Sunday, December 13, 2009
This record has just come to my attention as recently as a month ago or so, just from clicking around from website to website. At the time I was looking for something but this caught my attention and I can't honestly say I know (or care) what I was even looking for originally. This record is amazing. This self-titled record is the band's only album and original copies of this album go for vulgar amounts of money these days although there was a CD issued and more recently, an LP reissue. The members of this band were previously in the more successful D.C. area band The Diplomats, and I can't honestly say why this shit didn't take off. I'm a recently turned fan of this material so I haven't got much info or nostalgia to offer on it like most of my posts here, but the internet also hasn't got much to say on 'em. The lack of a back story here is irrelevant, though. You just really need to hear this record.
Tracks here have been sampled on tunes by some well-known hip hop artists and that flaccid bad haircut euro industrial techno band Prodigy, too.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The Quick were from L.A. in the mid 70's. Their only album, "Mondo Deco", came out in 1976 and has never been released on CD or reissued on vinyl. They were influenced by British 60's bands, the sound of the album shows more of The Move than it does of The Beatles or The Kinks, though. And Sparks, who's guitarist actually produced their album. This is a pretty under appreciated and all but forgotten gem even in today's world where every single person has heard of everything and all the pansified music "experts" prancing around on the internet have hit maximum saturation. It's hard for me to really wrap my head around how this record has escaped a reissue on CD or vinyl given the said amount of collector pervs out there, especially those with enough dough to back a label. And there are PLENTY. Lots of other bands of this ilk are retroactively getting their 15 minutes, but I suppose The Quick aren't quite as obscure as Milk & Cookies and others who have recently gotten the re-ish treatment. But hey, that's why I'm glad to live in the internet age and I'm hoping you are too.
Like Milk & Cookies, though... The Quick occasionally push their wimpy exhuberance to a point that is close to being too effeminate for me. Also like Milk & Cookies, the bright spots more than make up for it.
THE QUICK - MONDO DECO (1976)
Monday, September 7, 2009
As you know, The Beatles entire discography has recently been treated to a sorely needed remastering and in two days they're gonna drop 'em on us. The versions available now are the same ones that have been around since their original CD release in 1987. And as you know, the 80's were the shittiest decade for music when everyone in the music industry was a complete retard, especially the people doing the post production. Now I'm obviously not saying music has gotten any better, but technology has. So thank God we're gonna get our mitts on those, somebody tell that grizzled old crank Neil Young that he'd better get to work on remastering Harvest next. That CD sounds like fucking garbage. But I digress...
The whole Beatles discography IS getting rereleased. But this is not included because it is obviously not one of their albums. This is the recording The Beatles did while auditioning for Decca. Those thirsty for details would probably prefer the coverage on The Beatles wikipedia page to my half informed, willfully ignorant, and over opinionated ramblings. There is also a wikipedia page dedicated solely to the Decca audition here. They'll give you the details without going off on a tangent about any unrelated bands, the service at Small Bar, or accidentally buying creamy peanut butter instead of crunchy.
You got a snapshot of The Beatles here right after Stuart Sutcliffe left the group and Paul McCartney switched to bass. And Pete Best on drums, he would get replaced by Ringo Starr only a few months later. They call Pete Best the unluckiest guy in the world 'cuz he got fired from The Beatles but I think that nickname started when his best friend (and Beatles busdriver) started banging his mom. That sucks. I'm sure whichever suit it was at Decca who decided to pass on The Beatles is the real unluckiest guy in the world though, I mean you gotta feel like a real fuckin' idiot. The band they chose to sign instead was The Tremeloes, but I'll get to them later.
BEATLES - THE DECCA TAPES (1962)
They auditioned with 15 songs and there is 21 represented here, how could a record documenting a sole, specific session consisting of 15 songs possibly have any material to supplement it? Yeah, it doesn't make sense, but what're you gonna do? Complain about it? I dunno where it came from either, look it up for yourself... whaddaya want me to wipe yer ass for ya too?! Jeezus.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Watch The Minutemen--Acoustic Blowout Concert 1985 in Music | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com
It's Labor Day weekend. It's time to kick back, relax, and listen to the fucking Minutemen.
MINUTEMEN - ACOUSTIC BLOWOUT (1985)
The first time I heard this band was in 1998 when I was a junior in high school. I went to hang out with my friend Eric and he was listening to a mix tape his girlfriend made for him, sounds pretty cliche but it's true. Most of the other stuff on there must not have grabbed me, I don't remember it now. The emo revolution had not yet tricked all the losers in my school into thinking they would somehow be more mature if they listened to bland college rock with fake deep lyrics and lots of baby blue on the cover of the album. But it would fool me too. You hear something you love and you just want more of it, that's how everyone gets into new kinds of music. But one day you realize "Wait a second... Cap'n Jazz actually kinda sucks." and you're left only still really liking the cream of the crop of that kinda stuff. That's Knapsack. Melodic "post-hardcore" or whatever you wanna call it. These guys could just write a good song, man. This band was great. Whenever I felt like listening to Knapsack in the last few years I'd almost always put on their last album "This Conversation is Ending Starting Right Now" and I was listening to 'em pretty obsessively a month ago and thought I'd put this one on. It had been so long since I heard it that I almost forgot what the songs sound like, it knocked me out all over again.
KNAPSACK - DAY THREE OF MY NEW LIFE (1997)
(photo borrowed from churchofzer.blogspot.com - a real gnarly blog about the heavy stuff! i have the CD buried in a closet somewhere but my scanner is a piece of shit anyway.)
So, yeah... These guys were on some serious drugs when they recorded this shit, and when you play this record you will wonder whether they have invented the technology over in Japan to actually play drugs out of your stereo speakers. Even stone sober you'll start to wonder whether or not the mind altering guitar noise is vibrating through your head and embedding itself in the folds of your brain until it is no longer the bland, gray brain you had before but instead it's more colorful than a japanese kid's cartoon. It will probably induce just as many seizures, too. Playing this record will literally tear the fabrics of time and space and pull you through them in every direction.
You get the picture. The Futures were a Japanese hardcore punk band in the early 00's with members of Jellyroll Rockheads. I don't know why I bothered to mention that. If you know who either of these bands are, you know who they both are and if you don't know one, you don't know either. Anyway this record is a unique, "psychedelic" take on spazzy fast hardcore thrash. It sounds like Jellyroll Rockheads on LSD. I really love this album, I find contemporary hardcore and punk to be almost entirely disposeable but there are a few albums I can listen to in the years after their release, after the trends change and the excitement of a new band's new release has worn off, the time many albums begin to work their way to the back of my mind, sitting on my shelf gathering dust a few manage to stay in rotation for reasons other than nostalgia. This is one of them. This band fucking ruled.
THE FUTURES - ELECTRIC WAVE FROM THE UNDERWORLD (2002)
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I found this LP at Reckless (on Milwaukee) 2 or 3 years ago looking through the used records that had just come in. That place is as picked over as the bowls of Halloween candy that people used to just leave outside their door if they weren't going to be home or something. Every time you go to Reckless you find the vinyl equivalent of a box of raisins, a couple of those orange and black wrapped taffy things, a few stray chipped M & M's, and possibly some dog shit. But I saw this record and I'd never heard of them. It looked really cool, New York punk band, came out in 1978 on Sire Records. It all seemed promising, but then there was that nagging pushing itself forward from the back of my brain.
"Mike... Uh, Mike... MIKE! It's the middle of the afternoon on Saturday at RECKLESS in Wicker Park! If this is still here, it's still here for a reason. You're broke, don't leave this to chance, the odds are stacked against you."
So I left it, but I looked 'em up online and confirmed that my original assessment was correct, I should buy this record. And it was still there the next time I went back, cheap too! I spun it, I loved it. Beyond the generic umbrella of punk, they have a kind of "tough guy power pop" sound. Like most good punk bands, they try to channel the sounds of vintage pop tunes in their own way and have help doing so on this album from Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople and an insanely accomplished studio musician named Eric Weissberg. There is a bit of new wave and a hint of rockabilly in there too, but not in a retarded way. The single from the album was "All for the Love of Rock & Roll" and the other track that got the most attention is "(Your Love is like) Nuclear Waste" but I think the best song on this album by far is "Head Over Heels", a declaration of love from a scumbag set to music that is too catchy and light hearted to really believe that he wasn't just a sheep in wolves clothing.
Their original singer, Robert Gordon, left the group before this album but was featured on 1976's "Live at CBGB's" compilation went on to become a pretty respected rockabilly musician and even played with Link Wray for a while. Their new singer Tommy Frenzy left the group after their first tour to form a new group called Big Spender. Today he performs with a reunited and slightly different lineup for TUFF DARTS and his own solo act as well. Sadly, guitarist Jeff Salen died early last year of a heart attack. No idea what the rest of the band is up to these days.
TUFF DARTS (1978)
I first saw this band at the Fireside Bowl, too. I wasn't particularly interested in seeing any of the bands playing and I'd never heard of Suicide Note. I drove out early from the 'burbs with a few of my friends so we could go record shopping at get some food someplace before the show and somehow we ended up getting lost. I'm starting to feel pretty encumbered behind the wheel of a car, trying to get to a show to see bands I had no interest in seeing, and really no idea how to even get there. I knew just how to get home, though... And I was at that time feeling a much more burdensome weight from a long-distance relationship I was in with a girl who was at once demanding I call her on the phone and pleading me to go out with my friends if I want instead. So basically our conversations at this point were circular ones about whether or not I should go out or stay in and I knew that was what was waiting for me if I went home. So it didn't take much pleading from my friends to keep me from turning back around and we made it eventually.
And before the torturously boring hardcore of Reach The Sky and the somewhat more enjoyable but no less pointless Bane took the stage, this band that I was unaware of went on. Suicide Note.
Relatively normal-looking guys, I watch the singer most of the time as he spits and drools and blows his nose all over himself while they banged out some pretty disillusioned, frustrated tunes that, despite some contemporary hardcore trappings had more to do with The Jesus Lizard and Nirvana than any of that terrible metalcore garbage ferret records (the label that released this album) was putting out. Still, they're a hardcore band... had they waited a few more years they could've easily caught the Pissed Jeans wave. Suicide Note seems to have a very similar vibe.
This band is 3/4 of the 90's metalcore act Failsafe who I have never heard but I can only assume they sucked.
But enough's enough. Here ya go.
SUICIDE NOTE - YOU'RE NOT LOOKING SO GOOD (2002)
Friday, September 4, 2009
It's Friday night, 11:25 P.M. and I'm at home alone drinking beer and watching some pretty mundane stuff on cable. I wanna go out but I'm halfway coming down with a cold and I'm pretty tired, but the other half of me is still hopped up on coffee from earlier and really wants to go out. So really I'm awake doing nothing instead of doing either of the things I really wanna do. Experiencing the benefits of neither and the detriments of both. What better time to blog a PISSED JEANS record? For my money, PISSED JEANS are the best band around right now. (I'm broke, by the way.)
They have transcended this recording with their subsequent releases but this, their first 7" and demo, is what originally got me hooked. They came from a hardcore background so that's what I filed 'em under at first, and I got this record during a period of time where I was pretty far removed from hardcore and the "hardcore scene" and I was pretty fucking sick of it, too. But I was way, waaaaaaaay into this (and the STREET TRASH 7"s, too) It spoke to me. The music and lyrics are equally disconcerting and perturbed, but ultimately comforting. I don't know if this is universally true but it's true for me. I love PISSED JEANS, and if that makes me a lunatic, so be it.
This band is from Allentown, PA which I have heard is like the Joliet of Pennsylvania. I have also heard from my friend Ryan that a girl from Allentown who had no idea who Pissed Jeans are or where they're from described them upon listening to them for the first time as "What living in Allentown sounds like." I've never been there, but I've been to Joliet and that's probably pretty close to the truth.
THROBBING ORGAN 7" (2004)
Monday, August 31, 2009
It happens to everyone. Well, not everyone but you will get what I mean. You get into your music when you're younger. Then you get deeper into it. Sometime in high school or college you get yourself a turntable and raid your parents record collection to supplement your own, most likely just to make it look like you have more records than you actually do. But then you give them a spin and all of the sudden it seems like whatever you were into before doesn't cut the mustard anymore. You're growing up. You have a record player. For me, this happened on my 18th birthday. Stay with me, this has to do with The Velvet Underground I promise.
The classic rock revolution that comes along with your turntable sends you in all sorts of new directions. Maybe you already liked The Velvet Underground, maybe you didn't. But either way, now you LOVE The Velvet Underground. You're growing up. You have a record player. There are plenty of typical rites of passage like this, it happens like clockwork. The only VU records you ever seem to hear about back then are "Velvet Underground & Nico" and "White Light White Heat", and most people are content with this. Time passes, and you realize "Loaded" is the best VU album.
It's perfectly natural.
But what DOESN'T happen to everyone, or at least doesn't yet, is accepting "Squeeze" into their life, and their Itunes. Plenty of people probably never find out it exists. Lou Reed quit the band before the 1970 release of "Loaded" and Sterling Morrisson left to become some brainiac nerd. That left a pretty dubious lineup with some fill in scabs to tour in support of the album. They were touring Europe and somebody got the bright idea to actually record an album in this situation but their record company (Atlantic) thought better of releasing it and put out "Live at Max's Kansas City" instead because at least it still had Lou.
And not only are they going to do a record for the limping remnants of The Velvet Underground fronted by "The Guy Who Replaced John Cale", but their manager sent the rest of the band back to the states. Either to cut costs or to maintain control of the album. "Bring in some studio musicians and the drummer from Deep Purple, and let's do this shit!" So the album comes out, their manager deserts them at some point during their tour to support it, and Doug Yule bails when the tour ends. This album has never been repressed, never been released in the U.S., and is not considered a V.U. album by the official account of the band. Obviously, it is only in that the band's name is on the labels. This is a Doug Yule solo album. But people were so preoccupied by that fact that they couldn't realize that there was totally nothing wrong with listening to a Doug Yule solo album.
As much a disappointment to Velvets fans of the day as Smiley Smile would have been to Beach Boys fans waiting for SMiLE to drop and outperform Pet Sounds. But I think what the two records have in common is that these fans were too devastated by their initial disappointment to realize that even though it might not have been what they wanted, it's still pretty great in it's own right and deserves to be regarded as such. Rock critics of recent history has done some damage control for Smiley Smile but virtually none for Squeeze. And Squeeze is a great album.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
At the moment, it seems as if The Nerves are more recognizable than The Plimsouls due to the recent release of an LP compiling their only released recording, a 7" EP Supplemented with demos, and unreleased material. This record has since come to be considered a power-pop classic, by the people who decide that kind of shit I guess. Whereas The Plimsouls, a band who have seemed to fade away from our collective memories made a bigger splash in their day with their 3rd single "A Million Miles Away". It was picked up for play by Rodney Bingenheimer on KROQ and later included (along with the band) in the movie Valley Girl.
The Nerves were around in L.A. from 1975-78, obviously since you have access to the internet like the rest of us you already know that their claim to fame is inspiring Blondie to cover their tune "Hangin' on the Telephone" and I've made this double-post because Peter Case played in both bands. The Plimsouls existed between 1978-83 and had roughly the same idea as The Nerves but a bit more fully realized and refined. But they weren't the only band to come from the demise of The Nerves, Jack Lee went on to a successful career as a songwriter and solo artist. Paul Collins went on to form The Beat, and Peter Case ended the Plimsouls for his own solo career.
Both of these bands are represented on the great early-mid 90's Rhino Records power pop comps which you should look into.
The Nerves E.P. (1976)
The Plimsouls - A Million Miles Away (1982)
Coincidentally, the blog Power Pop Criminals just posted the only demo recordings of the post-Nerves band The Breakaways, featuring Paul Collins and Peter Case. It's a great blog. Check it out.
Friday, August 28, 2009
(like you don't know,) PUNCH IN THE FACE were a Chicago hardcore band that lasted from 2001-07. They were mostly active during the years at which my interest in contemporary hardcore was at it's peak, this band was truly first-rate, separated by the hardcore classics by decades and releasing 2 7" e.p.s, a slew of compilation tracks, and a long awaited album that rank amongst the finest raging hardcore punk tunes ever commited to wax. Around the same time many of my friends stopped going to hardcore shows I found it somewhat difficult to make it out to them myself. I had less people to go out with and less people to let me know what was going on, so I missed out on a lot of shows that I might otherwise have gone to see, but I would go see PITF whenever I got the chance. And at that time, they were beginning to play less and less.
This band meant a lot to me, their lyrics spoke to me, and their music was as pissed off about the shit they were yelling about as I was about it, too. I never considered myself a part of the hardcore scene... But I imagine that's the way they feel about stuff they like. I fucking love Punch In The Face.
Dumb Hardcore E.P.
Their Lengua Armada LP is still available and if you like hardcore and don't have it you're kind of an idiot, remedy that by picking it up.
(insert the chorus to "my dear, i haven't learned a thing" here.)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
When this tape came out in 2004, a small group of crotchety old grouch punks shook their fists together in unison to show their disapproval. The backlash happened before the hype. (and, at least in Chicago, it didn't seem like there really was that much hype anyway.) These grumps alleged that other, similar old grouchy pudwhackers who'd outgrown their juvenile interest in punk rock in favor of more "mature" musical offerings were all championing WRANGLER BRUTES to make themselves feel like they still had an interest in punk rock. Seemed kind of petty to me then and it seems REALLY petty now when you compare them to Fucked Up. (I like Fucked Up, too.)
Anyway, Wrangler Brutes was composed of members of Born Against, Men's Recovery Project, Monorchid, Skull Kontrol, Nazti Skinz, Universal Order of Armageddon, and Young Pioneers. I saw 'em twice and they put on a great fucking show. Great tunes, great, really funny lyrics, fabulous McPheeters artwork... Fake, really negative record reviews, fake photographs. This band ruled. An old band of mine opened for them on their 2nd tour and Sam McPheeters told me he really liked us, I didn't care whether he was lying just to be polite or not... I was on cloud nine.
Years later I would hear a radio interview where he said he was never wowed by any band on their last tour and didn't really like any of it and was getting sick of music etc., confirming my suspicions. However, sorry Sam. What has said cannot be unsaid. Your taste will be forever tainted when I tell my grandchildren about the time Born Against said my band was good.
I played this tape so many fucking times in my shitty dodge neon on my way to and from schaumberg that it eventually broke and began playing backwards. it has since then enjoyed a number of different vinyl releases, one of which I have thankfully picked up. But I am pretty sure the well has dried up. Check it.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
I saw this band for the first time on accident at the Fireside Bowl in, what I'm guessing, was 2000? I can't remember what band I was going to see, I think maybe the (at the time) Clash/Gang of Four worshiping Radio 4 (pretty good, went on to be rather horrible... but hey, whatever.) The point is, Selby Tigers opened up for whoever it was and I no longer cared about who I'd gone to see. The sparkling vintage guitars and amps, equally flashy vintage clothes, a girl wearing a beehive wig, the bass player constantly pretending to be (as their wikipedia entry so perfectly puts it) "the loveably clueless, stereotypical Frenchman Sammy G", wearing a leopard print scarf and light blue jumpsuit. I don't wanna bog this entry down with talk about what eras and genres the Selby Tigers were aping but I will summerize it by saying that it was as accurately and tastefully done as their previously mentioned clothes and gear. They sounded like a contemporary garage punk band that was inspired more by the B-52's than almost anything else. In their attitude, lyrics, and music.
I saw this band at every given opportunity until they broke up. They're all doing other shit now. The guitar players of the band were married during the time of the band but I was quite disheartened to hear they had a pretty messy dramatic divorce. But I can honestly say that I can count the number of good albums Hopeless Records has put out on one hand and what I am posting about here accounts for two of them. (the others are by Dillinger Four and Scared Of Chaka for those keeping score.) So I hope that you can get down with this shit if you're not already. You can probably still buy the CD's from Hopeless and I'm sure find the LP's in a used bin on the cheap someplace. And when you do, it will be a great find.
this is both LP's
This is one helluva record. The guitar and bass player were in Lake of Dracula and the drummer, Mario Rubalcaba has been in 1,000 great bands. Sea Of Tombs is probably the most nebulous of them all. They got together to hang out I guess, talked about jamming and talked about what they'd been listening to lately. (Which I read online someplace that Blue Cheer was unanimous, although this album seems to ape Sabbath way harder.) So they recorded these 6 songs on this here LP. Six... looooooooooooooooooooooooooong songs that is, after all, this is stonger rock we're talking about. And according to a source on the web they only managed to play one show during their time together and it wasn't even here it was in Michigan someplace.
Mario left back to San Diego to join Rocket From The Crypt and that, unfortunately for Sea Of Tombs but not for RFTC, was the end of the band. I didn't know any of that until today while I was scouring the internet for this record but I bought this album right around the time it came out (which, according again to the internet was 9/11/01) and I have loved it, championed it, and recommended it at every given opportunity. So, continuing in that trend... I am offering it to you greedy vultures right here on my blog. Think a dirtier recording of the first two Black Sabbath albums but without vocals. This record is really, really good.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
DETENTION's 1983 single "DEAD ROCK 'N ROLLERS" never gets old to me. I imagine if I was older than 1 year old in 1983 this was a record I'd have been flipping this single over and over again. However, I obviously first heard this band on Killed By Death #2 which I don't mind saying is one of my favorite punk compilations ever. That being the case, I do get a little let down at the end of "Dead Rock 'n Rollers" when it goes into "El Salvador" instead of The Eat's "Communist Radio". Not to say that El Salvador is a bad tune, not many songs could match DEAD ROCK 'N ROLLERS...
Nobody really reads this shit anyway, you vultures are only here for the link, which is just as well. Let the music of these deranged Jersey mutants do the talking.