Song of the Day

Conscience Killer

DOWNLOAD: Conscience Killer

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club just dropped Beat The Devil’s Tattoo, the sixth album in nine years from the L.A.-based neo-psychedelia-garage rockers and along with the new album comes a new drummer, one-time Raveonette Leah Shapiro. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s no bigger Raveonettes fan out there than Mr. Damn Ugly, but when I heard the hard-rocking BRMC was gonna be backed up by their drummer, even I took a deep breath. But if what I’ve heard from Beat The Devil’s Tattoo is any indication, she’s fitting in very well the band’s established sound. On ‘Conscience Killer’, the tribal driving backbeat and fuzzy, reverb-heavy guitars help give Peter Hayes’ vocals a hot & sexy T-Rex feel. And just what is it about Marc Bolan (and The Raveonettes, for that matter?!!) these days? It was only a few weeks ago when I offered up a Raveonettes cover of ‘Heart Of Stone’ by Brooklyn Psych-rockers Amazing Baby that was a dead ringer for T-Rex and now we have BRMC jumping on 70’s Glam Train!

BRMC is currently in the middle of a bone-crushing European Tour, and you can check ’em out on MySpace


OK…so we’re out in Hoboken freezing our asses off this morning and I decide to do a quick portrait of the guy I was shooting on the sidewalk outside of his building…and yes, I knew that maybe I would need a permit, but we were only gonna be out there for fifteen stinking minutes and besides, it wasn’t like we had a twenty-person crew and motor homes and generators….but of course, just as we were ready to get going a cop pulls up and barks out, “You gotta permit for this?!!”…”No”, says I, pleading blissful ignorance of the complex photography laws of the fine State of New Jersey (insert all the sarcasm you can muster), “…but do you think you could let us slide?”. You already know the answer to that one, and he tells me I have to go Police Headquarters and fill out an application…

Off I go, meandering through the pothole-ravaged roads of the square-mile hamlet only known because Sinatra was born here, but when I get to the Cop Shop they say I’m in the wrong place…I hafta go to City Hall! OK…I walk the two blocks to City Hall, but once there and after waiting fifteen minutes in line, the Town Clerk (a snottier jerkoff you will never meet!) tells me it’s the Police who approve all film permits and besides, it takes three days and there is a $700 fee!!! I explain my situation and that I’m not shooting a ‘Film’ and that I’m working for a magazine, not Dreamworks, but he could give a rat’s ass…he ain’t budging. So one more trip back to Cops where, you guessed it, they shoot me down in flames!

So the photo of Bo that sits at the top of this post is all I have to show of the dump beautiful town that is Hoboken!!! I suppose that if that asshole Town Clerk sees this, I just might get a bill for $700 since, technically, I did shoot there, but I’ll take my chances and simply avoid Hoboken for the rest of my time on Earth!

I’m Gonna Be Teaching At Santa Fe…

Mark your calendars kids, ‘cuz in July Mr. Damn Ugly is gonna be jetting off to teach a workshop at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops! Reid Callanan, the High Priest of Santa Fe, has invited Ronnie Weil and I to teach a week-long program called ‘The Editorial Portrait’… intensive class that will let us show a group of young photographers what it takes to shoot for an editorial client. We’re still figuring out the curriculum, but I’m getting tired already! I figure by the end of the week, if the students don’t have a very good idea of what it takes to be an editorial portrait shooter, they never will! The week will be a non-stop cycle of shooting and critiquing work…every day new assignments are given out and the students have to adapt immediately and come back with great imagery. I’m looking forward to kicking some young photographer ass!!!

The fun begins July 4th and you can read all about our workshop HERE!

Song of the Day



Demander calls themselves a three-piece irregular rock band.

Sivan Harlap and Dave Kurutz met behind the snack bar at Villa Park High School in 1994. Karen Kanan Corrêa met Sivan and the two played in The Hissyfits back in 2001. Sivan actually spent the first few months of their acquaintance trying to get Karen kicked out of the group because I guess not everyone likes viola in a rock band, but Karen eventually switched to bass and the two became fast friends. Over the next two years they performed with The Killers, Gary Go, Holly Golightly and many others, but since 2004 they’ve been playing together under the name Demander. Dave and Karen met completely by chance in New York many years after the previous events, somewhere near 2008. Through some cosmic melding of the minds, the three of them now make bright sexy-time adventure pop for jogging, dancing, drinking or making out. And next Tuesday they’re set to drop their second album. It’s called Future Brite. Recorded in NYC, the album was produced by Jim Keller (Co-founder of 80’s band Tommy Tutone and writer of 867-5309) and was mixed by John Agnello (Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, Hold Steady). Guest musicians include Franz Nicolay of The Hold Steady, Native American Music Award winner Martha Redbone, and members of World/Inferno Friendship Society and Anti-Social Music. During the recording process, there was apparently some singing done in a vocal booth that smelled like sheep perfume and a whole lot of clapping. You can enjoy more of Demander on their MySpace Page and further fun can be had by watching the fun-fun-fun video for ‘Math’

Song of the Day


DOWNLOAD: Whirring

Hailing from a tiny town in Northern Wales, The Joy Formidable is getting loads of hot press after having just dropped A Balloon Called Moaning, an album of frantic, grungy, Lo-Fi rock that stands out because of the stark contrast between all the crashing guitars and feedback and noise, and Ritzy Bryan’s pleading, fragile little girl vocals that rise above the noisy cacophony lamenting, “All these things about me you never can tell”

Check out more of The Joy Formidable on their MySpace Page and then you can watch the video for ‘Whirring’ where they once again propagate the myth that all of Wales is nothing but a cold, grey wasteland of moors and mountains and fog!

The NYTimes & Kickstarter…

Just last week, Kate Tucker put out a call on Kickstarter to help her fund the release of ‘White Horses’, her next album, and now The New York Times has a story about websites like Kickstarter, SellaBand and PledgeMusic and how indie acts are using them to get their projects off the ground.

So if you haven’t checked out Kate’s video yet, follow THIS LINK and toss her a few bucks. In less than a week she’s already pulled in $2150.00 of her $5000.00 target, but we gotta keep this going. I know some of you have already kicked in a few bucks, and I’m gonna try my best to not get all Public-Access-Pledge-Drive on you and hold any feet to the fire, but I know how many people are reading this and I also know a lot of you could dip into your mocha latte budget and help out and it ain’t exactly gonna hurt your bottom line…

Song of the Day

I Know What I Am

DOWNLOAD: I Know What I Am

So Band of Skulls did a live session over at Daytrotter a few weeks back and layed down some pretty gritty versions of songs from last years ‘Baby Darling Doll Face Honey’ and show once again just how damned good they are. No overdubs or fancy production, just straight to tape and out the door…what more can you ask?!! If you haven’t bought this album yet, I hafta ask, why not? Follow that link above to Amazon and spend six bucks…you’ll thank me later. And then register at Daytrotter where you can download even more of their killer live sessions with bands like Au Revoir Simone, Beach House, Bon Iver and Spoon…all for nothing! Now am I offering value here, or what?!! Check out Band of Skulls on MySpace