Saturday, December 31, 2005
... that I didn't have tickets to last night's Volcano Suns Maxwell's reunion show or Thursday's Boston gig at the Middle East.
All hail the Suns who reunited this week... Rumors abound of a tour but it may have to be postponed until after the MoB release/tour next year.
Alas, tickets were sold out long before I heard of it. If you went, tell me how it was.
They have generously set up a Myspace with downloads or you can stream four songs, pictures of the band (you have to register to see these - sorta like a porn site), gig adverts, notes on their rehearsals, etc. here...
LHB has a clip from a Boston newspaper review. Update: Brett Milano provides a less jaded account.
Volcano Suns - "Blown Stack - Engines" - from All Night Lotus Party
"You only get this offer for a limited time..."
Daniel Cohen has a nice picture of the Suns gig here in Boston which I'm temporarily showing up to the leftside of my blog.
SAVED ROUND: My 2005 List
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
May you all bring in the New Year with a bang.
Update: With reservation but by special request, here is "Soap Opera Hallucinations."
"Like the bugs under our skins, these are the days of our lives."
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Touch and Go Records, 1986-1987
"Ballad singing has been going on ever since people sang at all. It comes up like an underground stream and then goes back again. But it always exists."I bet Burl Ives didn't have Killdozer in mind when he waxed on about ballad singing but for that brief period they were one of the few bands practicing the art.
- Burl Ives.
"If America wasn't a cesspool we couldn't write songs. At least not the songs we write."
- Michael Gerald, Killdozer, 1994, Stumpy Fanzine
Like the 70's TV movie that they took their inspiration from, Killdozer wrote bluesy guttural and vulgar songs about an industrial world out of control and the working class freaks and losers that populate that bleak landscape. There were no Springsteenian heroes here promising redemption beneath a dirty hood of a Chevrolet or Dylanish troubadours reading the words written by Italian poets from the thirteenth century by candlelight. Instead we have short order fry cooks who seem on the verge of a killing spree, a man so lonely that he imagines the cyst on his neck has come alive and a man who gets a "bubblegum face" from an industrial accident but still brags that with a hood on his head he's a "sexual beast."
The thing that sticks with you about Killdozer is undoubtedly Michael Gerald's raspy put-on voice that sounds like Froggy from Our Gang might have sounded at 65 after a lifetime of whisky and cigars. He's been criticized for never deviating from 'the voice" and at times it can get annoying (example: the cartoonish "Hi There" or his monotone delivery in the "I'm Not Lisa" cover). But if you listen closely, he does vary it at times - compare the almost soft delivery of "Slackjaw" with the balls-out singing on "Hamburger Martyr" for example. And it's not like put-on voices aren't part of a proud tradition. Check out Dylan or Springsteen, the most prominent balladeers of the previous two decades, for instance. The band has also been criticized for being too derivative of Flipper which is a bogus argument given the fact that these are ballads with song structure and story while Flipper were mainly one or two lines sung over and over again until your ears started to bleed. You could make the point that they are derivative of Birthday Party but again you go back to the songs and where Birthday Party were more influenced by Southern Gothic novels while Killdozer drew from a folk tradition stemming from Depression-era dustbowl music. Burl Ives may be somewhat sarcastically cited here but give the guy his due, he helped popularize Woody Guthrie and tons of other balladeers in the 30's even if he's best known as the holly-jolly snowman in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Ives' signature song (before "Silver and Gold") was "Wayfarin' Stranger," which like much of Killdozer's work is sung in the first person.
It's a shame these two records were never reissued together since they seem to be a perfect match. Burl, released in 1986, was their first work in a 24 track studio and the sound is bigger and more experimental. It lays the groundwork for Little Baby Buntin' where the band sounds even more uninhibited. And it can't go without mention that uber-producer Butch Vig cut his teeth with Killdozer even if he later became the drummer for Garbage.
- Bill Hobson: Guitars
- Dan Hobson: Drums
- Michael Gerald: Bass, vocals
- Butch Vig: piano (on Burl)
- "Puppy" - Little Baby Buntin'
This song is about a true incident - here's Michael Gerald telling the story in his own words:
SP: If there's one line I may never get out of my head (much as I want to) it's the one that goes something like "When I lit Sonny's balls on fire/You didn't even blink." Where did that come from?
MG: There was a biker gang outside of Madison, WI, called Satan's Dragons, that didnÂt even own motorcycles. They were in the news because one of their initiates had been found dead and naked in a field, castrated and with his dick stuffed into his mouth. They were caught when one of them reported to the police the theft of his Harley Davison ring, which had been found underneath the head of the dead initiate. The dudes referred to their initiates as "puppies." I naturally imagined them being the type who would set a dog's balls on fire...
[From Snap! Pop Interview by Comely Mike Montana, 2000]
- "I Am I Said" - Little Baby Buntin
- "Hottentot" - Burl
Besides being a great way to open up Burl, this is a clever reference to The Venus Hottentot, a shameful incident in Western history where an African woman was brought to England and put on display because she had a big ass. "Hottentot" doesn't have any references to this beyond the title but instead reflects a common theme in Killdozer songs - that is the sons and daughters not heeding history and repeating the sins of their fathers. A fat man plans some sort of despicable act against a little girl for criticizing him for his "enormous size".
- Killdozer broke up in 1996. Michael Gerald is now a tax lawyer. The most recent interview is at Mark Prindle's page. Mr. Prindle also has reviewed the entire Killdozer long-playing catalog and has a damn fine 80's-90's alternative music website to boot.
- The most current release is a reissue of their live Last Waltz on Crustacean Records
- The unofficial Killdozer fan page is recommended - tons of interviews, discography and news. This where I found the scans of the album covers.
- Killdozer were one of the fabled Touch and Go 80's bands - and this is where I got the 70's style publicity shot above
- All the Killdozer songs from Burl and Buntin' are available on iTunes in their full 128 bittage glory
- The Killdozer TV Movie - a review
- The strange story of the Hottentot Venus - Saartje Baartman. One of my favorite living playwrights, Suzan-Lori Parks (best known for Topdog/Underdog), has written play about her which I saw once in San Diego - recommended .
In an example of life imitating art, a man angry with his local government armored a bulldozer and attempted to destroy a small Colorado town. He ended up destroying 13 buildings. The local media nicknamed the bulldozer Killdozer.
When the bulldozer broke down, the man shot himself and the armor cover had to be removed by a crane in order to get to his body. The quote below from Mr. Dailey sounds like it could have been written by Michael Gerald.
Undersheriff Glen Trainor said the dozer's armor plates consisted of two sheets of half-inch steel with a layer of concrete between them.
Grand County Commissioner Duane Dailey said Heemeyer apparently used a video camera and two monitors found inside to guide the dozer. Two guns were mounted in front and aimed through portals. Other portals were cut in the back. It was unclear how many guns Heemeyer had in the dozer.
Authorities speculated Heemeyer may have used a homemade crane found in his garage to lower the armor hull over the dozer and himself.
"Once he tipped that lid shut, he knew he wasn't getting out," Dailey said.
Thursday, December 15, 2005
So last year, I was feeling all gushy and mushy and this year I'm all cynical about the holy days. The only difference I can think of is that I'm one year older and I'm dealing with an insatiable (younger) girlfriend when last year I was just another member of the Lonely Guy Club.
You'd think it would be the other way around.
This isn't really a Christmas song but its about as blasphemous as I can get and it sums up my feelings about the season. Maybe because its taking away from valuable sack time.
It comes from the "Olympia Must Die" 7" by the Witchypoo roving collection of misfits -- and its a cover of a Melvins song - Joe Preston is on the record too - probably not a coincidence, that.
It was released back in August but I've just gotten around to ripping it to digital.
People seem to hate this band but listening to this, I can't see why. Sure, it ain't gonna be on The O.C.'s Season Finale or even Sleeper Cell (where it might actually work) but it blows away any other electroclash I've heard this year.
Merry Fucking Christmas. Now I have to go shopping. Thank you Baby Jesus.
"Anal Satan" - Witchypoo (thin the herd records)
"Mirror Stage" - Collapsing Opposites
"The Sun Again" - Vedett
"Birds, Cats, Piano" - Metal (see also Artistry)
"You Told Me You Loved Me" - Wolfo (aka Horsemachine aka Robbie/Poopfilter)
"Systems of Social Recalibration" - Aspects of Physics (source)
Liner notes: Some new bands I've picked up via the web, links from other bands that I like and longish crawling through myspace... that's my photo there, taken in my older brother's backyard. The owl apparently is to scare off certain types of birds that plague suburbanites but had fallen on the ground. I suspect I may come back in Spring and he'll still be there waiting to be put back on his perch.
None of these bands really have much to do with suburbia so far as I can tell but they seem to fit the mood of the silent owl somehow. Collapsing Opposites leads off the set - he's a child care worker by day so he tries out alot of his songs on a captive audience, so to speak. Tons more downloads at his site. Vedett is a Dungen like band from Belgium and you know about as much as me. There's more songs at their site. Metal appears to be part of one of those collectives but they are too cool to call themselves such. At any rate, it's a nice ambient piano (improv?) where birds and outside sounds provide accompaniang. "You Told Me You Loved ME" proves nice new songs can come from acoustic guitars - the artist who appears to be linked with Metal. Finally, Aspects of Physics recorded "Systems" in 2005 but it took me long enough to find it. Great little meditation piece to end the set.
SAVED ROUND: Speaking of new music, Opuszine has two new Liz Durrett tracks up from her Jan 2006 release - The Mezzanine ... we last wrote about her here.
...also here's a link to a recent Meredith Bragg performance at the Kennedy Center - requires RealPlayer.
Sunday, December 11, 2005
mini-LP, Synn's Allright Now Records, 1986
Here's an obscure mid-80's DC group that to my knowledge only put this record out and appeared in assorted compilations. I only remember ever seeing them listed as playing live in DC maybe once and I never saw them. I suppose among my peers at the time, I was about their only supporter if they knew anything about them in the first place. I think DC in the mid-80's was a hard place to be truly weird and maybe it still is. Of course, that made the Darwinian dynamic give rise to some great weirdo bands like 1/2 Japanese and No Trend and forced other wierdos like Psycodrama and White Boy even further into the underground.
This record consists of six mostly damaged art-punk songs that I suppose qualify as social critique whilst maintaining a veneer of fun or at least the type of fun a band that uses publishes a back-cover picture of nostril hairs in lieu of band photo.
Each side has what I would call two "concept songs" and one conventional song, if anything about this band can be labeled conventional. The concept pieces are mostly retarded Zappaish music beds or synthy Ur-plop that generally underscore a spoken word narrative such as a dry reading of a newstory about an African massacre ("Hebephrenic List"), a portentous recap of a soap opera story line ("Soap-Opera Hallucination") using the Young and Restless theme song for effect or a restless rendering of a Penthouse Forum Letter while the band merrily skronks out ("Name and Address Withheld").
The two "conventional" songs are circus-like juvenile lurch-pop with titles like "You Are What You Fuck" and the anti-authority "Why, Because I Said So." Due to a technical glitch, I was unable to get "You Are What You Fuck" in this go-round but I may post it later.
- Jerry Boner - Bass + Bkrd Vocal
- Brad Glosserman - Drums
- John Hoppe - Keyboards + Violin
- Scott Phillips - Guitar + Vocals
- Extra Hard Working Guest Artist: Synn
- Sarcastic Orgasm also appeared on the 1986 Mystic Records DC compilation: The Savages Are Loose with Madhouse and Motor Morons with "Name and Address Withheld" retitled "Forum Letter" ... see also Punk Vault for info on that comp although I would disagree with M. that SO were a "pretty standard fare hardcore band" (or Madhouse and Motor Morons for that matter).
- They also appeared on the Jersey Beat #2 compilation with Yo La Tengo(!) and SMERSH
Answer to Future 80's Underground Music Trivial Pursuit Question:
Sarcastic Orgasm are mentioned in Mike Watt's liner notes for Sonic Youth's The Whitey Album:
"However, death is not mocked and my big man D. Boon was killed December 11, 1985 in a van crash. I was tiny and stopped wrestling my bass, wouldn't touch it. Kira had to do some internship at Yale so I drove her to Connecticut. I stopped in NYC and stayed with Thurston and Kim for a week. Staying up late laying on the couch with a blanket on just talking and talking. Talking about everything, even silly band names out of Flipside like Sarcastic Orgasm. I must have drove them crazy. But it really helped me get over that hell of D. Boon Dying, I really owe them all I've done since the Minutemen."
Big Time Records, 1986
For their only US release, Australia's Kim Salmon and his band The Scientists (in its fourth incarnation and minus the original drummer) went into a London studio and re-recorded this set of songs, at least one of them even better than their originals ("When Fate Deals Its Mortal Blow"). Joe Carducci in his Rock and Pop Narcotic book said The Scientists were "a rather unfocused blend of Crampsian dynamic and Stoogian structure" - this description might also work for The Gun Club although J. L. Pierce's voice was much more striking than Salmon's drone. Furthermore, this batch of songs sounds much more tilted towards the "Crampsian dynamic" than "Stoogian structure."
Salmon's voice is unremarkably recorded here and there's a garagepunk sameness to the overall sound -- maybe its because almost all the songs were recorded in London with a slick new wave producer over the space of three days in February, 1986. Some of the songs sound like the band is playing in a detached manner and I can't find the enthusiasm that exists in their earlier stuff or the original versions of the songs.
But, but, but there are some cuts that approach a sort of limited form of nirvana. "When Fate Deals Its Mortal Blow" is a slide guitar shuffle and a bass line that shakes the cobwebs out of my skull - although this band wasn't known for their lyrics, I love the line: "There's a hundred head hunters all headed your way / with a hundred ways they'll make you pay." I don't think Lux and Ivy could have written a better line.
A cover of the James Bond song "You Only Live Twice" (originally done by Nancy Sinatra) has some great guitar noise, Stoogian structure or not and refashions the song's hook with a buried single note piano. I'm not surprised that this was the only song on the record not recorded with Wall of Voodoo producer Richard Mazda (and with a different drummer). "Swampland" is redone with more finesse than the original and while it may lose something in its regurgitation, this version still stands alone quite nicely and makes for a promising record opener. Finally, "If It's The Last Thing I Do" (sometimes called "Travis") adds to the canon of Great Works inspired by Travis Bickle and Martin Scorsese.
- Guitars: Tony Thewlis & Kim Salmon
- Drums & Piano: Leanne Chock
- Bass Guitar: Boris Sujdovic
- Voice: Kim Salmon
Some Weird Love songs:
- "Swampland" - opening track - from the liner notes: "A song of yearning for the exotic. Love of the weird."
- "You Only Live Twice" - closing track liner notes: "Nothing weird about loving this song - or its original songstress, for that matter."
- The prolific Kim Salmon's discography/videography
- NKVD Records hosts an excellent interview with Salmon covering a great deal of his career and snapshots of nearly every record cover. Furious.com has a 1999 Salmon interview.
- Banana Nutrament recently posted a Scientists track that's much more off-the-wall (and owes more to Suicide than Cramps/Stooges) than this comparatively tame collection and might go a longer way to explaining why this band has the wide fanbase it does. I recommend you check it out before it is taken down.
- If you want to add some Scientists to your collection there are some "best of" collections still available new: Pissed On Another Planet carries a lot of early stuff and The Human Jukebox 1984-1986 the latter era stuff (including some of the songs from Weird Love).
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Mystic Records, 1984
Dr. Know were of the Mystic Records crop and violated the sacrosanct aesthetic of hardcore punk by littering their tunes with (horrors!) guitar solos and bass and drums breaks. This was one of the reasons I liked them at least until they full totally dived into metal core in subsequent years. They're since back to their HC punk w/metal accented roots pretty much if their Myspace samples are any indication.
The songs themselves cover all the wellworn HC punk 'n' angst topics - lashing out at religion, society and themselves. This is also one of those odd mini-LPs that Mystic liked to release - somewherez between an EP and an LP - about 10-15 minutes on each side versus the normal 18-20 minutes for LPs and 8-10 minutes for EPs.
First singer was Brandon Cruz and current singer is Brandon Cruz but in-between they had Kyle Toucher both belting out vocals and wailing on "lead guitar"... Interesting thing though is that Fred Mataquin is also listed as "lead guitar" and that pretty much sums up their approach: two blasting lead guitars with a smoking bass and drummer.
Random coolness factoring point was that bassist Ismael Hernandez was kid bro to the Hernandez Brothers and Jamie designed their, um, identity thingie and I may have bought this just as much for asshole comic collector rententionitis completistness than merely just for the band itself given that there were plenty of others plowing similar fields. Here's the Xamie Hernandez logo thingie for waaaat! it's dearth:
Links & shit: Two songs here to sample but Dressed for the Bomb also has cuts up from this record and the songs are mostly found on the "Best of Dr. Know".. in recent years, the band seemed to be on-again off-again but their Dr. Know Myspace, um, space indicates that they are still playing gigs (Cruz and Hernandez are the longtime members) and have a label. There's a comprehensive history both at Myspace and on Wikipedia.
Kyle Toucher - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Ismael Hernandez - Bass Guitar
Fred Mataquin - Lead Guitar
Rik Heller - Drums
Sample Songs (only up for 14 Days):
"The Intruder" (also called "Fear the Intruder") - nice guitar solo about a minute in
"Circle of Fear" - features an extended drums and bass break and then some nice ensemble work near the end of the song
Saved Round(s): The front page of the Washington Post has an article quoting Bob Mould in the lede and its about how indie bands are making their livings liscensing their songs to commercials and TV shows. I would like to just announce here and now that if anyone would like to license Vinyl Mine to a TV show, I'm more than happy to have your people meet my people. My ideal scenario would be to have the mousy chick and the fat guy in "24" ignoring a terroristic attack because they are downloading No Trend tracks for their iPods.
Also, I want to publicly thank American Analog Set for playing in DC on Tuesday night given that they so graciously publicly thanked me (well, the audience) at the end of the show. Catherine Lewis writes:
The crowd dwindled as the final droning chord of the band's last song, "We're Computerizing and We Just Don't Need You Anymore," morphed into a murmured "Continuous Hit Music" performed by Kenny solo. He then spoke about how much he and his band love playing music. "It really is our pleasure to play for you," he stated generously, unfazed by the thinning and inattentive crowd.Really, it was an awesome show and AAS adhere to the hardcore punk aesthetic of "no solos" by the way.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
A creamy slop of early psychedelic and pop sludge in this third full-length from the 'Trees. I never got that they were "punk" but I suppose if you played loud feedback-laden guitars in the '80s you were bound to get that label. This should have come with a warning label: Much Pot Was Consumed in Making This Record. Can't fathom why Lanegan refers to this early work as "crap" (1999 interview) although close scrutiny of the lyrics (quick sample: There's a dark-hair girl on a mattress / and there's a room suspended in the air") might make you throw-up a little but who's really listening except for the choruses.
Otherwise, you can't fault Lanegan's raw singing and Gary Lee Conner's wall of feedback snake charmin' guitar. You also have to acknowledge producer (and ballad pianist) Steve Fisk as the "fifth member" of the group - the sound is absolutely and awesomely sublime especially when you consider that he's running a start-up studio in some small town in the Inland Empire.
In contrast to Lanegan, Gary Lee Conner calls this his favorite Trees record on his website although he traces the band's troubles to this time period:
This is my favorite Screaming Trees record. It is totalIf this lacks anything other than groovy lyrics it's a reason to really internalize the music. Most of the songs while technically pretty and musically interesting but just seem to lack a whole lotta soul. It's all a great listen and I'd recommend this most out of their early work but the songs don't really reach out and grab you like their later stuff, even if you think it's slicker. Although most people have said that this band's signposts are the garage psyche bands of the '60s and '70's, I also see much affinity with some of their labelmates - Meat Puppets and Husker Du records sound right filed next to this. Best Meat Puppets tribute is "The Second I Awake" and best Du tribute is "Walk Through to This Side" and those were two bands that DID stick in my craw, they're my choice for sampling. I'd put "Ivy", the opener and "Night Comes Creeping" is more in line with the 60's style stuff - 13th Floor Elevators are the closest touchstone my feeble mind can construct.
psychedelia with a hard rock edge and some pop thrown in
for good measure. Also this is when it start to get hard
instead of fun we had started to tour two or three times a
year and we were all getting sick of each other. We had
fights with Steve Fisk over mixes and there was a general
malaise in the Screaming Trees camp. The worst thing
about the album is that Van quit right after we finished it
and was replaced by Donna Dresch for the fall 88 tour with
fIREHOSE. Luckily he came back after making one too
many donuts at Albertsons (it's not like we made any money
with the band in those days). (source: purpleoutside.com)
- Van Conner - Bass
- Mark Pickerel - Drums
- Mark Lanegan - Vocals
- Gary Lee Conner - Guitar
- Saplings is a fan site for the Screaming Trees and provided some background reading while reacquainting myself with this record
- Gary Lee Conner's site plays some of his mind-bending guitar on the splash page. He writes of the latest Screaming Trees collection as "missing some of the best songs" and the two unreleased songs as being "pretty lame"
- Mark Lanegan's site - sparse and long-loading. Although I was never a QotSA fan, I like his more recent work - 2004's Bubblegum and his contribution to the Junior Kimbrough tribute album earlier this year. He is working with Greg Dulli in Gutter Twins.
- Van Conner is plays in Seattles' Valis and have a recent release
- Mark Pickerel's site has got to be the slickest... ever. He's playing with a number of bands - The Hope and The Withholders and even has a solo thing going (he's opening for Richard Buckner in January!). He writes on this blog that he has a solo CD (produced by Fisk) coming out shortly on Bloodshot and says he'll be at SXSW next year.
- This CD is still in print and is also in the SST Anthology.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Rughead Records, Richmond VA, 1988
Attention Pavement fans! This would be more or less forgettable Richmond-Chapel Hill southern folk rock but for the drummer (listed here as Jonah West not Steve West) going on to play traps for one of the 90's biggest indie acts. Oh well, let's let his boss explain how this college band inspired Pavement to record two tongue-in-cheek songs about the biggest rock band at that time :
in the '80s steve was in an r.e.m.-inspired band called contocook [sic] line so i figured we should cover a [REM] song as a form of male musical social bonding. r.e.m. at that point were as popular as they would ever be - everybody hurts was the type of song your parents liked. so i guess i wanted to pledge allegiance at exactly the wrong time. anyway, we blitzed through camera, a song buried on side two of reckoning (it eventually came out on the cut your hair single). we had some extra studio time so i decided to do another song. this time, instead of the cover, we did a song about the band itself. the song, the unseen power of the picket fence, eventually made its way onto an aids benefit album called no alternative. the lyrics go all over the place (various observations about the band), but in the end i imagine r.e.m. as a unit in the confederate army during our civil war. general sherman is marching through georgia, burning down the mansions (except in savannah) and his last hurdle is r.e.m...Alas, those thinking that this is some sort of find will be disappointed. The music is the type that makes you forget the stereo is even on. Lots of acoustic rock type songs. I tried to listen to it several times and always seemed to wander off. Only one or two songs merit more than one listen, if that (but in the interest of fairness, I listened to the record a couple of times).
needless to say, i see r.e.m. standing tall in the face of the invader, even if the idea is absurd because the boys obviously would object to the slavery!!!! but as far as it goes they have proven me correct by being practically the most durable group on the face of the earth. album after album they are one of the hardest-working groups in showbiz. if any band deserve to be included in the webster's dictionary definition of "staunch" it is r.e.m....
"Allen" suffers from some really collegiate lyrics ("Taking time with our li-i-ives") but I've never heard a more democratic mix - every instrument and the vocals is given exactly equal weight and it's built around a somewhat catchy bass riff and you can hear some of West's best drumming on the record here. It's certainly the most "R.E.M.-inspired" of the bunch. The album closing track, "Go To Hell" is a not very clever but has enough adolescent scorn to want me to keep it for special occasions. Other songs such as "Goliath" and "Sour Grapes" suggest an even more angry undercurrent but who really has the patience to care?
(How did this get in my collection? I have no friggin' idea. I'm pretty sure I didn't buy it and it probably came as a promo for my fanzine or the DC Period.)
- g, voc - John Smith
- g, voc - Rob Williams
- b - Hanby Carter
- dr., voc - Jonah West (aka Steve West)
- Dominic Carpin of Richmond's long-running Cashmere Jungle Lords provides backing vocals on "Allen"
- The quote above is excerpted from an a review of R.E.M.'s Reckoning by Steve Malkmus printed in Q and reprinted on an R.E.M. fan forum - Murmurs.
- Lyrics to "Unseen Power of the Picket Fence" via Leo's Lyrics Database
(link not recommended because of pop-up ads and other suspicious stuff)
Some bands I like to name check,
And one of them is REM,
Classic songs with a long history
Southern boys just like you and me.
R - E - M
Flashback to 1983,
Chronic Town was their first EP
Later on came Reckoning
Finster's art, and titles to match:
South Central Rain, Don't Go Back To Rockville,
Harbourcoat, Pretty Persuasion,
You were born to be a camera,
Time After Time was my least favourite song,
Time After Time was my least favourite song.
The singer, he had long hair
And the drummer he knew restrait.
And the bass man he had all the right moves
And the guitar player was no saint.
So lets go way back to the ancient times
When there were no 50 states,
And on a hill there stands Sherman
Sherman and his mates.
And they're marching through Georgia,
we're marching through Georgia,
we're marching through Georgia
They're marching through Georgia,
we're marching through Georgia,
marching through Georgia
and there stands REM
(Aye Sir, Aye Sir, Aye Sir they're coming, Aye Sir, move those wagons, Aye
Sir, Artillery's in place Sir, Aye Sir, Aye Sir, hide it, hide it, Aye
Sir, run, run.)
- Pavement's cover of "Camera" and "Unseen Power" are in the Matador reissue of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
- Both songs can also be found on iTunes and, I assume, emusic.
- When Stipe met Pavement:
Pavement has mentioned other bands, artists and songs before, one of the most famous is the R.E.M. resumé recital on "Unseen Power of the Picket Fence" from the Red Hot Charity collection "No Alternative." Video director Lance Bangs introduced Pavement to the Georgia pop giants when they came through Lexington, Kentucky. In their hotel suite, after Michael Stipe entered naked from a shower (it is unclear whether he thought the room empty), everyone had a chuckle over the song, and later that night, before tens of thousands of screaming fans, Stipe dedicated a set of songs to Pavement.
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Self-titled (also known as J-Beck Story 1) LP, Eva Records, 1984 (music recorded 1965-1967)
In the '60s, there was an explosion of small American independent labels that put out local rock and roll music, promoted shows and got their songs into local radio rotation ... and occasionally broke big. Tom Hanks made a movie about one such (improbable) band in That Thing You Do. Bad Seeds were not one of those bands that broke big but still have managed to be remembered as being a pioneer in Texas and American rock. The Bads Seeds were the first of the J-Beck / Cee-Bee bands from Corpus Christi and are known mostly for their Texas hit "Taste of the Same." Of course these aren't the same Bad Seeds that back up Nick Cave but with some slight stretching one could draw a line between their darkish blues-rock through The Doors off tangent to the goofy Texas punk of the '80s and all the way through to Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds. Yeah, it's a stretch but bear with me.
Starting a long Texas R&R tradition, and as you can see, this is one ugly band. The liner notes suggest things started going down for these local heroes once they got girlfriends (as it did in That Thing You Do) and they stopped practicing in favor of getting laid. The liner notes suggested also that 2nd Gen Corpus band Zakary Thaks also put them to shame and they "knew their days were numbered."
That's okay by me, as most of the other songs on this platter don't even begin to reach the sublime sneering hangdoggedness of the headsmackin' "Taste of the Same." Of note, is their b-side "I'm a King Bee," a take on black blues singer Slim Harpo's old song which while somewhat prosaic suggests these Southern boys knew their blues and weren't afraid to play "black music." The Doors would later modify this basic blues song into the more sinister (or more laughable) "Crawling King Snake"...
After they broke up (1967) the only cute guy in the band, singer and strummer Mike Taylor struck out on his own, attempted to capitalize on the late 60's Folk Rock trend calling himself, regrettably, The Fabulous Mike Taylor. Like Bad Seeds, the results of this solo act are mixed (and documented on Side 2) - Taylor managed to dredge up some of the worst cliches of that genre -- most of which occur when Americans try to be British minstrels. But his lonely-guy single "I'm Nobody's Man" that kicks off Side 2 recalls some of the better soulful strum of The Beatles and their ilk.
This record came out in 1984 from Eva, a French reissue label (which appears to be defunct) and apparently the first in three records documenting Carl Becker's J-Beck label. You gotta love these furrinners, helping to document American music and all. The liner notes include part one of an interview with Becker, Taylor and Chris Gerniottis (singer for later J-Beck bands Zakary Thaks and the Liberty Bell) and this rather ridiculous publicity photo of Michael Taylor (can anyone tell me whom the statue is of?).
There's an unsubstantiated rumor that surfaced on the Bomp! mailing list that the Mike Taylor who recorded the first two Butthole Surfers records was the same Mike Taylor here but I've searched high and low for any corroborating evidence and have found none. Although Taylor is listed as writer and producer for Zakary Thaks so it may well be that he's recording bands somewhere in Texas. Still it would be fitting that the band that recorded the surf-zonked "classics" (not) called "Zilch, Part 1" and "Zilch, Part 2" would have some association with those Trinity College nihilists (and hence my tenuous line to '80's Texas punk).
Bad Seeds are :
- Mike Taylor (guitar, vocals),
- Rod Prince (lead guitar),
- Henry Edgeington (bass) and
- Bobby Donaho (drums).
Fabulous Michael Taylor is credited with all the parts in his recording.
- "Taste of the Same" - Bad Seeds (written by Mike Taylor)
- "I'm a King Bee" - Bad Seeds (cover of Slim Harpo song)
- "I'm Nobody's Man" - Fabulous Mike Taylor (written by Taylor)
Buy Bad Seeds - Texas Battle of the Bands compiles side 1's Bad Seeds songs with Zakary Thaks and seems to be available on the web.
The famed demos for Rat Scabies & The Germans referenced in this previous VM post are now available online thanks to Dabrudders from the Hit by Hit (Godfathers) mailing list and No Thrills website. Some great Keith Moon-like drumming from Rat and solid back-up work from members of the Godfathers.
The Germans - Demo 2003
MP3 at 160 kbps
1. Autobahn 6.37 mins ( 7.7mb)
2. War Machine 4.44 mins (5.5mb)
3. We Don't Want Your Love 4.03 mins ( 4.7mb)
4. Superfreaks 7.13 mins (8.4mb)
Friday, November 18, 2005
Three years ago, nearly two decades after relocating to Austin, Smith returned to San Antonio. His chemical consumption was out of control, his dalliance with bar ownership had been a disaster, his attempt to revive Austin’s Woodshock punk festival (a 1980s mainstay) had been an acrimonious victim of city red tape, and his fellow founding Hickoid, bassist Dick Hays, died on the very day the band members agreed to reunite.
Smith needed a change of scenery. As he puts it: “By the time I left Austin, I’d basically chased myself out of there. My health was suffering, and it was time to do something different.”
So what becomes a punk legend whose legendary status is only known and appreciated by the small, graying cadre lucky enough to have experienced the mayhem at its peak? In Smith’s case, it is doing what comes naturally: running a record label (Saustex Media), booking shows for old friends in the indie-rock community, and continuing to lend his elegant snottiness to high-concept bands (his current focus, a gay pirate punk group called The Swishbucklers)
Previous Vinyl Mine posting on the Hickoids
Thursday, November 17, 2005
I'm not familiar with Gartman's body of work but for Low fans, this is album is a kind of methadone fix until and whenever the next batch of the white horse arrives.
Said fans may especially be interested in "Amends" - which answers the question of what would Low sound like if they were more angular and electronic (and also seems to be an extension of Alan's letter to his fans earlier this year) ... one of the links appears to be broken and I've dropped a line to Mr. Gartman. Also, note that Neil Youngian - Beach Boy - Low vibe of "How to Fake it" (Thrasher, note) ... Other highlights are the enigmatic "Alabama," the very Low with a bit of twang "On Your Own" and the cowboy space stomp "Lost in the Bottle"...
Download the rest of the album (plus other NWW Mp3s) here:
No Wait Wait - The Larsen Sessions
(Again, sorry about the lack of posting. I am finishing up this weekend with the show I am playing and am enjoying some other great things in my life)
Saturday, November 12, 2005
MX-80 are one of the oldest independent rock misfit collectives out there - members have been playing as MX-80 and various other bands and solo releases for 31 years and counting. When they started in 1974, metal as a genre was wide open - too bad for us that it was subsumed by corny blowhard cockrockers and ponsy pseudo-satanist scam artists and set back decades in the process. These guys, though, continued to faithfully work the genre as if they were unaware or uncaring about what all was going on. Thankfully, record labels like Ralph indulged their creativity (and even paid them for it!). It seems the band's basic philosophy was to play whatever they thought was cool and damn the commercial aspects (they had a brief and rocky flirtation with Island Records in the '70s). This has led to three records that have more than withstood the test of time and still make it to people's best of lists and all-time great records. Crowd Control was the third in this progression. Like it's predecessors, it uninhibitedly explores and force fits metal with psychedelic, free jazz and progressive rock. Where it can't find any signposts, it invented its own style -- such as an early doom rock ("Face of the Earth") and even a stab at atmospheric metal ("Obsessive Devotion" - which has a Sonic Youth-like odd guitar tuning).
Although you could argue for Mission of Burma being a peer to MX-80, they came on a little too late and MX-80 was already in hiatus when Burma was just a start-up. The only other bands then are Henry Cow and Discipline-era King Crimson - but they had a detached classicist style. MX-80 instead played with soul and verve wanting to be more remembered as inheritors to Albert Ayler and his ilk than classical composers or master musicians. The band is the first to admit that they weren't skilled technicians during this era (they grew up in the same town with proto-punks The Gizmos). Bruce Anderson said he created an environment "where people's inexpertise was not as important as what they could do with it and how they could facilitate their imaginations with the mistakes" (quoted from 1991 Forced Exposure interview). He also put them on a grueling practice schedule and charged 10 bucks for every mistake until they got it right. At one point, they had two drummers so they could each cover up each other's mistakes. . .
Put this record on and the 11-song Crowd Control bounces all about the room from cut to cut although the guitar basically stays the same, sludgey and like it was pulled out of some dark street corner and rubbed around on the macadam a bit. This record never seems to quit rewarding the listener and tracks you previously discount release their secrets only over time. Sometimes I swear that new tracks are being laid down magically and songs get re-arranged by some sort of trickster postergiest (and I've been drug-free since '93). Among my favorites are the opener "Face of the Earth" where David Mahoney lays down a free jazz drum beat and Anderson/Sophiea assemble a doom and gloom bass-guitar line while Stim off-handedly rants about the insignificance to man and his monkey cousins. One of the memorable things in this record is the vocal experimentation. From Rich Stim's sonambulent spoken word in "Night Rider" (riding on top of a out of control free jam) to the Gregorian Monks in Hell intoning "Why Are We Here?", we can get an idea where Hank Rollins stole some of his best song ideas in the latter part of his recording career. And while Rich Stim has taken some criticism for his singing, he redeems himself somewhat in the most punk (and pop) song here "More Than Good" - it's also the closest they come to a head banger. He's said his vocal here is Lou Reed and that's more than evident here. Also of note are "City of Fools", a send-up of Hollywood (and an excuse for some great Anderson work) and the closing song "Promise of Love" which surprisingly sounds like something Naranda Walden wrote on the back of a Burger King wrapper during the Jeff Beck Wired sessions and Stim and Anderson stole when he wasn't looking. They add tasteful vocals and Anderson minimalizes the Beckian showboating. Alas for us, Rich Stim pulls out his sax for only one song, "Pharoah's Sneakers" near the end of the album but its worth the wait.
- Bruce Anderson - guitar, background vox
- Dale Sophiea - bass, background vox
- David Mahoney - drums
- Rich Stim - vocals, rhythm guitar, sax
Sample Songs up for a short period:
"More Than Good"
"City of Fools"
- MX-80's Website has downloads and an extensive discography - here's the Crowd Control page
- This album is out of print but all the cuts are available for download on iTunes and Forced Exposure still has copies of the CD which compiled this with the previous record.
- In one of the more ridunkulous things I've heard of, their latest album We're An American Band has been embargoed by the FTC claiming that export of the record title violates law unless the band can verify that they are indeed American! The band is refusing this outrageous demand.
- Fans of this band should note that 2005 also saw the re-release of Chinaboise, a mid-70's Stim-Anderson-Mahoney project back when they were in Bloomington Indiana.
- A review of this album found on Julian Cope's website
Thursday, November 10, 2005
"Small Towns and Invisible People" - physics of meaning
"Cello" - Point Juncture, WA
"Well" - A Fir-Ju
"Engine" - Neutral Milk Hotel
i've been busy - new g-friend, playing drums, etc. hopefully get sometime this weekend for some real posts - the above list holds a clue to what's upcoming... and what i've been listenin' to off the net & in the car... //jim h
Sunday, November 06, 2005
Krucoff links to Vinyl Mine's "buried anecdotes" about Reptile House - my better remembered stories revolve around the lead singer, a then thin and full-head-of-hair Daniel Higgs - now in Lungfish.
Here are three more Danny anecdotes from the late '80s:
1) Higgs used to talk about the living anti-Christ in between songs - I heard this twice at different shows. He claimed that the anti-Christ was alive and living in England. And here the time, I thought he was the anti-Christ.
2) I once gave Higgs a copy of my fanzine called Shredded Slime. A month or so later, I saw Reptile House at the Marble Bar and in between two of the songs, he read some of his poetry. I nearly dropped dead when one of the lines in his poem was "shred the slime"... Unfortunately, I haven't found that poem in any of his published material (although I only paged through one book). Of course, no one around me at time believed it, so I've always kept this story to myself but it was always cool when you realized that someone in a band you loved actually read your zine.
3) Years ago, Burger King used to give out paper crowns with their kiddie meals. Higgs would bring a crown to each show and when one of the audience members was acting particularly asshole-ish, Higgs would bring out the crown and announce that the "Gig Idiot" (or "Gig Moron") had been identified and would he come up to the stage to be crowned. One night, the guy he crowned actually wore it with pride and continued to be a rude slam-dancing asshole the entire evening. I had to hand to this kid, he wore his mark of shame with amour propre.
Finally this isn't really a Danny story but I once wrote a letter to the Baltimore City Paper (and it got published) defending Reptile House whom the paper would regularly put down. Alas, I can't find that clipping any more but I heard through a third party (Grey March guitarist) that the band thought it was cool (never had the guts to verify it though) because back then the City Paper gave no support to the local alternative scene.
Something I Learned still has tracks up from Reptile House's out of print single EP I Stumble As The Crow Flies. I recommend especially "Keel Haul Love" and "Sleestak Weather"... The Krucoff link above fronts the Lungfish song, "All Creation Bows."
Picture via High Zero 2004 festival page.
Homestead Records, 1985
On its surface this record seems to be a collection of daydream songs of record store clerks and guys who girls just want to be friends with told in the language of garage punk rock. But listen to it more than one time and one gets a sense that there's a lot more going on underneath the surface.
The record has a live-in-the-studio feel and you can almost imagine singer Ron House balanced on one leg clutching the microphone, eyes squeezed shut and singing his nasal ass off. His bratty snotty voice is perhaps a cross between Sky Saxon and Jad Fair and may be a turn-off to some. While Great Plains was garage punk at its core, it sometimes mutates into jam-bandish trance rock, rootsy stomp-rochhh or just plain picking and grinnin' folk. Ron House said the band (forming in 1982) was heavily influenced by the Gun Club and The Embarrassment and cited opening for The Replacements as one of the highlights. Drunk and sloppy seems to be the common denominator among all the bands.
If you need to call it anything, just don't call it 'jangly punk' as others (whom we won't name) have. It doesn't jangle and it ain't from the South. It's pure Ohio kook-rock in the trad. of Ubu and the Eels (and several dozen others) but mostly lacking that lost Cle-punk feel or the Akron hippy irony. Instead of factories and pollution, they have cows and manure, I guess. The first-time rock-clued listener may also be leery of the keyboards (mostly organ) but let it sink in a couple times and you'll see that GP's twin guitars and solid bass/drums underscore never let the organ take them away into Farfisa land (again, comparisons to Sky Saxon and Seeds are appropriate).
What set Great Plains apart from other garage-college rock bands (with organs) were Ron House's simple but often enigmatic songs. F'rinstance, "Time to Name the Dog" - with its oddly upbeat soul hand-jive - is about the last act in a failed relationship. The boy sings to the girl that they used to get drunk and speak in "secret tongues" but every word appears to be "a traitor now" and now they can't even agree on the name for the dog.
Naked at the Buy Sell and Trade was their second of three records on Homestead and was where they discovered their sound and hit their stride. The odd title refers to a line in the opening cut - "Dick Clark" - which also sets down a major theme of the record. Sung from the view of a cynical rock manager who is trying to ensnare a band, it draws a parallel between the music business and the history of enslavement:
First brush with business you were blushing(and later):
second brush you saw the burning bush
like a slave that wants to be saved
naked at the buy sell and trade
let Dick Clark work out all the details
I freed your hand from the dollarDick Clark as Imhotep, the Mummy? Maybe that explains his eternal youth. It's no coincidence that the next song is their moon-howler "Last Chance to Be Free." And that's not the first reference to ancient history and contemporary music. "Fertile Crescent," near the end of the album recasts the beginnings of civilization as a conflict between religion and tap-dancing. A lone sheepherder in the "Fertile Crescent" tries to stay pious but:
freed your fans from what they couldn't understand
with both your hands around my neck
I still tell you what to do next
let Dick Clark work out all the details
He tap-danced in his spare timeYeah, it's a jam-band song but think Meat Puppets with an organ mimicking a reverby flute, of all things. If it was to sound "mideastern", they didn't pull it off but it makes the song all the more endearing and goofy. "Set it Off," a song about lighting firecrackers, also reminds me of the Puppets, so it isn't really a fluke.
He had twenty pairs of shoes
He respected his religion
but his shoe collection grew
The highlight of the record is Ron House's signature song "Chuck Berry's Orphan" which debuted in House's earlier band The Twisted Shouts (and Moses Carryout). And if you thought he was going wild in his other songs, in this cut House ratchets up the paranoia and casts his tiny little inner orphan demon onto the stage where he and the band kick it around for seven minutes. There's a dreamlike incoherence to the lyrics, where House jumps about describing a friend getting shot, panic in public places and dealing with the uncaring, brutal world who only want him to write songs with a "pretty chorus". As in "Fertile Crescent", there's a jam-band feel to it, harmonica imitating steam whistles, guitars battling like pistons and gears and the rhythm section and organ (tastefully set in the background) making like a phantom train. Think of it as their "30 Seconds over Tokyo" but instead of dealing death from above and flying away, it's set on a doomed train rolling uncontrollably into a bad, bad future with Ron House dancing like the devil on top of the steam engine.
And we can't talk about this album without one obligatory reference to their "big hit" - "Letter to a Fanzine", a song in which House imagines silly lines from fanzines ("Isn't my hair cut really intense? / Isn't Nick Cave a genius in a sense?") and appropriate of nothing features a nice bass solo from Paul Nini. It may have actually been a mistake to put this on the record because although it got them a lot of airplay, it detracted from some of the better songs here and made them out to be a one-hit wonder like The Dead Milkman and their "Punk Rock Girl." On the other hand, this song and the song about former bassist (and future Gibson Bro) Don Howland's bladder ("Real Bad") gives the record a not so serious feel balancing out hi-falutin' brain riddles of some of the other songs. [I don't want to give the impression that I think this "Fanzine" is on par with Dead Milkman's song - its got a happy keyboard riff and you can't help singing along with it.]
Great Plains never really made it big and broke up after their third full-length. Although a European tour was planned, after a grueling American tour, it never happened - who knows, they might have been a big hit out there and changed everything. But in America, they didn't really have any gimmick, weren't tailor-made for the 'zines or the kids, and they were, as Ron House said, 'the ugliest band in rock and roll." Plus there's that paradoxical name - while it describes the expansiveness of the band's tastes and places them squarely in their geography, it's also a name that's probably shared with 50 local C&W cover bands playing this weekend down at the Sheraton or Holiday Inn.
Personal note: I met the shy and introverted Ron House and the Wyatts in the mid-80's. Nice guys all. Alas, I never got to see them live. I don't even think they played in DC or Baltimore or I was out of town when they did. I once spent several weeks trying to convince the management of Baltimore's 8X10 bar to book them but to no avail. According to one account, the band broke up because they got tired of playing to small crowds. It's too bad because most of these songs sound fresh as a red hamburger meat -- well, the references to SST and Homestead records in "Fanzine" might have to be rewritten.
All of the three GP Homestead records are out of print. But bassist Paul Nini's record label, Old 3C, has almost all these songs from Naked on a 50 song CD-R called Length of Growth - released 2000 - the band reunited for the occasion and played several shows. "Chuck Berry's Orphan" is the only song from Naked that's not included on Length of Growth. Fear not, an alternative and even longer version is available on a Great Plains compilation of outtakes, live and unreleased songs called Cornflakes, also via Old 3C. House is even more crazed here and goes into an extended madman digression near the end about "things getting simple and nice." Note that all 3C releases can be found on iTunes or emusic.com and the label decries "free downloads" (even though it offers MP3 streams that can be easily hacked).
According to the Old 3C website, the band reunited for a barbeque in August and there are rumors of a Great Plains reunion and tour with Big Dipper. Well, if that's too hard, how about a Plains/Log tour?
- Keyboards - Mark Wyatt
- Vocals-Guitar - Ron House
- Guitar - Matt Wyatt
- Drums (?) - Either Dave Green or Jim Castoe
- Bass - Paul Nini
- After Great Plains, Ron House formed his answer to the lo-fi movement, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments and enjoyed a small but rabid following releasing very hard to find 7"s on the Datapanik records label. They broke up in 1999 - again Ron House cited lack of popularity. Collector Scum (hosting a Datapanik records fansite) has a Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments discography that includes an extensive Great Plains and Ron House listing.
- Trouser Press's Ira Robbins called this record "a breath of fresh air"
- Get naked and buy Length of Growth from Old 3C. Here's the poster for the Great Plains reunion show last August.
- Two interviews were used to prep this: Karen Graves of Swizzlestick journeyed to Columbus to meet Ron House and Mark Wyatt who discuss the reasons behind the breakup. Perfect Sound Forever interviewed Slave Apartments and talked about Great Plains and the breakup.
- "Chuck Berry's Orphan (alternative version)" - iTunes link
- This kicks off the new box! Tra, la la.
- UPDATE: fixed my "It's" vs. "Its" mistakes after getting critiqued on a mailing list! I never liked English and Grammar!
- UPDATE2: American Prospects just published a piece on the Plains!
Saturday, October 29, 2005
I have reached the end of liquor-booze-box-full-of-records # 1! Long live box number 1 (started in May 2004). But first I must don my hairshirt.
Here are four discs I "never got around to" digitizing... some were easy throw-outs, others took multiple listens until I finally thought "what was I thinking in [buying|keeping|not trashing] this disc long ago." These are even worse than Pillsbury Hardcore, Legendary Pink Dots or Jethro Tull's Christmas single.
So without further delay, I present the bottom four! And I move onto a new box today...
SWANS - "I Crawled" EP. Swans were probably best remembered as a great live group but often didn't click in the studio - perhaps M. Gira was a bit of a control freak and hampered the angry spirit that seemed to set this group on fire. I have read that Jarboe was present at this session but not yet a member of the group. Too bad, as her influence seemed to bring out the best in their studio recordings. Someone else wrote it best about "Raping a Slave" (and I would say the other cuts on this record): "I have no idea why this one is often called the quintessential, or the best, Swans song: probably exactly because of the fact that it's just a bunch of incoherent noise boasting even worse production than usual (on this version, anyway). My tolerance really doesn't amount to stuff like this, which essentially just bores me and certainly doesn't prove to be demonstrating the band's talent at all. The only good thing about it is that it really helps highlight the more "melodic" stuff."
Nice typography, though.
CHANNEL RATS / RAF GIER Split LP (distr by Ladd-Frith). Music that was apparently borne in a random German beerkellar as a tribute to American/British punk. It should have stayed in the cellar. Even if it is a nice cellar.
JOE WALSH But Seriously Folks, Warner Brothers (1978). I guess I liked Walsh because he wrote politically incorrect letters to Rolling Stone about bombing Iran at a time when Grandaddy Greil urged caution. I was kinda bummed when he joined the Eagles, my most hated hippy group and they have sort of turned him into the generic blob non-entity that he is today. I think I spent more time with this album not because I liked it so much but the drum parts were kind of interesting to learn. It was an interesting listen - Walsh's self-depreceating humorous take on being a California rock star (of sorts) wears well but the plodding, pre-Eagles music really doesn't. It doesn't help that many of the songs from this have been staples on "Classic Rock" radio - which during the '80s and early '90s was the bane of all of our existences, inescapable as it was in the Mall food courts, the Bennigans and other assorted Hippy Parent hangouts. Still, great cover concept that predates Nevermind.
METALLICA - Garage Days Re-Revisited - the $5.98 EP (no image provided pending copyright dispute with band). Here Metallica crucify - I'm sorry -- Metallicize a handful of otherwise harmless old British New Wave Metal (Budgie!) or American Punk (Misfits) turning them into, well, songs that sound like nearly every other Metallica song. They offer no apologies and broker no criticism for their heresies - saying in the liner notes that it is all in fun after all. If that's so, can I have my $5.98 back now? And Dave Mustaine seriously wanted to be part of this? I tried to say something nice about each record on the tail end of the paragraphs above but seriously, I can't think of one thing nice to say about this.
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Def Jam, 1987
J.T.: Hey. You really were never that bad but you were alright. You don't eliminate punks or cut 'em up in chunks or even "eat rappers like a cannibal" but I loved ya in Halloween and Rollerderby if its any consolation and love your earlier stuff.
In fact in "Bristol Hotel" you kinda sound like Fresh Prince except you know explicit and all. Still, I like rap songs about real ho's (f'rinstance, "Dear Evette"? -- one of my fave O.S. raps). And hey, your tributes to 50's music - "Go Cut Creator" (aka "Johnny B. Good") and "Do Wop" sound pretty "bad" (as in good) ... but then there's the pathetic "I Need Love" -- ooh, you kinda Frankenchristed there... I was almost embarassed for you and I'm not all about not knowing your sensitive side, there's just better ways to go about doin it, 'kay?
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
I took some shit liking this band back in the '80s and this record didn't help but I got what they were doing with that awfully crappy cover photo and the lame title (Humungousfungusamongus was something my Mom used to say when she wanted us to bathe, bleh). I think they were just saying they weren't going to succumb to the metalcore trend of the time (in the extensive liner notes, they cite the fact that they didn't sign with Combat Records as a reason they are cool) and appearances were a pretty dumb way to judge a band - not exactly original but a bit different for that Pushead - Thrasher-influenced era.
This record sorta carries on in the same vein as Wacky Hijinks of... . The songs are all over the place (again) - from incomprehensible thrash ("Fuck the Neighbors") to semi-experimental - or at least different (percussion only "Pizza-N-Beer") to their "humor"/trash culture songs "Fishin'Musician", "Velvet Elvis," "Bugs" and even a few overt political cuts such as "Crowd Control". And finally the pop, melodic thrash which still wears pretty well. Oh, and did I forget their predeliction for TV themes (here they cover theme from Masterpiece Theater)?
Besides "Masterpiece", the best cuts here are the the poppy melodic ones - "Youth Blimp" and "Nice Song In The Key of D" and both are by guitarist and vocalist Paul Richard. I've previously blogged the "Nice Song" single (see below link if you care). Besides being a great little tune, "Youth Blimp" is a subtle dig at the escapist Scene Unity culture. Hey, if they had their Crystal Ships (wooooo), we can have our big grey blimp, no?
Black, white, red or yellowHoo-yah! Beam me up and put my sleeping bag next to the skinhead girl...
All females and fellows
If we fly the dirigible
We'll stand indivisible
Paul Richard - vocals/guitar
Jack Steeples - bass
Dave Scott - drums
Bruce Wingate - guitar
Singiesongs fer dancin about likka dang fool:
This was rereleased several years ago in a CD which included a bunch of other cuts. New copies still seem to be available. Check froogle for it.
- Vinyl Mine post on "Love Song" single
- Other VM posts on Adrenalin OD
- Jersey Beat's Jim Testa saw Adrenalin OD reunite for a Save CBGB show and wrote:
Adrenalin O.D. are always fun when they get back together, and leave it to Dave Scott to come up with a handful of classic one-liners ("Hey Hilly Krystal, my mom loved you in City Slickers!") And they can still play as awesomely fast as back in the day, speeding their way through classic NJHC cuts like "Suburbia," "Bugs," "Old People Talk Loud," the "Masterpiece Theater" them, and "Nice Song In D." I've said this before and I'll say it again right now: There were two bands that inspired me to start Jersey Beat. One was the Bongos, and the other was AOD.
- dasp posts "Pope on a Rope" from this very album and "AOD vs. Godzilla" (which is a kinda cool cut). Both links are still live
- something he learned also brings the "Pope" (still up)
I stole and cropped the picture from punkrecords.com (he or she's selling the LP - go buy it) - click the link to see the back cover and record label if that excites you
I got this link from Punk Vault - hee hee (link is the blogroll, yeah, right there... no, up one, there click):