Okay gang. Remember a few weeks ago when I told you about the ongoing series of concerts that Titus Andronicus LLC is going to be putting on at Shea Stadium? And how the first one was coming up on May 23rd? Well, with that date approaching ever faster, I felt it behooved me to dash out a few words to remind you guys of all the pertinent information about the show and share some of the many reasons why it is going to be so great.
Firstly, the facts. The show is going down this coming Monday, May the 23rd. Shea Stadium is located at 20 Meadow Street in Brooklyn. The easiest access route for a lot of you will probably be taking the L Train to Grand Street, which is a short walk from the spot. Check out this Google Map for more info. The price is seven American dollars, and it all starts at 7:00 PM.
Why is Titus Andronicus doing this anyway? Well, there are a lot of reasons. For one thing, we recognize that we are in possession of a certain amount of “cultural capital,” on account of us being Young Gods of this indie rock game. We know that this sort of capital, like any other, is as Dolly Levi described it – similar to manure in that it is worthless unless it is spread around, encouraging young things to grow. It is our hope, with this concert series, whatever love you may have for Titus Andronicus will persuade you to open yr heart to some bands who have touched ours, so that you may learn to love them as we do. Thusly will the love spread and grow and cover the Earth.
What's that you ask? Just who are these bands that could inspire such flowery speech? Well, our featured attraction upon this eve will be the New York City debut of one of the hottest bands yet to pop out of the ever-expanding-in-awesomeness Nashville punk scene, Diarrhea Planet. These young guns run four electric guitars deep and specialize in the sort of life-affirming, fist-pumping jock jams that would be equally suited to scoring yr next kegger or yr next Iron Man Triathalon; call it “Posi-Party-Punk” - I do. Or call it “American Oi,” or “Yeah Rock” - just don't call 'em on Tuesday, because it'll be too late and you will look (and feel) like a dumbass. RIYL: Japandroids, JEFF the Brotherhood, Misfits, Andrew WK.
Check out their blogspot for all the info you could need, and find the video of the band playing at Glenn Danzig's House below. Also, check out the TA YouTube channel to find playlists of two complete DP concerts in Nashville.
[UPDATE: It has been brought to my attention that a video with the focus more on DP's songcraft and singing and stuff might be more persuasive, so here they are playing another awesome jam, "Babyhead."]
Keeping with the “scuzzy” and “lotta guitars” theme is Liquor Store from Glen Rock, NJ. Hardcore TitusHeads (aka Andronikids) will recognize frontman Sarim Al-Rawi as our original drummer, but when he left the band to pursue a college degree, we knew it was only a matter of time before he burst back onto the scene like Zeus out of his own head, a thunderbolt for every hand. Liquor Store is his golden chariot, featuring survivors of Glen Rock scene kings Above All Hope and Motown rockers the Mahonies at the core of their constantly expanding/contracting lineup (expect at least two electric guitars – prepare for as many as five). They recently completed their debut full-length record under the watchful eye of producer Kevin McMahon (TA, Swans, Real Estate, the Walkmen) and are sure to grow in the hearts of scumbags and scoundrels across Long Island, Jersey, and beyond. RIYL: reading websites like Terminal Boredom or the Goner Records message board, genres whose names include the word “stoner.”
Here is Liquor Store's MySpace page and blog. A video of them hacking it up to their generation-defining anthem, "Showdown at Wookie Lake," at Death by Audio is below. More such videos can be found as “Favorites” on the TA YouTube.
Finally, kicking off the festivities will be a promising young group out of the Catskills region calling themselves Battle Ave. Their twisting, turning tunes will drag you along a windy and wild road, from quiet, desperate singer-songwriter ruminations, to math-y workouts, to shimmering crescendos that will split the sky even as they split yr skull. They too have recently completed a record with that guy Kevin McMahon (Liquor Store), which promises to make “post-pop-punk” the next “swag.” RIYL: Frog Eyes, Explosions in the Sky, Cap'n Jazz, Say Anything.
Here is their Bandcamp page and learn more about the band and their mission from the Kickstarter video below.
Whatever you do though, don't let yr jaw drag on the floor for too long, as you will need it for laughing at the comedy stylings of our master of ceremonies, Mr. Matt Miller. Matt will keep the festivities moving and the funny bones a-ticklin' throughout the evening with his observations on the madness of modern life and the freaky foibles of the American Family. Learn for yrself why people are already calling him 'the half-black Seinfeld.' [FULL DISCLOSURE: In addition to being the original keyboardist of Titus A, Matt is also my cousin, and I am the only person yet to call him the 'half-black Seinfeld,' but that doesn't make it less true]
So, that pretty much covers it as far as the entertainment is concerned. At this point, you may hear yrself saying, “I am a NYC-DIY vet – now that I know the bands playing, I know this show like Bo knows baseball.” Guess again, smart ass – this time around, we are putting the DIY scene on notice and letting everybody know how it is done FOR REAL. Okay, maybe that is over-stating it but we are taking the hard line on one particular issue. That's right, folks – TALLC is hereby putting the “Punk” back in “Punk-tuality.” Unlike any all-ages show you have ever been to, this one is going to start and end at a reasonable hour. The doors will open at 7:00 PM and the first band will begin promptly at 8:00 PM, with bands to follow at 9:00 and 10:00. “Man, that is so lame,” you may say. “BK doesn't party on that old-person schedule! This ain't Florida!” Well, friend – let me explain to you why you are a doofus.
For too long now, the DIY scene in Brooklyn has been accused (often rightly so) of being insular and classist, and nothing more clearly exemplifies this issue, in my eyes, than the lax, downright irresponsible attitude towards scheduling that is so pervasive. I can't tell you how many times I have gone to an all-ages DIY space to see a band I love or am especially psyched on, only to either have to leave before they play or feel so beat by the time that they do get on stage that fully enjoying the performance is no longer an option. Implicit in this is the belief that the people who are deserving of a solid evening's entertainment are the ones who can stay out until all hours of the night. This may sound to some of you like the romantic, glamorous ideal of the City That Never Sleeps -- well, maybe the city doesn't sleep, but people need to, especially when those people have jobs. If we really believe that art, particularly the great American art form of Punk Rock, is really and truly for “the people” rather than a play-thing of the kept children of the ruling class, who use it to fill the holes in their lives where “responsibilities” or “obligations” would usually go, then why let a show run until the wee hours hours of the morning, when a working person must be in bed to get the rest necessary for their continued survival and prosperity? Punk Rock should be an inclusive and an adhesive agent, it's spirit a common treasury for all to share. By letting their schedules run wild as a wicked weed, the leaders of the DIY scene are submitting to the preconceptions held by so many on the outside – that inclusivity and righteousness are no more than a different set of clothes that these brats throw on like it just came off the rack at Beacon's Closet, that we could really give a fuck about reaching out to those of the community who don't fit the typical “trust fund baby” model. To this, TA LLC says, “No more!” We call for a new commitment to punctuality on the DIY scene that will allow for all of those who would seek to warm themselves by the fires of independent art to get a fair chance to do so, whether they be a millionaire transplant from Connecticut or a born-and-bred Brooklynite getting up at the crack of dawn to clean some toilet. On the punk scene, which takes such pride in the rejection of society's basest values, these two should be equals. By embracing Punk-Tuality, we can take a step closer towards making that possible. Sounds nice, right? We think so.
With the music wrapping up by eleven or so, you may go home, or hang out to shake yr whatevah to Titus Andronicus Superstar DJ Soundsystem Yadda Yadda Yadda Rocksteady Ruffinready Crew, spinning the hottest jams until those wee hours we were talking about before. Okay, maybe for like, one hour.
To reward you for yr Punk-Tuality, we will be having a Happy Hour from “doors” (7:00 PM) to the start of the first band (8:00 PM), where you will be able to buy an ice cold beer (Miller High Life, pending further notice) for ONLY A DOLLAR. A GOD DAMN DOLLAR. How many nightlife options include THAT? What's that you say, virtually none? I thought not. I know you guys are going to be drinking responsibly, but you may as well do it for cheap, right? I'll say it again: BEER FOR A BUCK. Get there early and get yr money's worth!
Speaking of money, the show is only seven bucks. Two Georges and an Abe get you three great bands, a steady stream of laughs, access to the cheapest beer on the scene, and the option of a good night's sleep to follow. If you find a better deal on this Monday night, then please wake up, because you are in a dream world, and we need you back in this one.
So, to recap:
DIARRHEA PLANET, LIQUOR STORE, BATTLE AVE.
COMEDY BY MATT MILLER
SHEA STADIUM – 20 MEADOW ST – L TO GRAND ST
SEVEN DOLLAR ADMISSION
DOORS AT 7:00, MUSIC PROMPTLY AT 8:00
HAPPY HOUR 7:00-8:00 = ONE DOLLAR BEERS
MONDAY, MAY 23RD
Sound okay? Feel free to RSVP to this here Facebook event. All right, great! See you then!