Reviews in on !!!’s latest album

Sacramento expatriates !!!’s new creatively-titled full length “THR!!!ER” is out today, and reviews are coming in from all the usual places.

AVClub gives the album a “B” and praises the album’s pacing and efficiency.

Pitchfork’s 6/10 is not a good score (and should be taken with a grain of salt) but the reviewer highlights the bands reliability. lacks a full review but seemed to dig its “deep hooks” and “thick textures.”

Zachary Houle at PopMatters raves about the album and gives it 8/10.

In other news, the band’s Spring/early Summer tour is skipping over Sacramento… but that’s only because the band is headlining a free Concert in the Park on May 31st at Cesar Chavez.

P.S. !!! needs to get famous enough for a biopic before Jesse Eisenberg is too old to play Nic Offer.

RIP Scott Miller (1960-2013)

scott millerScott Miller, leader of the bands Loud Family and Game Theory, died this week. While fame eluded him, Miller was influential and respected among musicians and critics. His passing is noted in an obituary in Spin Magazine.

Miller was also a music writer, publishing Music: What Happened? in 2010.

According to his website, Miller had reformed Game Theory and was planning a new album. He was 53 years old.

N.B. Scott Miller, founder of 80s Sacramento record label Secret Center, is alive and well.

Built to Spill visiting Harlow’s April 26

Perfect from now on
Perfect from now on

The venerable Built to Spill are on tour, and making a stop in Sacramento. The band, whose current lineup features front man Doug Martsch and guitarists Brett Netson and Jim Roth from the original ’90s lineup alongside new band members Steve Gere (drums) and Jason Albertini (bass) will be at Harlow’s next Friday.

Built to Spill released its most recent album There Is No Enemy in October 2009. It was the band’s first album since 2006’s You In Reverse. Previous studio albums include 2001’s Ancient Melodies of the Future, 1999’s Keep It Like A Secret, and their major-label debut, 1997’s Perfect From Now On. In 2012 Built to Spill remain an influential force in compositionally intelligent, lyrically thoughtful, melodic, guitar-centric rock music.

Holy crap, looks like Yo La Tengo and Man Or Astroman? are playing back to back nights at Harlow’s in May. Everything’s coming up late ’90s college radio today! Was anyone else at the “Clone Project Alpha” show at Old Ironsides back in the day?

Agent Ribbons RIP

Agent Ribbons was Natalie and Lauren Ribbons
Agent Ribbons was Natalie and Lauren Ribbons
Sacramento’s Victorian quirk-pop duo Agent Ribbons has called it quits. While fans included the uber-cool trendmaking Demolisten crew at KXLU, their move to Austin in 2000 2010 did little to change their 7 year cycle of almost constant touring without much breakthrough to a larger audience.

Does this mean California gets Natalie and Lauren back? Unknown. Natalie has booked a West Coast tour with new band Tele Novella which also includes her boyfriend Jason Chronis (Voxtrot, Belaire, JC&Co), Matt Simon and Cari Palazollo. Tele Novella recently debuted at SXSW and appears to be keeping Austin as their home base. There is no news from Lauren on her plans.

Electro Group, hearts+horses @ Bows & Arrows, 3/8

Electro Group. Getting the band back together!

Great electro pop show Friday night at Bows & Arrows, with Electro Group, hearts+horses, and Arts & Leisure for only $5! The Bows blog has a great writeup on all the bands.

This lineup really tugs at my heartstrings. In the late ’90s Electro Group and Park Avenue were two of my favorite local bands; saw them dozens of times in places like Capitol Garage and another venue–cannot recall the name, help me out, 90s kids!–that was in the spot currently occupied by Bows & Arrows, behind Profound Sound at the time. For a time my sonic world was permeated by Electro Group’s heavy fuzz and “Lifter/Green Machine” was on heavy rotation.

Continue reading “Electro Group, hearts+horses @ Bows & Arrows, 3/8”

Jackie is a Crowe

It was the extra "e" that sealed the deal.
It was the extra “e” that sealed the deal.
Hiddentrack is reporting that Sacramento’s Jackie Greene is joining the reformed Black Crowes. The Crowes announced that their 2011 “at least a decade” long haitus would end after two years with a spring tour and a live album. West coast dates have not been scheduled, but we can probably expect their usual weeklong run at the Fillmore. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Greene convinces the boys to perform a hometown show or two.

Center for Sacramento History is a treat

Snow in Sacramento, March 1942, looking down J Street toward 10th and City Plaza/Chavez Park.
Snow in Sacramento, March 1942, looking down J Street toward 10th and City Plaza/Chavez Park.

If you’re a Sacramento enthusiast, I hope you are following/liking/visiting the Center for Sacramento History.

For example, here’s a photo they shared on Facebook earlier this month showing snow in downtown Sacramento from 1942 from the Eugene Hepting Collection (1985/024/1731).

Love it.

They are now working on the Tower Records Project, an effort to “preserve the official archives of the ‘largest music store in the known universe.'”

Very cool. What a great series of videos, too. Takes you back.

ABC sitcom features “Real World: Sacramento”

Because I only saw a few mentions of this on local Twitter feeds, I present to you a clip from last week’s episode of the ABC sitcom “Happy Endings” which featured gag about a (fictional) un-aired season of “Real World: Sacramento” on which “the gang first got together.” Copious shots of the Sacto skyline, but an unfortunate lack of Sacramento mockage. Unless the shot of the Pearl St. sign is a joke about how Sacramento idolizes Portland? Everything after the first 0:27 featuring the cowtown version of the iconic opening of RW is really more for the “Happy Endings” fans out there. If you haven’t seen the show yet you should, it is highly underrated and one of the best comedies going. I believe it airs at Hulu-o’clock on Hulusday. NSFW for language.

City of (Blue) Trees

The Blue Trees 2006 – Melbourne, Australia

According to Sacramento’s Facebook feed, Australian artist Konstantin Dimopoulos (obviously descended from Scottish prison convicts, you can tell by the name) will be painting a block of Sacramento sycamores blue tomorrow. Look for the trees on 13th between J & K.

When asked why painting trees is his thing, Dimopoulos said, “Trees are largely invisible in our daily lives, and it’s not until it’s too late that we realise how important they are to us both aesthetically and environmentally…Through colour I am making a personal statement about the spirituality of trees and their importance to our very survival: trees are the lungs of the planet.”

I was going to get all snarky on that, but I have to admit I think it’s a great, fun idea. Good on ya, mate.