Jim Trainer

Posts Tagged ‘music critic’

Shrieks of Paradise, Correspondence&Rails#20, Dear Maximum RocknRoll

In music journalism, news media, punk rock on January 22, 2015 at 1:45 pm

3923 Run of the Oaks Drive #G
Austin, TX 78704

Editors, Maximum RocknRoll
PO Box 460760
San Francisco, CA 94146



Punk rock doesn’t mean anything anymore.  If you were there or part of it, sure-it means allot to you and for the rest of your life.  But this generation doesn’t get it.  And I fear they never will.  They’ll only think of punk rock in Guitar Hero terms, as a fashion or hairstyle.  Kurt Cobain.

11 years ago a band came out of Philly that was the real deal.  Seeing The Bad Vibes play meant you’d get your whole body chopped off in just under 15 minutes.  There might be bottles broke and basses through windows but you welcomed this annihilation.  It was rock and roll.  You had to find a way to get the world off your neck.

2002’s Hate Your Everything was propulsive-fast.  Furious and full of hate.  It was punk rock with as much virulence and nihilism that could be cranked into a 10 song, 15 minute album.
2005’s All The Right Ways To Do You Wrong took strides in being something exceptional within the genre.  It was post-punk but had lost none of the original ire.  I Smell A Rat, for example.  The song conveys vulnerability in a bitter, hands up way that many of the band’s contemporaries can’t touch.
After 6 years the guys are back.  They’re getting ready to release an EP and start playing the kind of shows that scare off the phonies and help us kill it in our heads.  I’m hoping you’ll consider running an interview I’ll be doing with them in a couple of weeks.

When I reviewed Hate Your Everything in 2002, I wrote that The Bad Vibes were Anti-Core Core.  They were against any kind of movement, even the one they were creating.  Reminds me of The Business, singing about being on the wrong side of whatever side there was.

Hail, hail rock and roll.

Jim Trainer
Austin, TX

#LetterDay, send me your address and I’ll write you a letter.
P.O. Box 49921
Austin TX 78765
#goingforthepost—we’re all mad here.


One From the Heart-The Sweetheart Parade “Sings Like A Priest”

In Uncategorized on September 27, 2013 at 12:15 pm

Sweetheart Parade

Sweetheart Parade
Sings Like A Priest

Recommended for the dissolution of your marriage.  Listen with rusty glasses of bourbon while the wasted winter cleaves a cold white chasm between you&yr love.
Your sweat tasted like snow,
pines singer Josh Britton at the beginning of album opener Wren, and it starts the fever dream.  You’re on the train platform with her.
You’d be riding for days…
Britton and Laura Walsh sing haunting harmonies.  The kind you find yourself singing,  suddenly awake and alone on your bed at 2:30am.  The fever dream over.  The nightmare beginning.
I don’t know how this blackbird died
he must have fell out of the sky

This album places you in its Backyard, looking down at the dead bird, under the heaviest of skies, buried there in sorrow&snow.  It is then that the Sweetheart Parade gives you the Shovel.
Sings Like A Priest is a stout&frigid listen.  Its sturdiness comes in equal parts from Britton’s chunky barred chords on a dread nought, Daniel Harvie’s malleted&muted thump&wash of toms&cymbals and the solemn upright electric bass tones of Johnny B.  The reverb-soaked leadwork of David Janes on guitar and atmospheres of old, lost radio that bleed from track to track and mingle with the syrupy-sweet melancholia of Slo Mo’s pedal steel curate loneliness to surreal degree.

This is boot-gaze.  Indie music with some bassy balls.  Neutral Milk Post Punk fittingly self-credited as ghost folk and sadder than Death Cab For Cutie on a morphine kick.
This album has got it-the strange power of any great album to always take you on its journey-subtle, unsuggesting
and happy with what you find there, even if it is your own heartache&ruin.
All the reasons you should leave her are within these 8 tracks.  Recommended repeat listening to prompt, ease and navigate your mutiny, with tattered sails and a bitter cargo in the heart.
The best things always end when I’m sober…

To listen and order The Sweetheart Parade Sings Like A Priest click here.


Sings Like A Priest celebrates its 10-Year Anniversary with a deluxe reissue, complete with additional and live tracks.  Available here.

Music Journalism

In Uncategorized on February 25, 2013 at 12:08 pm

John+Lee+Hooker+john_lee_hooker2How can a 64-year-old John Lee Hooker song lure me into one of the douchiest bars on W.6th?
Rock and Roll that’s how.
Maybe I can hear the black voodoo in a sharecroppers heart, up from the delta and his first time in a big city anywhere, pluggin’ in and talkin’ bout the Henry Swing Club, probably terrified but certain he would take over Detroit and the World with rock&roll motherfucker.  yeah
b/c I was born in a small town just outside the City and the blues always sounded alright wit me and felt even better.
I truly believe that Johnny Lee was the first punkrocker O.G.  Maybe him&Wolf, certainly Son but perhaps not Muddy.  I shudder anytime anyone mentions the Stones, their eyes glazed over in dumb reverence to industry dogma.  I shudder when these folks are my people, in my country b/c
don’t you know those half-a-fags were listening to American folk music?  Slave hollers and r&b, barn burners and jukejoint stompers that had been blasting in shotgun shacks of the developing rural ghettos of America for decades?
We gave the world rock&roll.  Well, the blackman did.  And all he was listening to was the whiteman’s blues-music from other disenfranchised agrarians, downsized by the Industrial Revolution, singin’ they sad cowboy songs by campfires in the new wastelands of America.
America gave the world rock&roll and took everything else.  We did.  We gave it to the World.  And Europe.  So lower middle class snots can support heroin addictions and cruise liners to the Spanish country side with their super model girlfriends.  So their vapid phony rock&roll can pervade mass consciousness until its way past obsolete and meaning anything (if it ever did), but by then they’ll have books to write that’ll be bestsellers that are really nothing but more stroking off in our faces.  Fucking cunts.

The blues is why I don’t like:
Jack White, The Black Keys, Any Blues Revisionist Band, Eric Clapton, Bono/U2, The Rolling Stones and etc. etc. etc.  The classic rock catalog should be retired.  Anything contemporary that offers nothing but whiffs of classic rock that amount to nothing but farts should remain in the pop end of the spectrum, run their course and be flushed&forgotten.  And don’t worry about them, America.  They’ll catch a bump in about 20-30 years w/ generational biopics and books about nothing while we boogie wit Iggy&Zevon&Randy Newman&Hot Snakes&Cory Branan&Lovey Dovies&Thee Nosebleeds.  Don’t worry about them, punkrocker.  They will get fooled again.

Hey hey, my my,
rock and roll can never die.
-Neil Young


How To Become A Music Critic

In Uncategorized on February 18, 2013 at 10:19 am

A Herbsaint bender ain’t bad, per se, but this one was. I felt like I was paying for something I did in my past and I deserved it. That’s why&how come that rueful thick green bottle was in my kitchen, counter-side, for 7days and nights.
I was shacked up at the Fox Den, laying down with a squat glass full of the yellow stuff  and cigarette ash on my cargo shorts when the door blast open. She stood there, 6’1 and ba-boom to the floor. She wore black heels, a knee-length, knit black skirt and a black female-tux top. Her hair was done up in a serious bun, two blonde curls struck down her forehead like fists. She came into the place swinging her buxom around.
Her lips were blood red&full. Everything about her said that she was not fucking around.
“But…,” I started to say as she towered over me.
She threw up her hand and dropped a bag of CDs down on me.  They bounced off my crotch and I was ashamed and turned on.  Then she turned around and walked back out. I loved watching her go. I heard her heels crank down the stairs and she was gone.

That’s how I became a  music critic.

Even though you’re wearin’ those
up-town high heels
I can tell from your giant step
you been walkin’ through the cotton fields
-Old Crow Medicine Show, Down Home Girl