February 28, 2008
The answer can be found in the comments section.
I know I am posting this the day before Friday but I lose my internet at the hotel in a few hours so it was post now or not until next Monday. This logo and band are too amazing to snooze on so up today it goes.
February 27, 2008
February 26, 2008
When I got Tracy's request to add some content to her blog I immediately thought that this was the perfect opportunity to share a band that is near and dear to both of our hearts…The Sound, who just might be the best 80’s band that almost no one has heard of. I remember the first time I played this band for Tracy on a hot summer day in her old NYC apartment, she turned to me after hearing the first song on this mixtape and said something along the lines of “how the hell have we lived this long without having heard this band before”. So give these tracks a listen if you love Echo and The Bunny men, Simple Minds, Sixteen Candles or The Breakfast Club, and maybe you’ll understand how we felt on that long gone hot summer day.
Link for a biography about The Sound: http://www.renascent.co.uk/pagessound/sound.html
A little quote from the site explains it further:
"WE LIKE THE IDEA OF TAKING A MUSICIAN/ARTIST OUT OF THEIR HABITUAL CONTEXT AND PUTTING THEM IN A FOREIGN ONE - WE RECKON IT GIVES NEW LIFE TO THE PERFORMANCE AND MAKES IT MORE INTERESTING TO WATCH"
You can check out videos on youtube or the official site and some of the groups to be found are The Raveonettes, The New Pornographers, and Bill Callahan.
Below is a really charming and intimate version of "Grievances" Daniel Johnston.
February 24, 2008
Blowtorch - 1988 - Further Records / 2003 mute
Sourpuss - 1989 - Blast first (Jon Langford produced)
Belinda Backwards - 1991 blast first (and I am sure I am missing some!)
Hometown- Sheffield, UK
Thinking back to the early 90’s and the music I once bowed down to, I have no idea how A.C. Temple never hit my radar. In fact it wasn’t until last year a friend loaned me a few of their records because he suspected I would fancy them.
He was right.
They are a perfect blend of so many genres and bands I love…only A.C. Temple was doing it before many of these newer groups. I was undeniably an old school emo indie rocker kid (still am I suppose minus the kid part) so my point of reference here is the early to middle years of Dischord Records. Some of the great guitar bands to come from San Diego like Pitchfork and Drive Like Jehu. The classic Chicago / Touch and Go sound. American and British variations of Riot Grrrl. Anything Sub Pop from the late 80’s up until the mid 90’s. UK and US 90’s shoegaze and last but not least the more slightly dissonant noisy groups like Sonic Youth.
In high school I didn’t know about groups like Lilliput, Kleenex, Delta 5, The Slits, The Au Pairs, The Raincoats….but I have discovered these artists between 1988 and now and still I wonder how A.C. Temple records didn’t make their way into my collection sooner. This band and their catalog of music is equally as poignant and pertinent as any of these other groups yet for some reason A.C. Temple never made it to the underground music hall of fame.
Does A.C. Temple really fit into the same musical family as ALL the groups mentioned above?
YES! (I suspect for some people this group might sound a little too derivative of that decade but they were ahead of their time damn it so be nice!)
It’s a shame really but I understand just because a band is decent doesn’t mean they will stand the test of time no less earn a press buzz equal to other bands similar in sound or on the same label. Maybe A.C. Temple was over shadowed by label mates like Sonic Youth or The Butthole Surfers. Maybe A.C. Temple didn’t tour America much or at all. (I actually have no idea if they ever played the stateside)
Whomever or whatever is to blame for their invisible popularity all I can do now is share my admiration for A.C. Temple and let you know their records are relatively easy to find used on line and in your better record stores. I have never seen one of their records go for more than $15.00 so hunting down their catalog shouldn’t be too taxing on your bank account either. As luck would have it I found Sourpuss last night at the record store Crooked Beats in Washington, DC for $12.00. (And if you ever find yourself in our nation's capital make sure you swing by this truly impressive shop. It will be worth the trip, I promise.)
There is a Myspace page to A.C. Temple but I am posting my favorite two songs by the group here.
February 22, 2008
February 21, 2008
February 20, 2008
1 - I would buy a ticket to the Dave Grohl comedy show. He's clever, entertaining and much funnier than a lot of so called comedians who, incidentally, don't write great songs. Dane Cook does NOT rock.
2 - Despite being called Madison SQUARE Garden, the building is actually round. I believe that this accounts for the superior sound that the arena has compared to other hockey rinks. Also, as I have found at countless hockey games, there is not a bad seat in all of MSG.
3 - As a general rule, the only thing that I want to hear less than a drum solo, is the song that drummer sings. I have a pretty strong suspicion though that Dave Grohl has a soft spot for singing drummers. I bet he's a huge Phil Collins fan. But really, who isn't?
4 - Any guy who treks up and down the very steep stairs of the upper levels selling $7.50 cups of BudLight, out of a tray he carry s on his head, will henceforth be known, universally, as a 'BEER SHERPA'.
5 - Some thoughts on humanity. - The 'mob mentality' still amazes and frightens me. People with the need to stand out while simultaneously fitting in are a frustrating bunch as well. While people are attempting to funnel out any door that other people are funneling out of after a rock show, a guy can be semi successful at getting a 'Let's go Giants' chant started, even thought the football season ended weeks ago.
6 - 2008 moments in Madison Square Garden history. - First, the Rangers retired the number of legendary defenseman Brian Leetch. Then, although countless legendary rock bands have graced the stage of 'the worlds most famous arena', the Foo Fighters made MSG history during the very first triangle solo ever to blast forth from the mega-watt PA system. This will surely inspire future generations of musicians to reach new levels of triangle virtuosity and change the face of modern music forever. Rock and Roll history has been re-written.
7 - $7 Lincoln Tunnel + $33 parking garage = $40 in transit to drive into the city for a 5 hour visit. Thats $8 an hour for the pleasure of aggressive driving and 'No Left Turn' signs.
8 - Note to the Foo's. -When you swap guitars to do the one song you have in dropped A tuning, instead of a 20 minute version of 'Stacked Actors', give us that song plus some Melvins covers. I am sure thats where you got the idea, and, Kurt would approve.
9 - Madison Square Garden's Fire Exits are total deathtraps. The well in Buffalo Bill's basement in Silence Of The Lambs was more hospitable.
10 - This may have NOTHING to do with the Foo Fighters or MSG, but I feel that it is still very informative and worth mentioning. - Inflation is up, gas prices are higher than ever, but PeepWorld is still 25 cents (or at least thats what the sign says).
See you in the future,
Title: Sea Lion
Hometown: Aukland, New Zealand
Label: Sub Pop (in the USA)
Street Date - March 4
Favorite Tracks: "There are Birds" (and that is coming from a girl terrified of birds) / "This Adventure Tour" / "Kenya Dig It "
RIYL: Os Mustantes, 60s sunshine pop with a hint of exotica and wall of sound production values, Animal Collective, Architecture in Helsinki, and Pet Sounds
The one wonderful thing about the limitations of geography is when you don’t have the means or money to travel great distances anything foreign…food, films, people, music…seems all the more exotic and intoxicating.
The Ruby Suns hail from New Zealand and while this country is certainly on the list of places to see before I die, who knows when I will find myself on their shores. In meantime I can embrace what has been a steady flow of great music from that corner of the world. (Signer/ Skallander/ Over the Atlantic, The Brunettes, Die!Die!Die! to name a very small sample)
As a kid I lived half way around the world from anything vaguely tropical unless you count the sun room in my parent’s house which fogged up when my Mum ran the washer and dryer. My childhood summers were spent sun bathing on rusting lawn chairs positioned between slow moving lawn sprinklers with a sweating glass of ice tea and a pile of fashion magazines resting in the grass beside me. Sea Lion reminds me of those lost summers and the places I pretended to be when I closed my eyes in the backyard bathed in something that smelled like coconuts in a very unglamorous part of New Jersey.
Music from Brazil, more specifically Tropicalia (especially Os Mutantes) warm me in the same way because it sounds utterly different from anything I have known or heard before. (The me living not living in the 60’s or South America) It carries the magic and mystique of a very far away place. I imagine it to be a soundtrack to a time I will never be able to visit and of a country I have yet to place my eyes upon. Warm, whimsical, wild, carnivalesque, and something that just sounds like friends enjoying themselves.
While Animal Collective are by no means from anywhere close to the Tasman Sea or an Amazon rainforest their music still sounds other worldly or at least something in spirit that is very far from the small town I was born into.
The Ruby Sons send audio postcards from an equally magical and remote place.
To drag this concept out a just a little farther, Beach and Surf music carry a similar distinction of sounding like a vacation to my ears. Even if the music was actually recorded in a studio in Minnesota during the dead of winter, it tricks my ears into feeling like I am somewhere that requires sunglasses and a bathing suit. Again not because this is actually reflective of the place or life the musicians have who make this music but because the sounds they create and the manner in which it is recorded transcend the norm I am familiar with and grounded to in a mundane daily capacity. I understand that the primary songwriter in the Ruby Suns Ryan McPhun is actually from California and rooted in metal but all of those realities get washed away in the breezy dreamy 60’s toasty tube amp ride around the world his band takes you on.
Time travel and a vacation to multiple exotic locations is more than I could ask for in a record and just as importantly the band hasn’t made the same record twice. Their move to Sub Pop with the release of Sea Lion is a perfect Jack in the Beanstalk stretch from their self titled debut; a record I loved so much that it made my best of list last year.
February 19, 2008
Title - Don't Slip Up b/w Here it Comes 7"
Hometown - East Kilbride, Scotland
Label - Creation Records
Meatwhiplash were one of the first bands to sign to Creation Records and released but one single "Don't Slip Up" in 1985. The record sleeve is rumored to have been hand folded by Alan McGee himself and the cover art is said to be printed by Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream. Aside from sounding very much like the more well known Jesus and Mary Chain, the band opened for them at the now infamous North London Polytech show that ended in a total riot. As legend has it, the venue was packed beyond capacity and Meat Whiplash in the supporting slot threw a bottle back into the crowd after it had been launched at them on stage by a member of the audience. The energy of the room boiled over to the point of chaos so by the time Jesus and Mary Chain took stage, the fans began to trash the venue as well as the band's gear. Post riot 4 people were taken to the hospital and over $8,000.00 worth of damage was caused.
As short lived as Meat Whiplash band history is, this one and only single from them is about as good as it gets- both sides just as noisy and delicious as any Jesus and Mary Chain single.
In 1987 Meat Whiplash went on to form a new band called The Motorcycle Boy that featured Alex Taylor of The Shop Assistants and were promptly signed to Rough Trade. Eventually the band ended up on Chrysalis Records but never gained genuine popularity even though the press gave them a great deal of attention. The Motorcycle Boy broke up in 1990.
I have posted the Meat Whiplash music here and below is a bit about the Jesus and Mary Chain riot.
February 18, 2008
I wanted to tip folks off to this new book which I just read about, by British ex-music industry type John Nevin. It's called Kill Your Friends and it looks like an intriguing read. Nevin was an A&R rep during the halcyon days of the Britpop explosion, so he knows all about the down-and-dirty methods the business was wrapped up in. I feel like this book will probably be what I wanted the execrable Love Monkey TV show to be like (the Love Monkey book I read, and didn't really care for, but it's nothing like the TV show was). That's the hope, anyway. The paperback is out this week in the UK, with no word on an American release.
February 17, 2008
While watching a documetary on the making of The Who's "Who's Next" I noticed that most of Pete Townshend's guitars carried a number ranging from 1 to 9. Not sure how I have missed this after years of seeing Who photos and live footage but none the less I became aware of it tonight and decided to look up what the numbers were all about.
I have since learned that Pete numbers his guitars according to the special tuning requirements used in each of his songs. Brilliant! I wonder if Polvo or Sonic Youth ever worked out such a system. I am thinking no for Sonic Youth because when they had all their gear stolen in 1999 it rendered them nearly crippled. Fifteen years worth of weirdo alternate guitar tunings and harware modifications were lost forever; making it nearly impossible for the band to recreate those early songs written and played on those guitars ever again.
Anyhow, Who by Numbers takes on an entirely new meaning now.
February 16, 2008
Dang I used to love this song. I give you D-Nice AKA The Human TR-808 who kicked his career off in the mid 80s in Boogie Down Productions.
I always wondered what the kick ass organ sample was from and thanks to Wikipedia I have recently learned it is a sample from The Turtles song "Buzz Saw"
Why is this an early contender for record of the year, 08? Lets count the ways
1. 2500: That is the # this LP is limited to. As a record geek you know i love anything limited. It makes me feel special.
2. Gatefold: A Beautiful, full colored college of a gatefold nonetheless. Very nice.
3. Never released in full soundtrack to one of the best films of the '70's: Features all the Cat Stevens music in the movie, including instrumentals and alternate versions. And did i mention that the actual vinyl has a beautiful marble sunburst pattern? Well now i have. Drool away.
4. Bonus Bonus Bonus 7": Why three times the bonus? Because the bonus 7" (unreleased versions of 'Don't Be Shy' & 'If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out') has the added bonus of being a picture sleeve, and then an added bonus of being on white vinyl and then a final bonus of inclusion of a reproducion of the original hand written lyrics for the 2 songs. THAT is dedication to a project.
5. Better than any DVD: How many DVD releases come with an LP sized, 36 page, full-color book? Well this release has it. An amazingly complete oral history of both the movie and the soundtrack featuring all the key players like Bud Cort and Yusef Islam.
6. One last piece of amazingness: 2 full size posters, the first a reproduction of the Japanese theatrical poster, the second a great Cat Stevens poster. I feel very loved as a record geek going through this set.
As you can tell i am in love with this set. I actually got it as a valentines day gift for my wife and was able to find it reasonably priced, still sealed, on Ebay. Anybody who is a fan of the seminal movie or the fantastic soundtrack should try to track this down. Thanks to Cameron Crowe for putting this out on his label. Now if you'll excuse me I am going to go listen to 'Trouble' and cry.
February 14, 2008
And what does a band that makes me vomit a little in my mouth every time I hear them sound like?
The Teenage dabble and fail in something vaguely resembling a no wit Pulp- in heat- at a disco. Then imagine being machine gun blasted by smug American pop culture references (the only thing more annoying than Nicole Richie is an amateur synth-pop song about her) via an oversexed French guy to music so elementary and soulless that the demo song on the first home Casio keyboard out rocks them.
The press blurb on the CD says “While the group left their teenage years a few years ago… they’re in love with the idea of the dream teen, inspired by sunset walks through the park, clogging up shopping malls for no good reason, holding hands, and stolen kisses in the cinema.” Had this music been created by kids I might be a little less cruel and have a sense of humor about these songs but now that I know creepy grown ups made this crap on purpose I find my digested dinner trying to make an escape out my mouth again.
If you are looking for adults with a sense of humor celebrating youth using sexual overtones but in a clever way then please allow me to suggest the entire Beat Happening catalog. If you want music that sounds like it was created by mentally disabled people then please check out The Kids of Widney High who also make records but are actually part of a special education program and worth your respect.
February 13, 2008
David Brewis from Field Music has stepped out on his own (with the help of Barry from the Futureheads and Marie of Kenickie) to create a jaw dropping, damn fine record that has made my cold and rainy Wednesday not so terrible after all.
I hate to play out the Anglo factor but a cup of tea on a rainy Winter day paired with School of Language’s Sea From Shore has proven to be the cure for what ailes me.
February 11, 2008
February 10, 2008
Artist - The Banana Splits AKA Barry White (THE BARRY WHITE!!!) , Joey Levine (writer of Yummy Yummy Yummy"), Nelson B. Winkless Jr (also wrote opening theme to the Banana Splits which Bob Marley lifted for the chorus of Buffalo Soldier) and Hoyt Curtin (who composed music for the hit Hanna-Barbera shows like Josie and the Pussycats, The Jetsons, and the Flintsones to name a few)
Title - Kellogg's Presents (yes the morning breakfast cereal people) The Banana Splits Sing'N Play Doin the Banana Split
Label - This is a bootleg of the original 1969 Kellogg/Hanna-Barbera Productions 7"
From 1968 to 1970 NBC ran an hour long children's show called The Banana Splits Adventure Hour. The Hanna-Barbera show was sponsored by Kellogg Cereal and it featured live action comedy of a 4 piece band of far out animals (think H.R. Pufnstuf meets the Monkees) broken up by a series of various cartoons. Like many shows of this era there was undeniable psychedelic vibe to the episodes and the music was no exception. In synch with the airing of each season, Kellogg cereal offered a coupon on the back of their cereal boxes where kids could mail order two different 7" EPs of the Banana Splits music.
This bootleg 7" is one of these two singles.
I couldn't remember for the life of me what the music on the show sounded like beyond the opening theme but when I saw the 7" sitting in the Plan 9 record bin, I knew I needed to buy it. regardless. Much to my amazement the music is really, I mean REALLY good. Check out this great blog for a more detailed description of the record here.
Doin' the Banana Split is an absolute must own top notch heavy funk classic and the other A Side song "I Enjoy Being a Boy" is a glorious sliver of groovy psych pop that could just as easily be a Television Personalities' song. I have posted both songs to my Myspace page so you can check out these gems here.