The Deep Six: Nearly Plausible Reasons Why Kentucky Won’t Win

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Originally posted on Dubsism:

kentucky basketball

Yes, you read that headline correctly. We all know that Kentucky is a prohibitive favorite to win this year’s episode of March Madness, but in my world “prohibitive” does not mean “lock.”  I know the first weekend of this tournament will feature a Wildcat team that could conceivably finish in the play-offs of the NBA’s Eastern conference (before you guffaw at that, consider that only means being better than Indiana or the MASH unit known as Miami) matched against teams whose players by this time next year will be engineers or accountants, but there’s four games past that in which the Wildcats will assuredly face stiffer competition than they faced in their conference schedule.

That’s why in these last minutes of bracket-filling mania, I thought it might be wise to consider to entirely possible reasons why Kentucky may not be the team cutting down the nets in Indianapolis…

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10 Questions with Mike Wilbur of Moon Hooch

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By Ryan Meehan

Moon Hooch captured the imaginations of thousands with its infamous stints busking on subway platforms and elsewhere in New York City:  Two sax players and a drummer whipping up furious, impromptu raves.  This happened with such regularity at the Bedford Avenue station in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that the band was banned from playing there by the NYPD.  The trio’s subsequent tours with They Might be Giants, Louts, and Galactic as well as on their own have only broadened the band’s appeal.  Hornblow Recordings and Palmetto Records released Moon Hooch’s second album “This is Cave Music” back in September of 2014.  The title refers to the term Moon Hooch coined to describe their unique sound:  Like house music, but more primitive and jagged and raw.  Horn players Mike Wilbur and Wenzl McGowen do this by utilizing tonguing methods or adding objects – cardboard or PVC tubes, traffic cones, whatever’s handy – to the bells of their horns to alter their sound.  Not to be outdone, drummer James Muschler gets swelling, shimmering sounds from his cymbals, and covers the head of his snare with a stack of splash cymbals to emulate the sound of a Roland TR-808 drum machine’s clap.  Wilbur was raised in Massachusetts, and Muschler in Ohio; McGowen grew up in different European countries.  The three met while they were students at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, and they found in each other a common work ethic and holistic philosophy.  While their self-titled first album, which cracked the top 10 of Billboard’s Jazz Albums chart approximated the band’s acoustic approach to dance music, “This is Cave Music” takes their cave music hybrid further into electronic and pop music realms with synthesizers, post-production work, and even singing added to the mix. The source material was, like the first album, mostly recorded at the Bunker Studio in Brooklyn by Jacob Bergson, with McGowen on contrabass clarinet and baritone saxophone, Wilbur on tenor saxophone and vocals, and Muschler anchoring things on percussion.  Everyone was involved in the digital additions.  “We spent a lot of time on tour producing the set, running all of the live sound through Ableton software, and manipulating the studio sound on our computer while in the car,” Wilbur explains.  “we could just pass the computer around and work on it for hours.”  The album opens up with the old school “No. 6″ where Wilbur wails on digitally modified tenor saxophone as McGowen anchors the low end with contrabass clarinet, providing those shifting acid house bass sounds.   Things turn to straight up new wave on “Mountain Song” with Wilbur’s dreamy vocals alongside icy synthesizers and machine like drumbeats with contrabass clarinet filling the backdrop.  Celebrating the band’s love of bands such as Depeche Mode, “Rainy Day” is a classic synth-pop love song where Wilbur actually recorded his vocals in the van after a gig in North Carolina while on tour with Mike Doughty.  The circular sounding “St. Louis” is the final of three synth-pop road tunes written by the horn players.  (The tour stop that gave the song its name was also memorable because Muschler cut his hand wide open while making dinner backstage.  The drummer played that show in St. Louis and many that followed with one hand.)  This is the band at its most anthemic with Wilbur on vocals and sax, McGowen on contrabass clarinet and a now-healed Muschler on drums.  “5-Sax Piece” uses multiple sax overdubs from Wilbur to create a polytonal, synthesizer-like backdrop, while elsewhere, McGowen’s Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI) synthesizer can be heard at various times, most notably on the track that bears its name.  Listening to this music, it’s easy to become emotionally invested.  It may not always prompt you to strip off your clothes, but the emotional impact on both the musicians and their fans is visceral and undeniable.  We are tuned up and ready to have saxophonist Mike Wilbur of Moon Hooch as our guest today in 10 questions.   Continue reading

7 Questions with Chris Gethard

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by Ryan Meehan

The Chris Gethard Show has been referred to as “an often riveting experiment in seat-of-your-pants broadcasting” by The New York Times, “a party on the public access airwaves” by New York Magazine, and once caused Conan O’Brien to say “we’re going to rip that off.”  Broadcast every Wednesday night at 11pm eastern from the Manhattan Neighborhood Network studios on the far west side of Manhattan and available both live and archived on the internet, TCGS is different each week – sometimes insane, sometimes heartfelt, sometimes sad, and hopefully always in some way funny. With no formula, no budget, and no mainstream attention, the show survives on the heart, inventiveness, and stubborn dedication of the thirty or so people that comprise the cast, crew, and support team of the show on any given week.  The Chris Gethard Show began as a stage show at the legendary Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in 2009. It quickly gained a cult following and a reputation for pulling off some bizarre stunts, among them: using Twitter to book Diddy as a guest, staging a show to make a depressed teenager from Ohio have the best night of his life, and pulling off a cross-country tour, its route largely defined by people on Twitter while it was happening.  In June of 2011, The Chris Gethard Show left the world of underground comedy and entered the world of underground television, debuting on New York’s premiere public access station, the Manhattan Neighborhood Network. Every Wednesday night at 11pm eastern, Chris Gethard hosts a panel of comedians and weirdos who participate in weird games, take calls from listeners, and generally put on a bizarre weekly spectacle.  Chris Gethard hosts the show and is the architect of the bizarre world of TCGS. He is very good at setting up truly insane environments in the studio, and even better at complaining about them.  I am delighted to have comedian Chris Gethard as my guest today in 7 questions.   Continue reading

7 Questions with Liam Cormier of Cancer Bats

Photo by Viktor Radics

Photo by Viktor Radics

By Ryan Meehan

Canada’s Cancer Bats will be back on the road next week in the US, performing new cuts from their upcoming album, Searching For Zero, this March! The tour kicks off on March 15th in Detroit, and runs through March 28th with the final show of the tour at Saint Vitus in Brooklyn, NY. This will be the first chance fans in the states will have to hear brand new music, including the previous released tracks “Satellites” and “Arsenic in the Year of the Snake“. The confirmed list of shows is below, with more to be announced shortly, including performances at this year’s SXSW festival!  Watch the music video for “Satellites” now at cancerbats.com, and check out the lyric / in-studio performance video for “Arsenic in the Year of the Snake” at youtube.com/cancerbatsofficial.  Cancer Bats previously announced a co-headlining European tour with While She Sleeps for April 2015. Tickets and album bundles for the tour are on sale now at ticketmaster.co.uk.  The beloved multiple-JUNO nominated hardcore-punk-metal band’s fifth studio album features 10 tracks and is available for pre-order at cancerbats.com. Fans in the US can pre-order at metalblade.com/cancerbats. Produced by legendary multi-platinum producer Ross Robinson (At The Drive-In, Slipknot, The Cure, Sepultura, glassjaw), Searching For Zero is simultaneously the most melodic, yet menacing Cancer Bats release, described by bassist Jaye Schwarzer as a “raw, open wound.” The record incorporates the crude hardcore punk of their 2006 debut, Birthing The Giant and more metal leanings of 2008′s Hail Destroyer, while pushing the heavy hybrid sounds of 2010′s Mayors Bears Scraps and Bones and 2012′s darker Dead Set On Living to a new plateau. The choruses are hookier, the screams more savage, the riffs more vicious, the songs more powerful. This is Cancer Bats at their pinnacle – their “True Zero”, and we hoist our horns high in the air to recognize vocalist Liam Cormier as our guest today in 7 questions. Continue reading

7 Questions with Will Weldon

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by Ryan Meehan

Will Weldon is a comedian based in Los Angeles, but birthed in Canada. He’s done stand-up across both countries, and has performed at the Bridgetown, Riot, & Just for Laughs comedy festivals. He’s also appeared on Comedy Central’s “This Is Not Happening”, as well as Just For Laughs’ “Talk of the Fest”, and is a regular on well-known Los Angeles comedy shows such as “The Meltdown w/Jonah and Kumail”, “Power Violence”, and the UCB’s “Put Your Hands Together”. He likes to think his comedy has a positive message, delivered in a very depressing way.  Regardless we are proud to have Will Weldon as our guest today in 7 questions.   Continue reading