Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Jay Porks Experience Final Four 2009 (Albums of the year)


         After a long year we tend to reflect.. in this world on this site, it's music. This year came and brought us alot of great albums by alot of great bands. There are only a few that can claim to have made the Jay Porks Experience Final Four, the top for albums of the year as voted on by the panel of experts we have working behind the scenes of the Jay Porks Experience. The grading system is based on a 1-5 thing. I didn't want to do 5 "stars" or anything like that so the grading system goes one through five joints, five being the highest-Just looking for something somewhat original. So Ladies and Gentlemen may I present to you these albums, starting with number four....


#4......Dinosaur Jr.- “Farm” breathes new life into the once seemingly forgotten Dinosaur Jr. Lou Barlow and drummer Murph along with the prevalent J.Mascis round out the seocnd album recorded with the original line-up since 1988, first being with 2007's “Beyond”. Critics all around say that this album is “predicable” as compared to Beyond, saying it does not reach it's full capability. Those sentiments are not entirely untrue. Although this album really rocks hard, and grinds on distortionally blissful notes consistently-there were time during listening to the record the first time through, where I noticed things were a little lacking in the crazy insane guitar solos that you come to expect from JM. Two songs on here that Barlow sings lead on, one being “Your Weather”, that are pretty cool. The recording is of low-fi proportions, so you have to turn up the volume while listening to really rock on. The Neil Young influence is still here, both in songwriting and just the voice being eerily similar. This record would have placed high on my list, had maybe one or two more songs would have broke open into insanity like “I want you to know” did. Great album anyway, I give it FOUR JOINTS.


#3.......Alice In Chains- “Black gives way to Blue” reminds us all of the dark, troubling addictions of the now deceased Layne Staley at the same time of giving us hope for the future of the band in general. First of all lets say this, we all love Layne-but Jerry Cantrell is and always was the driving force of this band. His guitar playing is not to be denied as one of the best in the sludge metal scene, and rock in general. William DuVall, besides the fact that he can sing all the old stuff because he sounds exactly like Layne(it's scary), he adds the dynamic of another guitar player. Jerry and DuVall were trading leads on Jimmy Kimmel on one of their two nights being on. They even got played on the radio with “Check My Brain”, how could you not dig that song? It's so catchy. And other songs on the album like “A looking in view” explore a darker, more metal side of Alice in Chains that Jerry has always wanted to explore. A stellar effort if I say so myself. This record gets FOUR AND A HALF JOINTS.


#2......Meat Puppets- “Sewn Together” is probably my number one album any other year but we had a good year this year. This, the second album since Cris Kirkwood cleaned up and reunited with brother Curt, sets a different tone than 2007's “Rise to your Knees” from the get go. This album explores things you wouldn't think the Meat Puppets would do-like keys (Played by Elmo Kirkwood, son of Curt, on the song “Clone”). It at the same time stays twangy and rhythmic throughout creating the classic Puppets feel that Rise to your Knees lacked. The first single released off it was “Rotten Shame”, a song that can't help but remind you of a 1989 Pups song Touchdown King. Starts off with the title track that gets your head flowing back and forth and the songwriting of Curt Kirkwood is strong as ever as you get deeper into each track. My personal favorite songs on the album I'm torn between “Blanket of Weeds” and “Love Mountain”. This album is a must have for all fans of good music, that's why I'm giving it the full FIVE JOINTS


#1 album of the year...... Sonic Youth- “The Eternal” an absolutely gut-wrenching, heavy and noisy experience from beginning to end. An absolute clinic in the art of guitar noise orchestra is put on here. Lead guitarists Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo shed chords of painful reckless abandonment whilst not abandoning the songs main goal. The record kicks off with “Sacred Trickster”, and Kim Gordan (bass and mostly guitar now) rocks the lead vocals on that in “Goo” form. We move smoothly into the six minute Anti-Orgasm and you really begin to understand the rockingness of this recording. There's so many unexplained sounds that are all guitars all the time. The layers and layers of noise, the on point rhythm section keeping things in tact whilst all over the place. This song leaves the station and by the time it returns you think the album is over already because it's so many different things. The harmony continues on “Leaky Lifeboat (For Gregory Corso)”, one of the two dedications on this album( “Thunderclap (For Bobby Pyn)” being the other. The ladder in which I ripped off for the title of my show review when I went to see the Germs I put 'For Bobby Pyn' in parenthesis, paying homage to this great album that had come out a few weeks prior). The riffs scorch on this track so harsh I get itchy listening. There are no bad songs on this album, just pieces of art. It's musical genius, Sonic Youth's best album in my opinion since the days of “Goo” and work before it. Songs like “Antenna”, another six minute smash, build and float around and are kind of catchy, very surprised this gets not radio play, a few of these tracks are definitely radio friendly unit shifters. I can't name a favorite track, their all so powerful. I never knew distortion pedals and effects boxes could be so beautifully tuned. Lets face it, it's 2009, there's not much good music out there. And that's not a knock on this album, it's hardcore rockin. I just guess I'm shocked that an album this good can still actually exist. Take a listen to “Walking Blue” or “What We Know” and try and tell me different. This one gets the full monty- FIVE JOINTS. Hats get tipped to Sonic Youth, for having “The Eternal” voted the Jay Porks Experience Album of the year 2009.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ever scalped a ticket only to find out at the door it was fake??

      Has anyone ever headed to a sold out show for a band you really loved without tickets hoping someone would have extras? I never tried it, but tonight I did. Alice in Chains at the “Fillmore” Irving Plaza-it's a can't miss type of show. One of the best bands to ever be lumped into the pretend genre of grunge, playing right here in New York City. The tickets sold out in under 30 seconds for a CITI pre-sale so I had a feeling something was up. So Pam and I decide to head out there and try to find some extras, as I said before. I hadn't even made it there yet and Pamtexts me saying shes got someone for 70 a pop. I text back “70 eachhhhhhh?” I wasn't feeling it. And besides, as resident Jew in my circle of friends I think I should be there for all negotiations should I not? So I hop out of a cab-a near death experience on a whole other level-and it's time. Lets get to getting these tickets. The people scalping aren't usually right in front but down the block. Someone the light is always dim in the areas where scalping is going on, coincidence-maybe. So some shady looking character says he's got three tickets and can do $70 each. I said “Listen man I can't do 70-do me two for a hundred”. He looked tempted, then said he could only sell one ticket because he had a $300 sale coming through and backed out. So now we're walking across the street, we're looking for people who look like they may have extra tickets. So here comes $70 a pop guy crossing the street towards us and looks like he's ready to settle at my price. So we give him 100 bucks, and there we go. We have our tickets! And it was all a great night. The End.

        Yea right. We head towards the door and I'm holding the tickets and out of curiosity I turn to some dude and showed him the ticket and posed the question: “How real does this look to you?” and he takes a look and replies with “Yea well, it looks real..really FAKE”. I should have known better then to get tickets from a sleazy scum looking hustler on the street probably sitting in a Harlem apartment shared by 43 other people counting my money-our money! He'll die slow of aids one day, what goes around comes around. Get to the door and the girl says “I'm sorry guys but you bought fake tickets”, which we already knew, and we exited the venue. Out quicker then we got in. All because I had to be stupid and make a not so wise, not rationally thought out decision.  
       So we hit a dive bar around the corner-I know it was a dive bar because a sign in the window said 'Dive Bar'. I thought the term meant a bar that nobody goes to, a dump. They advertise this? Anyway, walk in and they got the house music set to the Pixies-maybe the night's turning around. We sat and tried (at least I tried, Pam had to drive) to drown ourselves in our sea of sorrows(you love my puns). I down four Heineken's before I started singing along to “Winterlong”, the Pixies covering Neil Young. Great song. We got into a discussion about how we both wore punk based band tees to an Alice in Chains show(Pam-Social Distortion, Me-Black Flag). Then I headed outside for a cig and noticed they were setting up a barricade or something-and I see a bunch of people now standing around this bar with tickets in hand. I said to someone: “What they didn't go on yet?”. Oh they went on, I saw someone holding the set list. I wanted to cry when I saw the setlist. I ran in got Pam told her they're coming out and we're out there and Jerry comes out and signs like 2 autographs. Now, there's a lot of people there-but it's not exactly pandemonium out there. DuVall follows a little behind and signs one thing-someone bought Tripod(or the self-titled green record) on vinyl and he signed it then headed towards a cab. DuVall and Jerry two separate cabs.  
        Still standing around there's still about 15-20 people hanging and I'm wondering why. Then here comes Sean Kinney, the drummer. He's chatting, taking pics with people-totally cool. So when he got down to my end of the curb I howled out “Sean! I got ripped off for tickets-got them off some guy in street! Please sign my fake ticket!!" I'm not exactly a quiet guy, so all of that laughter was directed at my helpless screams for some redemption out of this night. Kinney stops, looks straight at me and says “man, that sucks” and carefully signed my fake ticket. Asked how much I paid and I said "Two for $100". I actually believe he genuinely felt bad for me. He gets in a cab, Pam had headed to the bathroom sometime between the time DuVall and Jerry came out to the time Kinney came out so when she emerged I said “Your night just got worse”-pulled out my ticket-”Sean Kinney came out and signed some stuff”.

 So now I realize we're waiting for the bassist Mike Inez. He came out and he was the most generous of them all, even Kinney who was extremely fan accessible. I gave him the same story and he was like “man that sucks.. I'm sorry about that”. He said sorry while I was posing in a pic with him that Pam was taking. Pam says its a bad shot, I think it's proof. And Inez signed my stub with a silver Uni so that fake ticket is at least worth a good memory now. One good memory from a night of nightmarish proportions.