The infrequently-updated site blog, featuring a range of content including show reviews, musical musings and off-color ramblings on other varied topics.
April 19, 2016
Humour and comedy is subjective.
What one person finds funny another might cringe at.
Cue E.B. White.
Analysing comedy is like dissecting a frog: You might understand it better at the end but the frog dies as a result of it.
Most comedy is based on simple, basic truths.
Basic truths that are spoken out.
Some say humour is masturbatory.
Padding yourself on the shoulder that you are intelligent enough to find what is being said foolish or to congratulate yourself on understanding the concept of the joke.
If you are into metal, nerdism, and weed, you will probably enjoy Brian Posehn’s stand-up routine and his anecdotes about encounters with the bands of the genre.
Being a self-professed nerd, Posehn’s self-deprecating humour and authenticity adds to his routine when he talks us through popular culture, e.g. Star Wars franchise, and its less savoury emissions, i.e. hipsterdom, along with insights on his childhood, teenage years, and married life as a father.
The audience thoroughly enjoyed Brian Posehn’s show, which was part of Sydney’s annual comedy festival.
Basic truths spoken out very loudly.
Post Pop Depression Tour
Ellie Caulkins Opera House
April 2, 2016
It was a night of anticipation. Iggy Pop was returning to Denver. In an opera house, no less. Considering he invited hundreds of fans on stage with him the last time he rolled through the town with The Stooges, this was a surprising choice, if from nothing other than a damage deposit standpoint.
This was not a Stooges show. This was not an Iggy solo show. This was a whole other beast entirely. This was the Post Pop Depression tour. An album completing his unfinished Berlin trilogy that started with 1977's The Idiot and Lust For Life. The album was a secret collaboration between Iggy and Josh Homme of Queens of the Stone Age and it was a doozy, with the songwriting keeping the Berlin aesthetic while at the same time being its own completely unique creation.
So when a brief 20 date tour was announced, featuring Iggy, Homme, his QOTSA cohorts Dean Fertita and Troy Van Leeuwen, Chavez's Matt Sweeney and Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Sweeney, its safe to say expectations were high.
Expectations were high, but quickly met. Then exceeded. Then blown to smithereens. As the drums beat out the familiar stomp of Lust For Life and the curtain rose it was clear from the start that we were in for one hell of a show. With a simple, but elegant black stage with a white accent down the middle, Iggy came out dancing, jumping and grinding like it was his last show on earth.
The band was in beyond top form and despite their impeccable pedigree, it became very clear by the second song, Sister Midnight, that Homme and company were there only to serve the man of the hour. Not that he has ever needed any help looking good, mind you. His jacket was shed early on and the famous Iggy torso was on full display. The signs of age are there, yes, but we're talking about a man who has the energy of you, me and everyone you know, including that bastard kid of your best friend whom you no longer invite to dinner because he'll bring the little terror that has zero ability to sit still for just two fucking seconds.
The band played for almost two non-stop hours and was the tightest set these fading eyes have ever seen - comprised entirely of songs from Post Pop Depression, The Idiot and Lust For Life, with the only exception being the title theme from the 1984 film, Repo Man. A standout in a set of standouts.
After all these years, Iggy Pop remains a force of nature and a sight to behold. If the rumblings are true, and if this is indeed his last set of live performances, there isn't a better way for the man to go out. I mean this with the utmost sincerity - if you only have plans to see one tour this year, this is without a doubt, the one to see.
All photos: Kevin Fitzpatrick
Lust For Life
In The Lobby
Some Weird Sin
Break Into Your Heart
Fall In Love With Me
Murder by Death
March 25th, 2016
Murder by Death are currently in the middle of one final tour before settling down and working on their next album. The band layed out a good 50-plus songs to play on this tour. The beauty of a Murder by Death show is they always have a diverse setlist. It's not something a lot of bands like to do. Many have been playing 80% of the same set for years, but Murder by Death always make their shows exciting. To top it all off, they're dedicating a portion of their sets to In Bocca Al Lupo, which is celebrating its ten year anniversary.
Joining Murder by Death for this part of the tour is Tim Barry. Some of you may recognize the name as he was the vocalist for the late and great, Avail. He's been on his own for years now providing the musical ether with his own brand of Folk-Punk. Fans of Murder by Death weren't the only ones in attendance. Barry's following made sure to show up to sing along to his vigorous set. Tim even took the time to step down to their level and play from the crowd.
Shortly after Tim Barry finished his performance, Murder by Death walked out to traverse many avenues of their repetroir. They opened with Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon's boisterous, "I Came Around." Not too long after they jumped from rowdy numbers like, "52 Ford," "The Curse of Elkhart," and "Ash," to more somber tracks like, "Lost River," "Strange Eyes," and "Big Dark Love." As can be expected though, they pulled out some surprises. Midway through the set, they did a sort of "David Bowie Tribute." One song was their own, "I Shot an Arrow," which frontman, Adam Turla, explained as being inspired by Bowie's musical prowess. The other was a cover of Bowie's own, "Moonage Daydream," which they recently covered for the band's Kickstarter covers album, As You Wish: Vol. 2. Naturally, the crowd went nuts.
Turla likes to take the time to banter and tell stories between songs. He told a short story about how they recently played in a venue across from Slayer recently in Portland. And because they can be such a humorous bunch, they dedicated the joyful love song, "Foxglove," to Slayer and the Devil. The band also delved into their deep cuts and played, "Good Morning, Magpie" -- a song they previously hadn't performed before this tour -- and the dreary, "Raw Deal," from In Bocca Al Lupo. They continued to honor In Bocca Al Lupo's anniversary with the explosive, "Dynamite Mine" and "Shiola." And of course, what Murder by Death set would be complete without, "Brother." Potentially, the band has probably grown tired of playing the hit, but it truly never gets old. It livens up any and all members of the audience. The same goes for Red of Tooth and Claw's, "Comin' Home." Setlist staples that I don't believe I'll ever get sick of. Sorry guys!
Unfortunately, there were no signs of anything from Like The Exorcist... but don't worry, judging from a couple setlists from nights before, they haven't completely ignored the album on this tour. Who Will Survive and What Will Be Left of Them got a little love. Towards the end they threw in "Until Morale Improves, The Beatings Will Continue," but the icing on the cake was the encore. After coming back out to play "Fuego," Turla was having some problems with his guitar and had to switch it out. Low and behold, his legendary "flame guitar" lives! It's not something he pulls out often anymore, but it was the right guitar to have for the last song of the night, "That Crown Don't Make You a Prince." They had promised it earlier that night when someone called for it in the crowd. They couldn't have ended the night on a higher note -- almost literally.
If you have the chance to catch Murder by Death on this tour before they supposedly go into hiding this year, don't miss out. The band sounds as good as ever. No beats were missed on Dagan's watch. Fountain's additional backing vocals and instrumentation brings new life on tracks normally performed solely. Balliet's playing is always beautiful and graceful. Matt's deep tone kept the songs striding along, while Turla's voice has yet to crack after all these years. Best of all, you can keep you expectations high for songs you want to hear without feeling like it's hopeless. Go see Murder by Death.
March 19, 2016
Clickbait is a disease.
A virus spreading from self-professed arbiters of taste under the veneer of information.
According to the narrative of the latest headlines pertaining to Madonna’s Australian performances, M has become a “self-degrading alcoholic clown” because of an experimental, improvised and vulnerable one-off, free performance in an intimate setting for her fan club members in Melbourne.
Banal, mercenary, low-hanging headlines lacking context and nuances that prove to be, more often than not, simply inaccurate.
Dispensable trivia rooted in the notion that reality is a single path from one point to another without any ambiguity.
Life is kaleidoscopic with no event existing in singularity, yet somehow we exist in a world where the labeling and pigeonholing of the narrow lens of one’s self-created social media feed is used to deflect from consuming more substantial fodder.
The rhetorical device of verbal and situational irony needs a bit more space than the confines of sensationalist headlines aimed at generating online advertising revenue at the expense of accuracy will allow.
References to the aforementioned fabricated “controversies” were made en masse when Madonna held court in Sydney, which marked the last stop of her globe-spanning Rebel Heart world tour:
A more two and a half hour long spectacular extravaganza encompassing a 25-song career spanning set list and unparalled visual variety ensued, which seemingly has found inspiration in Chinese New Year celebrations and artistry à la Cirque de Soleil.
Having been notoriously late during previous tours and more recent shows on terra australis, Madonna literally descended among us in a cage of swords as scheduled.
Not lacking the provocative imagery and button pushing performances the brand Madonna has become known for and despite being the perfectionist and disciplinarian she is, M was in a playful mood.
Reveling in the art of being Madonna, her recently trademarked “unapologetic bitchy” attitude and a myriad of costume changes, she commanded the stage, which was a long catwalk with a circular stage in the middle and a heart-shaped stage at the end: A hybrid of a heart, cross and an arrow allowing for ample opportunities for interactions with the audience.
Her crew of 20 dancers performed tightly choreographed themed theatrics - faux medieval executions, mock martial art fighting geishas, scantily clad pole dancing nuns, a S&M inspired orgiastic reenactment of the Last Supper and simulated sex acts embedded in a multimedia mélange of sound and light on a specifically designed kinetic stage, which allowed for acrobatic and scenic moments throughout the show.
Despite the highly engaging and at times borderline overwhelming feast for the senses, the more fragile moments of the show did not lack impact, e.g. when M was solo on stage playing a cover of Edith Piaf’s “La Vie en Rose” with a ukulele.
With the seamless transition between staging, choreography, scenic props, performers, live musicians, lighting and video of a show like this it is not difficult to see Madonna has been a permanent fixture in the upper echelon of pop music’s elite over the last 30 years.
Her live performance naturalizes and complements her mediatized persona and is an uncontrived extension of her music videos.
Madonna live is in essence about enjoying oneself and a whole lot of fun.
One of the few remaining “one and only.”
Photos by KAVV
March 05, 2016
Atwood's has a rich history of showcasing a mix of diverse artists that have stood the test of time and Peter Case is just another fine example. This particular show on a Saturday afternoon was a treat for me being a lifelong fan of Peter's songwriting and playing. A three time Grammy nominee Case has a resume' that most musicians would die for. The first time I had heard of him was while he was in the punk band The Nerves. Their 1976 EP contained a tune called "Hanging On The Telephone" which had little impact when they released it until it was recorded by Blondie in 1978 on Parallel Lines which resulted in a smash hit for them and a bit of notoriety for Case. After the breakup of The Nerves in 1978 he went on and formed the band The Plimsouls in 1979. The Plimsouls had several tunes hit the charts from their first release like "A Million Miles Away" and "Oldest Story In The World". As a result of their popularity in California they were signed to appear in the film Valley Girls as the prom band. The band enjoyed cult status for a while which hit its peak after they broke up.
Peter has since enjoyed a solo career staying mostly within the Americana/Roots music genre and has released thirteen solo recordings. Case began to write his memoir (As Far As You Can Get Without A Passport - everthemore books 2007) covering his growing up in upstate New York in the early seventies and feeling the urge to grow as a musician. This led him on his journey across the United States searching for a place that would accept him and his sound. During that time the mantra in the music business was to get to California where he could hone his craft.
During the show Case covered songs from his newest release Hwy 62 which is full of musings derived from his daily life, like "Pelican Bay" which tells the story of a supermax prison located in the town that he lives in and the impact it has on both the residents of the town and the 3000+ prisoners locked up inside. Another gem he performed during the show was "All Dressed Up (For Trial)" a humorous take on getting arrested and having to go to court in a borrowed suit and tie. Other songs performed during the show were "Water From A Stone", "If I Go Crazy" along with his take on Dylan's "Long Time Gone". This being a solo show Peter filled in between songs with stories from his life from the early days as a sixteen year old living in upstate New York in a 6 bedroom house filled with 24 "roommates" to stories of living in San Francisco busking for enough money to eat that day, sleeping in abandoned cars at the junkyard and traveling up and down the Cali coast. Peter seems to have never given up on that rambling lifestyle, still busking albeit inside clubs rather than on the street, telling stories and writing music, detailing his discoveries. In a brief chat I had with Peter after the show he mentioned that he will be continuing to write his memoirs, something I hope he does because after reading his brief earlier release, the man has lived a life filled with music and some great stories, this will be interesting.
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Lethbridge is a suburb of sorts to Calgary to give you, the reader an idea of the towns size. Usually the Enmax (where this show took place) is host to ... read more
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Eyehategod, Ringworm, Enabler, Shitkill Club Europa Brooklyn, New York June 7, 2014 This past weekend, the mega-festival Governors Ball hit hard in NYC. People from all ... read more
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HIM, Caspian Southampton GuildhallSouthampton, Hampshire, UKOctober 28, 2013 It has been three years since HIM last played on the shores of the UK, with a lot of uncertainty whether they ... read more
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Elliott Smith at his last-ever NYC show, January 29th 2003. He killed himself that October.Photo: Alexis I have this friend, let's call her L. We "met" on a music messageboard ... read more
October 12, 2013 Calgary, Alberta @ THE GOLDEN AGE CLUB After a few hiccups in the booking process (venue issues, etc.) the day finally came for Terror to come back ... read more
A couple weeks ago, I went on a trip to the middle of the country to see my favorite band, AFI, play shows up and down the midwest. Some of ... read more
A couple weeks ago, I went on a trip to the middle of the country to see my favorite band, AFI, play shows up and down the midwest. Some ... read more
FLAG, T.S.O.L., Cerbral Ballzy, Off WithTheir Heads First Avenue Minneapolis, MN September 13, 2013 After spending a few hours in a sports bar down the street, where my compadres and ... read more
Caïna, Hordes, Barshasketh The Unicorn London, UK September 6 2013 We've been talking a lot about the rebirth of Caïna of late and we'll soon have a review of the new ... read more
It's that time once again! The fabled Progressive Music Awards are tomorrow night, and I've spent the last few weeks getting myself familiar with the best of the best in ... read more
Holy crap, has this summer been hot or what? Like, hot as in temperature hot. Like, literally hot. Which might be confusing now that Merriam-Webster and Oxford dictionaries as well ... read more
The NINES Festival Devens, MA I must admit I was anxious to attend this festival when I heard the lineup featured none other than Shuggie Otis. I have had ... read more
It's a tray in a hotel room, fairly unremarkable when put back to basics. The tray is littered with cigarettes, beer bottles, a can of coke, a crumpled McDonald's ... read more
Die Kruezen, Hepa/Titus, Mudhoney, Gay Witch Abortion, Negative Approach, Honky, Melvins Grumpys Downtown Minneapolis, MN July 20, 2013 It’s a shame that Amphetamine Reptile Records quit putting out new ... read more
The Postal Service are making their rounds again in support in the Deluxe Edition re-release of their 2003 album, Give Up. Scene Point Blank had a chance to check'em out ... read more
Dave Hause @ Cabooze Plaza Social Distortion, Cheap Time, Dave HauseCabooze PlazaMinneapolis, MNJuly 2, 2013 Dave Hause is a busy guy. I swear I get an email a week here ... read more
Well here we are into the first part of May, and I'm wondering where the fuck March and April went. I apologize for dropping the F bomb on you in ... read more
Minneapolis, MN, 4/20/13 Despite being fairly worn out from the previous evening—one which had me visiting three different venues, seeing six different bands, and imbibing at least twice as many ... read more
The Men 7th St Entry Minneapolis, MN June 12, 2013 On just the third night of their North American tour, Brooklyn-based band The Men landed in Minneapolis for a packed-in ... read more
(This review contains copious spoilers: if you intend to read the novel yourself, proceed with caution. We're posting it as a blog since it's not strictly music-related, despite being written by ... read more
Tegan and Sara were appreciated by Albany, NY last month when they came to the Upstate Concert Hall, the first time they've visited since the duo released So Jealous, which ... read more
Anthrax, Exodus, High On Fire, Municipal Waste, Holy Grail First Avenue Minneapolis, MN April 4th, 2013 Continuing their recent-ish trend of performing classic albums in their entirety, Anthrax rolled into ... read more
In the days following Adam Yauch’s passing in May of last year, many of us nostalgia-stricken fans were searching for words to express how deeply saddened we were by not ... read more
February 28th, 2013 As I write this, I am overlooking the Sea of Cortez on the Baja Peninsula from the balcony of my room at a vacation resort outside of ... read more
This hip-hop train just keeps on rolling. And although I would like to think I’m fully on board, it feels more like I’m running beside it, trying to keep up, ... read more
Well, here we are, a whole month into the New Year, and as usual January was spent catching up on all the music I slept on last year. Normally the ... read more
The tiny Black Heart in Camden holds court to an evening of droned out sludge, traditional heavy doom, and more English black metal than you can shake a stick at ... read more
The Unicorn is suffering from a severe lack of air con tonight, the tension in the air made all the palpable by the insane levels of heat and the anticipation ... read more
The view that Scene Point Blank has been afforded for tonight’s performance is beautiful, and the sea of heads below on the floor is all the more astonishing seen from ... read more
Minus the Bear and Cursive have been on tour for the past few months in support of their 2012 releases. Minus the Bear put out Infinity Overhead in August, while ... read more
Murder by Death have just begun to tour for their new album, Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, by supporting pop-punk troop, Say Anything. It's an interesting combo and Murder by Death ... read more
It's rare that you attend a show that feels like it has the weight of history riding on it, but seeing At The Drive-In play what is likely to be ... read more
Fun. are back on the road selling out shows again. This time however, they didn't just sell out one show, but 3 nights at the illustrious Wiltern Theater in Los ... read more
Murder by Death are preparing the release of their 6th studio album, Bitter Drink, Bitter Moon, while celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their first LP, Like The Exorcist, but More ... read more
Well, it's high time that progressive music got a good, high-ish-profile awards show, and now, thanks to Prog Magazine, we have one. The bad news is that it stlil shows ... read more
Japandroids 7th St. Entry Minneapolis, MN July 7, 2012 When a touring band starts their set by saying, “It feels like we’re back home, Minneapolis”, the natural instinct is to go ... read more
LeBron James is Four Titles and a Rape Allegation Away From Becoming Kobe Bryant: How the Miami Heat Winning is Bad for Basketball Now I know that we here at ... read more
Royal Headache, The Arrivals, Condominium Triple Rock Social Club Minneapolis, MN June 9, 2012 It was with some intrigue and, admittedly, mostly trepidation that I made my way to ... read more
Hot Water Music just released their new album, Exister, and recently spent a couple nights in So-Cal to warm up the new songs before they head out to Europe this ... read more
There are a few cultural constants we all come to understand depending on where we come from, and growing up in Vermont is no exception. Amongst other things, many develop ... read more
Once again, fun. are on the road and Scene Point Blank was there to catch another great show. The band's playing the clubs in support of their sophomore record, Some ... read more
I had the pleasure of attending the 5th annual Musink Fest in Costa Mesa, CA--a festival blending live music and an appreciation for tattoo art--hosted by LA Ink star, Kat ... read more
Cursive recently began touring in support of their 7th studio album, I Am Gemini. I had the privilege of catching their show in Pomona, CA where they played a great ... read more
I know we don't usually review websites here at Scene Point Blank, but we just couldn't help ourselves after our editor in chief Loren received the following request: Hi,I'm Pheiné, ... read more
The piece ended rather suddenly, almost completely without warning. The conductor held his position for a moment, then slowly brought his arms down. The theater erupted with applause as the ... read more
Saves the Day and Bayside decided to team up this Fall to deliver a thrilling show fans of either could appreciate. Joining them on the tour are I Am ... read more
The World/Inferno Friendship Society recently started their US tour supporting their new album, The Anarchy and The Ecstasy, with sci-fi-psychobilly (psy-fi?) band, The Phenomenauts. You could not ask for a ... read more
Last Thursday, The Purple Turtle in London's infamous Camden held what is likely to be the most fun headlining show I've seen this year. Cannabis Corpse, fresh off the back ... read more
Motley Crue and Poison live, Target Center, Mpls, MN, 6/24/11 The New York Dolls opened the show but I couldn’t tell you damn thing about them. The girlfriend and I literally ... read more
Read Midwest Hell Fest Wrapup-Day 1 here. Despite intermittent sleep, I wake up feeling fairly well rested. If memory serves correctly, I’m somewhere deep within the confines of enemy territory—Wisconsin. ... read more
After losing a year of my life behind the wheel, I finally arrive at my destination: Kimberly, Wisconsin. Upon walking into the hotel—and I use this term loosely—lobby, I am ... read more
After a long wait and two opening acts—the clock struck 9:30 and Fun took the stage, while the boys and girls cheered. Suddenly, the beautiful overture to “Be Calm” opens ... read more
200 bands, seemingly as many beers, and only three nights. Where do I begin my recap? My stomach is still shrunken from not eating right, and I continue to drink ... read more
Let me start off by saying that I love all three of these bands, and I have been looking forward to this show since I got confirmed to photograph it. ... read more
Portugal. the Man is a Portland, Oregon based experimental indie-rock band, fronted by native Alaskan John Gourley. If you haven’t heard the story about this up and coming group, Gourley’s ... read more
I don't know how many of you have heard of Moving Mountains. A band from Westchester, NY, they are fresh off a tour with Thursday, about to embark on a ... read more
I hit the 500 review mark last week with my Narrows review. That's a lot of reviews. Sometimes I get burnt out with all the stuff coming through, especially when ... read more
So I just got done watching the season finale of Scrubs. It was Zach Braff's final episode. His character is saying goodbye, but I think they gave it a nice ... read more
Two months ago I had high hopes for the Cleveland Browns. Now I am left with a fairly mediocre season. We shall see how the remainder plays out. I'm looking ... read more
Might as well has this here too, it's been three years since I wrote it. I think it still holds true. Space for rent. Your ad here. My name is ... read more
I forgot to post this prior to week one, but given the outcome of that game, maybe it was for the best. Anyway, the Browns season is underway and that ... read more
Over the weekend a band that was very dear to my heart announced their sudden breakup and played their final show. I first became acquainted with Life Long Tragedy over ... read more
I was yelled at again for writing this, and since I am applying for a job at a local newspaper, I don't really want this hanging over my head. Sorry ... read more
Last night my band played with Souvenir's Young America, City of Ships, and Monolith at Siren Records in Doylestown, PA; it was a fun time all the bands played real ... read more
If you didn't hear the news, Roy Scheider died this week at the age of 75. Jaws is one of my all-time favorite films. I am extremely sad. I fully ... read more
They could make me look not so good to certain people. Nobody read them anyways. read more
So, back when Cave In's Until Your Heart Stops dropped on the hardcore masses several years back, I had the chance of catching the band at Middlesex County Community College. ... read more
I broke out my CD for the Gehenna- The War of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness and saw something that always made me smile. Allow me ... read more
Hello. Some of you might remember (or have participated in) my experiment over the summer collecting people's wishes on this page. I got over 160 entries and published them all ... read more
Imagine being in this kid's place... Interview w/ Henry Rollins read more
Even though it is just a joke, I'd still vote for Stephen Colbert for president before I'd vote for anyone else for running, outside of the longshots that have no ... read more
Dear Atreyu, Please stop. No seriously, please stop...now. - File has been removed. It was up for a month. It was the band's cover of Faith No More's "Epic." - ... read more
I woke up today at 5:30am to get my ass to the store to open it for what I figured would be another boring Sunday at work. Work has been ... read more
So the man that founded Factory Records and helped Joy Division become as huge as they did through hype died today. Not alot of people repect what Wilson did for ... read more
Yesterday during rush hour traffic on 35W the bridge than spans the mighty Mississippi fell. There was no earthquake. There was no terrorist attack. The bridge just buckled and toppled ... read more
Part 1: Mission Statement, Introduction, and first terribly nostalgic musing A number of years ago, a few friends of mine, myself, and people who would quickly become my friends used ... read more
Shook Ones, for the uninitiated, are a melodic hardcore band from Seattle, Washington. Their debut LP, Sixteen, had some serious Kid Dynamite aping going on, without a doubt, but it ... read more
Remember when the idea of Friday the 13th used to be scary? Maybe its because I am a grown adult, but there just does not seem to be any horror ... read more
You have no idea how wonderful it is to be finally typing these words. Not that my work is done: a SPB staffer's work is never done! But seriously: typing ... read more
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