Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham
8:30 p.m. Friday, November 9. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard.
By Jaime Lees
Thursday, Nov 8 2012

Lindsey Buckingham is known for his love life just as much as he is known for his talent. This distinction is common for women performers, but it’s rare among men. As the guitarist and male lead singer for 1970s sunny Cali-via-London megagroup Fleetwood Mac, the curly-haired Buckingham sang and wrote boatloads of amazing, now-classic songs, all while making up and breaking up with bandmate Stevie Nicks. But guitar virtuoso Buckingham is still in the business, and he’s still on tour, having released his latest album, Seeds We Sow, just last year. Buckingham has now fully grown from a man defined by one relationship to one who is defined wholly by his talent.
Warning: The dude wrote “Go Your Own Way” and he’s still very good-looking. Keep an eye out for swooning, squealing, overheated lady baby boomers at the show.

link: Riverfront Times

Rock Doc Resurrected on YouTube: What the STL Scene Looked and Sounded Like in 2000

Rock Doc Resurrected on YouTube: What the STL Scene Looked and Sounded Like in 2000
By Jaime Lees
Tue., Nov. 6 2012 at 8:14 AM

Euclid Records employee and dude-about-town Rob Wagoner has been quietly at work on a major endeavor — cataloging and archiving VHS tapes for his STL Music Video Preservation Project. Wagoner gets tapes of old local TV shows (including Critical Mass and Velocity, among others) and translates them into more modern, easily viewable formats. He posts clips to YouTube and to the STL Music Video Preservation Project Facebook fan page.

St. Louis music history fans have already been gabbing all over town about Wagoner’s videos (which amounts to a much-appreciated community service project), but he has now taken this adventure further by posting a complete version of the famous cult documentary, STL 2000: A Year in St. Louis Underground Rock.

STL 2000 was produced by Matt Meyer (of the Ded Bugs) and it offers a time-capsule glimpse into the local rock scene in the year 2000. It features a diverse range of subjects, from kids in their first bands to rock’n’roll lifers. It includes interviews with band members, talent bookers, journalists, ‘zine makers, scenesters and KDHX DJs. There’s footage of long-forgotten bands and from musicians that are still active. And it features scenes from places that are only memories now- like Centro Sociale, the Galaxy and Mississippi Nights.

It’s dark. It’s crappy. It sounds like shit. And it’s totally awesome.

Give it a peek. See what your friends looked like before they got fat, or while they still had hair or even when their bands were crappier / better. And consider getting active in documenting your own current scene, you might like to look back on it one day.

link: Riverfront Times

Madonna at the Scottrade Center, 11/1/12: Review, Photos and Setlist

photo by Jon Gitchoff, via

Madonna at the Scottrade Center, 11/1/12: Review, Photos and Setlist
By Jaime Lees
Fri., Nov. 2 2012 at 8:39 AM

Madonna is considered a living legend, a cultural icon and one of the best performers of her time. She is one of the most influential artists in the history of American music, and last night at the Scottrade Center we found out why: hard work and natural charisma.

If we are to believe any of the personality flaws that we’ve been fed about her character, she needs and wants to be the center of attention at all times. This quality may be the most distinctive trait of a pop star, and Madonna is inarguably the biggest pop star in the world. The death of Michael Jackson left no doubt as to who holds the crown. Major stadium stars like Bruce Springsteen and Prince might be worthy competition, but Madonna is the queen.

This is especially interesting considering that Madonna is a chameleon of both style and culture. There was ’80s punky Madonna. Religious Madonna. Controversial Madonna. BDSM Madonna. New age Madonna. Evita Madonna. Raver Madonna. And on and on. All of these Madonnas are all there and they’re all beloved, but what’s interesting is how she translates and squeezes all of these personas into her stage show. A huge production including a giant stage, huge screens, flashing lights, lasers, scores of backup dancers, video interludes and a band does not distract from or in any way minimize her powerful charisma.

Opening act Paul Oakenfold was a fairly decent selection to warm-up the crowd. He played gently electrified versions of The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside,” Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction,” Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams,” Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Otherside” and no less than three Rihanna songs. Basically, it was uninspiring but it worked. It sounded like the ignorable sub par electro played at any club on the weekend.

At this point, Oakenfold is more of an EDM elder than an active, groundbreaking member of the culture, but he still threw in a bit of DJ Darude’s “Sandstorm” for the clubbers in attendance. Like most popular DJs at larger events, he didn’t seem to be doing much of anything up there behind his massive LED console. There was a camera above him the whole time, but, tellingly, the only time it showed his otherwise-hidden hands was at the very end when he slid the volume controls down.

A Madonna concert is more than just music, it’s the live presentation of her art, and her art is her self. There is just no easy way to accurately present all of her many looks, phases and musical explorations into one hour and a half long set.

She tackles this dilemma by breaking up the show into a few different sections, all of which present different moods, attitudes, types of music and, honey, costumes. She is now three decades into an inconceivably huge international music career, and it would be impossible (and exhausting) for her to play all of the songs that her fans would like to hear.

There is a difficulty that needs to be addressed when attempting to compartmentalize such a long, diverse list of options. This problem was solved through referencing other hit songs during the performance. For example, “Hung Up” contained sprinklings of both “Papa Don’t Preach” and “Live to Tell.” And during “Express Yourself,” Miss Madge even took a well-earned swipe at Lady Gaga by seamlessly sliding a few lines of Gaga’s rip-off hit, “Born This Way” into the middle of the song.

Never one to hint at a topic or embrace subtlety, Madonna takes the direct approach in life and in concert. She’s a very literal performer, actually walking a on-stage tightrope to illustrate a tense emotion, grabbing her own lady bits when singing about sex, crawling on the floor to mime distress and doing a convincing acting job in a few storytelling scenarios. (Especially during the performance of “Love Spent,” a stand-out track on her new MDNA album.)

Under Madonna’s lights, everything is fluid. The stage floor morphs into a raised platform, dancers flow into a human staircase and the lady of the night changes both her outfit, hair and mood with ease. She began the evening as some sort of dark-sided Illuminati cult leader before changing into a violent Bond girl, a woman seeking religious guidance, the leader of a marching band, a star of Andy Warhol’s Factory scene, a Maharishi Mahesh Yogi-following sitar-lover, a cutesy party hostess and then some sort of future disco druid from outer space, with a little dominatrix vibe spiking here and there.

If she has any constant, it’s that she’s always changing. This is true of all of her explorations, but Madonna still has quite a few signature scenes and looks. But because she’s been around for so long, everything about her is familiar. From her distinctive eyebrows to the sharp peaks on her top lip to her well-muscled thighs to her dancing style and mannerisms, we feel like we might already know it all but then she still finds ways to make both the songs and her looks feel fresh. It’s all still very Madonna, but she always mixes up her style. She keeps older songs interesting by performing them in new ways, like when she sang a slowed down, nearly solo macabre version of “Like a Virgin.”

Even with all of this thought and effort and professionalism, a few spots did drag on a bit. “Human Nature” needed more hip-hop sound effects (like on the album version) and “Masterpiece” was by far the lowest energy point of the night. Still, any tiny missteps were more than made up for by the time the show ended. “Like a Prayer” alone was worth any exorbitant ticket price. All of her dancers were out on the stage on a riser-like structure, dressed in robes and swaying and clapping like a gospel choir, with Lady Madonna as the preacher. Can I get an amen?

Critic’s Notebook:

CROWD: There seemed to be a bunch of older ladies having sort-of Moms’ Night Out. There were also craptons of ladies dressed as various Madonna eras, with 80s crinoline skirts proving especially popular. Lots and lots of left-over Halloween costumes.

FAMILY: Madonna’s son, Rocco, acted as a junior backup dancer, joining her on stage for a few songs and even busting out his own break-dance solo.

PROBLEM: During “I’m a Sinner,” both Madonna’s ear piece and microphone were giving her issues. She stopped the song and waited for replacements before starting the song over, but not before asking forgiveness from the audience and evoking sympathy from those in attendance when she playfully grumbled, “This is my worst nightmare.”

HOTNESS: Taking into consideration the fact that Madonna is a woman who has partially built her career on her body and her sexuality, I don’t think it’s out of line to mention that she looked amazing. She’s prettier and somehow more charming in the flesh, and her tight, midriff-bearing costumes left no doubt that her body is still bangin’. Yowza. But it’s insane to watch her and realize that she is a real person. She is so small when you see her in person, it’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that this one tiny person has been so influential.

DIVA: When Madonna spied a few small partial sections of fans sitting in their seats during her show, she called them out. She wanted everybody to get up and dance and nicely (but firmly) shamed them until they complied. (“You are not allowed to sit in the motherfucking chair.”)


Girl Gone Wild
Gang Bang
Papa Don’t Preach
Hung Up
I Don’t Give A
Express Yourself
Give Me All Your Luvin’
Turning Up the Hits
Turn Up the Radio
Open Your Heart
Candy Shop
Human Nature
Like a Virgin
Love Spent
I’m Addicted
I’m a Sinner
Like a Prayer

link: Riverfront Times

Taylor Swift + Pizza = Synergy? Ordering Red From Our Local Papa John’s

If you get an extra pizza, make it into a Taylor Swift face!

Taylor Swift + Pizza = Synergy? Ordering Red From Our Local Papa John’s
By Jaime Lees
Tue., Oct. 23 2012 at 1:04 PM

When I found out that Taylor Swift’s new album, Red, would be available via Papa John’s Pizza delivery, I pretty much had the same thoughts that I had upon hearing the first single off of Red: The fuck? Followed by: Mmmm. Tasty.

Modern record labels are working hard to find new ways to get the product to a paying audience. From free promotional downloads to bonus gifts to direct crowd-sourcing, there are many inventive ways to advertise and distribute new albums.

Nobody wants CDs anymore, they want exclusives and some kind of novelty factor. Swift’s freaky-smart management recognizes this and promoted accordingly. In addition to the Pizza Party plan, this album is offered up in multiple formats by many different vendors. Four singles were digitally released in advance of the album, with some setting download records. The version of Red sold at Target includes six bonus tracks and a different cover photo. (This model also served well for Swift’s last album, Speak Now.) And even Walgreens is in on the action, selling everything from Taylor Swift notebooks to branded guitar picks, and all of this is available 24 hours a day.

And while I celebrate every hustler, this pizza thing has gone beyond slick and into just… weird. Still, I decided to play along. I called up my local Papa John’s to get the details and place my order. My Papa John’s worker, Melanie, seemed more than a little confused by the whole thing. She said that I was only the second person to order the Swift pizza/CD combo from her location.

When my driver arrived, I tipped him well and asked him a few questions about delivering the CD. In broken English he said, “Oh, yes, I deliver all the time! Everybody love it!” I’m not sure who to believe, but I think that he thought that I was flirting with him.

I brought the pizza inside to my waiting friends, and we got right to it. They gave me two pizzas even though I only ordered one, so we thought our party was on. As it turns out, Papa John’s pizza is kind of disgusting. Still, we chewed and we listened, making quick judgements on each song as my underused CD player kept stalling and threatening to skip.

Overall, the album is a lot like the pizza: cheesy, a little too sweet, and then unexpectedly saucy. I’d heard all of the pre-released singles, but the album as a whole was still a surprise. We were one-third of the way through the sixteen-song album before we heard anything that sounded even remotely country. Swift does seem to be expanding her sound, but not her topics. It’s all love, love, love, but I’m not sure why I expect something else from her, even at this point. What do I want her to do now? Write a political song? No. Hell, no. I don’t know. I just want her to be more subtle, I think, but it’s all right there.

The song styles and artwork are both varied to the point of schizophrenic, so the long album stays interesting. The pictures inside the booklet all look straight out of an Anthropologie catalog, and each song has a different photo of Swift to accompany the mood. The lyrics are all there, too, but with (annoying) seemingly-random letters capitalized. I’m sure the Letters contAin some kind of secret Message, but I can’t be arsEd to decode it. In addition to the light twang she’s known for, one song sounds like U2 (“State of Grace”), one song sounds like Jason Mraz (“Stay Stay Stay”) and yet another sounds just like a dreamy Mazzy Star tune (“Sad Beautiful Tragic”).

Like all Swift albums, I have my both my instant favorites (“We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”) and songs that I immediately dislike (“The Last Time”). Still, the magic of Taylor Swift usually prevails, and even the songs that I’m not into always seem to grow on me after repeated listens. But do you know what I won’t be repeating? Eating a freakin’ Papa John’s pizza. Gross. Papa John’s, we are never ever getting back together. Like, ever.

link: The Riverfront Times
link: The Village Voice

The Smashing Pumpkins at the Chaifetz Arena, 10/18/12: Notes, Photos and Setlist

The Smashing Pumpkins at the Chaifetz Arena, 10/18/12: Notes, Photos and Setlist
By Jaime Lees
Fri., Oct. 19 2012 at 11:08 AM

Thematically, the Smashing Pumpkins is a very predictable band. For those familiar with its imagery and history, thoughts of the band conjure up visions of moons and stars and other celestial entities. But last night, Billy Corgan had a lot of love to give to St. Louis. Literally.

Corgan sang the word “love” at least 57 times at the Chaifetz Arena yesterday, and 15 of those uses were in the word “lover.” (“Lover” is the weird, awkward cousin of plain ol’ love. Who really says “lover,” anyway? That’s just a word out of old novels. Now we say things like “bang buddy.”)

Lyrics of love and loss and loneliness are common to the point of cliché in pop music, but no other modern songwriter focuses so much on love, and is so brazen with usage of the word.

Notes from the show:

– The show was so undersold that people who had bough the cheaper tickets were automatically upgraded to a better/closer section. All of the second tier reservations were moved down to the first tier. (Whatever the reasons, that’s a pretty cool gift to fans from Chaifetz management, no?)

– Opener Anberlin was okay. The music wasn’t terrible, kind of like a crappier Chevelle. Every band member was trying very hard, but the people just would not move or dance. Straight up: Anberlin is from Florida and sounds like it.

– The Pumpkins set was separated into two sections. First off, the band played every song (in order) from its latest album, Oceania. After a short break the show was continued with older songs, most of them off of the 1995 hit album Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. The fans seemed to love the whole show, including all of the new songs.

– The audience was pretty much split into two groups: the below age 30 crew who were too young to actually experience grunge or the alternative era in any meaningful way, and the older folks who were drunk and trying to reclaim their youth. And white people. Lots and lots of white people.

– During a brief break to chat with the crowd, Billy Pumpkin blamed the poor attendance at the show on the current Cardinals baseball playoffs, then followed that with a statement about how he’s a life-long Cubs fan (boos from the crowd) but that since his team was out he would root for St. Louis. (Half-hearted clapping.) And he tried to make some timely Albert Pujols jokes, but made the mistake of not being sarcastic enough when referring to Pujols as his “friend.” (More boos.) Hmmm. Well, it was sweet that he tried.

– “XYU” was the tits. Ka-boom boom.

– Honestly, I’m a grunge baby, but I don’t think I’ve ever listened to the Smashing Pumpkins on purpose in my life. Still, that doesn’t mean that I don’t know all of the music. The band had many songs that were massively popular and I’ve seen that swirl box in many houses, and it’s always been played liberally. In any case, you don’t have to be a super fan to appreciate the quality of the Smashing Pumpkins’ show. The big sound and brighter lights are awe-inducing and the band plays for long enough to satisfy even the biggest fan. A professional production all around.

A setlist, including all 57 lyrical references to love, is below:

– “Lover, lover catch me slow”
– “Lover, lover stay with me all night”

– “Rise, love is here”
– “Breathe, love is air”

The Celestials
– “I’m going to love you 101 percent”
– “I’m going to love you ’til this ends”

Violet Rays
– “Does love matter when love’s the actor?”

My Love Is Winter
– “My love is winter”
– “My love is lost”
– “There is love enough for the both of us”
– “There is love enough”
– “There is love”
– “There is love, love, love”

One Diamond, One Heart
– “Lovers as lonely as lanterns lost”
– “I’m just here to love you when / Your stars align and you let me”
– “Lover, teach me sweet command”
– “With evidence of trust / And eminence of love”
– “Lover, light the way”

– “Lovers of the tune, sing”

– “No one can love you / ‘Cause no one can free you”
– “Lovers can’t touch you / ‘Cause lovers might reach you, yeah”
– “Love the way”
– “Love the way and learn”

Pale Horse

The Chimera
– “Whistle past the lane, lover”
– “‘Cause love’s forever strange”
– “Should you hear that faint murmur / Of what love might do”
– “Should you hear the faint murmur / Of what love has done”
– “All you need is you, lover”
– “What you need is love, stranger”
– “What you need is love”
– “When your love needs it’s danger”

– “Fallen lovers and useless friends”

– “A faith in love unseen”
– “Trace the face of love unseen”

– “Take your chance with love and laughter”

Space Oddity (David Bowie cover)
– “Check ignition and may gods love be with you”
– “Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows”

– “Between us, between us and our love”

– “The killer in me is the killer in you / my love”

Tonite Reprise

Tonight, Tonight

Bullet With Butterfly Wings

A Song for a Son

– “I’m your lover / I’m your zero”
– “I’m in love with my sadness”

Cherub Rock


Ava Adore
– “You’ll be a lover in my bed”
– “Lovely girl, you’re the murder in my world”

– “And great loves will one day have to part”
– “It’s for the girl I’ve loved all along”
– “Can a taste of love be so wrong”
– “And I knew the echo that is love”

link: Riverfront Times

The Problem with An Undercover Weekend

The Problem with An Under Cover Weekend
By Jaime Lees
Fri., Sep. 7 2012 at 10:56 AM

The Riverfront Times has a long, long, long history of promoting the An Under Cover Weekend shows. On the surface it’s a cool event that seems to support our huge pool of local talent. It’s nice to see local bands in any showcase together, especially one where everyone is working together to try to make something bigger happen. Still, I have some issues with AUCW.

First, though, I still have my compliments for the event. The first few years of AUCW brought us some amazing sets that set the standard for future performances: Robb Steele as the Beastie Boys (perfect), Ghost in Light as the Cure (fantastic), the Bureau as Duran Duran (dreamy), the Blind Eyes as Elvis Costello (inspired) and 7 Shot Screamers as No Doubt (legendary).

And I will cry forever because I missed Union Tree Review as Marvin Gaye. In fact, in the six years that AUCW has been a thing, the majority of the bands have produced great sets, and it is a testament to all of the people involved that only a few fell flat. For example, the same night that False Moves totally pulled off Interpol, Troubadour Dali should have probably covered Black Rebel Motorcycle Club instead of Sonic Youth. And the Orbz as the Stooges is pretty much unmentionable, so I won’t mention it.

But it’s fun to see bands that you love (or your friends who play in bands that you tolerate) go all out in tribute to those they are emulating with costumes, attitudes and mimicked stage behaviors. Still, other people in town are putting on (arguably) better cover show events with much less fanfare and far fewer demands of the bands. All of these kinds of shows should just be good Halloween-style fun and not such a serious occasion. Everything doesn’t have to be such a B.F.D. all of the time.

The AUCW shows are being promoted online ad nauseum. It’s smart business to advertise your show in any way possible, but the AUCW crew has gone into over-saturation mode, and it’s enough to make me want to skip the show in protest. The mystique of the event is damaged by multiple updates containing links to self-congratulatory videos explaining both the process and the characters. And the videos look good, but I’m not sure what they add to the experience. We just want to go to the show and have a good time.

But there are worse things than Facebook spamming or what I perceive as a vanity project on behalf of the organizers. The rules that participating bands are expected to adhere to are unreasonable.

AUCW’s web site states the most objectionable one last on their list:

“We ask that the bands playing AUCW blackout their schedules locally for 4 weeks on either side of the event. This is a somewhat flexible rule, but we like to see all of the bands working to promote this event, as it will certainly be one of the biggest events of the year. With the amount of effort that it takes both to organize and to prepare to play the event, it is in every band’s interest to not hinder their draw for AUCW by playing too many local shows in the weeks surrounding the event.”

That’s almost more offensive than hosting pay-to-play gigs. These bands hustle all of the time to book their own gigs, and it is their fans who will populate the show. If someone told me that my band couldn’t play AUCW unless I blocked out two months of my own shows, I’d tell them to get bent. Local bands work too hard and are far too awesome to be saddled with such restrictions. It doesn’t matter if this rule is “somewhat flexible,” it still does nothing but hurt the very community that projects like these claim to support.

There is little concern for audience overlap, anyway, because these bands aren’t playing their own music, they’re playing cover songs. For example, I’ve never heard Aquitaine, but I’m dying to see somebody (anybody) cover Oasis because I’ll probably never get to see Oasis. And I’ve been meaning to see Palace, but I’m not going to go watch Palace cover ABBA because I want to see Palace, you dig?

I go on about all of this for one reason: in defense of the bands. Yeah, they volunteered to play, but I doubt half of them would agree to such unfortunate terms if they knew that they were capable of doing it themselves. You guys: please remember that you can put on your own shows and have fun with it and not have to deal with any bullshit rules. And while I think there are things that you can learn from AUCW’s quality control standards (for example, it’s nice to see those professional band photos; they’re beautiful), you might be better off doing it on your own. Or consider taking all of the time and effort you are putting into this one 30 minute gig and apply it instead to your own original music. Your music is better, anyway. You can do it. This is a D.I.Y. town. Make something happen.

link: Riverfront Times

Bonnie Raitt: Critic’s Pick

Bonnie Raitt
8 p.m. Friday, May 18. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard.
The Pageant
6161 Delmar Blvd.
St Louis, MO 63130
Sold out. 314-726-6161.

You want to know what’s some bullshit? Bonnie Raitt is totally under-appreciated and under-praised. Yes, people love her, and she’s well respected, and her shows are expensive and sold out, but she’s playing the freakin’ Pageant. She should be selling out venues ten times that size. Bonnie Raitt is an historically important badass, a hero of the slide guitar, a singer-songwriter, an intellectual and an activist. She’s also a feminist icon because she kicks all the boys’ asses on guitar. Raitt should be worshiped in the same way as Prince or Bruce Springsteen. Show some goddamn respect.

Update: This show has sold out. Next time she tours you can show some goddamn respect by getting yourself a ticket in advance.

link: Riverfront Times

Yuck Kind Of Broke My Heart Last Night

Yuck Kind Of Broke My Heart Last Night
By Jaime Lees
Wed., Oct. 5 2011 at 11:32 AM

This is not the review I expected to write. It pains me to say it, but the Yuck show was kind of, well, meh. Now, I’ve spent the better part of this year talking up this band. Yuck’s self-titled debut is absolutely my favorite album of the year. I’ve rocked that album on the daily since about February. If you know me, and we like the same tunes, it’s likely that I burned you a copy of that album. In fact, I probably owe Yuck about $300 considering how many copies of that album that I’ve given out in the Midwest area. But I get excited about good bands. And when I think you might like it, too, I get really excited.

Sadly, the Yuck show was a disappointment. As much as I hoped that the live show would be as beautiful and life enriching as the album, there were some causes for concern. I’d seen some videos of live performances, and they seemed kind of lackluster. I’d sent friends in other cities to see the band, and they reported that they were sub par. Undeterred, I rolled out a whole range of excuses. I told myself that the band members are young, they’ve barely toured, and they’re under a lot of pressure as an up-and-coming “it” band.

But after seeing them last night I can report this: Yuck is the Lloyd Dobler of bands. Totally dreamy in theory, but weird in real life. (I mean, seriously, Lloyd Dobler was kind of a stalker. The hottest stalker ever, but a stalker nonetheless.) The songs were still there, but the execution was all off. The Firebird probably has the one of the best sound systems of any venue in St. Louis, but you wouldn’t know it. It was all drums, the whole set. The sweet guitar melodies and the harmonizing vocals were all there, but they were totally drowned out by snare crash and cymbal clang. I walked around the decently crowded room, trying to find a place where the sound was less harsh, but there was no sweet spot to be found.

The sound got shockingly better at the end of the set with “Operation” and extendo-jam closer “Rubber.” The only difference between these songs and the others was volume. The band members had turned around and cranked up the amps in preparation for rockitude. They were suddenly louder and more loose, clearly feeling what they were playing for the first time all night.

Still, I’m full of excuses. Maybe Yuck was just having an off night? The members seemed sweet enough when they spoke between songs, taking care to ask the crowd the final score of the all-important Cardinals game. During one of the set breaks, they mentioned that they were bummed because their van had just been broken into. My heart sank. Was Yuck going to be added to the long list of touring bands who have had their property stolen while in town? A quick check of the band’s Twitter account revealed Chicago thugs as the culprits. Booya.

So conditions might not have been the best. Morale might have been low. Spirits dampened. It wasn’t a bad show, it just wasn’t the best show ever — and I thought it would be. And maybe my expectations were too high, but I think Yuck can do better. I will not waiver in my devotion. The album is still freakin’ perfect, and I’ll probably listen to it again today. Though our first date kind of sucked, we are still meant for each other. I still wanna have Yuck’s babies. I hope they come back to town so we can try again.

Why You Should Go See Yuck

Why You Should Go See Yuck On Tuesday
By Jaime Lees
Fri., Sep. 30 2011 at 3:57 PM

Yuck released one of the best albums of 2011. The London band’s self-titled debut encompasses everything great about ’90s indie rock all squished into one album. It contains melody, distortion and a tons of volume. Unfortunately, these distinctive qualities have earned Yuck a reputation in the music media as grunge revivalists. This label has divided the press, with authors either claiming that Yuck is recycled and derivative or ambassadors of the next alternative generation.

Either way, there’s no getting around it: Yuck sounds like ’90s rock — but only the best parts of really, really good ’90s rock. Shit, it’s not like the band is being constantly compared to Limp Bizkit or Matchbox 20 or even Bush. Yuck only gets compared to legendary, groundbreaking bands like friggin’ Teenage Fanclub and GD Dinosaur Jr and Sonic MFing Youth. It’s a compliment, really.

Still, the group’s sound extends beyond these comparisons. It also balances My Bloody Valentine-esque scorchers with a whole host of sweeter sounds, like that of Pavement or Neil Young or bits of the great C86 bands. These comparisons are especially impressive considering that all of the band members in Yuck are in their early 20s. They didn’t witness the rise and fall of alternative rock — they were still toddlers when Nevermind came out. Still, the kids in Yuck reference their indie forefathers with great maturity and skill.

Part of this competence comes from experience. Yuck’s two main songwriters, Daniel Blumberg and Max Bloom, have been in bands together since they were teenagers. A couple of years ago, Blumberg and Bloom quit the (relatively successful) Brit band Cajun Dance Party to form Yuck. With the addition of bass player Mariko Doi (of London via Hiroshima) and American drummer Jonny Rogoff, the lineup was complete. And the band wasted no time making their mark: it’s already played SXSW, recorded a Daytrotter session and toured with Times New Viking, Tame Impala and its heroes, Teenage Fanclub. Yuck is even scheduled to perform on the much anticipated Weezer cruise.

Despite a few disparaging reviews by out-of-touch rock critics, the band has been entirely embraced by audiences. They dig it. And it’s the fans who have pushed the band to the top of the indie underground. Yuck’s debut was released early this year on the righteous Fat Possum label and it’s been so well-received by the public that it’s being re-issued this month with six bonus tracks.

Check out Yuck for yourself this Tuesday at the Firebird with White Denim and Porcelain Raft.

  • Riverfront Times – link