Union
One Time At Band Camp, Every One Got Aids and Died
Paul Baribeau – The Rolling Clouds
The 90 Day Men – My Trip to Venus
The Pupils – The Mind is a Hole in the Body
Kathy Cashel – The Roman Empire
Juno – The Great Salt Lake
A Space Ship Was Launched Into President Obama’s Eye and it Esploded all over the Fucking Place, it was scary
The (Capital City) Dusters – Minutemen Song
Kaia – Storm
Mud – Plastic, Penis, Killer
ONSIND – We Defitely Didn’t Start the Fight
Dear Landlord – High Fives
Your Mouth is Full of Maggots, You Can Thank Jesus Later
Chinup Chinup – Virginia, Don’t Drown

(1:02:45)

KARGUPT YR FELF PLOD FLAST EPLIDODE #4

GOD DAMN that was a pain in the ass to do today. For some reason it has to be in lower bit rate I don’t know. whatever, it’s free music. shut up and get it

GOD DAMN that was a pain in the ass to do today. For some reason it has to be in lower bit rate I don’t know. whatever, it’s free music. shut up and get it here

An intro that no one likes, not even me
Imperial China – All That Is Solid
I welcome you in my house, but I taunt yr sex organs
Buildings – Be Here
Bomb the Music Industry – Blow Yr Brains Out on Live TV
Shoutbus – Braile
Dead Friends – Crassfts
Forrest Whitaker – Samurai Code Quote #1
Thorns of Life – I Hate New York
You Hear Me Talk and So You Listen Obediently Mother Asser
Pissed Jeans – Lip Ring
Twin Stumps – Missing Persons
Lotus Fucker – When the Cicadas Cry
Descendents – I Don’t Want to Grow Up
Limp Wrist – Brotherhood
Oh Jesus, I think I just had my first period
The Tim Version – I Left My Nuts in San Francisco
Ingrid – Universe
Swank – Almost Heaven
Pee Tanks – Happy
Pee Tanks – Sad Eyes
Now that you’ve punched me in the face we can move on to chart #2
The Lawrence Arms – Breathing (me and Martha Plimpton in an Elevator)

(45:24)