SCAN0144The Sons of Guns
Self-Titled

Self-Released
Street: 05.01
The Suns of Guns = Guns N’ Roses + MxPx + cassettes left in the sun

There was a summer in middle school when I listened to a college music radio station religiously because of the punk-rock block they’d play every Saturday afternoon. I was so enthralled with this departure of sound and youthful angst that I’d tape every airing with cassette tapes and replay them ad nauseam. The Sons of Guns remind me of some of the tracks on those tapes. While I still return to some of those bands that first inducted me into punk rock, Rancid and NOFX, for instance, the others, even though I appreciate their initial boost, lost their relevance, paling in comparison once the summer had ended. The Sons of Guns would have been one of those lost in the searing heat. They may be good for immediate moments (bar shows and house parties), but their sound doesn’t carry beyond the door.

Drew Danburry/FATALFURY and the Lasercats!Drew Danburry/FATALFURY and the Lasercats!
Live in France

Self-Released
Street: 05.01
Drew Danburry/FATALFURY and the Lasercats! = Bright Eyes + The Microphones + Devendra Banhart

I know that by equating this menage, trios to Bright Eyes will immediately lose most readers, and I usually only make this comparison to denote: emo sap-drooling, watch out! However, I’m going to extend myself and defend the honest and beautiful folk aspects that are in some Bright Eyes albums; the same goes for Drew Danburry and Co. in this fatally exposed, Live in France recording. I think everyone has experienced some hippie bluegrass improv at a house party. It usually ends up being both unusually enticing, the social inclusion and oddity that is call-and-response between oatmeal skin-colored boys with goat-haired beards and the rest of a carpet-stained living room full of otherwise socially neglected mousey boys and girls drinking Rolling Rocks, and repulsive, effectively creating a psycho-sexual struggle-straddle between voyeurism and consciousness. Now take this template and swap the characters and context: US folk artists playing in a bar for and with the French petit bourgeoisie. Interesting in the very least.

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Circus Brown - Not a Side ShowCircus Brown
Not a Side Show

KRCL 90.9 FM
Street: 06.01
Circus Brown = A local DJ who plays local rock music on krcl

Several of the bands who play on this live radio compilation sound very impressionable; they sound too much like a specific band, The Shins, Wilco and Incubus, to name a few. This is necessarily a bad thing, but it means these particular bands could use some growth and development. Although, like most music radio most of everything is bearable, but frightfully banal and all too reminiscent of reality (or whatever that thing is we call day-to-day life). Fortunately, there are a few gems on this disc that keep things bright instead of blight: The Rubes, Vile Blue Shades, Paper Cranes Collective and Blackhole to name a few. Phew!

Aftermath
Joel Meyerowitz

Phaidon Press
Street: 08.26.06

I think there has got to be a hundred of these books out there, and all of them are probably titled “Aftermath.” You know, giant, glowing books about 9/11 and the wreckage, tragedy and irony that is 9/11. The book is enormous and heavy––I’m talking at least 10 pounds! The pictures are beautiful and there are some interesting portrayals juxtaposing and positioning the turmoil with everyday life––turning it into a palpable, almost normal event. However, how many of us are sick of worshiping those giant phallic symbols and their demise? Or, at least perturbed by the interpretation and discourse surrounding that cloudy day? There are other September 11ths out there, especially ones that have been more tragic and beautiful. I’d rather look at something else, please. –Spanther