Thursday, March 26, 2009

Man Man Man Man

What a wonderful gift Happy Valley has bestowed upon me.  After years of complaining about my distain for the virtual lack of a music scene in State College,  it seems that Man Man has been slated to perform during finals week.  For those unfamiliar with the experimental, gypsy-rock, vaudeville, alternative, generally unclassifiable, Philthadelphia outfit that is Man Man, you are in for a raucous shit-show of a good time.   Personally, I have seen them live no less than five times and consider their concerts to be in the realm of a transcendental, quasi-religious experience.  Some dismiss the band as "sounding too much like pirates" or being too much of a novelty act in the like of Blue Man Group.  Despite the cynics (a group to which I can usually be included), I assure you that this show will blow the fucking roof off of the State Theater.   Be prepared for bells, whistles, spoons, bowls, noisemakers, men wearing all white, and some fantastic facial hair.

The show is on May 4th at 8pm.  Tickets go on sale at 11am on March 27th.  Word on the street is that the show will sell out fast.

For prospective concert attendees, Man Man is co-headlining the show with Cursive (an Omaha Indie band that is signed to Conner Oberst's Saddle Creek Label).  As much as I love Man Man, it is hard to appreciate the group to the fullest without seeing them in the live setting. But for the thrill seekers I would recommend their newest record Rabbit Habbits, as it is their most accessible.  

A few more choice cuts to check out:
  • "Van Helsing Boombox"- Six Demon Bag
  • "Top Drawer"- Rabbit Habbits
  • "10lB. Moustache"- The Man in the Blue Turban With a Face
Dig in....

Monday, March 16, 2009

GOP Turns To The Airwaves For Advice

Republicans need to chill their shit out.  Barack Obama walked into the worst economic disaster since the great depression. It is absolutely infuriating to hear conservative pundits cry socialism; when the employment rate is hovering around 8% (and climbing) it seems that some radical measures are necessary. Besides, if capitalism and the Bush Presidency go hand in hand, than I think we may needs us a little socialism. Change.

Red states, don't lose your heads just yet. Give the President some fucking time.  My prediction is that he enable the killing of less innocent Iraqis than good ole' G.W. consented to in his entire eight.  Maybe we can even get Marijuana decriminalized on a nationwide basis. Hope.

Ever since McCain and Palin have ducked out of the picture (don't even get me started on Bobby Jindal), it has become evident that radio host Rush Limbaugh is now the de facto head of the conservative movement in the US.  It should be dually noted that Rush, along with fellow conservative talking head Sean Hannity, never even graduated from college. What does that say about the downtrodden state of the Republican party in America? The reality is that these two overly opinionated clowns, who spew hate and intolerance on a daily basis, are the current overseers of the GOP.  Did I mention that the new anointed GOP chairman Michael Steele actually issued an apology for saying that Limbaugh was "just an entertainer?" Whipped.

Politics can be so gross.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Just in case there was some confusion surrounding the title of my blog, let me clarify...

-First of all, I grew up in a house right next to one of the nation's most famous botanical gardens (or so I am told)---Longwood Gardens.

-Second, I would be sufficiently terrified if was trying to cross a bridge while it collapsed.

-Lastly, I saw a headline recently on CNN about a "Botanical Garden Bridge Collapse" and I loved the way it sounded.  So many meaty, meaningful words with hint of mystery involved.  How did this bridge collapse? How high was the bridge? Was anyone injured when it collapsed? What does botanical even mean? 

There you have it.

The spring season

At this time of year, right around mid-march, the prospect of warm weather and flowers in bloom seems to motivate us all. This past winter was especially dark, dreary, and frigid because of the flimsy economic standing that most Americans have been forced to stand. The assuring concept of sunshine and the ability to stroll around in shorts and a t-shirt seems to provide an uplift that is needed so dearly by our respective psyche. 

Today, on my first blog post, I offer some items in hopes of jumpstarting a sense of optimism for the months to come (despite the reluctance of mother nature to provide some fucking spring time warmth--- my present location of manhattan boasts temperatures that are currently in the mid-40's).

With regards to spring/summer time music, the indie rock world has provided us with several gems to "look forward to."  I placed the aforementioned phrase in quotations because of the disparity in methodology that folks rely on for obtaining records.  Personally, I have come to prefer the cost effective, less than legal, pre-release, internet downloading course of action.  I justify my album-buying frugality by attending more than my fair share of concerts: ticket revenue for the actual artists, not the record companies.  However, if you enjoy paying for your music and waiting until the official "release date," than that is absolutely wonderful.

A few records 
that will be popular in the future:

Grizzly Bear- Veckamitest

Pictured above.  Saw them  perform a breathtakingly awesome set with the Brooklyn Philharmonic at BAM a few weeks ago. Lovely Brian Wilson-esque vocal harmonies. Lead singers Edward Droste and Daniel Rossen complement each other perfectly, making one question the abundance of sound modifying effects applied to the vocals throughout Yellow House.  Much more up-tempo and accessible than their previous efforts. Grizzly Bear will be this summers Fleet Foxes, SNL appearance and all. Very enjoyable.

The Decemberists- Hazards of Love

Only a few listens so far but I was immediately impressed. Their rock record for sure.  The female keyboardist has her vocals featured  much more than during The Crane Wife.  Only the uber-literate Colin Meloy can pull off a bass-driven, biting rock and roll album about a shape shifting animal named Margaret. Really.

That's all for now.