CONCERT REVIEW: Dan Deacon @ Union Transfer

Photo by MICHAEL ORLOSKY BY JONATHAN VALANIA FOR THE INQUIRER On record, acclaimed Baltimore-based futurist Dan Deacon sounds like Philip Glass on Red Bull. A lot of Red Bull. His music is like Koyaanisqatsi for the ears. Live, he resembles nothing so much as a hip, wise-cracking camp counselor DJing a dance party for people who can’t really dance. His name may not ring a bell but for people under 30 he is Santa Claus with a wave function generator. And last night he came to town — Union Transfer to be exact — after a three year absence from […]

DRUG TEST: Frisking The Inky’s NJ Medical Marijuana Story For The Straight Dope On The War On Drugs

As you may have heard, the great state of New Jersey appears poised to become the 14th state in union to legalize and regulate the dispensation of medical marijuana to chronically ill patients. Still, old drug warrior habits die hard. The day before lawmakers in Trenton approved medical marijuana legislation, the New Jersey State Police, in conjunction with the National Guard, were conducting training flights with a Black Hawk Helicopter on how to locate and bust marijuana growers. COST OF A BLACK HAWK HELICOPTER: $6 Million Dollars [SOURCE: Global Security] NUMBER OF MARIJUANA PLANTS ERADICATED IN NEW JERSEY IN 2008: […]

“There’s a hole in Daddy’s arm where all the money goes/Jesus Christ died for nothing, I suppose.”

BY JONATHAN VALANIA FOR THE INQUIRER Funny how the more wars change, the more they stay the same. In 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War, John Prine, quintessential Americana songwriter, then fresh out of the Army and well-acquainted with the FUBAR Catch 22s of a soldier’s life, wrote “Sam Stone.” You may not recognize it from the title, but you have heard this song. Detailing the post-traumatic stress of a Vietnam vet all but abandoned by the country he nobly served, the lyric goes: “There’s a hole in Daddy’s arm where all the money goes / Jesus Christ […]

All Of This Happened While You Were Sleeping

WENT TO PLACES UNKNOWN: Spoon, Starlight Ballroom, Last Night BY JONATHAN VALANIA FOR THE INQUIRER Most bands are lucky to live one nasty, brutish and short life — much of it spent travelling vast distances to play for minuscule audiences, waking up in the back of stinky rental vans and finding breakfast at the bottom of a Budweiser can — but like a cat, Spoon seems to have nine lives. Spoon keeps coming back from one curiosity-killing foray into the unknown after another — trusting a major label, aping the Pixies, dabbling in white funk, etc. Some religions call it […]

All Of This Happened While You Were Sleeping

EXCUSE ME WHILE I KISS THE SKY: Albert Hammond Jr., TLA, Last Night [FLICKR] BY JONATHAN VALANIA FOR THE INQUIRER Perhaps the meanest thing you could say about Yours To Keep, the solo debut by Strokes guitarist Albert Hammond Jr., is that it’s all craft and no personality. This is often the case when a background member of a popular band steps into the foreground with a solo project, armed with long-dormant songs but minus the compelling narrative a band like the Strokes has worked so hard and long to establish. And because we know so much — too much, […]