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The Selmanaires , Parts & Labor, Tenth to the Moon
The Star Bar
November 2008

Text and photos by Frederick Noble

Tenth to the Moon has pasted their stickers all over town, so I vaguely remembered the logo painted on the back of the lead singer's jacket but mistakenly thought it was something off Battlestar or some other sci-fi reference. I wasn't far off. They have a sound that is very sc-fi, or at least sci-fi convention.
It's kind of robotic industrial goth sounding, none of which are my favorite musical adjectives, but I'll give any band 3 songs to spark my interest.

Three songs later, I met degenerates EM and CD in the basement to talk about the history of important and famous artists, musicians and actors who were also famous for being damaged goods. The chat attracted fellow bar denizens and soon we had a room full of people shouting out their favorite famously fucked up person, or fucked up famous person, depending on the order of fame and lunacy. It was unanimous that Michael Jackson took the top spot.

Back upstairs, Parts and Labor were on stage, with one guy playing what looked to be a table covered in effects pedals and other small electronic devices.

 

Like the opening act, Parts and Labor have a heavy electronic sound. The guitar, played by a quiet girl in the corner, is muted and distorted to the point where it doesn't have a guitar sound, making everything even more electronic or synthesized.
Unlike Tenth to the Moon, I enjoyed Parts and Labor. It didn't sound so... labored. It had a more organic feel to it, kind of angular without losing its human quality. I was reminded of Oxford Collapse at one point, then remembered they are both from Brooklyn. Hmmm.....
On Sunday I discovered I hadn't taken many pictures of The Selmanaires while they were on stage on Friday, probably because I has having too much fun dancing.
I'm fairly certain they've added a new guy on bongos and conga since the last time I saw them. Their songs were already percussion-heavy, with Mathis, on the left, switching from guitar to percussion from time to time. The sound just keeps getting fatter each time I catch them. It's somewhere between Talking Heads and Pavement with a groove that almost forces you to move.
A while back I sent out a link to a web site debating the next great mass-market American beer, since Bud was purchased by Belgians, PBR is only a brand name and actually bottled by Miller who are owned by South Africans, etc. Yuengling was mentioned as a possible replacement, since it is and has always been owned by an American family, and is now America's oldest brewery. But around here it was something like Coors used to be in the 70's - a beer you'd heard about but couldn't get without a cross-country car chase. But unlike Coors it's a pretty good beer.
A couple of weeks ago it suddenly showed up in all the hipster bars and restaurants and now you can't get away from it.
"It's the new PBR" said a bartender at one of the random bars we visited this weekend.
It's a fine beer, especially for about $3 a bottle (over the counter, so to speak - retail, it compares to other mass market brew) so next time forgo the Bud, bud, and say "ying ling."

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