Pissed Jeans | Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY | 2/9/14
The Pissed Jeans discography has been getting me through this brutal winter. Funny, cranky, cathartic. Whenever it’s especially shitty & stupid outside I embrace/displace my belligerence by putting King of Jeans on and just let the low end guide me through my day like the hand of an angel.
Pissed Jeans | Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY | Feb. 9th, 2014
Pissed Jeans at the Knitting Factory | Brooklyn, NY | February 9, 2014.
From the archive: Japanther at The Marvelous | Philadelphia, PA | September 22, 2010.
From the archive: Jake n Jamin / JEFF The Brotherhood at Kung Fu Necktie | Philadelphia, PA | October 27, 2010.
Photo by Josh Anderson for The New York Times
I’d seen Jay Reatard perform a few times but the last time he came through Philadelphia (where I lived for eight years) there was snow on the ground; I’d worked all day, and didn’t want to leave my warm, dry apartment to cross town in the slush despite having bought my ticket months in advance— surely he’d be back soon. Shortly thereafter he died suddenly in the night. I didn’t know Jay, we’d only had one conversation, but his music was something I carried with me everywhere I went, it was visceral and alive to me and his sudden removal from the world, his nonexistence— he was so young, how could it be— had stunned me. I felt like I’d lost a friend.
I’d gotten out of the habit of taking photos at shows (ironically, after graduating from photo school and becoming a full time photographer’s assistant & retoucher), which meant I didn’t have any of Jay. It made me very sad. I thought his talent was real and I remember being pleased when I saw the article in the Times that accompanied this photo a year before his passing. He was being recognized beyond the small sphere of punk and garagerock nerds, he deserved it.
The point of this post is that I started taking photos at shows again because of Jay. He reaffirmed how much I care about the artists/creative community that make the music I love, how I value what they make and do— that it enriches my life in innumerable ways, and that I want to try and document it for posterity if I can. I try not to miss shows anymore, either. Thank you, Jay for helping me remember who I am. Hammer, we miss you.
A three-part mix I made in commemoration of Jay back in 2011 is still available to download here:
From the archive: Terrible Twos, Beerland.
Thee Oh Sees at Underground Arts | Philadelphia, PA | 10/30/13
There’s a line in an old Cometbus that goes something like, “a band really isn’t worth their salt unless they sweat and scream and nearly die up there.” I’m pretty sure he was talking about Radon but I always think of it when I see Thee Oh Sees. They are such a large sonic presence, so steady, it’s oddly overwhelming. To be there with them while they play is a deep and profound joy that you experience with your entire body. People don’t know how to react to what’s happening, but they want the band to know, or just can’t help themselves— they are grinning like idiots. Sometimes-bassist / sometimes-2nd guitarist Petey Dammit knows to expect this, and he finds them, sweetly looking at the crowd in the eyes, smiling back and nodding like he’s experiencing it from the outside, too while he relentlessly drives the groove forward. It’s a cliché, but I watched them play three times this week and I honestly don’t know how they do it every night.
The last leg of their current tour with The Blind Shake and OBN III’s is bound for: Atlanta (tonight!), Miami, Gainesville, New Orleans, Austin, Albuquerque, San Diego, Santa Ana, and wraps up with two dates in Los Angeles on 11/14 & 11/15.
Hey guys, look it’s Big Ups. Y’all like Big Ups?
Big Ups at the Panache Booking CMJ showcase at 285 Kent | 10/17/13
Fuzz at Kung Fu Necktie; Philadelphia, PA 10/11/13