CSTB’s Poorly Run Entertainment Division Presents Missing Pages’ “Long Way Down” 7″

Posted in 12XU, Austin, Internal Affairs, record collector disease at 12:38 pm by

(“Long Way Down” – video by Raul Vela IV)

Missing Pages is the new project from Stephen Svacina (Sweet Talk, Jonly Bonly, ex- Mind Spiders) featuring Ali Ditto (Talkies, Mean Jolene), Gabriel Pastura (Sean Morales, Church Shoes), and Garrick Thurston (Slow). Taking cues from genre benders before them and shaped by the musical overload of the Austin TX live scene, Missing Pages meld together a sound both brooding and hopeful, sincere while rejecting the sentimental; power-pop hooks ensnared in a wiry tangle of dark, splintering edges.

(photo credit : Missing Pages)

On their blistering 7″ debut, Missing Pages channel the anxiety, exasperation, and jubilation born of those delicate moments in life when the casual comforts and routine are stripped away, forcing us to confront the ugly truth of who we really are. These songs represent both the high and — more importantly — the comedown, and coming to terms with what it all means.

A-side “Long Way Down” fumes with irrepressible anger, the pound of drummer Pastura’s kick like the iron taste of blood in your mouth. The simple production and tight arrangements allow a paranoid sharpness to dominate the track, broken only by the towering guitar lead attempting to pull the listener up and dust them off. Feeding off the band’s ragged energy, Svacina’s liberation feels palpable as he screams out at the song’s roaring crescendo.

After the fall, there’s only one way to go: up. B-side “Highlighter Piss” revels in lessons learned from the injury; massive guitars ignite, only to fade to somber memories and daydreams of fleeting emotions. Accompanied on vocals by Ditto, the song portrays the frayed nature of a shared experience, and how we can begrudgingly dispense some wisdom as we part ways. Guitarist Thurston obliterates the fretboard as his solo explodes like a firecracker over the nimble rhythm section.

Recorded at Estuary Studios by John Michael Landon and mixed by Marked Men/Radioactivity mastermind Jeff Burke, Missing Pages’ 7-inch continues to sharpen a jagged reflection of the world. In 2018 the four-piece began tracking their debut album.

preorder “Long Way Down” b/w “Highlighter Piss” – 12XU / Bandcamp


CSTB’s Entertaiment Division Presents A New Album From Borzoi, Coming September 21

Posted in 12XU, record collector disease, Rock Und Roll at 5:40 pm by

(“Big Pink” – video directed by Taylor Browne)

BorzoiA Prayer For War (12XU 109-1)
out September 21

I’ve grown weary of calling Borzoi one of the nation’s best live bands, not because it isn’t 100% true, but because I’ve long ago stopped making excuses for how their prior recordings failed to capture the full range of their muscularity, their absurdity or nearly boundless level of invention. Thankfully, though, others actually liked those recordings.

Of the Austin trio’s 2017 ‘Surrender The Farm’ EP, The Wire’s Byron Coley called the 7”, “very thudly” (“slams straight along like a cement truck full of corndogs”), while Yellow Green Red’s Matt Korvette hailed the band’s “mangy form of post-punky garage-rock, equipped with a nimble heaviness and plenty of dirt under the nails,” (“there’s no confusing their rough-and-tumble punk with noise or no-wave, and yet I feel like subtle hints of Sightings, Liars and Harvey Milk creep through. Borzoi run through a variety of tempos and moods on these four tracks, from inebriated and confused to spastic and scared.”)

(l-r : Zachary Wood, Rhys Woodruff, Taylor Browne. photo : Jordan Willis)

On the way-too-long-in-the making, ‘A Prayer For War’ (expertly recorded by Ian Rundell, notable for recent works from Xetas, Spray Paint and Exhalants), I’m happy to confirm Borzoi are exponentially less mangy though improved production values have done nothing to quash the band’s idiosyncrasies. While fellow travelers plunder the early ’90’s Amp Rep catalog and perform spirited mimicry of The Year ____ Broke, Borzoi’s Rhys Woodruff (drums/vocals), Zachary Wood (guitar/vocals) and Taylor Browne (bass) are operating on another level altogether, and if completing a conceptual K.O. like this album hasn’t entirely cured them of self-saboteur moves (ie. blatantly lying about where they’re from — though under the circumstances, can you blame them?), they’ve set an awfully high bar for what any remaining deep thinkers might attempt, lyrically or musically (though truth be told, their fixation with life during wartime is no easier to figure out than whatever Wood comes up with on the guitar). ‘A Prayer For War’ takes Borzoi’s truculent worldview and glues it to accompaniment that’s as dazzling as it is confounding. You’ll be tempted to call the trio of Wood, Woodruff and Browne a well-oiled machine, but unless you’re comparing them to an Koenigsegg Agera RS, you’re selling them very short.

PREORDER ‘A Prayer For War’ from 12XU
PREORDER ‘A Prayer For War’ from Bandcamp

upcoming shows :

August 30 – Beerland, Austin (with The Dead Space)
September 14 – Spiderhouse Ballroom, Austin
September 25 – Barracuda, Austin (w/ Deaf Wish, Sean Morales)?
October 4 – Paper Tiger, San Antonio, (w/ Metz)?
October 5 – Hotel Vegas, Austin (rec release show, w/ Tshushimamire, Loafer)
October 7 – Backyard on Bell, Denton TX
October 8 – The Backspace, Fayetteville AR
October 9 – The Middle East, Kansas City MO
October 10 – Brother’s Lounge, Ohmaha NE
October 11 – Moon Palace Books, Minneapolis MN
October 12 – Mickey’s Tavern, Madison WI
October 13 – The Archer Ballroom, Chicago IL
October 14 – Donovan’s Pub, Detroit MI
October 15 – Gooski’s, Pittsburgh PA
October 19 – The Glove, Brooklyn NY
October 21 – EMP Collective, Baltimore MD
October 23 – Static Age, Asheville NC


Two New Titles Coming September 7 From Cumbucket Media’s Neglected Entertainment Division

Posted in 12XU, Internal Affairs, record collector disease at 8:10 pm by

UNHOLY TWO‘The Pleasure To End All Pleasures’ LP (12XU 100-1)

More than 4 years have elapsed since Unholy Two’s ‘Talk About Hardcore’ rendered what was left of the nation’s alleged “noise-rock” milieu as obsolete as the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Though naive, feeble competitors struggled to keep up during that period, Unholy Two instead retreated to their Columbus, OH compound where the exhaustive attempts to top a universally-acknowledged masterpiece began. ??

Nearly 51 months (and hundreds of dollars) later, the duo of Chris Lutzko and Kellie Morgan-Lutzko) —– have re-emerged with the 3rd Unholy Two album, ‘The Pleasure To End All Pleasures’. Putting the O NO in “monolithic”, the Lutzkos have made zero concession to past or present notions of rock, underground or otherwise. With scattered allusions to some of history’s most malignant figures (Peter Kürten in the album title, Chris Benoit in “Master Of The Crossface”, the Rev. Jim Jones in “Let The Night Roar”, Godsmack in “Woodstock ’99”), the two guitar onslaught sounds closer to two hundred. The end result is nothing short of musical obliteration and the most fully realized documentation of this band’s nightmare vision.

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

(photo : Michael O’Shaughnessy)

preorder from 12XU or Bandcamp.

– “Digital Billboards” b/w “Mystery Train” 7″ (12XU 110-7)

Since the mid 1990’s guitarist/vocalist John Schooley has been performing CPR on a succession of raw musics — as of this moment in time, he’s the only person who can claim to have been a member of the Crypt, Goner, Sympathy For The Record Industry and 12XU rosters, which either qualifies him for a plaque or combat pay. While this label presided over projects as idiosyncratic as Schooley’s acoustic collaboration with Walter Daniels (2014’s ‘Dead Mall Blues’) or the electric Meet Your Death (2016), neither are sufficient preperation for John’s other one-man project, Rocket 808.

(photo by Angela Betancourt)

An ingenious mix of 1970’s analog drum machines with raw guitar, this is less of a style clash and more akin to a minimalist tour de force. Like Suicide adding Link Wray as a third band member, Rocket 808’s debut single is an incadescent, noirish hint of what’s in store for a full-length album in early 2019.

preorder from 12XU.bigcartel.com or Bandcamp


Today On Middle Fiskville Road (Again) : Inspire Pro’s “BATTLE DREAMS”

Posted in Austin, Professional Wrestling at 12:11 pm by

Even if it weren’t for the hiatus of the free-spending Wrestle Circus, Austin’s Inspire Pro would likely be atop the pile of Central Texas’ independent wrestling promotions, partially due to the familial atmosphere, long-range storylines (w/ a smattering of big name outta town talent flown in, today’s Austin debut of Kris Wolf being just the latest example), but it’s really the seasoned popcorn at AFS that seals the deal.

OK, that’s not really true.  The seasoned popcorn is alright, but between the creative verve of the company’s bookers and talent that wouldn’t know phone-it-in if spotted them the HONE, this remains the regions finest live entertainment spectacle by a wide margin.  If you can’t get in today (there’s a handful of tickets available at the door), the full card will be live streamed via Heel/Face’s Twitch channel.


Today On Middle Fiskville Road : Inspire Pro’s War O’ Clock High

Posted in Austin, Professional Wrestling at 3:49 pm by

Very very pleased to sponsor this important cultural event — and that’s in spite of Joey Janela having ripped off Carson Craig’s gimmick.

Now Available For Your Download/Streaming Pleasure – ‘Give Us A Good One’

Posted in podcasts at 11:10 am by

With the exception of food blogging and LiveJournal, there’s no medium closer to my heart than podcasting — thats why they call me, “The Podfather”. So when Mike Garrido and Orville Neeley announced plans to launch what would soon become the podcast world’s most provocative new series, “Give Us A Good One”, I politely requested…no, I DEMANDED, they bump Christian Bland and book me instead. Thanks to both Mike and Orville for omitting the nearly 30 minutes I spent detailing how i survived an entire Juliette Lewis & The Licks performance — in retrospect, it really wasn’t that interesting.


CSTBracket 2018: 11 Years Of Never Figuring It Out

Posted in Basketball, College Spurts, Gambling, Sad Toilets at 12:16 am by

The best players from the first NCAA Tournament I was extravagantly wrong about as a CSTB contributor are mostly out of the NBA. In 2007, the year of the first CSTBracket, Florida won its second consecutive NCAA Tournament title, and only Corey Brewer, who is still implausibly doing his lanky and effortful thing with the Oklahoma City Thunder—and quite well, at that—and Al Horford have played in a NBA game this year. I am compelled to note here that Marreese Speights (above) is apparently still active with the Orlando Magic, although I defy anyone reading this to produce any proof of this. Marreese Speights, who played in that game mostly to foul a temporarily immortal Greg Oden, is now 30 years old.

Anyway, this is how it goes. Mike Conley Jr. will play in one next year, and there is a universe in which both Greg Oden and Joakim Noah will somehow play in one again, although that universe is a kinder and more pleasant one than this one. In this universe, 2007 was a long time ago. There was the looming Kevin Durant/Greg Oden question in the next NBA Draft. The broader culture had not yet capitulated on everything that we ever held dear in favor of a rancid carnival of pure animus. I don’t think Instagram was a thing yet. It sucked, mostly, but we did not yet know how good we had it.

Anyway, it is 2018. I would love to tell you otherwise, but the facts are what they are. And the fact of the matter is this—you, if you are at all like me, have not gotten any better at predicting what unconscionably uncompensated teenagers will do under pressure, on television, in March. I have always sucked at this and I always will.

I sucked at it, like sucked out loud and stank on ice, when I put up the first CSTBracket post in 2007. I am just as bad at it now as I was then, if not worse. At this point in my life and this shared journey, it is not not about getting it right. It is not about getting it slightly more right right. It is, I think, about the ritual of getting it wrong. That is the thing that has endured and will endure, whatever comes. These players will get it wrong, because they are human and young and scared and unfinished; we will get it wrong in attempting to essay how that all will go because all of that is impossible to predict. That is the game. That is the point. That’s what’s fun about it. It’s all we’ve ever really had. Click here to get wrong again; I don’t think there’s a password, but if there is one it’s “cstb” without the quotes. Go forth. Be wrong. There is no other way to be.