Tuesday, November 24, 2009

TVD | That Old Familiar Moon

Actually, this really isn’t even a good record. Well, maybe it was for a few brief moments in ‘85 after its purchase (again from the sorely missed Yesterday and Today Records.)

Yet when it crops up in rotation on iPod shuffle, I’m reminded of some very good times indeed. Clearly a case of the messenger over the message.

I AM a fan however of the manner in which Trouser Press dismissed it:

“The good news about this California-based Scottish-American trio is that they're not as pretentious or as distant as the name. The bad news is they're close to it. Utterly without personality or purpose, the eleven slickly produced tracks (with titles like "Heartache Feeds Heartache" and "Past Your Frame") blur into one another, with the smooth, modern sound of guitars and keyboards approximating an updated Moody Blues. Except for Dan Phillips' cloyingly over-emotional and gimmicky vocals, these sculptures are faultless to a fault.”

“Utterly without personality or purpose.” ...I’ve got a new catch phrase.

You’ve been warned:

A Drop In The Gray - All The Same (Mp3)
A Drop In The Gray - Wide Eye One (Mp3)
A Drop In The Gray - Fall And Cry (Mp3)
A Drop In The Gray - Heartache Feeds Heartache (Mp3)
A Drop In The Gray - Turn Me Round (Mp3)

TVD Live Tease | A Night with Chris Grier, Friday, November 27th, Comet Ping Pong

Chris Grier has been making brutal and beautiful music here and abroad since 1988, primarily with guitars and their assorted accoutrements, with results that skitter along that rarely glimpsed border where "wildly seductive" meets "what the hell?" He has publicly been called everything from "inscrutable" to an "inhuman guitar abuser," sometimes in reaction to the same performance.

He has collaborated, recorded and performed with some of the planet's most interesting and inventive musicians, including Thurston Moore, Mike Watt, Andrew W.K., Tom Smith, Don Fleming, Matthew Wascovich, Hugh McElroy, Ian Wadley, Little Wings and Little Howlin' Wolf. Since 2004, he has been a member of the long-running avant-garde collective To Live And Shave In L.A., and he is also a member of the Cleveland-based art-punk ensemble Scarcity of Tanks. With Kohoutek's Scott Verrastro, he created the terrifying drums-and-guitar duo Ultimate VAG, which toured with legendary psych-rockers Ya Ho Wha 13 in 2009. He was also recently tapped to be the guitarist for punk legend Jayne County's new band.

With Thurston Moore, Grier curated the 2005 "Noise Against Fascism" festival in DC and recently, he played on Sean McArdle's debut solo LP, "Northern Charms," some of which can be heard, oddly enough, being piped through the ceiling speakers of every Starbucks outlet in North America. As a group and solo artist, he has appeared on bills with the likes of Faust, Bob Pollard, Dan Higgs, Max Ochs, Grey Daturas, Flower Travellin' Band, Ya Ho Wha 13, Wolf Eyes' Nate Young, Sightings, Magik Markers, Wooden Wand, Religious Knives, Six Organs of Admittance, MV+EE, and many other fellow adventurers in the world's rock and underground scenes. Recordings featuring his solo and group work have been released on a plethora of labels in the U.S., Europe, and Australia.

He is also a violent karaoke enthusiast.

Grier is currently writing and recorded a vinyl-only LP to be released in 2010 through the Sockets label.

(The above from the official press release...)