Elastic No-No Band's blog

Joe Crow Ryan arrested, makes music about it


On April 30 (the day before May Day), at 6:30am, one of the NYPD warrant squads broke into the apartment I share with Joe Crow Ryan and a few others, and roused us all out of bed. They claimed they were there because Joe Crow had an outstanding open-alcohol-container ticket from 5+ years ago. It became obvious however that this was just an opportunity to interrogate one of my other roommates who had been previously arrested at an Occupy-related party about his potential involvement in May Day activities.

I could go into more details, but there are already 3 fairly thorough news stories posted about it online (the last being a mostly accurate interview with me):


Joe wrote a song about the experience called "My Arrest," based on "Will The Circle Be Unbroken?," an old gospel tune made famous by The Carter Family. He invited a number of familiar faces to collaborate with him.

Here is a link to a music video, of the song being recorded: http://www.youtube.com... Read more »

Saturday 4/28: Brooklyn house show to celebrate the end of a band


Elastic No-No Band as a real live band and not just a pseudonym for yours truly (Justin Remer) came into being some time in 2005. I had started attending the Anti-hoot at Sidewalk, and had started scooping up talented performers to play with me. In 2007, we were really starting to cook. Doug Johnson joined us from outside the Sidewalk crowd, and became known as smiliest drummer on the scene (he has also gone onto be an occasional session drummer for the likes of Thomas Patrick Maguire and Brook Pridemore).

And now, five short years later, we're all washed-up. The release of BLACK NO-NO'S, a CD consisting of new studio recordings, live material, and some outtakes, marks the end of an obscure band I sure as shit enjoyed leading.

To celebrate -- because you should celebrate this type of thing -- I'm having a house show at my apartment featuring solo sets by 3 members of Elastic No-No Band: me, Preston Spurlock, and John Mulcahy (also the leader of The Telethons). PLUS Thomas Patrick Maguire, Debe Dalton, Dan and Rachel, and Joe Crow Ryan.

Saturday, April 28, 2012
no cover, but bring tip money
BYOB, but we'll have some B and some homemade food -- first come, first served
Copies of BLACK NO-NO'S will be given away free Read more »

Joe Crow Ryan covers Soft Black


Joe Crow Ryan just did some recording with Michael David Campbell (A Fermata, Felt Light Strikes), who produced all the studio tracks on Joe's first two CDs at the Brooklyn Tea Party.

Now, Michael has a studio set up in a space in DUMBO, and he invited Joe to try it out. Joe and Michael have been working on a couple dozen tracks that will end up on Joe's upcoming album, tentatively titled This Machine Kills Purists Part III: Trolling For Purists, or No More Ironing, or What You Will. (...heck, they've been working so fast, there might be enough for a fourth CD too...)

Joe and Michael let me into the space to videotape the sessions on their first day. I'm going to put up a series of videos over the next few weeks.

The first video that I put up today, features Joe Crow's cover of the Soft Black song "Did You Put A Spell On Me?" by Vincent Cacchione (also of the band Caged Animals).

Check it out on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0h9N5JL7Gk Read more »

Dipping my toe in experimental waters


I have a bit of an oddball sense of humor, which comes out in my music and in the movies and videos I direct. However, even my oddest projects come out of a fairly conventional approach to storytelling.

Well, Thomas Patrick Maguire recently asked me to post a video for his recently released song, "How To Fight (Maspeth Buzz)" online. I decided to go really experimental and abstract with it. I admit to being a little fearful with releasing a video like this online now. It's not quick or quick-to-please like a lot of viral-type videos.

But I like it.

Thomas Patrick Maguire - How To Fight (Maspeth Buzz) on Youtube.

Thomas Patrick Maguire - How To Fight (Maspeth Buzz) on Vimeo.

Top 20 Favorite Best Picture Oscar winners


A little bit ago my friend Steve posted this link to my Facebook wall:

Worst-to-best Best Picture Winners.

An interesting little intellectual exercise that would be fun for most film buffs. Of course, things being subjective like they are, it seems like he underrates some good movies and overrates some bad ones. (And, as much as I didn't like it, I expect some of those early winners are probably worse than his bottom pick, Crash.)

So as an intellectual exercise, I decided to look at the list of Best Picture winners and rank them in my order of preference. Of course, I haven't seen them all. And some I haven't seen in years. In fact, after I got done with 10, I sort of felt like further ranking was pretty arbitrary nonetheless, here goes:

1. The Sting (1973)
2. Marty (1955)
3. The Apartment (1960)
4. The Godfather (1972)
5. Amadeus (1984)
6. Casablanca (1943)*
7. No Country For Old Men (2007)
8. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
9. On The Waterfront (1954)
10. The Godfather Part II (1974) Read more »

My Top 10... er, 3... movies of 2010


A lot of times I am compelled at the end of the year to cook up some sort of Top 10 list of favorite movies. This year is a toughie, though. I haven't seen a lot of new movies, and the ones I've seen have largely been wiped clean from my brain-slate.

So, I won't do a top 10. Here are the 3 films I remember liking best from 2010, in alphabetical order.

And Everything Is Going Fine (Dir. Steven Soderbergh, with Spalding Gray) - Spalding Gray was a unique talent who managed to create a niche for himself, doing pieces that incorporated performance art, stand-up comedy (more like "sit-down" in his case), and something like confession or open therapy. There are already 3 feature films documenting Gray's best-known monologues -- all performed with Gray seated at a desk, while the film directors try to figure out how to keep things visually interesting. Steven Soderbergh (the Ocean's movies; sex, lies, and videotape), who directed the last of those movies (called Gray's Anatomy), here constructs a narrative of Gray's life through a succession of clips from Gray's other monologues, some television interviews, and a few home movies, with no authorial interjection from any other voice besides Gray's. The effect is that of a posthumous autobiography, or as the blurb in the trailer below suggests, a final monologue. Read more »

Are there any songs that make you cry?


About a week ago, The Onion's AV Club website syndicated an article about the top 10 songs a survey of men said made them cry:


For those of you too lazy to click, here is the list:

1. R.E.M,"Everybody Hurts"
2. Eric Clapton, "Tears In Heaven"
3. Leonard Cohen, "Hallelujah"
4. Sinead O’Connor, "Nothing Compares 2 U"
5. U2, "With Or Without You"
6. The Verve, "The Drugs Don’t Work"
7. Elton John, "Candle In The Wind"
8. Bruce Springsteen, "Streets Of Philadelphia"
9. Todd Duncan, "Unchained Melody"
10. Robbie Williams, "Angels"

When I saw this list, I had two thoughts -- which are echoed by many folks in the AV Club comments sections: 1) these songs don't make me cry, 2) who cries at songs?

Well, yesterday, I listened to the 2008 album by country singer Jamey Johnson, That Lonesome Song, for the first time, and when it came to a song called, "In Color," I got chills. It's a little obvious and sentimental, but it's not extraordinarily cheesy and expresses something that moved me deeply in what I feel was an evocative way. Read more »

Distro Gem #2: Double Deuce - Camp Candy


I've taken it upon myself to now and again write little reviews of various awesome items in the OJ distro that might get lost in the immensity of it all. My first entry can be viewed here: http://bit.ly/acP1sM

In a just world, there would be no fame and every piece of art would be appreciated purely on its inherent merits. But, even in this unjust world that we live in, it seems particularly egregious that brother-sister duo Double Deuce have not reached even the moderate fame of other sibling musicians like The Fiery Furnaces or ... I don't know... The Osmonds.

Double Deuce is a supergroup consisting of the mind-bogglingly prolific Toby Goodshank and his sister Angela Carlucci (aka Little Cobweb). They have put out only two CDs, one home-recorded and one in the studio. The latter, Camp Candy, ranks as one of the best albums I have ever heard. Focused largely around Goodshank's guitar and the pair's vocals, although augmented occasionally by a full band (including cello parts by Carlucci's bandmate in The Babyskins, Crystal Madrilejos), Camp Candy is full of memorable songs that catch in your brain even if it's hard to decode their literal meaning. Read more »

Distro Gem #1: Huggabroomstik - Sloppy Kisses and Serious Guitars


I've taken it upon myself to now and again write little reviews of various awesome items in the OJ distro that might get lost in the immensity of it all.

The first one I've decided to highlight is the album Sloppy Kisses and Serious Guitars (2005), which might be my favorite Huggabroomstik CD and is probably the psych-noise band's leanest and poppiest recording. Sure, they have made some memorably poppy tunes since then -- the two-parter "Diamond Eyeballs" from Alternate Huggabroomstik and "In The Sun" from Ultimate Huggabroomstik (which is out-of-print!?! we've got to do something about this!) stick out in my mind in particular. Yet, Sloppy Kisses consistently highlights the band at its most focused and entertaining. Even the album's requisite freak-out track, "The Rainbow Ofof Shit," is downright concise compared to later jams like Ultimate's 14-minute track, "Duck Hunt." Read more »

Syndicate content