Monday, January 30, 2006

I Ate A Cupcake With...Nat Baldwin

Ed. Note: Allison Cormier is a student at Centenary College where she practices veganism except when eating chocolate treats with prolific indie rockers. FFF has decided to begin covering the eating of these treats, while paying minimal attention to the actual indie rocker present while the treat is eaten. Nat baldwin's most recent album, "Lights Out," has received critical acclaim. Read the Dusted Magazine review here.

ChrisJay: So, do you want to be interviewed?
allison c.: yeah
ChrisJay: So, recently, I hear that you ate a cupcake with Nat Baldwin. Tell me about the cupcake - what was it like?
allison c.: it was a hostess cupcake. chocolate. with the white swirl on the top. on the inside was cream. it came in a package of two which was split between nat and me. we each ate a half of each cupcake.
ChrisJay: how did you approach the eating of the cupcake? Frosty top first, or spongy bottom?
allison c.: the spongy bottom has to be eaten first. you hold the cupcake upside down and pull the cupcake apart starting from the bottom but leaving the top fully intact. it's best to get all of the cream out of the way before one attempts to eat the frost top, which is the best part, undeniably.
the funny part is that we don't talk about Nat
allison c.: haha
allison c.: am i doing this right?
ChrisJay: Absolutely
allison c.: ok, cool
ChrisJay: How long did eating the cupcakes take - and is it true that you shared the cupcakes while walking?
allison c.: no, that's a false and viscious rumor that's been spreading. aparently nat couldn't hold out until after we ate gumbo, so the first cupcake was split as a sort of pre-dinner desert, followed by gumbo, and then a post-gumbo cupcake was then split.
ChrisJay: How was that for you?
ChrisJay: That eating order?
ChrisJay: Frustrating?
allison c.: it was absolutely frustrating. i think it's better to have consecutive cupcake halves instead of ruining the moment with a bowl of gumbo sandwiched between what was eventually a whole cupcake between the both of us.
Was it a sensual thing, this splitting of the hostess cake?
allison c.: i guess it could be sensual. chocolate is a very sensual food. especially with cream filling.
ChrisJay: Mmmm. Cream filling.
ChrisJay: Did you feel guilty?
allison c.: i did. seeing as i am vegan, it isn't something i usually do. i think, perhaps, that instead of the cupcake we could have chosen an alternative snack, such as celery. however, the cupcake was purchased at a gas station and such places are not known for carrying alternative snacks.
ChrisJay: Looking back on it, if you could change anything about it, what would you change about the cupcake?
allison c.: i don't think there is much you could change about a hostess cupcake. they're moist, they're very delicious, and they've got that wonderful frosty top. i don't think it could be any better
ChrisJay: and nat? do you think he could be any better?
allison c.: i think he'd be great if he'd eat his cupcake starting from the spongy bottom and finishing with the frosty top.
ChrisJay: Thanks for a great premier installment of "I Ate A Cupcake With..." We look forward to next month!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

come for the shirt

So, uh, if you don't come to my show at Java Junction on Saturday the 28th (early - 8:00 PM) for the music, please come for THE GODDAMN MINT GREEN KING HIPPO SHIRT I JUST DROPPED THIRTY BONES FOR at I knew this shirt had to be out there. My precious...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Reviewing a record in 30 seconds...GO

Hella - Homeboy
If you like noise, this is for you. Random, spastic, crazy shit. This is not for sissies. LIYL: Need New Body, Kid 606, Black Dice, Wolf Eyes.

Arab Strap - The Last Romance
Droning slightly like Mogwai and with guitar focused songs along the lines of Delgados or Sons and Daughters, this is post-folk with more of a bittersweet, rocking theme. This release is far more pop-focused and will please fans of Belle and Sebastian who are looking for slightly less bright and shiny tunes. This promo copy suggests you'll like it if you like Bright Eyes or Franz Ferdinand, but I don't see the relevance and I think that maybe they're just name dropping... LIYL: Smog, Nick Drake, Slint.

The Plastic Constellations - The Crusades
Almost a concept album about the Crusades (you know, the religious one) TPC pulls off some rocking shit that is anti-war themed. Raucous and fun tunes presented in the same raw sound that earmarks Fugazi and Lifter Puller. Spastic rock along the lines of Les Savy Fav, their labelmates who have the same layered and nearly screamed vocals. This will fill the void Les Savy Fav has left while they sit around and rub each other to get inspired to write a flippin' record. LIYL: Les Savy Fav, Lifter Puller, Fugazi, Milemarker.

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks - Pig Lib
Pavement member creates great guitar driven melodies with a new crew of players. Pounding, driving and heavy, the guitars take the fore front in these almost psychedelic and very articulate songs. Swaggering and at other times airy and jazzy, the album recalls the 70's. 1% of One is a great epic song. LIYL: Sonic Youth, Television, Pavement

Nickel Creek - Why Should the Fire Die?
Often labeled as bluegrass, Nickel Creek's sound often gets the short end of the stick. Their work is genre-bending, appealing to fans of folk, pop, indie rock, and blues. This album is percussion driven, and wide open layered vocals and delicate guitar picking. LIYL: Iron & Wine, Rilo Kiley, Magnolia Electric Co., Son Volt

V/A - Shreveport's Gonna Be the Death of You: Our City's Songs (1927-72)
Compiled by Shreveport's own awesome dude, Chris Brown, this compilation chronicles Shreveport's musical history from the late 1920's depression to the decade of indulgence (70's, dur). Sampling artists like Leadbelly, Jimmie Davis, Elvis, and Toussaint McCall. The CD really points out the eclectism that is Shreveport with great blues, jazz, rock n' roll, rhythm and blues, and soul tunes. The CD was given to me as an x-mas present but you can request a copy at shreveportsongs [at] and you might just get one.

Something else for Shreveporters to do this weekend.

KSCL Presents Nat Baldwin, Deer Tick and Sam Rosen

On January 27th, KSCL will host touring artists Nat Baldwin, Deer Tick, and Sam Rosen in the Shell Amphitheatre on Centenary College's Campus. The show starts at 7pm and is free and open to the public; however, donations on behalf of the bands will be graciously accepted.

I can tell you that this will pretty much be awesome. Nat Baldwin is a great guy, and he's really excited about making music. I'd really like to see you there, since I've been putting in a lot of work to make this happen.

Critical acclaim for Nat Baldwin:
"It may be the norm to pour out your feelings over an acoustic guitar, but that's not enough for Nat Baldwin: He sings over a double-bass, which he plays with raw, lonely intensity. At its worst, that bass evokes the beast that every scrawny, neatly kempt one of us feels in our guts when our soon-to-be-ex refuses to answer the phone. Lights Out, Baldwin's debut mini-album, feels like one desparate night alone, and if it were a minute longer it would be unbearable." -

ps. You can pimp your shit by emailing me at shebert [at] I know that Robert Trudeau's blog is pretty much defunct and we'd like to fill in the gaps where we can.

Friday, January 20, 2006


We put a lot of work into this one, people. More MC's, a live DJ cutting things up, and some all-new material from the King Hipster and company. Please come to my goddamn show.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Cat Power is The Greatest

Not only does Chan Marshall love animals, but she's a phenomenal songstress who is spayed and neutered.

This is a bit of old hat, but Cat Power (a.k.a. Chan Marshall), one of my favorite musicians period, has posted all her songs from her album that is released next week on myspace. I've been listening quite a bit and I am stoked. Chan is the modern Southern Belle, accompanied on this album by Memphis musicians such as Al Green’s guitarist and songwriting partner Mabon "Teenie" Hodges on guitar and his brother Leroy "Flick" Hodges joins in as well. Steve Potts, a drummer for Booker T. and the MG’s joins in as well as a multitude of other great folks. Secretly sexy like PJ Harvey and a great lyricist like Nina Nastasia, Chan Marshall is the queen of the soul-influenced ballad. Highly recommended for fans of Fiona Apple's unreleased version of Extraordinary machines and the down-home charm of M. Ward and Iron and Wine. My favorite track so far is Living Proof which is a sassy, empowering song with jazzy sounds and features the great way Chan Marshall draws her tones out in a sultry, challenging way.

Edit: So now only "The Greatest" is up, but its a great song as well.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Vidrines are sweating, so you'd better start humming.

This was before Bill spotted the guy with the hamburger and started molesting him.

This past Saturday night, Sara and I caught The Vidrines (Monroe, LA) at Sully's Tavern. We've seen the Vidrines literally about 5 times. The thing about this live show is that The Vidrines are extremely self-aware as far as the importance of spectacle in rock 'n' roll, and they also happen to do it very well. There are bands that, when they're in the throes of some rock n' roll rapture, just look like a put-on. It's as if they are aware that the music isn't enough to give you your five dollars worth, so they realize they have to act crazy.

I think The Vidrines really are crazy. In an ice cold, suit-wearing, tent revival, delirium tremens, distinctly Southern kind of way. These men are products of long, hot Summers, newspapers full of stories about serial killers in Florida, and whiskey. Lots and lots of whiskey. And it isn't an act. You just happen to be there when the shit goes down, and god help you if you're trying to eat a hamburger just a few feet from Bill, one of the lead singers (full disclosure: Bill is also one of my oldest and best friends). At The Sully's show, he violated this one guy's personal space over and over, all but sitting on the man's table. The response? A camera phone was produced, Bill was photographed, and the guy kept eating.

Their music is actually kind of straightforward rock and roll on the surface, albeit really too well-crafted to fit into to any contemporary scene. The bass player Justin, for example, is a musician's musician. I can literally spot the bass players in the crowd at a Vidrines show, because a few songs into the set, they're standing in front of Justin shaking their heads. The same can be said of the guitarist, Jamie, who still plays solos. This may seem like a small detail, but it's really more of a declaration of a philosophy: "We liked rock and roll better before." Before This Vidrines show, Jamie warmed up with some old David Bowie songs. No one in the audience seemed to notice, but I made a note of it because it was so damned appropriate. The Vidrines all seem to live in a world where I'd like to live, where rock and roll doesn't suck. They scream out dedications to Bon Scott between songs, they curse at audience members, they pretend to fuck the floor and leave body-shaped sweat stains on the nasty-ass concrete floor. It's just good rock and roll. Other bands try it, and you get the feeling they're vacationing in it ("I'm wearing a tie, and I'm acting crazy! It's ironic!").

On the way to the show that night, Bill made an off hand comment that before shows, he likes to watch the AC/DC episode of VH1's "Behind The Music". It is that kind of party. I think Bon Scott would enjoy The Vidrines live. I think he's be relieved that someone was carrying the torch.

Word has it that The Vidrines have finally recruited a replacement keyboardist, who they'll be breaking in with some shows in Alexandria, Lafayette and Baton Rouge. I'm excited about this. At the moment, the lack of a piano to lighten things up can lend a torchsong-y quality to every song in their catalog (which they take two hours to play live...people that is getting your five dollars' worth). It's still good stuff, mostly because everyone in the band is a fucking great musician and aware of what an entertainer's job is. But the piano took it someplace else entirely, just challenging bands to be as much fun to watch as they are, making it hard to decide which way to point your face, and reminding me more than a little of The Dismemberment Plan ("Girl O'Clock" style, not "What Do You Want Me To Say?" style).

At the end of the show, Reeve, the Vidrines manager, came up to me and made a comment to the effect of "It's only a matter of time before Bill takes his cock out on stage." It's true. If you like your rock and roll delivered with a lot of craft and precision, a storyteller's respect for a bored-senseless audience that comes to live music looking for something to shatter the monotony, and the threat that a singer may be arrested for showing his cock, this is the band for you. Get out and see these guys next time.

Here's an on-line article about The Vidrines.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

First Impressions of "First Impressions of Earth" - Chris Version

"Don't be a coconut/God is trying to talk to you."

"You Only Live Once" - Nice. This reminds me of U2 for some reason, although that could just be because I am in Sara's room, the center of the the U2 universe. I may just be picking up some of Bono's brain waves...this is a damned solid opening track. I think if I were a music critic, I would call it "loping." Yes homo.

"Juicebox" - This is bad. This actually sounds like Limp Bizkit or something...where are the turntables? Oh, okay, now - about 2:00 in, it suddenly becomes indie rock. But for the first two minutes, it sounds like Weezer's "Hash Pipe". Man, I hope the next song is better...come on and kick me.

"Heart In A Cage" - I can get down with this. The guitar solos are a little kitschy, but what the hell - the guy's name is Fabrizzio Moretti. If he didn't play '80's-ass guitar solos, the name department would have to come change his name. I like this a lot. The drumming is really tinny and loud, the guitar reminds me of Nick Zinner's awesome riff for the Yeah Yeah Yeah's "Y-Control". Too bad this track has THE FUCK WORD.

"Razorblade" - This takes me back to the days of sitting in my garage, listening to my brother practice guitar. His guitar playing sounded like he was nodding off on heroin, but that was just because he sucked. On "Razorblade," it sounds like Fab Moretti may actually be nodding off on actual heroin. I think I could learn to play this song on guitar in five minutes. I will bet you ten dollars that I could learn to play this by the end of the night. And I am awful at shit. Sample lyric: "Oh/my feelings/are more important than yours."

"On The Other Side" - A reggae track. If you're thinking "That could either be neat or really bad," you're correct. It is in fact one of those two, and I won't say which one it is, but I'll just say it makes me want to spray diarrhea in their faces like a high-pressure water hose. I'll leave it to the reader to decide whether I am the kind of dude that shoots diarrhea when he is pleased or disappointed.

"Vision of Division" - Is this track gonna be about math? I think Julian Casablancas drank a lot during these sessions. He starts yelling about half way through this song and it really does not fit. About 1:50 into this song, Fab Moretti wakes up from the trance he's been in for the last four songs and shreds it up. As quickly as that started, it's over, it's like they cut and pasted some face-melting shredding into the song randomly. Julian Casablancas shouts "How long must I wait?" over and over about 30 times while they ride this track out, and that shit GETS MAD OLD. GETS MAD OLD. GETS MAD OLD. GETS MAD OLD. GETS MAD OLD.

"Ask Me Anything" - Whoa, hot shit! This synthesizer riff is wicked hot. It's like that fuckin' song "Hot Butter" - you know the one? It's just a whacky arpeggiator...uh oh, there's Julian Casablancas again. It is like he ate a bowl of Alpha Bits (Alpha Bits in the house!) and shat these lyrics. Sample lyric: "Don't be a coconut/God is trying to talk to you"...I AM NOT KIDDING. Someone in this band is hooked on Oxycontin, and I think his name starts with "J" and ends in "ulian"...

"Electricityscape" - Buy this song when it hits i-tunes. This shit is bananas. B-a-n-a-n-a-s! Wow, the drummer didn't phone this one in, he is ripping shit up. Larry Mullen, Jr. look out baby. Whoever the Strokes drummer is, he is on your ass. Let's make up a name for him right now: Thor Johnson. Thor Johnson, big respect dude. WOW. THIS SONG ALMOST MAKES UP FOR THE LAST SIX.

"Killing Lies" - Okay. Again, I have a mentally retarded cousin (whattup Stevie! See you at Thanksgiving big dog) that could play this shit on guitar. I thought Fab was supposed to be nice with it? This is awful. This sounds like the song my brother's garage band (they were called HIV Positive, so that whenever announcers said their name, they would have to say "These guys are HIV Positive." Which, looking back on it, is really, really disgustingly distasteful) would play to warm up. This shit is miserable.

"Fear of Sleep" - Check into rehab. Never make another album this bad again or I will drive to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, break into your tiny, $9,000/month apartment, shave your afro off and feed it to you. I would pay good money to punch the singer in the balls. If their manager is reading this, holla at me in the comments - I will pay good money to punch anyone in this band in the balls. Even Thor. Seriously, someone needs to get fed to Mister Wu's pigs over this bologna. Why do I give a fuck, actually, it's gonna go faster than leftover crack when it hits record stores. People love turds.

All I need in this world is malt liquor, love, and catchy choruses. And this album has not had one fuckin' hummable chorus at all.

"Ize of the World" - I'm going to give this one three stars just because it doesn't make me want to kill myself. I think the Julian Casablancas just sang "your sandwhichy smile"...please tell me he actually said that. Nope. I checked the lyrics and he said "You're sad but you smile". Fuck.

"Evening Sun" - This sounds like the old Strokes albums. If you like those, you'll love this. Man, Julian Casablancas' voice gets so old after a while. At this point on the album, I would like strangle him. The guitar is mixed twice as loud as everything on this album. Which probably sounded awesome when they were getting high and mixing it, but sounds pretty rough to this listener.

"Red Light" - A pop song. Thank you, Jeebus. Pick this one up on the i-Tunes as well, but don't buy this album unless you, too, are nodding off on heroin. Or else you just feel the need to own it before entering your local Aeropostale store and picking up some hot new logo tees! When the guitarists in this band (I have learned that there are two, and neither of them are Fab. Thor is actually Fab) decide to write some licks, the shit sounds nice. There are about four good songs on this album. I was disappointed. But at leat they ended it on a high note, which brought a smile to my sandwichy face.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Tungsten 74, Live at Minicine?

Hailing from Brooklyn, Tungsten 74 once again graced the little ole town of Shreveport with its presence last Wednesday. I'm a bit of a closet experimental/instrumental music fan, and it's always a delight to experience it live, because let's face it, there's something about just hearing some guitars and swaying around that makes you feel like you're on drugs, even though you have never smoked a doobie in your life.

Tungsten 74 was able to use the performance space to their advantage, placing themselves in a triangle around the audience, which created a strange live experience. The drummer was hidden away so well that I thought for awhile that it must have been a badass recording of a drummer. It also invited the user to experience the space interactively, turning and shifting depending on the sound that interested them at the moment. Very little passive swaying or nodding typical of indie rock shows was involved.

Not only did you get involved with observing the band members, but there was experimental film to accompany T74's performance. Images of racecars, moire filtered crowds and people, highways and long spaces of plains interrupted by trains and windmills merged together to create a mishmash of nature/culture/technological juxtopositions that I creamed myself over (I don't work here for nothin'). I couldn't help but notice the implications of trains running through open plains, with their little boxes full of products for humans to consume. It reminded me of the idea of packaging nature, of how we often set aside where nature is and isn't. See the Nature Conservancy for a prime example. It was almost as if T74 had arranged for the train to pass, signalling the little boxes of nature to pass by.

More apparent was the dynamic of the audience. At times people moved across the projecter, juxtaposing the simulated video, and the real-life movements and interactions in the room with the band's work. It created a live, one-time only effect of exploring the intersection of nature and culture by blocking out sections of the video (sometimes of natural settings) with the sillouette of a human figure. Talk about an image there: a human taking up the space where nature should be.

T74's music is almost like a rock power ballad in its pulse and the way it creates a theme, drives it home, drones it on and builds on it. The melody may just be a series of surging notes up and down the scale, but they manage to add on to it with layered instrumentation that creates a wall of sound. Similar to how Mogwai can take a meloncholy sound and by the end of the sound turn it into a joyous and triumphant sound, T74 take the listener on a ride of emotion and sound building on the established rhythms and sounds. The percussion is as tight and interesting as Pelican's, but takes out the darkness to their sound and replaces it with ethereal, intense motion-filled sound.

KSCL Does it Big.

In conjunction with Centenary College's Homecoming Events, KSCL 91.3 FM will be holding its 3rd annual Battle of the Bands. The event will take place on February 3 in the Shell Amphitheatre starting at 4 pm. There will be two categories: solo artist and group/band performance. KSCL is seeking six performers from any genre in each category.

Prizes are available for the winners in each competition:
1st: $100
2nd: $50
3rd: $25

Bands and artists wishing to participate should send demos to (mp3 or other digital format) or KSCL 91.3 FM, 2911 Centenary Blvd., Shreveport, LA 71104 (tapes and CD's).

For more information, please email or give call Sara Hebert at 869-5296.

KSCL 91.3FM is a non-commercial educational station managed and operated by the students of Centenary College of Louisiana. The station provides the Centenary campus and surrounding community with unique music from a variety of genres.

Sara Hebert
Station Manager
KSCL 91.3 FM
2911 Centenary Blvd.
Shreveport, LA 71104

Thursday, January 12, 2006

We're not dead, thankfully

So, we're not dead here, but for awhile we thought we were dying. Just an update on nonmedia things, Chris and I both have recently overcome insane illnesses that rendered us useless for the holidays. Chris had a wisdom tooth removed and was dealing with a stomach virus from hell at the same time, and I had said stomach virus before, and then had a seriously horrible sinus infection. We're both feeling up to par now, and you can expect our return to be triumphant. As for the rest of our team members, we're not so sure about them.

We made it out to see Tungsten 74 last night, which was a blast. I have all sorts of notes and review like things to share with you, as soon as I get out of class. (Yeah, its that time of year again...)

Peace. Thanks for the concern!