April 30, 2008

Doe-Me-Doe-Duds -V- See My Vest

Matt Groening owes Dr. Seuss a royalty check or two.

Science Corner: Intelligence And Rhythmic Accuracy Go Hand In Hand

"The team that carried out the study also suspect that accuracy in timing is important to the brain processes responsible for problem solving and reasoning."


I guess all those drummer jokes go out the window for now.

Oh, what the hell....

How can a band tell that the stage is level?
When the drummer drools out of both sides of his mouth.

(found on PaperThinWalls and Digg)

April 29, 2008

Quick, what do you think?

Ok, some quick thoughts on some recent CD's that came into my possesion:

THE MOST SERENE REPUBLIC - POPULATION (ARTS & CRAFTS): Suprisingly good. I didnt care for the 1st MSR album. It felt like teenagers pretending to be Broken Social Scene. Oh wait, that exactly what it was. This one is much, for lack of a better word, calmer. Sounds like a two piece instead of 19 people.

FIRE ENGINES - HUNGRY BEAT (CARPARK): I should like this, but i have heard everything that followed it so it sounds dated to me. Not their fault, i am just young. Sorry Scottish people.

MUM - GO GO SMEAR THE POISON IVY (FATCAT): They just havent done it for me since Please Smile My Nose Bleed (one of my favs). Interesting but wont get more than 1 listen a year.

YELLE - POP-UP (CAROLINE): This would be HORRIBLE if it was in english. But is is in French and it is fantastic. I cant explain. Its just a fact. I highly recommend it.

SUPERGRASS - DIAMOND HOO HA (EMI): No. They've lost 'it'. They only had 'it' for a short time, but its gone. Plus Gaz (thats his name right?) looks like a Fraggle. Good or bad depending on your disposition.

LOS CAMPESINOS! - HOLD ON NOW YOUNGSTER.. (ARTS & CRAFTS): Infectious. Usually hype bands melt in my mouth like so many candieeees, but i have listened to this about 3 times in the last couple days. Always great when you can feel a bands energy through a recording.

VA / NIGERIA 70 (STRUT): Nigerian 'funk' thats more reggae influenced than anything. Ok, but i would recommend the Nigeria Special 2 CD that came out recently. That one is a party starter. http://www.amazon.com/Nigeria-Special-Highlife-Afro-Sounds-Nigerian/dp/B000WM8IAU/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1209528800&sr=8-1

DIZZEE RASCAL - MATHS + ENGLISH (DEF JUX): Stupid XL. Why they put his last album out in the US as a digital download only i will never understand. Lets ask my 8-month old daughter Beatrice what she thinks of that decision:

Good one Bea, thats how i felt too. Give me options! Thanks Def Jux for putting out this new Dizzee Rascal. It is great. Second only to Roots Manuva in my book.

Thats all i got.

A 7" in 7 Words or Less

Artist - Nancy Sinatra

Title- How Does that Grab You Darlin'? / The Last of the Secret Agents?

Hometown - Left Coast

Label - Reprise (1966)

RIYL - Women who look good in just a long sweater, tights, and boots, things written and produced by Lee Hazelwood, songs that end with question marks.

The Hit - The Last of the Secret Agents?

Yay or Nay - YAY X 2

The Review:

These boots are
made for stalking

This isn't Nancy or her band but who cares. It's so wrong it's righteous.

The Kills - Midnight Boom

Artist - The Kills

Title - Midnight Boom

Hometown - UK / US

Label - Domino

Street Date - Out Now

RIYL - RTX, YeahX3, people trying hard to be sexy and cool, a complete 160 from Alison's previous band Discount, shitty beats

The Hits - all misses

First the good news - Alison has a decent voice and the guitar tones are the perfect mix of warm and crunchy . In theory this should be on par with other 2 piece groups like The White Stripes, Stereo Total, and The Raveonettes.

The bad news and the truth of the matter is- it isn't.

Royal Trux did it first and better. Hearing the Kills try to follow in the footsteps of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs is like watching a toddler try to walk in mommy's heels. And as far as I tell the only reason there is a lyric book is the band wanted an excuse to show us how rock and roll chic they are with a DIY photo spread. The lyrics on their own are too dispensable and dopey to be printed at all.

This isn't music, it is a fashion shoot and a tired one at that.

Lightning's Girl Strikes Again

Hey there - I will be DJing again at Ipanema in Richmond, VA on Saturday, May 24th.

What - Yeah-Yeah Girl night (girl group records from all decades / from all over the plantet, 60's rock / psyche /garage, Tropicalia with a touch of who knows what thrown in. I DJ alone all night, ladies are offered drink specials and chocolate if they are lucky. Boys are more than welcome. I can promise you great girl watching and the coolest ladies in town will be out in full force.

Where - Ipanema - 917 W. Grace St, RVA

When - May 24th (Memorial Day Weekend!!!) 11pm -2am

Who - ME! (And seriously the ladies of Ipanema alone are worth the night out)

I will post about this again closer to the date as a reminder but for those of you who had talked about making the hike to see me from out of state, I wanted to give you plenty of warning.
Hope to see you there!

Mac Review Cast


Grand Theft Auto IV hit the shelves this morning and the excitement in the gaming world is at an all time high. But, there is an underlying reason to be excited about this games release. In line with the previous installments of GTA games, the soundtrack is provided in the form of 'radio stations' that you can 'tune' to. Well, Rockstar games has given old-school hardcore heads like me another reason to grab this game. New York Hardcore legend, and Murphy's Law front man, Jimmy Gestapo has HIS OWN STATION!!

Yep, none other than Jimmy Spliff is the DJ/Host of the L.C.H.C (Liberty City Hardcore) station. This makes total sense since the Liberty City that the game takes place in is actually a virtual N.Y.C. And if we know anything about the GTA series, it will be old N.Y.C., not the new 'Disneyland' version.

The small bits of info regarding the track listing for this station only add to the excitement. Here are some of the tracks confirmed in the game:

Raw Deal/Killing Time - "Telltale"
Underdog - "Underdog"
Maximum Penalty - "All Your Boyz"
Murphy's Law - "A Day In The Life"
Bad Brains - "Right Brigade"

I just hope that there are button combos for classic hardcore dance moves like:
'picking up change', 'starting the lawn mower', and 'the pizza guy'.
Some of which are demonstrated in this Sick Of It All video:

Other hot stations in the game include:
Dj Premier's The Classics 104.1 spinning old school hip-hop
Iggy Pop's classic rock station
As well as a Funk and Afro-beat station
Also, the ever creepy Juliette Lewis has her own station.

Living a virtual life of crime never sounded soooo good!

April 28, 2008

The Music Machine - Talk Talk

Check out Sean Bonniwell's right hand in this video from 1966. The man plays guitar with a single black glove. Take that King of Pop!

'Talk Talk" is probably one of my favorite garage rock songs of all time so I was pretty excited to find this footage. Enjoy!

A 7" in 7 Words or Less

Artist - The Manhattan Love Suicides

Title - Clusterfuck EP

Hometown - UK

Label - Squirrel

The Hit - To put it bluntly, I would put one of these 4 songs on a mix for a friend.

RIYL - Backs that feed, Loop, The Telescopes, people who wear Lou Reed like sunglasses on cloudy days, leather jackets on warm days, chains owned by Jesus and Mary, The Primitives, melodies buried alive in static.

Yay or Nay - Nay

The Review:

Same old noise

only not

their best.

April 27, 2008

Bottomless Pit - Hammer of the Gods

Artist - Bottomless Pit (new songs and tour dates listed on myspace)

Title - Hammer of the Gods

Hometown - Chicago

Label - Comedy Minus One

Street Date - Out now

RIYL - Silkworm, Joy Division, Early to mid-period New Order (Brotherhood), Seam, .22, Slanted and Enchanted, Ira Kaplan's ballads.

Highlights - The whole damn record from start to finish.

Richter Magnitude Scale - Great - level 1

This reviews was started 24 days ago and I abandoned it because I honestly wasn't ready to write about the record, the story behind these songs, or the friends I have attached to the grief relating to the birth of Hammer of the Gods. Reviewing a friend's record is difficult enough on its own but throw in the Medusa like beast that is death and well I really don't know where to begin.

First I needed to make it past playing the record without bursting into tears, mainly because hearing people you care about grieving in song and doing something they love minus a band member who over the span of making 9 records is no longer around- is heart wrenching. Then as I read through different reviews of this debut record for Bottomless Pit I realized every article mentions their previous band Silkworm coupled with the tragic car accident of a girl on a failed suicide mission that took the life of their 3 people; one of whom was the drummer of their band Michael Dahlquist. The overly sensitive person in me can't imagine what it would feel like to be the surviving members of Silkworm trying to move forward and have to repetitiously read / retread the loss of a loved one no less written by people who probably don't know them or Michael first hand.

Such a talented group deserves better than to be first recognized for the tragedy behind them and then second for the quality of music they create. Hopefully with the release of this first record under their belt we can all move on accordingly, drop the death association and begin fresh again.

As a genuine fan of the music they make, I couldn't have been any more ecstatic to hear new music from Tim Midgett and Andy Cohen but the serious footnote to this recording is nearly impossible to ignore, even for those unaware of the back story. The melancholy song structures mirror Joy Division / New Order and when partnered with lyrics coping openly with pain and loss, the end result is a heaving, beautiful body of work. Each song carries its own unique and deeply moving tribute to themselves as musicians (the traditional quintessential Andy / Tim sound) and their best friend who is no longer a part of their musical process BUT do not be mistaken. This is not Silkworm 2.0, this is a whole new post-punk animal. Hammer of the Gods suggests that there is life after death; a time to grieve and a time to persevere in life.

About a year ago I was given a copy of a book called The Anatomy of Bereavement by Beverly Raphael which is basically a handbook to death, dying, mourning and healing. These four subjects are or will be an inevitable part of all of our lives as humans and sharing the death experience not only helps to release the pain for the people or person's in mourning but it also reinforces the bond among the other survivors in their community. Hammer of the Gods is a perfect companion piece to these themes offering an authoritative yet poetic spin on just about every phase of bereavement.

The grieving process has so many complicated aspects - not only is there the mess of coping with loss on a personal level, trying to rediscover and redefine yourself now that a large part of who you are is gone, but also working out how to say a proper final good-bye to the dead. For a group of musicians who had played together for almost 20 years it was nearly impossible to fathom how Tim and Andy would carry on while paying (playing) an appropriate tribute to the missing part of themselves now gone with Michael.. no less do it with such grace. Yet here it is, the impossible made possible.

A fascinating aspect to the psychology behind the bereaved is the common preoccupation with longing for a familiar interaction with the person no longer alive by seeking out situations and interactions that would have occurred in his or her presence. (IE like playing music if this was a part of your relationship with the lost loved one) Eventually once the bonds of the relationship are relinquished and the loss of the friend is finally accepted, the healing process can truly begin. (IE new songs can be written with the addition of new members) Self identity is often the hardest hit after the death of someone close. Compound that among the members of a family or a group of friends (in this case both in band form) and you have only scratched the surface of what something like plodding ahead as a new band, with new members, might feel like from the inside out.

The song "Human out of Me" offers an illuminating look into their grieving process with death knoll like singular notes and lyrics like "I can't believe my heart..." a half sentence left unfinished for over half the song that builds an aching feeling of suspense. "I can't believe my heart" is eventually bridged to "is still beating. "

"I can't believe how terrible it felt."

"I can't believe I did not see - you helped to teach me how to talk."

The careful timing and spacing between words and sentences in this song remind me of the near speechlessness a person has when they are stricken with grief and swallowing back tears. Such genuine sadness is not exploited to circus levels here or anywhere else on the record for that matter. This is honest and to the point human expression backed with the perfect balance of tension from two guitars, bass, and drums.

Some believe that grief reactions may have a biological history within the origins of man. To ensure the bonds within our species is maintained this evolutionary function is necessary to the survival of mankind. Every social system spanning thousands of cultures and centuries include rituals which facilitate the mourning process and Hammer of the Gods should have it's place in history next to the Egyptian pyramids and Viking pyres.

April 25, 2008

Black Friday - The Mother of Metal- Nico))) ?

This video also features a small cameo by Iggy Pop.

April 23, 2008

Sun Kil Moon - April

Aritst - Sun Kil Moon

Title - April

Hometown - SF, CA

Label - Caldo Verde Records

Street Date - Out Now

RIYL - watching your clothes in the dryer go round and round, Mark Kozelik, one trick ponies, Red House Painters, sleep aids, being beaten by the boring stick.

The Hits - None to speak of

Five things that would be more enjoyable than listening to Sun Kil Moon's newest release "April"

1. Toenail trimming

2. Cleaning the fridge out

3. A calculus class at 8AM

4. Waiting in line at the Post Office

5. Getting into a fender bender with Britney Spears.

Ben Gibbard and Will Oldham may have guest appearances on this record but they are so buried in the mix that it makes mentioning them totally pointless.

I get it, Mark is a reflective melancholy poet who dwells on relationships. We have quite a lengthy catalog from this gentlemen driving the pouting point home to the masses. Once upon a time I fell hard for this eternally sad sounding guy and the guitar he channels it through but some 15 records later, I am a bored lover looking to move onto something fresh and more alive.

April 22, 2008

A 7" in 7 Words or Less

Artist - Miracle Fortress
Title - Maybe Lately / Hanky Panky Nohow
Hometown - Montreal
Label - Rought Trade / Scret City Records
RIYL - Wall of sound pet sounds
Yay or Nay - Nay - but their full length Five Roses instead

The review:

Brian Wilson
holding hands with
the Zombies.

Pram - The Moving Frontier

Artist – Pram
Title – The Moving Frontier
Hometown – UK
Label – Domino (UK)
Street Date- Out Now
I Heart – Moonminer, Hums Around Us (vocal tracks – though much of the record is instrumental)
RIYL – Stereolab, early Broadcast, Nico, 60’s psych soundtracks, electronic Exotica, Old Pram, Joe Meek at the circus

Good Lord, have Pram really been around for more than 15 years? It seems hard to believe no less that all these years later they have maintained their trademark space age silent movie score skills with the occasional splattering of slightly out of tune poetry sung by Rosie Cuckston. Her mournful melodies would fit perfectly on Chelsea Girl but the music remains difficult to pin down. They jump from different continents and centuries which sculpt a dizzying display of influences and textures.

There may be good reason why Pram has never surpassed cult status but as member of this secret society it is difficult for me to comprehend the distaste so many have towards this cinematic lounge-scape. You say boring…get me off this carousel but I say let’s go round again.

April 21, 2008

Ziggy and Iggy

A 7" in 7 Words or Less

Artist - Black Bug
Title - I Don't Like You
Hometown - Sweden
Label - Avant Records
RILY - Atari Teenage Riot, seething synth-rock, things limited to 250, girls that sounds like they can scrap, two piece bands looking to pick a fight
The Hit - I Don't Like you
Yay or Nay? Yay!

The review: They don't like me and I like it.

For Tess: NOLA Cemeteries Round Two

And the Goth in you

To the left - this is a crown that has decayed and fallen off a grave stone.

There are 42 cemeteries in NOLA and this is a shot of the Lafayette Cemetery in the Garden District.

This graveyard is said to be an inspiration to many of Ann Rice's books.

The movie "Interview with a Vampire" as well as "Double Jeopardy" was filmed here.

minipop - a new hope

Artist - minipop

Title - a new hope

Hometown - San Francisco

Label - Take Root Records

Street Date - Out now

RIYL - Gazing at shoes / Candy

Website / MySpace

2 lovely ladies and 2 fine gentlemen combine to create sticky sweet dream-pop. This record is a great combination of jangle and wash, never leaning too far in either direction. The music calls to mind bands like Lush, Ride, The Darling Buds and The Primitives without being a carbon copy of anyone. The vocals are breathy and beautiful, reminiscent of Harriet Wheeler of the Sundays. If you long for the 3 years that British music sounded like this, then you will be very happy with 'a new hope'. This is not, however, a throwback record. This is a refreshing new voice with a modern approach.

minipop will be on tour in May, so check the schedule and, if you are near Hoboken, I will see you there.

(a music video? now that's a throwback.)

Clinic - Do it!

Artist - Clinic

Title - Do It!

Hometown - UK

Label - Domino

Street Date - Out Now

The Hits- "Memories", "Shopping Bag"

RIYL - All the other Clinic records, classic 60's garage rock like The Seeds, Tomorrow, or The Count Five, early Stones, Pebbles Comps.

Even if their style is an immovable feast Do It! sounds like they took a time machine ride with Twink and recorded something so real deal vintage that it could fool even the biggest 60's garage collector into thinking they might have unearthed a rare gem.

Fuzz pedal enthusiast be warned, Clinic have a guitar tone so crisp and warm that you will weep for joy as you bask in it's magnificent reverberating overdrive. I don't know when Pebbles is doing their next collection but I think Clinic have earned their way into the garage / psych classic series.

Tunnel vision has never sounded so visionary.

April 20, 2008

The White Birch

This Oslo band has been rather quiet over the past few years so I am happy to hear a little something new from them; even if it is just a Prince cover of Purple Rain. This is song continues The White Birch tradition of sounding like Yo La Tengo which with no female members is a rather stunning trick.

A 7" in 7 Words or Less

Artist - Asobi Seksu

Title - Stay Awake / Then He Kissed Me (Phil Spector / The Cyrstals cover)

Hometown - NYC

Label -Gigantic Single Series

The Hit - "Then He Kissed Me"

RIYL - The Cranes, Mahogany,the place between sleeping and waking, a band at their best

Yay or Nay - Yay

Limited to 500,
gatefold single,
dream pop.

April 19, 2008

Happy National Record Store Day!

Be sure to hear out to your favorite record store day - the real kind - not the big box chain stores. Undeniably these indie record stores have shaped me as a person over the years by feeding my obsession with music as well as teaching me a thing or two.

Independent record stores all over the globe are uniting together to make today a true celebration of the special unique shopping experience they offer. These stores live and breathe music, a passion they bring their customer base every single day.

National Record Store Day is a gentle reminder that not only are they still out there, but many are better than ever.

I never thought I would see this age come but with the rise of digital music, especially among those under the age of 20, many people have either forgotten actual physical record stores exist or for those a little younger, that they exist at all. I can't imagine the death of these stores no less the loss of physical product who offer consumers music as a full package. Something tangible and collectible that comes with the artist's full vision including art and often liner notes featuring things like lyrics. I know some people believe the songs are just what defines an artist but any true music fan knows the artist's bigger picture includes cover art, insert, and or booklet. MP3s are invisible and while they may offer an easy quick purchase, they lack quality in sound and the heart and soul of an artist. Plus if your computer crashes or your iPod dies just think of the disaster losing all those songs would be. For those of us with the real thing we always have a back up and a better sounding / looking one at that. Digital music serves its purpose but it isn't the top shelf quality music is meant to be nor do I believe it allows some listeners to take this art form seriously. Music files are expendable, disposable and now often free to those who file share. This in turn creates the concept that music doesn't deserve to be paid for which in turn fuels the idea that musicians don't deserve to be treated with the respect of being comepensated for their recorded creations. For those of you downloading new releases for free you are thieves stealing music and the bigger crime is these artists you love are suffering the consequences. I will never understand why some people don't think artists should be paid for the work and that if a band wants to make money from their art then they should do so by touring and selling merch. Well guess what, their music is also part of the merch. Duh.

Click on the link above for more information on National Record Store Day and see what store near you is participating as well as all the cool limited CDs and records these indie stores are selling and giving away. Many retailers are also having bands play live, DJs spin, offering huge sales, and all sorts of other great surprises. On top of al that record labels and music distributors banded together to offer their support and have donated one of a kind samplers to pass on to the folks who support National Record Store by shopping in these local ma & pa's.

For those of you in Richmond here is what is going on at Plan 9:

"Celebrate Record Store Day this weekend at Plan 9! We'll be having a STOREWIDE 20% OFF SALE! Everything in the store will be 20% off Saturday April 19th and Sunday April 20th! We have some great giveaways from your favorite labels: Subpop, Matador, Vice, Nonesuch, Brushfire and more! And we have a bunch of exclusive releases from Vampire Weekend, Josh Ritter, REM, Black Keys, Death Cab For Cutie in VERY limited quantities that they have released just for Record Store Day!"

Check out all our events we're planning too!

11:30 a.m. Concice Records showcase 3:00 p.m. Loose Gravel 4:30 p.m. Meditate Motherf*ckers6:00 p.m. Saving Abel 7:30 p.m. Horsehead

I will be at Plan 9 for a good portion of the day helping them out in whatever capacity I can. Hope to see you there and happy record shopping!

April 18, 2008

Jump for Joy Division

Endgadget is reporting that none other than the mighty Microsoft will be releasing a limited edition Joy Division version of their ZUNE media player.
The release date is said to be June 10th to coincide with the release of the 'Control' DVD, which was already mentioned HERE.


Upon it's release it will destroy the U2 'scribble' iPod in
the 'Great Hipster Media Player Wars of Ought-Eight'. (if that existed)


This seems so far to be legitimate news and not a one-off art project like the Joy Division sneakers were. TWICE!!



Personally, I say wait for the 66.6Gb version of the Celtic Frost iPod,
coming this Halloween. (in my imagination)

April 17, 2008

Sub Pop Rock City

The celebration of Sub Pop turning 20 continues..

The band that time forgot or at least so I thought until the world saw a DVD documentary called Tad: Busted Circuits and Ringing Ears released earlier this year.

The time it will take you to view this Dwarves picture is pretty much how long their actual live show was. I would say blink and you could miss them but they probably hit you with something, fell onto you from the stage, asked you for drugs or a drink, or were naked and played too close to your face to be comfortable... so there was really no missing them. Their motto was "Fuck you up and get high" but I think the missing part to that quote was "or get a penis in your eye."

Up next we have Mr. Childish. To be honest I barely remember him being on Sub Pop because Billy seemingly put out a record a month on some record label or another.

This picture cracks me up. I took this not very good photo when I saw Soundgarden play on my birthday in 1988 at Maxwells in Hoboken, NJ. If you ever wondered if grunge bands really did have long hair and look, well....grungey...the answer would be yes. This picture pretty much screams grunge.

Friday Flashcard : Name that Metal Band

Not only has Columbus Ohio been voted 8th best large city in the U.S. to inhabit, it is also home to this death metal band.

The answer to name that metal band can be found in the comment section.

Thomas Morr/Morr Music

scannerFM has a brief interview with Thomas Morr, the man behind Morr Music, one of my favorite labels for all things glitch-poppy. I haven't seen a lot of press from Mr. Morr over the years, so it's interesting to me to see and hear from the man himself. Here he discusses a bit about the evolution of his label and the state of the business today:

Tapes 'N Tapes - Walk it Off

Artist - Tapes 'N Tapes

Title - Walk it off

Hometown -The Twin Cities

Label - XL

Street Date - Out now

The Hits - "Le Ruse", "The Dirty Dirty"

RILY- Overrated and hyped to death indie rock

Crap. It is hard to talk smack about a record when the band does something as decent as asking their fans to sign up under the name Team Tapes 'N Tapes for a breast cancer walk-a -thon and then the top fundraisers will earn personalized / autographed copies of their new record. That isn't just keen publicity, those are some good-hearted boys as well.

Every review of Walk it Off pretty much throws around the same band names, The Pixies, Modest Mouse, and Arcade Fire. Sorry I don't hear Pavement but every other review throws their name around too. I would say the La's before Pavement. Anyhow, It must suck to be a newish band that hasn't earned it's own identity by their second record. It also must suck that most journalists go out of their way to tell the reader that this release was recorded by Dave Fridmann as if associating TNT with Mercury Rev might save this release.

Well, it doesn't. It starts off with a blown speaker explosion and then takes a deep dive into yawn territory shortly there after. There are good songs here but they sound stuck in studio mud. I wonder what the impact these song would carry with a different producer / engineer behind the wheel or if in fact the band is just his eeehhh these days and we should just leave it at that.

Poe-tay-toe or pah-tah-doe we have ourselves one of the most hyped records of the year falling short of pretty much every one's expectations. I feel bad for this band because they didn't ask to be the next Arcade Fire, sites like Pitchfork built them up to be that and I don't think even the best band in the world would want that kind of pressure while working on their second record.

April 16, 2008


(first in a long and often pointless series, wherein i detail music that has come to me in the mail from various other music types spread out across the country by an unnamed music company diaspora)

I dont know anything about metal. Usually i like a metal band because they have a great name (Lair of The Minotaur) or insane cover art

See, thats the kind of shit that happens when you enter the lair of the Minotaur. Lesson learned.

But i like this here The Sword. I slept about 3 hours last night (baby+money+sickness = fuckfuckfuckfuck). This arrived in the mail for me today and i have to say these metal riffs really eased my mind. I am not sure why metal can ease my mind, but it really does sometime. Plus look, the track names are great: "How Heavy This Axe", "The Sundering" (not original but makes me think of sundering, which is great) and of course "The Frost-Giants Daughter". The Frost Giants were some of the earliest creatures to roam the earth according to the Poetic Edda, the Norse creation myth. They were mean fuckers and its about time someone wrote a great song about them. Wait there have to be about 900 black metal bands that have done that. Lightnings Girl, please cite 5 examples for me in the comments section.

So to summarize, i know squat about metal, the only metal i ever get is given to me for free, but i loved this album. In fact i am going to play it again as the person in the cube next to me is playing Melissa Ethridge and that makes me Hulk-angry.

All Hail Cardiel!

VBS.TV has an incredible 16 part video on legendary skater John Cardiel.
He was hit by his own tour van and paralyzed.
He vowed to walk again, and through his own will and determination he defied the doctors predictions and recovered from his injury.

His story is inspirational to all people, not just skaters. John Cardiel is the kind of person that has a wild focus. He is going so fast that there is no time to stop and worry. His accomplishments are just waves in the wake of his personality.

Epicly Later'd - John Cardiel
All 16 parts are to the right of the page.

VBS.TV and VICE magazine did release these 16 parts on a limited edition DVD which I am lucky enough to own a copy of. It is free and available at select skateshops, or by sending a S.A.S.E. to Epicly Later'd, but I would guess that they are all gone by now.

For those unfamiliar with the history of the skate scene, here is the set-up:
Sometime in the 90's skateboarding had lost its way. This was the era of big pants and small wheels. Things were slow, flat and very technical. Along comes Cardiel, speeding, blasting and boosting. He wasn't bringing back some old-school vibe, and he wasn't setting the stage for the future either. He was just being himself. He had speed, balls and style. He went against everything that was trendy and popular at the time. Not because he was deliberately defiant of the times, but because he is absolutely timeless. And he is universally loved and respected for it.

John won Thrasher Magazines 'Skater of the Year' award in 1992.
This is the montage they compiled for that awards ceremony.


April 15, 2008

This is a good one : more love for all that is Sub Pop related

Here I am in my late teens rocking out up front to The Afghan Whigs at Maxwell's in Hoboken, NJ somewhere between 1989 and 1992. Check out my winning combo of tights, cut offv/ rolled up denim shorts, and an oversized XXL long sleeve black shirt. I can't recall what my shoes were but I can assure you they were more than likely converse high tops. I haven't got a clue why this picture was taken, who it was taken by, and why I own a copy of it. Again a fine example of my memory not at work.

What ....like you were wearing something better that year?

Ian McCulloch to Publish his Memoirs and maybe 10 people care

From Uncut.co.uk

"Echo and The Bunnymen singer, Ian McCulloch is due to publish his memoirs next year. Publisher’s Transworld have recently bought the rights to McCulloch’s memoirs from Mayer Benham and hopes to publish them in summer 2009. "

New Orleans Part 6 : For Tess

and that Goth in you. Here are some shots from two different Cemeteries in NOLA. These first four photos are from the St. Louis cemetery.

This first picture is a close up of the legendary voodoo practitioner Marie Laveau's tomb. People looking to have her spirit grant them a wish mark three Xs on the grave and then knock on the cement. Guides of the cemetery and the family of Laveau wish this practice would end as it is speeding up the decay of the marker which is already in a state serious disrepair.

Headless statues are a common sight.

Being in a band really does get you laid.

It looks like Drew Barrymore and Wynona Ryder aren't the only top shelp groupies out there - Natalie Portman appears to have fallen under the evil spell of Devendra Banhart. Dating is fine but do they really need to dress the same? And why is he the one carrying the purse? At least they aren't parting their hair on the same side.

VA / Papagayo! The Spanish Sunshine Pop and Popsike Collection

Artist - Various
Title - Papagayo! The Spanish Sunshine Pop and Popsike Collection
Hometown- Spain
Label - Toytown
Street Date - Out Now
The Hits: "Juventud", "Cuatro Estaciones", "Sunshine Boy", "Suenos", "Voy Buscando", "Pedire", "Todo Acoba"
RILY - American Sunshine Pop and Popsike, Spanish men with facial hair, hippies kids taking it to another level, los arcos iris arriba el asno AKA rainbows up the ass, the lonely hearts club band, Keith Partridge

First things first - it appears that Papagayo is a large gulf in Costa Rica as well as a violent wind from that area but I think it also means parrot in Spanish. Maybe somebody can correct me there? The genius middle school school system I was raised within only offered French and then for some reason I thought German would a nice change of pace in high school. That being said, Spanish is alien to me.

I have mixed feelings about collections like this. First of all, a well done comp of rarities is always a treat. When I say well done I mean the CD has quality material AND the packaging is thoughtful and thorough. The cover art here is great, the 14 page full color booklet in Spanish / English dotted with album cover art and photos is exceptional plus the music itself is exactly as the title of the comp reads : Spanish Sunshine Pop.

The problem with so many of these collections is while I love the obscure information overload, I only end up liking about 1/4 of the tracks. It might be fun to throw on during a dinner party or for background music but this isn't exactly a record I would play just to listen to alone. Collections like this act as more of a text book of a time or place rather than a a body of music I will come back to time and time again.

This raises a little guilt in me. Does this mean I am not as much of a Sunshine Pop fan as I though I was or is this collection just not that amazing? My only reference point is American music from the late 60's and early 70's and that is about it. Looking at all the covers of the record in the booklet I would undoubtedly buy every single one of them if I found them in a record bin. The catch is though - these kinds of records usually only have one or two good songs on them (if you are lucky) and this collection does us the consumer a huge favor by putting the best songs from these records in one place.

The liner notes tell me that Spain was under general Franco's Fascist regime and by 1968 the strict censorship of cultural activities had relaxed greatly. Certainly to be a musician pushing musical freedom built on a Sgt. Peppers spirit must have been very exciting and to be a listener of it all in the moment? I can't imagine how significant this swinging fun very American and UK inspired music was to its listeners and to a repressed country. Student revolts in Spain at the time were as common as cloudy days and knowing this political struggle of their youth movement it is easy to draw parallels to the the climate that gave birth to Tropicalia in Brazil.

Most of these songs are heavy on the Hammond, male / female harmonies, horn sections, layers of strings and what sounds like full groovy orchestration. Seriously you would think every band had 20 members with production as lush like this...20 members and a terrifying level of happy that it would take to create music this carefree and easy. This collection of songs makes the Mamas and the Pappas sound as if the grim reaper had a bad day. This is all the more poignant when considering the atmosphere in Spain during the height of this pysch-pop light movement.

Anything out of context can struggle on its own but in context Papagayo is as colorful as it is a force to be reckoned with.

April 14, 2008

Crispy Ambulance - " From The Cradle To The Grave" ep

In preparation for this post I decided to Google search for the cover image because I am too lazy to scan it myself when I stumbled across the Crispy Ambulance official website and realized they have many of their songs available for download as 30 second sample clips. So if you like this single head over to "http://www.crispyambulance.com/recordings" and sample some more tunes for free. No description is coming from me today regarding this single other than saying it is moody English dark wave from the early 80's ...I told you I was lazy. Dave G.


P.S. Here's a video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KGp0g1hJig

April 13, 2008

Thao With the Longest Band Name Ever

Artist - Thao with the Get Down Stay Down
Title - We Brave Bee Stings and All
Hometown - SF CA, Fall Church VA
Label - Kill Rock Stars
Street Date - Out Now
RIYL - old Cat Power, Liz Phair, Juliana Hatfield (Blake Babies), Rebecca Gates, Lois, Mary Lou Lord, Kaia, Death Vessel
Favorite Songs - They are all good which makes it nearly impossible to pick a favorite.
Richter Magnitude Scale - Major

Put down your new Chan Marshall record and walk away from it. That's right, just walk away and don't look back. Meet Thao who has created your new favorite record and a much better record than the new lack luster heavy on the production Cat Power. I hate to pit artist against artist but Thao Nguyen has the charisma and charm that Chan has lost somewhere along the way.

And shame on cokemachineglow for going the cute girl route in their review. It started with a fair point of reference in explaining how looks play a more important roll than ever for women in music but the last two lines made me squirm a little.

"If Nguyen’s next album improves on Bee Stings as much as that album improved on Like the Linen, I doubt I’ll have much cause for complaint at all. Or much of a reason to mention her looks."

In a perfect world I don't think we should ever be discussing attractiveness when it comes to music makers. Real artists deserve better than that and Thao deserves more respect than that. We don't talk about men who make music in the indie world that way so why should we head down that path for the ladies?

And lastly for you RVA locals - check out what I learned from Wikipedia:

"Thao Nguyen and Willis Thompson met Adam Thompson (no relation) during a show at the Harrison Street Coffee Shop in Richmond, Virginia. At the time, Adam Thompson was performing as a solo jazz-influenced act under the moniker The OK Bird. "

AND we have a local tour date on June 8th at Toad's Place with Rilo Kiley.

Speaking of the Blake Babies

The Blake Babies were a fine roll model for me post high school. At the time I was trying to figure out how to be a girl who made music when I wasn't interested in being like the girls in L7, Babes in Toyland, Bikini Kill, The Lunachicks, or Hole. I tried dreads. I tried wearing velvet dresses with barretes in my hair. I tried the trademark Olympia riot grrrl look but it never felt right. In the end I just wanted to be me.

Kim from Jawbox, Jodie from Hazel, and Laura from Superchunk -along with the ladies of the Blake Babies (to name a few) helped to remind me that you didn't have to be a comic book character of a girl to play music. I love all the bands I listed in the first paragraph but I never related to them as a girl who just wanted to play music and not worry so much about an image or politics.

Star is my favorite song by the Blake Babies and here is a live version.

I had never seen this video until today. Dang! What up Even Dando?

PS: Posting during the Stanley Cup Playoffs won't be easy this week but I will try my best to keep on top of things. Then again if Washington or NJ get pushed out early I may have all the time in the world. I bet you didn't know I love hockey as much as I heart metal, twee, glitch, indie guitar pop and shoegaze.

New Orleans : Part 5

This is my worst OCD nightmare.

Records in chaos.

Chaos I tell you!

April 12, 2008

A Klaus Dinger/Krautrock Drum Mix

The press covered the death of Neu! drummer Klaus Dinger this past week. There are plenty of great obituaries for Dinger as well as articles about the influence of Neu! on today's music. Inspired by the news, I spent a couple of hours with Google and my iPod digging up artists inspired by Dinger's original style of drumming.


FYI, critics labelled Dinger's styles as 'motorik'. However, Dinger never liked that label. “That sounds more like a machine, and it was very much a human beat,” he said. “It is essentially about life, how you have to keep moving, get on and stay in motion.”

Sub Pop's Newsletter from Back in the Day

Sub Pop used to create a newsletter that was part new release schedule part artist profile and part comedy. I haven't worked in a record store for over 12 years now so for all I know the label still makes these. At the time though the minds behind newsletter were folks like Kim from the Fastbacks and Mark, the original Screaming Trees drummer. (He was also my sales rep at the time)

Click on each picture to enlarge them. And if you are wondering why on earth I held onto this crap for all these, I ask myself that same question all the time.

Sub Pop Turns 6 - 14 years ago

Fourteen years ago I was living in Seattle just a few blocks from the Space Needle and Jonathan Poneman, the owner of Sub Pop. His label turned 6 that year and while I can't recall who played their birthday party, I do remember it was at the Crocodile and my ride home was the boss-man himself. To think 5 years previous to that I was just a senior at Ramsey High School inNew Jersey wearing a Mudhoney "Touch Me I'm Sick" shirt and daydreaming of a what life was like in Washington State.

Happy Birthday Sub Pop

Sup Pop Records turned 20 years old this month and I being a retired grunge rocker will be breaking out my classic old records and digging through my files to see what other goodies I can unearth. I lived in Seattle during the peak of that music scene and then hit the unfortunate freak timing of watching grunge die with the death of Kurt Cobain. Lots of posts in relation to all that is Sub Pop coming up this month. Yay?

April 10, 2008

New Orleans : Part 4

This is a side view of a Country music shelf which appears to be where unwanted product goes to die. There is a ladder for these cast away tapes, CDs, and records to make a suicide leap right into a garbage bin while Elvis looks on.

God bless America.

Friday Flashcard : One Man Metal Bands Are The New Black.

To keep things interesting I have decided to alter the usual Friday Metal post and profile a band beyond their font.

Not only is this one of the best graphic design like logos for any metal band ever but Gnaw Their Tongues ruminate the most menacing music I have heard in my 36 years on this planet. Each song makes me fear for my life and look over my shoulder because I am certain death is coming. The entire schizophrenic catalog offers the greatest psychological thriller ever to be digested through the ears.

Gnaw Their Tongues is a one man band from the Netherlands whose wound to the world began to take shape in the earlier part of this decade. Moires, the man behind this orchestrated apocalypse composes layers upon layers of blood curdling sounds and the final outcome is stunning aural paintings of the damned.

Where did the band name come from? The most evil book ever written, the bible.

"Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl
on the throne of the beast,
and his kingdom became full of darkness;
and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain.
They blasphemed the God of heaven
because of their pains and their sores,
and did not repent of their deeds."
(Rev 16:10-11)

The best way to get a sense of this man's nightmarish creations is to listen to his music. (links are at the end of this post)

The second best way is to read this quote from an interview Moires gave in January of this year.

"I get bored easy. So I try not to make my own music boring. Also I've been doing this for quite some time so I know a thing or two about composition and how to build some tension. I also listen to all kinds of music. Lately to a lot of avant garde/20th century composers; Schnittke/Sjostakovich/Luciano Berio/Bussotti/Varese/Boulez. That shit really give me goose bumps or/and scares me to death. And yes I try to make it as oppressive/intense as possible, that's how I like it to sound. I like things to sound as if there is no more room for any more sounds and yet the sounds keep piling up. Plus I put no limitation on myself in anyway. Metal people always tend to look at metal only and say..oh this band is so radical they got this instrument this kind of structure/rhythm or what ever. In the grand scheme of things it doesn't mean shit. There is so much more music, scarier music than metal. I mean some stuff of Coil for example is so much more 'evil' than all black metal combined. Not to mention a thousand times deeper."

Metal as a genre, be it doom, black, drone, experimental, noise... has morphed into some of the most interesting and creative sounds being recorded today. Black metal is colliding and collapsing into other styles of music ranging from folk to classical to shoegaze to baroque to garage to avante composers to the depths of the earth's core to deepest and darkest pockets of outer space. There isn't much new music I find myself truly fascinated and surprised by, so as crazy as it sounds black metal and all it's Medusa like heads take my listening experience to new places. Hearing something that makes me feel uncomfortable and threatened interests me and keeps me captivated. I know these records aren't exactly yoga class friendly or baby making music but I find this attack on my senses is thrilling; something I can't say that about the new REM record or The Breeders. There is something genuinely cathartic about listening to a record that taps into your greatest insecurities, fears, and nightmares.

The ironic thing is I am not a fan of horror movies, gory films, or slasher flicks yet you give me a record that sounds like zombie cannibals vomiting the rotting corpses of Nazi war criminals and you have my attention.

Gnaw Their Tongues has a blog.

Their MySpace page has tons of samples of his music as well as reviews of his records and a complete discography. Warning - many of his releases are very rare and long out of print.

Cindytalk "Camouflage Heart"

Artist: Cindytalk

Title: Camouflage Heart (reissue)

Hometown: UK

Label: Wheesht Records (get it??)

Release Date: originally released in 1984 on Midnight Music

RIYL: early Swans, This Mortal Coil, The Birthday Party, Cocteau Twins, 70's and early 80's industrial

Atmospheric, moody, heavy, noisy, ultra distorted guitars and bass, with a prettiness underlying it all. How was this not on 4AD Records? This reissue of Cindytalk's first record is highly recommended! It features the vocal talents of Gordon Sharp, who also sang on the first This Mortal Coil record. If you are familiar with his singing from This Mortal Coil, prepare to be taken aback. Gordon Sharp has a subtle strain kind of yelling throughout Camouflage Heart but he does it so well it almost sounds like singing!

It's Luxury is definitely the most "catchy" song but the rest of the record is great, just a little slower. This record is not for everyone but if you like 4AD records type stuff you will probably love this!

Here's a link to last.fm so you can hear samples from the record

And just for kicks here's a music video for Kangaroo by This Mortal Coil featuring Gordon Sharp

Peas in a Pod

Pay attention to the lead guitar in the Ravonettes song and then the keyboard in Depeche Mode's "Stranglove". I don't know, I heard "Aly, Walk With Me" and found myself humming DM along with it.

Theoretical Girl Videos

For some reason last night something funky was up with either blogger.com or youtube and I couldn't post videos so I am posting this morning instead.

There are several version of this video for Theoretical Girl. Go figure. Maybe three is a charm. I however am only posting two.

April 9, 2008

New Orleans Part 3 - Thug Life

A hand painted Tupac hung on the wall of the what I have now decided is one of the worst record stores in America - what else needs to be said?

Click on the picture to make it larger. See the glorious detail of his Death Row necklace and Thug Life tattoo. So lifelike it's scary.

Silje Nes - Ames Room

Artist - Silje Nes
Title - Ames Room
Hometown - Norway
Label - Fat Cat
Street Date - Out Now
RIYL = PSAPP, Múm, New Buffalo, Juana Molina, Amiina
Favorite Tracks - "Ames Room", "Recurring Dream", "Searching, White"

Silje's bio says "the songs were actually written as they were recorded. Silje notes the importance of this presence that comes from recording spontaneously, with all its imperfections."

That I could believe.

This isn't a pefect, finished sounding record, it sounds like audible notebook sketches tossed into a gentle breeze by a tiny little girl. Nes offers delicate, whimsical, and experimental electronic pop and in theory I should sleeping with this record on my pillow just to keep in near to me at all times but alas it is the unfinished feeling of Ames Room that leaves me feeling unsatisfied. I like vocals on a record to leave a deeper footprint any carry some sort of dynamic character but with Silje Ames every song tip toes into the next. Her barely audible melodies evaporate as soon as it exits my speakers...and half way through Ames Room, make me very sleepy.

If you are looking for the cotton candy of muffled pop (minus "Searching, White") then perhaps this is a record for you. The reviews of Silje I have read are all very positive so don't let my personal need for a less winded vocalist deter you from checking this record out.

Theoretical Girl

Theoretical Girl is a one woman disco post-punk show; heavy on the eye liner. Actually that is a bit of a fib because the lo-fi Ladytron has been known to play with an all girl backing band live.

I finally managed to score her 7" single "The Hypocrite" and while this A side is the more obvious hit (there is something vaguely Berlin about this track) I am more partial to the less new wave, more gentile B side "Never Good Enough". For those of you disinterested in tracking down the wax this single is available on eMusic and iTunes.

April 8, 2008

New Orleans Part 2

This record store (which shall remain nameless) may have been an utter train wreck but I did manage to shoot a few neat pictures while I was there.

I really liked how the floor looked like an aerial view of the world and how the word blues hovered over it all.

This is in fact a side view of a random shelf towards the front of store which had a bunch of records piled up on it in no particular order.