Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Face to Face: Disconnected or Not?

See original story at Consequence of Sound

Do not be surprised if the formerly defunct Face to Face show up on the schedule of a festival that you attend this summer. The band announced that it will play select festival dates in the U.S. and around the world, already confirming stops at the Groezrock Festival in Belgium on May 10 (along with other classic punk bands Sick of it All, Agnostic Front, Bad Religion, Alkaline Trio and Hot Water Music) and the Virgin Festival (Calgary) on June 21. The band will be appearing with its lineup from the Ignorance is Bliss and Reactionaryalbums: singer Trever Keith, bassist Scott Shiflett, guitarist Chad Yaro (left the band in 2001) and drummer Pete Parada (went on to play with Saves the Day and The Offspring).

After almost five years apart, the members of the legendary So Cal punk band Face to Face took the stage together last weekend. The group played three shows in the L.A. area, starting off at the Glasshouse in Pomona on Thursday, April 3 and Friday, April 4. This gave the group an opportunity to headline shows for local, dedicated fans before getting in front of the large audience at the Bamboozle Left on Saturday.

The individual members of Face to Face have separately commented that they are unsure of what will happen in the future. While there are no plans for a new album, it is quite possible that the band will continue touring after the summer festivals. Keith recently wrote on his website, "Truth is we really miss it. We all get along well. There is no personality drama or anything. The fans are still out there. And we have a blast playing these songs..."

So, why now? In a February 29 interview with Buzzgrinder, Keith commented, "We kept getting all these great offers to go out and play shows and we continued to turn them down for a few years. Finally we decided, 'Why not?' We love the music and we’re still practically like family. Why not continue to do something that is so fun?" "[I]t’s really just a matter of timing. Everything feels right; we’re all ready to get back out there and play live again, which is what has always been the strong suit for Face to Face .... Neither [Shiflett nor I] see this Face to Face reunion as a full-time pursuit. It’s really the live aspect of Face to Face that we want to continue to do," Keith told OC Weekly.

Face to Face formed in Victorville, CA back in 1991. The band released six studio albums, a live album, a cover album (that saw the group try its best impressions of Fugazi, the Smiths, the Pogues, Jawbreaker, INXS and other classic bands), and numerous EPs and compilations. In 2004, Keith's Antagonist Records released Shoot the Moon: The Essential Collection.

The band was extremely progressive and very influential during its 13 years in existence; not only in sound, but also with how it used technology and the Internet. In 1999, the band released a digital, five-track EP So Why Aren't You Happy?, available at a number of online retailers. Further, as a promotion with, Face to Face fans downloaded songs and voted for their favorites, which were selected as the tracks for the 2000 album Reactionary. In six weeks, almost two million votes were tallied.

Never a huge "mainstream" success, Face to Face built a large, loyal following over the years through extensive touring. This fanbase further increased as the group shared the stage with a wide range of musical acts, including Weezer, Blink-182, the Pharcyde, Snapcase, and Cherry Poppin Daddies. The band saw limited radio airplay in 1995 when it released the single "Disconnected" off of Big Choice. This album went on to sell more than 100,000 units.

Trever Keith and Scott Shiflett went on to play with the band, Viva Death(also consisting of Shiflett's brother and Foo Fighter guitarist Chris and Vandals/A Perfect Circle drummer Josh Freese). Keith also is a part of the mash-up project Legion of Doom, which has contributed tracks for various film soundtracks, including the Saw and Underworld movies, and remixed a diverse range of artists (e.g., Coheed and Cambria, Gnarls Barkley, the Raconteurs, Ghostface Killah and Nick Cave).

Before the band makes any more appearances, Keith will be going out on his own for a national tour (dates below). His first solo record, "Melancholics Anonymous" is available on his website It took him almost four years to complete, yet he has a media player that allows visitors to listen to the full album for free. Well...what are waiting for?

Fri 4-18 Iowa City, IA The Picador (warm up show)
Sat 4-19 St. Paul, MN Station 4
Sun 4-20 Chicago, IL Schubas Tavern
Mon 4-21 Detroit, MN The Magic Stick
Tue 4-22 Pittsburgh, PA 31st St Pub

Thu 4-24 Boston, MA Middle East
Fri 4-25 Philadelphia, PA North Star Bar
Sat 4-26 Hoboken, NJ Maxwell’s
Sun 4-27 Baltimore, MD Ottobar

Tue 4-29 Cincinnati, OH 20th Century Theater
Thu 5-1 Denver, CO Marquis Theater
Fri 5-2 Salt Lake City, UT Avalon Theater

Thu 5-29 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill
Fri 5-30 Hollywood, CA The Troubadour
Sat 5-31 San Diego, CA The Casbah

Friday, May 11, 2007


I could start this off with what has become my normal introduction (i.e., been busy, haven't blogged, but I promise...yada yada). Of course, it is all true. But it's been a fun few least somewhat. Besides my constant job searching, I spent a lot of February/March putting together an unbelievable excursion out to Coachella and the past few months planning what I hope will be an incredible wedding. In addition, I do have a lot of stuff that I've been meaning to put down - Coachella, Philly Film Festival, and a grip of the normal stuff (bad ass bands and films). So, yes, the same sort of beginning - I couldn't help myself.

I just finished watching this flick, Lantana. I don't remember how I heard of it, which happens frequently with my DVR. Basically, I wake up in the morning with a new movie or two. A few months later, I'll actually watch one of them and have no idea how I found it.

Anyway, it is a fantastic movie. I would say it falls somewhere between cop/crime flick and ensemble drama. I believe its Aussie, but stars the incredible Anthony LaPaglia. I've never really noticed LaPaglia's skills before, but he really impressed me in this one.

The movie, from 2001, starts out as an intriguing character study, but seamlessly blends into a mystery surrounding a missing woman and the cop (LaPaglia) who is trying to solve the case. While it is certainly moody (which can sometimes slow a flick down) this film has enough twists to keep you interested. What makes Lantana stand out above your average movie is that the plot twists are realistic yet completely unpredictable. At the same time, the twists are subtle and not those huge bombshells that are so often laced throughout these films.

By the way, I have no idea where the title comes from...maybe I missed something. Anyone out there seen this one and/or has a clue?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Earl Greyhound

Who is Earl Greyhound? Well, the question would be better phrased as "what is Earl Greyhound?"

The answer: only like the one of the coolest bands ever!!! Cheesy, I know - but this is a band that I've been trying to share with everyone.

On Some Records (the label founded by the great Walter Schreifels of Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand, Rival Schools, etc.), this band out of Brooklyn seriously knows how to put together a good tune. Full of complex melodies and harmonies, Earl Greyhound absolutely kicks ass live. Their three-piece ensemble sounds more like a five piece. While they know how to mellow it out and make you feel all emotional, you'll probably walk out talking about their amazing jam sessions.

While I hate putting labels on music, I'd say that their sound is a blend of Zepplin and post-hardcore with some glam mixed in for fun. In other words, good. If you want to hear them kick ass, check out "S.O.S.", while if you're looking for some pop, listen to "It's Over". Either way you can't go wrong.

Highly, highly recommended!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hebrew Websites

I was screwing around on the web the other day and made a huge discovery. Hebrew websites are not only read right to left, but the scroller thingy is on the left-side of the page. Who knew?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

Talk about a reason to post...this movie is GOOD! It was directed by Guillermo del Toro (Blade II, Devil's Backbone, Hellboy <-- enough reason there to see it right there). I'm not sure how to best describe this film without giving anything away. It is reminiscent of Labyrinth, Return to Oz, Mirrormask or any other dark, fantasy movie that you can think of, yet a bit darker and sadder. Like some of these other films, this is a story surrounding a child dealing with conflict and escaping to a supernatural world. She is trapped in a life that blurs fantasy with reality, creating a surreal existence.

Check out the website:

Thursday, October 19, 2006


If you haven't heard yet, the NYC landmark, CBGBs will be officially shutting down at the end of the month. The last show to ever grace the nasty, graffiti-covered stage took place last weekend. There is so much to say about the club and so much has already been written all over the web that I've decided to keep this very simple.

Its somewhat embarassing that people let this happen. The club was supposed to shut down last summer, but a group of artists rallied to keep the lease and doors open for one more year. I was fortunate enough to attend a Gorilla Biscuits reunion benefit show that blew my mind away. Its sad that a club that was so important to the development of so many artists and genres of music (punk, hardcore, indie, etc.) could close down due to financial reasons. I'm not blaming anyone. The owners of the property pumped up the rental price until it was just not affordable for Hilly Kristal. I probably should not be too critical, as I don't have all of the details, but I know that there are many extremely wealthy musicians, who should have set up some sort of fund to keep CBs open. Frankly, I think Mayor Bloomberg should have stepped in and done more to help.

Risa's Survey

I was in the middle of writing my next entry, but I was just catching up on my big sis' blog and saw this survey jammer that I thought fit well here. So, without further adoooooo, here are my answers:

1. The last movie you saw in a theatre, and current-release movie you still want to see: I just saw The Departed. It was very good, but I thought maybe a bit overhyped. I highly recommend it. However, I like the original Hong Kong flick on which it is based, Infernal Affairs. I thought the Americanized remake was extremely entertaining and the acting was on point. I also really enjoyed the scenes that were completely copied from the original. I will never understand the current fascination that American studios are having with Asian cinema. Granted, the movies are outstanding, but I have no doubt that thousands of American originals are being passed up for remakes.

I also recently saw The Illusionist. So good!

The next two movies that I want to see are actually not out yet. Nightmare Before Christmas is being rereleased in 3D. I hate to admit it, but I've never seen this Tim Burton classic. I'm also excited for Borat...what can I say?

2. The last movie you rented/purchased for home viewing: Millions. Believe it or not, I've actually stopped buying DVDs. After seeing half of this family film (directed by Danny Boyle) on cable, I had to go out and get the DVD to finish it. Good movie.

3. A movie that made you laugh out loud: A movie? Ugh! There are too many to name, so I'll go with Tommy Boy, the first one that came to mind.

4. A movie that made you cry: A Beautiful Mind - although its more complicated than it sounds...and a story for another time.

5. A movie that was a darling of the critics, but you didn't think lived up to the hype: Training Day has got to be the most overrated movie of our time. Its not bad, but its not all that good either. There is no way that Denzel Washington deserved to win his first oscar for his part in this flick. If anyone should have won, look to his co-star, Ethan Hawke.

6. A movie that you thought was better than the critics: Super Troopers. Man, nobody would go see this in the theater with me and now its a huge cult hit...go figure.

7. Favorite animated movie: The Incredibles.

8. Favorite Disney Villain: Jiminy Cricket was a mean one.

9. Favorite movie musical: This is a tough one. I'd have to say that right now, I'm still loving Labyrinth. Not only is the story amazing, but its so surreal and fun to watch asthetically. Plus, you get to watch David Bowie kick around muppets, while he sings! Can you get any better?

10. Favorite movies of all-time (up to five).In no particular order
1. fight club
2. army of darkness
3. clerks
4. goonies
5. a christmas story

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Things That Are Cool: Underappreciated TV Series on DVD

Now that the television DVD industry has absolutely blown up, I've found that (just like how I treat the music industry), it is possible to dig through hundreds of released TV shows and find some wonderful, underappreciated gems.

Everyone knows about 24, Family Guy, Seinfeld, and all of the other shows that may float your boat. What the average person does not know about is the fantastic new trend in which studios are releasing single season programs that did not succeed, but have garnered underground attention. Here are a few that I'd like to share:

Judd Apatow's Freaks and Geeks & Undeclared
Let me just start this off with a "holy @$*%"! How did these shows not survive? I mean seriously. They are ridiculously good. Intelligent humor with a good mix of drama. Imagine Apatow's neoclassic 40-Year-Old Virgin produced in a series form for television. I mean it, they are that good.

I didn't lump these shows together merely because they are products of Judd Apatow. They are almost a part of a series. Each show follows groups of friends (although both have a slight focus on a male character) and their misadventures through their respective school. F&G is the story of two groups of kids in high school: the geeks and the freaks (duh). The geeks are three freshmen boys, struggling to fit in, develop into fully grown geeks, and find themselves some lady friends. The freaks are the bad kids - the guys and girls who hang out outside in the "smoking section" and scare the other kids. The show follows a geek's older sister as she develops into one of the freaks. Trust me, this is good.

On the other hand, Undeclared focuses on a group of kids adjusting to college life. From the first episode, when the kids move into their freshman dorms, you will be laughing your ass off. Further humor unfolds when Steven's dad gets a divorce and decides to party it up with his son's friends (on a regular basis). I remember when both of these shows originally aired and it absolutely blows my mind that they were cancelled. As much as I liked Apatow's flick, I wish he could find a platform to develop further TV series.

The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.
Ok, I admit it. I'm a HUGE Bruce Campbell fan. I'm not alone on this, but it blows my mind that so many people have no idea who this dude is. If you don't, do yourself a favor and rent Army of Darkness. Sure, you may think that I'd recommend anything that Mr. Campbell has appeared in over the years and, to some extent, you'd be right. He's incredible. If you are looking for other good movies, check out Bubba Ho-Tep or one of the other Evil Dead flicks (Army of Darkness is part 3 of the trilogy.) His books are also great, although I prefer "If Chins Could Kill" slightly over "Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way." He's known almost as much for his cameos in films (Spider-man) as he is for his own projects.

So, yes, I'm a fan. Still, Brisco County, Jr. is a great show. I'm not sure how to best explain this series. It follows the (mis)adventures of our man, Brisco, who is hired as a bounty hunter to hunt down a gang of outlaws (that killed his father, a US marshal). 40% tongue-in-cheek comedy, 40% western serial, 20% sci-fi, the show plays like many of the great late 80's/early 90's adventure series. It's extremely unique in that it is filled with Campbell's one-liners and clever twists. This set is 1385 minutes long and is a bargain if you are looking for some entertaining and relaxing TV.

Another Bruce Campbell series, Jack of All Trades, was also recently released on DVD. As I missed the show when it originally aired (I had no idea that BC was the star), I can't comment on it yet. Once I finish Brisco, I'll let you know what I think.

This is the only series that I don't remember originally airing. I'm extremely glad that I was able to discover this gem. Personally, I feel like summing up any of these series in a simple blurb is an injustice, but here I go again:

This show follows a girl who recently graduated from an excellent undergraduate institution only to end up back home in Niagara Falls, where she sells trinkets at a souvenir shop. Everything is slow and boring and somewhat depressing until one of the trinkets decides to give her some advice. Slowly more and more things begin to speak to her. As the story unfolds, the viewer is left to guess whether our protagonist is blessed with a special power or merely losing her #@$%. Unfortunately, with only one season, not all of the questions are answered. Overall, this is a great show and another one I highly recommend.

Others that I do not own, but I've heard good things about:
Life as We Know It - Same producers as Freaks and Geeks
American Gothic - Produced by Sam Raimi (director of Spider-Man, Evil Dead, Army of Darkness [see above]). I've heard wonderful things about this one. This one may be my next purchase.
Firefly - Huge cult following. Story continued in the film Serenity.
Greg the Bunny - Hugely popular show that briefly aired on FOX, featuring a cast of puppets and Seth Green. Found another home on IFC.