Sunday, October 31, 2004

Coffee and Cigarettes - Mp3 Mix #666

Image from

Just in time for All Soul's Day:

: Mantra 2 (Choir) - Popol Vul (referring page) from 1978 Nosferatu soundtrack starring that scariest person I ever saw - Klaus
: Red Right Hand - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (From the "Songs in the Key of X") (referring page) - from MSNBC's top Halloween songs
: I Wanna Dig Up Bela Lugosi - 3-D Invisibles (referring page) - Bela and garage bands - a match made in hell
: Brickhouse - Rob Zombie (referring page) - Ok, not scary unless you think of the image of Rob Zombie dancing to this funky number
: Superstar - Sonic Youth (referring page) - what can be more horrifying than someone wasting away in the flesh

Extra bonus Coffee and Cigarettes All Souls Day Video:

: Superstar - The Karen Carpenter Story - Todd Haynes scary classic about the subject of our last song - runs 43 minutes

Pick Your King (7" EP)
Poison Idea
Fatal Erection Records (1983)

Portland's Poison Idea captured early in their existence (their debut record) wasn't much distinguishable from the best of the MRR-style hardcore bands of the period. They would later become one of the best of their grouping. Generally common song topics for the genre (anti-governement, anti-self-abuse, anti-hate, anti-cult bands, pretty much anti-everything but loud fast music), grinding guitars with minimal flourishes, speedy drumming, bass thuds and anguished red-faced vocalizing. Their later stuff (the classic "Kings of Punk") added more ideas, improved songwriting and playing and an ability to go outside the boundaries (although not too far).

The lyrics do show a glimmer of that and I've sampled one of few songs that shows any sort of variety, even if it is done in a mocking way.

Record is bright blue clear vinyl and features 13 songs (!) in a 7" 33 1/3 format.

"Reggae (I Hate)" (2.2 kbps VBR; 2.2 Mb)



- Band doesn't run a website anymore. Taang Records has a discography.
- This EP was later collected in a "Best of" CD - check here for prices

The other king...

"Our Secret" b/w "What's Important"
Beat Happening
"K" Records, 1984

While I never liked the Beat Happening debut LP the way others took to it, I did like this single or at least the B-side ("What's Important"). It features a quiet, poppy Heather song about the things left unsaid between two friends. A slowed down Jonathan Richman, I think, and a good example of what some of the original (modern) lo-fi sounded like. Lyrics are here.

Beat Happening, if you didn't know, are the modern progentitors of what has blossomed into a rather healthy lo-fi movement and this came off their first LP. Calvin, who sings and strums, runs the Olympia-based"K" Records. The A-side ("Our Secret) is sorta what turns me off about them. Despite the sweet lyrics, Calvin singing in his off-key, and that voice makes me tired and queasy for some reason. I'm sure it's just me. Someday I'll have to put together a mix CD with just Heather songs and maybe one or two Calvins.

"What's Important" (201 kbps VBR; 2.9Mb)

  • If you not familiar with Beat Happening, you can download more of their stuff plus lots of the other bands on "K" Records
  • One factoid - to my knowledge Beat Happening has never covered another artist or band (at least in their recorded material). All songs 100% originals. They have been covered, though, themselves. There's also a tribute album with Scrawl, Sonic Youth (Kim and Thurston, at least) and Superchunk contributing...
  • Both sides, in fact the entire debut album that later came out, was produced by Portland's Greg Sage
  • Beat Happening's First Fan Page
  • You can also buy this song on the debut LP - CD Universe has a good price

Saturday, October 30, 2004

"Silver Rocket" / "You Pose You Lose" b/w "Non-Metal Dude Wearing Metal T-Shirt"
33 1/3 7" Recorded live at Maxwell's, Hoboken NJ, June 18th, 1988
Sonic Youth

Forced Exposure, 9/88

"Silver Rocket" (free, legal from the Sonic Youth website)

This single was sold to Forced Exposure subscribers in the late '80s and captured one of the best cuts off of one of the Youth's best albums, Daydream Nation, in which they finally broke out from the experimental art scene, melding their unique Branca-ish manipulation of their instruments with the pop song formula they explored and venerated in their Ciccone Youth side-project and The Whitey Album which was released in the same time-frame.

A prime example of combining experimental rock with pop, "Silver Rocket" takes seemingly random phrases ("nymphoid clamor" "splice yr. halo" "TV amp on fire") and straps them to more literal comic book imagery ("
fuelling up the hammer/you got to fake out the robot/and pulse up the zoom") to create a surreal ride from an earthly tenament to the atmosphere and back. This live version is more raucous than the studio version and the guitar/drum/noize approximation of rocket launch break in the middle is near incredible.

The other two cuts from this record are more experimental - apparently "You Pose You Lose" is an improv. -- "Non Metal Dude Wearing Metal T-shirt" was also known as "Eliminator Jr" and shows up on some bootlegs from the period. Both are well-worth the download.

  • All cuts can be downloaded from the "classic" Sonic Youth MP3 page
  • Reviews and (non-spyware laden) lyrics of Sonic Youth records up to the early 90s are here
  • An unofficial SY discography here. It is being ported to their Wiki page.
  • The official Sonic Youth discography is maintained here by SY fan Chris Lawrence.
Edited 2nd paragragh 10/31/04 to improve readability (hah! - ed.)

This Ain't No Picnic

THEN: This Ain't No Picnic - Minutemen 9/21/86 - Courtesy Corndogs
NOW: This Ain't No Picnic - Mike Watt 10/5/04 @ The Patio Theater - Courtesy Audio30

Mike Watt (via the Washington Post) appeared in town last week:
When someone in the crowd asked Watt his thoughts on President Bush, Watt responded, "John Fogarty wasn't born on the bayou. Music is about pretending; don't let a pretender tell you how to think." Rather than ranting, Watt launched into the Minutemen's "This Ain't No Picnic."

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Coffee and Cigarettes, Mp3 Mix #6


Coffee and Cigarettes is an irregular sMp3 web mix reflecting my mood usually brought upon by time of the day, season, shit that happened to me today and of course the legal uncontrolled substances that I am currently abusing. I have no control over whether these Mp3s will be available - typically MP3s included in this mix are found objects, usually discovered in a stream of conciousness trance-like state - RP refers to the "referring page" on which these tunes were found. Hey, it's better than watching TV. If you have a beef with these tunes being on the web, suggest you take it up with the owners of those pages...

Currently drinking: Jack Daniels
Currently smoking: Havana Honeys

"Are You Sure" - Brett Marshall Leverts (RP) - A sleepy-time trance inducing dream
"Radio Silents" - Young Marble Giants (RP) - One of John Peel's faves, RIP...
"Chameleon" - Hyperplush (Record Label) - legal - more MP3s available at their label
"Hoist that Rag" - Tom Waits (RP) - okay, buy this album now, one of his best and a product of its times
"Are You Sure" - Todd F. Wright - an acoustic guitar meditation; sweet
"Largo" - The Swingle Singers ( RP) - another sweety, lush music - secretly cool, plays well with squares

"Sinker" (b/w "Rebuilding" & "Anxiety Asking") 7" 45 RPM
Self-released (no label, no copyright info but... a lyric sheet, yah!)

: Sinker (189 kbps VBR, 4.4 Mb) - Ignition

Ever pull out one of those records you haven't listened to for years and put it on and go, "so why did I like this?"... that's the initial impression I had but now after about an hour of listening to it, digitizing it, editing it, minimally denoising it, it's sounding a whole lot better. I'm liking this post-emo-HC slight slab of vinyl again... slobber drool... it's like finding an old one night stand and even remembering her name.

I bought this in the basis of a live set I saw back in the late '80s at the late, beloved & behated d.c. space and it was a good set and "Sinker" was the highlight of it. The band featured a number of DC luminaries, past and future - by future, I mean Chris Thomson, the bassist, went on to form my favorite obscure Dischord band that no one seems to like round here Circus Lupus, perhaps my last Dischord record bought!). Alec MacKaye of course, singer for Faith, The Untouchables (their "Nic Fit" later covered by Sonic Youth) and Dante Ferrando of the late great Gray Matter. Oh, and how about Chris Bald, poor Chris, Ian MacKaye's used emo-tissue (Embrace) and ass-kicking target?

"Sinker" was their first 7" later collected with the other 7" in an LP called Complete Services so its like their debut song (on vinyl). The songs lyrics can be summarized as 'The Daily Grind Sucks, Man' and I don't mean that cool, hip coffee shop where those nice kids hang out and seem like they don't have jobs. In typical Dischordian fashion, Ignition then scolds and sneers us automatons that don't happen to work at their brother's cool record label with: "Your once noble thoughts and ideals/are useless as stripped gears."

Ouch, maaaan... hurting me... I've got emo, too, maaan.

We daily grinders can chuckle as the next song, "Rebuilding," in that it basically contradicts "Sinker" by declaring that "There's no point in trying / to reach the unattainable" oh damn, and here I was going to quit and design fliers for Positive Force. Oh, okay, sorry about that. Not worth it.

Still, getting beyond the typical puerile nature of the lyrics, and even if the production is a bit sludgey and bass heavy (damn you once again Don Z! What's that you say? He's your God? Try another engineer for once... but, but, but my Dischordian head would explode... )... oh where was I, yes, even though the production is wanting, ahem, I like the Baldian guitar swipes (I'm an underdog kinda sticker-up-for and anyone who got kicked in the ass by Ian deserves my support) and ol' Dante's drum pounding, the cuts and stops in the song... it's judged ALRIGHT BY ME (although you really should check out those Grisen Skriker cuts first - see below).

Interesting that it was self-released given this is Bald's first record after Embrace ... and I wonder what's behind Alec's decision to go with this band when apparently Ian asked him to join what became Fugazi... hoofah...

  • Here's Dischord's Ignition page (their Dischord releases, band line-up and a place to buy the LP). Although the on-line store is confusing, it appears most of the Ignition catalogue is OOP.
  • Here's a 1988 interview with Alec and Chris Thomson (it snarkily says "Mr. Guitar wasn't present".... double ouch!). Alec notes here that he had a choice to join Ian's new band but turned it down for Ignition so I didn't just pull that out of my ass.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Thank you John Peel

: Teenage Kicks - The Undertones (Referring page and yes it's probably "illegal" courtesy Jason Louv's blog) - first song he ever played that was outside Radio 1's format. He later said that the first time he heard it, he had to pull his car over and cry. Go to the Undertones web page for their tribute.

Next Big Thing's Tribute

Video from the Fall multimedia Project

Peel's Radio 1 Page

He's a top news link on Google News; Click here to keep it going

Radio 1 Bands and Radio shows pay tribute

Other web journals are writing and spinning Mp3s for John Peel
Spoilt Victorian Child
Totally Fuzzy - here (J. Mascis), here and here and here....and here
Agony Shorthand
Large Hearted Boy (Smog sessions)
Last Sounds of Summer is fronting Teenage Kicks if my link fails

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Grisen Skriker's EP
Grisen Skriker
Silence Records, 1979

Looks are deceiving and when I received this (via mail order) based on hearing a decent cut from this band on a compilation I was taken aback by the cover photo and thought that the tune I heard ("Dansa" on World Class Punk) was done by someone else. It segued a drooly
Barry White-style intro into a spitting '77 style rant. It was pretty unlikely there would be two groups named Grisen Skriker, though, since the name translates into "the pig is screaming" and it was unlikely this was a common phrase even in the hinterlands of Sweden.

So, I liked about three songs from the EP with the two more punk/noise songs on the second side (the "black side") getting the most play. "Sextisfem", which appears on another compilation and a live version can be heard on the band's online jukebox (link below), is an LA-style cross between
The Descendents and Fear but without alot of the self-conscious silliness of the former and the faux-hell-bent leather posing of the latter. It also features a kazoo. "Tenk Om" (and I'm writing these titles without all the umlauts) moves a Johnny Rotten style singing with a rough sounding Sisters of Mercy bass line and faux-Lugosi choruses. I liked the gritty guitar riff that opens up the piece and then lightens up once the song is revealed as being a bit tongue in cheek.

After so many years, though its this song called "Moglig Svamp" (second song on the first side) that I now like the best. Starting with a very soft guitar riff and then building in an acoustic strum and bass line. Then some clipped tinny vocals and a soothing "ahhhh" breaks into the chorus of a screechy guitar, some weird deep vocal counterpoint. The calm riff returns. After a little bit of almost
Garcia-ish guitar noodling that goes back and forth the song gets very quiet again and returns to the "verse" via a lengthy bridge that builds up the tension. I would have downmixed the guitar a little bit in this second verse but it still works. And we're back into the spooky verse. hmmm... what's that doing on a "punk" record? Well, in any case it worked then and its even better sounding now. It also makes a nice addition to any Halloween mix CD.

And just for the record, I have no idea what they are singing about as I can't understand Swedish. However, it doesn't really seem to matter. The vocals become an instrument in themselves (especially in Moglig Svamp) and the song sets a mood instead.

One digitalization note: On the quiet parts of Svamp, I tried to reduce the hum but it sounded too artificial so I left it in - hope you all can live with that.

"Moglig Svamp" -
Grisen Skriker (4.6 Mb, 132 kbps VBR)
"Tank Om" -
Grisen Skriker (4.6 Mb, 192 kbps)

Silence Records is
Grisen Skriker's label. An independent label formed by two hippies in 1970 to showcase Bo Hanson's prog-rock stylings, it seeks out the best of Swedish independent music from punk to rap to dub. Well worth a browse through their website although most of their samples are either online jukeboxes (requires RealPlayer, alas) or RealMedia files. It's hard to tell from the website whether this record is still available. It's listed in their catalog but apparently they don't sell on-line or through mailorder. In any case, I did an exhaustive search through the major vendors and couldn't find hide nor hair of them.

Fun fact: This EP was the first one recorded in Silence's commune-in-the-woods studio. The band even donned workboots and hardhats and helped build it.

Grisen Striker's website uses pictures from this first EP. It's entirely in Swedish and requires a "Flash" player but if you click on the Folkmusik link, it brings up an online jukebox that features a cut from a live performance. You have to click the little curlie-cue on the right to see the songs list. "Dansa" and "Sextisfem" are recommended listens. The band appears to still play together - you can see the inevitable effects of age by clicking on the "bilder" link to see pictures.

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Model / He's a Whore 7" Single
Big Black
Touch and Go Records, 1987

Every few months, I get a professional cleaning of my apartment. It's like getting a new start in life and its worth the trade-off between, let's say, satellite radio. Everything looks kind of new and shiny in here. My own cleaning skills are okay when I get the time but I eventually give up and just fret about the ever creeping dust and smells that come with time. I imagine that this must be the type of horror a model lives with. When it comes to aging, I don't really worry much about it. With the possible exception of the wrinkles that appeared one day underneath my ear lobe -- and more just for the visual grotesqueness of it -- I don't spend much time in front of the mirror.

So when it came time to lighten the mood in the recording sessions for their last album together, Big Black looked through Steve's
Kraftwerk collection and pulled this song out. And really, for an excruciating and relentlessly mean and ugly album as Songs About Fucking, some said this was their "fun" song. I'm not so sure if models really in the long run have fun. Despite all the "I'm OK/You're OK" blather (is it the Prozac, Bebe?) from the previous posting's subject, she (Buell) spent alot of time in therapy or whatever hippies call recovering from mental breakdowns. So maybe The Model was really the scariest song on the SaF, I dunno. All the liner notes (Eric wake up) sayabout it is , "boy, don't we look smashing in red"... anyway, they did have fun making the cover photos for this single.

The Model -
Big Black

So, since it's Friday, let's have a Model Cover Party (get it?), shall we?

Ramstein's version of "The Model" (referring page)
Mannequin Depressive's version (referring page)
The Klopeks do it to the girls (referring page)

And the original:
The Model - Kraftwerk (referring page)

Note: The always on-target Something I Learned has been listening to Big Black singles recently, too.

Updated to fix a typo and do a shout out to Herr Fuzzy K for the "fuzzylanche"...

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Bebe Buell & The Gargoyles
"The Jacuzzi Jungle" 7" single
Route One Records, 1987

A not all that remarkable single that falls into the 60's retro category from this Portland, Maine 4-piece. The A-side has a nice little skank beat to it, with a decent gee-tar break but the singer never really lets loose, like say a Tex Jones or even Debby Harry might do with this. The B-side ("13 Wrong Turns") is even less remarkable where Ms. Buell deadpans and drawls a little bit too much. They're one of those bands that I'm betting was better live with a few shots of tequila under your belt.

Several singles were released by this outfit in the late '80s and then they went into hiatus as Ms. Buell raised her precocious daughter. If you like this type of stuff, a 1994 release, Retrosexual, collected these songs and is about to be re-released.

That said, outside of her music career, Bebe Buell is quite prolific, not content to be just a Ford's model, Playboy Playmate and Rockstar arm ornament, she's written a book, been an inspiration for a memorable movie character and that daughter, well, she turned out OK, too.

"Jacuzzi Jungle" (4.7 Mb, 167 kbps VBR)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Pillsbury Hardcore

"In a Straight Edge Limbo" 7" EP
Fartblossom Records

Here at Vinyl Mine, one of those "dime a dozen" Mp3 blogs, we force our readers to take the good with the bad - the mediocre with the heavenly - the dogshit with the creme brulee. I'm sorry to say that this is the former and not the latter. Hey, how else do you follow up Hasil Adkins?

I am by no means a hardcore hater (in fact stay tuned for a great HC 7" in a few days) but this is one of those bands that after 15 seconds, you're praying for another earthquake to hit their hometown (PoMoNah) - go ahead, listen for yourself. And what was it about SoCal Straight Edge? They got the whole basic edge thing down (no drugs, no drink, no sex) but turned it into some sort of homoerotic youth gang, what with the "x"es on their hands, the shirtless boys-only dancing, the sharp haircuts, the whole going to see some other boy's band, the anti-fashion-as-fashion thing.

Here's a horribly produced record full of a unintentionally laughable set of barely legible songs with such riveting and original topics of "pot is lame" and "7-11 is cool" (to paraphrase South Park, "Rollins Did It") and hippies suck ("Eddie Flowers Did It") and record collectors are assholes ("Tom Pig Did It"). I mean if you have to put "straight edge" in the title and you're a straight edge band to boot... isn't it like... game over, dude.

But what's even more funny and ironic is that members of this band went on to form the most pretentious self-hating band ever, Man Is The Bastard, who are known for -- sit down -- coming up with the concept of a "power violence" genre. Wow. There's a little bit of Spinal Tap in all of us, eh? Some more than others.

So, shut up - why is this even in my collection if I can't stand it so much? I suppose it was that cover that got me to buy it without hearing it first. It is a pretty subversive little thing, whether they knew it or not. I just imagine a bunch of Pillsbury (or whatever megafood conglomorate) executives staring at the cover surrounded by lawyers pondering what the "x" on the dough-boy's hand means and whether their corporate icon is being co-opted for some sort of porno kiddie porn cult. Popping Fresh.

"Wanna Check Out My Record Collection?" - Pillsbury Hardcore (205 kbps VBR)

The lyrics for the above selection:

As I mentioned, the Pillsbury boys are now in Man Is The Bastard. They released a CD with Mumia the Cop Widowmaker, Jello Biafra and some Earthfirst!er, the entirety can be downloaded at here. Listen to the track entitled "Alignment" and tell me I'm not wrong about them being the most pretentious self-hating band ever. Here's an interview with them - ditto.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Hasil Adkins
"Haze's House Party" 4-song 7" EP
Norton Records 001, 1986

Winter must be coming cuz the motherfuckers in this building turned on the friggin' heat. So, some biddies get a chill in their bones and now I'm walking around in my drawers sweating on the leather furniture. Opening windows doesn't help, it only makes it worse.

It's no help that I'm listening to this horndog either. Haze Adkins writes about one thing in this EP and that is screwing girls, preferably in hot pants. Three original songs: "Dottie Dottie", "Sex Crazy Baby" and "Do the Hot Pants With Me" and one, uh, traditional tune "She'll be comin' round the Mountain" that Adkins takes for his own, if you know what I mean (hint he lives 'round the mountain).

If you don't know, Haze is one of those iconclastic types that dot the indie landscape (Danny Johnston, Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Tom Waits, Polly J. and, um, John Cale to name a few) -- in this case being the debut record for Kicks' fanzine's Norton Records (see also Flamin' Groovies, ? and the Mysterians, The Sonics). Adkins lives in Madison, West Va., so far out in the country that his landlord no longer bothers to come collect his rent. He eats meat, meat and meat and drinks lots of coffee. He's popular with the ladies -- even went to New York City to buy hot pants for one of his girls (they had no hot pants, so he thinks NYC is kinda behind the times). He plays all his instruments -- at the same time -- and taught himself this way because he thought that's how everyone did it. He can often be found playing in roadhouses in West Va. where they aint' interested in his originals but like it when he plays Hank Williams.

Some of the songs here are, well, just a guy playing three-chord blues guitar and thumping a drum, recorded very poorly. Others, such as the one sampled for y'all below, show the transcendent genuis of Mr. A. Listen to the lone dog whine, the not so subtle smashing of the "rules of blues" to capture his emotional state, doing the human beat box thing at times, a rambling fuck-it-all that can only come from a madman sitting alone in the woods... If this comes on in your random play, remember that you have to do The Hunch...

"Sex Crazy Baby" - Hasil Adkins (163 kbps VBR)

Program Notes:
  • You may have thought everything was going to shit in Bush's America but, hey, Norton Records is still going strong and has this single still available at the very fine price of $3.50. If you don't have any Adkins in your life, you should.
  • Two great interviews here from Haze HQ -- one with Billy and Miriam of Norton (the Andy Warhol soup can incident is hilarious and the hot pants story is here) and one with Haze himself.
  • Read bout The Hunch here (plus semi-recent pictures).


This kicks off a week or two of just 7"s as I recently found a box full of 'em and spent the afternoon giving them a washing. Here's an article that throws cold water on people who think they might have gold in their vinyl. Bottom line: never open your records or listen to them and you might have something.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

David E. Williams
Pseudo-Erotica 4-song EP
Red Dog Records, 1987

Williams in 1987

Don't let his cherub face fool you, this songwriter was voted most likely (by me) to follow in Charlie Manson's footsteps and even though he's still around, so far as we know he hasn't sent a band of his followers into the Philadelphia suburbs to spill blood. This "gothpopedelia" (term copyrighted by Vinyl Mine, 2004) 4-song EP was his debut record, I believe, and while it lacks the production quality of his newer work, it suggests either Goth's answer to Spinal Tap with lyrics like "Oh my God, the dog vomited on the floor again" or a modern day Don Quixote spinning his lance at windmill sized rotting flesh trying to write the perfect song. The music and vocals sounds like Legendary Pink Dots but the song subjects are about things like "Taxidermy Tragedy" and Bob Crane's life and mushy endstate.

But despite the "wha? huh?" nature of the afore-quoted opening lyrics, "My God and My Dog" actually is quite clever, starting with a conversation between human and dogs and migrating into a rant from human to God.

Here's Mr. Williams today:

You can visit his website, where you can hear samples from his current work (no full MP3s), read his severely off-beat lyrics and even buy one of the remaining new copies of this 17 year old record.
He recently released a new CD of songs which you can buy via Paypal on his site. He's played recently at the Knitting Factory, is playing the Carnival of Souls festival in Derby, UK this weekend and Italy next weekend, so this Don Q. ain't doing too bad for himself. He has also works with guitarist Jerome Deppe, Rozz Williams and Deathpile.

Limited time MP3: My God and My Dog (138 kbps VBR)

And I suppose it's time to repeat the disclaimer - MP3s are provided for evaluation purposes only, recorded from vinyl LPs, vary in quality and are only available for a limited time.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Various Artists
Sub Pop 100 LP
Sub Pop, 1986

So what's the opposite of tan, rested and ready (as in "Why not Tricky Dick, he's tan, rested and ready") -- izzit pale, tired and haggard? That's where I am - one of those weeks where your off-line activities meet your work life and end up in 6AM to 12 midnight days where you gotta be on.

So, howdja like my last posting? Isn't it kinda like when people bring out pictures from their vacations? Isn't it the ultimate vanity trip to post your own songs on what has to be the ultimate vanity blog, going through your LP and cassette stack - and will this take the rest of my life or what? Your deafening silence is well deafening. Thanks for not saying anything bad, at least.

So, Sub-Pop. Short for Subterranean Popular Music, I guess. First a xerox fanzine and then the founders decided to get serious about life and build a multi-media empire in the Great Northwest and just happened to come into existence when the whole Seattle sound becomes hot and have like half of those hot bands signed within the year. This album kicked it all off. 5000 supposedly printed -- I've seen folks selling mint copies of this for 100 bucks. Also heard rumors that a CD came out -- who knows if it was authorized. Rumor was that early in Sub Pop history, they had problems paying the record pressing companies who retaliated by releasing special versions of their more popular records.

While Sub Pop 100, the album, doesn't showcase many of the ultimate blankscowls known collectively as the Grunge scene (and, I'm tripping perhaps but is Pearl Jam really, really grunge? Are the Screaming Trees? Are the U-Men, even), it does put together a bunch of dangerous and noteworthy types to kick off the label: Sonic Youth's great Kill Christgau song, the supposedly first known recording from Naked Raygun (personally, I think that's a goof, since the song is just so blatantly awful), Skinny Puppy's somewhat retarded industro-tape "Church in Hell", Lupe Diaz (who?), the whacky samplings of Steve Fisk, the afore-mentioned U-Men and Austin's own grunge entry Scratch Acid with a song off one of their disks. Um, well, who else? Only the greatest band in the Northwest -- the Wipers doing a live version of "Nothing to Prove" and Thalia Zadek's first (?) band Dangerous Birds. Oh, and the slightly under-rated Savage Republic and the slightly over-rated (at the time) Shonen Knife, doing two songs that probably shouldn't be on the same record, the primitivecore "Real Men" and the cymbal-hooked "One Day Of the Factory," respectively. So what to share, what to share? Well, I do have some other Wipers material which I'll get to someday. I have some Shonen Knife elsewhere as well as Skinny Puppy, Scratch Acid, Naked Raygun, S. Youth. But, oh screw it, the best song on this album has to be the chin rocking Ramones meets the 'Mats Wipers song. Oh and here's Lupe Diaz because for some reason I think Loki and SVC might like and I've been digging their pages lately.

"Itsbeena" - Lupe Diaz
"Nothing to Prove (live)" - The Wipers

Notes: I'll add some notes and fix my typos later. Off to the Trachtenberg show.... also, I've been meaning to ask, how do my recordings sound these days. I'm using variable bit format and I think I'm doing a better job at reducing surface noise.

The Wipers official website - I love the history of the Wipers...
Damned if I can find any information about Lupe Diaz. The liner notes say they are from Mexico City.
Sub Pop memorabilia - visit their main site for a plethora of music, bands, videos and MP3s.

Update: The Trachtenberg Slide Show canc-ex, as they say in the military (cancelled exercise, get it?)! Their van broke down south of Phillie. Would that be Delaware?!? When I was 9 or 10 years old, we used to love to drive through Delaware because it sounded like underwear and for some reason only known to kids, it's cool to say underwear over and over and over again. Is the drummer from the Trachtenbergs too sophisticated for that I wonder? Isn't there a Trachtenberg song in here?

Sunday, October 10, 2004


Self-title C90
C&O Records, 1994

Bikermutt was formed in the mid-80s among a buncha bored Maryland-Baltimore song-writers, two in particular, who had previously gotten together to play other peoples' songs but were inspired by the DIY/punk thang enough that they wanted to do it themselves. They only played two gigs not counting their own house parties (one with toilet-folker bi-goddess Esmirelda and the other with the Forrest Gumps of the Baltimore music scene, the Almighty Senators). Mostly formed around Jim H, yr humble moderator, and Bernie Einstein, other friends and neighbors and schoolpals were brought in to provide found audio, guitars, bass, keyboards, occasional belligerence, etc. This tape summarized our basement and living room dramas but there was also an LP, a 7" and a contribution to one or two compilations out there as well. I also put together some solo stuff as did (does?) Bernie. While the tape came out in 1994, it was posthumous and most of the songs were recorded in the late'80s.

These days, none of us talk to each other for reasons I still can't fathom. Sad 'ennit?

So, for you aspiring ethicists, these are "legal" by many of the definitions since I own, or should own, the copyrights although officially they belong to C&O Records, which was formed by Bernie (he's put out some solo stuff but I can't find any traces of it on the web). Most of my songs were written (and played here) on a magical fuzzy guitar that was borrowed from Bernie for a few years. My songwriting days were over when we lost the guitar (it was reclaimed by the person he borrowed it from).

"Action Line" - I got the lyrics from a National Lampoon article that listed some of the most stupid calls received at one of those newspaper phone centers. In the spirit of the minutemen, I just sung the words over a free-form chord structure. I liked this one the best out my "guitar songs" even if the recording could have been better.

"Biker Angels" - This closes out the tape (and hence all of our output) and was an improv that Bernie found from some of our marathon basement/living room sessions. Katchmar, one of Bernie's friends, was on guitar and Stewart was on bass. I'm playing drums and Bernie is making the wierd sounds. Well, actually it doesn't sound like we're playing anything except for voices in the background.

"Ninja Bitch" - A song about the Frank Miller comic,
Electra Assassin (soon to be a major motion picture and prequeled in the awful Daredevil). The song is written in the person of one of the characters in the comic book. I'm not sure I would have put the tape recording you hear in the beginning but Bernie thought it was funny (it came off my phone machine) I guess and fit because it mentions one of the words in the title.

"New World Order" - This was representative of Bernie's experimental stuff - tape loops with spacey type sounds overlaid. I think, like McCarthey (heh), this was recorded entirely on his own. He writes rather good folky songs in his solo work - I'll post some of it in the future.

"All God's Children (Get Crucified)" - This was kind of based on that evil old guy character in one of the Poltergiest sequels - some dude lurking around terrorizing us with fire and brimstone interpretations of religion. That's Mr. Stewart plucking away on bass, an instrument he had only picked up a few months before.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

upcoming shows

Looks like a good month for shows hereabout... Here's some I might check out ... let me know if you are going to any of these or know of some other shows and we can hook up.

930 club
- SAT OCT 9 - The Cramps w/ Gore Gore Girls & Shortstack

Black Cat MON OCT 11- Mountain Goats, John Vanderslice, Joan of Arc $10 mainstage 8:30

Iota Club - FRI OCT 15 - the trachtenburg slideshow players 9:30 PM $12

DC Nine - SUN OCT 24 - Blogjam feat Blowoff (Bob Mould) $6

For more upcoming shows in DC - check this out

Heaven 17
Sunset Now 5-song Maxi-EP
Virgin Records, 1984

To every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. And so it seems for every movement. Just as punk was a reaction to the excesses of corporate rock, the synth-pop of the late '70s and '80s was a reaction to the anti-intellectualism of punk. On a recent VH1's "Bands Reunited", the singer of
ABC, for instance, confirmed exactly this. Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh never really said the same, so much as I can find, but given that they were emerging (as The Human League) in the same timeframe as the Sex Pistols and The Clash, they were trying to do something different. The fact that one of their first big breakthrough gigs was with Siouxsie and the Banshees is ironic even though they were reportedly well-received. When things in the Human League started going bad, Ware and Marsh retreated into something nebulously called the British Electronic Foundation and announced that one of their projects would be to team with singer (and longtime friend) Glenn Gregory to form the all-synth Heaven 17 and make pop music. Their goal was to create pop songs in the vein of Giorgio Morodor and Donna Summer mixed with Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream, their long-time heroes. Their earlier stuff includes the banned-by-the-BBC "We Don't Need No Fascist Groove Thing" (I always wondered if this was directed at the remainder of The Human League with their Aryan style looks) and the classic Penthouse and Pavement album. It was pure funk for now people. Their later stuff got more of a Broadway feel, perhaps this was Gregor's influence - instead of love songs, typically they are vague story songs. "Sunset Now," for instance, the title track of this EP (and the accompanying so-so remix) seems to be about some sort of dancing gambling gangsters. I wanted to make a joke about "I got the Horse right here" but I have no reason to believe that these guys were drug users.

Whatever... the results were still pretty sonic - even if synth bands like this caused their own opposite and equal reaction, the birth of lo-fi music, a reaction not to the intellectualism of the music but back to the over-production and phoniness.

My selection below isn't one of the two hits on here (the other top-40 songs being the excellent "Flamedown") but an all instrumental reinterpretation of "Counterforce". The latter is perhaps the lamest song on here illustrating the weakest link, in my opinion, (their singer Glenn Gregory) so it's nice that Martyn and Ian got their Linndrum and Fairlight (Greg Walsh actually is listed as the Fairlight programmer) cranking and I wonder what their all-instrumental sessions sound like. You can hear echoes of Tangerine Dream and some of their contemporaries in here but with a much more pronounced dance groove.

"Counterforce II"

Heaven 17 are still ostensibly together, releasing music and played some shows several years ago. Here's the official website, although its short on details and requires a login account for most of the access.
Here's a biography of the band.

MP3 Extra:
Here's a decent remix of "Penthouse and Pavement" (Referring page)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

coffee and cigarettes mp3 mix #5

Late night, early flight might as well stay up and listen to music edition...

Surreal out of context comic frames are cool!

coffee and cigarettes mp3 mix is a irregular feature utilizing found audio to create a soundscape suitable for imbibing in two (or three) of the holy trinity of legal intoxicants... as this is found audio, i do not control whether or how long these mp3s will be available nor whether they are "legal" (by whatever definition you choose)...

tonight's blend includes Major Dickason's blend (rich and complex) laced with TQ Hot and my white box of English Ovals ...

Star Gazing - Dora Flood (referring page) - I first came across Dora Flood in Mystery and Misery. This track didn't make it to Jason's original M&M post. It's a perfect way to kick off our late night Coffee and Cigarettes MP3 mix, sitting on the roof of my building with a warm thermos, some tunes and of course my Ovals... alas, no stars but if I drink enough of this, I might be seeing a few.

Fiction - This is Exploding (referring page, select downloads) - Let's get a little bit more busy before we mellow out too much. This Is Exploding is an emerging band from Cleveland that played DC this past August and are still on tour. It's smart pop music with bruises, big fat swelling fuzzy black and blue bruises. Check out their website and the other downloads there. The mp3 itself comes courtesy of Cleveland Ain't It Fun fanzine and the downloads section should take you several weeks to get through.

Brighton - The New Loud Reeds (referring page) - Again from the Cleveland Ain't It Fun website, comes Cleveland's answer to the Brian Jonestown Massacre and the Dandy Warhols. This 6/8 strut makes me want to put on a swell jacket, black tshirt and sunglasses and go strolling down the beach. Quoth Julian Cope:
"Delightful babies, truly unctuous self-obsession at its highest level (‘Without warning a wizard walks by!’). ‘Teenage Metalhead’ has a polio strut to die for (nay, live for) and they even finish the record with a song called ‘Peter Laughner’!" Lots more sounds on their website for you to peruse.

Perks and Presents (remix) - Mark Robinson (legal) (see also) -
unrest was his band and was on teen beat, local lo-fi pioneers, now he's solo doing the quiet and loud thing, still working his wonderful lyrics into deceptively simple and layered tracks where he (apparently) is playing all the instruments.

The Body of An American -
Pogues (referring page) (lyrics) - if you watch HBO's Wired, you may have heard this last night as (improbably) sung at the wake of a policeman in an Irish pub, the cop laid out in full uniform on a pool table. A touching scene, even if I doubt that a bunch of Baltimore cops would know the words to a Pogues song... still, I was living in Baltimore when the Pogues were touring and they played Baltimore quite a bit.

Coming Back to You - Leonard Cohen (referring page) (lyrics) - This is from Martin Gore's home page and you can hear Gore's version of this song if you go to the referring page.

And today in found images... courtesy Washington Post.

Janet Leigh R.I.P.

This feller is 105 years old and is in fine fettle. He drinks coffee every day. Full story here.

Big Dipper
Boo-Boo Six-song EP
Homestead Records, 1987

If you ever wondered what happened to those guys in bar scene from Good Will Hunting. No, not those guys and not the guy who became the demented brother of Ryan O'Reily in Oz. No, the guys in the back, drinking, bitching about the crappy jukebox, talking about their next jam and not even bothering to get Minnie Driver's number because they know she's a stuck up Ivy Leaguer with a phony accent and shaved eyebrows and they can get a much better class of female down at the local strip joint. I mean, how about
them apples?

Big Dipper were formed by two refugees from first line-up of the Volcano Suns (they quit "cuz Peter was an asshole... he's not anymore, though") and Dumptruck - in reality, they probably weren't art-punky and gloomy enough for either of these bands. The singer came from Embarassment, a Kansas punk band that wasn't going anywhere and the drummer who got in because he had a practice place and "lots of pot" - though I'm sure there's more to it as he's pretty damn capable.

Somehow they hook up with Lou Giordano, uber-producer and engineer, record a few songs of hard-edged guitar pop and bank they have a deal with Cosloy. The results are a far-ranging, very listenable recording. Several of the songs ("What in the Sam Hill...?" "San Quentin CA") sorta celebrate the Dirtballus Americanus so much in vogue among the indies at the time. Different styles such as C&W ("San Quentin"), surfpunk ("Wrong In the Charts"). Others just are about driving around, getting by, get fucked up, y'know normal stuff ("Ancers").

Two cuts are presented for your consideration. "Faith Healer" is an interesting garage pop tune in that it has that Bollywood snake charmer riff but without any sort of arty doo-dahs and vogueing (like, say a Franz Ferdinand song). "Loch Ness Monster," a song about an Ahab-type obsessed with the Nessie myth, is more a prime example of the Giordano magic. Each instrument can be heard clearly on its own and that especially works on a song structure that builds upon each instrument. The flourishes such as the "woo!" song between the 1st chorus and 2nd verse are mixed just right to make for a nice accent. And listen to the back and forth back-up singing in the "It's a mystery why she left me" portion of chorus.

Fun Facts: In astronomey, The big dipper is a constellation of stars also known as Ursa Major which is also known as The Great Bear. Yogi the Bear was a great bear. His little friend was Boo-Boo. The cover of Boo-Boo, the EP, is a photo of a hunter (left) with what looks like two bears.

Faith Healer
Loch Ness Monster


The quote about Peter Prescott comes from this comprehensive article in Boston Rock Storybook. Read this for the long version.
Byron Coley sums up the band output. Read this for the short version.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Cosmic Psychos
Cosmic Psychos (LP)
What Goes On/Mr. Spaceman, 1987

Reason 3452 why punk rock is different than corporate music: Take this band, a group of Australian yobs, one a cattle farmer and bulldozer driver, who, probably unknown to half the people in their hometown, take off every few years to tour the world to mass acclaim and free beer. Here's how bassist Ross Knight explains it:
Ross: When work on the farm quietens down for me, then I can go overseas. That's the way we've always worked. I've got a full-time commitment to my farm - always have. The band is a hobby; it pretty much is for all of us really. Robby, our guitar player, has three kids under five years old, one a little bit older, so he's got his parental commitments. And I've got my farm commitments...
Well respected labels like Sub Pop and Amphetamine Reptile have put out their albums and they have about, what? 15 to their credit? No acrimony or breaking up here because there's one less thing to fight about (i.e. money). This here self-titled vinyl was their first LP after a spate of 7"s and such and although their guitarist (Peter Jones) would be replaced in a few years by the more acclaimed Robbie Watts, you can hear why such punk guitar connisours as Tom Hazlemeyer, Bruce Pavitt, Butch Vig (a later producer) and Mudhoney heard in them. Touchstones are Ramones, the Saints, Sex Pistols and garage rock in general (I'm reminded a little of this past Vinyl Mine entry). Mostly they write about things that disgust ("Lead Me Astray"), problems they are having ("No Money") and girls ("Jellyfish" about what a girl does to a guy is almost a blues piece).

I'm picking "Rambo", which almost sounds like The Fall except with better guitar -- it whips up a swirl of noise and sneers at the American icon and "David Lee Roth" which sneers in a more humorous way at another icon (warning: explicit lyrics!). One problem with this album as is often the case with first efforts is that the recording, partic. the guitar, is a bit too muddy -- like the microphone was in another room.

Best CP story is them mooning a booing audience in Sydney while opening up for Pearl Jam. They said they were inspired by the heavy metal cliche of band members putting their arms around each other and bowing at the end of a set. Others have apparently picked it up since. I really want to hear their all acoustic set that was originally done as a satire of Unplugged but is rumored to actually be pretty good - anyone have a few cuts they're willing to share?

David Lee Roth

There is no official site for the Cosmic Psychos but here is their Sub Pop page and a pretty comprehensive discography from Grunnenrocks.
Here's the interview with the Ross Knight (that I quoted above).
Their PR agency's page (cached - has a recent picture)

Batman, Motion Picture Soundtrack
Prince, WB 1989
This is one I'm not going to post any music for - not sure I want to piss off the Purple One. Just wanted to note, for anyone who gives a rat's ass, that it's in my collection and about four songs were worth digitizing ("Partyman," "The Future," "Batdance" and "Electric Chair"). I suppose I bought this in the heat of that Batman frenzy of 1989 and the fact that it combined Prince, Jack Nicholson and my beloved DC comic book hero (yes, Bats over Supes anyday). That said, I like dancemusicsex Prince ("Erotic City" brings memories) but not romance ballad Prince. And there's more than a little bit of the latter (yawn) in here.... I have to wonder if DC Comics was a bit wierded out by such lyrical images as Bruce Wayne telling a dirty jokes to Vicki Vale and "Gemini" (Prince's apparent imagined alter ego villian) wanting to stick his 7" in a computer. Does that fall under the Comics Code?
Posted by Hello

Friday, October 01, 2004

The Polyphonic Spree played a free show at the Kennedy Center tonight - which is right down the street from where I live. The performance was streamed live and apparently is to be archived. Alas, I went to their web site and the link to the video appears to be broken. Either that, or they got overloaded. Go here for more info and see if you can get it to work. Or try this directly. I've already sent them some email but it can't hurt (you have to register as an "e-patron" however - I'm already but this seems a bit dumb). hopefully they'll have it fixed shortly.

UPDATE: Well, I'll be... they added a little note that says the following:
This performance will available for archive viewing Saturday evening 10/2.... so there...