March 31, 2008

Soda Jerk






Dr. Pepper is no doubt one of the greatest soft drinks of all time (Mr. Pibb is hard to find in NY/NJ). The sweet beverage has now announced one of the greatest promotions of all time. Dr. Pepper has challenged Guns And Roses front man Axl Rose to release his decade long delayed album 'Chinese Democracy' during the 2008 calender year. If the follicle challenged singer can step up to the task, Dr. Pepper will give a FREE can of soda to EVERYONE in America. Knowing Axl's history of canceling concerts, firing band members and general anti-social behavior, I'd say that pleasing the taste buds of the population at large is not one of his top priorities. Don't hold your breath, and don't get dehydrated banking on Axl 'Being A Pepper'.

CLICK HERE for the details straight from REUTERS.









Many people have tried to get this project in gear before, and all have failed miserably. An article from the New York Times states - "In 1997 Todd Sullivan, who was then a talent executive for the company, sent Mr. Rose a sampling of CD's produced by different people, and encouraged him to choose one to work on "Chinese Democracy." Mr. Sullivan says he received a call informing him that Mr. Rose had run over the albums with a car."

A true patriot.









In related news:
A similar offer may be needed from Schlitz beer before MURDERBELLY
releases any songs from his work in progress 'Siamese Theocracy'.

Muxtape Madness




By now, every blogger and their mother has written about/linked to MUXTAPE, the user-generated mixtape site which offers streaming audio from your MP3 collection. In case you missed it, it's a pretty simple site to use, but you're limited to a dozen songs less than 10MB in size (so no "Stairway to Heaven," unless you get it down to a really low bitrate). There's also no volume control, comments, custom artwork, or search function (yet). But besides that, it's a nifty way to share some favorites with your friends. The site was having some server issues last week upon its launch, but I think they've gotten those worked out now.

My muxtape is at baconfat.muxtape.com. Feel free to share your muxtapes in the comments.

March 27, 2008

Pluramon

Artist - Pluramon


Street Date - Out Now

Label - Karaoke Kalk

Hometown - Germany

RIYL - 80's / early 90's Shoegaze, Portishead, Julee Cruise, whispery girl vocals, M83




Son of a....yet another record that slipped passed me upon its release late last year. This record was practically made for me- electronic shoegaze with breathy female vocals by none other than Julee Cruise (Of Twin Peaks "Falling" fame) as well as Julia Hummer and Jutta Koether who share occasional vocal duties.

This is a lush less threatening version of M83's sonic elegance with the addition of ethereal vocals on nearly every track and it is a genuinely gorgeous record.
If I had to measure this record's worth according to the Richter Scale it would be defined as major.

Friday Flaschcard: Name that Metal Band

"Just imagine what this will sound like..."

You gotta respect a label (Profound Lore) so certain of a signing that they only have to list the members of the group to get people excited and a band so confident that their MySpace page doesn't actually have any music featured on it.
I gotta say, I seriously can't find the name of this band in this logo at all. I am convinced that this is more like the Nike Swish of metal.
The black metal band in question here can be found in the comments section.

March 26, 2008

Guest Post

Artist - Death in June

Title - The Rule of Thirds

Label - NER

Street Date - Out now

Hometown - UK / Australia

RIYL - Neofolk, post-industrial, masks, Smog, miltary symbols, Boyd Rice, dark wave, German fetishists, Wicker Man, MAZZY STAR

This brand new release snuck out there on March 3 and if my husband wasn't a closet goth doing his homework, this record would have slipped right by me.

Sam's Review:
In case you didn't notice, I added Mazzy Star to the RIYL list. I think one of the reasons why I love this band so much is because of the moody Mazzy Star like songs! Seriously if you like Mazzy Star you would probably like this band, especially this record.


Ok so this release is more like But What Ends When The Symbols Shatter/Rose Clouds of Holocaust: lush acoustic songs with brilliant hooks. Maybe I'm the only person who likes Death in June for their "brilliant hooks" but still.... This record sounds more happy than anything I've heard by them; less minor chords, more major chords, and butt loads of 7th chords. It still is gloomy and depressing but if you listen to it you will hear what I mean.

Stand out tracks: Forever Loves Decay, The Rule of Thirds, My Rhine Atrocity, Their Deception

As always you can expect awesome and limited packaging from the queens... I mean guys from DIJ. 1500 2 x 10" pressed on black vinyl and 500 2 x 10" picture disc. You can also buy it on CD too. The cover art of this record is awesome!

For samples go to emusic.com (if you are a subscriber)

You can buy it at:

http://www.soleilmoon.com/ (they have an mp3 sample of one of the better songs on this record)
http://www.tesco-distro.com/

Here is a video of one of my favorite Death in June songs from NYC in 2002.



Nadja

Apparently Nadja (one of my favorite shoegaze metal bands) is in the running for most records released in a year against Jesu...and ironically both bands fall under the same umbrella of wall of drone melodic bliss ...so the battle is on!

From the band's mailing list email:


"Archive has re-issued Nadja's long (well, a year) out of print album "Thaumogenesis" along with a companion live disc, "Thaumoradiance," from our performance at the Music Gallery in Toronto last October.

More info and orderable here:
http://archivecd.com/shop.htm

Nadja has two forthcoming albums (with accompanying t-shirts) which are now available for pre-order:

"Skin Turns to Glass" from The End Records -- the last of our original cdr releases to be re-worked and re-recorded:

"Desire in Uneasiness" from Crucial Blast -- our first album with live drums (courtesy of Jakob Thiesen) and very cool artwork from our friend The Revorend Aitor:
http://www.crucialblast.net/nadjapreorder.html "

I found this awesome picture of the band here.

March 25, 2008

VA / More Dirty Laundry: The Soul of Black Country

As if the cover doesn't say it all...this is part two of a great collection of African American artists doing what most only know Charly Pride for: Country music.

Featuring:
Johnny Adams - Hell Yes I Cheated
O.B. McClinton - If Loving You Is Wrong
Eric Mercury - A Gift For You
Lou Johnson - She Thinks I Still Care
Margie Joseph - Touch Your Woman
O.B. McClinton - Talk To My Childrens Mama
Joe Tex - Trying To Win Your Love
Arthur Alexander - Everyday I Have To Cry
Vicki Vann - You Must Think My Heart Has Swinging Doors
Ike & Tina Turner - Don't Believe Nothing
Clarence Frogman Henry - I Told My Pillow
Joe Tex - King Of The Road
Sammy Davis Jr. - Smoke Smoke Smoke
Stoney Edwards - Honky Tonk Heaven
Clyde Mcphatter - I'm Movin On
Ruth Brown - Tennessee Waltz
Solomon Burke - He'll Have To Go
Bobby Womack - Point Of No Return
O.C. Smith - The Son Of Hickory Holler Tramp
James Brown - Three Hearts In A Tangle
Junior Parker - Walking The Floor
Joe Simon - Someone To Give My Love To
Clarence Gatemouth Brown - Amos Moses

This is an import out now on Trikont Records and available at places like Amazon and Rough Trade.

The Morning Benders

It is safe to say this indie rock band of barely legal lads from Berkeley, CA is going to sky rocket to some sort of demigod popularity with the kids once their new (and first) full length record comes out in early May on High Wire.

The Morning Benders have also landed in the opening slot for The Kooks tour in May and June so there is no doubt in my mind that by late Spring we could have one of them there buzz bands on our hands.



Close Lobsters

Artist - Close Lobsters
Hometown - Paisley, Scotland (1986-1989)
Label- Fire Records (primary label)
RIYL - C86 , The Smiths, jangle-pop, The Field Mice, early R.E.M.

Discography thanks to Wikipedia:

Singles/EPs
"Going To Heaven To See If It Rains" (1986, Fire) (#9)
"Never Seen Before" (1987, Fire) (#11)
"Let's Make Some Plans" (1987, Fire) (#17)
"What Is There To Smile About?" (1988, Fire) (#17)
Evening Show Sessions (1988, Night Tracks)
"Nature Thing" (1989, Fire)
"Just Too Bloody Stupid" (1989, Caff) CLASSIC TUNE



Albums
Foxheads Stalk This Land (1987, Fire) (#12) THIS IS THE RECORD TO OWN
Headache Rhetoric (1989, Fire) (#7)

The Close Lobsters have been a household favorite for about a year or so now. My memory is crap so I can't be certain how this band made it into my collection but I suspect it had a little something to do with the C86 comp I have somewhere in my CD collection. It's no secret, I am an Anglophile of sorts and the late 80's twee guitar pop is a genre I can't seem to get enough of. This whole style of music is the exact opposite of tough guy and is the perfect ying to all my black metal records yang.

And I know it is a terrible name for a group, you can move past it, I know you can. They couldn't decide between naming themselves with The Close or The Lobsters so the combined the two and well the rest is history. Bad band name history.

March 24, 2008

You Need This

If you are a believer in death to false metal or have a thing for men with mostly long hair who like to scowl, paint their faces AND create music so brutal it makes the screams of a million tortures souls sound like a church choir...then yes, you need this.

My Japanese copy of Peter Beste's very limited "True Norwegian Black Metal" book of photographs arrived in the mail today and this is a post to say it was worth the nearly 3 year wait! A friend had shown me his first pressing of the book a few years back but by the time I tried to order it, it was already out of print.

What has felt like a million years later Peter recently posted this on his MySpace page.


"I finally got approximately 50 copies of the black metal photo book I released in Japan in '05. These were a one time pressing of 3000 and are 95% gone. Now's your chance to order if you want a copy since I will probably never sell these books again. Here is the info: Thin, hardback book with intimate portraits of Emperor, Darkthrone, Mayhem, Immortal, Gorgoroth, Carpathian Forest, and many more. It comes in a large dictionary sized cardboard box which unfolds into an upside down cross. Each copy is numbered, and only a total of 3000 were made. This book is now available $90 USD or $120 USD for the deluxe edition, which comes with a signed 8x10" print from my Black Metal series. If you are ordering from outside of the US, please add $20 for shipping. Shipping is included for domestic orders.


Contact email: info@peterbeste.com Payment options:Paypal to: peterbeste5000@yahoo.com or money orders to: Peter Beste302 Bedford ave #252Brooklyn NY 11211USA "


Here are photographs of the deluxe version that comes with an autographed print and was limited to a pressing of 3,000.


This is the box unopened.
























This is the box all opened up.




















This is the oh so necessary die-cut upside down cross.



















This is the autographed print that came with my book.























And this is an example of one of the images you will find inside the book.
















There are many incredibly impressive things about this collection of photographs but I think the really important thing to point out is just how difficult it is to tap into the true Black Metal scene no less be allowed to photograph it this intimately. It takes a rare breed of person to shoot a band member covered in shit and blood and turn it into art and I can't imagine what it takes to be accepted into this grim community of musicians. The man behind the camera becomes just as curious and fascinating - I mean how on earth do you get Gorgoroth to take you in under their bloody sheep heads? I am not sure I want to know that answer to that.

More news on the Peter Beste front - also from his MySpace page:

"I am pleased to announce the release of my book True Norwegian Black Metal. It will be released this coming May on Vice Books. Hardcover, 11.25 x 14.25 inches, 208 pages. Edited by Johan Kugelberg. With intro by Metalion of Slayer Magazine. You can pre-order this book on Amazon.com now or order the deluxe version from me starting in mid-April. More info on that soon. "

You can check out his other photography here.

March 23, 2008

Control - DVD

Anton Corbjn’s movie about Ian Curtis and Joy Division is out in DVD in the UK now but it looks like it won't be available in the U.S. until June. Living in a secondary city this movie never made it to a screen here and embarrassingly enough I hadn't even seen the movie trailer until today. Clearly I need to get of Richmond a little more than I do.


Thank You

Last night's Yeah-Yeah Girl night was a HUGE success. I can't believe how many people came out no less stayed all night long. THANK YOU!!!! I know it was a ladies night and all so it wasn't a shocker hothat lots of ladies were in attendance but I still can't believe how many cute girls reside in Richmond no less all seemed to be in the room last night. (For you single fellas who don't know where to take a vacation, you might want to venture into our neck of the woods for a few days)

Thanks to Kendra and the whole Ipanema crew for hosting the night and for offering me a chance to share my records with a roomful of people. Being an obsessive record collector is finally paying off - YAY!

I had a blast and since everything went so well it looks like Yeah Yeah Girl will be a reoccurring event every other month.

Portishead - Third



Artist - Portishead

Title - Third

Hometown - Bristol, England

Street Date - April 29th, 2008

Label - Mercury/Island


After an 11 year break, Portishead are back with their 3rd studio album simply titled 'Third'. With such a long gap between releases, a shift in musical style and direction is to be expected. This album shows that shift. While Portishead's previous records were dark, melancholy and eerie, 'Third' leans more twords the sinister. As the record devolps there are some more aggressive tones than we are used to hearing from the group. There is a move away from the shadowy, late night vibe and a more devious approach arises. It seems more outwardly malicious. I was reminded at moments of Dead Can Dance, Swans (Jarboe of course), 4AD label acts and even Killing Joke (maybe it's just me?). However, 'Third' is not a huge departure from Portishead's well known trip-hop sound. This is still a Portishead record , but there are hints of those other things showing. It is a must for any fan, but I don't think this will see as much play as the classics did a decade ago.

There is only one song on their myspace page right now, 'Machine Gun', but it does show the industrial lean of the newer tracks. It sounds to me like a Trent Reznor version of Bjork's 'Earth Intruders' (whatever that means).
MYSPACE PAGE

For truly hardcore fans, there is a box-set available with double vinyl , and a 'P' shaped USB memory stick containing the album and 5 'films' (videos?).
BOX SET

March 22, 2008

Sad Lovers & Giants - Colourless Dream ep 1981



















When I did my Sound post a few weeks back Tracy commented that she would like to see a Crispy Ambulance post in the future. Well, I had fully intended on granting her wish, and may still do so in the future,however, I have decided to drop this single by a much lesser known early 80's moody/dark wave bunch of bastards...SAD LOVERS & GIANTS , who existing from 1981 - 1984. Between these dates they released four singles and two LPs and recorded a John Peel session. The single I am presenting here is their 2nd single that was released in 1981. I hope you enjoy, and I hope this post does not disappoint Tracy. S L&G are no Crispy Ambulance, but they certainly hold their own and deserve a listen in my opinion. Dave G.

Download

March 21, 2008

I am DJing Tomorrow Night at Ipanema in Richmond, VA

Come celebrate a brand new night at Ipanema :

Yeah-Yeah Girl

A ladies night! (and boys are welcome too, duh)

Tomorrow Night- Saturday March 22nd -11PM - 2AM


Featuring the DJ skills of LIGHTNING's GIRL!! (That's me!)


I will be spinning all sorts of vinyl gems but you can expect to hear some bad ass old school girl pop from every decade and from all over the world!!!!


"IPANEMA - THE PLACE THAT BROUGHT YOU THE FIRST BOLLYWOOD DANCE NIGHT AND THE BEST SOUL DANCE PARTY!!!ITS OUR BRAND NEW EVENT!!! Hurry up and make your plans now"


Here's the Kicker!!
Discount drinks for Ladies! From 11 until 2.

Messthetics #104 DIY '77-81 South Wales 1

This is my record of the week.

Artist - V/A
Title - Messthetics #104 D.I.Y. '77-81 South Wales 1
Hometown - Wales
Street Date - NOW
Label - Hyped to Death

Before I write a review of a record I like to scan what's out there already so I don't repeat what has already been said to death. Then I came across this EPIC REVIEW of the record and thought there was no way I could possibly come close to giving this genius collection of obscure punk from Wales nearly as much love.

Just when I think I have a slight knowledge of underground weirdo post punk - a record like this comes out and makes me realize how little I actually know. My only complaint about the record is as detailed and full of facts the booklet is - all 22 pages - it doesn't read in track listing order so you have to flip around if you are listening to the disc and trying to match the liner notes to each new song. Not a big deal but a flaw to me none the less.

You can hear a few tracks here as well as read another review of the comp.

March 20, 2008

Hayaino Daisuki - Headbanger's Karaoke Dangerous Fire EP

My Top 10 Favorite Things about Hoboken, NJ (past and present)

1. Pier Platters (RIP) It was the best record store ever, the first place I drove to when I got my driver's licence in high school, and was last record store job I ever had. I am very saddened that there isn't some sort of memorial site to this legendary indie record store. There really should be)

2. Maxwell's - My favorite venue and my favorite place to play shows - ever.

3. Yo La Tengo (Though once upon a time I think both Sonic Youth and Pavement had practice spaces there.

4. Piccolos steak sandwiches - take that Philly.

5. The gold medal parallel parking skills I now have as an adult is thanks to the nearly impossible task of finding street parking in this mile by mile, very compact and crowded city. You think that space is too small for my car? Wrong! And I will park it with no more than three turns of the wheel. I am that good.

6. Benny Tudino's / 7 Star - Pizza - slices the size of your friggin' arm. Two slices fit into a to go box.


7. The view of Manhatten.


8. My friends who call this city home.


9. Louise & Jerry's - for drinky drinks.


10. Jon Chang who has a new recording project called Hayaino Daisuki out on Hydra Head right now. He is the vocal Speed Racer of grind.

Friday Flashcard : Name that Metal Band

Name that band! The answer is in the comment section.

Your hint: They are from San Diego and sound like backwards belching rioting in slow-motion yet the group is still considered death metal / grind. Way to break down those genre walls guys and relieve yourselves of those pesky intestinal discomforts through the mouth.


Second hint: This group likes to form complicated song titles which contain 15 syllables and up. for example "Antiquity Of Intergenerational Copulation". I am so not playing Scrabble with these dudes.

Yo La Tengo at SXSW

This amazing footage of a semi-"Freewheeling" set comes courtesy of the good people at Other Music. They're not sitting, but they are using the stripped-down stage setup. The Portastatic song is pretty sweet, too. If the entire set was recorded like this, I don't see why the band shouldn't at the very least release the audio portion of it as a download or limited-edition CD release or something like that. I've asked the band on more than one occasion about the lack of an official live release in the YLT discography, and I always get stonewalled.

Ghostface Killah - The Wallabee Champ

Artist - Ghostface Killah

Title - The Wallabee Champ

Label - Full Clip Media

RIYL - Wu-Tang Clan, Hip-Hop, classic NYC flavor

Street Date - 3/25/08


It seems like evertime you turn around Ghostface is hitting the market with some new product. The thing is, it's all good. His last album, 'The Big Doe Rehab', hit the shelves on 12/4/07 and was heating up the winter. Now that spring is on the way, Ghost is back with another full length called 'The Wallabee Champ'. This time around its a collection of rarities and unreleased tracks, but don't let that keep you from spinning this. In fact, you should grab this up before it gets pulled because theres some samples on here that I can't imagine are cleared, including 90% of 'A-B-C' by the Jackson 5. True Wu aficionados might recognize a track or two from some previous J Love mixtapes, but this record is sequenced well and flows from top to bottom. It's always good to hear from Ghostface as he is one of the most clever, sharp lyricists in the game and he keeps it interesting at every turn.

-"Niggaz want me dead, but they scared to step to me
I rip their guts out like a hysterectomy" - P. Tone.

On the subject of Ghostface Killah (a.k.a. Pretty Toney) product, theres a few items that deserve a mention.

-The World According To Pretty Toney - BOOK! Thats right, a Ghostface book. This book is amazing. The people I have showed my copy to have said that it might be the greatest book ever. It's advice on life from Ghostface himself. It's sort of like a self help book and a book of quotes written with a healthy dose of comedy and amazing, surreal photos from Dave Hill. He drops wisdom on all y'all smart dumb cats. Oh, did i forget to mention that each pages quote is acted out by none other than 'Ashy Larry' actor Donnell Rawlings. AND, to top it off, it comes with a CD of Ghostface laying it down verbally. Cop this book, you will be a better person for it.




The book was based on a series of commercial bumpers that were run on MTV2 a while back.
Here is a collection of those gems:



Finally, would anyone like to contribute to my
Ghostface Killah Doll collection fund?



Because there is no way I can shell out $300 for a doll,
but I'll be damned if i don't want it.
Peep the commercial and you too will be wanting one:

The Gutter Twins


Artist - The Gutter Twins


Title - Saturnalia


Label - SubPop


RIYL - Screaming Trees, Afghan Whigs


Street Date - 3/4/08






Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees) and Greg Dulli (Afghan Whigs) have been hinting at this collaboration for close to 10 years. Both of them boast incredibly robust resumes and undeniable talent as musicians and songwriters. Anyone familiar with the Screaming Trees or the Afghan Whigs will realize that this team could write nothing but perfection. These songs drone, twist and build in dark, somber, late-night spirals. I can't find any mention of other band members so I assume they handled all of the musical duties themselves. This could explain some of the overall tone of this record. It has a lush sophistication, while retaining a stripped down simplicity. You wont find a note out of place on this record.

March 19, 2008

Glorytellers

Speaking of Karate.....


Arist - Glorytellers


Title - S/T


Hometown - Somerville, MA


Label - Southern Records


Street Date - 2/26


RIYL - Karate, Geoff Farina, a Jawbox 45 on 33

Hooray! At last a non super jazzy record from Geoff Farina of Karate fame. Glorytellers is less jazz and more of a Spanish influenced minor chord production meets old Karate. Telling a different story of survival, each song here narrates a hushed tale. These are bedtime stories with adult themes of Makers Mark, blood, and piss... never have lullabies left a listener so soothed yet so uneasy.

It is difficult to find a decent lyricist these days but for those who care about the words behind a record, this one is for you, and luckily all the lyrics are printed in the CD sleeve.

PS: This S/T release also features Gavin McCarthy (Karate, Cul de Sac), Joshua Larue (Him/Mice Parade), Luther Gray III (Ida, Joe Morris Trio).

Nub - Nub

Artist - Nub
Title - S/T
Hometown - UK (1991-1998)
Label - And Then
Street Date - Out Now
RILY - 90's post hardcore emo with a shade of math

Karate? Is that who they remind me of?

Nub sound like the best of the emo post hardcore bands my old band Dahlia Seed played with during the ealy to mid 90's. Had we played a show with this band I probably would have begged to trade merch with them and I am certain their tape would have been played to death in our tour van.

You know, if they had a tape and stuff.

As far as I can tell Nub only had some singles out on Rough Trade and Flowershop and I had never heard of this band until a few days ago when I was breezing through the reviews in the back of the most recent MOJO magazine.

Aereogramme? Gravenhurst? Wedding Present? Death Cab? (Dave, help me out here!)

It's good stuff, that's what you really need to know and if you are wondering if their music held up to the test of time, this debut record 16 years after the fact sounds a lot better than most of my records from that same time period. Maybe even better than a few Dahlia Seed records, ha!



The Specials - Too Much Too Young DVD

There is a brand new Specials documentary out now called Too Much, Too Young with live footage on S'more Entertainment but it is getting some pretty terrible reviews.

Rather than waste your money on a disappointing watch - watch this instead.

Is Justin Broderick OCD?

Check out all these Justin related recordings coming out - when does this man sleep and just how much music can an artist release before his talents are watered down to nothing? After listening to Pale Sketches I can say I think we may already be there. Save your nasty comments, I understand that release isn't a proper Jesu release so just back off, ha!


Released today (18th March ’08) on Avalanche Recordings
FINAL - ’INFINITE GUITAR 1 & 2 / GUITAR & BASS IMPROVISATIONS VOL 1 & 2’
4 X CDr SET [AREC011].

All four of the highly limited and now sold out FINAL ’..guitar..’ CDr’s (see : AREC003-006) in one 4XCD-R set, packaged in a 4-way DVD case, pro pressing. In a hand numbered limited edition of 150 copies only.


Jesu - ’Pale sketches’, Jesu - ’Heart Ache’ and Final ’Afar’ vinyl editions on Avalanche Recordings are all being pressed/manufactured now. Pre orders will begin in mid April, shipping will then begin early May.

Current and upcoming Justin K Broadrick related activities :

PYRAMIDS - Remix

GALLHAMMER - production and mix of Live DVD ISIS - production and mix of ’Oceanic’ Live DVD

J2 - production and mix of Jarboe Mini LP (out now) GENGHIS TRON - Remix JESU / BATTLE OF MICE - split EP on Robotic Empire JESU - EP on Caldo Verde JESU - ’Why Are We Not Perfect’ (HHR) songs from split with Eluvium on CDEP with bonus mixes.

GREY MACHINE - ’Disconnected’ LP - The debut album coming soon...

JESU / ENVY - Split EP on Daymare Japan

VIDNA OBMANA - jesu Remix & Final Remix

FINAL vs FEAR FALLS BURNING - LP on Conspiracy Recs FINAL - ’The Apple Never Falls Far From The Tree’/ 2x Vinyl LP on Tone Float

FINAL - CD on Utech Recs. artwork by Stephen Kasner FINAL - Vinyl LP on No Quarter N.I.C - Mix & production of forthcoming new album N.I.C - Remix/dub on ’N.I.C in dub’out now

March 18, 2008

Hot Damn!

I have no idea what this record sounds like but I know I need to own it. Hot. Oh so very hot.

Double Barrel Salute

Why double barrel?

As far as I can tell this is brillant slang relating to a weapon that can't fail thanks to the addition of a second barrel. It swings faster, the action can't jam, and it has the abilty to to shoot past a broken lock or dead round. Bad ass indeed.


Artist – Brother Jack McDuff & David Newman
Title – Double Barrelled Soul (The cover has Barreled spelled incorrectly)
Label – Atlantic
Year – 1968

Record Line Up: Jack McDuff ( Hammond B-3 organ); David Newman, Danny Turner (alto & tenor saxophones, flute); Leo Johnson (tenor saxophone, flute); Melvin Sparks (guitar); Abe Blasingame (drums).

Hand clapping, ass shaking, amen hallelujah swingin’ Sunday morning hard bop- soul- jazz at its best. This comes highly recommended.

Artist – Dave and Ansell Collins
Title – Double Barrel
Label – Big Tree
Year – 1972

Dave Barker was a session vocalist for Lee Scratch Perry and Ansel Collins was a keyboard player for many greats including the Upsetters, The Mighty Diamonds, and Jimmy Cliff.

I went through a bit of a Ska phase late last year and a good friend /DJ pal offered this rare LP to me as a wedding gift. As I understand it this record is a classic among Ska collectors as it was influential to the birth of British Two Tone Ska in mid to late 70’s.
The single Double Barrel reached #1 in the UK and #22 in the U.S in 1971. I would have said this first was the reggae song ever to be an international hit but I believe “My Boy Lollipop” by Millie Small was the first reaching #2 in the UK, # 1 in Ireland, and #2 in America in 1964. While Millie’s hit remains in superstar status 40+ years later, sadly Double Barrel has nearly vanished into obscurity…at least here in the states.



SIDE NOTE - CHECK OUT THIS MILLIE RECORD COVER!!!!!









Well now I just dont know...

who is the greater American storyteller. Lou Reed or Willie Nelson? After seeing Willie perform live in Richmond this evening I am leaning towards the Lone Star State gentleman with braids to his waist.

So it's on people. Willie -v- Lou. Who wins?




March 17, 2008

Cuddle-Core - Music to Spoon by.

I love me some Pipas - Tweetastic is what they are. I had no idea they had videos floating around and here is my favorite of bunch.




Rick-fork

News to me but good news at that. Rick Froberg of Pitchfork/ Drive Like Jehu/ Hot Snakes fame has been playing in a band called the Obits for a few years now but they have finally started to play out. Even better news, there are new shows on the horizon.



The band line up:

Rick Froberg–guitar, vocals Sohrab Habibion–guitar, vocals (Edsel) Greg Simpson–bass



Upcoming Shows:

March 21: Washington DC at Comet Ping Pong with Orphan & The Points

March 22: Baltimore at The Talking Head Club with Orphan, Ratsize & Love or Perish

DJ Spooky In-Store at Plan 9 Carytown - 3/18 - 5PM

To all you local Richmond types - this is a reminder about the DJ Spooky instore performance at Plan 9 in Carytown - 3012 W. Cary St tomorrow. It starts at 5pm sharp so don't miss out! I think I am going to check this out before the Willie Nelson show that night so hopefully I will see a few of you tomorrow.

Support your local record store while you still have one,
-T

Greil Marcus and Shannon McArdle talk and sing history

Here's an hour of esteemed author-critic Greil Marcus (Mystery Train, Lipstick Traces) talking with some folks at Barnes & Noble in New York City about his 2006 book The Shape of Things to Come, which attempts to connect the cultural significance of several disparate artists in the context of three historic speeches. I haven't read the book but I respect a good deal of Marcus' writing, some of which he shares during the chat. We're also treated to a handful of songs by Shannon McArdle (ex-Mendoza Line, ex-Slow Dazzle), who is one of my (and apparently Greil's) favorite female singer-songwriters out there.

It's a little dry at times and the volume is frustratingly low, but if you're into American history at all and can tolerate Marcus' sometimes reaching prose, it's an educational and musical treat.

Fields Demos

I am sure this newsflash must be on other blogs and I just haven't been paying close attention. Maybe since all the cool kids were at SXSW last week this tidbit got skipped? Eh, whatever.

Fields, everyone's favorite English / Icelandic band has three, count em' three (!!!) new demos up on their myspace page.

March 15, 2008

Everybody Love Everybody

Semi-Pro is Slap Shot in hightops with a slightly better soundtrack and guy who looks a whole lot like Ice Cube but isn't.




March 14, 2008

What the Hell Is This?

So i was sent this cd by a friend at a distributor and thought "hey look at all those sheep, what a great cover" and put the cd on while working in the exciting world of excel grids.

It was in the background and thought nothing of it. Then in succession I had the following thoughts:

1. This is pretty good. (always a nice suprise from an unknown quantity)

2. Hey they are covering Low!

3. Hey this sounds a lot like Alan Sparhawk.

4. HEY! This IS Alan Sparhawk.

5. (After picking up the cd and looking at the track names) What the hell? These are all Low songs!

6. Why is there a whole album of Alan Sparhawk doing new versions of his own music? What is the meaning of this? Why? Why?

So that is where i am now. Like i said these are all Low songs, not exactly 'stripped down' cause how do you strip down Low? They are more rocked out however. It is really good, but i love Low and its more or less alternate versions of their songs. I am so confused.

PS it would be great if Retribution Gospel Choir opened for Low, kind of like how Wire used to have that cover band open for them

Friday Flashcard : Name That Metal Band

Is it a weapon? Is it a profile of a decorative podium holding a book? No. It is a one man black metal band from Portland.

The one man band in metal is the new black. Literally.


The answer can be found in the comments section.



March 13, 2008

The Not so Wonderful World of Good & Plenty

By the late 60's psych pop went from wild flower power(ful) to painfully commercial watered down drivel and Douglas Good and Ginny Plenty are a prefect example of hippy gone ho-hum. (Ironically there is actually a song on their album called "Ho Hum")

Darn it though, the cover art and photo showed so much potential.

What a tease.

In theory The World of Good & Plenty has a few things going for it:

1. The cover (front and back)

2. The promise of spectacular girl / boy vocal teamwork dressed in far out mod goodness

3. The production / songwriting team of Wes Farrell and Tony Romeo. Wes was both a songwriter and a producer giving the world such hits as "Boys" which appeared on the first Beatles record and "Hang on Sloopy" made famous by the McCoys. Wes was also them man behind all the Partridge Family music. He wrote the massive hit "I Think I Love You" as well as the iconic theme to the TV show, and produced most of if not all the Partridge Family recordings. I can't be 100% certain but I believe Tony was a co-writer and co-producer for some of the Partridge Family music as well.

The problem here is Good and Plenty can't really sing which is a shame because you can hear the decent songwriting at work. There are terrific pop keyboard heavy songs dressed in horns and all sorts of other fun layers but the vocal performance kills anything happening behind the singing. Knowing this history of Wes Farrell I have decided this was his test run for the Partridge Family. Love or hate that swinging 70's family of singers, they were candy coated pop personified. The actors had the star power to make those songs work and well sadly Doug and Ginny, no matter how fantastic they look, don't have the musical talent to make these pop songs pop. Their voices (really Ginny is mostly to blame here) quiver, whistle and swerve as if the love generation was drunk driving through a world of rainbows and Doug sounds more asleep at the wheel than anything else.

The back of the LP asks Who are Douglas Plenty and Ginny Plenty? "Children of the World". (Gag) Where do they live? "Life." (No bong in the world could make that sound clever) Where are they going? "Into the hearts of the people" (Umm, no.) What do they offer? "A world of beauty. " (Ummm, no again. Boooo-ty ...maybe.)

I have placed the one and only decent song "She Is the We of Me" here. The first song "Children Dreamin' " was the official single but there aren't enough seagull cries, ocean waves crashing, or chimes to make that song work for me.

March 12, 2008

Totally my kind of math.

Artist - Vapid

Title - Do the Earthquake 7"

Hometown - Vancouver, Canada

Label - Nominal Records

The Runaways + The Stooges + something better than all the old school American Riot Grrrl bands combined = Vapid.

And a note to The Donnas - please stop making records. Vapid makes your very existence pointless.

And Speaking of Thee Silver Mt. Zion

Artist - Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band


Title - 13 Blues for Thirteen Moons


Hometown - Montreal, Canda


Label - Constellation



Street Date - 3/25





Bands that crossed my mind while listening to this new record: Lungfish, PIL, Trail of the Dead, and The Black Heart Procession and sure, Godspeed. 13 Blues is tense, seductive, and surprisingly ROCK. The record starts with 12 tiny instrumental bits and finally gets going on track 13. The final 4 songs clock in together at just shy of an hour - the kind of 60 minutes you may want to pass drinking whiskey to calm your nerves as the band drags you through the most beautiful and tender beating to date.

Metal Puppy in Need of Record Deal

I wish.


March 11, 2008

Evangelista - Hello, Voyager

Artist - Evanglista

Title - Hello Voyager

Hometown - LA, CA

Label - Constellation

Street Date - 3/11







Evangelista is Carla Bozulich's new moniker and this record features most of Thee Silver Mt. Zion.


I can't get enough of the song "Truth is Dark like Outer Space" and lucky for us it is the first song on her MySpace page right now so be sure to check it out...just be patient... it takes about 45 seconds for it to really kick in and explode.

And no, Evangelista has nothing to do with the supermodel who shares the same name.

Cavity - Laid Insignificant Reissue - 3/18/2008

In case you don't know who Cavity were... they were a Miami Florida metal band who mastered swampy Sabbath-like dirge and belong to the family of EyeHateGod school of hateful doom.



Taken from the Hydra Head blog:



Extracted from the dank and murky swamps of south Florida, Laid Insignificant is brought forth anew, resplendent in all it's misanthropic glory. With remastered audio and added tracks from the original session, herein is a document of paroxysm of the aural variety, sounding just as virile and ornery as it did the day it was birthed. While the climate of any Cavity album could be considered hostile, Laid Insignificant has proven to be the most unhinged and ferocious occupant in the Cavity stable in the 10 years subsequent to it's original release. With added emphasis on faster tempos, layered chordal discordance, and an overall air of frantic desperation, this may stand if not as Cavity's best album, then certainly as their most furious and scathing.



Now, while *VERY* limited quanitites last, get yer new Cavity CD with a limited-edition, 11"x14" Lambda print that is signed and numbered by Dan of Cavity. The print is of a photo Dan took for the CD layout, and will only be available as part of this pre-order deal. As if there was anything that could make this deal any sweeter, we've also been told that everybody who orders this print will get a little extra surprise with their order. We're not going to tell you what it is ('cause then it wouldn't be a surprise, silly), but you're gonna love it if you get it / be very sad if you miss out.



What's more, until March 30th you can add a limited-edition t-shirt or hoodie to your Cavity CD + print order. fter March 30th, you'll still be able to buy the CD + Print (if any are left), but NOT the Cavity shirts or hoodies. Sorry! No, Really...



Track Listing:
Laid Insignificant
The Woods
9 Fingers on the Spider
Marginal Man
I May Go
Spine I
Spine II
A Bitter Cold Spell

March 10, 2008

Texas is the reason?

I haven't seen this news story in the American music blog world yet but maybe its because everybody in the music world appears is making their way to Texas for SXSW. (alas not me)

Or maybe music journalists stateside don't find this story newsworthy. Oh the humanity!

From nme.com

"Post-punk cult legends Robyn Hitchcock (The Soft Boys) and Andy Partridge (XTC) are working on a collaborative album together.The duo are currently recording songs together in Partridge’s shed in Swindon, reports Billboard.Hitchcock explained the reasons behind their collaboration, saying: “I think it’s good for me to be brought up against somebody else, another songwriter. I really think about how everything fits together.“[It’s] a self-generating project. I write the words on the train going up to Swindon and then, bang, we record it in his shed.”

Crush Worthy : Lykke Li

There will be a future post about Lykke Li as I have just ordered her new record "Youth Novels" from Rough Trade and the CD has yet to arrive. This is yet another stunning young artist from Sweden, cute as a button, a muscial companion of the Shout Out Louds as well as Peter Bjorn and John... and has a voice that is breathy and precious like Victoria from The Concretes.

Li is cavity inducing with a touch of dirty girl tossed in. Meow!








March 9, 2008

The Violets

During one of my Rough Trade mail order buying sprees last year I came across a band called The Violets from London. I was going through a big Siouxsie & the Banshees phase at the time and The Violets helped to scratch that itch.

While the rest of the hipster world will be blabbing on about These New Puritans who have a new record coming out on Domino in a few weeks and might be the best thing to happen to hip hop since Mark E Smith, I will blog about the band who sits among TNP's top friends on MySpace - The Violets.

Thanks to Wikipedia here is their discography:

Albums
2007 The Lost Pages (Angular Recording Corporation)

Singles
2006 "Feast On You/Come Home" (Filthy Little Angels)
2006 "Mirror Mirror" (Angular Recording Corporation)
2006 "Hush Away" (Angular Recording Corporation)
2006 "Descend/Carnival " (Angular Recording Corporation)
2007 "Foreo" (Angular Recording Corporation)
2007 "Troubles Of Keneat" (Angular Recording Corporation)

The Foreo single was a favorite of mine last year and did I mention they sound like Siouxie?


Norman "hurricane" Smith dies at 85

Beatles, Floyd Producer Norman "Hurricane" Smith Dies - 03/06/2008


"Beatles' engineer, Pink Floyd producer and solo artist, Norman "Hurricane" Smith, has died at the age of 85. Smith recorded every Beatles session, from their very first test in 1962, until Rubber Soul in 1965. EMI then promoted him from engineeer to producer.He was instrumental in signing Pink Floyd, and produced their first, second, and fourth studio albums - The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, A Saucerful of Secrets, and Ummagumma.He enjoyed chart success of his own in 1971 with his debut 'Don't Let It Die' followed by a string of UK and US hits."

and a clip from Mojo goes on to say:

"he had also produced The Pretty Things’ landmark 1968 album, SF Sorrow, and would continue to produce the band for the next five years, while striking out as a solo artist in his own right."

Breaking News

Keyboardist of Vampire Weekend eaten alive by absurd over sized python-like scarf during Saturday Night Live performance - Paul Simon loving Izod models already lining up to replace him and The Preppy Handbook 2008 Edition earns a footnote.

My neutrality towards this band has evolved into disdain post SNL appearance. I am sure they are nice guys and all but they're like staring at the squares in Cry-Baby had the group entered into Columbia University. And as far as cycles in music go I guess it has been long enough since Graceland's release or the last rise of Ska / African hybrid music for Vampire Weekend to sound like a breath of change in the Indie 2.0 scene no less to kids who aren't old enough to have lived through this stuff the last time around.


March 7, 2008

A short but true story about the evolution of the universe and Morrissey

There were a series of candles along the mantle in need of extinguishing. We were preparing for bed and Sam leaned in to blow air from left to right across the flames as if making a massive birthday wish. The final candle was being stubborn and its glowing ember remained for several seconds. Without hesitation I serenaded the now dark room with a slightly flat version of The Smiths "There's a Light that Never Goes Out" I have no idea where that came from. I can't recall the last time I heard that song or listened to The Smiths yet out it spilled from my lungs as if the words and melody had been placed there just minutes before waiting for its waxy cue. I conferred with Sam to ask if that was indeed the name of the song and whether it was a Morrissey or a Smiths tune. He knew the answer to both questions and I found that incredibly comforting.

Our heads were then placed on pillows and eyes were closed. We were that much closer to sleep when Sam blurted out into the black "The Big Bang Theory is BULLSHIT!" This is a strangely typical kind of declaration I can expect from him in our home so instead of sitting up in bed with eyes glaring towards the crazy man in bed next to me and asking what the hell??? I remained stationary, silent, and all accepting. This is actually a typical night in our life.

There was a slightly delayed follow up statement from his lips regarding something about trends in science and then within seconds Sam was sound asleep.

More of the usual, I am now wide awake. My brain is easily pushed into action and presently I am pondering the rest of the songs found on The Queen is Dead, what other fads in science are in need of a verbal smack down and if Keats, Yeats, Wilde, or Morrissey would write any of this down.

March 6, 2008

Friday Flaschcard: Name that Metal Band

Everybody's favorite black metal band! (See the comments section in case you don't know who your favorite black metal band should be)



The Night Marchers - See You in Magic

Artist - The Night Marchers

Title - See You in Magic

Hometown - San Deigo, CA.

Label - Swami

Street Date - 4/22

RIYL - Rocket from the Crypt and all that is John Reis


All you need to know about this band is the line up:


John Reis - Rocket From the Crypt/Drive Like Jehu/Hot Snakes...
Gar Wood - Hot Snakes / Beehive & the Barracudas
Jason Kourkounis - Hot Snakes / Delta 72
Tommy Kitsos - CPC Gangbangs


And this is basically a garage rock record. It sounds like your usual John Reis ROCK with the spirit of Mick Collins from the Gories/Blacktop / Dirtbombs thrown in. I know the record isn't due out for quite some time but you can listen to the tracks on the myspace page which is the link above.


Black Cobra - Feather and Stone

Artist - Black Cobra
Title - Feather and Stone
Label - At A Loss
Hometown - S.F., CA.
Street Date - Out Now
RIYL - Two piece metal bands ala Godhead Silo but they sound more like Karp or Torche.

Is there such a genre as stoner thrash? Well there is now. Fuck yes.



March 5, 2008

The Notwist - A Refresher Course

Many music sites are running a press story about the long awaited return of Notwist this week. It has been six years since their last record and then I realized DANG! Six years? Where the hell does time go? And then I began to wonder how many of the average readers of these music blogs are old enough to recall The Notwist and their delicious music. The last proper Notwist release (a non remix record) came out in 2002 so that means a present day cool kid of barely legal drinking age would have been 14 ish when Neon Golden hit the stores. A lot of time has elapsed since those training bras and braces days so I think a Notwist refresher course is must.





Artist: The Notwist
Hometown: Germany
Key Back Catalog:
1990: S/T
1992 : Nook - (Community Records)
1995 : 12 (Zero Hour)
1998: Shrink (Zero Hour)
2002: Neon Golden (Domino Records)
2008: The Devil, You + Me is due out on Domino Records later this year.


RIYL : There have been many stages for this band musically so depending on the year they could have sounded like Slayer (metal), Swervedriver (shoegaze), Sunny Day (heavy but beautiful), Drive Like Jehu (angsty guitar goodness), glitchy indie-tronica, jazz, and everything in between. No matter what style we are talking about here they have always had an overwhelming essence of something deeply sad.


My introduction to the band came from an ex-boyfriend who was working at Sub Pop in the early 90s. He was digging through the demo box at work and stumbled across the Notwist CD Nook. The label wasn't interested in the band but he became obsessed with them; playing them for anyone who would listen. It was perhaps one of the first bands I had ever heard cross two very different genres, taking something like chugging blazing metal and covering it up with tender dark vocal melodies and wait, is that a banjo I hear? In 2002 that sounded incredibly new and never done before. Even the CD booklet was unusual -it had a different piece of art per page to accompany the lyrics. This was not your typical metal record nor was it overtly emo or sappy. At the time I couldn't begin to guess what the hell The Notwist were all about (pre-internet days) but I fell in love with their sound and have followed them loyally ever since.


I will interject here with an urban legend AKA something I can't swear to be true. It has been said that the band Sunny Day Real Estate (some of whom were renting a house with my ex at the time) was so moved by The Notwist cd booklet that they were inspired to have unique art to coincide with every song on their album too. I also have to thank Thurston Moore here because a mutual friend tipped me off that Thurston was selling some of his records at the time which included nearly all of the early Notwist rare LPs and 12"ers. My Notwist collection is complete thanks to Thurston's purging. Yay!


As I grew up and out of grunge and into more varied forms of music like electronica, I would have never guessed Notwist, who could thrash with the best of them, would end up traveling down a glitchy and a much more delicate musical path. Once again ahead of their time they dared to mix indie rock and electronic music when few people were doing it, no less gracefully or successfully. The leader aspect of a band isn't nearly as important as the quality of the music they produce but Notwist are leaders of the best kind. Their art is always impeccable, well thought out, and carries the emotional weight of marble. If six years is what it took the group to make a new record then I have high expectations that it will be well worth the wait. Or weight if you will.


I can't say enough good things about The Notwist and if I had to name one band I am consistently inspired by as a musician (like CRAP WHY COULDN'T I HAVE WRITTEN THAT SONG!!!!), Notwist is and will probably always be my band of choice.

Redefining "Indie"

Once upon a time in a land far far away, indie meant something different. Sure it still represents the concept of independent in spirit or independence from a major label but now the indie torch has been passed up from artists like Fugazi to Dolly Parton. Indie was a term embraced by the alternative music culture to reflect the DIY bands that once filled up these small label rosters but indie no longer means kids doing it for themselves, it means Garth Brooks has decided to create an exclusive distribution deal with Wal-Mart and now his "Ultimate Hits" sits in position number 3 of this weeks current "Indie Album chart. "



Here are the top 10 titles on the Soundscan chart this morning:




1) Once - Soundtrack


2) Dolly Parton - Backwoods Barbie


3) Garth Brooks - Ultimate Hits


4) Eagles - Long Road


5) Radiohead - In Rainbows


6) Vampire Weekend - S/T


7) Jim Jones - Harlem's American


8) Pillar - For the Love


9) Leeland - Opposite Way


10) Bullet for My Valentine - Scream Aim




The chart is what it is and since I don't have the interest or energy to campaign to keep the word indie equating to kids with home haircuts who tour in a 1987 Dodge Van with no windows, I think we should work on a new term for this generation's DIY rockers. Indie as we knew it is officially dead.


So...us indie rock types need to coin a new phrase, who are we now? I am open to suggestions.
And no, over the hill is not what I am looking for.




March 4, 2008

Ringfinger "Decimal" LPs

Normally I don't blog about my own music but since the very first copies of my LP arrived at my door today I have decided to post about them. I am super stoked with how they turned out and if you are thinking the packaging looks like an early 90s emo record...well it does. Guilty as charged.


Here is the scoop:


*The label is Magic Bullet.

*The official street date is March 25th 2008

*You can buy it from Magic Bullet direct as well as Interpunk and I think Dischord direct.


*Retailers - Mordam / Lumberjack should also have this record for sale.

*The cover wrap is 12.5" x 19" - silver ink silkscreened on black stock.

*We pressed 500 LPs total - 251 red vinyl and 249 black. Technically that makes the black more rare!

*The record sits in a white dust sleeve which has then been inserted into a black jacket.

*The center label: all black and each one has been hand marked in silver ink to say Ringfinger /Decimal and Magic Bullet Records on all copies.

*Each record is hand numbered on the inside of the cover flap.

*There is a lyric sheet with full liner notes.

*The record and jacket are in a clear plastic sleeve which carries a silver sticker that reads Ringfinger Decimal because the front cover does not have any words on it at all.

Hooray!!!! And thanks to Magic Bullet!

A Rotten Apple

Sometimes my iTunes shuffle does a terrible job at it. A few times a month it ignores my thousands of tracks and decides to work its way through the Modest Mouse catalog every 7 to 10 songs. I have no idea why iTunes does this but it is as if a ghost has made its way into my laptop to make himself known.

I say himself because there is a dead person involved, a man, and while I don't actually believe in spirits, his memory makes his way to me time and time again.

Thanks Apple?

For the purpose of this story I will call my friend Henry Nurse. Henry and I met at a CMJ showcase for the Peechees in NYC at a venue called The Cooler in 1996. I was taking pictures of boys I thought were cute and well, he was. We became fast friends and for the week we ran into each other several times a night. He was an avid music fan and had made a mecca like trip from Ohio to see as many of his favorite bands as possible.

There is one important thing to note here. Modest Mouse was his favorite among favorites.

He had befriended the band the last time they played his hometown and he in turn made it a point to travel to see them a few times a year, usually in NY. For the bulk of, if not for all of these trips, he stayed with me while I was living in Hoboken, NJ.

As it worked out, I was an old friend of Modest Mouse (back when I called Seattle my home in the early 90's) so together Henry and I made his East Coast visits about spending time with the band and pursuing his second greatest passion, thrift store shopping for tee-shirts with stupid phrases on it.

Henry and I also traveled to Seattle for a week together to spend time with the band on their / my old stomping ground. One of my favorite memories of this trip is Henry, Jeremy Green, and I climbing around the base of the famous waterfall from the TV show Twin Peaks and then being introduced to Jeremy's parents for the first time. They proudly showed off their dining room which had become a shrine to their son and his musical accomplishments in Modest Mouse. Seeing the pride in Jeremy's parent's face and hanging all over their walls framed was a truly sweet private moment among friends that has stayed with me all these years.

A year or so later an old roommate of Henry's called me out of the blue. It was strange enough she was calling me, no less at work (how did she even have my number I wondered?) and her small talk was curious at best. Within minutes she quietly questioned out loud how she could tell me the news.

Our friend Henry was dead.

This was the first time I had ever received a call about a friend dying and it was also the first of many friends of mine to come whose name would be followed by "died of an overdose." The news was especially shocking because Henry didn't drink and he wasn't known to be much a drug user no less a hard drug user. He was a healthy, athletic, vibrant, positive guy and suddenly he was gone. I was in utter shock.

The story goes that he fell in love with some junkie girl and she shot him up with too much heroin his first time out. I still don't have a clue how true this part of the story is but it doesn't really matter much. Henry was gone and it was my turn to call our mutual friends including the Modest Mouse crew. It was a nearly impossible call to make but I choked out the words. It was also the last conversation I had with any members of the band or their housemates.

I couldn't bring myself to listen to their records for years no less see them live. It seemed all wrong without my friend Henry to share the pleasure with and rather than their music bringing me comfort, it made me sick to stomach. The Moon & Antarctica sat on my record shelf collecting dust waiting for the day I was ready to face it and now nearly a decade later my computer has decided for me that the time is now.

Anyone who knew Henry equated him with music and I have wonder how someone who dated him, had private moments revolving around his passion for music and then proceeded to kill him accidentally lives not just with themselves, but with the records he loved. If I am haunted by one band and silly shirts with pointless quotes like "I like it Fresh" I hope this woman is haunted by hundreds of records that are as real as Henry once was.

March 3, 2008

Rebecca Gates of the Spinanes

I found myself listening to the classic indie rock album Manos this afternoon and wondering what the hell ever became of Rebecca from The Spinanes? The last thing I recall is Teddy Leo playing in her back up band in 1998 and then my memory of The Spinanes fades to black.

Well according to Rebecca's myspace page this is the answer:

Thursday, January 31, 2008
Subject - such n such


been recording in montreal with joe adamik (califone) and also thierry amar, jessica moss, rebecca foon from thee silver mt. zion memorial orchestra and tra-la-la band. no shows til the spring.




Maybe I would have liked the movie Juno...

had it featured the song "Juno" by Life Without Buildings. If that movie was so darn hip why didn't it feature this now defunct Glasgow band? I guess they were tapped out after all those Patti Smith, Melvins, and Sonic Youth references. Don't get me wrong, those artists are fine and stuff, as is the Moldy Peaches, but I will take Life Without Buildings - Bjork with hiccoughs backed by a less frantic Wedding Present - any day.

Do yourself a favor and track down LWB's Any Other City or their live cd Live at the Annandale Hotel sooner rather than later.


March 1, 2008

Drum Lesson by Andy Stack of Wye Oak

After listening to their MP3 single, I was digging around for information on Wye Oak. After a few clicks I ended up on YouTube and found a video by Andy Stack teaching you how to drum and play keyboards at the same time.



I have a hard time chewing gum and walking let alone playing two instruments simultaneously (though I've seen Janet Weiss do this in Quasi as well as a drummer who plays with Why? and Andrew Bird). Take that Jens Hannemann.

If you like the drumming, you can download the track (with guitar and vocals even) at Merge Records.