Tag Archives: Sam Coomes

Heaven Adores You

So I went to see the Elliott Smith movie, ‘Heaven Adores You’. I don’t like the title. I think Elliott used the word heaven in his awesome, wry way on St. Ides Heaven not in some I-feel-warm-and-I-love and miss you way (as the movie intended). St Ides, for those who don’t know, is a cheap beer. The line to the SVA Theatre wrapped around the block and I stood in line with a nice couple. We struck up a conversation about Elliott, I had seen him on four separate occasions. The dude apologetically said he got into his music after he died. My feeling about this is this, it’s the music. I got into Nick Drake after he died after I had heard ‘Pink Moon’ on a Volkswagen commercial. I think what people object to is the introduction to the music by way of the news of the death which …yes that’s macabre but ultimately it’s the music that matters. The premise of ‘hipster’ being a dirty word is based largely on the attitude of “I knew about this awesome artist/product/book/artisanal pencil sharpener before anybody else!” as though discovery connotes sole proprietor-ship. I don’t feel that way. When I discover great music I want to share it not crow about when I heard it. So the movie was really a light tribute to Elliott and his music and particularly his scene in Portland, OR before being nominated for an Oscar and the years following leading up to his death. A lot of friends and musicians who worked with him are in the film with nothing but good things to say which I would expect no less but it leaves me a little hollow…his songs are deeper and darker than that and therefore present a fuller picture of his person than warm remembrances. A more interesting moment in the film is when an ex-girlfriend mentions that his songs became more autobiographical and pointed and personal as he descended into his drug involvement. Noticeably absent from the film are Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss (from the righteous band Quasi). They had toured with Elliott and I get the sense they were close friends. Maybe his death was still too close for them to partake in the filmmakers (Nikolas Dylan Rossi) venture. All in all I still recommend the film because I’m still a fan of his music and there are oddball recordings from his highschool days in it!! hahahahahaha Have a great day! xo -p
oh
The Philip Lynch Band is next performing Tuesday December 23rd @ 7PM Piano’s 158 Ludlow Street NYC shake off the consumerism blues and get on down!!

2013 Wrap Up

It’s standard practice for music review sites and blogs to give a year-end, best-of list and seeing as I’ve reached the end of my first year as a ‘blogger’ I’ve decided to join the festivities albeit a li’l bit late. I guess my criteria for a great album is pretty straightforward, I like catchy songs which hopefully have something to say or express. Basically the Oliver Sachs notion of an ‘earworm’, tunes which stick in your brain…but in a good way. Anyway, here are some of my picks for the best albums of 2013.
Quasi – Mole City: Label:Kill Rock Stars
Crunchy, inventive, psychedelic rock from one of my favorite bands. Sam Coomes (vox, guitar, roxichord (his invention)) never disappoints with sometimes cryptic lyrics which are nonetheless affecting especially as they are supported by beautiful melodic lines. A double album to boot!!

Speedy Ortiz – Major Arcana: Label: Carpark
It’s no small wonder our lead singer, Sadie, was formerly in a Pavement cover band. I continue to listen to this album and have yet to get sick of it! Plus they’re pretty damn righteous live (https://philiplynchmusic.com/2013/12/31/the-breeders-and-speedy-ortiz/)

Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold: Label: What’s Your Rupture
Punk pop fun songs. Laid back cool guy singer name-checking NYC neighborhoods. How can you go wrong with a lyric like “Socrates died in the fucking gutter!”? heh

Savages – Silence Yourself: Label: Matador
I cannot get This song out of my head and you know what? I don’t care!! Great power here, Jehnny Beth (lead singer) has drawn comparisons to Siouxsie of Siouxsie and The Banshees and rightly so but Savages a faster rock, more edge less gloom.

Julia Holter – Loud City Song: Label: Domino
Atmospheric and mysterious. I really enjoy this album. It’s a nighttime album. Julia is a very interesting composer arranger performer. Spend some time with this one the pay-off is well worth it.

I Heard The Angels Singing, Electrifying Black Gospel From the Nashboro Label 1951 – 1983:
I am not a religious person and I was in the midst of telling a friend this upon entering Other Music (15 East 4th Street, NYC) and they were playing this album which immediately shut my mouth and turned my head on it’s ear!! i.e. seems obvious but this is some of the most inspired music there is plus there are 4 glorious discs!!

David Bowie – Next Day: Label: ISO Records
Everyone and their grandmother seem to be focusing on the design of Next Day, Bowies album ‘Heroes’ cover with a white square over it. What impresses me most about this album is that David can afford to kick off the album with a more middle-of-the-road track rather than something attention grabbing. As you listen further the songs get better and better and then you realize what a great overall album this is. A true return to form! (not that I’m “against” Heathen or the Tin Machine stuff but this is better)

Califone – Stitches: Label: Dead Oceans Records
I love the Red Red Meat album ‘Bunny Gets Paid’. When that band disbanded and formed Califone Tim Rutili carried on with a similar aesthetic and man oh man I couldn’t be happier. Acoustic fuzz, broken imagery and the beauty of persisting despite it all.

Let’s all have a great 2014!!

Holy Fanzines!!

I recently received my copy of Mole City, the band Quasi’s double album, plus a t-shirt and their fanzine (all items are excellent, most importantly the tunes). Dig that cover! http://www.killrockstars.com/molecity/ I had a notion of creating a fanzine for myself and sending it along with the CD to the various reviewers we’re sending the Philip Lynch album (I’m still keeping title to myself)… now I realize the key to having a fanzine is having fans, I’m still in the market for more of those. I like to consider myself an “artisanal” songwriter and only a select group of very special humans will enjoy what I’ve been cooking up with James Beaudreau hahahahahaha. I’m kidding of course, a ton of people can dig this stuff. So what exactly is a fanzine? Well per wikipedia (I know, I know lazy):

A fanzine (portmanteau of fan and magazine or -zine) is a nonprofessional and nonofficial publication produced by fans of a particular cultural phenomenon (such as a literary or musical genre) for the pleasure of others who share their interest. The term was coined in an October 1940 science fiction fanzine by Russ Chauvenet and first popularized within science fiction fandom, from whom it was adopted by others.

So yeah a fanzine can apply to comic books, fiction, music and anything really. Quasi’s fanzine features praise and insights from Corin Tucker (of Sleater Kinney), Jon Raymond, Gary Jarman (The Cribs), Jon Spencer (Jon Spencer Blues Explosion), Carrie Brownstein (of Sleater Kinney, Wild Flag and the t.v. show Portlandia). There’s also an awesome piece by Sam Coomes (Quasi’s lead singer) reflecting on the band being at it for 20 years. Great photos of shows, backstage antics, life on the road, posters and a couple of reviews.
When I was a kid (said the old codger) fandom was different. We really got into what we were listening to. It didn’t have to be dance music to dance to it. There were 2 kids in my highschool so into the Ramones that they wore only torn jeans and those black leather jackets and they were inseparable. They knew the secret, their band had the best tunes and everyone else was a fool. Also a couple of friends were so into Pink Floyd that that was almost the extent of their conversation and they were really bright. (I went to that animated movie Heavy Metal with those guys and ended up riding around in a shopping cart for a little while) heh. Nicole Blackman was a die-hard Replacements fan and tried to get me into them but in my heart of hearts I was such a Beatles devotee that just the name ‘Let it Be’ (the Replacements album she was pushing) was an affront! How dare they!! Well, here it is years and years later and wow do I love The Replacements (sorry Nikki). I wonder if the kids today (quoth the codger) are devoted to their bands to a degree that they dress like them, fight over who has the better taste, try to convert other listeners and compile and circulate their own ‘zines?

http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&fr=uh3_my_web_gs&sz=all&va=fanzine

Here’s a track from Mole City! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJlUjm9fGv8

Thanks for tuning in (heh get it?) dear readers I’ll catch you soon! -p

P.S. I’ll have special post for Lou Reed next time, I was kind of devastated and needed time to digest the loss.