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Author Archives | John Laird

About John Laird

101X Homegrown Podcast

February 27, 2017

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Check out this week’s 101X Homegrown. It’s mostly brand new stuff!

(NEW) Sweet Spirit – The Power
(NEW) Walker Lukens – Where Is Thunder Road?
(NEW) Spoon – Can I Sit Next To You
(NEW) The Wild Now – Run For Your Life
The Octopus Project – Pedro Yang
(NEW) Knifight – Let The End Begin
The Black Angels – Currency
(NEW) Greg Vanderpool – To Violet
(NEW) Food Group – Could I Be
Alex Napping – Living Room
Growl – Suhferring
(NEW) Go Fever – United States Of My Mind
(NEW) Christina Cavazos – Over Me


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Jay Som

February 27, 2017

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Maybe I was in a weird mood or just not paying attention, but I didn’t really catch onto Jay Som the first time a track from her found its way into my inbox.  Baybee though, which is her latest single, is captivating as hell and I can’t get enough of it.  Groove it with the volume way up, my friends.  Also, be sure to grab her album, Everybody Works, on March 10 (via Polyvinyl).  Enjoy.

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Movie Breakdown: Get Out

February 23, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Jordan Peele’s Get Out looks like it’s going to be a blast, but occasionally I remind myself that his Keanu was a big fat dud and then I wonder if I’m just being wooed by a well crafted trailer.  WE SHALL SEE.

Post-Screening Ramble:

Get Out is a wild little ride.  The film begins with Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) getting ready to spend the weekend at her parent’s house.  Chris is nervous, as he’s never met Ma and Pa before and he’s unsure of how they will react to their daughter dating a black man, but Rose assures him that there’s nothing to worry about.  Naturally, everything about Rose’s family is pretty weird right from the get-go.  They have black servants, her mother (Catherine Keener) wants to hypnotize Chris, her father (Bradley Whitford) is bizarrely fake and her brother (Caleb Landry Jones) is aggressive in all of the wrong ways.  Chris tries to hold it together though, hoping to ride out the weekend and to make a good impression, but it all goes bad.  Real bad, actually.

I wouldn’t say that Get Out is particularly scary, but it does make you feel uneasy at every turn.  Jordan Peele does a masterful job of leaving it up to you to decide whether what’s happening on the screen at any given moment is funny, ominous, racist, absurd or alarming, and then usually right after you’ve made a decision, something else happens and you question yourself.  The film is, without a doubt, a total mindfuck.  See it immediately.  And be ready to squirm.

One Last Thought:

Any time I watch a horror movie I always try to note when the characters should quietly say that they “forgot something in the car” and then drive right out of there, never to be seen again.  In Get Out, this moment occurred in the first act.  That’s how much side-eye-worthy stuff there is in it.

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At The Drive In

February 23, 2017

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It’s so weird to me that there’s a new At The Drive In album coming.  Perhaps it’s due to the way the band bowed out just as they were starting to take off, or maybe it’s because most of its members exited the breakup and had successful side projects, but I just figured they wouldn’t do anything but tour for funsies.  Shows what I know!  Anyhow, the first two singles have been inspired stuff, and I’m looking forward to in • ter a • li • a (due May 5 via Rise).  Enjoy.

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Show Of The Week

February 22, 2017

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It took them a solid handful of years to do it, but the good people in Black Books have finally assembled a new album, and this Saturday at the Mohawk they’ll be celebrating its release.  I got to hear all of Can’t Even a while back, and it’s a good one.  Don’t miss the show!

Tix are $6Royal Forest and Palm Daze are set to open.

Tonight:
- The Midnight Stroll, Jonathan Terrell, Altamesa at the Mohawk
- Tamarron, Magic Rockers of Texas, Smile, Angry Beige at Cheer Up Charlies

Thursday:
- The Bandulus, Steady 45, River City All-Stars at Flamingo Cantina

Friday:
- Zoltars, Quin Galavis, Unknown Relatives, Missing Pages at Beerland
- Jens Lekman, The Dove & the Wolf at the Mohawk
- The Halfways, Roses, Mantra Love, Casual Strangers at the Mohawk
- Go Fever, Big Bill, The Reputations, Deep Time, Glass Grapes at Cheer Up Charlies
- Tameca Jones & Honey Gun at the Continental Club

Saturday:
- Moving Panoramas, Beams (ON), Booher, Paris Falls, Mirrorman at Cheer Up Charlies
- Austin Instrumental Music Fest with El Ten Eleven, Rattletree, Legendary Skies, Verisimilitude, [Q], Fermata Playa, Vinylboss, Dolphin Dilemma, Seven Circles, 16 The Olympus at Empire Control Room
- Reckless Kelly, Harvest Thieves, Mike and the Moonpies at the Mohawk
- Teevee, Grape St., La Migra, Fools at The Swan Dive
- Ghost Wolves, The Heavy Hands at Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co.
- Adam Torres at the Cactus Cafe

Sunday:
- Rose Selavy, Muff, Roaring Sun at Hotel Vegas
- Landlady, Slomo Drags at the Mohawk
- Jesca Hoop at 3ten ACL Live

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Parquet Courts

February 21, 2017

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Late last week I got an email about a new Parquet Courts track with Bun B, and I feared that maybe the band had jumped the shark.  Nope.  It’s definitely a weird tune, but I really dig it.  Can’t say I want more of the same, though.  I hope it remains a random little one-off thing forever.  The Captive Of The Sun 12″ is available now.  Enjoy.

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101X Homegrown Podcast

February 20, 2017

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Hey hey! Check out the latest 101X Homegrown.  Enjoy.

Alex Napping – Living Room
Tamarron – Let’s Get Out
Black Books – Golden OK
Moving Panoramas – Radar
Lola Tried – San Marcos
Growl – Suhferring
Poly Action – Outta Time
(NEW) Dumb – Heather, You’re So Cool
Grape St. – Wallpaper
Quin Galavis – Glorious Man
Black Angels – Currency
(NEW) Will Johnson – Predator
Harvest Thieves – Escape From Paper City
(NEW) The Octopus Project – Pedro Yang


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Movie Breakdown: A Cure For Wellness

February 16, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

Gore Verbinski did a pretty great job with The Ring, so I’m all about him getting spooky/scary/suspenseful again via A Cure For Wellness.  With that being said, I can’t say I’ve found the early footage to be all that interesting.

Post-Screening Ramble:

A Cure For Wellness is one of those weird movies that you watch and watch and watch and as it continues on forever you just keep thinking “man, this is going to get good at any moment, I just know it!”.  Then it ends, and as you walk out of the theater (seemingly days after entering it), you find yourself feeling befuddled.  Why?  Because of everything.  It’s not a scary movie, but it does have some well crafted moments that are intense.  It’s not an interesting movie, but there are a few parts that will get you thinking.  It’s not a movie with a big, satisfying ending, but it sure does make you feel like one is barrelling towards you.  And so on and on and on.  In other words, if you enjoy being mildly entertained with no real payoff, then A Cure For Wellness is for you!

The rest of you though should stay far away from Gore Verbinski’s meandering film.  There’s nothing there for you but the feeling that something good almost happened, except probably not really and the only real thing you’re left with is the fact that you wasted hundreds of hours watching it.  Go walk in the park, or just spend some quality time with Shutter Island, which is the better version of A Cure For Wellness anyhow.

One Last Thought:

Dane DeHaan looks like Leonardo DiCaprio and A Cure For Wellness plays like Shutter Island.  Coincidence?  Yeah probably, but I’m OK with us tagging this one with a conspiracy theory sticker anyways.

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Fujiya & Miyagi

February 15, 2017

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On April 7 the great Fujiya & Miyagi will be releasing their sixth full length.  Technically, it’s a compilation made up of the two EPs the band put out last year and the EP they’re about to put out this year, but who’s counting.  All that matters is that there’s new Fujiya & Miyagi for all of us to jam.  Enjoy.


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Show Of The Week

February 14, 2017

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This week I’m bringing you the SOTW a day early so that I can make sure you head to Barracuda tomorrow night for P.O.S.  I’ve been a big fan of the Minneapolis-based rapper since he put out Audition way back in 2006, so I’m excited to see him perform.  Come join.  We can not only congratulate him on his new album, Chill, dummy, but we can celebrate his recovery from a kidney transplant.

Tix are $15.  Ceschi will open.

By the way, if you’d like to see P.O.S for FREE then shoot an email HERE. I’ll pick a winner tomorrow morning!

One more thing, I’d also like you to come to Barracuda on Thursday for Letting Up Despite Great Fault’s EP release party.  My radio show – 101X Homegrown – is presenting the evening, and it’s going to be a rad time.  Moving Panoramas, Migrant Kids and Football, etc are opening. Tix are $7.

BONUS Show Recommendations:

Tonight:
- AFI, Nothing, Souvenirs at Emo’s
- The Lemon Twigs, Savoy Motel at Stubb’s

Wednesday:
- The Midnight Stroll, Think No Think, Booher at the Mohawk

Thursday:
- Tyvek, Fred Thomas at the Mohawk
- Lola Tried, Planet Manhood, Particle Devotion, AMA, Jess Knight at Cheer Up Charlies
- The Deer, Hikes, Dreamboat at The North Door
- Devendra Banhart at Emo’s
- Joyce Manor, AJJ, Mannequin Pussy at the Mohawk

Friday:
- Molly Burch at End of an Ear
- Flesh Lights, Nike, Horizontal Hold, Missing Pages at Beerland
- Ringo Deathstarr, Al Lover at Space 24 Twenty
- Soaked, Goldbloom, Crocodile Tears, Ben Cissner at Cheer Up Charlies
- RJD2 at Empire Control Room
- The Griswolds, Dreamers, Modern Medicine at the Mohawk

Saturday:
- Tacocat, Daddy Issues, Tele Novella at Barracuda
- Molly Burch, Cross Record, Julia Lucille at the Mohawk
- Neil Fest: Celebrating the music of Neil Young with Norah Jones, Shakey Graves, Boz Scaggs, Erika Wennerstrom (of Heartless Bastards), Alison Mosshart (of The Kills), Charlie Sexton, Alex Maas (of The Black Angels), Nikki Lane, James Petralli (of White Denim), Danny Masterson & Adam Busch, Jonathan Tyler, Eric Pulido (of Midlake), The Midnight Stroll, Robert Ellis, Cory Chisel, Jeff Klein (of My Jerusalem), Adriel Denae, Carson McHone, Matthew Logan Vasquez, The Texas Gentlemen, The Candles at the Paramount Theater

Sunday:
- The Black and White Years, Shark Rider, TV Heads at Barracuda

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101X Homegrown Podcast

February 13, 2017

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Here’s the latest 101X Homegrown!  Enjoy.

Okkervil River – You Don’t Love Me Yet (Roky Erikson Cover)
(NEW) Alex Napping – Living Room
Molly Burch – Wrong For You
(NEW) Growl -  Suhferring
Bayonne – Fallss
Letting Up Despite Great Faults – Pageantry
Football, etc – Sunday
(NEW) The Black Angels – Currency
Think No Think – Start A War
RF Shannon – Had A Revelation
Tele Novella – Heavy Balloon
(NEW) Lola Tried – San Marcos
Flesh Lights – No Longer
(NEW) Poly Action – Outta Time
White Denim – I Start To Run


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Xiu Xiu

February 13, 2017

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Over the weekend I spent a good amount of time with Xiu Xiu’s latest single/video, Get Up.  It’s one of the more interesting-sounding things I’ve come across so far in 2017, and it just kept pulling me back.  Look for the band’s new album, Forget, on February 24 via Polyvinyl.  Enjoy.

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Movie Breakdown: John Wick: Chapter 2

February 9, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

I’m so very excited for John Wick: Chapter 2.  Everything about it looks like “more of the same”, and that’s exactly what I want from it.  Here’s to another round of the Boogeyman shooting a zillion people in the head for pissing him off.

Post-Screening Ramble:

To be fair, John Wick: Chapter 2 should actually be called John Wick: Chapter 1.5, as it’s less of an entirely new story and more of a continuation of what was presented via the world’s initial introduction to one of the best ass-kickers of all time.  This – just in case you wondering – is meant as a total compliment.  So many action films completely fumble their sequels by trying to do too much or by simply forgetting what made the first film work so well.  But not here, director Chad Stahelski and writer Derek Kolstad essentially do what they did in the first film, and it works wonderfully.  Here’s the story – John Wick wants to be left alone, someone from his past pulls him into a world he no longer wants to be a part of, he gets mad and shoots a metric shit-ton of people in the head.  Is that Chapter 1 or Chapter 2?  It’s both, and that’s totally fine because it’s a formula that Stahelski and Kolstad clearly have 100% dialed in.

If you’ve been hoping that John Wick: Chapter 2 would do something different (why would you want that anyways?), then it’s going to disappoint you.  If you’re not weird and have been eager for more of the same, then you’re going to stroll out of the theater with a huge smile on your face.

One Last Thought:

It’s interesting that even after two films, I only know a little about the world that John Wick exists in.  I hope it stays that way for a good long while.  I like the slight glimpses.

One More Last Thought:

I’m good on Ruby Rose for the foreseeable future.  Sure, the woman is attractive, but she’s not a particularity good actress.  Hell, she can’t even really hold a gun in a convincing fashion.

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Kane Strang

February 9, 2017

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Because my brain is weird, every time I see Kane Strang I read it as Dankey Kang.  What a goddamn ridiculous hiccup, you know?  In any case, Strang released his debut last year, and now he’s looking at “putting the finishing touches” on his next album (due out this year via Dead Oceans).  The first single plays like a less heady Car Seat Headrest, and I think it’s pretty great.  Enjoy.

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Movie Breakdown: The Lego Batman Movie

February 8, 2017

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Pre-Screening Stance:

I long ago lost count of how many times I’ve seen The Lego Movie.  It’s so damn good!  To be honest, I don’t think The Lego Batman Movie is going to match it, but I’m still expecting a lot from the block-filled film.  Fingers crossed.

Post-Screening Ramble:

If you have kids, they’re going to love The Lego Batman Movie.  It’s loud, flashy, silly and just manic enough to hold the attention of even the most ADHD-riddled child.  Take them to the theater, and do it now.  Seriously.

Know this for yourself though, I found the film to be too much of a good thing.  Will Arnett’s Batman is so great in The Lego Movie, and I now realize it’s probably because he has limited screen time.  His selfish attitude and ridiculous one-liners are hilarious alongside the sweetness of Chris Pratt’s Emmet, but just all on his own, the antics starts to wear you down and feel overblown.  So much so in fact that by the time the moral of the story is firmly in place (family and friends are important!), it never feels like Batman/Bruce Wayne is legit taking it seriously.  For me, this gave the film a somewhat hollow feel.  And sure, maybe it doesn’t matter since it’s a movie meant to sell toys and dazzle kids, but having some heart does go a long way.  I mean, that’s pretty much why I’ve gone back to The Lego Movie so often.

Odds are that I’ll enjoy The Lego Batman Movie more on my second viewing, but my initial impression is that it could have dialed back the loudness and delivered a more inspired story.  Either way though, your kids are going to dig it.

One Last Thought:

All of the voice work in The Lego Batman Movie is pretty great.  On a related note, this means we now live in a world where Zach Galifianakis has bested Jared Leto in portraying The Joker.  How weird is that?

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