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)