Brick walls, railroad tracks, band members looking in opposite directions (I call that one the "Joshua Tree") ... all are indicators that you need to fire your band photographer.
Bad press photographs have become a perk — necessary comic relief — of my job, which basically consists every day of combing through hundreds of emails from bands, labels, publicists, promoters, clubs, and prospective writers.
Ultimately, everyone wants your attention and, even better, for you to write about them.
Well, this is the first installment of a series in which I give bands attention — maybe just not quite the attention they were looking for.
This, folks, is a bad press photo:
This band — Dazzeltine (even their name makes me want to put itchy powder in their underwear) — sent me an email with this visual gem. I can't decide if it would look fine if they actually shelled out to hire a pro photog, or if they have just drunk the of Montreal Kool-Aid and couldn't be saved by even the likes of Annie Leibovitz.
Anyway, their music is (a little) better than their photo. You can hear 'em for yourself here.
We already love the women of Silver Thread Trio. But if you needed a reason to love them more, well, here you go:
If you watched last night's ass whoopin' of the Detroit Tigers at the hands of the San Francisco Giants in the first game of the World Series, you saw a little history being made.
In the Giants' 8-3 victory, San Francisco third baseman Pablo "Kung Fu Panda" Sandoval hit three home runs, one of only four players to ever do so in a single World Series game — the others are Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Albert Pujols — and the first to do so in his first three at-bats.
For the purposes of this post, it's also important to note that two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim "The Freak" Lincecum, who has been demoted to relief work for the Giants in the postseason, was a solid contributor out of the bullpen. He struck out five batters in 2 1/3 scoreless innings.
Which brings us to The Baseball Project, an all-star band featuring Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate), Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, the Minus 5), and Linda Pitmon (Zuzu's Petals) who perform nothing but songs about baseball.
The group's 2011 album, Volume 2: High and Inside, features the following song — "Panda and the Freak" — an homage to baseball nicknames and the Giants and, in particular, Sandoval and Lincecum. Oh, and Game One starting pitcher Barry Zito gets a shout-out, too.
By the way, that's R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills filling in for Buck in the video.
And in case you couldn't make them out, here are the pertinent lyrics:
The Giants got the Panda, the Giants got the Freak
The Panda’s smoking line drives, the Freak is throwing heat
Panda and the Freak, Panda and the Freak.
When it comes to kung fu fighting, he’s no better than Hong-Chih Kuo
He’s kind of like Bruce Lee if you cross Bruce Lee with a buffalo
He barrels round the bases, he scrambles for ground balls
Zito named him Kung Fu Panda, that’s our Pablo Sandoval
They said he wasn’t built to last, they said he was too small
The Mariners passed him right by, now that was a bad call
Two Cy Youngs, two strike-out crowns, in his first full two seasons
That’s why they call Tim the Freak, because he defies all reason
Red Fang, the Portland, Ore. hard-rock band known for among other things fantastic music videos, is at it again.
The band just released a new video - this time more of a tour diary than a narrative of destruction. But the video for "Dirt Wizard" again plays up the band's personalities as the every-men of rock. Filmmaker Whitey McConnaughy - who's produced three other clips for the band - stitches together clips from the band's summer European headlining tour. It's got face-melting rock, fan adoration, off-stage jackassery, exhaustion and tedium, showing all sides of a hectic tour that saw the band play 33 shows in 35 days.
Red Fang headlines a Halloween show at Plush next Wednesday. Check out the Weekly's music section for an interview with singer-guitarist Bryan Giles, who grew up in Tucson.
And if for some reason you haven't seen the other brilliant videos from McConnaughy and Red Fang, which have collectively pulled in millions of views, click below:
It's not helpful to listen to a song that makes you laugh this much when you're attempting to do the things that you actually get paid to do, but I had to take at least two laugh breaks from putting together this week's issue of Tucson Weekly (which is a doozy, by the way; photo intern Joie Horwitz absolutely smashed it with her cover story photo essay).
If you love Sir Mix-A-Lot or inter-genre cover songs, you'll dig the hell out of Coulton's soulful rendition of Baby Got Back, from his 2008 album "Joco Looks Back."
If you dig this tune, check out last year's "Artificial Heart"; fans of the massively popular video games Portal and Portal 2 will be pleasantly surprised with what they'll find.
Ron Heathman is a big fan of fresh-roasted coffee. He played guitar in the Supersuckers for 21 years and graduated from Santa Rita High School a long time ago. He is currently working at Sparkroot Coffee Bar + Fare in downtown Tucson.
What was the first concert you attended?
Heart and Firefall at the Tucson Convention Center, in 1977, I believe. Mom took me. It was awesome.
What are you listening to these days?
At this moment, nothing, but in general, I am listening to Psychedelic Soul by the Temptations a lot. That and the last Black Keys record.
What was the first album you owned?
Alice Cooper’s Welcome to My Nightmare. It was on 8-track.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone seem to love, but you just don’t get?
Anything with blatant Auto-Tuning in it. That crap hits my ears ugly!
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
I would love to have seen Jimi Hendrix when he first arrived in England—if only to see the look on Eric Clapton’s face.
Musically speaking, what is your favorite guilty pleasure?
I would say ABBA, but I don’t feel guilty about that anymore. “Toxic” by Britney Spears. I love that song.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
I do not want a funeral, but I suppose “Ramble On” by Led Zeppelin would be appropriate.
What band or artist changed your life, and how?
The Replacements! I first heard them on Virgin Vinyl hosted by Jonathan L. I haven’t been the same since.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
Exile on Main St.
What song should everyone listen to right now?
“SOS” by ABBA. There, I did it. Somehow, I managed to bring up ABBA twice. I might be in need of help.