Julie Joyce’s Non-SEO’d Music Blog

Another Girl Who Thinks She Knows Music…oh, and SEO

The Big Sleep March 9, 2008

I went to see Say Hi the other night, last Thursday to be exact, at Local 506 in Chapel Hill. I usually hate opening bands so I was amazingly unprepared for the two fantastic ones who performed before Say Hi…The Big Sleep being the middle band, and the subject of this gushing post.

The Big Sleep

I take dreadful photos usually, but I do still make the effort, unless the bands are so insanely good that I can’t be bothered to take the time to look away in order to figure out how to turn the flash off. The photos here are from Gene, my show companion and close friend. OK so on to The Big Sleep! I can’t really describe them accurately, unfortunately. They were hard. They were kinetic, they were LOUD, and they were truly and utterly magnificent. I love female bass players (and drummers, can’t forget Georgia!) and I love bands who look so intense when they play, that you feel almost worn out by the time the song ends. Their set went by way too quickly, but I did manage to drunkenly stagger up to the front and buy both of their cds, which fully live up to the sound they had live.

The Big Sleep

They are a threesome, from Brooklyn NY, with listed influences like Led Zeppelin and Funkadelic, both of which were quite apparent. I thought they sounded a lot like “Red“-era King Crimson, but none of my show companions agreed, being nasty people who enjoy arguing. Their drummer, the lovely Gabe (according to their MySpace page) was soaked with sweat within about 30 seconds of the first song, so I was as happy as a clam. Clem Burke can go to hell now. I’ve no need for him.


The Freewheeling Yo La Tengo January 18, 2008

Filed under: American Bands,Live Shows — juliejoycemusic @ 7:23 pm
Tags: , , ,

Yo La Tengo is truly one of the best bands that there has ever been…I’ve seen them live twice now, and the first show was the absolute best rock show that I’ve ever attended. It was loud, there was lots of distortion and feedback, and I fell in love with Georgia, the drummer. Yes, I know she’s taken, damn it. Anyway, this last show was an acoustic(ish) one and it was perfect for the serious YLT fan.

You don’t find many rock stars that seem all that nice these days. NONE of them seem to be all that funny either…the members of YLT are definitely an exception to this, however. They honestly seem like the kind of people that you’d want to come over for dinner. OK so I’ll stop gushing and say that I wish I had some good photos, but due to the lighting of the show, it was quite difficult to get anything of value with the flash off. I’m nothing if not respectful.

Recommended song to tell you how great they are: Sugarcube. It’s truly one of the best songs ever recorded.

An amazing songwriter by the name of Kurt Wagner (frontman of the Nashville alt-country band Lambchop) was the opening act. My idiot husband and his friend almost fell asleep but no one said that either of them has good taste. Luckily, Gene Gene the Dancing Machine loved it, as did I, and we’re already becoming big fans of this guy. He was like Randy Newman and Wilco and Warren Zevon and David Sylvian all rolled up in one person. If you have the chance to catch this show, DO it. You won’t regret it, as long as you stay awake.


Say Hi (To Your Mom) Show October 30, 2007

Filed under: American Bands,Live Shows,New and Noteworthy — juliejoycemusic @ 1:31 pm

My good friend and fellow show attendee Gene Gene The Dancing Machine has a good review of the Say Hi show with much better photos so check that out. The show was great…not much to say other than these guys are so insanely unpretentious that I felt like I was seeing The Pixes 15 years ago. If you haven’t heard their stuff you need to check them out. It’s just really, really well-done stuff.

Say Hi show Local 506

Say Hi show Local 506 photo 3

Say Hi show Local 506 photo 2


Sparklehorse Likes Me (I Think) June 18, 2007

Filed under: American Bands,Live Shows — juliejoycemusic @ 11:26 am

I saw Sparklehorse live a few months back and never got the chance to write anything about them. I did, however, stalk Mark Linkous (the lead singer) on MySpace for a bit and he was quite nice and responsive so I think we’re close to hanging out and getting coffee together. OK maybe not but I can dream. Anyway, we were right up front for the show and it was utterly fantastic. Johnny Hott, whom I have mentioned before in a House of Freaks post, drummed like Clem Burke on a meth bender (that’s good in case you can’t tell.) The only downside was that there was some insanely drunk/high hippie wandering around up front bumping into everyone. Oh, and there were some idiotic frat boys who kept cursing loudly and yelling at the band which was fairly obnoxious since Hott’s little girl was dancing onstage with them for most of the show.

OK enough about the show–it was good and that’s the point. Until recently, Sparklehorse had the distinction of being the band of “the last cd I bought way back in 2001” but I broke down and purchased a few more recently. They are one of those bands whose newest release I get really excited about. Many times you’re seriously disappointed but so far (knock on wood) I have never been even remotely let down by their work. They can change lineups and sound totally different but they still sound amazing. They actually have a song featured in a Volvo ad which is both strange and somewhat comforting since it makes me think that at least someonewith good taste is handling these bits of marketing.

Here’s a video you might like…this song never gets old.


The Best Band You’ve Never Heard Of June 15, 2007

Filed under: American Bands — juliejoycemusic @ 5:20 pm

Or maybe you have…it’s House of Freaks.

House of Freaks was formed by the late Bryan Harvey and the still-with-us Johnny Hott, way back in the 80s when many of you weren’t born. I don’t think I can successfully categorize their sound without getting trite though, unfortunately. If you do any research on them, you’ll read the horrific stories about Bryan’s family being murdered a few years back–my advice is to skip over that stuff because I can assure you, it will depress the hell out of you. His family’s murder should not be what’s remembered…the man created some of the best tracks I’ve ever heard.

They didn’t put out a huge amount of records, but they did put out amazing ones. My favorite album is “Tantilla”, which I also think has the best lyrics overall of any album on the planet. It’s also on my top 10 albums of all time list (which I have yet to share and you’ll thank me most likely Gene.) The band drew comparisons to tons of other bands, none of which I would really agree with though since I think they truly had a unique sound. I could say something like this though…if you like Tom Waits, religious metaphor without the guilt, gothic Southern novels, and heat, you’ll like them.

I actually got into Sparklehorse through looking for House of Freaks information online. Johnny Hott is currently playing with Sparklehorse and I had the pleasure of meeting him a few months back when they played at the Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro. He has a gorgeous child and he was an amazingly unpretentious and likeable man, not to mention a fantastic drummer. Seeing him play was the highlight of the show for me.

I’m linking you to a video so please take a look…you can still get their records in many places so check them out.


More on Midnight Movies June 9, 2007

Filed under: American Bands,Live Shows — juliejoycemusic @ 9:55 pm

Midnight Movies live in Seattle

Since I only gave a brief mention to Midnight Movies in my post about the Seattle Raveonettes show, I thought I’d do a little more here about them. I did buy both albums at their show and I have to say that while I think they’re better live, the albums are still really really good. Maybe I shouldn’t say they are “better” live–they just have an amazing energy that doesn’t necessarily translate when you’re not getting a visual.

I do enjoy a band with a female drummer, like Yo La Tengo especially, and Midnight Movies had two of them! They also did a nice flute bit, which is quite rare in good indie rock today. The things I have read about them talk about their psychadelic vibe, which came through quite well live, but I think they are a little more progressive sounding than that label makes them seem. They certainly don’t sound like anyone else.

When I spoke to the band members, who were all quite friendly, they were talking about how they don’t have a current record contract (that’s what I recall anyway, but I had a bit of wine beforehand) which is both amazing and typical. There are a ton of great bands out there with a unique sound, but the general public never seems to want to hear them. Honestly, if you’re opening for The Raveonettes, you’re doing something right. Previously they opened for Blonde Redhead, another band that’s gotten lots of good press in the indie scene.

Rather than spending your time describing their sound, take a tour of the Midnight Movies website and listen to them! Take a chance and buy their cds and have the joy of spreading their music to your friends. I have a good friend named Gene…he is always turning me onto really good new music, when I had previously resisted most people’s efforts. Through my friendship with him, I have learned that there ARE good new bands out there. It doesn’t matter who likes them, how popular they are, or anything else other than how they make you feel, so buy a cd from an indie band you’ve never heard of. You just might come across your next favorite band this way.