Saturday, September 30, 2006

Amen, Brother and other links

Lefsetz goes to see Beck (that's Jeff Beck!) and notes why it sucks going to shows these days for music lovers:
Everybody TALKS! It’s as if going to an outdoor show is about the party, the hang, the music is secondary. It’s almost like going to a party at someone’s house, with the stereo filling up the holes in the background. So, "Cause We Ended As Lovers" was not a transcendent experience. Oh, Beck was perfect. But it needed to be completely dark, there needed to ONLY be the music. Instead there was a din. Of paying customers disrespecting the music. ... focus was always pulled from the performance. By people who just didn’t get it. I was reminded of why I oftentimes don’t leave the house. You get to the point where people just bug you too much.
This isn't just at outdoors shows. The Black Cat in DC would be a great venue if we could just get all the people at the bar to shut the fuck up. There's a bar downstairs unconnected to any of the music rooms. Why can't they go down there? So many of the bands these days play music with quiet introspective moments and it just sucks to have to crowd up front to hear them. An exception around here, almost, is the Birchmere in Alexandria. It's interesting that this is a sit-down venue (although the tables and chairs are so jammed together, it's pretty uncomfortable). I yearn for the clubs of yore that had circular tables and a dance floor off to the side. Of course, there's Blues Alley in Georgetown (within walking distance of the Vinyl Mine) but it's a hefty entrance fee usually and it's only jazz played there.

There's more about the Beck show at the link, by the way.

Anablog has been publishing almost daily Mp3 excerpts and pictures from a bonus disk of Harry Partch (1901-1974) describing (and editoralizing about music in general) and demonstrating the instruments he constructed and modified - among the usual erudite Anablog stuff. Quoting from the liner notes from Partch's Delusion from the Fury:
The one-of-a-kind, unique-in-this-world, far-out, beautiful works of sculptural grace that are his instruments defy description. They have to be seen as well as heard. To be able to play his own multi-tone scale, Partch had to design and build every one of them. There was no one else to do it. He has called himself "a music man seduced into carpentry." And now, at last, there is talk of reproducing every one of his instruments for the Smithsonian Institution. The whole world's catching up with Harry Partch. He still doesn't give a damn.
I wish I had a Diamond Marimba.
Speaking of different instruments, Dan Joseph was the drummer for the DC noise-punk band 9353. He has a new album out with three roughly 15-20 minute pieces based around the Hammer Dulcimer, of which he has become an accomplished performer-composer. Some decent sized samples from each piece are up at his site. It's a long way from 9353 but I happen to like it even better than that band. "Percussion and Strings" combines the dulcimer with strings arranged like "rounds" (you know how you sing "Row Row the Boat" and then the next person starts) -- it evokes Appalachia music which I guess is no surprise given where the dulcimer made its most inroads.

"Percussion and Strings" - Dan Joseph - Archaea
I'm in total love with this totally free album from Las Comadrejas. It's like Plugz meets Klezmer and Jazz in the 20's band all in one. WFMU has it.

Speaking of free albums of note, Explosions in The Sky, a band of whom I wrote earlier this week has their 2005 album Rescue up for grabs. Go to this page and click on the Rescue album icon. Thanks, anablog.

It's about 50 minutes worth of viewing but the funniest viral video of the week has to be the stoned professor. The video seems to have gone underground after it was linked to by Boing Boing direct to a Florida University website. But people downloaded & mirrored it and at least one person has put together some excerpts onto Youtube. I love this guy and hope someone else hires him - oh wait, Google video has the whole thing - the zany Prof certainly makes the topic of Business Management a lot more interesting than I remember it. I learned a thing or two and laughed alot. I don't know why he got fired. This excerpt could have been taken from Plato:
Student: "So what this is a management class?"

Professor: "So what, so what this is a management class. Wait a minute. I mean, duh? Do you think the only thing important is business - the only thing important is management. Get out of here! It's not! There's lots more stuff that's important"

Student: "And this is because?"

Professor: "And this is because? I'm going to slap him. This is because life is not about business. Life is not about management. That's because..."
Woebot talks about the leaked Joanna Newsom CD and also has pictures of some of her earlier CD-Rs.
This is the movie of the season that everyone is talking about but most haven't yet seen. I predict it will be a big hit. I loved The Devil's Backbone and this looks like a return to form for del Toro.
Finally, is it just me or is something fucked up with Blogger's spell checker. Sorry for any mistakes. It seems to have gone south just when I was trying to improve the "editing" of this here blog. Ha ha.

Coffee and Cigarettes Harvest MP3 Mix

the gathering of ripe crops, the crops or the amount so gathered, or the season in which they are gathered*

(img by me)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Jack Rose: Tequila Sunrise

Jack Rose -- untitled (part 1)

Jack Rose put out this 7". ummmmm..... Or the label Tequila Sunrise put it out. It's kind of like those 60's albums that would have 40 minute jams in which you had to turn the side around to listen to the rest of it. Except it's a 7". This is all improvised and untitled amplified acoustic guitar that (IT dRAWS You IN) fills up both sides of your brain - the left and the right side and make an "impedance match" as some guy said in a meeting I had today. hE WAS REALLY TALKING ABOUT BANDWIDTH =-0 AS IN WHaT hAPPENS wHEn YOU pUT TWO DATA streams AT DIFFeren t RATES tiogehter INTO s the rOUTaeR AND THEN into a NETWORK OF A differeing BANDWIDHt RATE?!? but it was impedance mismatch!L:!@ dOES JUST 1/2 OF THE bandiwith GO THROUGH? wHAT HAPPENS TO THE REST FO THE Dat



Jack Rose -- untitled (part 2)

Marry... merry? Dolt face, terminal raisons de atrea. A funk, bl;ue terms of candidates in germs and slight perculators times and trieds and dorse and reason per nicne accolate juam peraceate procerate procreate PROCREAATE terminals jumble terminal sunrise time turn tun tumps turkeys and dryt ful nincietises left by the door terime tr4eime treime rowers and slaves and jackasses jack arose jack a rose lanterns and times and jeritificals and animals and asshollles and time and time and time and sleep and sleep rose bunny bunny time terminals and taisons rasions and lights and suicides bombers and soffal and offals and urp urp burp time time time where oh mine tttakttak taak ttak ohopal opal otpal opal rggeeeeoffffff-ffforgams fffffff chch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-chc-hc-chc-h- prrrofffoprrrooo fpprrrroooof prrrrrrooooffpprrrroooooof prrrroooofffperooo f pa pa spit chime turn train rani rain rain rainraindurnrain pah pa pa pa


this record (7") appears is almost OOP -- you can still buy it from tequila sunrise records...

jack rose discography and on vhfrecords.

Photo by Green Shock uploaded from Flickr under Creative Commons liscense

Pelt on myspace.... plus news: Pelt shows being planned for after Christmas. Looking for Virginia venues.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


My periodic run around the other blogs, waving a shirt over my head and screaming, "Glurrgplff, mrrrrf!!!!"...

First of all, hats off to Slog for making me lose my dinner ... and lunch (a beautiful combo of Chinese microwave food and a shank steak salad with cucumber dressing). It made a lovely green,brown and white puddle. Slog has pictures from a recent "art" exhibit made out of cadavers of dead Chinese people. It's rilly controversial. Above is the skinned hide of a man. Apparently, if you go, you think deeeeep thoughts about, well, the "bald truths and andamant facts" of life and death. Picture above by Kelly O swiped from the Slog posting.

What else. Well, I don't really do the file-sharing thing except on Soulseek (and then I only share OOP crap) but it's funny when one of those "evil" file sharing companies goes and sues the recording industry right back. I'm sure they won't get anywhere but, hey, we can raise prices on CDs to pay for all of Sony's legal fees. Speaking of which, yet another study has found there is no apparent and provable link between decreased sales of records and file sharing. Finally, a new version of the TOR (anonymous) web browser is available in case you don't want the music industry trying to find out if you downloaded that awful Beach Boys - Beatles mash-up. Ok, you can wake up now.

And this isn't bloggy links but I love it when I find a mainstream newspaper story about an indie rock band that Large-Assed Boy hasn't linked by 6AM in his "shorties" spread. Explosions in the Sky in Washington Post. The Posties note their odd popularity of this instrumental band (I likes 'em, by the way):

At times, Explosions' members appear to be in a trance as they perform, and their fans mirrored this behavior last weekend, bobbing their heads in rhythm and throwing their arms above their heads in exaltation. But there were no air guitar players in the Austin crowd, and only a few attendees wove lighters around in the darkness.

The group may be on the cusp of a breakthrough: It will release its just-recorded album early next year, and major labels have started calling. But Explosions doesn't quite adhere to rock protocol, declining to play encores on the grounds that they deliver as much as they possibly can during a single, self-contained performance.

The other has an old video available at the best radio station in the world' s website. Speaking of free shit, put down the blog, I mean bong, and expand your mind.

Siltblog is back from a break, check it out if you want to go beyond Deerhoof in your noise-rock listening adventures. Some cool Kirby art that would be on my desktop if I was more of a geek.

Huh, I'm looking this over and seeing that I didn't link to any MP3 blogs for some cool songs. Hold on, let me look... nope, nothing of much worth lately. But I'm digging some songs from my new pal on Myspace, London Has Let Me Down, who is a sometime member of Maher Shahal Hash Baz and Yumbo. He describes his music as "melodies gone wrong." You can also download some live cuts (well, he only does live music) from his web page:

Choice cut: "the last song"

Late-breaking: news of a new Shellac record...

Monday, September 25, 2006

LL Cool J vs. The Album Leaf

"You'll Rock(remix)" (from a Def Jam 12" and originally on Radio) meets "Always For You (Mp3 link to the original)" a semi-sappy electronica/dance tune from The Album Leaf's Into The Blue Again...

The original rap was one of Radio's worst tracks, I thought, so I stripped most of that junk off and just took some elements to enhance (or destroy) the Jimmy Lavelle's song which had a sort of slight hip hop feel and a similiar albeit faster beat to it. I had to speed up the Cool J song by about 20% so things would line up. This was easier than lining up to the Warlocks song, though, since the beats are easy to find on the screen.

OK, I'll stop now with the LL meets Indie but my re-up of LL meets The White Stripes made the Hype Machine's Most Popular Tracks for some reason.

"Always For You'll Rock" - LL Cool J vs. The Album Leaf

(all rights reserved to original artists; just for fun, etc. etc.).

Saturday, September 23, 2006

My Second Mash-up: LL Cool J vs. The Warlocks

In keeping with the Vinyl Mine tradition of LL Cool J meeting contemporary rock bands, here's the rapper and the psyche band that everyone seems to hate these days.

Oh, and there's a little Sonic Youth snippet at the end.

Yeah, it's a little raw in the beat alignment (hello, Warlocks drummer - ever hear of a click track?) but I'm only using Audicity and I think spending more than a few hours trying to get it perfect is, well, let's just say I don't need a life but some people might start thinking I do. I'm sure Darwin will come back and tell me how it sounds like a train wreck, lol...:

"We Need A Starpower Beat" - L.L. Cool J. vs. The Warlocks (guests: Sonic Youth)

and previously...

"Jack The Ripper's Thinking About the Doorbell" - L.L. Cool J. vs. The White Stripes

(If anyone wants to play with the Audicity project and fix my problem areas, drop me a line - if I get motivated, maybe I'll take another stab at it, too)

Friday, September 22, 2006


It's not so much the creepy little kid or even the creepy little kid smoking at the end. It's the creepy grown man laying on a futon making the creepy little kid dance at his command and it's the creepy other kids arrayed around the creepy grown man that really creeps me out. I guess you can guess that I think it's the way creepiest thing I've seen on Youtube, um, in the last hour.

Christ, I mean, Chris Stigliano has his top 100 albums. I've heard about 30 of them, sad to say. Surprised, though, to see Yoko and John made it.

And here's your daily dose of Fergie hate. Enjoy these days, as some day she will rule the UK. Oh, and some Fergie love.

Lefsetz nails the new Bob Dylan although I don't know what he means by it not being "accessible". While it's fun to try and figure out what Dylan is trying to say in his songs (as I tried a few posts ago), it's still his crappiest record since that one after Slow Train Coming:
This is not a word of mouth record. These same worthless print writers are selling this record. Getting baby boomers who want to look cool and in the loop to buy it. Because if you heard it at a friend’s house, you’d NEVER buy it!
Some rare Raygun at SiL. Thurston Moore Raga-Superstar goes to Salon. Art Brut (another current band that makes me feel kinda young - and Bri'-ish) video.

And finally, Albini on a recent Cocorosie performance:

From a previously-linked blog:
blog wrote:
The opera shifted into hip-hop as a flock of birds flew overhead on this "windy night in the windy city." Bianca rapped while Sierra Casady sang through some effect that made it sound as if she was weeping. ... And finally, the first black musician of the weekend (at least the first I saw) stepped on stage and proceeded to beatbox expertly before doing a kick-ass, high-speed rap in French, and then fondling Bianca during a slow jam...

There is no part of this description that doesn't make me seethe with hatred for someone. The Cocorosies, their audience, the expert beatboxer or the poor blogger. There's something to hate in every phrase!

Okay, I don't hate the birds.

Love of Love of Diagrams

I'm happy to hear that Melbourne's Love of Diagrams has signed a deal to put out some albums stateside. I've been a fan since last year's "No Way Out" single. One of the few bands that makes me feel young again. Maybe it's as MataBlog says, "the teaming with late 70's/early '80's noise, punk and pop part"... and the best overlapping vacant male-female vocals, and the buzz-fuzz guitar... Bob Weston recording their new album sounds intriguing as well.

Here's "In The Red" from their We've Got Communication EP.

LoD's Aussie label Unstable Ape has plenty of other bands just waiting for some more world wide recognition. From the Unstable Ape sampler:

"Stand Up Bob Dylan, You're a Star" by No Through Road
"How It Goes" by Remake Remodel

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Cat Powers My Desktop

Although I could really care less about her personal struggle with demons unless she wants to whisper it in my ear, the picture accompanying the major PR-coup New York Times Chan Marshall article makes for a stunning and work-neutral screen background, doncha think? There's a regrettable video accompanying the article, if you dare. But I'm glad she's overcome whatever it was ailing her.

Speaking of booze and tortured singers, here's a picture of David Yow tending bar in Seattle.

Speaking of Matador and coups, this probably says as much about Yo La Tengo as it does the state of the "recording industry"

I went to the Catfish Haven / Shearwater / Magnolia Electric Company. I "won" a free ticket from Insound because the show was in DC and, well, I live in DC. And I figure I'm probably they're only customer in DC.

Catfish Haven are bluesy, loud, brash and pretty damn Suthr'n for a bunch of Chicago boys. The singer was almost a parody of incoherent between song rambling. "Mmmrf nnff grrp nkk sllkr? Mrrf? Nffd wrrd nnrd frmm urr fiisstellbum. Trhrnkju." Pretty cool songs that don't overstay their welcome (no guitar solos either). Anyway, good band but they sounded better in the studio.

Shearwater were, in a word, incredible and exceed my expectations. I liked some of the songs of their recent CD but kinda shruged off the others. Almost all those songs I liked improved 100% in concert and the songs I didn't care for are now being reassessed. Love the drummer's set up - a bassdrum, floor tom, beautiful-sounding large cymbal and a waist-high vibraphone. The bassist has one of those extra special large upright basses, they have the now-obligatory Rhodes and the singer switches off between a beat-up banjo (that required pre-set tape repairs) and several guitars -- but the instrumentation isn't the band's gimmicks. The center of the band's energy is their singer (and songwriter) and his, well, masturbatory songs -- and I don't mean that in a bad way - it's just that each song is about him, sung only by him, starts out quiet, builds up into a climax, joyfully splatters all over the stage and crowd and then, um, peters out. He might be really interesting as a songwriter when he gets a girlfriend.

Finally, Magnolia Electric Company - the Songs:Ohia guy. But DCist reviewed it. Not sure I agree about Jason Molina being sad. He looked just fine by me. Maybe even happy -- I didn't stay for the whole set. Much as I like the emo-revival of Crazy Horse, I was tired by about their fifth song and I'm not too crazed about their new album like I was about their last one. Not sad enough, I guess.

My favorite think-read of the day, la Paglia reviews a documentary on Marie Antionette and wonders why the French Revolution is supposedly of such interest these days:

Has representative democracy, paralyzed by rancorous partisanship and bureaucratic incompetence, become the waning ancien régime assailed by hordes at the gates? There is an uneasy sense of siege in Europe and the United States from restive immigrant minorities who have taken to the streets or bred saboteurs. The intelligentsia seem fatigued, sapped by pointless theory, and impotent to affect events. Fervor has shifted to religious fundamentalists in both Christianity and Islam. Materialism and status anxiety (evident even in higher education, with its brand-name snobbery) have come to the fore in the glitteringly high-tech West. Yet the turbulent third world offers agonizingly stark contrasts. The Marie Antoinette story, with its premonitions of doom amid a giddy fatalism, seems to signal a pervasive guilt about near-intractable social inequities.


After 9/11 — when great towers fell, like the Bastille, in a day — coping for the professional class has required cognitive dissonance. Life's routine goes on amid a surreal bombardment of bulletins about mutilations and massacres. When since the Reign of Terror has ritual decapitation become such a constant? The fury and cruelty of the French mob were strangely mixed with laughter — as when the severed head of Marie Antoinette's friend, the Princesse de Lamballe, was spruced up by a hairdresser and waved on a pike outside the royal family's window. These are the grisly surprises that now greet us every day through our own windows — the glass monitors of TV's and PC's. The return of Marie Antoinette suggests that there are political forces at work in the world that Western humanism does not fully understand and that it may not be able to control.

Dept of Number Twos and Bestiality Department.

And finally, this will warm the hearts of vinyl junkies.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

John Zorn among Grant Winners

John Zorn, who emerged from the hybrid free jazz - punk no wave NYC crowd in the '80s, has won a MacArthur Award.

Mr. Zorn, whose record label is Tzadik and who runs a music venue in the East Village called the Stone, said he was extremely grateful to the community of downtown musicians who have supported him over the years. "The best thing that could happen with this award is maybe a long overdue light could be shined on that community and their work, and people would start taking it a little more seriously," he said. "Because, let's face it, we live in a world where dumbing-down is the order of the day." He said he was shocked to receive the award. "It's unbelievable: Acknowledgment in your lifetime is such a rare, precious thing."
Per his Wikipedia entry:
He is inspired by other artists and different musical styles. He has a special attraction to underground artists and musical styles that are extremely loud, wild, or creative. He is perhaps best known for his work with Masada, with Joey Baron (drums), Dave Douglas (trumpet), Greg Cohen (bass); Masada is an Ornette Coleman-influenced band playing compositions based on Jewish scales. The Masada songs are part of the songbook with several different arrangements. These include the Masada String Trio, Bar Kohkba, and Electric Masada. He has also played with Painkiller (a mix of grindcore and free jazz in which he is joined by Mick Harris of Napalm Death) and Naked City (an often aggressive mix of jazz, rock and thrash metal). He has also worked with musicians such as Bill Frisell, Gary Lucas, Wayne Horvitz, Derek Bailey, Cyro Baptista, Trevor Dunn, Mark Feldman, Fred Frith, Erik Friedlander, Keiji Haino, Bill Laswell, Arto Lindsay, Mike Patton, John Medeski, Ikue Mori, Robert Quine, Marc Ribot, Jamie Saft, Kenny Wolleson, and the Violent Femmes. He has written music for television and film, which has been collected in the ongoing Filmworks series of records on his Tzadik label. Some of these are jazz-based, others are classical.

Motel de Moka has some Naked City tracks

and an interview with Bomb Magazine

Monday, September 18, 2006

Vinyl Mine Hearts Fergie

Ha ha... not really but I got your attention, eh? And, yes, I can't stand John Mayer either. What's the diff afterall? And when did music become about people who can actually play their instruments, anyway? (smirk)

Anyway, some of the latest other blog-or-rhea of note.

Add some splice into your life. No, really, someone try this and see if it's worthwhile. Looks like it might be useful for doing something on an MP3 Blog, I dunno...

Best used record score story of the week, maybe year.

Solomon Burke does Ike Turner... and Dr. Frank and Kim Shattuck do Elton John and Kiki - throw away yer TV, the Internet just got good.

Even better, a program that boots MP3s from those pesky Myspace pages that only provide streaming music...

Funniest Only-Indie-Kids-Will-Get-It Story of the Week: Mistaking the poster for an actual handwritten and threatening note, the kid sent off this message in return:

JUST WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE BITCH!? sending me a fucking piece of paper in big letters telling me you are gonna kick my ass, you’re not afraid of me????????? WELL HERE I AM DICKHEAD!
And for your downloading pleasure - Jamie's got the compleat 2002 Wire Peel Session

Photo stolen from Flickr - by someone who stole it from someone else (
Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

Foetus: Nail LP (Homestead/1986)

Who doesn't get enough love?

Foetus doesn't get enough love.

Too punk for the art crowd. Too arty for the punk crowd. The metal guys don't know what to do with his haircut and the indie kids go running away screaming. And all the industrial kids are long dead or have gone Christian. What to do... what to do...???????

First, go thee to his Myspace page and listen to the four streaming cuts and then please, please come back here and deny the true ascendancy of Foetus to Godhood. I fucking dare ya. No one hard-mashes up genres like this guy and his sonicscapes are drool-worthy for those home studio types who could only dream to match his skillz.

A guy who refuses to pissdrink from the pools of sell-out single genre, rejects any frame or context you might put him in and still remains hard as, well, nails. And with something like four dozen records under his belt, he's no flash in the pan, limpdick, drug burnout. I'm kinda glad his singing chops have improved and he's hiding the "wallowing-in-despair-and-degradation" that his earlier (pre-girlfriend?) stuff seems most suited for.

And Foetus - what a great band name -- n contrast to his other, um, poor name choices like Manorexia or Steroid Maximus - although Wiseblood, kinda cool. Offensive and interpretive from so many levels - "Foe to us" - Foetus as the Id incaranate - Foetus as the ugly little wombmonster and of course the evident connection to the whole life vs. choice religious-secular debate that divides us on almost primal levels. It's bad enough to keep him off the shelves at Wal-Mart, I'm sure.

Nail is just another in the two dozen or so Foetus records - but it contains a number of fan favorites ("Throne of Agony", "Enter The Exterminator") and some of his first forays into pure symphonic pieces ("Theme from Pigdom Come", "Overture to Pigdom Come"). Every cut seems to have a little surprise in it. My only prob with Nail is Thirwell's at times over-bearing "Oh I Is So Degraded" persona and his sometimes lack of vocal discipline - both are tendencies his later work has, um, fixed.

The concept seems to be that this is some sort of soundtrack to a movie documenting a geographic foray through the American West full of "Barflys. Fireflys. Roaches...[that] die every fucking night and fuck in the dying night" - a type of trip you'd take with Nick Cave, Charley Manson (or Bukowski) and a trunk full of mushrooms. Touchpoints for the concept might include Dante, Ginsburg, Spaghetti Westerns, Sonic Youth's "Death Valley '69" (and their later "Xpressway to Yr Skull," Spahn Ranch (one of the songs uses Manson's phone number there) as well as Hunter Thompson's own drug-fueled journey through the West. The trip seemed to be motivated by the narrator's self-hate and anger at women (""Throne of Agony" and "Pigswill"). Things go from bad to worse ("Descent Into The Inferno"). Our heroes seem to get into trouble ("Enter The Exterminator" and "DI-1-9026") and go on some sort of killing spree and then face off against each other in the desert ("Private War / Anything (Viva!)" and the "hero" is left in his madness screaming that he can do "ANYTHING! ANYTHING! ANYTHING!" Well... At least that's my take (scroll down to read someone else's)

Musical touchpoints might be Nick Cave himself (Thirlwell wrote a song for Cave and a song about him in a previous record), Eight-Eyed Spy, Coil and Euro-trash movie soundtracks.

"Overture from Pigdom Come" - One of the classical pieces. The beauty of this piece contrasts to the hellish depths of the rest of the album.

"Descent Into The Inferno" - The most B-Day Party-ish and/or Wiseblood Hell meets Heaven blues song here - probably why I like it so much. And the Manhattan Transfer break is pretty funny. Never a dull moment on this cut.

(Record pictured above - found in the budget bins at $3.99 in late 80's. Note the embossed PROMOTION USE ONLY in the lower bottom corner)

Picture taken from

In closing, and because he says it so much lucidly and more beautifully than I ever could, let me crib from the great Piero Scaruffi and his summation of Foetus's Nail:
Nail (1985), perhaps his masterpiece, was even more powerful, and in an "evil" way. Every single sound is exaggerated, overdone, dramatized. This album's songs are poems carved with a jack-hammer into the marble of a gravestone. A touch of retro attitude (not too different from Frank Zappa's ventures into orchestral and jazz music) is drowned into magniloquent, sinister, gloomy, tragic, terrifying industrial "symphonies". But, ultimately, this was also a heartbreaking cry of grief that soars in a landscape of desolation and depravation.
  • appears to be privately maintained by the artist and has all things Foetus including his astoundingly huge discographies (Sufjan, there is hope you'll make it to 50 states), an exhaustive reprinting of interviews and past reviews (source material for this posting) and an audio/video page which includes another MP3 from this album - the masterful closing cut(s) - "Private War / Anything (Viva!)"
  • Dodge still has a Foetus-Lydia Lunch cover of "Don't Fear the Reaper" available. I'm not in love with the sound of this MP3 or the fact that they chose to record this (although I hear a little bit of smirk in their singing so maybe it's a goof) ...and it's nice to hear their voices blending - they've put out other record together.
  • Foetus's last release was in 2005 with the four-lettered (all Foetus albums are "four lettered") Love. I'm afraid I haven't heard of it -- didn't even know it was out (this goes back to the beginning of the post as in where is the blog love for Thirwell?) Birdman Records
  • Blog love or not, there's plenty of You Tube! Foetus so you can see the little man with the awesome never ageing hairline shake his thing. And my fave Wiseblood
  • video - "The Fudge Punch" accompanying a lengthy colonscopy video. Har, har.
  • Jim Thirwell is the composer for the theme music of Adult Swim's very geek-cool Venture Bros
  • . I nearly shaved my ass & went for a swim when they had a guest appearance a by now-corrupt Johnny Quest a few weeks ago -- the batch of recent episodes suggest this cartoon is only hitting its stride. You can download Thirwell's over-amped "Hammer Falls" as swing-jazz show closing and opening themes right here. Go Team Venture!
  • and yes, i know that Thirwell influenced NiN but I don't really care.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Oh Sweet! Battlestar Galactica mini-eps

Man, this show brings out my inner teen-age geek... we get to see what life is like under Cylon rule. ...thanks Boing Boing...

More highlights from today's web browse:

Brit blogger Herschell Hershey writes a beautiful tribute and travelouge of his visit to Soulsville, Tennessee and the Stax museum. Take some time to read it if you have any love of this music... I'm tempted to take the road trip now.

Funky16Corners unearths some fine lost "funk-y" drumming with a rip from Bernard "Pretty" Purdie's 1968 vinyl. He's the guy that claimed he drummed on some Beatles cuts.

Finally, instant groovy love for this "end of summer" cut by Mountaineer being fronted by music (for robots) today... like I said, sweeeet....

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Not so random blog crawl

Ever since I began using Google Reader, I've been all up in the blogs and not discovering shit weeks after the links have been taken down. Up until I never really found an RSS aggregator that I liked. Sure, it needs some things but it's free, so I ain't complaining.

Nice thing about it is it's web-based so I can browse during lunch with all my same preferences.

So, since I'm kinda being lazy about getting my next post up (hey, it's Foetus, it can wait), here's some good stuff from today:

Chromewaves has a new cut from the Catfish Haven record up. I raved about them a few months ago based on their SXSW cut.

Bradley's Alamac has a couple of real fine Silkworm cuts up - side by side with three MP3s from an upcoming Silkworm tribute record. With the exception of the cut from Temper (MP3 poorly tagged). I'm not too impressed by the tribute cuts but the Silkworm songs hit the spot and Bradley's got the album listing and some obsessive trivia about the participating bands.

Everybody's pulling out their fave Sufjan Stevens Christmas songs in light of a recently announced Xmas album from the boy. You Ain't No Picasso has a good one.

Finally, 20 Jazz Funk Greats reimagines some real annoyingly good lo-fi noise-"rock" as Italian folk tales.

...and in non-MP3 blog land - Brix Smith goes upscale; IF Stan Lee wrote Watchmen; Multi-media dome - ultimate sound system?

And finally, the ftp file searcher's new best friend? Gegereka... click the file format you want to search and then go to the bottom of the page and "search within results" - here's a slow-loading Pink Floyd live cut song - "Green Is The Colour"

Picture via the Man From U.N.C.L.E - Calcutta Affair

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Dylan's "Thunder on the Mountain"

Download or stream "Thunder on The Mountain" on hype machine here (or iTunes)

What's that? Is that the sound of Dylan laughing at us all trying to make sense of the seeming absurdity of the song (a standard three chord shuffle) and its lyrics? Well maybe, but I think this is the sound of Dylan laughing -- and condemning -- his critics and the people who have put words in his mouth or tried to make him -- and others -- into something he isn't. A few years ago, the press went gaga over Alicia Keys, declaring her, like Dylan, Springsteen and Prince, the great saviour of pop music. She was black, gifted and a woman and came out of poverty in Hell's Kitchen -- and seemed to be of that Rolling Stone - Boomer mindset. Keys encouraged all this - or more likely Keys PR team encouraged it by declaring that she had an "old soul." Shit like that makes white rock critics go nuts. This of course, is dumb - there are no Saviours in pop music, only good song writers and bad songwriters -- and good musicians, engineers, and so on.

As of late, all those critics are obsessing over the references to Alicia in this song -- one wonders why the reference to Hell's Kitchen and then he's looking for her in Tennessee - it's quite funny and ironic as they are missing what I think Dylan is saying here. I wonder if all this hype regarding the Keys references in this song were planned all along by Dylan. Alicia didn't turn out to be anything like a saviour of pop music - she's a decent songwriter, I guess, and a talented musician but "Ghetto Story, Part 2? Unbreakable?" -- woman, please.

Throughout the song, Dylan makes allusions to his past and the things he has done to confound the critics, fans and so forth - his turn towards Christianity, his (and likewise Alicia Keys') "sell-out" phase, his critics' obsession with his personal life (at least during his divorce) and so forth. As he says "she aint no angel and neither am I" (bit of a reference to Victoria's Secret commericals there, too, eh?) - and he goes on to condemn everyone who look towards him for guidance or whatever - saying he "doesn't give a damn about your dreams." Part of the song also seems sung in the voice of these critics, fans and people who looked towards him as their saviour - their false bravado, piety - secular and otherwise. They raise orphan armies and take vows of priesthood.

In the end, the yammering and blather amounts only to "Thunder on the Mountain." Dylan even universalizes (or nationalizes?) the sentiment expressed in this song by comparing it to the ceaseless shit talk of the pundits and politicians on cable TV and so forth - "all the ladies of Washington scrambling to get out of town." It's ironic that a recent interview with Dylan was taken so out of context by the rock press making him sound, well, moronic - when you actually read the interview in context you could say that his basic notion was dead on (current recording techniques suck). At any rate, Dylan sums it up for us in the last line - "for the love of God, you ought to take pity on yourself."

adapted from my posting at

Friday, September 01, 2006

Rhythm Pigs: Self-titled (1986)

The Rhythm Pigs were a trio that came to San Francisco in the mid-80's by way of El Paso and were signed to as one of the three bands on the Mordam Record distributors house label.

As a follow-up to their 1984 hardcore 7" (An American Activity, Unclean Records, out of print, can be found here via Killed by Death Records), this exceeded my expectations, taking the band into a wholly different, perhaps several different directions at one time and showed increasing prowess on their instruments. Although the band never really developed their own sound or deep following -- always an opener never a headliner, I guess -- they left behind more than a fair number of great songs.

And the fun of this album and the follow-up (Choke On This) is playing guess the genre-mash and influences. Elements of Psyche, Gospel, Country, Krautrock, classic rock, southern rock, SST/NYC/NJ/SF/LA HC-punk, Midwest punk, Dischord (Faith, Minor Threat) are all present and I probably missed about a dozen. Most of the songs depicted a detached yet despairing empathy for the downtrodden (working class, poor, Poland) and an outsider's view of city/punk/American life.

Of side one, three cuts, all in succession, rise above the rest - "Break New Ground" which pays quick homage to the midwest punks - 'Mats, Du with an chiming, sustained effect guitar and on-the-edge vocals. "Human Drama" has a swingy hook in the chorus and a bluesy chorus and guitar that finishes up with some gospel(!) flourishes and lyrics -- "Hey Moses we need you now / split the water and drown the enemy" - they later took this easy-going melodic approach with one of their bigger songs "Censorshit" (Choke on This). "Six" sounds like it was written for Henry Rollins (Black Flag-era Henry) to sing except with a psych-ish chorus.

There's also a mid-fast tempo version of the theme of Charley Brown ("Peanuts") on this side which I guess is a nod toward A.O.D. and some other bands who adopted TV themes into their sets. The closer on this side is white boy hard funk ("Break Or I'll Break Your Face") and features some great guitar/bass/drums riffage perhaps inspired by their label-mates Faith No More. It's good, but sounds a little stiff and hurried at times.

I love the opener of side 2, "Taxi Cab" as it crosses bug-eyed HC vocals in the verse with a Meat Puppets-style soulful chorus - gnarly. The lyrics-challenged "Searching For Myself" is another notable cut featuring overlaid crescendo vocals over sustained guitar and a skanky drum-bass riff into a frenzied chorus. "Conscience Song" mixes, perhaps the first time, punk with Skynrd-style southern rock for a blistering verse and a hilarious country chorus: "You're such a stupid son of a bitch". "Electric World" begins with a pretty mediocre opening standard HC bleater but then turns into an extended non-embarrassing tribute to Jimi Hendrix Experience that might have been nice all on its own. The band later did a straight, and also not too embarrassing, cover of Hendrix's "Fire" on the follow-up to this record.

"Human Drama"
"Conscience Song"

Band Lineup:

Ed Ivey - Bass, Lead vocals, Violin
Greg Adams - Guitar, backing vox
Jay Smith - Drums, congas

Ed Ivey's website
This album and Choke On This were reissued on single CD (Froogle link / CD Baby)
Afterbirth of Cool has two later cuts from the Pigs still up
Dressed for the H-Bomb also posted and writes about the American Activity 7" here
Myspace (Fan page) streams "Break Or I'll Break Your Face"