Placebo

GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE: RAW FABRICS
July 22, 2016 9:46 am

Jack B. (Jack Bruno) has been through the ringer and then some.

Jump back 12 months and he’s on the brink of self-destruction. Okay, so you’re not the first chip off the block to embrace the rock and roll lifestyle only to find yourself completely in over your head. Rebel without a cause. His creative outlet, Raw Fabrics, abruptly goes up in smoke. His band mates leaving him in the dust. His girlfriend calls it quits. Bridges are burned, relationships tarnished. Jack B. checks himself into rehab.

But this isn’t just some sob piece. Put your tissue box down. It’s cliché, it’s trite, but it often holds true: sometimes you need to reach rock bottom before you can claw your way to a higher place. Raw Fabrics has done just that, albeit as a revitalized solo band, Jack B. hasn’t looked back.  In fact, he’s turned the page in dramatic fashion.

The LA native’s been on the road for the last 3 months straight, sucking in fresh summer air, playing shows, writing new songs, meeting new friends and finding himself.  Raw Fabrics was asked to open for She Wants Revenge, the mid-ought’s electro-punk band celebrating 10 years since the release of their eponymous self-titled debut. I got to catch their Philadelphia stop at the Theater of the Living Arts.

The two bands emerged from two very different eras of indie rock, but they have their comparisons. Both might loosely qualify as dance punk–Although Raw Fabrics blend is much more hook-centric, accessible pop sensibilities with an LA hipster cool edge.  Jack B. is full of energy and charisma on stage—he ended his set by jumping out into the audience smashing a floor tom before breaking into one last tune.

She Wants Revenge music hinges on grooves and gloomy minimalists.  Their closest contemporaries were The Faint or The Kills—they’ve stated their admiration for early goth bands such as Bauhaus and The Cure.  As such, SWR music is likewise abound with horror tropes, such as their album cover depicting a scantly-clad girl clutching a kitchen knife. Fun for the whole family! It was great to see them back at it.

With this level of activity, it feels likely Raw Fabrics will have some new material on the way soon. In the meantime, he did manage to squeeze in time recently to film his last single “Get Me The Hell Out of Here”, check it out below.  He also recently teased a remix  by Lil Texas.

ADVENTURES ON TASTEBUDS
January 4, 2016 10:06 am

It takes a certain type of person to really explore what dating sites have to offer. I call those people masochists. However, there seem to be a lot of people who enjoy the unique abuse of online dating, as there are a never-ending stream of ways to be blown off by the opposite (or same) sex from your computer.

Tastebuds, a dating site launched in 2010, looks to pair singles by taking participants’ “liked” bands from Facebook, Spotify, and Last.fm, and matching users to those with similar tastes. If you’re into music, you’re probably already familiar with it.

I joined Tastebuds about 18 months ago, and promptly forgot about it. Aside from a once-monthly email with matches, I hadn’t had much contact with the site until logging on recently to find about 50 unread messages from other users. I was surprised, as my profile was barely filled out, and my face was only (partially) visible in one of my photos. Scanning through the messages, I realized 99% of them were a result of the “Message Bomb” feature, which allows users to send a single question to 8 of their randomly-selected matches. Who came up with this? No one likes “form” messages. Because these messages are being sent to a random selection of users, the people writing them seem to feel like the messages should be both funny and general; one Message Bomb sent to me asked, “Would you rather be hairy all over or completely bald?” (Hint: I’m already one of those.).

Some cursory Googling also revealed that newer members of Tastebuds are now required to buy a membership or pay a fee just to respond to messages. The prices for membership range from $10 for one month to $30 for six months, and include additional features like removing ads, and the ability to view profiles anonymously. I understand that the company needs to make money, but charging people to respond to messages isn’t the way to do it.

I don’t mean to shit on Tastebuds. I think finding people with similar taste in music is a great idea. You can even set your search parameters to find matches in areas you may be vacationing in, so you have someone to go to shows with. Unfortunately, I think the whole thing is bogged down by questionable user experience and member abuse of the aforementioned features. I’m still going to hang on to my (free) membership – maybe that guy who shares my love of both Hanson and Placebo will finally pop up.