May 27, 2011

Archers of Loaf Radio Show Recap

Here is the link to download last night's show in full.

Here is the link to the set list of last night's show.

Location Location Location

From Wired UK 

"A pair of musicians from Washington DC who go by the name Bluebrain have put together a location-aware album called The National Mall.

It comes in the form of an iPhone app, which you download to your handset and then open up while you're standing in The National Mall --  the green space between the Lincoln Memorial and Capitol building in Washington DC. As you move around the area, the music changes."

Read on about this interesting new development in music here.

May 26, 2011

May 26th, 2011: Cause + Effect : Archers of Loaf

Archers of Loaf bass player Matt Gentling help me create tonight's two hour radio show. Stream live at from 7pm to 9pm or tune in the old fashioned way at 97.3 FM on your radio dial for you Richmond locals.

Somewhere around 1992 I befriended the Archers of Loaf the old fashioned way. I was working at a record store at the time, instantly fell in love with their first 7" Wrong, and like any new fan did at the time, you wrote the band a letter of appreciation (using whatever address was on the 45) and asked when they were touring. Vocalist and guitar player Eric Bachmann was the one who always wrote me back, including things like photocopied tour dates or a few stickers along with a handwritten band update.

This letter writing back and forth led to a friendship by the time they started touring (which seemed like they always were from 91 - 98) and for many of their NJ shows, them crashing at my apartment. By the mid '90s I must have seen Archers play over 20 times; driving anywhere within the NY/NJ/CT area to see them. Through AOL I met more of the Chapel Hill, North Carolina band people and out of my Archers' friendship grew so many more, like the guys from Small and Pipe to name a few.

The Archers are still one of my favorite bands but with them and their music comes so many memories. Random road trips with my roommate to see them play, AOL tour van disasters, comical house stays, ridiculous on stage antics, learning Weezer was not nearly as fun in person as they were on record, discovering Matt is equal parts rock climber as he is band member (I didn't know anyone from NJ who was a serious outdoorsy type person), and truthfully I had never had friends from the South before so they also offered the first taste of real deal Southern accents. I will never forget Matt trying to explain to me that the comic book punch sound of POW was pronounced PIE-OH. I mean of all the important things in the world I should probably be remembering, these are the stupid and random things that stick with me after two decades. 

The Archers press photo has become an accidental claim to fame for me. The live shot was taken at Brownies in NYC and being the super fan I was, I was in the front row screaming along with every song. It never occurred to me that such a lightning strike quick moment in time, a blissful show moment would be captured by a camera lens no less turned into a press photo and shortly there after, a massive band poster used for tour promotion. For a few years there I would go to shows (or at the time also be playing clubs) and there I would be on the wall looking like a hungry sexual freak for Bachmann's guitar. The proper band photo included here cracks me up because they look so damn serious and the whole band are among some of the funniest, sarcastic, wittiest people I know. It also features my favorite of EJ's haircuts.

It seemed odd to scan in a letter from Eric B so I just cropped a bit of the envelope for posterity sake. As the Seattle music scene carried less of a punch for me, the bands from from Chapel Hill / Durham / Raleigh were my next obsession and there were so many great ones around that time. (You will have to tune in tonight to hear what I am talking about!)

This last image is a dirty paper place mat that Archer's had turned into a set list at Maxwell's in NJ. The show was in November and close to my birthday so their gift was to change all the songs to include my name. It takes a special girl to appreciate songs called "FAT TRACY" or "SLOW TRACY".

Archers of Loaf broke up in 1998 and reading through interviews and talking to a few members, it was stressed for years that a reunion would probably never take place. With zero hopes raised, it was an incredible bit of good news to hear that in fact they would be playing a small handful of shows this year. AOL will be playing a sprinkle of dates Spring into Summer and with that news it seemed like the perfect time to put together a special Cause & Effect to celebrate. There will be a few more fun things happening around the Archers of Loaf this year but I am under strict orders to NOT share the news yet so you will just have to stay tuned for an update. I can tell you that it is GOOD news.

A huge thank you to Matt Gentling who was kind enough to host myself and my fella for a weekend  in lovely Asheville, NC (oh how the tables have turned) and offer up a list of bands and songs to play for tonight's show.

The Facebook invite for tonight's radio show is here.

I am pretty sure this is the song Archer's were playing in the promo live shot.

May 22, 2011

May 21, 2011

Bring out the Booze

Peggy + Carol doing a skit for "Is That All There Is?" circa 1971.

May 20, 2011

Richmond's Style Weekly 10th Annual Music Issue

Richmond's Style Weekly's annual music issue is out now and a few highlights are a cliff notes look at all the record stores in town (including the one I work at once a week - Deep Groove), the labels in our area (including mine), local bands, and a whole lot more. 

May 18, 2011

Attn All Metalheads

and loggers, you need this table by Chris Duffy. AMAZING!

May 16, 2011

Whaaa Happend?

I LOVED Miracle Fortress back in '08 but their new release Was I the Wave has left me wondering what has happened to them in the span of just a few years.

Let me put it this way, this is the best song off the record and that isn't saying much. 

This is a song off of Five Roses that I thought was pure magic at the time. 

My Current Point of Interest

Angus Maclise; he is sort of like the 5th Beatle to the Velvet Underground. Few know of this man's story or his large spectrum of work but luckily Johan Kugelberg and Will Cameron have curated a month long exhibit about him and his art in NYC for the Month of May.

May 14, 2011

They Grow Up So Fast

Tim Kinsella of Capn Jazz and Joan of Arc (to name just a few of this various musical projects over the years) has written a book called The Karaoke Singer's Guide to Self-Defense. It will be published by Featherproof this October and you can download an excerpt from Tim's book for free here.

Color Me Obsessed

Did you know there is a Replacements documentary? I didn't! For information about the film, go here. I can thank Matt from Archers of Loaf for schooling me on this.

May 13, 2011

Blogger Boo-Boo

Hopefully my Callahan / Smog post from yesterday will reappear here soon. It appears Blogger has removed it as of last night but in the meantime if you missed my radio show, fear not, you can listen to the whole thing by downloading it here.

Cause & Effect with Matt Gentling of Archers Of Loaf

Bass player of Archers of Loaf has been kind enough to dish out two hours of music he considers to be influences, peers, and off-shoots of the band.

Tune into WRIR on May 27th from 7PM to 9PM. The details of the show and a FB invite to listen / tune in can be found here.

Cause & Effect

May 12, 2011

May 12th, 2011: Cause & Effect : Smog / Bill Callahan

Whatever the opposite of the cure for what ails you might be is perhaps the best way I can describe the much of music written and performed by Bill Callahan. It isn't that his music is sickening but he is the master of writing about varying shades of sickness and approaching it in a way that makes me feel like a stranger standing too close to me on a not very crowded train. He is direct and doesn't dance around uncomfortable subjects that for me is a huge part of the appeal of his approach to art.

Did he really just say that? Is really talking about girlfriends wanting to be hit (in fairness although it comes from his mouth these lyrical stories do not all belong to him in the honest to God first person sense) or someone dressing sexy at his funeral? Did he cleverly just describe the varying degrees of fame by placing a creative legend like Eno against a footnote to pop music Gary Numan? Is he a Mother of the world? Did he really make a spread eagle dolly of the women things (frilly things) you have left behind? A heck yes to all of the above.

I think of Callahan's music in the same terms of a Lars Von Trier film. Where other artists would steer the viewer's eyes or ears away from point blank brutality and maybe leave a few things to the imagination, neither of these men pull away from the uneasy situations. They place you in the unforgiving position of the front row and hold you in that spot until the story plays out. By the end you might have a little blood on your shirt but you also didn't miss a thing. You had one eye to the microscope lens and saw it, heard it ALL.

Not for the weak at heart, tonight from 7PM to 9PM I will be playing the music of Smog/ Bill Callahan as well as looking at the artists who have followed along similar musical paths before and after as well as a handful of peers and new artists who offer as little cheer or candy coating. You can listen to two hours of no mercy on your dial at 97.3 FM in RVA or stream it live at

PS : Few people know about the Bill before being a musician took over - here is a great read about the fanzine maker / writer Bill.

May 11, 2011


Loving this SF group that sounds a bit like Chapterhouse with the melancholy male / female vocal stylings of Low .


They only have CD/digital right now but I hope vinyl will be coming at some point. Hint hint.

Your Record Collection Sucks,

because you will never out size the shock and awe of this massive Culpeper, VA collection. (Wait, there is something of interest in Culpeper, VA that isn't Civil War related?) This historical Northern Virginia community happens to hold one of the largest record collections on the planet. We are talking about a vault the size of 45 acres that holds over 6 million different items.

This is the Library of Congress' $250-million Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation and are supposed to unveil a new program that will significantly expand public access to a large portion of the library's musical catalog this week. My fingers are crossed that there will be a proper tour of the treasures for nerds like me.

The Packard Campus site is here.

May 10, 2011

A Darn Fine Record Cover

I am not an artist but I feel like if I was, this is the kind of thing I would make.

May 8, 2011

How to Play Records in Your Car Circa the 1960s

Getting to know Ellen Willis

An important feminist writer in rock music- thank you book world for making a trailer about Out of the Vinyl Deeps

May 6, 2011


Here is a batch of reviews I did for WRIR. The idea is to review the disc in a brief manner so it can be read in a flash and fit on the front of the CD.

Artist: Dag for Dag
Title: Boo
Label: Terrorbird
Review: This brother sister duo delivers Raveonettes-esque rock without much of the chemistry. There are shades of early day Sonic Youth, a spacey Fiery Furnaces, and if you can imagine Interpol without any of the guitar charm. The album contains lots of tension and building but nothing great is ever built.
Recommended tracks: 4, 3, 5, 13

Artist: Okkervil River
Title: I am Very Far
Review: I read a quote from primary songwriter Will Sheff that he likes art that makes you feel a little worried. Worried in away that the tone set by the music is the audio equivalent of walking through a bad part of town and having to look over your shoulder and fear what might be around the corner. The result of this on I Am Very Far is a slimmer Arcade Fire (and Echo & the B on the ballads) type record hoping to be epic but it lands more at good Samaritan than heroic.
Recommended tracks: 5, 3, 1, 9

Artist: Buffalo Tom
Title: Skins
Label: Scrawny Records
Review: I felt obligated to give this a serious listen because of how deeply I loved BT back in the early ‘90s but I don’t love what I have heard here. It sounds exactly like you would fear a band resting safely in middle age would sound like. Still rockin’ but minus the reckless. Even with the guest vocals of another college rock idol Tanya Donelly, this didn’t move me into the impressed column. These songs are the rock equivalent of rounded corners - safe.
Recommended tracks: 3,5,8,4, 11

Artist: The Joy Formidable
Title: The Big Roar
Review: It was only a matter of time before a major label picked up on this band. A variation of this long player was my favorite record of last year and I am happy to place this one among my top 10 this year again. This is the most energetic female fronted rock band since Yeah Yeahs Yeahs with a nod to shoegaze bands like MBV, The Cranes, and Lush. Gorgeous, shimmering, and with just the right punch. YOU WILL LOVE THIS.
Recommended tracks: 6, 4, 9,  5, 12

Artist: Keren Ann
Title: 101
Label: Blue Note
Review: Lounge-y, sexy, dark, breathy..sounding much like Isobel Campbell or a Serge Gainsbourg gal, I should in theory love this record but it left me bored and thinking this Leonard Cohen loving lady won’t even make it into my dinner music pile. There are too many better versions of this kind of record out there to focus on instead.
Recommended tracks: 2,1, 3,7

Artist: Is/Is
Title: This Happening
Review: And the pleasant surprise of the day award goes to this three piece girl band and their wonderful EP. It is noisy without being another Jesus and Mary Chain knock off. Its dynamic without being a Breeders clone. It’s dreamy without being dull. I can’t wait to hear more from these ladies.
Recommended tracks: 4,1,2

Artist: Times New Viking
Title:Dancer Required
Label: Merge
Review: Now this is what I WISH the newest Vaselines record sounded like. This is tweaked twee at its best - something you might say could be the heir to the Beat Happening’s rock and droll crown. I know it is early to say it but as a fan of clumsy lo-fi rock, this is a contender to be a favorite record of the year for me. My early Guided By Voices have a new best friend!
Recommended tracks: 8, 4, 1, 2, 7,

May 5, 2011

May 5th, 2011 : Cause & Effect w/ Grave Mistake Records

In honor of WRIR's Spring Fund Drive I have a special Cause & Effect planned for this evening. From 7PM to 9PM I will be interviewing owner of Grave Mistake Records Alex DiMatessa who is also a member of bands like Government Warning and Wasted Time. Tune in to hear how this local Richmond small business owner and musician came to run a record label and the bands that inspired him to do it along the way. How do the Monkees, Public Enemy, and Pantera fit in when the label is known for punk and hardcore? You will have to listen in to find out.

This week's show carries the distinction of having the most curse words cut out of a set in the history of my show and I am willing to bet that because of the number of bad words that needed to be edited out of the songs, a good portion of the songs tonight have probably never been played on air before. Like anywhere, ever. Our station has to respect FCC regulations to stay on air so while I know it isn't ideal to hear little drop out in a song, at least the song is making it in to the set. It is crazy to think how much amazing punk and harcore never makes it to radio because DJs either are too nervous to try and edit curse words out live or take the time to edit them all out in advance.

The other equally important side to tonight's one of a kind show is celebrating our radio station's fund drive. We are a commercial free community radio station that survives on donations from our listeners and fellow station members. None of us get paid, we are all volunteers bringing you one of a kind weekly shows that highlight music not heard on mainstream radio but from all over the world as well as local artists.

The person who makes the highest donation (over $100) during my show tonight  (and pays either in person or via a credit card on the phone) will win a Grave Mistake Records Prize Pack that features lots of records from his catalog on top of all the usual swag you get when you make a donation of that size to WRIR. 

If you would like to donate to our non profit station, please follow this link.
For locals who want to tune in, go to 97.3 FM on your radio dial. For everyone else, stream the show live here.

Follow Cause & Effect here.
Download an edited version of the show here.
The set list for the can be found here.

May 2, 2011

Runhild Gammelsæter Amplicon LP First Press : ORDER NOW

I am happy to announce that Runhild Gammelsæter's Amplicon LP first press will be shipping out over the next few weeks. You can pre-order the LP here from my label. There will only be 80 out of the 100 from the first pressing available for purchase and I expect them to go fast so if you want all the bells and whistles of the 1st run, ORDER NOW ! ! !

There is only one place in the world to get them from right now and this is at my label web store. Second press will be available in more places but for these first few copies, Little Black Cloud is it.