World, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to “Dead Meat,” from the Trillions’ soon-to-released album, Superposition.
I’m still sorting through the mess of pictures I took in Chicago this weekend, but I wanted to check in quickly and spread the word about a show that’s taking place tonight.
In my book, the very best way to listen to an album for the first time is to load the thing up on the ol’ iPod Nano and go for a run that’s as least as long as the album’s (no pun intended, I swear) running time. My mind is clear, my attention span is uncharacteristically long, endorphins are flowing, I can crank the thing up as loud as my eardrums will let me… it doesn’t get much better on planet Earth, as far as I’m concerned. I had one of these perfect runs a couple weeks ago while giving Goldrush’s debut full-length Greatest Hits a first listen.
The music portion of Richmond’s brand spankin’ new Fall Line Fest kicks off later this evening, and with dozens of acts spread across two nights and four venues, fun times are sure to be had and new favorite bands are waiting to be discovered.
Coming up with a plan of attack for events like this is always an adventure within itself, and a few intrepid Richmond bloggers have posted handy previews that can help you navigate the weekend’s events:
Thank you, Snowy Owls. I needed this.
Have you ever noticed how summer is filled with false endings? It keeps trying to end before it’s supposed to. Stereogum declared a “song of the summer” just 11 days after the season started. 11 days. What the hell? Can’t we get a little actual summertime to test drive a few? God forbid we agree on an anthem retrospectively. You blink your eyes and peaches are disappearing, Sam Adams Octoberfest is popping up at Kroger and — worst of all — department stores start running back-to-school sale commercials. Those hapless meter maids of advertising. Nothing pissed me off more when I was a kid. They’d always show up when you were trying to wring the last drops of freedom out of summer break, folding a bitter future in with the sweet, fleeting present. Assholes.
In between, annual traditions come and go, making room for the special emptiness that moves in when there are too many days left to start counting down until next time. That feeling washed over me this past Saturday when Mrs. YHT and I started our traffic-doomed drive back from beach week. Those seven days offer a crucial counterbalance to all sorts of weightiness that builds up during the course of the other 358, and leaving the Outer Banks always feels like I’m starting over from scratch, no matter how many long, sunny days are left before fall starts killing all the bugs, green and daylight.
And don’t get me started on turning 30 in less than two weeks.
So. With all that going on, you can imagine my excitement when I came back from vacation to find that The Snowy Owls were about to release something called the Summer EP, which featured songs called “Feels Like Summer,” “What Summer Is For,” “All Summer Long” and “Next Summer.” Now that is what I’m talking about!
Do you like Labyrinth?
Of course you like Labyrinth. That was a stupid question. Here’s a better question: Haven’t you always wanted to be, like, in the movie — especially the scene where everyone gets dressed up masquerade-style and a 39-year-old David Bowie seductively serenades and slow dances with a 15-year-old Jennifer Connelly?
Of course you have! Another stupid question. I’m just going to stop asking questions and let you know that your freakiest, Jim Henson-addled dreams are about to come true this weekend — twice.
Early Friday evening, Mrs. YHT and I met up with Bandmate 4eva Doug, his wife and guest poster Gormie outside the Squirrely Gates of The Diamond and headed inside to watch the Richmond Flying Squirrels do battle with the Altoona Curve.
For three of us, it was our first game of the year. But for Doug and his wife, who recently moved back to Richmond after a few years away, this was their first time seeing the Squirrels (and their spectacular marketing team) in action. I was practically giddy. OK, whatever, I was giddy. I get a huge kick out of showing newcomers the clever branding, squirrel puns and general silliness. Some of that has to do with being fond of bad jokes, some with the fact that my day job is in marketing, but mostly it’s because I derive a sense of pride from what baseball in Richmond has become. I like being able to say to people, essentially, “Look at what we have here! Isn’t this great?!?” It’s a flattering (I think) reflection of what our city looks like at its most creative and enthused, and I can’t help feeling lucky and proud.
I feel the exact same way about No BS! Brass Band.
As a nonrecovering merch addict, I feel that it’s my responsibility to let you know when there’s an item that’s particularly deserving of your attention/consideration/money. Now is one of those times.
There is a t-shirt you need to buy. Like, immediately. It’s pictured above (on the left), it was
made printed for Richmond-based rock band The Trillions by Triple Stamp Press, and it features lyrics from the chorus of the band’s song “What When Where.” [Update: The shirt was created and designed by Austin Auandee.]
I’ve written about this song before, and my affinity for the quoted lyrics — “Do what you can, when you can, where you are” — is such that learning this shirt existed made me feel a little like my mind had been read, or like someone had asked me what the perfect Trillions shirt would be and then got Will Smith to zap me with the Men in Black amnesia wand thing that the Internet tells me is called a “neuralyzer.” But that’s not why you should buy the shirt. You should buy it because it will make the lives of the people around you better.
(This is the third [and probably final] post-Record Store Day open letter. To read the first, An Open Letter To The People Who Lined Up Outside BK Music On Record Store Day, click here. To read the second, An Open Letter To The Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr Album That Made Me Bleed On Record Store Day, click here.)
An Open Letter To People Who Don’t Buy Records Regarding The Hoax Hunters/Snowy Owls Split 7-Inch That Was Released On Record Store Day
There’s something I want you to see. I want you to hear it too, but I want you to see it first.
Before we get to that, some quick background information… Record Store Day is an annual event that’s been held on the third Saturday of each April since 2008. Artists help independently owned music stores buoy bottom lines by releasing hundreds of limited-edition titles on vinyl all at once, generating anticipation, long lines and a subsequent buying frenzy that’s as beneficial for these locally owned businesses as it is retrospectively embarrassing for the (usually) mild-mannered folk who get swept up in the excitement and push and shove their way through crowds to grab at treasured items before they sell out. Think of it like a big game of musical chairs for record collectors, one that gives a shot of vitality to an industry that’s still in the process of reinventing itself after being hit hard by the advent of .mp3s, file sharing and iTunes.
Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Well damn. I like supporting local businesses and all, but I listen to all my music on my iPhone, and I’m pretty sure iPhones don’t play records.” If you said that, you’d be both correct and completely justified. Between iTunes, YouTube and Spotify, you can enjoy a lifetime’s worth of amazing music without ever leaving the warm glow of your favorite Apple device. Listening has never been more convenient, and I count that as a net win for society. But if you’ve completely given up on physical media, you’re missing out. Big time. And I’m not just talking about the free donuts Jay at Deep Groove hands out to the people waiting in line on Record Store Day.
I want to show you exactly what I mean, so I cleared off my coffee table, disassembled the split 7-inch that was released on RSD by Hoax Hunters and The Snowy Owls, and took pictures of each of its components. I want you to see the kind of stuff you’re missing out on by living your musical life solely in the digital realm…