Monday, February 22, 2010

GOOD riddance!

February 21, 2010:

It's Sunday night and you're bored. You've been deliberating between drinking in your house, as you've been doing on and off for the past few days as part of the twenty-something-I-live-in-a-college-town-credo, listening to music until the face of slumber appears, or go out with friends. Every other Sunday Gavin and Joe have just the cure for your Sunday blues at Good dance night at the Model Cafe. Cheap drinks, an eclectic mix of tunes and in easy cruising distance from the Allston-Brighton-Cambridge residential hub, there's really no reason to not check it out.

Here are some sub par pictures of people enjoying themselves. And no, your eyes do not deceive you. In between playing RVIVOR and the Cure, there was some serious break dancing action.

Hope to see you in two weeks!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Howl, Iron Age, Skeletonwitch and Doomriders show

February 17, 2010:
The Great Scott showcased a strong bill of an (arguably) metallic-foundation last night, with such contemporary talents as Megasus, Howl, Iron Age, Skeletonwitch and Doomriders. Within minutes of the door opening, the show was sold out. Many of my friends encountered this problem and begrudgingly took the long bike (or walk) home without the sound of metal ringing from their ears. God. Bless. Willcall.

Unfortunately my schedule didn't allow me to see the first band, but according to Nate from Doomriders they were "awesome". I heard mumbles of disagreement from my pit-neighbors, but I guess that performance will remain unvisited.

ANYWHEW, the first band, Howl, hailing from Providence, RI, is a relatively new, sludgy-Mastadon esque quad of men and a babely fee-male bassist showcasing their new debut album, "Full of Hell," for all of New England to see. While I didn't feel compelled to go home and write "I love Howl 4ever" in my spiral notebook repetatively while playing their record before I slept they were definitely good, this new band is definitely on the list of "bands to watch" list.

Next, Austin-based and Bay-area inspired Iron Age played, which, according to Gavin, had recently undergone a metamorphosis in vocal stylings from a more traditional hardcore sound to a teenager botching black metal. The newest bandmember with pretty impressive hair insisted that the girls in the front row should get punched/kicked in the face, because that tends not to happen. Sure enough, within the next ten minutes of their set, I received a nice knot in my forehead from an undetermined appendage and one of my female neighbors also received the present of a punch to the face. She was very upset. Maybe from the eclectic mix of people in the crowd (and as a guy informed us from behind, 'what a very unmetal crowd' at that), he decided to do a plug for Graveland. Because he didn't think we knew who Graveland was? Or that they were good? Or that we factored how racist Rob Darken is into the auditorial merit of the band? Whatever. Iron Age, all and all, you were alright.

Skeletonwitch of Ohio established how positively serious they were about "thrash revival" with very elaborate bass drum decoration and a serious amount of cymbals. Their sound was consistent, so consistent, that a lot of the songs seemed to blend together. Which, yanno, is fine, if you're a firm advocate of the new-thrash wave that seems to be taking the metal scene by storm, but could have been really frustrating and monotonous for the unlucky few in the crowd that did not or would not ever own a Municipal Waste hat.

The headliner. Doomriders. Salem metal band that seemed less brutal then the rest of the bill but got more positive audience feedback than the four previous bands combined. Nate, feeding on the reinforcement, once dropped to the floor in a guitar-to-guitar face off Chris Pupecki. While the vocal levels were a bit lower than they should have been, the band seemed to engage the audience in a conversation that no other band on the bill could. Which is surely fitting, seeing as they were headlining and all. But even headlining aside, it was a pretty sweet set.

This definitely beats my normal Wednesday regime of catching up on Art History readings, consuming embarrassing amounts of Quinoa and finishing my book of the week.

Friday, February 5, 2010

California Vay-caying.

December-January 2009/10:

At 18, I left the sunny confines of Southern California to travel 3,000 miles into the eclectically seasonal Northeast for school. Since my initial departure, I have not been home for more than four consecutive days in three years, which may or may not get me a nomination for a terrible daughter award. A few weeks before winter break, my friend Karol was discussing his travelling itch, yet he had no specific destination in mind. It was then I jokingly suggested he come home with me and enjoy 70 degrees on Christmas, instead of slushing around knee-deep in snow. He laughed, I laughed, I exited g-chat.

Three days later he had formulated a two week itinerary of a southern California adventure. My longest and most unexpected trip home ever. Well then. So, what do you do when you have no school, work and two weeks to spare in San Diego.


Karol and my best friend from home Roxxy organizing our grand adventure at one of San Diego's finest animal-themed parks.

Sometimes the lines were long. My hair paid the consequence. Photo by Karol Sobczyk.

Other fun thumb twiddling passtime: the blame game.

Blame, and blame again.

Karol makes a new friend.

...annnnddd so does Roxxy.

PENGUINS. Which, according to are very savvy sea world docent, aren't as personable as their appear. Then again, what truly wild animal is? Apparently this is new knowledge? I thought every child learns that lesson after the first (or second time depending on how "forgetful" you are) time he/she sticks his/her hand into the chincilla tank at the neighborhood pet shop and feels not fuzz, but a barragement of wrathful bites.

Next, we took to the mountains of Julian, located approximately 90 miles away from San Diego proper to do some exploring.

Diving into the explorer spirit, we hiked through two to three foot grass instead of taking the paved root at the base of a mountain.


Adventurers trodding the unwieldy plantlife together.

Three and a half miles and about one and a half hours later, we arrived at the top of Stone Wall, one of the larger mountains in the Julian area that is a popular rock climbing location. Karol celebrates his accomplishment with a bounding leap.