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Update/Tonight: The Phlegmatics + Tody Castillo + A Place to Bury Strangers + Show Reviews + More [3/27/2010 09:12:00 PM]:
sigh. Okay, so I know this is really, truly after-the-fact, shows-wise -- Munchkin #1 and I ended up spending the bulk of our day at Comicpalooza, so that kinda ate into my usual last-minute posting time -- but I wanted to get it up here anyway.

The main reason is because I finally, finally got off my procrastinating ass and reviewed the latest albums by both Weezer-esque nerd-rockers The Phlegmatics and the newly-melancholy(-er) and expat Houstonian Tody Castillo. Both the Phlegs and Tody were kind enough to send copies of their respective CDs near when they actually came out last year, and I...well, I didn't know what to make of 'em, honestly.

I was initially disappointed in both cases, mostly because I wanted to hear more of the same from both of 'em -- I wanted many, many more copies of the transcendent pop glory of "Brainwashed," in Tody's case, and from the Phlegs I felt like the new stuff wasn't as "full"-sounding or loud as the old. I listened to both CDs repeatedly, but had a hard time getting a handle on the music & what to say about it.

At any rate, I've since come around. The Phlegs may not be quite as raw & loud as they were on Alumnus, but Billy the Star Fighter Pilot vs. The Phlegmatics is lightyears ahead, songwriting-wise, and now I think it pretty much beats Alumnus all the way 'round. All I need to hear is the combo punch of "Punk Rock Club," "My Mom Thinks I'm Cool," and "Davey," and I'm good to go.

For Tody, once I got past that initial confusion & sadness about the pop stuff mostly going by the wayside, I realized that holy crap is the guy an incredible songwriter, now more than ever, and that several songs off this disc I thought I didn't like all that much ("Best Thing Ever" & "Set To Go," for two) had somehow gotten lodged in my brain anyway. The sound is like Elliott Smith or Sun Kil Moon, with bits of Tom Petty thrown in, and it's pretty awesome.

You can check out the full reviews here and here, by the way. There's plenty of other stuff, too, like reviews of A Place to Bury Strangers, who'll be in town April 7th, Quest For Fire, Noah and the Whale, Electric Courage Machine, & Kontakte. There's also some damn good show reviews, of recent stuff like the Take Action Tour, a Warbeast show, and an A dream Asleep, and some new-ish interviews, too...

Of course, I probably wouldn't be posting this and mea-culpa-ing about it were it not for the fact that both of these folks also happen to be playing tonight, Saturday, March 27th. Um, probably right damn now, in fact. (Whoops.)

Both are good, good shows, naturally. The Phlegmatics are playing a show at The Continental Club tonight, put on by the 29-95.com gang (who were also at Comicpalooza and probably are in need of a beer or three, so help 'em out), opening for new Weezer tribute band The Stinkertons. The latter promises to be pretty mindblowing itself, seeing as the band's somewhat of a supergroup that includes members of The Wild Moccasins, Young Mammals, Lisa's Sons, & Buxton.

Then there's the other show, which Tody opens/opened for over at Rudyard's; after he plays, cool keyboard-heavy indie-pop crew The Sour Notes goes on, followed by headlining guys Bright Men of Learning, who've remained one of my favorite bands in town for nearly a freaking decade now (okay, counting the Chasmatic days, too) and who keep honing their excellent, rootsy take on laidback indie-rock/pop.

Beyond that, there's lots of other good stuff, probably also happening right now, too; here's what I'd recommend, at least (and yeah, it looks like that Soul Asylum show that was on the list 'til today evaporated into the air -- apologies to the probable few who, like me, was kinda psyched about possibly hearing "Sometime to Return" again):

Cavernous (CD release)/Omotai/The Burden/The Aerial Second/The Escape Theory @ Mango's
Future Blondes/Exterminating Angels/Thou Shalt Not Kill...Except/Sabbaoke (Black Sabbath karaoke)/Wearwüülf @ Notsuoh
Samantha Ronson/GRRRL Parts/Touché @ Wired Live (formerly The Meridian; Club Wired)
Kristine Mills/David Pulphus @ McGonigel's Mucky Duck
Carolyn Wonderland @ Last Concert Cafe
Booker T/JJ Grey @ Wired Live (formerly The Meridian)
The Lotus Effect (EP release) @ Fitzdown
Plagency/Doomfire/Metalloyd/Atom Assassin/Albatross Fallen @ Walter's
The Pub Affair/Pedro Tijerina (Springfield Riots/ex-Program)/Cozy Blankets @ Bohemeo's

So, there you go -- in the unlikely event that you're not already out-and-about and are a lame-o like me who checks his email/RSS feed on a Saturday night, now you've got someplace to go. With that out of the way, here's the pile of relatively-new stuff that's gone up on the site recently:

Interviews/Features: News on the March; Noveller; Kyle Turley; SCR's Oscar Picks; Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby (Pt. 2)

Show Reviews: Take Action Tour; Warbeast/Project Armageddon; A dream Asleep

Reviews: The Phlegmatics; Tody Castillo; A Place to Bury Strangers; Quest For Fire; Electric Courage Machine; Noah and the Whale; Kontakte; The Bodies Obtained; Elika; Slow Gun Shogun; Miike Snow; Freelance Whales; Hell City Kings; Crossing Togo; Akron/Family; Holy Fiction; The Gold Sounds; The Eastern Sea; Retribution Gospel Choir; The Fiery Furnaces; Drug Rug; Female Demand; & Chase Hamblin.

phew. I'll try to do this more frequently in the future, honest...

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