Make sure the plane you’re on is bigger than your carry-on baggage.


There’s quite a bit of controversy surrounding the birth of Jay-Z and Beyonce’s daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, but that’s not what I’m going to write about today. Today I want to bring attention to a song that Jay-Z released yesterday via SoundCloud called “Glory”.

I have never been a father, but as it happens with most men or women, with every new year comes a new question I ask myself. At this very moment, I’m 22 years old. In 8 months, I’ll be 23. Four months after that, I will be graduating college. What happens then? I don’t know yet. However, I’ve recently discovered that I would not be entirely against the idea of being a father sometime in the future. So, having that in mind, I naturally put myself in ‘what if’ scenarios. I put the subject through a mental gauntlet, basically. Being a parent is one of the biggest responsibilities in the world, and is not something to take lightly whatsoever.

So, in order to understand what a father is to begin with, where better to look for an example than my own? I’m fortunate enough to have my father in my life every single day, so I like to think that I’ve grown to understand him as a person and what his role in my life has been so far. He helped raise me, feed me, wipe my butt–everything you can think of. This is where I asked myself, “would I do this for just anyone?” Of course, my answer was “no”. So, knowing that, a child is obviously something incredibly special. Or rather, someone incredibly special. Now, this reminds me of a phrase I’m all too familiar with: “love makes people do crazy things”. To quote Percy Sledge on “When A Man Loves A Woman”:

When a man loves a woman, he can’t keep his mind on nothing else
He’ll trade the world for the good thing he’s found.

To people not involved in the relationship referenced in that song, that sounds absolutely ludicrous. However, there is truth in those words. Of course, love is not limited to romance; love can be felt for anything. A pet, for example; some people care more about their pets than they do anyone or anything else. For whatever reason, their pet is the most important thing in the world to them. Bringing the conversation back to my original discussion, these same powers of love can be felt for a child. In fact, it would only make sense to care for a child as much as, if not more, than you care for yourself because a child is literally a piece of you.

Now, when I was born, both my mother and father wrote a letter to me. I didn’t read them until I was around 18 years old. In these letters, my parents told me about themselves, how proud they were of me, how much they loved me, and gave me a bit of insight into how happy I’ve made them by coming into their lives. These letters were touching to read, and helped me understand just how much a parent loves their child.

That being said, “Glory” is Jay-Z’s letter to his daughter. I think it’s a beautiful manifestation of his feelings as a father and couldn’t be happier for him. I’m sure Blue Ivy will cherish the song very much when she’s old enough to understand it. My favorite part of this song is at the end, where you hear what I’m assuming is Blue Ivy making sounds. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a rapper sampling their newborn before.


Waiter around here for yr ghost and all you do is hide.

You could say I’ve had this one in the chamber for a little while. I haven’t been lending my ears to that many new bands lately, but this particular band recently took my ears by storm.

They’re called Night Manager and they hail from the Brooklyn/Manhattan area of New York. I first heard of them on Facebook when I was invited to Frankie Rose’s LP-release party some time ago. I discovered through the event page that these guys (and girl) were slated to open the show. A week or so later, I came across their Bandcamp page and started listening to everything they had online. As of right now they have three small releases, two 5-track EPs and the most recent, a 3-track EP.

This selection bears the same name as the EP it’s on, which is called Ghost.
What absolutely kills me about this track is the chorus. Everything swirls together in this beautiful uproarious blast of energy that the band builds from the very beginning of the tune. Now, I’ve mentioned it on the blog before, I’ll mention it again; I will more-than-likely fall absolutely ass-over-teakettle for a band if there’s a girl in it. I won’t stand a chance. Keeping that song in mind, it very much remains the same when it comes to Night Manager. Caitlin Seager’s vocals are strong and refreshing with a subtle touch of reverb to them, which is an excitingly comforting quality to have in a band like this. Backing these pipes of steel is a solid rhythm section led by drummer Ezana Edwards and bassist David Tassy and some great guitars courtesy of Tim Angiolillo which add the final crunchy topping to this delicious feast of a band.

I highly recommend you take a listen to the rest of their music on their Bandcamp page linked above. The band is currently in the process of getting their first full-length album mixed, so keep both an eye and an ear out for that if you know what’s good for you.

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A Day at the Vatican Beach

I’ve discovered that a slang term has developed among the many heps I’ve come across at countless shows in the past year. This term is “the jam”. It is commonly used to refer to a song that the user thoroughly enjoys, and feels so strongly about their enjoyment of the song that they feel compelled to declare that it is not only a relatively good song but, in fact, a universally good song. The common format of usage is as follows: “X song is the jam”. Note, this term is not used lightly. It is the crown of crowns of which a song can be adorned with when being recommended in common conversation with a fellow music-lover, and is thus reserved for “those really fucking good songs dude, you know?” That being said, here’s my first post in a long time.

I’ve posted about Moi Je Joue on here before and talked about how much I liked them when they were going to open for Twin Sister way back in June. They were a fresh new band in the Rio Grande Valley that I very much wanted to bring attention to.

Well, a lot has happened since then. In fact, you could say that what was once fresh is now new again.

To bring you up to speed (which is right where you should be, friends), Moi Je Joue have changed their name.

They are now:

Along with this new name comes a new song, in a new sound. Out of the neatly paved spaces they once called home comes this garage rock mammoth of a pop tune breaking every piece of pavement the band has already laid down. This new track is called “Crutches”. It is…:deep breath:…the fucking jam.

Loving the vocals, loving the guitar, loving everything on this damn track! I especially love the tambourines in the bridge; you can’t beat that.

Vatican Beach will be going on a tour of Texas today with Aux (Austin), and The Alldays (Brownsville). Their tour kickoff show will be this Friday at Galeria 409 in Brownsville.

They will be out 10 days. I wish them the best of luck.


of Montreal to play GALAX Z FAIR!

Just a few hours ago, it was announced that of Montreal will be headlining Galax Z Bear‘s Galax Z Fair in March.

This makes me happy for several reasons. Mainly, I fucking love of Montreal, and seeing them in my own neck of the woods will be amazing, as I’m sure watching your favorite band in your home town must feel for anyone in that situation. However, this means something for the Rio Grande Valley. Allow me to elaborate.

These are the posters that I’ve seen around UTPA promoting Galax Z Fair. Each poster has a ‘quote’ on it that reads “The valley never gets kewl bands”.

There was once truth to those words. I must admit I’ve said them myself before. However, that grim veil of obscurity has not touched down in the Rio Grande Valley for quite some time. This is because people took initiative; people who believe in this place and it’s potential. These people made efforts to push away the dark cloud of doubt that made this place seem so very desolate and thanks to them, things began happening here; things we hadn’t experienced yet; special things. Before we knew it, bands we’ve grown to know and love as fans and friends began sharing stages with their influences. The ‘unthinkable’ was now very much thinkable. Our world is growing ever larger. To use a Legend of Zelda reference, bit by bit, our world map is slowly being lured out from under the clouds.

Citizens of the Rio Grande Valley, we are in an age of enlightenment. At the current pinnacle of that enlightenment is the Galax Z Fair with of Montreal at the forefront. This is the beginning of something great. I can feel it in my bones. I can’t wait to see how this all comes together. I can’t wait to see who else is playing this event. I can’t wait to get my ticket tomorrow at the early bird pre-sale. I can’t miss this for the life of me.

This is of Montreal’s new song from their upcoming 11th (wow) LP, Paralytic Stalks, which is out on Polyvinyl February 7th of next year.

of Montreal – Wintered Debts


LATE NIGHT POST: I AM LITERALLY (well not literally, more like figuratively [but it feels literal])

in between two walls of final projects that are due this week. Yes, my dear readers, the dreaded

FINALS WEEK

is upon us and I’m up to my neck in my third-to-last semester of college’s coup de grâce. However, I have just acquired some information that is bigger than finals week, bigger than the biggest mother ever referenced in a ‘yo momma’ joke–hell–even bigger than the planet Earth itself.

Come March 14th of next year, 2012 (the supposed ‘final’ year of humanity), the Rio Grande Valley music scene is going to be hit by something the likes of which it has never seen. Something of galactic proportions, if you will.

Local ghost promoter Galax Z Bear has announced that he will be having a day-long music event that will feature an eclectic array of ‘nationally-established artists’, which, as cryptic as it is, is pretty exciting. Now, while all of this is really great on it’s own, my favorite part of this little gem of news is this: he’s calling it

GALAX Z FAIR

!
I don’t know about you, but I want to know absolutely everything there is to know about this event. So, here’s what I’ve gathered from this flyer and some related Facebook posts:

-the event will take place at Sofie’s Saloon in McAllen, Texas. This is one of the oldest–if not the oldest–bar in McAllen. The outside area in the back is huge and has motorcycle parts hanging from trees. I remember calling it the ‘Narnia of bars’ from time to time.
-there will be an ‘early bird’-type pre-sale on Tuesday. Tickets will only be $20. I’ve a strong feeling that this will go up a bit once some names from the bill are dropped, so it would be wise to scoop these up while you can. No word of full ticket prices at this time.

This is pretty exciting. So far, Galax Z Bear has proven to bring down some pretty great bands to this neck of the woods. (The Strangeboys, Air Waves, Miniature Tigers, and most recently, NOBUNNY to name a few) I can’t wait to see who he’s bringing down for this event. Space bands? Do those even exist?

I’ll post more information as soon as I get it. Keep your eyes peeled and make The Photon God your browser’s homepage in the meantime. Also add the Facebook Group if you haven’t already. Also, if you hear of anything regarding “>Galax Z Fair, send your tips to thephotongod@gmail.com.

Now, back to my leaning towers of final projects. This goes out to all of my night owls either working on final projects or studying for final exams out there. Courage, friends.
Tijuana Panthers – “Creature”


INTERVIEW: Nobunny of NOBUNNY


A few weeks ago, garage punk outfit NOBUNNY ventured down to McAllen to absolutely tear Simon Sez apart. It truly was a night to remember for all parties involved that could still recollect the night before the following morning. As luck would have it, prior to their performance, my good friend Natalia was able to interview the band’s frontman and namesake, NOBUNNY. This will be her first contribution to The Photon God. We are excited to present to you her interview with NOBUNNY below.

I, Natalia Rocafuerte, did not know what NOBUNNY looked like. :( I walked up to who I thought NOBUNNY was, and asked him if I could “interview NOBUNNY” or if he could point me to someone I could talk to. I’m sure he picked up on me not knowing what NOBUNNY really looked like and after a few “I don’t know”s, I said “thank you” and walked away. Only to find the “I don’t know” guy coming after me and saying “I’m sorry, I’m messing with you. Okay, I’ll do the interview. I’m ‘NOBUNNY’.” After misleading me and confirming his identity, I attempted to interview him, only the interview kept getting delayed; he needed a lighter, a car alarm went off, and people kept passing by. So, we moved toward the parking lot, away from the dark alley. There, smoking a cigarrete with NOBUNNY, I began the interview.

[TAPE BEGINS]
Natalia: When is your birthday?
NOBUNNY: NOBUNNY was born, uh it was…it was Easter 2001, in the desert of—45 minutes outside of Tucson, Arizona.
Natalia: What’s your favorite Elvis song?
NOBUNNY: Oh boy…off the top of my head, “Teddy Bear”, but I reserve the right to change that answer later.
Natalia: Why “Teddy Bear”?
NOBUNNY: ‘Cause I like sweet and salty snacks. But I reserve the right to change that answer later maybe, but for now, “Teddy Bear”.
Natalia: How do you choose your album artwork?
NOBUNNY: The first one just kinda happened, I suppose. Raw Romance was found off a fireworks package, the artwork for that. Then it was altered by the guys in Burger Records then, First Blood, my friend Shannon had painted a portrait of NOBUNNY and I really liked it and decided it was going to be a poster for the second, like, tape I guess but I liked it so much I decided to save it for an album cover.
Natalia: What’s your favorite home-cooked meal and can you cook it?
NOBUNNY: Hmm, my favorite home-cooked meal. Ahh, I like grilled cheese a lot and yes I make a pretty tip-top, greasy grilled cheese if I do say so myself. (laughs)
Natalia: Any mustard or mayonnaise?
NOBUNNY: I love mustard, I’m a mustard fanatic. It’s the only thing I’ll spend money on sort of. I have a lot—well when I had a refrigerator. I don’t have a refrigerator right now—but when I had one I had a lot of different mustards in there.
Natalia: Thumper, Roger Rabbit, Bugs Bunny or female Bugs Bunny (Lola Bunny), which one would you dress up as or be?
NOBUNNY: Wahhhhh…hmm once again these are good questions. I’ll go with the lady Bugs for now just cause why not? I like…I like Bugs a lot but lady Bugs is cute. You know? So…I wanna be cute.
Natalia: Who’s your favorite Ramone or which one do you like the best?
NOBUNNY: Hmm, I use to always say Dee Dee but my official new answer is Joey. Just cause he was uh, the messiest. And he’s messy like me. I’m a mess. (laughs)
Natalia: What are your beauty secrets on tour and off tour?
NOBUNNY: Just water. Nothing but water all the time. And not too much sun. Try not to get too much sun.
Natalia: What do you pick as your pizza toppings?
NOBUNNY: I like pepperoni…kinda keep it simple you know? [I’m a] pepperoni kinda gal-guy.
Natalia: Three things everyone should know about NOBUNNY but don’t.
NOBUNNY: Hmmm…nothing, everything, and something.
Natalia: What do you do before you perform? Do you request French Onion soup, smoke a cigarette outside or get to know the place? Is there any routine you have?
NOBUNNY: Honestly no, not so much. Not reaaaally. A lot of water is good. Stay hydrated. I’m trying to think, honestly, if there’s any answer. I don’t think so. Uh, just kinda go with the flow. [I’m a] take it one day at a time kinda bunny, you know? No ritual, just keep it loose, keep it loose.
Natalia: When you perform, you’re famous for taking off your clothes. Why don’t you just take off all your clothes?
NOBUNNY: Um, I don’t know. I don’t have many clothes so I guess I just get hot up there when I’m—you know, it starts getting sweaty, rock n roll. [I’ve gotta] keep going without overheating.
Natalia: Tell us about your tattoos. How many do you have and which means the most to you?
NOBUNNY: I…I don’t know how many I have. Not that many. Probably ten. And uh, which one do I like…I don’t like any of them. I got them all when I was really young and I kinda regret all of them. But not big regrets, just little regrets. I would’ve changed it if I could, I don’t know. I do have a Nazi nurse from Mars on my leg, though, that I’m kinda fond of, I suppose. That one’s alright.
Natalia: What turns you on/off?
NOBUNNY: How long we got here? (laughs) Um…………next question.
Natalia: It could be music…It doesn’t have to be…anything really…
NOBUNNY: Right. I like sweet stuff and puppies and kittens and fuzzy…fuzzy rusty things. And turn offs…I don’t like littering.
Natalia: What advice do you live your life by?
NOBUNNY: Besides the whole Carpe Diem thing…one step ahead from the law. And umm….stay high or die tryin’.
Natalia: Truth or dare?
NOBUNNY: Truth……dare.
Natalia: Dare?
NOBUNNY: Sure
Natalia: Can I dare you to kiss someone in the audience? Or should I dare you to try something you haven’t done before?
NOBUNNY: I want the world, I know that. If you can dare me to take over the world right now I would accept that Pepsi challenge. I might fail, but I’ve failed before, you know? [I’ll] just get back up and dust myself off. So yeah, I guess that’s the truth on that dare.
Natalia: Can we be friends?
NOBUNNY: Surely, why the hell not?
[tape ends]

NOBUNNY’s


It’s been too long

Expect some Fun Fun Fun Fest 2011 coverage coming soon. Both photos and videos this year! (it helps if you actually own a camera)

That is, if I don’t get Black Lung first.