early in highschool my pal meschel and i useta fully geek out on stuff like "harborcoat" by r.e.m. and "cartoon" by soul asylum and anything else we could find with crazy vocal harmonies. she always tried to sell me on 54•40 but somehow it never stuck. this past week i dug out a mixtape i made back in probably tenth grade with a bunch of my favorite stuff on it (including the aforementioned r.e.m. & soul asylum tunes), which is probably pretty similar to the 9,000,000 tapes i made for her back then, so i started thinkin' about 54•40 and my now-biennial attempt to give a shit about 'em. last time i got what i thought was their first lp (1986's self-titled deal on reprise) in the dollar bin i ignored it for like 18 months so i decided against that route and turned on the computer; SADLY, the internet doesn't seem to care either, but i managed to find some crap mono videos on youtube (not helping, dudes), which thankfully led me to a live film of them doing something called "jamming with lawrence" much earlier in their career (judging from the haircuts). the difference between this embryonic stage of the band and their later-'80s drivin' & cryin' (another fave of meschel's) phase is stunning - it seems like they followed a path not unlike their neighbors here on this blog, dancing hoods. this early stuff (a mini-lp and an lp) is way more bass guitar-driven and shares a whole lot more with early-'80s aussie and athens (GA) stuff than anything else: fantastically repetitive and mesmerizing, but with a decent nod towards big music. i reckon people into stuff like chameleons uk and the sound, as well as NZ stuff like the gordons, will dig this too. this is really blowing my mind, and since it was a little bit of a trial to dig this stuff up, i'm puttin' it here for you.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
back in the late '80s/early '90s we useta watch a few skate videos on full loop and the new deal promo video was one of 'em. like the speed freaks vid, new deal went full "hey is there a label around here that will loan us all their shit?" and ended up with pretty much all 819 productions bands in the vid. thus, a soundtrack composed about 85% of odd numbers tunes. and, just like how we all ran out and bought dinosaur and leaving trains and fIREHOSE tapes after hearing them in santa cruz videos 9000 times, i ended up writing to 819 and getting them to send me the odd numbers tape. still got a rad signed b&w 8x10 too! anyhow, if you haven't seen the new deal video 800 times i'm sorry for you, but i guarantee you'll still be blown away by this tape. mod-revival-revival of the highest order - and this comin' from a guy who couldn't really care less about the jam or the who. clean, catchy-as-hell action pop in a league with the revelers, for serious. and if you're here 'cause you're a greying grom like me, be sure to go checkout the bones brigade video tunes disc elsewhere on this here site.
Monday, February 25, 2013
so here's something i've seen attempted - sadly with usually ill results - that i've long-meant to go ahead and put together myself: a comp of original versions of tunes the metallicats covered and (officially) released up thru the 'rubaiyat' comp. one guy threw together some youtube videos, which is neat, sure, and another gal put a buncha 128kbps mp3s in a folder, which is, well, ok, but if indeed yer like me and would like some hi-q mp3s with their volumes matched all ready for your walkman or whatever well here ya go! from the "creeping" 12" to the 'garage' ep to the "harvester" CD5 and the aforementioned 'rubaiyat' comp, ten (or so…) killer originals taken from the best sources i could find - no assy re-recordings, no funky bootleg sound quality. **caveat: for me there's a real line after "stone cold" that i chose to also draw here, so i didn't try to remake the 'inc' record - even tho as always our heroes could sure pick a tune (even if they couldn't do it justice [no pun] there after awhile anymore). even the motörhead stuff - tho cool - has a different vibe since it was a rehearsal and not just them bangin' out an old fave or two for b-sides and eps. a case could be made for the sweet savage tune, but rules is rules for some reason - and that would open up a whole can o' worms where i'd hafta listen to that fucking anti-nowhere league tune, which i'm simply not prepared to do, hahahaha… anyhow, i guess what i'm sayin' is, after 'justice' i just didn't pay much attention to what they were doin', so it's only their covers up thru then that have ever been stuck in my head to the point where i've just gotta hear the original. (tho certainly do yerself a favor and go listen to discharge and mercyful fate, etc, for surely. OH, and WATCH THIS VIDEO, it's the most made-totally-exactly-for-beavis-and-butthead video of all time.)
Friday, July 20, 2012
at one point i had literally dozens of '50s cash-in 'exotica' records and tho most of them were either meh or awful (great sleeves across th board, tho) there are a few (like anything by the bizarre belgian surf band the waikikis) that really rise head'n'shoulders™ above th rest, which brings us to this here lp, th only representative of th aforementioned dozens still holding a place in my crates. th reason? about half th tracks sound like fucking sandy bull. no lie. complete with direct-line fusion to yr limbic system, just like j. lethem sez. anyhow th rest of it is great too, as is th proliferous amt of surface noise you'll find on this particular copy. a few words from an exhaustive crown records archivist:
CLP-5085/CST-119 stereo - Port of Suez: Exotic Music of the Middle East - (Artist not identified)  Original stereo copies issued on red vinyl. Another interesting look into the practices of the budget record companies in the late 1950s. Much of this LP also appeared on Coronet 55 (The Music of Port Said credited to Mohammed El-Sulieman & His Oriental Ensemble), Broadway 1027 (East of Suez, artist unidentified), and Pirouette 16 (Music of the Near East credited to Ali Beirut's Orchestra). The Coronet, Broadway, and Pirouette albums play exactly the same. Titles on the Coronet and Broadway LPs are identical (Temptacious/Whirling Sands/Jazz Of Araby/Chifti/Hora//Owo Solo/Hasapiko Bolero/Husson's Rhapsody/International Dance/Cosmopolitan). Although the Pirouette LP plays the same, the song titles differ (Near East/Romance Of The Fiddle/Drums Of The Desert/Call Of The Near East/Desert Dance Madness//Cosmopolitan Whirl/Exotic Dance/Night Love/Temptation Of The Desert Sun And Moon/Whirling Sand). This Crown album has some tracks that are the same and some that are not on the other albums, but they sound like the same orchestra and recording session. Titles on the Crown album, with references in brackets to the songs on the other LPs, are: Stardust At Dawn ["Whirling Sands"/"Romance of the Fiddle"]/Warm Wind [instrumental version of "Hora"/"Desert Dance Madness"]/Dancing Girls [not on the other LPs]/Suez ["Jazz Of Araby"/"Drums Of The Desert"]/Sand Dunes ["Cosmopolitan"/"Whirling Sand"]//Night Madness [instrumental version of "Temptacious"/"Near East"]/Summer Rain ["Hasapiko Bolero"/"Exotic Dance"]/Harem Girls [not on other LPs]/Rebel Camp [not on other LPs]/Desert Caravan ["Owo Solo"/"Cosmopolitan Whirl"].
Friday, July 6, 2012
for quite awhile in th mid-aughts i worked sound at a failing off-campus bar that mighta-coulda dug itself outta th hole it had so royally swandived into had th owner not been so addicted to pay-to-play local hiphop showcases and battles of th suburban metal bands, but, those horrors aside, we managed to have quite a few excellent shows that no one showed up to (like city streets, who absolutely killed and, i'm sure, will never, ever visit our town again), and quite a few outta th blue surprises as well (like th time black tie revue showed up to find they were on one of those battles of th bands, as mentioned elsewhere on this here blog). i don't remember how new york's my summer came to play th bar, but they were SO effin' great - ultra chimey strat lines leading choppy, way-catchy tunes that always stayed exquisitely well on th good side of th line between semi-complex pop & wretched emo played by three dudes obviously having th time of their lives and throwing everything they had into it. a cursory google glance reveals that th band is still functional as of this writing and, lo and behold, maintain a bandcamp as well as a facebook page. my summer mine their very own corner of a somewhat well-worn landscape, so tho' they aren't all that reminiscent of anything, if smoking popes, cheap girls, and th post-jawbreaker, pre-get up kids era of forgotten pop-punk like superstar rookie wet yr proverbial panties (and i can't see why they wouldn't), check these dudes out. there's also something vaguely michale graves-y about th sorta crooned vox that i can't ever get enough of. actually th closest thing i can think of would be if you somehow morphed matt and dan from alkaline trio's voices into one.
fact section: file contains an ep (2005) and th following 2006 full-length, 'catch fire'.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
when th new misfits or misfits '95 or whatever you wanna call 'em went on tour th first time i agreed with a friend of mine that we would go but we didn't, so when their record was aboot to come out i was working at this one-stop and it was only like $6 to take it home on wax th friday before it was released so i was like what th hey, we'll see how much it sucks. ONLY IT DIDN'T SUCK. i listened to that lp ('american psycho') a whole hell of a lot that year (at ear-splitting volume, mostly - perhaps to drown out th elliott smith and sublime that my third-floor roommates spun non-stop to th left and right of me) and i've listened to it a whole hell of a lot since - along with their sometimes-it-seems-even-better second lp ('famous monsters') and this disc - th record th singer and drummer (th non-old school members of said misfits) made directly after walking off stage from th caiafa bros in th middle of a set. listening to this record it becomes abundantly clear who th "talent" in th reformed misfits were, and it ain't th aforementioned brothers. unfortunately, on this lp graves (michale, th singer) and chud (dr., th drummer/songwriter) were separated from th third in th talent triangle, producer/recordist/guitar genius daniel rey (tho' this record sounds alright, it's no match for th ultrablast fury of those two misfits recs), and when th dust cleared after a short tour, graves and chud would be separated too. so while i enjoy some of michale's later solo stuff, this is th magick moment, a record that feels like it's october th whole way thru, that doesn't get bogged-down in bad-b-film-pun one-upsmanship, that rises (along with th killer japanese band balzac) so far above th rest of th genre that calls itself horrorpunk that it effectively turns them into th ants (and no, not ants from 'them!') they pretty much are. track down a tune graves and chud did with a band called sardonica called "mommy made luv to an alien" (a chud tune also rejected - like many of these songs were - by jerry only at one point) if you dig what you hear here.
quite simply th best capital-all-th-letters POP record of th last ten years (maybe ever). everything about this is PHENOMENAL. i'm not even gonna tell th completely silly story about how i heard/saw/met these guys th first time at a pay-to-play battle of th bands three hours from where they live or how th only other time i saw them was with maybe seven (pushing it) people and a dying tree in a bar meant only to be visited by neighborhood fishermen, cuz those stories are just complete shit that takes away from th fucking TRIUMPH of GLORY that is their musick (specifically this lp). if you enjoy ice cream and driving REALLY fucking fast (or are human and not a miserable piece of shit - or even if you are, this can probably help), i can't see why you haven't downloaded this yet.