Monday, January 31, 2005

Eugene Chadbourne: Country Protest (1986)


Fundamental Music, Covington GA

In my mind, the iPod shuffle (the feature, not the new device) and the digital editor are perfect for an artist like Eugene Chadbourne. First, I can only take him in low doses. His cartoon voice and often irreverent-when-he doesn't-have-to-be 'tude make it hard to take in extended doeses. So when he pops up in the shuffle its welcome because I still kind of like Eugene and his demented approach to music. He's also like a novel writer in serious need of an editor. His exuberance over some found sound can be likened to the happiness one can get from drinking a bottle of wine only to discover the next morning that the hangover isn't worth it. Being able to go in with Goldwave or Sound Editor and remove those parts of his tracks that annoy is a godsend.

Most known for his eclectic ability, throwing in a classical influence there, a modern jazz riff over there and then some country music and his stark leftist politics, Chadbourne has an impressive body of work and has a loyal following throughout the globe. Although, as someone from the Red Clay Ramblers said, "I'm not sure I understand all he does but he is really talented and certainly entertaining." From his early solo work, and then onto his gonzo rockabilly band, Shockabilly, to his mid-80's revival among the underground (including collaborations with Camper Van Beethoven) and on through the many years where he's been called to lecture at colleges, been invited to prestigious jazz festivals and still proudly maintains his "red diaper doper baby" outlook. His work, though, requires a curator - someone to pluck and choose the best - alas, that used to be college radio but these days, Chadbourne perhaps deserves his very own music blogger to specialize in his work. The number of tapes that he released alone probably numbers in the hundreds and his "formal" work (CDs, LPs) is probably up in the dozens if you count his collaborations. He is information overload writ large.

1986's Country Protest LP brought together The Red Clay Ramblers (a very famous group in bluegrass circles), Lenny Kaye (from the Patti Smith Band! playing pedal steel guitar!), Rik Rue (an Australian noise collage-ist) and Chadbourne's Fart Ensemble (yuck) who all no doubt crowded into Chadbourne's home studio and ate his wife's cooking. It's heavily weighted towards traditional country music but with a seriously bent perspective and LOTS of tape manipulations, found sound and noise, noise, noise. Much of this now sounds kind of dated but at the time it was a welcome relief from the hard rock of the day (if it didn't have feedback, it didn't get booked) and of course the pap that was being played on radio and in the mainstream. Chadbourne put out a few albums in this vein - the followe-up was Corpses of a Foreign War and featured a Phil Ochs medley and guests from the Violent Femmes and, as usual, lots of noisey mayhem. In the underground of that time, Chadbourne was one of the few "folkies" (although that's really not an accurate description) who didn't get either ignored or booed off the stage - probably because he never went with a common formula (and he had street-cred from Shockabilly).

On Country Protest, the opening piece is reportedly done entirely in one take with the Red Clay Ramblers (and Lenny Kaye) and is a tour de force through a number of songs including: "Always on My Mind", "Whiter Shade of Pale", Black Flag's "TV Party", "To Sir With Love"(!) and finally the signature song of a band I'm sure Chadbourne and Shockabilly felt a certain kinship with, The Butthole Surfers, which I have excerpted here. The Rambler's playing is quite good considering they have never heard of the band or song before (although Rick Good was reportedly a rock fan and helped the rest over the whole conceptual hump).

"The Wild Angels" is also excerpted and is my favorite cut from the album - a sort of tribute to bad biker movies and loud rebels. For the most part, its a great collaboration with Rik Rue but suffers from too much poorly recorded Peter Fonda biker movie dialogue in the beginning and end, so in the proud new tradition of digital deconstruction, I've done my own snipping - let's hope the original artist doesn't object too much.

I couldn't really bring myself to rip anything else even though I gave it a few spins. Songs such as "Perverts on Northridge" and "Choppin' Down the Weeds" as well as Buffy St. Marie's "Universal Soldier" suffer mostly from Chadbourne's voice and trite hippy-punk song topics (suburbs aren't cool, weed is cool, war sucks). Although Merle Haggard isn't the most politically correct person in the world, I found it a bit insulting the way Chadbourne looks down his nose at the man in his interpretation of the "Fightin' Side of Me." Maybe he doesn't mean it but that's the way it comes across. If you remember back then, there wasn't alot of reverence among the left for much of the country music although Haggard and his ilk always stood a bit apart from the rest of the flag-waving, god-fearing Country Music milieu. So, I'd have to admit that given the choice between seeing Haggard live over Chadbourne, I'd have to go with the former.


Chadbourne taken mostly likely in the '80s

That said, I did see Chadbourne play live once around 1988 (Hung Jury Pub, Washington DC) and it was entertaining as the Red Clay Ramblers state although I was a bit lost as to why he put the birdcage on his head (no he doesn't drink) - I guess it was a gimmick. I also found his guitar playing a bit over-rated - and you can hear that when he goes up against the Ramblers in some of the other songs in the Medley. That night, I got to sit down and do an interview with him that I hope to find someday. We talked about politics and his music but it wasn't one of those interviews where you connect. Maybe it was the age difference. He seemed distracted and I suppose I was a bit of a pest as I hadn't arranged it long in advance. Still, he was a nice and gracious when I gave him a tape of my own music (I'm sure it ended up in the recycle bin the next day).

Sample Country Protest:
"The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave" Clipped from "Medley in C" with the Red Clay Ramblers
"The Wild Angels" (excerpt) with (I believe) Rik Rue

A Bonus Protest MP3 from Protest Records:
"New New New War War War"

Visit:
  • Eugene Chadbourne's Semi-Official Site is maintained by a hardcore fan who could use some html skillzz -- but... you gotta love his dedication and the cheesy pictures he has taken with his idol give it a sort of manic scrapbook feel. If you want to get an overview of Chadbourne, Scaruffi's Eugene Chadbourne page has a great perspective on the artist and includes a very readable discography of Chadbourne's major releases up to 2002.
  • A few years ago, Chadbourne revisited this LP by releasing Country Protest Anew and that's still available from Killdeer Records.
  • The Red Clay Ramblers are probably just as prolific as Chadbourne.
  • IMDB's The Wild Angels page, the best bad biker film ever starring Nancy Sinatra and Peter Fonda. A staple of late night UHF TV. Follow the link to the trailer.


Sunday, January 30, 2005



Sigur Ros
have about two dozen MP3s for their fans and people like me who aren't that familiar with their work - I find this more than little rare for a somewhat well-known band especially when they have a well-established beachhead on iTunes. Even newer bands aren't this generous.

There are cuts from various albums including () and and a number of live released and unreleased tracks (which I have yet to sample). They are generally encoded at good levels of VBR or 128 kbps.

You can check them out here.

Here's some of my picks for those who use the "Play This Page" feature. At any rate, these are dedicated to Spoilt Victorian Child who recently moved into a Domain of Their Own but are still good for a few songs on the jukebox down at the pub even if they are in a more exclusive neighborhood:

untitled #8 (a.k.a. popplagið / the pop song) from the album () - like Galaxie 500 but if they were more focused, spoke in foreign tongues and liked to induce trances in their fans. I love the drumming sound on this around minutes 6-7:30. My favorite cut of their downloads. Almost flashback inducing.

Olsen Olsen from Ágætis byrjun - more Icelandic or at least how I imagine Iceland must sound if they had angels playing with reverb boxes. I'm guessing this is great for late night chilling with the window open and a cool breeze.

Streamside - a mellow acoustic guitar duet between Sigur Ros and Album Leaf (appeared on an Album Leaf, um, album) a bit like that Frusciante work on the Vincent Gallo film. Here's what their website says about it:

streamside mp3- 7th september 2004
we've been given permission to post a song from the album "in a safe place" by the album leaf (jimmy lavalle). as you may know, this album was recorded in sigur rós' studio and features contributions from jónsi, kjartan and orri. the song posted here, called streamside, features jimmy and jónsi on guitar, kjartan on accordion and gyða (formerly of múm) on cello. the song can be downloaded here.
Sigur Ros - main site
- news


Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance


Rough Trade, 1981
Originally pressed on Blank, 1978

A surreal blanket of noise masquerading as a progression of rock songs, The Modern Dance is one of those near perfect debut albums marred only by a slightly shoddy engineering job (drums and bass sound muffled at times) and a frontman who can sometimes wear "tin on da nervesss" (as an old dearly departed co-worker used to say about my music). It's the NOISE that does it for me more than the catchy songs (the almost-reggae "Humor Me") or even the punk (Peter Laughner's one contribution to the album "Life Stinks").

Peru Ubu's early work is a precursor just as much to The Pixies & Mission of Burma as to Einsturzende Neubauten and Cop Shoot Cop, about the only thing not to like is David Thomas's sometimes too frantic vocal "stylings" such as in "Real World". Much rests on Allen Silverstine's innovative use of the synthesizer and saxophone, doing things that really hadn't been done before or were being done nearly simultaneously by Marty Rev (Suicide) although I don't think they (Suicide) went as much for the atmospherics or had a guitar player like Tom Herman to play off. And where Suicide (and later The Fall) relied much on repetition to hammer a song home, Ubu has no problem turning a song on a dime and then again until they've completely wrung it out. I even like "Sentimental Journey," a modern jazz ambient piece that showcases Silverstine's skronky saxophone and Scott Krauss's improv jazz drumming, but I like it only up to a point (that point where David Thomas starts making fart noises). I do find myself grinning when "Non-Alignment Pact" comes up in the mix . While I did like "Humor Me" the best years ago (Tom Herman's mid-song guitar solo still stands as one of my favorites), it's pieces like "Over My Head" and "Chinese Radiation" that I find the most interesting. The only off note is how much David Thomas sounds like David Byrne. Given that the latter has so much more visibility in the mainstream, one can't help but think of The Talking Heads even though (I would argue) the bands are quite different especially in this album.

My pretentious twaddle trying to unravel the mystery behind this album: Like a theater piece or novel, the album is best listened to in the original order, where it seems to trace the inner dialogue of an un-named protaganist journeying through a surreal industrial landscape. He goes through his fears, alienation, and nearly strikes a hopeful note ("Street Waves") before the politics of the day ("Chinese Radiation") put a damper on it. The second side is a complete mental breakdown starting with the Peter Laughner punk-Dada rocker "Life Stinks" and then degenerates from paranoid (the new waver "Real World") into sinister - drunken? drugged? - disorientation ("Over My Head") and finally full-on, heavy-breathing crockery smashing mental collapse ("Sentimental Journey"). The final cut of the album cynically challenges the listener as the protaganist is seemingly being fitted for a strait-jacket that it's not "just a joke, mon", that if that's what you think:
It's a joke
Oh
It's a JOKE
That's a joke?
Hunh-unh
Well
humor me
That final lyrics are plaintive not snarling; they are the cry of the mad man who has tried the modern dance and found it fatal.

"Chinese Radiation"
"Over My Head"

Buy Ubu Online:
  • The Modern Dance remains in print. Buy the album
  • A box set of early releases including this album was put out on Geffen Records in 1996. Its hard to find online but DVD Empire has it here.
  • iTunes has Terminal Tower available - if you're like me and only had the singles on tape, here's one way to augment your collection. Here's the link to that album.

  • Band website:

    Find out more about Pere Ubu via:
    Their Official Website - Ubuprojex
    Their older now defunct website: The Avant Garage Online
    From Ubuprojex, read about Their Early Work including The Modern Dance

    Free MP3s on the Web:
    In their now-discontinued website, Pere Ubu answer a FAQ regarding MP3s and why they don't offer them on their website:
    We won't degrade our work. We won't compress the sound or downsample it. We don't spend all those tedious hours making it sound the way we want just to turn around and reduce it to a dog's dinner. If you want to know what we sound like call up your local college radio station. That's what they're for, to serve your needs. Adventures In Good Listening. That sort of thing. Or go down to your mom & pop record store, we know there are some left and they need your support. Ask them to play a copy. Soon enough we'll all be living in a world where art is nothing but software and no objects have value and no ideas have value. What's the rush? This was written about 2000, I think. And unfortunately, live college radio and a good "mom and pop" record store are not an option for many in 2004. And if you've ever tried to go and ask alot of store clerks, they'll look at you funny since a lot of them think they are DJs. Additionally, many college radio shows use MP3s extensively and FM radio (not to mention AM) by its nature changes the original sound, so what's the point?


    There are some MP3s of the recent variety (rarities, side projects) up at a site that seems sanctioned by the band. Here's the link. The Tripod Jimmy (Tom Herman's band) and Home and Garden (drummer Strauss's band) cuts are worth exploring as is their music in general.

    Scatrecords has MP3s of the Electric Eels, supposedly an influential band (although that's been debated) on Rocket from the Tombs and Pere Ubu.

    Further Reading:

    There are many parallel between this album and T. S. Eliot's 1922 The Wasteland. Eliot's protaganist walks at times through an "unreal city" in a journey of madness and references "fear in a handful of dust" that echoes the underlying fear of nuclear destruction prevalent in 1978. Michael Baker, in a multi-part essayabout three Cleveland Bands (The Strawbs, Pere Ubu and Human Switchboard) points this out convincingly - this appeared Perfect Sound Forever. He summarizes Pere Ubu:
    The second band, carved out of the incendiary, smoldering white light/white heat of the mercurial Rocket From the Tombs, was formed in 1975, and soon recorded a batch of rough songs that single-handedly created the American underground, a hell where radio play and album sales went to die, but a purgatory that spawned the Do It Yourself ethic, the avant-garde leanings of noise bands like DNA and Sonic Youth, various subsections of Industrial music; with a pre-punk vitality, a love of the fearless and sublime and the grotesque, or the meatier aspect of the grunge movement, Pere Ubu, on their first three albums, rejected Romanticism in favor of Modernism, a earthquake-y and haughty aesthetic built on the premise that reason and faith and the recent past are finite and limited and untrustworthy. Pere Ubu used gushing scales and mountain peaks of dissonance to convulse the listener; the organizational structure of these early songs suggests that ambiguity and uncertainty are the content of life. Maybe, but one thing is certain: on their initial trilogy of LPs recorded between 1978 and 1979, Pere Ubu transformed rock and roll.
    Read the entire article
    here.

    I envy Scaruffi's review of this album (translated by Norman Riding) from his essential History of Rock and Roll - he has nailed it much better than I ever could:
    The guiding theme of Modern Dance (Blank, 1978) is that of alienation and anxiety in the industrial society. Mutatis mutandis, Pere Ubu take the fear of the nuclear holocaust and transplant it into a different scenario, in which death is not physical but spiritual, not due to bombardment but to economic and social mechanisms.

    Their sound starts out from the spirit of old-style garage-rock,but distorts it with harmonic and rhythmic grotesquery. The surreal lyrics and the student humour attenuate the dramatic force of the performance, but at the same time increase the feeling of collective madness, of resigned fatalism, of ineluctable slavery. It is, mutatis mutandis, the same rational fear that seized the young of the post-war era, when the atomic threat held everybody in suspense: now, however, the situation is more real, because industrialisation has already reaped its holocaust, and more grotesquely, because it has been able to do it with the complicity of its own victims.


    Tiny Mix Tapes does a review as if the album came out this year.

    Although it was apparently never finished, Charlotte Pressler, wife of Peter Laughner and accomplished journalist in her own right, writes about the early '70s in Cleveland and the origin of the rage that so often characterized the music:

    I would like to know too the source of the deep rage that runs through this story like a razor-edged wire. It wasn't, precisely, class-hatred; it certainly wasn't political; it went too deep to be accepting of the possibility of change. The Eels, perhaps, came closest to embodying it fully; but it was there in everyone else. It was a desperate, stubborn refusal of the world, a total rejection; the kind of thing that once drove men into the desert, but our desert was the Flats. It should be remembered that we had all grown up with Civil Defense drills and air-raid shelters and dreams of the Bomb at night; we had been promised the end of the world as children, and we weren't getting it. But there must have been more to it than that.


    Finally, here are some humorous Pere Ubu stories from Cle Punk.


    Today's disclaimer courtesy An Idiot's Guide to Dreaming:

    This is not for you. If anything offends, intimidates, causes you injury (including spinal damage), maks you sneeze, spazzes you out, causes bleeding (gums, knees etc..), turns you on, turns you off or in any other way causes you to fill legal coffers then I apologise wholeheartedly and will immediately remove any posting, link or file on receipt of a polite e-mail. Those able to conjugate will be given priority. Note for cargo Cultists: I am NOT a God and never have been ....

    sorry - you may have noticed that I'm having some trouble with blogger's html here... rather than try to rewrite the whole post, I'll just have to live with this until now - maybe when I'm less bleary I'll try to track down the problem.






Friday, January 28, 2005



In yesterday's post I asked if anyone had a cut from the Kim Gordon-Lydia Lunch-Sadie Mae band, Harry Crews and someone sent along this:

The Gospel Singer
- Harry Crews (via yousendit.com)

(Sorry its too large for me to host and I think its worthwhile to include the after-song patter between Lydia, Kim and the audience - note how Kim says that people should read books because they don't censor violence in books...)

Thanks to ZB for sending it on.

I don't know much about this band and I had heard some cuts from this (including this one) but never spent alot of time with it - so rather than bloviate - here's what Harry Crews website thinks of Harry Crews, the band:

"Naked in Garden Hills."

Harry Crews.
Lydia Lunch, et al.
Widowspeak Productions, 1990.
Sound Recording: LP/Cassette/CD.

"Harry Crews, the band, toured Europe from Sep. 1 till Sep. 24, 1988. The album was recorded live at the Mean Fiddler, London and in Vienna, Austria by Vienna Radio." [from liner notes]

Includes 9 songs: Man Hates a Man, Distopia, Gospel Singer, Knockout Artist, (She's in a) Bad Mood, The Way Out, Bringing Me Down, Car, S.O.S.

Band members include Kim Gordon (of the band Sonic Youth), Lydia Lunch, Sadie Mae.

The liner notes feature a collage of band members and several photos of Crews from his dust jackets. Also, a short text written by Byron Coley characterizes the band members as "brightly colored chickadees" flying around Crews, "a 200 pound sparrow hawk going in for the kill."

The songs, marginally related to the novels, are at best, passable thrash, of the loud, abrasive, dissonant kind. At worst, the music is a poor attempt to cajole the audience into reading Crews's books. Among the various appeals to the audience, "We're trying to get people to read," and "Say no to the sky channel, say yes to the book."

Lydia Lunch says: "Harry Crews, a man by the same name as the band. I know it's confusing cause you never heard of him. You might have heard of her [Kim Gordon]—you might have heard of the wrestler on the drums—but you never heard of the man because in this country, what the fuck have you heard of? But that's what I'm here for—educational reasons . . ."

"Harry Crews. A man that looks like one of those kind of dogs that ain't got no fur on their body that are full of wrinkles. He wrote about 10 of my favorite books . . . You'll never get any cause they aren't published here, that's why we caused the band to be created to inform you about the songs taken from the books that we stole and ripped off from the man that couldn't be here tonight because what the fuck would he want to come here for?"

On the other hand, the enthusiasm of the Harry Crews band reflects the renewed interest of Crews's work in the late 1980s.

Harry Crews Portraits


As I maintained yesterday, Harry Crews first novel The Gospel Singer is a major influence on both EVOL and the first song, "Tom Violence"... the main point of my Meltzer-Bangs-Thompson inspired lunacy yesterday was that EVOL was Sonic Youth's first major rock album, the point at which I believe they decided that this whole Sonic Youth thing wasn't an art school joke. The album's main theme is violence - the purveyors of violence, the victims of violence and the audience for violence be it intentional ("Tom Violence", "Marilyn Moore"), accidental ("In The Kingdom #19") or self-inflicted ("Secret Girl"). They trace threads of violence in Western Culture via its literature -- James Joyce ("Secret Girl"), F. Scott Fitzgerald ("Green Light"), William S. Burroughs (as well as Crews), cinema - Hitchcock ("Shadow of Doubt"), horror movies and music --- Manson Family, rock and roll celebrity ("Starpower", "Xpressway") and the Bonnie Hind, a traditional song about the outlaw who takes the "milkmaid's maidenhead". Even "Death to Our Friends," an instrumental, is a way of expressing a level of projected self-hate that kind of comes with the terroritory of fetishizing violence. With "Expressway To Your Skull", they create their first REAL rock opus, simple in its structure but massive in undertaking. The lock groove that closes out the album suggests that both Sonic Youth and violence in culture and the rock and roll milieu that they have chosen to stake their claim in are here to stay and its up to you to wake up and take the needle off the track. Anyway, that's the short version.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

EVOL

Sonic Youth
SST, 1986

riotous/rightous mayhemmmm/hemmed in/LOCKGROOVELOCKGROOVE... "beating up underneath my flesh" there was the tousled-haired GEEK preacher (Gatsby/Burroughs/DADAlus/Crews) on the perch on the street in the dream - he says: 'our nature is to bring together good and evil in a single element' (Slingblade goes UMM-HMMM) and "tom violence is a dream coming out of a girl"... and this song nay almost this entier album - Feast of Snakes/Gospel Singer - let Hary Crews say it:
“I fear my world view is a terribly black, awful one,” Crews admitted in the 1972 interview. “I have only one thing to say to people. As soon as something pleasant and cheerful and confectionery occurs to me, I’ll write about it; but I can only write about whatever comes. And what has come so far has been a kind of blackness” (Getting Naked 31).
And so Tom Violence may be another name for Didymus (The doubting LARGE-A Apostole, A-hole Thomas who didn't wrote "suk for honesty" on his chest BUT WAS HONEST - and the others made him SUK for it through E-Ternity - worstapostleeveryeee...) and in the book the the the small-a-hole apostle kills the girl The Gospel Singer and he who writes in his "dream book" ... and tom violence is a dream coming out of a girl... and everything here is a messy dream, dry as a bone, plingingplucking...

...dreams of rock stars, dreams of sean, madonna and me, joan jett (WHO?) boon, and the green light, "the orgiastic future" that Burroughs warns/fortells standing on the pier looking at EAST EGG... he who is believing in that
"magical universe of unpredictable spontaneous alive -- a universe where anything is possible. A universe of many gods, often in conflict so the paradox of an all-knowing, all-powerful god, who nonetheless permits suffering, evil and death does not arise...."
Burroughs, friend of Lee, talked to him about Tangiers and all the fucked up things WSB did and Lee didn't do but can only make sounds about - car crashes... VAN crashes... ahead...

Suffering, we got suffering. Poor little Marilyn Moore, when she's not get pounded on the head by some shadowy Presidential thug or christ even St. Bobbby... then she's getting stalked by the Yorkshire Ripper - picked up on Leopold Street for heavens sake ... and yet, she survives - eight brutal blows to her head -- a fucking HOLE in her head, stuttering about, on the stroll still after it all, in Leeds weeks later - : - she-she-"she's talking of trances of truncheons in battle" Lydia, says it, yeah):

He asked her if she was "doing business" and they set a price before she got into the car with him. As he drove her to a vacant lot in Scott Hall Street, about a mile and a half away, he told her that his name was Dave and that the person he had been waving to was his girlfriend. When they arrived at their destination, "Dave" suggested that they have sex in the back seat, but when Marilyn got out of the car she found that the back door was locked. As "Dave" came behind her to open the door, Marilyn felt a searing, sickening blow on the top of her head. She screamed loudly and attempted to protect her head with her hands. As she fell to the ground, frantically grabbing her attacker’s trousers as she fell, she felt further blows before losing consciousness.

A dog barked at the sound of Marilyn’s screams and "Dave" left before he could finish "the job." Marilyn remembered hearing him walk back to his car and slam the door, and then she heard the back wheels skid as he hurriedly drove away. Slowly, Marilyn managed to get herself to her feet and stumbled towards a telephone. Before she could, a man and woman, noticing the blood running from her head, stopped to help and called an ambulance. (source)

YEAH... "Dave" D? ... HEY --- We got suffering by the vanload - a vanload of scrunched up D. Boon - the heavy light in the night, dying along the road, maybe seen walking into the woods to the hereafter with a dead animal by the survivors, speaking through the firecracker grave through some art school reject. Blew me away. Blew me the FUCK away. Staggering through Christmas and I only met the guy once [compassionate... communal... commie] but light in his eyes wasn't going to burn no LONGER Blew away WATT/wattage/WHAT light no orgiastic future? - and he plays here WATT... for the first time and the whole uneasy uneasy uneasy it's there you can hear it rattling teeth, burning on the side of the road, lift his head into the light/watt.... and WaTT and Kira bring them Ciconne like pilgrims coming across the US (in their van) and like the Canterbury Tales, they travel to Ciconne Abbey in the lower eastside

We got so much damn suffering/ANGST/PUREWHITELIGHT/WHITEHEAD/whitechapel... suffering BUt but but but but..., we wanna kill all our friends, ? we wanna kill the California girls, ? kill yr Idols/Teen Idles/Idylls/Idull... ... no me wanna KILL SONIC YOUTH - well now... NOT PERFECT NOT CLEAN NOT PERFECT..., moving to western Mass for theeee chiiiiiildreeeen Bill/Monica Thurston/Kim, Brad/Jen, Madonna/Sean, Albini/and his fucking German Whore... Burroughs/Wife Dead Apple On Head couldn'tgetitup mad at her says it was an accident officer... and THEN there's the Neil Young greasy biker roadies hiring strippers - and THAT gets to Kim...

Young's roadies, holdovers from classic rock's dark ages, were less predisposed to what they perceived as to be Sonic Youth's art-freak eclecticism. 'The Neil Young tour was actually the first time I encountered so-called sexism,' Kim Gordon said. 'Every time it was somebody's birthday, there'd be strippers hanging around.' source

Kim/Thurston... Charlie/Charley Manson, KOOL THING, those HIPPIES ARE killing CALIFORNIA GIRLS with the "milkmaid maidenhead" ... the bonny hind ... but.. no strippers so-so-called... yeahyeahyeah downdown down ... "death valley 69" its ALL OVER this album (dead actress/dead directors - Madonna / Sean both not either but want to be), violence-worship, Um.
... GAP ads - oh yee-hah the gap ad, neverlivethatonedown, Joan/Kim/Charlie, so KOOL THING... the Starpower/Starbucks everythingturnsblacktoblue, big brother to all KOOL KIDS, SY or don't, REPEAT MADONNA MEME w/Karen Karpenter, Britney, Mariah, REPEAT AND SPIN WASHINGMACHINE like watching a washingmachine... trances for the hip.....clothing, SONIC FUCKING life clothing line?????, clothesline bought out by some company in CHINA, so they say, ... i say, Chinese Fucking Sonic Youth making clothing in some sweatshop-prison, you know, wizened impishly like Burroughs/Yoda and scarier with each year etching into their faces, DO WE HAVE TO WATCH THEM GRoW OLD??? Kill Sonic Youth yr iDolls (Lee's the worst, you know, scary monster)... their ALL. KNOWING. StUPIdmmmFACES but not really like a kid with crayons - turn the light right and it looks like CRAYONS but not in their eyes (eyes on hands, Thuston, right, you see what you do) and that drummer iz he fat this year? Uberproducers on the Lowah East Siiiiddeeee... stupid screams/wrecking the Kingdom with this meterman rap

WE KNEW YE THURSTON
/THIRSTY/
THIRWELL
sill-leee young 4ever skinny tousled hair GEEK
WE KNEW YE and killyrbillyfuckingidols...andandadndadnandadnand and and NEIL FUCKING YOUNG thought they for a couple weeks that they wrote the best rock and roll guitar song ever and XGAU is YR friend alreadyreadyever... (ex-CRUCIFUCK I Killed Bob Bert With My Big Fucking Dick - "looks all of 12 years old" or something she said) and well, Frankenstein Shelley / Byron, our good friend, goatee Byron.... Buy runn... So, yeah, Kill All Your Friends... and andandand speaking of all yr sins and the all knowing all fucking Godfan that watches you, why did you release this on CD with that fucking BUBBLEGUM song tacked onto the end... TORTURE, AB-SO_Loot fucking worst Sonick Yoot song every... SONIC POOP...Death to your Friends? Death to U! Worst Apostle Ever! Evereververevol...

Suffering, REAL no FICTION no REALer than Sonic Life - the cane (CAIN) crashing against the whore's light fixture, DADELUS...railing at Mommy, dead Mommy/////
"Her glazing eyes, staring out of death, to shake and bend my soul. On me alone. The ghostcandle to light her agony. Ghostly light on the tortured face. Her hoarse loud breath rattling in horror, while all prayed on their knees. Her eyes on me to strike me down. Liliata rutilantium te confessorum turma circumdet: iubilantium te virginum chorus excipiat. Ghoul! Chewer of corpses!"
- write prose like that ThUrston/LYDIA/CREWS,even...) and you know it, you quoted it... invisible boy=secret girl=Ulysses. Crawling throught the walls (of the closet)Joyce, Bloom, Stephen "burn inside between two walls" two walls...two yep dual duel do all it tee shirt... swear it wasn't me... Charlie/Charley - kiss her in the shadow of the doubt - Guy/Gay.. Bruno/Brute..Daisy/Tom (buchannan/violence) ...HUME/JESSICA (AlFRED/THORTON) errr......and all alone by himself, driving Miss Daisy over Myrtle... there's Gatsby, the believer on that "orgiastic future" that won't happen even at the height of orgasm pounding poundingpoundingpounding "to your skuuuuullllll" release, release, but then it just goes on for ever... plear/queer(Burroughs)/jeer/near/peer/pear - hips like a pear and back to Madonna and those so-called heaven hips blue lips (crayon eyes) she sings of sexviolence and the kids used to line up and buy it the crap (Vogue=Goo), you're all incredulous when Watt brings her to you on bended knee but LISTEN UP - The Big She wrote this:
Oh, do you wanna see me down on my knees
Or bending over backwards now, would you be pleased
Unlike the others, I'd do anything
I'm not the same, I have no shame
I'm on fire
Yes, you know you know ... that ... YOU couldn't, yod couldn't WRITE that line... Lydia couldn't even sing this and yu no, yo nonononono that ...Kern couldn't even film it and unounouno ... Lung Leg couldn't act as fierce (couldn't act EVEN) and Lisa Carver might get it (or not) :"it's about altered states of conciousness" or "getting so close to someone that yer inside someone's skull" (DUH, Suckdog, ...but I just put Madonna in the same virtual class with JOYCE HEEE HEEE - walked right over you, fanboy seducer w/yr tits and kitty litter) ...ooohhh... reeling... bitch set me up, he said our night owl running rampant on the streets you'd see him drunk in the clubs, marion barry, while you Sonic Youth / Kim / Thurston / Steve / Lee and Rayful Edmonds were the hip thing you gotta see this it's 1986 at 930 club/THE COMPLEX remembembmermbmer--- Henry GARRRfield in the back with the blonde bimbo, IAN it's MAc-Kay not MackIE MacKaye somewheres Cynthia, Gordongordongordon -- even a SPIN writer/A&R reps so hot, Lydia waddled into town the following week......Dee-cee - dickhead city (tim w.)... GI's tore the cores of my ear off off at that fucking complex show... that fucking JOHN H. STABB what happened to him selling cars? pimping? You with drumsticks, odds tunings - JH STABB IS making ESTATIC peace withhimselfd.boon........ you opened for him - you opened for the FUCKING G.I.???? WOw... YR crowning achievement... ...oh, and Rev. Brett and Jim in the audience yelling about Kim's panties - I made them come, they hated me forever because of that... ....I think the leather-clad bouncers escorted them out or they just went out to do crank

... I'm kidding I LOVE YOU(KILLYOU) SONIC IDOLS sendmorepromos, fanboyfanboylick - lick the handcream off your author doilee handzzz... so-called... Kim... pick the needle off the turntable WAKEUP WAKEUP LOCK GROOVE LOCK GROOVE - think about BUK, wanting people to do something, throw shit at him, walk off in disgust, make HIM walk off in disgust, just do something or go drink... and you throw us out, sorry Hennnnnrrrreee.... sorry Iaaaan... Lydia... WAKEUP WAKEUP or just pick the needle off the turntable cuz its in a LOCK GROOVE. Lock/Shock/Mock/Madonna/SEAN...hmmmm...

Shawn, sean seen Scene...(remember) seen dangling the photographer (Paparazzzzzy) from the window, smashed the camera in his fucking eye (Irish temper like Joyce another connection!) leaving Macau on that expressway to the 3-way jet plane...LATER... he does or doesn't push Ciconne's head into the oven (Hansel/Gretel - Sean/Madonna - Brad/Jen...OJ/Nichole)HE BEATS HER (Crucify Him! Death to Our Friends) and she (nichole, nicole, nick-hole, Madonna) tells the police (that racist crewcut shouldabeenaprison bitch cop was probably there sucking it all in... thinking that crazy fucking Irish kid with his fucked up Daddy) Imagine Madonna, eyes still red, eyeshadow dripping dream... "forget it don't file the report... i'm okay, he's just stressed hasn't had a good movie since "fast times" and he hates fucking spicoli so when you said "I know that dude" it was a surpreme act of self-control that he didn't pull your head off, piss down your neck and then go cry to Harry Crews ringside with Madonna and Jack and Sean and Buk. Irony Sean knew CREWS LOVED CREWS but Madonna couldn't care less about this Southern jackass retard PROfessor, I screw dancers, actors, fuck you you're no Arthur Miller, walking naked through Miami, domdomdom... "Buk probably had a good laugh about, Sean, didn't he? probably wanted to fuck her silly but thought she was pretty silly, I bet (know?)...ah my god, all the "so-called sexism" Chinese Fucking Sonic Youth workers sewing your clothes... ah, forget the Gap ad honey. Come home. I love you. I love your voice. Keeps me sane. Kim, kimkimkimkim...chee...

Burroughs ghost interrupts:

"We've got a famine here, Osiris -- what happened?" "Well, you can't win them all, I'm hustling myself." "Can you give us immortality?" "I can give you an extension, maybe, take you as far as the first checkpoint -- you'll have to make it from there on your own. Most of them don't, figure about one in a million, and biologically speaking, that's very good odds."
On a plane.... on a train... would you love me anywhere?  do you care?  reading Greil/Grail Marcus/MARK-US - Mystery Train - Elvis/Marilyn - Brad/Jen...Ike/Tina ... yeah yeah ... but what about The Holy Trinity (multiplicity/duality)- 3-way Plane - Elvis in Church singing with those Gospel Singers, Memphis church burning down - Mark-Us later writes "Lipstick Traces" (soon to be a stage play!) trying to 'splain PUNK to the befuddled Rolling Stone G-G-G-Generation... failed... bigtime... DADA? DADA? Johnny Lydon laughs at this in that film, it wasn't forkin' Dada - maybe "da da da" but not DADA... Anyway, MARCUS is OBSESSED OBSESSED with the PISTOLS and LYDON's single line"Kill All Passerbys" just a phrase, the other Pistols (Glenn fucking Glenn asswipe) HATED that line - wanted to KILL Lydon for fucking up their chances to MAKE IT BIG Steve Jones on the radio... Glenn where? who? -- Killed themselves Sid/Nancy - Thurston/Kim - Charlie/Charley - but wait, who was watching SYD???? Manson/Gatsby alone watching the Tate front door/Green light Killing because the Beatles told him too... yeah, Ringo.. told him to kill... (George Harrison later flew to Macau to pick up Sean before the Police arrested him - paid off the Portu-gee)


And Sonic Youth...no one kills for them... but well someone wrote a virus: SONIK.854 and it wrote THIS over everyone's DISK/DICK quoting from Joyce speaking as Stephen:
"My mother used to say You're the boy that can enjoy invisibility / the pleasure is everlasting / Sonik Youth originally released 29 April '92" (source)
NASTy, too, killed all the California drives... so some geek could say that Sonic Youth is A VIRUS...so at least they GOT That sub (Eastern Massachusetts So They Could Breathe)version going for 'em... ...

violence is a number ... and its 854.

LOCK GROOVE LOCK GROOVE LOCK GROOVE LOCK GROOVE LOCK GROOVEVOLOCK GROOVELEVOLEVOLEVOLVE GROOVE... WAKE UP SWEAR IT S JUST A DREAM...

SMELL/TASTE/SEE/BUT don't hear:

"Tom Violence"
"Green Light"

Disclaimer: I fucked David Geffen with Thurston's BIG FUCKING DICK. Do not download these poorly record vinyl rips for just two weeks.

((EAT SONIC YOUTH)) ((CONSUME SONIC YOUTH))((NEW IMPROVED EVOL ON iTUNES))
and....HTMLMART:

Worship The Gospel Singer

Eat Harry
Puree Confusion is Next

Munch The Great Gatsby

Devour Joyce

Turn on, Tune Off The Greatest Madonna/Sean Movie Ever
Titilliate Yr-Self w/ Richard Kern
Buy The Lydia Lunch Combo Meal

Thrill to Thornton Wilder and Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt

Ride Along With Strangers on A Train

Shock and Awe with the Official Greil Marcus Homepage
Smell Elvis

Reflect with Sean Penn
Don't Leave Without Some Madonna
And... finally... some words of advice from Burroughs




D. H. Fucking
Boon Christ

R.I.P.
In The Kingdom #19



Saturday, January 22, 2005



COLIN MELOY @ the IOTA, Arlington VA

SRO in this small bar to see this indie superstar. I ran into local Bob, guitarist from DT and The Shakes, a defunct DC-based garage band that opened for just about everyone back in the day. IOTA is literally a half-bar / half-restaurant living in the spaces vacated years ago by Billy "Bardo R.I.P." Stewart and his Roratonga Rodeo. You go to dinner on the right side and then pay an admission fee to go over to the other side. The nice thing about this deal is that its first come, first serve. No having to buy scalped tix on Craigs List - downside is you have to arrive early for big acts. There are two bars - the middle bar serving both the restaurant and the gig area. Ambiance is sort of grungey neighborhood bar. Bob described it as his other living room. Upcoming shows include Kings of Convenience, Earlimart and Tommy Stinson.

There was no opening act so a little after 930, the performer ambled onto the stage and opened his set. Having suffered through enough open mike nights, I can attest that Colin Meloy IS a fine acoustic guitarist - switching off between a 12 and 6-string throughout. He is an engaging performer with his faux-shy persona and his sharing of Decemberist trivia (he likes how his keyboardist sometimes says "whooo" quietly to herself between songs and tunes his guitar while standing on his tiptoes) and other stories. Although I couldn't help but contrast him with Sufjan Stevens whom I saw a few months ago. Where Sufjan's songs and stories are deeply rooted in his past and his home, Colin doesn't seem to have existed until he picked up a guitar. All his songs and stories date back only a few years or are imaginary reincarnations of past lives.

He started out with some of his band's songs (including the story behind "Apology Song") which loosened up the somewhat sedate shoulder-to-shoulder crowd a bit, then a few of his Morrissey songs followed by a couple "Side D" songs from his bands' new album (out in March, east coast tour in May) and one or two that WILL be on the album ("Dec 2" & "Bachelor and Bride"). He explained "Side D" as songs that will appear on an expanded follow-up to Picaresque from the Jealous Butcher label. If I understood him correctly, this will be a two CD or two LP release. He then came back for an encore with some of the more well-known Decemberists songs.

Several times during the show, I kinda got a Don MacLean vibe from Colin even, perhaps especially, when singing the Morrissey songs. His voice is very similar when framed with just an acoustic guitar. Close your eyes during "I Know Very Well How I Got My Name" and you swear the next song is going to start "Starry, starry night..."

Not immediately smitten with the Morrissey CD that he's selling exclusively through this tour but I picked up a few copies. Not sure if that's because I don't care much for Morrissey or what. Still, "Sister I'm a Poet" is already growing on me as is "I've Changed My Plea To Guilty" so I'm willing to give it a few more chances. Update: I'm also grooving on "Pregnant for the Last Time"... Plead your case and I may part with one of the EPs.

Four more shows on this tour including a Tsunami benefit in Portland with the Dandy Warhols - he was a little concerned about getting up to NYC today what with the SNOW but I suppose if they get an early start, there shouldn't be a problem.

What do you think?

"Sister I'm a Poet" - Colin Meloy sings Morrissey

This weeks guest disclaimer from Bob Mould:
MP3 files are posted for evaluation purposes only. Through this site, I'm trying to share and promote good music with others, who will also hopefully continue to support these artists. Everyone is encouraged to purchase music and concert tickets for the artists you feel merit your hard earned dollars. If you hold copyright to one of these songs and would like the file removed, please let me know. Availability is limited.

... in the case this is read by him, my apologies also to the performer for taking the flash picture .... I know that this is a horrible breach of gig etiquette and for practical purposes has to be banned... I tried to set it to low light without the flash but misread the settings. In my defense, I didn't do it during a song but during the between song patter. Anyway, the bar's gig referee called me on it. This has been a week of fouls for me so why shouldn't it extend to Friday night?

And as if on cue, the snow has just started at 9:01 in downtown DC.

UPDATE: My extra CDs are gone. Colin on Flickr. Next stop for him: Teen Beat.

PS: Matt from 5500.org points out in previous thread that Brooklyn Vegan has posted the entire SF show


Friday, January 21, 2005

Colin Meloy show tonight

Well, I'm off to the Colin Meloy showm the hipster equivalent of going to church or Sabbath or whatever -- three hours early because I'm afeart that with Iota's first come first server policy and the popularity of what is essentially a guy with an acoustic guitar doing Morrissey covers that I might not get in. So, I'm not so much a big Decemberist fan but more interested in supporting someone traveling the country with slightly illegal vinyl (an EP of Morrissey covers) for sale.

I've put together a list of links from blogs that recently reviewed him at my clip shack, which I set up a few days ago to handle all my non-MP3 posts. Here's the main URL...

There's not alot of legal stuff online of The Decemberists, although the Kill Rock Stars label has two songs up that everyone in the world has alread linked to. In terms of Meloy, the dormant Phonophila (which was an excellent idea to capture sound and publish it) has a 2002 Portland show by Meloy here.

My favorite cut there is his acoustic version of "Sunshine", the 3rd most downloaded song at iTunes and while I like the song, I'm still not totally convinced this show is going to be that wild but hey others disagree. But they say we'll be snowed in tomorrow and I'm supposed to meet a gig buddy there anyway... cheers!

Post Show Update:

Pretty much what he said...




Thursday, January 20, 2005



Inauguration week in DC has me about ready to go find a corner and start cringing. IT's not just the myriad of street and Metro closings, wacko pro and anti protesters, assorted nuts that shut down everything with phony bomb threats, pointy-haired project sponsors who insist on meeting - across town - at 11 AM today and of course the ill-timed snow and ice yesterday afternoon. There's just so much (mostly bad) music that if you throw a rock you'll probably hit some blue-jeaned country-"rock" singer or a dread-locked punky protest band member.

The Post summarizes. Can you imagine the look on Peter Wolf's face when he sees DC's worst bar band opening for J. Geils? And can someone PLEASE get 3 Doors Down out of our town - now!? It's like there's this vacuum cleaner just sucking all life out everything so long as they're within a 10-mile radius. Here's our Vinyl Mine guest commentator, George W. on the anti-Doors: "How about 3 Doors Down? Pretty cool guys, right? Seem cool to me." Well, not cool enough for your daughters who avoided getting on stage with any of the lame-o bands that showed up (methinks they are a bit miffed that their pal, Kid Rock got disinvited).

As we wait breathlessly to find out what Dick Cheney thinks about Jojo, what struck me, what with all the anti-skank-ness against Kid Rock, were how Mr. Greengenes got through the prudery filter.

In the later hours, the Next Generation of Republican Leaders sponsored a "Late Night in the Green Room" at the Wyndham Washington Hotel. Musical guests included this aptly-named group for this party( again, for the record, that's Mr. Greengenes, get it hahah?).

Here's a sample lyric from one of their songs, "Shotglass" where the timeless question that vexed our previous President is asked once again:

Put the quarter in the cup -- C'mon and hurry up

Things are moving 'long y'all and I can't miss

(Off with the bra!) You better do what he says Miss

Damn! I thought your shirt was too tight

Hey, are those things real? Let's hope the rest ain't cellulite

For real! And let's step to the wall.

Man, those Next Generation of Republican Leaders (think Republicans as Mayflies) listen to some pretty edgey stuff! If you're brave, you can listen to the song here (WMA) or just go to their website and feel, y'know, dirty and skanky and all. Anyone got Don Wildmon's phone number? I think these Next Generation of Republican Leaders need to spend some time in the stocks.

But, there's the other end of the spectrum and its alot less exclusive and, um, dumb. Q AND NOT U are playing a $5 benefit show tonight. Here's the details:

Thursday, January 20th - Washington, D.C. - Sanctuary Theater/Calvary Methodist Church (1459 Columbia Rd. NW, between 14th and 15th Sts. near the Columbia Heights Metro) - w/Anti-Flag, 1905 and Del Cielo - 6pm - $5 - ALL AGES. This show is a benefit for Empower DC and Jan. 20th Protest efforts against the 2005 Presidential Inauguration. For more info, go to www.positiveforcedc.org

I'll probably be too beat up by dealing with the work thing and I don't relish shifting from toe to toe waiting for Anti-Flag to end. It looks better than the Black Cat show - in any case I hope my neo-con t-shirt arrives today since I'm sure it will annoy alot of people if I venture out (personally, I'm a neo-realist).

So, here's "So Many Calls" by Q and Not U which will be on my iPod as I venture with great trepidation into the Metro today - it comes courtesy of Albany-based WakeupPunk Radio where there are lots more where that came from. Visit them, give 'em your love (all they ask is for you to be their Friendster) while I go find a corner to cringe in until its all over and I can go outside without getting frisked and having my camera confiscated.

However, there is hope. The poor man's Jill Scott is playing at DC 9 tonight. For a total non-political bent, chill out with Deborah Bond. Here's her "Giving Up"

For real! And let's step to the wall.



Tuesday, January 18, 2005

My So-Called Radio Career or Why I Won't Be PodCasting Anytime Soon

This post from 4F: (welcome them to our Blogroll) about that thar' new-fangled trend called Podcasting got me thinking about my short radio career on an obscure college radio station in Baltimore. After all, I imagine if I did do a Podcast, it would probably end up sounding like my old radio show.

So... I had the 2:30-4AM Saturday morning shift which usually meant I came in a few sheets to the wind, (and/or) stoned, full of lots of ideas (usually bad), a box of records & tapes and an occasional pal to keep me company (whom you can sometimes hear snickering in the background). Although friends were banned from the studios, there was usually no one there but the engineer who really didn't care. I probably had about five listeners at that time (it wasn't a big college) and I don't think the broadcast area covered more than a few miles.

Anyway, no one wanted the timeslot and jeebuz, I was barely enrolled in this school & had no illusions about a career... but I loved it .... even if it lasted only a semester. I kept a small box full of my semester's tapes but it got lost in my '98 cross-country Move From Hell. This lone tape survived somehow.

My radio show was called Nihilius Fillilius - get it? Well, it seemed cool back then and I remember looking with pride at the yellow xerox calendar they handed out at the student center. Since blogs are apparently part vanity, part revealing embarassing stuff about yourself, I thought perhaps somebody might get a kick out of my stumbling delivery and my occasional loss for words. The sound is well... its taped off radio and I didn't encode it at a high bit rate. Well, for the one or two of you who do download it, feel free to delete after you've had a good laugh (hello Rhetoricpig).

Here's a ~5Mb excerpt of me going through the second set's playlist and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry's "Talk About the Weather" which I'll have to post for real somtimes - it's still a great song ... It will be up for about two weeks...

For you masochists, here's the entire set from which this came (25 Mb, 35 minutes) via yousendit - it will only be available for a week. Woo-hoo. Again, my apologies for the sound quality but its... y'know... college radio. I think its a great playlist for late 1986 if I say so myself (although I'd drop the Hitchhiker's Guide crap). I remember the hippie-ish engineer getting a bit testy when the Happy Flowers song rounded into minute 3. What was his name? Scuz? Spaz? Schizz? something like that...

Playlist, 6 Dec 1986 (2nd set) Nihilius Fililius:

Poison Idea - Didn’t See the Picture - Kings of Punk
Execute - Nasty Nasty Nasty
Scratch Acid - Crazy Dan - Keep on Eating
Butthole Surfers - Unknown cut - Soundboard tape, Live at Staches, Columbus Ohio 1985
Flipper - There’s No Place As Bad As Southern California - Flipper, Live
Sonic Youth - Now I Wanna Be Your Dog - Confusion is Sex
Big Black - Every Man For Himself - God's Favorite Dog
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - BBC Radio show excerpt that goes on for too long
Happy Flowers - All I Got For Christmas Was Clothes - God’s Favorite Dog

Red Lorry Yellow Lorry - Talk About the Weather
Yoko Kill John - Mistress for All Seasons (short clip into commercials)

The 1st set had a full "women of punk" theme that included Nina Hagen singing "White Punks on Dope in German" (which hasn't aged well), Wendy O'Williams' "Sex Junkie (live)", The Avengers ("Cheap Tragedies"), Pussy Galore and the Dils (live). There's also a short rant on Pere Ubu after which I play one of my favorite songs of theirs: "Humor Me"... but its even too embarassing for a blog.

Oh, the closing track for this show was "I Want Everything" by The Godfathers...

Monday, January 17, 2005

"Dire Straits? Throw it!"



ForksLoveTofu of Tofuhut interviewed me back in December and has recently posted it. In it, I reveal my sordid fanzine past, my Halloween song mix and my Fleetwood Mac guilty pleasure. One minor update: since that interview, I have signed up for a peer-to-peer file sharing service (Soulseek) but I have used only for researching bands that I post about at this blog. When I'm active, I share some OOP hardcore and my own twisted music.

In honor of Forks and all vinyl lovers, I present the famous record-throwing scene (11 Mb) from Shaun of the Dead in which the vital question of all record collectors is externalized once and for all in widescreen cinema. To wit, which LPs from your collection would you choose to throw at flesh-eating zombies if your life depended on it?

Here are Shaun's picks... I'll have to think about mine but please feel free to leave your candidates in the comments section:
  • Streetsounds Electro, the 2nd Album Shaun ever bought ("it's not hip-hop, it's Electro")
  • New Order's Blue Monday - thrown by mistake ("an original pressing!")
  • Prince's Batman soundtrack (they kept Sign o' The Times and Purple Rain)
  • Dire Straits
  • Sade (it's Shaun's ex-girlfriend's record)
Get the Shaun of the Dead DVD - there's some real great extras -- such as what happened to Diane after she left the Winchester and how Shaun escaped the hordes of zed-word people. There's also the full Coldplay ZOMBAID interview. More clips from the movie (including the action prior to my clip) can be found here.

Update:
My top five records to throw at slow-moving zombies:

1. Caribou - Elton John
2. Works, Volume 2 - Emerson, Lake & Palmer
3. Flag - James Taylor
4. Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits (yeh)
5. A - Jethro Tull

See A Small Victory where Michele picks up on this thread

Coffee and Cigarettes MP3 Mix #8: Pre-Inauguration Living in DC Blues




Get Out of Town - Kate McGarry
America, Sort of - A Drunken Swedish Guy Disappointed About American Election
Extended Tongue - New Wet Kojak
A Thousand Kisses Deep - Leonard Cohen (referring page)*
Something New - Lorbi

* Found object = probably not "legal"

Sunday, January 16, 2005

King Face


Self-titled EP
King Face, 1987

Another of the incredible 2nd-gen Dischord bands - except they never recorded an original record for the label. Still, Mark Sullivan played in one or two of the high school Ian-Jeff bands, MacKaye produced this, at (where else?) Inner Ear, their lyrics of self-reliance/soul-baring fit with the others and they certainly played a bunch of local shows with the other Dischordians at that time. This record aptly captures their live show energy, a good thing and a bad thing. Good because, well, their live shows were pretty memorable. Bad because they occasionally over-reached - a sin that is forgivable live but all to obvious when listening to a recording. This is most present in the opening and closing cuts of this six song EP. Can't recall ever liking the bluesy harmonica-laced "Crawl Into Tomorrow" - the 1st song on the a-side - but I kinda have to respect 'em for trying to break out of the mold. They just don't have it to do the blues-rock thing, though, whatever "it" is. And that last cut, "Like A King" is about two minutes too long and bloated with jamming, that like I said, over-reaches beyond their talent.

Where they hit is in their simpler, tighter cuts. "I Don't Want To Be Anything" was their big crowd-pleaser at their memorable live shows - in a flash this song would turn the front of the stage into a manic, crazy mosh-scene with Mark Sullivan seemingly whipping his dreadlocks into the crowd.

"Anyone" has an opening guitar riff that sounds like a Dead song that is subversively laid on a thrashpop bass-drum bed. I love the paradoxical lyrics sung without irony by the distinctive voice of Mark Sullivan:
If anyone starts talking to you about human nature
Ignore them, it means they're as dumb as their parents were
Our nature is to change our nature
"Lick the Moon" and "Lull-A-Bye" are also stand-outs on this out of print record, the latter featuring some fine guitar work by Pat Bobst. The band broke up after about three years (1989, I believe) and then reunited in the late '90s. I believe Dischord put out a CD anthology but that too is sadly out of print - someone should do something about that sad fact.

Record sleeve and insert was designed by Cynthia Connolley with a lovely Leslie Clague set of band photos.



Band line-up (in order of pictures):
Pat Bobst - Guitar
Larry Colbert - Drums
Andy Rapoport - Bass
Mark Sullivan - Vocals
Listen to some King Face songs and tell me what you think (limited time availability):

Links/Where Are They Now?:
  • Flex's King Face discography was helpful - KF also have a cut on the Dischord State of the Union compilation)
  • Mark Sullivan has gone on to greatness in the publishing world with his thriving NYC-based Akashic books. They publish everything from Krist Novoselic's Of Grunge and Government to edgy Cuban crime fiction.
  • Per Dag House, Bassist Andy Rapaport showed up to play with the one-off Looters DC show at the Black Cat anniversary last year. And there was a 2000 Joe Talbott indie movie Eat Me! that includes King Face music and Andy acting (he's also had a bit part in John Waters' Pecker) - haven't seen Eat Me! but it got played at a side-festival at Cannes.


Johnny Ramones' gravesite statue attended by the statuesque Linda... Courtesy The Globe and Mail Posted by Hello

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Obit.

Jimmy Griffin, the guitarist of Bread died this week.

Bread, of course, was known for pioneering the soft rock sound and responsible for some of the most awful, annoying commercial songs of that time such as "Baby I'ma Want You" and "If" - most of these songs were written by David Gates, of which we will say no more.

... but if you go deeper in their catalog, there were a few era gems of Soft Rock -- most of them written by Griffin and life long friend Robb Royer. Royer was also in Bread and collaborated with Griffin on their biggest hit, The Carpenter's "For All We Know."

Contemporary touchpoints for Bread can be found in the indie "wimp rock" scene --although for the most part, this music is less commercial and alot more interesting -- see for instance, the latest Postal Service song recently posted at Scenestars ...



(almost all of Bread's music is available on iTunes)

This cut is a Griffin/Royer song from their second album - also available on their Anthology CD.

"Look What You've Done" (128 kbps, 3 Mb - limited availability)

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Swamp voodoo 2-chord punk blues lovers rejoice...Fat Possum records released a tribute album, Sunday Nights: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough last Tuesday.

The artist line-up is tres cool.

Here's the track listing:
1. You Better Run (version #1) Iggy and the Stooges
2. Sad Days Lonely Nights Spiritualized

3. Meet Me In the City Blues Explosion

4. Done Got Old Heartless Bastards

5. My Mind is Rambling The Black Keys

6. I�m Leaving The Fiery Furnaces

7. I Feel Good Again Pete Yorn

8. Do the Romp Cat Power & Entrance

9. All Night Long Mark Lanegan

10. Release Me Thee Shams

11. Done Got Old Jim White

12. Lord Have Mercy On Me Outrageous Cherry

13. Pull Your Clothes Off Whitey Kirst

14. I�m In Love With You Jack Oblivion

15. Burn In Hell The Ponys

14. You Better Run (version #2) Iggy and the Stooges
Although Fat Possum is only offering short samples from some of these songs (including the Stooges and Furnaces cut), they do have a generous offering of free MP3s from previous Junior albums. Just click here and then click on the individual records to check them out.

My quick pick for y'all

"I'm Leaving You Baby" - Junior Kimbrough (from Most Things Haven't Worked Out)

and an extra bonus rap remix from a previous Fat Possum record, Fat Beats from the Delta, of "I'm Leaving You Baby"


Check out this piece from Patrick Donovan in Australia's Age (bugmenot login/passwd:
obfuscator/whome) for some more background on Junior.

Choice quotage:

The crowd would bump and grind away to the psychedelic, trance-like music as the charismatic guitarist grooved on and around two chords, the music stopping only when he needed a drink or fell asleep on stage.

Junior's Place was originally his house, where he jammed with friends on Sunday afternoons. Soon word got out and people started turning up, so Kimbrough charged admission. He may have played on the day of the Lord, but this was the Devil's music: songs about sex, mortality, good times and bad, best experienced in a juke joint or while dancing barefoot in the dirt.

He claimed the songs came to him in dreams, and he wrote music people could dance to on a Sunday night and forget the hardships of the week.

Matt Johnson, founder of the Fat Possum label, for which Kimbrough recorded his four albums, speaks of the bluesman as of a lovable, flawed uncle. He recalls the time Kimbrough threw a car battery into a batch of moonshine.

"It was like he was on The Muppet Show. Junior would kick all the shit out of his house and stick it in the front yard - he didn't care if it was pouring down rain," says Johnson, from Fat Possum's headquarters, a trailer in the nearby town of Greenville, Mississippi. "He would charge people a dollar for a beer - but he would get up to fetch it because he didn't trust anybody. He would get so drunk, he would sit on his amplifier and moan and drool. It was like a tinder box, and they would stoke the fire until it was red-hot in winter - it could have gone up just like that. He was a law unto himself. He wouldn't even play songs, he would just play this sludge stuff - it was like sonic diarrhoea."

And...

Another highlight is the Blues Explosion's version of Meet Me in the City, featuring one of the last performances by the late Elliott Smith.

"Everything Smith recorded, he took to another level. He killed himself pretty much after he did that, which really sucks. Once I got past the labels and managers, everyone else I contacted really wanted to do it."


Cheers from Omaha where the weather forecast is -4 below zero tonight.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I don't normally like this type of shit but...

1) Shivaree has a new album out. Eh. Liked 'em a way back but Ambrosia seems so 1999 now. Then again, they got onto the Kill Bill 2 soundtrack (during the credits).

Stupidly, their website only offers samples off the new one - and in the dreaded WMA/Real format. Get a clue, Zoe. Here's a cut (probably not "legal," bitches) I found on a defunct blog from her previous...... well, I liked it, think Tom Waits rides Lucinda Williams semi-hard and leaves her wet....1999 album is called I Oughta Give You A Shot In The Head:

"Bossa nova"


2) On another note, I'm sitting in Reagan Nat Airport waiting for my flight and put the iPod on random play. Somehow it came up with this AGK cut I downloaded (legal, bitches) that I had forgotten about but it strangely seemed just perfect to watch planes take off and taxi around, girls look up from their books at me suspiciously, watch some grunge 1993 idiot talking on his earphone cell and make the minutes go by. Eno got it half right - Music for Airports should have been about wirelessly pumping music out and handing out earphones so you can blank out the sound and watch the world anxiously go by.

"Short Romance" - AGK remix ( from Ambi-sonic - there's more there for you electronic snobs)

Monday, January 10, 2005

I'm out here in Omaha NE this week on business (like, why else would one go to Omaha?).

Did you know that there actually IS a WOODMEN building - if you saw the movie About Schmidt, you'll understand. I thought the building name was CGIed - it seemed a perfect a parallel to Jack Nicholson's character (who retires from this building at the beginning of the flick). I took a picture of it from the Joseyln museum (everything is closed on Monday) but forgot my cabling to connect my camera to my laptop. C'est la Vie.

Here's a picture I found on the Interweb until I post mine.

So, while I'm out here, I'm going to try to check out a show at the Sokol Auditorium, Omaha's premiere underground spot - this is where Bright Eyes and the Faint, two bands I know virtually nothing about but are supposedly hot, got their first boost. Bright Eyes is playing there on Friday kicking off their double album release on the 25th - but my flight is outta here on Friday morning and quite frankly its pretty damn cold and I don't know the band well enough to know whether I like them or not (supposedly its not really a band but a one-man dealio).

Anyway, there is a show on Wednesday with a handful of bands I've never heard of but for only $5, how much can you lose? One is called Intergalactic Fax Machine - they appear to be the headliners. The name sounds familiar but a google on it turns up little.

Speaking of shows, January in DC is pretty lame what with Arcade Fire selling out in what? 5 seconds? Theivery Corporation are doing a 930 Club DJ set as a benefit for the Tsunami relief (28 Jan) - not really psyched about a DJ show but hey its a benefit so you don't feel real bad about leaving early - and Andy Zipf has a show the day before on the 27th at the Black Cat backstage. Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Don Flemming, Andrew W.K., Tom Smith (ex-Peach of Immortality) and many more are doing a Noise Against Fascism Inauguration night gig at the Black Cat (details halfway down this page) but I imagine it will be packed and hard to get into, if it isn't already sold out (but there's always the other stage, pussy! - ed). I was just considering getting out of town that day because security is going to be real tight. They're even banning boats on the Potomac starting this weekend! Or maybe I'll stay and take pictures of all the protesters which is always fun. If anyone is going to these shows, drop me a line - I'll be the guy with the black T-shirt, uh-huh.

Anyway, Andy Zipf - so I downloaded some of his tunes a few weeks ago at the recommendation of a local music blog (which seems to have gone defunct). I find it kinda hard to describe - the song below is sort of a swamp country power pop thing.... great voice - the other blog compares him to "Jeff Buckley, Radiohead or even Moby" - artists that I wouldn't normally recommend but there it is.

here's my favorite download of the bunch:

"Are We Going Down" (referring page with additional downloads) - Andy Zipf

CHEERS!

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Of Note: Alice Bags' Blog

While researching last night's The Bags (Boston) post, I came across Alice Bags' (lead singer of the LA Bags) blog (Diary of a Bad Housewife) and website. She posts Bags / Dangerhouse record label memorabilia, the occasional odd MP3, writes about her life and plugs her upcoming gigs with her current bands.

She is currently playing with the all-female Stay At Home Bomb and the all-Chicana Las Tres. Her main website is worth exploring - including an interview with Dinah Cancer of 45 Grave. Her media page includes some classic Bags downloads and a cut from her all-Chicana Las Tres coffeehouse band. Here's my favorite:

"Survive" - Bags (96 kbps) (go to media page for the rest)

Bonus link: Rockin' Rina's Women of Punk







Not So Quiet on the Western Front


Various Artists

Compiled by Tim Yohannan, Jeff Bale and Jello Biafra (Maximum Rock 'n' Roll)
Alternative Tentacles Records (double LP), 1982

Most notable for the Flipper cut and about 89% of the reason I bought it, this compilation claims to be one of the first regional compilations of a punk band scene; and like a tsunami wave, many similar efforts followed. We'll get to the best songs but first I gotta get on my soapbox and attack a beloved punk icon.

This record claims to "document" the scene, but it spends too much time elevating the people that compiled the songs and plugging their radio show. Maybe the original 48 page booklet had more information on the bands but either I lost my copy or just chucked it in disgust (I seem to remember it just being crammed with black and white Winston Smith collages). There is a rote call-to-arms essay by Jeff Bale that was on one of the record sleeves that suggests "the youth of America may not be rioting in the streets yet, but in greater numbers than ever they're flaunting ossified social conventions and starting to embrace alternative values, a necessary first step in America's peculiarly sterile cultural and political context." Damn those "ossified social conventions" that are only present in America's "peculiarly sterile cultural and political context"... I mean, really?

So instead of saying anything meaningful about the bands themselves and using precious space for their lame screeds, all we get are their names and their cities of origin. Not alot to help someone trying to get more info on such and such band. Other later regional comps would include band member names, addresses and so on. Eh, maybe I'm just being a crank.

924 Gilman, NYE 2005Still, Maximum Rock 'n' Roll bills itself as a fanzine but music takes secondary status to lengthy political diatribes and conspiracy theories in tiny font, bloviating "columns" about "the scene" and band "interviews" (usually sent in by the band in question). The "fanzine" rarely takes a stand on music except in requiring that most bands it features hew to some sort of anarcho-leftist political kant. It favors quantity over quality - most reviews are about two sentences long and rarely provide much information beyond a pat on the back. Music is a "hook" in MRR, not its reason for its being. It should be called Maximum Youth Indoctrination. That said, let's give them props for 924 Gilman, a great and wonderful venue (once you get past the pamphlet tables) in downtown San Francisco. And I enjoy the occasional 50,000 word Noam Chomsky reprint as much as the next guy. Cheers, MRR!

So alot of the cuts here are pretty forgettable but there's about 25% worth saving and, about 15% is worth noting. Here are my top selections followed by some notes on each song:

"Dead Men Tell No Lies" - No Alternative
"Worker Bee" - Angst
"Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" - Impatient Youth
"Dan With The Mellow Hair" - Naked Lady Wrestlers
"No More Riots" - Bent Nails
"Turmoil" - The Frigidettes
"Sacrifice" - Flipper

SONG NOTES/LINKS:

No Alternative was one of the original '77 Bands who along with The Dils and The Avengers were a big part of the early San Francisco punk scene. By 1982, when this comp was put together, they were about the only surviving band. They've got a pretty good cut here called "Dead Men Tell No Lies." Here's a page (from IRS Corner) with some biographical information (more than what's provided on Western Front's liner notes). Some of their music has been reissued but hard to find - look for their classic song: "Johnny Got His Gun" if you do the file sharing networks. (IRS Corner is trying to document every band ever released or distributed via IRS Records - I'd mention Sisyphus but then look at what I'm doing)

Angst were an unknown when they appeared here. By the end of the decade, the Pope Bros. made a name for themselves by putting out a series of incredible eclectic (pop/punk/folk/dance) albums on SST - part of the "second generation" of SST bands. Here's their minute-long pogo dance unknown classic - based on that surreal slogan from Auschwitzz - "Worker Bee". See Angst's Trouser Press review.

Impatient Youth's "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" has become a sort of punk folk song and is a satirical take on the World War II song -- it is one of those obscure songs that gets covered by other bands, the most notable being the folky (Young) Pioneers. Some Impatient Youth background from IRS Corner. Here's the story behind the original song (which is not the same as this one) inspired by an incident during the Pearl Harbor attack.

Naked Lady Wrestlers kind of remind me of the New Jersey/Phillie jokeband scene. They used to play shows with Free Beer (another band on this comp) during Fleet Week in San Francisco just to see the look on the sailor's faces when they realized there were in fact no naked lady wrestlers or free beer (link to story). Cruel but kind of funny. Their cut "Dan With The Mellow Hair" utilizes a recognizable Scottish highland melody and has some stupid patter before and after the cut. Here's IRS Corner's page on them.

Bent Nails "No More Riots" is distinguished by the offbeat twangy guitar lead on top of an otherwise decent punk pose anthem. Members of the band went onto the Mister T. Experience (aka MTX).

The Frigidettes have a SF/Brit female punk sound. Their antiwar cut, "Turmoil", has some off-tune singing, a snakey guitar riff and cool sound effects that I accentuated by setting the iTunes equalizer to Loudness (one of my favorite settings). Here's a page with some bio information on the band.

Flipper was the major draw for me to buy this compilation - at one point I was a record collector scum when it came to Flipper. This cut is "free and legal" from the Alternative Tentacles website where they are selling this entire thing on CD. There are links to other cuts - most of which I rejected. You can check them out if and see if you disagree with my assessment. "Sacrifice" is a sonic treat for Flipper fans and like most of their best stuff it appears to be live. It, like some of the tracks above is like nothing else on the rest of the album. Highly recommended for noise rock fans. This cut also appears on Sex Bomb Baby, a 1988 release that compiled their singles and comp tracks. A Flipper fan page with appropriately blurry photos.

Some other notable cuts are Fang's drugged-out "Fun With Acid", Rebel Truth's speed-noise "All I Know", Risby's "Collapse" - sorry, don't have enough webspace to include them.


SAVED ROUNDS:
  • Dance of Days, a history of DC 80's - 90's punk by Mark Anderson and Mark Jenkins. It's a shame nothing similar was included with the reissue of this compilation.
  • Maximum Rock 'n' Roll
  • Alternative Tentacles
  • Winston Smith's art has gotten better even if it is still one-note Johnny when it comes to subject matter
  • Buy the CD reissue here
  • Gilman photo by Gwen (hosted by Flickr)

BORING SAUSAGE MAKING NOTES:
I encoded all of these cuts using RazorLame 1.1.5, an open source WAV-to-MP3 encoder, which is appropriate for single cuts that you are trying to digitize that don't need any noise reduction. You can convert all the cuts in a single batch. I'm not sure I had the settings correct (I used the default settings) so if you have any comments on the sound or your own experiences with this software, please chime in. I did some post-processing in iTunes by setting the volume level up, setting song endings in case I picked up some of the next cut during the recording, and using their equalizer algorithms (everything has been set to Loudness). As you can see I also added the album cover art.