Saturday, May 28, 2011


They're staring at you, my love.

"Black out the windows
I'ts party time
You know how I love stormy weather
So, let's all play suicide

The crowd wants you bleeding
The eyes from your head
Get off your knees
You'll be fine."

Cover Stars: Katya @Fusion & Sietzka @FentonMoon
Headlining Band: TTS, live, Irving Plaza, 04/03/04

James M. Graham, Website
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James M. Graham, Monograph

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Don't Call

Melancholy. Greg does such a fantastic job of that. And the motherfucker absolutely makes cover versions his own. Admirable.

Walked home from Kensington, Brooklyn Monday night at 3am. About 50 blocks - took me an hour - never passed another human being. Half of the walk was along Green-Wood Cemetery with Victorian houses across the street. It was all mine and no one was awake. The perfect time of night. Quiet. No telephone ringing. No one tapping you on the shoulder or asking you directions or looking at you because you are all dressed in black with long, grey hair, and are scaring their babies. The weather and light was perfect for feeling like the last man alive, or at least some drifter passing through town. Or an actor, a photographer, or dark angel...

Even though Berlin is calling me again, I was reminded how much I love this city. It was like a Bresson film directed by Wenders.

I have the feeling that my phone phobia will just increase the older I get...

Cover Star: Aliona @ FentonMoon
Headlining Band: TTS, covering Desire

James M. Graham, Website
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James M. Graham, Monograph

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wall Of Voodoo (revised repost from 01/17/07)

Some crazy, wacky facts about Wall of Voodoo:

- Early '80's band based in Los Angeles.

- Signed to IRS Records and released "Dark Continent" and "Call of the West." Both stellar, but "Call of the West" is a masterpiece. You may remember the "Mexican Radio" video from the early MTV days or "Beavis and Butthead." One of the best ever made. Seriously.

- Lead singer/lyricist Stanard Ridgway left the band after "Call of the West" and they continued to record with a new lead singer under the same name. Disregard this creative output.

- Porn film director (which is not entirely fair) Stephen Sayadian "styled" the cover of "Call of the West" and produced and production designed the video for "Mexican Radio." Stephen is one of my major "visual" influences - as "Rinse Dream" - see "Cafe Flesh" and "Dr. Caligari." Does anyone know where he is or if he is still alive??? WOV did soundtracks to his early '80's porn films, like maybe, "Cafe Flesh." There is an instrumental version of "Ring of Fire" (one of their staples and an AMAZING cover) in one of his films.

- Toby, Chris, David(?) and I saw them in a tiny little underground club on April 30th, 1983 in Raleigh, NC. We could not afford tickets ($6.00 or something) since we were freshmen in college and had already spent our textbook money on the album. Toby won tickets to see them on WKNC, the campus radio station. Divine Providence. We immediately went to K-Mart and shoplifted plastic dinosaurs because we had read in Trouser Press that Marc Moreland, the guitarist, collected them. We hung out with the band for an hour while they packed up and drank Heineken’s. Marc loved the dinosaurs and told the keyboardist, Chas T. Grey to not "rip them off" of him. Marc went on to play with Concrete Blonde.

- There's a reason they didn't make my "Reunion" list: Marc Morleand is dead. He "passed away March 13, 2002 from complications following a liver transplant." He was 44. Joe Nanini, the drummer, is dead. He "died on December 4, 2000 because of a brain hemorrhage." He was 45. I am currently older than both of them.

- Toby and I saw Stan together at The Cat's Cradle since I first wrote this a couple of years ago. He performed most of "Call of the West" beautifully with his band, which included his wife - no other WOV members. We chatted with him about the show in '83 and he said he remembered the dinosaur incident. Whether he did or not, it was boss.

- They were the 'coolest' people I've ever met, even before 'cool' really had a skewed definition. They are the measure. Fuck you, Williamsburg. Fuck you, Austin. Fuck you, Chapel Hill. Los Angeles? Who would have thunk it? They WERE "Repo Man." They REALLY were.

It's crazy when one of your formative records comes back to haunt you and actually turns out to be good. And it's doing it again, four years after I initially posted this.

Wall of Voodoo mean something to me. It's a time and place and an experience and a body of work that absolutely holds up. The photo is the back of "Call of the West." Mine. Autographed by Stan, Chas, and two dead guys...

I wish I had taken that photo. I wish I could call Bunnyhutch Headquarters right now...

If you are a band, and you are as good as Wall of Voodoo, and you want me to take your photo, contact me.

If you do not know "Call of the West" you should really, really buy it and check it out. I don't throw "masterpiece" around carelessly either. No wonder Stan quit...

I understand just a little. No comprende, it's a riddle...

"Ring of Fire" live. Revel.

Cover Star: WOV
Headlining Band: WOV, R.I.P.

James M. Graham, Website
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James M. Graham, Monograph

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


If you're trouble, then I'll follow you down.

Wide awake. Somebody put a gun in my face.

Go ahead, I said, erase.

I wanna see you again.

You said 11...

Cover Star: Brooke
Headlining Band: The Twilight Singers

James M. Graham, Website
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James M. Graham, Monograph

Friday, May 13, 2011

659 534

Say so, I'm getting under your skin, so soft
I can't help but pursue-
Til I'm screwed...

Cover Star: Premium
Headlining Band: The Twilight Singers

James M. Graham, Website
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James M. Graham, Monograph

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Twenty Bands That Should Reunite Right Now

I do this every year. The last post was Monday, April 26, 2010. Several of the bands on my list have reunited in the year that has passed.

Again, the rule is as follows:

All members as of this writing must be alive. This is why The Replacements, The Birthday Party and The Gun Club are not on the list, unfortunately, because they sure as shit would be.

Annotated list:

1. Fugazi (just do it!)
2. The Grifters (just do it! I know, no one knows who the fuck you guys were, but the band was brilliant)
3. The Smiths (stop me...)
4. Swans - Reunited without Jarboe. Awesome, but this does not count. They stay on the list.
5. Bikini Kill (this is a no brainer, except that there's no such thing as a RIOT GIRL anymore - shame)
6. Japan - Mick Karn, amazing bass player, died this year, which fucking sucks. They are off the list. Replaced by:
6. The Giraffes

7. Hüsker Dü (just fucking do it Grant Hart)
8. The Leaving Trains (James! We just covered "Cigarette Motel" last night. You're back catalog is good! How the fuck are you paying your rent???)
9. Galaxy 500 - Dean has been doing "Galaxie 500" shows. This does not count. They stay on the list.
10. Shockabilly (Kramer? Eugene? David?)
11. Sleater-Kinney (in time, I know. You'll probably be the first off the list next year)
12. The Toiling Midgets w/ Mark Eitzel (NEVER gonna happen, but should)
13. The Afghan Whigs (Greg, The Twilight Singers and The Gutter Twins are awesome - but...)
14. Roxy Music w/ Brian Eno (apparently dismissed recently, dammit!)
15. Genesis w/ Peter Gabriel (apparently dismissed recently, but THE LAMB 2011? C'mon, high notes or not!)
16. Guided By Voices - They reunited the 'classic line-up,' which I saw twice in December. One of those shows was their 'final ever' show at the terminally fetid Terminal 5. Turns out that wasn't true. They have shows booked through this Summer. They are off the list, not only for ripping me off but because they did the right thing and reunited. They're playing Brooklyn, by the way...Which means there's room for one more. Replaced by:
16. Big Black

17. At The Drive-In (eventually, right, boys?)
18. Oingo Boingo (probably not, but it would be bad-ass)
19. PIL (with Keith Levene and Jah Wobble) - Reunited WITHOUT Keith or Jah. This does not count. They stay on the list, although they are dangerously close to being removed, a la GBV. Hey John Lydon! Do you read this? Apparently not...
20. Uncle Tupelo (this is a no brainer - how about I move you guys up to #3?)

I've been listening to a lot of Fugazi in the past two days (since rehearsal) and I gotta say at this moment in time, there is a reason I moved them up to #1. I miss them. Everything about them - can't sing, brilliant musicians, don't care, politics, $5 tickets and a fucking bad ass, never not-memorable show. The Giraffes should probably be at #2. I saw Fugazi 5 times, the last time on The Mall in D.C. for free in 100 degree heat, probably, when Bobby? 2000? I saw The Giraffes only once, February 5, 2011 - their final show, and it was not enough.

Don't forget this. Ever. Without music in your life, whatever the fuck you listen to - your life would suck.

Or at least mine would.

What is good for the future? What was good for the past? What is good for the future don't last...

...and that makes me sad. A bit.

Cover Star: Fugazi in a photo I wish I had taken.
Headlining Band: Fugazi

James M. Graham, Website
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James M. Graham, Monograph

Sunday, May 08, 2011

After The Moon, I Should Go...

Saturday in the universe synopsis:

A friend's friend's friend committed suicide this week. I understand that shitty feeling, albeit twice removed.

Another friend got all the shit (two books and a shirt) I've been promising him for a year. I know that feeling too. Long coming elation, I hope.

I made a new friend last night. Bonded on many levels, a lot in common, or at least a shared sensibility. I know that feeling too. It's a good one and rare.

Many of my friends are feeling sick. I got that too. Feel better!

THE ASS KITTENS first practice is on Monday. As I said to my drummer last night, by this time next year, we'll be playing high school gymnasiums. AND you're damn right we will be! I've been practicing all week, bitches.

I miss all my friends, but I especially miss the first friend on the list here. A lot.

Witching hour...

Cover Star: CD
Headlining Band: SP

James M. Graham, Website
James M. Graham, Tumblr
James M. Graham, Monograph