Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Self Explanatory: TEABONICS

Kittens Inspired By Kittens

No Blog is complete without this...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New Fairmont Review

From Innocent
By: John B. Moore

The Meadow at Dusk
(Mint 400)
It’s hard to imagine Fairmont frontman Neil Sabatino was once a punk rocker. His work with New Jersey’s Fairmont is more likely to bring up descriptions like “lush” and “atmospheric.”

On the band's latest effort, the six-song EP The Meadow At Dusk, indie rockers Fairmont stick to the same style (thankfully) that made 2008’s Transcendence such an enjoyable record, but have added in an extra vocalist. The addition of Samantha Carradori allows the band to experiment a bit more this time out and trade male/female call and response on most tracks.

Though there is hardly a weak track on the record, the infectious “High Above the City” and “The Moon Controls the Tide” are among the band’s best songs in an already impressive career. Punk rock indeed.

Underrated Records

These are some of my all time favorite underrated records:

1. Love - Forever Changes
This band never got popular because they didn't tour but this amazing 1967 release should be in the same category as Pet Sounds and Sgt. Peppers. The band completely came up with a style all their own as they dropped the jangly guitar garage rock they had previously been know for.

2. Failure - Fantastic Planet
This 90's band played an interesting form of grunge that was sludgier then Nirvana or Alice in Chains, it had a pop sensibility but had this intenseness that few other bands had. To me the record seemed a bit ahead of it's time but has over the last ten years become a favorite of mine especially the song "The Nurse Who Loved Me."

3. Bauhaus - Burning from the Inside
This album was the last album released by the goth band Bauhaus, recorded while Peter Murphy was very ill, the other members David J and Daniel Ash took over singing duties which later led to hostility and broke up the band. However this album is great although it's not quite as exciting as Joy Division but nears the same level of intensity on the track Antonin Artaud . It takes a lot of those Joy Division elements and moves in a darker weirder place especially in songs like She's in Parties. Overall my favorite Bauhaus record and you can really see the birth of Tones on Tale and Love and Rockets coming out of this session.

4. That Dog - Retreat From The Sun
Sadly the last That Dog record before they broke up, however the most stunning of their career and clearly an influence on bands like Mates of State and other pop acts. This 1997 album was supposedly intended to be Anna Waronkers first solo record however if you listen to her actual first solo record "Anna" it's missing all the charm of the Hayden sisters. This record is so catchy and just perfect from beginning to end and it's sad that it didn't garner the band more success. Possibly this record is in my top 5 albums of the 90's. From the first epic track to songs like Minneapolis and how Anna sings "Your so dreamy for a boy from Long Island", it's all sounds like it should be the soundtrack to some amazing 90's indie flick.

5. Pavement - Brighten the Corners
The Pavement record that supposedly was their attempt at being more mainstream. I think it shouldn't be a sin for a weird noisy indie band to try and grow a little musically and put out a great pop album. For me this is the Pavement record that I enjoy from beginning to end and don't skip any tracks on. It represents a time where radio was trying to play only dark grungey junk and finally a band like Pavement breaks through with a song like "Shady Lane". I'm not trying to diminish the success they had with "Cut your Hair" and the other songs on Crooked Rain Crooked Rain but it seemed with Gary Young's departure and the bands attempt to be more mainstream gave this album a bad rap when it's another of my favorite albums of the 90's. I look at it like Nirvana's Nevermind, just because Kurt said it was his version of pop songs doesn't mean it's not intense and great in it's own way, kind of like Pavement's attempt at mainstream rock is still pretty interesting and never feels trite or forced.

6. Wax - Thirteen Unlucky Numbers
Mostly known for the Spike Jonze video with a guy running to catch a bus while engulfed in flames this record was way more then the short songs "Southern California" shows. This album is from one of those great bands that takes all of their influences like everything from the Pixies to Husker Du and create something new and interesting from it. This record is the pinnacle of their career and never got the attention it deserved.

7. Pixies - Bossanova
Pretty much regarded as the beginning of the end for the Pixies, an album where Frank Black sort of took over the creative reigns and stripped away some of the abrasiveness that the Pixies had become known for. This record is much more pop then anything they had ever done and more cohesive then dare I say "Doolittle". Two high points include Velouria and Dig For Fire which were leaps in a different direction for the Pixies and makes this one of those rare gems of an album that never really gets talked about. The video below was in response to the record label forcing them to make a video.

8. Jawbreaker - Dear You
Considered the sell out album that killed their career, Dear You presented a more polished Jawbreaker and never came anywhere close to selling as many copies as 24 Hour Revenge Therapy but in recent years with the band acquiring the rights and releasing it on their own label Black Ball Records this has become a staple of most 25-35 year olds record collections. The record seemed way ahead of it's time and seemed to be the spark that ignited the sound of many of the Vagrant Record bands from 1999-2003.

9. Weezer - Pinkerton
Considered a complete failure at the time of it's release this album was written by Rivers Cuomo while he was under the influence of painkillers because of a painful leg surgery. It was said the whole album was written using only the first position on his guitars fretboard so he wouldn't have to move around to play. I consider this possibly the best album of the 90's and unfortunately Weezer never again would write anything that sounded like this album. This possibly is the most underrated record of the 90's.

10. The Cure - Three Imaginary Boys
A record that Robert Smith has said he despises, however it's one of those records that just has something about it. It's raw energetic and simple. When thinking of The Cure most people think of Disintegration but this debut album seemed to be ahead of it's time with riffs and bass lines similar to the Pixies. The band seemed to almost have a punk edge in the late 70's that disappeared completely by the time they wrote their next record, this could be due to the firing of Mick Dempsey who supposedly was not thrilled with the material that Smith was writing for their follow up record "17 Seconds".

11. Nada Surf - Proximity Effect
I saw these guys along with 12 other people at the Loop Lounge in Passaic Park, NJ when they were still promoting this album. I picked it up that night and found not only an album that I consider to be amazing but I found a band that I consider to be one of my biggest musical influences and as well influenced me to never quit on something if I really believe it is good. This was supposed to be their 2nd major label release but it ended up being self released by the band and lead them to their deal with Barsuk where they met with much indie success on their following three albums. This album has some of their most honest and heartfelt songs like Amateur and 80 Windows. The song Hyperspace pretty much has been on every mix tape and playlist I have made in the last 10 years.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution

"I believe that every child in America has the right to fresh, nutritious school meals, and that every family deserves real, honest, wholesome food. Too many people are being affected by what they eat. It's time for a national revolution. America needs to stand up for better food!" - Jamie Oliver

This sounds like a reasonable statement made by someone who is knowledgeable in the culinary arts. I recently sat down to watch Jamie Oliver's food revolution and quickly remembered that south of the Mason-Dixon line is not only a divider for where the North and South were split many years ago during the Civil War, it as well was the imaginary line that separates our country like a time machine, where as everywhere below thinks that eating healthy means lettuce as one of the radio DJ's in the show announced. Basically what I got out of it is that the people of Huntington, West Virginia enjoy being fat and lazy and don't want to be told otherwise. Many frightening things happened throughout the premiere episode.

Jamie Oliver a world renowned chef basically offers to come in and try to train this town how to eat like human beings. He figures starting at their elementary school would be a good start where he finds the kindergartners - 5th graders starting their day with chocolate milk and pizza for breakfast. Now you can call it a breakfast pizza if it has eggs or some kind of breakfast meats but how is it breakfast pizza when it looks exactly like regular pizza. I think maybe they thought because it contained sausage that was a magic loophole. That was nothing compared to the fact that the children in the younger classes could not distinguish what vegetables were which and thought tomatoes were potatoes.

You know that seen in every fish out of water movie where someone walks into a bar and the record skips and everyone stares? That pretty much happens when Jamie meets the "lunch ladies". He calls them lunch ladies and is quickly corrected and told they are cooks. Guess what? You heat up chicken nuggets and microwave pizza, you are not chef, you are not a cook, and you barely deserve the title lunch lady. They sort of reminded me of this:

So anyway this one lady is such a bitch and you'll clearly know who I'm talking about. Basically she gets really angry, really quickly because Jamie Oliver comes in and tells her instead of using all of the professional cooking equipment they have to heat up chicken nuggets and pizza that maybe it would be a good thing to actually use their culinary skills to feed these children something slightly healthier. Now this lady stinks of laziness, her eyes roll at the very thought of having to do anything other than the bare minimum and at all costs she tries to prove Oliver wrong and have him thrown out of the school. Over and over again she claims the children don't wanna eat nuthin healthy, they like their pizza and nuggets. So Jamie Oliver watches the children drink their chocolate milk and eat their nuggets and throw away everything that is healthy on their plates like apples and home made bread. Can I explain something to you lunch lady, they are children, they would eat chocolate bars for every meal if you let them, they would eat crayons and paste if you let them. Maybe the adults should tell them what they should eat, and if they refuse then maybe they'd lose a little weight. I wish to god someone explained to me nutrition and healthy eating habits when I was in High School, I was eating french fries on a daily basis and lived on a fast food diet. It wasn't until one of my good friends educated me on calorie content, sugar content and fat content that I lost 60 pounds.

My absolute favorite part of the show is the red neck radio DJ, he's exactly the stereotypical morning guy and right off the bat you could tell he wanted to say something like "we don't want to eat your faggot food, we eat meat and fried stuff." Basically from the get go is content with being a fat fuck and prefers everyone around him looks like a walking heart attack because well, that's a lot easier then trying to eat healthy. Hey, I'd be the first guy to tell you I'd love to eat junk food and fast food all the time, but seriously you will look like Jabba The Hut and you will be slowly killing yourself. You think things like meth and heroin should be illegal right? You're basically killing everyone in your town by promoting unhealthy eating habits. I don't mean that these people in Huntington just fall off the wagon once in awhile and have Mcdonalds once a week, they show a family who only eats french fries, pizza and ice cream for every meal and they all are on the verge of diabetes.

Jamie gets blasted for saying they are ignorant in their eating habits by the local paper and the entire community gets up in arms over it. Ever hear the saying if the shoe fits? These people all have fupas (fat upper pussy area) you know like they wear sweat pants every day and the waist line is a little tight and where it pinches in their fat it creates the effect of them having essentially two stomachs. Let's not even get into back fat or how all the women look like they 6 tits (4 in front where the bra pinches the actual boob into 2 segments and the side boob that is created from the side fat being pinched by the bra strap. Should he be so nice to them? Should he really kiss their asses and apologize? The children in the school had no idea how to properly use a fork and knife because they had been eating finger foods for so long. I'm all for unhealthy eating once in awhile, but aren't you a little worried about ending up like the fat lady in "What's Eating Gilbert Grape"? Is Huntington actually trying to break records for fattest town, because then I mean hey that's great you have a goal in mind.

Overall the show disgusted me and made me feel sorry for Jamie Oliver. The school employees, the local DJ and even the local families seemed to not really understand that they are literally the fattest town in the fattest nation. When the one lunch lady repeatedly rolled her eyes I just wanted to reach through the TV and smack her. IT'S YOUR JOB LADY!!!!!!!! You should understand nutrition and you should be able to cook healthy food for growing children. If everyone did their job as half assed as you planes would be falling out of the sky, bridges collapsing and cars exploding. Why has the school board not fired these women who put the ease of their job above the health of growing children. Now I'm not saying that this is 100% their fault the 50% of the blame belongs on the parents who are farming these young fatties.

I think the most poignant thing Jamie did on the show was when he cut up a raw chicken and then showed the children that this is the white meat, this is the dark meat and this leftover carcass is the shit. He then proceeded to put the shit into a blender and mix it with bread crumbs and filler and then formed chicken nuggets out of it and asked the children if they still wanted these nuggets knowing they are made of bone and cartilage and fat. You'd expect since they just viewed the process that they'd say no way much in the same way if you actually killed a cow in front of them and showed them the process of making burgers it might disgust them. However it didn't phase them really and they all wanted a taste after it was fried up. I'm inclined to say this may be a hopeless battle. Maybe Jamie should start with a town that is the 5th fattest or maybe even 10th fattest? I think going for numero uno might inhibit him from reaching his goal. It really comes down to a few things but mostly it comes down to ignorance being bliss. Whoever said that must have lived in the south and escaped to the north.

This rant has gone on long enough but check out the show and you tell me if I'm being too harsh. I'd rather just watch Jamie's cooking show then see him try to figure out the mindset of hillbilly's who are happy being the fattest people in the fattest town. Maybe they're proud of being number one at something however I think it's not fair to knowingly train your children to be failures, fat, fat failures who can't even walk when they hit their 30's because their tree trunk legs won't carry their 400 pound bodies.

Monday Morning Playlist

Friday, March 26, 2010

New Photoshop Content Aware Feature!

HOLY CRAP! it's like black magic or something. I have no concept of how this works but am looking forward to using the "content aware" function of the new Adobe Photoshop. Basically it's a tool that will allow you to pull items out of a picture and the "content aware" feature fills in the background appropriately with just one click instead painstaking hours. Check out the video if you have no clue what I'm talking about.

This is why you're fat.
This is a pretty important website and you should know about it. Just go ahead and bookmark it now, you'll want to check up on it on a daily basis. You haven't really lived until you've had your first sandwich using waffles instead of bread.

The shape of music to come...

This is the Brett Domino Trio, Brett Domino is 26 and from Leeds. Possibly the greatest musician I have ever witnessed and the voice of a generation:



Indie Musicians Rally To Benefit Shayne Miel, lead singer of The Future Kings Of Nowhere, fighting cancer without medical insurance.

VARIOUS – This Album Kills Cancer (

Disc 1

When our good friend Lazlo heard about the plight of Shayne Miel, the lead singer of The Future Kings of Nowhere, who is battling cancer without adequate medical insurance, he sprang into action: Lazlo used his resources as the guru of to help put together this benefit compilation; but much to his surprise, his idea for an album exploded into a 3-disc collection of top-rate folk, pop, and indie rock from musicians from both New Jersey and across the country. Shayne himself fittingly kicks things off with an acoustic rendering of The Future Kings' "Let's Be Pirates," a rollicking fun pop tune that inspires the rogue in all of us. Next, a big huzzah to Scruff and his band The Tea & Whiskey, who perform what I believe is the only original specifically written for this compilation, "Pray For Shayne." A rallying cry not just for Shayne but for the rights of musicians everywhere, this instant folk/punk classic rallies our passions and rails against the injustices of our healthcare system. Lazlo scores a major coup next with a contribution from none other than The English Beat, who contribute a live version of their "Dem Call It Ska." Other highlights of Disc 1 include the indie rock kick of Red Flag Fleet's "Quotidian Oblivion," The Winter Sounds' melodic, REM-esque "Bird On Fire," the romantic angst of Fairmont's "Oh Your Bitter Heart," Rich Conroy contributing an acoustic version of Grover Kent's sentimental (yet funny) "Running Out Of Ramones," the late, great New Brunswick folk/punk group Cropduster with "Giving It All Away," and Asbury Park singer/songwriter Rick Barry's passionate "Audrey There You Are." Teenager Kaitlyn Raido showcases her ukelele skills and lovely vocal on "Hating You," North Carolina's The Good Graces chime in with the indie-pop "Pepper," and the ageless NJ pop combo The Cucumbers provide a rocking high point with the rollicking, funny "The Boss' Song." There's more here too, a total of 21 quality tracks just on Disc 1. - Jim Testa
Disc 2

This is the second of the three-disc set to assist musician Shayne Miel with the cost of his cancer treatments. 100% of the money raised will go to this worthy effort. And so many bands and performers signed up to contribute that the project rapidly expanded to a three-disc set! That says a lot about the NJ/NY music scene. Disc 2 contains 22 tracks of primarily acoustic, contemplative tunes, some with a bit of alt-county twang, others sounding more like singer-songwriter fare. The disc starts with DREW & THE MEDICINAL PEN ( with “Baking in the Sun,” a toe-tappin’ country-tinged track. Next up is JOHN RAIDO & FRIENDS ( with “I Don’t Mind,” an easy relaxin’ kind of song, with harmonica, acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, and tuba. This makes for a good ‘ole down-home feel. The vocals sounding a little gruff, sort of like Tom Waits fits right in. BRUCE PIEPHOFF ( offers up “Rosalita,” another acoustic track with guitar, violin, and harmonica. It’s just beautiful, full of memories of better times. HEY TIGER ( is next with “Say Nothing,” another quiet, reflective acoustic track. There’s just acoustic guitar and a male-female vocal duo, very understated, very soulful. CHRISTIAN BEACH ( contributes “Baby’s Back In Town,” an acoustic, yet edgy track with guitar and vocals that pretty much soar and glide, dive and climb. PETE JAGER’s ( ) “Day and Night” reminds me of a cross between Flogging Molly and some of Chicago’s great punk bands like the Bhopal Stiffs (acoustic version). I an imagine this track either being done with full-on wall-o-guitar punk sound or with traditional Irish arrangement – both would work. THE RAVING KNAVES ( give us the first real rock’n’roll track of this disc, with “Black & White World,” a punky, lo-fi track. It would have been nice if this one was a little quicker tempo and had better production quality, but it’s a pretty solid garage punk sound. THE HESHERS ( provide another electric blast of pop-punk with “Cloud.” OK, now I need to be very careful here, because the next contributor is none other than our fearless editor, JIM TESTA & the W.E. FESTERS ( . “The W.E. Fest Song” is an alt-country-punk song, with acoustic and electric guitar, plenty of twang, shouted chorus back-up singers, electronics, and everything you always wanted to know about W.E. Fest. JONATHAN ANDREW ( is next with a depressing live track, “I Am No Longer Important To You.” This one brings things back to full acoustic mode, and has an angry edge to it, even with just acoustic guitar and vocals. The lyrics are brilliant, yet very troubling, begging the question, what did you do to this person you’re addressing to so thoroughly trash your relationship? KEITH MONACCHIO ( gives us “Dynamite,” a track we can all relate to. It’s about a guy whose mother is trying to fix him up with a woman she knows, but he has some specific things he’s looking for in a woman. He’s looking for a woman with guts, gumption, someone who backs him up, someone who’s courageous and romantic. He finally gets a date, and tries to keep it quiet, but mom finds out and quizzes him incessantly about her. Of course, mom only wants the best for her son, wants him to be happy. MATT COLLIGAN ( is next, with “A New Day.” More simple, singer-songwriter fare with just acoustic guitar and voals. POSSUM JENKINS ( provides the most in-your-face country track of the disc, “Burn These Leaves.” Loads of twang and a bluesy roots feel make this much better than your average country tune. JASON DIDNER ( gives us a light, bright, sparkly pop tune in “Salt and Sand.” It’s a very optimistic one, describing how the salt and sand on this icy highway will become the salt and sand on a sunny beach. Quite a nice sentiment. BRETT HARRIS’ ( “Perpetual Motion” has almost a retro 80s feel to it, sort of like a slowed down disco tune when it hits to the chorus. THE BREAK EVENS ( are next, with their demo recording of “Crime Spree,” a reasonably solid indie-pop track with a dark lyrical content about the glories of a life of crime. RIK MERCALDI ( comes up with “Sliding,” an almost dirge-like track, full of emotion, featuring mandolin as the lead instrument (other than the wailing vocals). “It’s a Shame” is another alt-country track, and indie feeling song with plenty of twang, served up by JOE WHYTE ( THE WIGG REPORT’s ( “Good Times” is a bit jazzy, due to use of saxophone, though is mostly a driving rock track. JON CASPI ( provides “Smile (Song for My Son),” a rocking track about how Jon’s son sees the world and how it makes him smile. “Jersey Blues” is the contribution from COLIE BRICE (, and is a basic blues-rock track, a little muddy in production, but with plenty of soul. Disc 2 closes out with TONY TEDESCO’s ( presentation of “Shine On,” an easy acoustic indie-pop tune. So, not only is this an enjoyable listen, it’s a really worthy cause. Please do take a few moments of your time and visit and purchase this compilation. You get hours and hours of good music and help contribute to Shayne’s healing. – Paul Silver
Disc 3

The indie rock world came together recently to assist the battle of a comrade. Shayne Miel, leader of North Carolina’s The Future Kings of Nowhere, was stricken with stage IV lymphoma in November of 2009. This Album Kills Cancer features fifty-four original pieces of music and every cent of the money generated by the sale of this record benefits Mr. Miel’s health care. What makes this such a remarkable record is not just the impetus for its being, but the quality of material found within. Over the course of the fifty-plus tracks, listeners are treated to metal, punk, folk, and any form of indie rock one can imagine. I am fortunate enough to have disc three in front of me, and it is a wondrous collection of eleven varied styles from gifted performers. An additional treat for me is the fact that I have either never heard or know very little about the artists here. The giant rock sound of “Unabomber Blues” from Montagna and the Mouth to Mouth begins the disc uproariously and I am anxiously waiting what will follow. What does follow is a multitude of genres, from the Joy Division style darkness of “Hiding in the Woods” from The Bronzed Chorus, to the straight ahead pop rock good ness that is The Lawn Darts (“Tell Me Why”) and the Successful Failures (“Sinkhole” - my favorite tune of the bunch). The disc seems to become more emotionally charged as the music becomes more subdued. The poignant “Music Only We Can Hear” is a love song of staggering beauty performed solely with the vocals of Julian Peterson, while the dreamy pop of Mimi Cross’ “Nitelite” is majestically serene. Kristen Leigh’s “Stouffer Chemical Company” and The Wag’s “Setting Sun” are warm, folksy, acoustic pieces that only reassert the dizzying array of talent compiled here. This is clearly a wonderful tribute to Shayne Miel and a larger example of the power of music. Buy this for the purposes of helping a man defeat cancer and treat yourself to incredible artists as well. - Rich Quinlan

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Glenn Beck... I cannot even fit enough expletives in this line to describe my feelings on him

"Socialists generally share the view that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital and derives its wealth through a system of exploitation. This in turn creates an unequal society, that fails to provide equal opportunities for everyone to maximise their potential, and does not utilise technology and resources to their maximum potential nor in the interests of the public."

Is asking people to be a little less greedy and helping out those in need really so bad? Call me a Socialist then and don't sling it around like it's an insult. All the republicans will be looked back at 50 years from now as villains. We get it Glenn Beck, the poor should suffer, they don't deserve health care and the gays don't deserve the rights that all other people get. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness seems to be forgotten, I suppose The Declaration Of Independence was not as important as our Constitution to the Teabaggers.

I understand that the Republicans will swear up and down that they aren't racist, they aren't classist, that they somehow have better values and morals then the heathens on the left but the below video seems to me to be a lot of angry upper class white people acting like they are at a Klan meeting and it sickens me that anyone feels they should be screaming at a person with Parkinson's instead of trying to understand that man's plight. Sometimes I don't know if I love my country anymore, it seems overtime we are committing atrocities that I thought only happened in other places. Will we ever evolve? Will we ever try and make sure everyone is provided for? Will we ever just be happy with what we have and not want more?

I guess Elvis said it best ( oh for those on the right, there was another Elvis that wrote his own songs) "What's so funny about peace, love and understanding."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Health Care Reform


(CNN) -- President Obama signed sweeping health care reform into law Tuesday. The Senate must now pass a package of changes that will reconcile the differences between Senate and House bills. If those changes are worked out, here is how health care reforms will affect you:

Within the first year

Within the first year

• Young adults will be able stay on their parents' insurance until their 27th birthday.

• Seniors will get a $250 rebate to help fill the "doughnut hole" in Medicare prescription drug coverage, which falls between the $2,700 initial limit and when catastrophic coverage kicks in at $6,154.

• Insurers will be barred from imposing exclusions on children with pre-existing conditions. Pools will cover those with pre-existing health conditions until health care coverage exchanges are operational.

• Insurers will not be able to rescind policies to avoid paying medical bills when a person becomes ill.

• Lifetime limits on benefits and restrictive annual limits will be prohibited.

• New plans must provide coverage for preventive services without co-pays. All plans must comply by 2018.

• A temporary reinsurance program will help offset costs of coverage for companies that provide early retiree health benefits for those ages 55 to 64.

• New plans will be required to implement an appeals process for coverage determinations and claims.

• Adoption tax credit and assistance exclusion will increase by $1,000. The bill makes the credit refundable and extends it through 2011.

• A 10 percent tax will be imposed on amounts paid for indoor tanning services on or after July 1.

• Businesses with fewer than 50 employees will get tax credits covering 35 percent of their health care premiums, increasing to 50 percent by 2014.


• Medicare will provide free annual wellness visits and personalized prevention plans. New plans will be required to cover preventive services with no co-pay.

• States can offer home- and community-based services to the disabled through Medicaid rather than institutional care beginning October 1.

• A 50 percent discount will be provided on brand-name drugs for Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage enrollees. Additional discounts on brand-name and generic drugs will be phased in to completely close the "doughnut hole" by 2020.

• Additional tax for health savings account withdrawals before age 65 for nonqualified medical expenses will increase from 10 percent to 20 percent. Additional tax for Archer medical savings account withdrawals not used for qualified medical expenses will increase from 15 percent to 20 percent.

• A plan to provide a vehicle for small businesses to offer tax-free benefits will be created. This would ease the small employer's administrative burden of sponsoring a cafeteria plan.

• The Medicare payroll tax will increase from 1.45 percent to 2.35 percent for individuals earning more than $200,000 and married filing jointly above $250,000.


• Health plans must implement uniform standards for electronic exchange of health information to reduce paperwork and administrative costs.

• Contributions to flexible savings accounts will be limited to $2,500 per year, indexed by the Consumer Price Index in subsequent years.

• The Employer Medicare Part D subsidy deduction will be eliminated. Employers will lose the tax deduction for subsidizing prescription drug plans for Medicare Part D-eligible retirees.

• There will be increases to the income threshold from 7.5 percent to 10 percent of adjusted gross income. Those older than 65 can claim the 7.5 percent deduction through 2016.

• The hospital insurance tax will increase 0.9 percentage points for those earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for married filing jointly), and it includes net investment income.

• A 2.9 percent excise tax on the first sale of medical devices will be established. Excepted are eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids or other items for individual use.


• Citizens will be required to have acceptable coverage or pay a penalty of $95 in 2014, $325 in 2015, $695 (or up to 2.5 percent of income) in 2016. Families will pay half the amount for children, up to a cap of $2,250 per family. After 2016, penalties are indexed to Consumer Price Index.

• Workers who are exempt from individual responsibility for coverage but don't qualify for tax credits can take their employer contribution and join an exchange plan.

• Companies with 50 or more employees must offer coverage to employees or pay a $2,000 penalty per employee after their first 30 if at least one of their employees receives a tax credit. Waiting periods before insurance takes effect is limited to 90 days. Employers who offer coverage but whose employees receive tax credits will pay $3,000 for each worker receiving a tax credit.

• Insurers can no longer refuse to sell or renew policies because of an individual's health status. Health plans can no longer exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions. Insurers can't charge higher rates because of heath status, gender or other factors.

• Health plans will be prohibited from imposing annual limits on coverage.

• Health insurance exchanges will open in each state to individuals and small employers to comparison shop for standardized health packages.

• Credits will be available through exchanges for those whose income is above Medicaid eligibility and below 400 percent of poverty level who are not eligible for or offered other acceptable coverage.

• Medicaid eligibility will increase to 133 percent of poverty for all nonelderly individuals to ensure that people obtain affordable health care in the most efficient and appropriate manner. States will receive increased federal funding to cover these new populations.

• An annual health insurance provider fee will be Imposed across the health insurance sector according to insurers' market share to companies whose total premiums exceed $25 million.


• 2018 Taxing "Cadillac" plans: An excise tax will be imposed on high-cost, employer-provided health plans beyond $27,500 for family coverage and $10,200 for single coverage; it will increase to $30,950 for families and $11,850 for individuals, retirees and employees in high-risk professions.


Hey Touring Bands,

Touring is so much fun but booking a tour is the worst thing imaginable, so if you are stuck doing it yourself check out these links: - A comprehensive list of most of the venues in the United States, However beware that just because a place says they are touring band friendly and are listed on this site DO YOUR RESEARCH.

1. Do bands play there that are in your genre?
2. Have you ever heard of any of the bands playing that venue?
3. Ask a touring band you know if they have played there, did they get paid anything? was there people there? A list of bands and promoters as well you can sign up to the website and they will send you notifications of available gigs from around the country.

Interested in hearing some stories from the road? Andy Applegate of Fairmont fame has a blog about some of our awful road experiences as well as a few positive ones. Although he only has a few posts he promises there will be more, he filled an entire notebook with tour stories from 2005-2010 and just needs to convert them all to blog form. But check him out here: Get in the Mini Van: On the Road with Fairmont


MINT 400 RECORDS Sampler
Download it here: SAMPLER
1. Any Day Parade - Couple of Hours
2. Fairmont - The King and Queen
3. Theodore Grimm - Coma Politik
4. Jesse Ian Dunn - Times Like These
5. The Mai 68's - Totality For Kids
6. Bombs - Empty Noise

This sampler was a promo sampler for a special night of indie rock that happened at Maxwells, Hoboken, NJ February 2010 and we're offering it to you as a gift for a limited time, SO DOWNLOAD IT NOW!!!


FAIRMONT: The Valentines Day EP
Download it here: VALENTINES DAY EP
1. Oh Your Bitter Heart
2. I Melt With You

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Videos to watch when you are bored

This one was interesting and 22 minutes long:

This one is amazing but is 7 parts long, the last part is a little hokey when the guy tries to be funny, but is worth watching for all Star Wars nerds like myself:

Mr. Show never really gets old:

Patton never gets old either, wish there was more of him online:

This one is self explanatory, this one seriously I can watch up to 5 times a day:

Thanks for the shot.

So usually SXSW and CMJ are just typical, bands play, business gets done, but I am sure the below post is by far the most exciting thing that has ever happened in the history of the festival. Did I say exciting? I meant disturbing, sad, hilarious, insane and then some:

"Fat Mike’s ‘Cokie the Clown’ set at South By Southwest 2010 was graphic in nature. The stories Mike told and the things he did at Emo’s Annex during SXSW left me shaking afterward. Damian Abraham, lead singer of the band Fucked Up, later described this Cokie set as the most depressing and fucked up thing he had ever seen. This article is going to be very rough in nature and isn’t advisable for the young or the weak of stomach.

It needs to be mentioned that I do not have an audio record of the event, so all the stories recounted here will be to the best of my memory. Most discerning readers will question the complete accuracy of Mikes stories and accounts. While it would be almost impossible to verify these intimate moments I can say that Mike’s friends and other artists that are close to him told me it was their belief that the stories are 100% true. It’s my understanding that this is the first and last set of its type that will ever be performed.

As one of the last sets on the last night of SXSW, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Fat Mike. Clowns creep me out so it wasn’t like I was expecting to be in anyway comfortable. Pinpoint Music had press access to the show, and as such, I was actually sitting on the stage, positioned stage right the entire event. Sitting next to me were several of Fat Mike’s friends and artists he had asked to be there.

Fat Mike, in full clown costume complete with over-sized Chuck Taylors, was preceded by a videographer that was rolling footage as they walked past me on the way to the stage. The moment Mike showed up as Cokie the Clown it was immediately evident that this was not going to be a comedic type of set. His face was adorned in makeup akin to a traditional European whiteface clown but his eyes were empty and glazed over – the emptiness was vacuous.

Entering to a raucous cheer and holding a bottle of Patron Anejo, Cokie poured out about 40 shots to a tray of glasses he had waiting. After taking about five for himself he passed the rest to the crowd who reflexively devoured them like Pavlov’s dogs.
sxsw-cokie-the-clown-3 sxsw-cokie-the-clown-4

Cokie played about 5 or 6 songs, including a three or four minute acoustic version of “The Decline” which was amazing. All that turned out to be an ancillary part of the show however. The series of stories Cokie told started off with and account of how Mike had witnessed a girl being raped in a club when he was young. As it goes, he stood there watching slack jawed as she stared at him helpless, while multiple men ravaged her. The men told Mike not to say a word. He did exactly that and went upstairs to watch the Vandals perform.

By the time he started talking about his relationship with his father, all of Mike’s friends who were standing near me had noticeably changed their demeanor. Mike talked about conversations with his father that occurred a bit later in his life, presumably his twenties. His father told Mike that after he was divorced from Mike’s mom, she made him see Mike two times a month. His father admitted that all he ever wanted to do was get laid and party, and had no desire to have him as a child. Later in life, when Mike’s mother called him and told him that his father had passed, she wanted to know if he would attend the funeral. Mike was on tour at this point and canceled a show in Fresno to attend the service. He showed up in the tour van, got out, and said two sentences about how he would have loved to have known his Father. Then Mike went back to the van, and did drugs.

Jumping ahead in the show a little bit Mike talked about his mother’s passing. By this point Mike’s eyes were blood shot from fighting back tears. Mike’s mother was in the hospital with a terminal diagnosis. As Mike sat by his barely-alive mother on her death bed, he told her stories about women he used to “pinky fuck”. He said it brought a small smile to his mothers face; letting him know she was still alive. After a short while his mother got up enough strength to ask Mike to help end her life. Mike felt it was his obligation, as her son, to oblige her final requests. After talking with the nurses Mike was entrusted with what was believed to be a lethal amount of prescription narcotics to administer to his mother (for those who haven’t been there – being entrusted to administer an overdose of pills while the hospital effectively turns a blind eye is pretty commonplace in these situations). As Mike put it, her brain wanted to go but her heart was too strong. The pills didn’t kill her. After telling the rest of his family to exit the room, the nurse gave Mike a lethal dose of insulin to administer to his Mother. Mike injected her with the insulin and then proceeded to gently hold a pillow over his Mothers face until she ceased to breathe. After telling this story Mike played a never-released or played song that he wrote about the event.

At some point in Mike’s youth he walked into his friend’s house to find his friend with a bloodied face. His friend informed him that he had just fallen while attempting to commit suicide by hanging himself with a bullwhip, which failed because the whip had snapped under his weight. Mike told his friend, “Don’t do that” – he then decided to cook himself some beans there to eat for lunch. Later that day he discovered that his friend had successfully hung himself using a length of TV cable. When Mike and his other friends walked in on this suicide scene they took it upon themselves to pilfer through their deceased buddy’s things and steal what they wanted. Mike said all he took was a vinyl record. The next day Mike stood there and watched as the deceased’s parents were in tears, cleaning their son’s blood from the floor.

Mike ended the show with a story told while mixing a White Russian. Mike was at a concert flirting with a groupie. He said something to her about how he thought she looked like the type of girl who liked to be tied up. She then confessed to Mike that it was one of her darkest sexual fantasies to be tied up and milked like a cow. Mike told her to meet him upstairs in ten minutes and he would oblige her. Once upstairs he told her to strip down and proceeded to hog tie her on a table making sure to allow her breasts to hang off the edge over a cup. He has spent the ten minutes gathering Vodka and Kahlua, and then used the milk to make a White Russian.

As Mike finished his last song, he announced that he had a video that he had prepared especially for this evening. The mood in the building was completely fucked at this point. Upon instruction, his videographer hooked up the same camera he had been recording on the entire time to a 20-something inch TV that was positioned stage left. His camera man rewound through the entire footage to reveal a scene that occurred kitty-corner to the artist entrance of this venue. There, Mike was with his clearly visible naked dick filling a bottle of Patron Anejo with piss. Without cutting away, the camera tracked with Mike, in full Cokie the Clown garb, as he corked the bottle, walked into the venue, and served it to the very crowd that now looked on in amazement. As the scene unfolded, some of the crowd cheered but most of us were too disturbed for emotion."

Reprinted from:

For real?

I am convinced that these guys are either 100% for real and some producer with a sense of humor picked them up and said "I will help you complete your vision" or they are just brilliant actors, possibly the most brilliant. Anyone have the details on these guys, I heard they just signed with Interscope, are they the rap version of Flight of The Conchords?

From Wikipedia:
"Die Antwoord (Afrikaans: "The Answer") is a Zef-Rap act from Cape Town, South Africa consisting of three members, Ninja, Yo-Landi Vi$$er and DJ Hi-Tek.The band self-identifies as a melange of several diverse cultures all mixed into one"

"Die Antwoord performs "Zef" music, Zef being an Afrikaans term which loosely translates to the American equivalent of Redneck. Their lyrics are performed in both Afrikaans and English"

"lead vocalist Ninja (born Watkin Tudor Jones) was a part of South African hip-hop scene for many years, ... He is known for adopting different stage personas. In the case of Die Antwoord his persona is Ninja: a hyper violent character who is very different from his previous incarnations."

Apparently their video was so big that it crashed the servers in Africa that were hosting it and they had to move their hosting to the US. I'm still not sure if it's serious, horror show or funny. You watch and you tell me.

Movie Suggestions, for when you blank while looking through Netflix

I like to have a bunch of lists on hand for when people ask me what they should rent on Netflix. These are in no way saying these are the best ever, they are just my personal preferences.

I Heart Huckabees
8 1/2
Ghost World
Art School Confidential
Synecdoche, NY
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Being There
Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie
Deconstructing Harry
Darjeeling Limited
Lost in Translation
The Last Detail
Five Easy Pieces
Broken Flowers
Lost Highway
Carnal Knowledge

Harold and Maude
The Graduate
Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind
The Fisher King
Punch Drunk Love
Sweet and Low Down
Eagles Vs. Shark
The Butcher Boy

Cool Hand Luke
Midnight Express
The Longest Yard

Ed Wood
No Direction Home
The Devil and Daniel Johnston
How to draw a cartoon bunny
Your Gonna Miss Me

Once Upon A Time in America
Godfather I&II
Bronx Tale

Empire Strikes Back
Blade Runner
A Clockwork Orange
Plant of the Apes I&II
12 Monkeys
Back to the Future 2
Donnie Darko
THX 1138
City of Lost Children
The Road Warrior

Rosemary's Baby
The Shining
The Exorcist
Funny Games
Psycho I&II
Texas Chainsaw Massacre I&II
The Talented Mr. Ripley
An American Werewolf in London
28 Days Later
Dawn of the Dead (Romero)

Vanishing Point
Dirty Mary, Krazy Larry
The French Connection
Easy Rider

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Nightmare Before Xmas
Corpse Bride
Ghost in the Shell
Fritz The Cat
Heavy Traffic

Terry Gilliam (12 Monkeys, Brazil, Fear & Loathing)
Quentin Tarrentino (Deathproof, Kill Bill Vol. 1&2)
Hal Ashby (Being There, Harold & Maude, The Last Detail)
Luc Besson (The Professional, 5th Element)
Tim Burton (Ed Wood)
Jean Luc Goddard (Sympathy for the Devil, Breathless)
Martin Scorsese (King of Comedy, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull)
Paul Thomas Anderson (Punch Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood)
Coen Brothers (Fargo, The Man Who Wasn't There, A Serious Man, No Country For Old Men)
Stanley Kubrick (Clockwork Orange, Lolita, The Shining)
Roman Polanski (Repulsion, Rosemary's Baby)
Federico Fellini (8 1/2, Satyricon)
Woody Allen (Sweet and Low Down, Annie Hall, Sleeper)
David Lynch (Eraserhead, Lost Highway)
Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation)
Michel Gondrey (Science of Sleep, Eternal Sunshine)
Wes Anderson (Royal Tenenbaums, Darjeeling Limited)
Sophia Coppola (Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation)
Jared Hess (Nacho Libre, Gentlemen Broncos)
Fritz Lang (M, Metropolis)
Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho, Frenzy)
Mike Nichols (The Graduate, Carnal Knowledge)
William Friedkin (The Exorcist, Bug, The French Connection)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Enoch Light and the Light Brigade

I cannot stress enough the importance of Enoch Light, possibly in my top 5 musicians of all time next to Bob Dylan, Django Rheinhardt, John Coltrane and The Beatles.

Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia if you are not familiar:
"Enoch Light (August 18, 1905 - July 31, 1978) was a classical violinist, bandleader, and recording engineer. He is credited with being one of the first musicians to go to extreme lengths to create high-quality recordings that took full advantage of the technical capabilities of home audio equipment of the late 1950s and early 1960s, particularly stereo effects that bounced the sounds between the right and left channels (often described as "ping-pong"). He arranged his musicians in ways to produce the kinds of recorded sounds he wished to achieve, the first to do so. The first of the albums produced on his record label, Command Records, Persuasive Percussion, became the first huge hit based solely on retail sales. His songs received little or no airplay on the radio, because AM radio, the standard of the day, was monaural. Light went on to release several albums in the Persuasive Percussion series, as well as a Command test record."

I recommend if you can find them Persuasive Percussion Volume 1-4 along with Provocative Percussion. However I have only been able to find things on the Command label at Garage Sales and in the used bin at 1 or 2 record stores. I started Mint 400 Records originally because I love what Command Records did with their label. Amazing artwork on every cover by Josef Albers, amazing gatefold artwork that explains the recording process and a genius like Enoch Light producing record after record with the Light Brigade.

Very few copies exist but I recommend if you can find any of the material done by Enoch Light in the 60's that you buy it immediately, if not for yourself, contact me and I'll barter or buy it from you.

The Mosquito's

There is a band on Bar-None records called Mosquito's and that's not who this article is about, this article is about a very different band called The Mosquito's that has somewhat renewed my faith in the process of home-recording. It all started a few years back when I met this guy Ron Senet from New Hampshire through a friend of a friend. We hit it off right away and he even was Fairmont's roady for a few tours, Fairmont later wrote the album Transcendence based on Ron's upbringing in the Spiritualist church. It's a great story about talking to dead people through psychic mediums and an impending apocalypse but that is a different story.

Ron had always told me he refused to be in a band because he wasn't that good of musician compared to his roommates and because he felt like being around alcohol constantly and band type people would be a bad thing for him personally. Finally after a few years of knowing Ron I was introduced to this band. Their house was like the Manson family commune, an old farmhouse in Epping, NH. A lawn littered with broken down 1960's Volkswagons of all different varieties from bugs to vans. The house looked as though we had time traveled to the 1960's, there was only antiques, no modern conveniences and a record player in every room with stacks of vinyl everywhere. We ate peanuts and drank PBR as Ron showed us this house that all 4 bandmates lived in. The home was sort of a hostel for drifters but the band was the only constant proprietors. Of course we made our way into the room where the murder happened (knowing Ron it would be odd if he lived in a normal place where a murder hadn't happened). Don't worry though it was neither him or his bandmates who had committed this crime, it was long before they moved in. What better room in the house could be the practice and recording space. The band only used vintage gear, from organs and amps to the antique drum set and 60's guitar and bass. I had my doubts upon meeting them as to whether this odd group could make music.

It wouldn't be until another visit up to New Hampshire a few years later that Ron had joined the band as a bass player and I was finally going to see them play a real proper show at a venue. The band before them was typical of what I expected surf to sound like from a New Hampshire band, it was fast and loud and not very good. They had no technique and certainly were a far cry from The Ventures. However as The Mosquito's hit the stage I was floored as they started and it sounded live like someone had turned on a jukebox. Every sound, every note was reminiscent of the best parts of 60's surf. It wasn't just covers, it was original songs written and performed by this band that had carefully studied and meticulously constructed a band that was transplanted right from 1967 to 2009. Every piece of gear sounded perfect and excited me to no end to see a real live band that sonically could have existed in the 1960's. It blew my mind, they were just incredible, so imagine my excitement when just this year after I had heard the band was broken up they came out with a full length vinyl record.

There are very few Lo-Fi recordings that I find myself listening to over and over again because, well the quality just sucks and the hiss and thinness of instruments usually just doesn't sit well with me. However this band using a Tascam 4 track has managed to record a record that you would swear are was made in the 60's and was recorded with the care and technique that makes 60's garage rock and surf records one of my favorite things in the world. If a track from this record sat on a mix between The Sonics and The Shadows of Knight I wouldn't in the slightest notice a difference in the tones, execution and recording. I would think I was listening to something from my favorite era of music and I think that's why I feel this record is special, because it's new and fresh but with a familiarity that soothes and warms me. Even their surf cover of a GG Allen song makes for me the only time GG was ever listenable.

I have been in talks with The Mosquito's for awhile now trying to get my hand on their recordings to release through Mint 400 and it may or may not happen but in the meantime I encourage you to try to get their record if you are a fan of 60's surf. I believe one can find it sporadically in random record stores that carry vinyl in the New England area or by emailing the band at their myspace site at .


Fairmont recently donated an unreleased song to THIS ALBUM KILLS CANCER,
This album will benefit Shayne of The Future Kings of Nowhere in paying off medical bills from his battle with cancer.

PLEASE CHECK THIS OUT, it's 54 songs for only 15$

Jesse Ian Dunn Review

Re-printed from Jersey
By Deborah J. Draisin

Hawthorne’s Jesse Ian Dunn is your classic Jersey story: Raised on The Boss, influenced by Sinatra, and in a love/hate relationship with his home state. The 26-year-old credits his father with the warning that most artists subsist on sparse diets of “a mattress on the floor, a small collection of books, and a beat-up guitar.” Jesse’s style is to pepper beautiful keyboard solos with soulful acoustic strums.
Completely underground and DIY since high school, Jesse has agreed to allow Mint Records to release a compilation of his experiences plus whatever is “buzzworthy” in a five-song EP entitled “The Very Best Of.” Here is that review:
“Times Like These” - a wistful ditty honoring the people that he grew up with. Filled with both a longing for change and an acceptance of what home is, the delightfully unexpected keyboard solos peppered throughout set the mood perfectly.

“It’s Gonna Be Alright” is a beautiful tribute to a man one can only speculate is Jesse’s own father. He strums sorrowfully through the downsizing of both a job and a family from the perspective of a very young child.

“Rosie” was the clear fan favorite when I saw Jesse perform it to an enthusiastic bar crowd a couple of months ago. A heartbreaking plea to a woman you just can’t pin down not to leave.

“The Devil is A Woman” is a lovely little singalong outlining just all the ways that a woman can spin your head, but with a wry sense of humor as it warns “She may smell like a rose, but you’re better off sniffing cocaine.”

“I Have Decided to Follow Jesus” will be easily recognizable to anyone who’s ever visited a gospel church.


Mint 400 Records

Mint 400 Records is a record label out of Clifton, New Jersey. Currently on our roster are Any Day Parade, Bombs, Fairmont, Jesse Ian Dunn, The Mai 68's and Theodore Grimm.

Recent News includes:
Any Day Parades trip to SXSW
Fairmont on "This Album Kills Cancer"
Jesse Ian Dunn featured on Jersey
and The Mai 68's out and about playing shows again in the UK

More News Soon!

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