Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Tigerlillies - 123456

Always seemingly out of nowhere, Cincinnatis own 'Other Pop' enthusiast, College/Modern Rock/Alternative music survivors—whatever or however you want to call them—The Tigerlillies, once again acting with surprise in their favor, unleash a follow-up to their full-length In The Dark CD with 123456; their latest sonic offering in the form of an extended player.

Other-Pop (as I see it as the bastard evolution of The Embarrassments Blister-Pop) is the way I choose to describe (not label) this release: Another non-existent genre of music (that I just-now coined) that inevitably someone reading this will react by rolling their eyes about... Now. That is, if they already haven't. Not because Other-Pop dosent fit, or isn't witty enough, but because they didn't think of it first.

To call 123456 'Indie' seems wrong and out of place... Even, perhaps, an understatement. The Tigerlillies deserve better than that!

It's not a matter of respect for this bands longevity or their ability to weather and endure... Ever progressing still, the band (once again—in my own words) that always was, who I feel like I have always seen on flyers since my earliest days going to local shows, has earned it.

There's no reason why The Tigerlillies shouldn't be heard on the [new] 105.9 fm WNKU which is (thank the heavens above) sounding more and more like the sorely-missed [Old] Future of Rock and Roll™ 97.7 WOXY, and their local music promise to play a local band—at least one—every hour. 

If I can hear bands like Sacred Spirits, The Fairmount Girls and The Pomegranits more than once each in easy listening whilst completing chores around town—if I can read e-mails and Facebook™ post from comrades telling me they heard my name used in conjunction with a Buffalo Killers related radio-spot on said station—then why hear The Tigerlillies not WNKU?*

After all, 123456 does contain a tribute to David Bowie titled (be fittingly enough) "Bowie" pre-dating his demise.* Brian Driscoll (Tigerlillies bass-player) describes the stand-out jam "Our first ode to another musician." Which subtlety suggest that there will be more in the future.

Times come and go, and that includes real and even the BS genres I create, develop and continually alienate myself with. Just when Planet Cincinnati turns their head, The Tigerlillies prevail once again delivering beautifully excited Television-esq guitar riffs mixed with a delivery reminding me of Document era R.E.M. and the nearly forgotten Material Issue.

Returning with verily noticeable charm that The Tigerlillies unknowingly brandish, 123456 exhibits a sharp edge of optimistic energy. When asked, Brian responds "I think this group of songs may be slightly less angstly if you will. Take a song like "Darlin"... It's a slower song, think VU or even 50's style do-wop in structure and cadence."

Expanding inward and showing a deeper level of development, Brian adds: "Although the Tigerlilies 'thread' still runs through these songs, the tone and tempos are perhaps more varied."

On 123456 The Tigerlillies pierces your ears like a cleverly unsuspecting placed assassination shot to the ear. Bands like The Tigerlillies has provided examples of how to be a band in the sometimes insular Cincinnati scene that many musicians and fellow bands today utilize from the well-established, to the cut-your-teeth basement venues, without noticing or fully and truly understanding.

After all, it had to come from somewhere and with output like 123456, The Tigerlillies make it look easy. 

Even if it's not.


The Tigerlillies on Facebook

The Tigerlillies at MOTR Pub in Cincinnati

*This has been thankfully rectified. Thank you WNKU!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Day David Bowie Died.

I entered the morning of Monday, January 11th, originally, at approximately 4:30 am after hearing a garbage can, my garbage can, after its emptying and subsequent slamming to the ground, making a verily hearable THUD accompanied by the sound of the trash trucks compactor-motor whirring afterwards smashing the trash into its cargo-bay. A bit ago, I remember actually watching them from a spot in a warming-up pick-up truck some Monday mornings, but this morning of the 11th, I got up, took a raging piss, and got right back into the bed. Still, let the record show, that work-damage has left its mark. Even now, early in my golden retirement years, by instinct, I still wake-up at nearly the same time every morning reminiscent of the times I would drag myself from point A and onwards, for 10+ hours Monday thru Friday (and sometimes Saturday) bringing me full-circle from fatigue, frustration and self-loathing to even MORE fatigue, frustration and self-loathing—or I did... Now, I just get back in the bed and dread how cold it's gonna be when I actually do awaken and get bundled-up to bring in the empty trash-can(s).

I awaken again, still early even by my retirement standards, near 7am. I was dreaming about record shopping at an art show in the Akron Town Hall that was curated by Mark Mothersbaugh who is still selling 7"s for $3.00. Kenneth H.3 is there and we are both drinking beer—ice-cold Miller Lites— directly from the can.

"Hey! You! It's all over the internet that David Bowie has died of cancer and it appears to be true." Julie, my wife, whispering in another breathy-tone. Breaking news to me by arousing me from my sleep for a second (now documented) time since our union in 2006. This time though, unlike in my lettrest/prose written work Gentle Whispers, that talks of the time she broke the news to me that Osama Bin Laden was killed—no erection.

I recounted to myself, while still laying in bed, reluctant to release myself from its warmth, how just a few days ago Bowie had a birthday and album release. Like everyone else, we both watched the Ziggy Stardust concert on VH1 and made secret promises to each other of staying far, far away from his new album, Blackstar. After all, everyone has a Bowie album that becomes their personal border marking when they officially stopped buying Bowie records. Despite the occasional, exceptional good song... Like "Blue Jean" (my behind the border favourite) or my dads all-time favourite Bowie track, "Let's Dance"— A jam that solidified my Dads belief and declaration that David Bowie was one, of only a handful of musicians that could not only play a guitar with gloves on, but play so well that he could (in his own words) "Make the guitar talk." We all have a point of no Bowie return and sporadic exceptions.

Say what you want, but my Dad... Not only did he invent the term 'Hip-Hop' but also foreseen—while leaving the movie theatres in 1983 after seeing Return of the Jedi— that Hamill, Fischer and Ford would all be in their 60's and 70's when they would finish the movie series... A prophecy that has come-to-pass just recently with the re-birth of the Star Wars series as witnessed in The Force Awakens blockbuster brought to you by the fine folks at Disney.

Talking to the uber-honorful Troy T. over corporate coffee, I explained how watching what would become the last Bowie video(s) ever for Bowies jam "Lazarus" and the albums title track "Blackstar" that Bowie would give conspiracy theorist and Illuminati Exposers ample material to work with for years, if not decades, to come.

Monday afternoon, post Troy and myself and our post-corporate corporate-thrift store shopping, I still found myself reflecting heavily on Bowie. I'm not sure what I was originally thinking when I activated Siri and asked her about Bowies passing, but it doesn't really matter. Due to the beautiful failure of technology that is known as Abstract Dictation, I was led down yet another odd path due to its mysterious way of working.

Siri told me, with what I defined as confidence, that as far as it knew, David Bowie was still alive and given me a list of links to prove it! 

"SIRI!!!" I spoke louder, slower and clearer " I got bad news for you, David Bowie is DEAD! He has DIED!" 

Siri, being either a sentiment, living, thinking, loving but stubborn and mean life-form OR just another stupid dumb computer gimmick—shown me the sentence I asked as it heard:

"Siri I got bad news for you, do you could go is infected" which was totally wrong but its confident, snide answer.

"I'm just trying to help you."  Fuuuuckkkk! I thought quietly to myself trying to make a conscious effort to watch my 'bad' language around my seven-year old who, when frustrated with her seven-month old Great Pyrenees Mountain-Dog 'puppy' named Micanopy, liberally uses the words Boner, Rascal and Bastard to voice her frustration with him and his antics.

As they say on Project Runway, Vanderpump Rules and Below Deck, my discussion with Siri was getting serious... "Shit just got real!"

"NO SIRI. DAVID BOWIE IS DEAD! BOWIE! DEAD!" I spoke even louder and slower garnering full-attention from my nearby wife and daughter. 

Quick to respond, Siri stated "Here's what I found on the web for 'No Siri, David Billy is dead. David Billy Carter.'" Then provided more links with most of the links referencing President Billy Carter. 

Growing more frustrated, I continued my efforts justifying my repetitive attempts thinking that someone has to give Siri the bad news, so that someone might as well be me. "Siri, David Bowie: the Musician, is dead!" 

You know, its funny how some people, seemingly, like to be first to tell people bad news. It's not a bad trait. Julie, had first told me of Osama Bin Ladens death... She told me of David Bowies death... Inadvertently so, I was this person to Siri. 

"I don't know how to respond to that." FINALLY! I got through to Siri after-all! I seen this response from Siri as was what I thought of as a human type of response. Being left speechless seemed fitting concerning the sudden shock of Bowie dying. I left this part of the day feeling more on the arguments side of Siri being a sentient consciousness rather than just being dumb, mean or a ruse.

My procrastination of my grocery trip to Kroger was (still) imminent so I committed myself to cleaning the sparse, overnight snowfall from the trusty Cavalier, as well as retrieving those lingering trashcans before departing. I'd rather it be Bowies passing that left a gloomy feeling over the day as evening approached and my trip to Kroger, rather than the recent Bengals play-off loss and the looming threat of more (minuscule amounts) of snow a second night in the row. I lamented earlier to Tri-state transplant Raul K. of Aspen, Colorado (via Facebook) about the fragile state of the Cincinnati Community-Shared Psyche as a whole. The smallest incident; be it two more inches of snow or maybe even a broken shoe-string (as Bukowski had written via his prose) may seem minuscule (true) but as those seemingly faced with fine-print/un-winnable situations say: It is what it is. If Cincinnati was ready to snap in the way I told Raul that it already had, it would be the evening facing me and my beloved Cincinnati comrades that I feared could bring the total breakdown of our city-state.

The shopping trip to Kroger was terrible. Cincinnati comrades everywhere had sour moods at best, reflecting the nearly barren shelves of Krogers brought on by the looming, but still minuscule amounts of snowfall promised by major network affiliated weatherpersons of Cincinnati's news programming. In 1977 a blizzard of such epic proportions hit the area that two generations of Cincinnatians rush to stock-up on essentials just-in-case. By this point in my day, even I was quickly becoming a casualty of the public-at-large. I told the innocent cashier and bagger at Kroger that I applauded their tenacity and intestinal fortitude declaring them heroes because if I was in  their position I would probably go out to my car during my break and end my existence with a .38 caliber revolver.

Listening to the Bowie Tribute on WNKU 105.9 fm on the way to and from Fairfield Kroger, they were proving how torrential some Bowie songs were. It was honest though, I applaud them for that forgoing the brief, sporadic mentions during their regular, but drastically approved, programming.

I pondered, did Bowies bad songs define his good ones or did the good songs define which ones were bad? David Bowie may have been the only one left that could have answered my question and now he was gone.

So I asked Siri that question upon returning home... In return, Siri once again gave me a list of links that I interpreted as skirting around the question at hand and shown the minimum effort that could appear to be a hint of passive aggressiveness. In other words, another evolved response for a burgeoning computer 'Artificial Intelligence' that was once again removing the doubt from my thinking that it was just another rude, mean entity to deal with making anything involving it more difficult.

I really can't say that the day David Bowie died was a bad day just because he died. It was a rather shitty day without his death anyway. Truth to the matter, I'm a Cincinnati native and even though the Bengals play-off loss didn't really affect me and my own winter weather Blizzard of '77 induced phobia that's heavily fortified by a Socials related wreck on southbound Interstate 75 in Northern Kentucky, but January 11th was just doomed from its start. Because, as a whole, Cincinnati decided so.

But... That's how things roll in the 1st Midwest. Some may say that it is what it is, but more importantly, without the shitty days, the great days wouldn't be so good. I didn't need Siri to acknowledge that. I knew it already.

Learn more about Abstract Dictation: