Tommy Guerrero

As a skateboarder on the Bones Brigade, Tommy Guerrero was known for his “relaxed style of street skateboarding.” In Future Primitive (be warned, it’s 80’s skating) he can be seen bopping down the streets of San Francisco, sliding around cars and pirouetting across the skate park. He doesn’t look choreographed or refined in the way modern skaters might – he’s having fun. He’s cruising San Francisco and enjoying the open air.

I like to keep the image of the younger Tommy carving down the streets in mind when I listen to his music. While his playing is clearly tight, that relaxed playfulness and joy always comes through. There are some artists you listen to and can just tell they put painstaking effort into every sound and note. It never feels that way listening to Tommy Guerrero.

As a Jazz professor once told me: “no matter how hard you’re playing you gotta make it look eeeeeasy.” Tommy Guerrero feels eeeeeasy.

Skateboarder or not, when you listen to his music, you can sense what it would be like to glide around the streets of SF on a perfect day. Lean your face into the sun and take a second to enjoy it.

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Weird Fishes –> Feared Wishes

I went emo at first, just to be sure I really scraped the meaty depths of my soul. Holding onto the handle of the J train I stared mysteriously out into a foggy San Francisco morning, playing Radiohead’s Weird Fishes over and over again. I avoided other songs – returning to the same sad refrain, proudly wondering how down-trodden I looked to other passengers who sat, neck-bent over Candy Crush.

I hit the repeat button that literally no one uses unless you’re depressed and you want to fill your head with the same sad melody, looking through Reddit for a loose interpretation of Weird Fishes. One commenter wrote “Weird Fishes –> Feared Wishes” to much Reddit fanfare; another argued the closing lyric of the song alluded to suicide. No one was really sure – summed up best by a popular user, amishuis: “if you want Radiohead songs to be ABOUT things, you’re gonna have a bad time.”

I moved on, needing sturdier ground to stand on, turning to the closing song of High Maintenance Season 3. Never would I describe myself as a fan of 1980’s goth pop, but Do Your Best by John Maus evokes some greater need – a desire to connect on the most basic human level. The swelling in my chest lasted about a day, but the lyric, “someone’s alone…in the city… tonight” which gets repeated over and over again, felt a little too perfect, like someone whispering in my ear.

DOPE LEMON’S Marinade was a no brainer. Straight from the source of all this moping about, the lyrics are wonderfully intelligible: “she used to draw rainbow faces in the sand, but the rainbow made the face sad,” a truly lovely thing when rationality feels offensive. Buzzed and singing out of the side of his mouth, Marinade belongs inside a jukebox discovered on a drunken, unforgettable night – recalled in the ugly light of day, over and over again.

So that’s where I stayed, for awhile, shifting through this make-shift playlist like said jukebox if it was stripped down to just a few buttons, and then a new moment appeared, one that I wasn’t really prepared for – silence. A dead battery left me defenseless, up against the void. So I started writing about music, hoping it would conjure up the same magical spell of being able to put words to something that feels truly wordless.

Treasure Trove

I dislike when music blogs come clean about not posting.  It’s always something like, “Sorry been crazy busy with work, haven’t been able to blog in awhile but here’s a new one from…” and then the recommendation.

It feels kind of disingenuous. Nothing should get in the way of posting if it means that much to you, right? Work-shit, relationships, even fun should take a back seat to blogging – if you really care about it. Not posting probably means you shouldn’t have a blog.

Harsh, dude.

Usually it happens a few times in a row. You can almost see the blogger connecting the dots – noticing the pattern. It happened to Auditory Remembrance, Tiny Rockets, and others. I have folders of dormant music blogs.

But here I am drafting something up after not blogging for two months – tail between my legs – wondering what I could possibly say to peak anyone’s interest after not writing for two months.

The truth is I simply haven’t felt like writing about music. And to force it felt like a disservice to all the good that has come from blogging consistently. Not good as in Davey Pageviews good. Or good as in attracting attention. But good as in committing to something. Good as in loosening a creative valve to let it flow freely.

For some reason today it was happening. By some good grace I started listening to a playlist from longtime Afmth fan, Seve, and one after the other, new-ness started flooding in. Add in a little weed and a glass of booze and a beautiful concoction of loose energy took over. I think it was the Darius song that really did it. Even one step beyond Pryor. At least at first. It’s still early.

It’s good to find new music again. It’s been hard recently – maybe something to do with getting older – you experiment less and stick to the tried and true. If you know This Must Be the Place will work, why mess with anything else? And the harder you look, the less you find. But take your foot of the gas and sometimes new melodies start to flood in. 

Lane 8, Darius, Amtrac, Tourist – all familiar names. DJ’s we’ve featured on the blog many times. But for me this is all new.

Caamp // Live at the Sinclair

Is that a shutterless camera?

No, I’m shooting video.

Oh shit.

I think the shutter moves too fast to be heard.

You got something to drink?

I got a beer around here somewhere.

How bout a Hot Toddy?

A what?

Dude. Fuck the show, let’s make a How To Hot Toddy video!

Hottie tooty?

Hot Toddy. I’ll put the kettle on, you just keep that camera rolling.


Proud to present an Aftermath original:

h/t @elgringo with a heater two-and-a-half years in the making.