Smog Sunday

"Back in School" by Smog -

(if someone wants to throw this one up on Youtube, let me know...)

I saw you standing there
With your hand in his hair
And his hand in
Your back pocket
I couldnt help but stare

I wanted to tell you
That I was back in school
But in the dark of the club
I knew it wouldnt carry much weight
Well, I'm trying to learn your language
I'm trying to learn your language

I came to your party empty-handed
I came to your party, uninvited
I came to your party, a headstart on the drinking

I wanted to tell you
That I was back in school
But in the chit-chat, chit-chat chit-back...
Well, I'm trying to learn your language
It's like a fly learning how to bark
I'm trying to learn your language
It's like a fly learning how to bark

That smile on your face
That smile on your face
That smile on your face
I tried to erase
That smile on your face

But a kiss was not the answer
A kiss was not the answer
A drunken kiss was not the answer

Waits Wednesday

Tom Waits' "Soldier's Things" -

Davenports and kettle drums
and swallow tail coats
table cloths and patent leather shoes
bathing suits and bowling balls
and clarinets and rings
and all this radio really
needs is a fuse
a tinker, a tailor
a soldier's things
his rifle, his boots full of rocks
and this one is for bravery
and this one is for me
and everything's a dollar
in this box

Cuff links and hub caps
trophies and paperbacks
it's good transportation
but the brakes aren't so hot
neck tie and boxing gloves
this jackknife is rusted
you can pound that dent out
on the hood
a tinker, a tailor
a soldier's things
his rifle, his boots full of rocks
oh and this one is for bravery
and this one is for me
and everything's a dollar
in this box

New York - My Kinda Town!

Wow, is it good to be back. Our tour was amazing. We met cool people, got kicked out of houses we were staying at, saw doomsday blockbuster movies, ate hot dogs, with meat and without, cut our fingers, watched Los Angeles be unable to handle rain without the power going out, lost red hats and found them again, stayed with our parents, got in car wrecks...

We found used copies of Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever and Soundgarden's Down on the Upside and listened to those fellas insane amounts, for the first time in years. "Switch Opens" by SG and "Face in the Crowd" by TP are SO GOOD. Yeah.

Lyrics and New Songs

Here are the lyrics to one of our songs on Rejoicer, called "Kier".

And spent 2003 missing virginity
crying in Austin's arms to Kevin's alarm
interlocking healing limbs
new pseudonyms
sleepwalking and sicknessing
to be held just like a kitchen knife, Kier
to unveil and split new seams
things are hatching and opening up
newborn muscles, crisp like leaves
black hole believes, comes back to me
my closest friends: the living dead
drumlessly march over me
lawlessly going home.

We also have lots of new songs coming down the pipeline.

Here's a line from what I think of as our "Everybody Hurts":

Sing under blankets, nestled in the filament, halle.

Here's one from a song about the utter lusciousness of fall:

The gift outside is forming angles and makes self known in shaking trees.

On resurrection, via surf:

Imagining the bodies, rotted and rising.

Some others:

Froze cassettes, cold effects.

You were born in country lanes. I was born to learn your name.

There's something wrong with you. Your skull's see-through.

You do not walk around, because these are walls that you respect.

We're going to start recording a new album or EP or something early next year. Some of these will be on there. Maybe all.

Taking Time to Make a List

We've played three shows thus far on our tour. Four if you count a radio show. We're currently at various exegetical stations, in various states/nation-states.

These are the ten best albums of the 80s. You might not be terribly surprised by the selections. Sometimes when I can't fall asleep, I make this list in my head. This happens fairly frequently.
No order:

REM - Murmurs
Mission of Burma - Vs.
Joy Division - Closer
Tom Waits - Swordfish Trombones
The Smiths - Strangeways, Here We Come
This Heat - Deceit
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
Public Image Ltd. - Second Edition
The Cure - Pornography

You'll notice there are only 9. I never make it there without falling asleep.

Some bands that start with S (I think this is the most quality letter in the musical alphabet):

Smashing Pumpkins
Shonen Knife
Spell Master
Sun Ra (not a band, but still counts)
Snow (Informer)
Sean "Puffy" Combs
Surfer Blood
Sonic Youth
Silver Jews
Storm and Stress
(exo) Skill
Slasher Risk
George Straight

Tour Dates!

Nov 8 2009 3:00P
Vassar College w/Grass Widow Poughkeepsie, New York
Nov 15 2009 8:00P
Contemporary Space 13 Cincinnati, Ohio
Nov 16 2009 8:00P
Bishop Bar Bloomington, Indiana
Nov 17 2009 8:00P
Record Bar Kansas City, Missouri
Nov 24 2009 8:00P
Vaudeville Mews Des Moines, Iowa
Nov 25 2009 6:00P
WRDP Radio Show at 6pm Chicago, Illinois
Nov 25 2009 8:00P
Ronny’s Chicago, Illinois
Nov 28 2009 8:00P
Project Lodge Madison, Wisconsin
Nov 29 2009 8:00P
Tower 2012 Cleveland, Ohio
Dec 1 2009 8:00P
TBA w/Heavy Cream Nashville, Tennessee
Dec 2 2009 8:00P
Maxine’s Hot Springs, Arkansas
Dec 3 2009 8:00P
Conservatory Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Dec 4 2009 8:00P
Blue Lounge Wichita, Kansas
Dec 5 2009 8:00P
Handsome Kitten Dallas, Texas
Dec 6 2009 8:00P
Mohawk Austin, Texas
Dec 9 2009 8:00P
TBA Tucson, Arizona
Dec 10 2009 8:00P
Silverlake Lounge Los Angeles, California
Dec 11 2009 8:00P
Che Cafe San Diego, California
Dec 15 2009 8:00P
The Hemlock w/ Tempo No Tempo San Francisco, California

'Tween Peaks, a Climax.

This will make you laugh and/or cry.

This is so much different than the time that Grooms sat at the Rhodes with David Lynch. I wonder what gives.

Angelo, taking dictation from my heart...

CMJ Time

We're playing a bunch at CMJ this year. Also playing the Black Cat in DC tomorrow night (10/19).

It goes like this:

10/19- Washington DC - Black Cat
10/20 - Cake Shop at 3:45 AND THEN Death by Audio at 11pm
10/21 - Force Field PR party at Pianos at 2:15pm
10/23 - IN Tandem party at Littlefield at 8pm
10/24 - After the Jump party at Brooklyn Bowl at 2pm.

Songs to listen to before and after the shows:
"Lawn of the Limp" by Tortoise and the Ex
"Forget" by Mission of Burma
"Soldier's Things" by Tom Waits
"A Reminder" by Radiohead.

Release: Part E

Playing Tuesday and Wednesday in Nashville and Knoxville, respectively, and then...

Day In / Day Out

Rejoicer will be available digitally on Itunes a week early: October 13, 2009.

"To rock and roll is to have sex."

"Agnus Dei" - Rufus Wainwright
"Headlights" - Cat Power

Enough Compassion Not to Screw / I Could've with Two Fingers

In honor of fall weather, a couple more albums quite useful for kicking August and all its sweat and sorrow in the teeth:

Doctor Came at Dawn and Red Apple Falls.

Both by Smog. For watching things like relationships die along with the leaves.

Pre-order My Heart

Our album, Rejoicer, which comes out October 20th, is now available for pre-order here, from the good people at Insound.

I Can Hear Voices in the Water

Scrupulosity is a form of OCD that focuses on guilt and guilty feelings, on a consuming sense of not being good enough and needing to do increasingly ridiculous things to right yourself, and an equally increasing and equally consuming sense that you will never be able to right yourself. It informs the lyrics of 72% of our songs.

For some reason, Cat Power's albums, from Dear Sir through The Covers Record (but not really anything after that) provide the perfect musical backdrop for going through this and hopefully coming out of it, or at least learning to deal with it.

And fall is now a reality. Goosebumps. An amazing album for fall - Illumination by The Pastels. Autumnal standouts: "Cycle" and "Viaduct".


It seems they're now playing "Dreamsucker" on WOXY. There will be a video for that one very soon.

Had a dream last night that Low were playing live, and they had songs that were nothing like their actual songs, and the members of the band were very different looking, and there were like 12 of them for some reason. In a way, I now feel like I've seen them live.

Tour dates for November will be up super soon. We already have a bunch planned for October...

Some songs:
Low - "In Metal" / "July"
Mogwai - "Mogwai Fear Satan"

Let's Hear It for the Boys

It seems like a commitment to feminist ideals and goals, at least some of them, used to be a very big component of the underground rock ethos, and that now it's not.

Maybe it never was? Maybe it was just something that was paid lip service by people in the 80s and 90s for some kind of cred. I hope that's not the case, but either way, it was an important thing for young kids to hear as they were just discovering music that they could really care about. It pointed important arrows in important directions. It was a good reminder to reexamine values and behaviors that we mindlessly carry on with.

That all seems so barely there now. Not to say that underground music has to be inherently political or socially volatile in any way. Not that the underground was even ever easily defined. But things don't always have to be a party. And there will probably always be things to undercut. Let's keep busy.

Songs to listen to:
Smog - "All Your Women Things"
Belle & Sebastian - "Women's Realm"


Going to go out on a limb here, a very sturdy, well attached limb. The one VALUE central to Christianity is loving people as they are.

How the fuck churchgoers all o'er ignore this, or allow their brains to warp in on themselves until they somehow think standing up against legalizing gay marriage is some sort of moral showcase is beyond me.

This is, of course, well-trodden territory, but whatever. This bullshit has yet to die, and I guess until it does, we'll have to keep saying some of the same things over and over again.

Some songs:
Joan of Arc - As Black Pants Make Cat Hairs Appear / Knife Fights Every Night
Leonard Cohen - Joan of Arc

Wicked Game Available

Maybe try listening to the original and our cover at the same time?

Wicked Face, Game Book.

About a month ago, we recorded a cover. This is the first cover we've ever recorded. It's a cover of "Wicked Game" by the one and only Chris Isaak.

You can watch the sextacular video for the original here, if you've never seen it somehow.

So, if you want to hear that cover that we did, sign up on the Stereogum mailing list. In a few days, you'll get an email regarding it and you can be in a super special club of people that heard it first.

Also, you can now be our (Grooms') friend on Facebook. Facebook is the new AOL.

Last thought: forgot to mention that when 19, skipped a math test to drive to Dallas and see Fuck live with my mom and friend Chris. My mom thought they were great and they were super nice fellows. Handsome as could be too.

Literally the best song of all time: The Beatles - "Long Long Long".


Fuck is a great band. In the mid-90s they met in a holding cell in an Oakland prison and started writing some gorgeous songs with names like "My Bestest Friend," "Wrongy Wrong," "Drinking Artist". They could straddle (they have a song called "Straddle" too) the line between heavy guitar fuzz and soft sad quietness in ways that are quite literally impossible, but they could also be total goofballs ("Twist Off"). All four members sing, and they all sing completely uniquely while also managing to sound somewhat like each other. They always seem to do whatever they want and always do it well.

You can go here to listen to some of their songs, but they're really all worth hearing. My ears would be poorer ears had they not heard the Fuck catalogue.

Here are some pictures from our show under train tracks on Saturday.

We Talk to People

Semi-lengthy interview w/ Interview.

Some musical suggestions for while you're reading:

Cranberries: Linger
Cynthia Dall: Holland

Rejoicing in the Pictures

So the pictures that are up are some of the art for our album that's out 10-20, Rejoicer. It features, among other things, a boy's face covered in blackberries, mashed with love and into love. It makes good paint.

In many ways, fall is the only season that matters. Fall is for rejoicing.

Cat Power - "King Rides By"
Beasts of Bourbon - "Psycho"

To Be Held Just Like a Kitchen Knife

Sometimes you can't read things that are good, because you're not in the right place. Sometimes Kierkegaard, one of my favorites, showcases a severity that beats on my Pure-O OCD in just the wrong way, and my mind starts wandering down back alleys.

We played a show the other night under train tracks in Chelsea. New frontiers, warm feelings.

Some songs:
"Somethings I Just Don't Want to Know" - Dirty Three
"Open the Light" - Boards of Canada
"Brother" - Beck