Monday, October 30, 2006

Thee Michelle Gun Elephant -Collection



Thee Michelle Gun Elephant were a garage punk band from Japan. On this appropriately titled collection they rip and roar through 17 tracks of their hits, recalling everything from the amped up energy of the Dead Kennedys and the Hot Snakes to the classic punk flavors of early Wire, Gang of Four, the Ramones and the New York Dolls. Their legacy lasted from 1994-2003 when they decided to call it quits. There is a new band that some of the members have started called The Birthday (not to be confused with the Birthday Party) which released their first record called "Rollers Romantics" just earlier this month. I wish I could tell you more about the release, but the whole site is in Japanese and needless to say my Japanese is rusty, actually, its not even rusty, its just ugly and consists of "hello" and "thank you"....but enough about my poor language skills...Thee Michelle Gun Elepant (whos bizarre name comes "from a combination of the name of Billy Childish's offbeat band Thee Headcoats and a former bassist's mispronunciation of the name of The Damned's album, Machine Gun Etiquette") should be played loud, preferably while wearing sunglasses and your toughest looking black leather jacket. Their choppy guitar lines, propulsive rhythms and shouted Japanese/ Engrish lyrics are sure to keep you tapping your feet. Theres not a clunker in the whole collection.



Rockin' Blues.com
TMGE records on Amazon.com

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Philip Johnson - New Paintings, Summer 2006


Queen Andromeda, 36"x48", Acrylic on Canvas, 2006

"I start out with the terror of the blank canvas, and I make a mark, and then another mark, and then another. I paint out marks; I make new ones; I scrape them off; I assault the canvas and attempt to engage it in some sort of battle, or copulation, or at its height, a personal-shamanistic trance -- a dance."

--Philip Johnson
Astoria, Oregon, April 25th, 2006.

These words from the artist best illustrate what is going on in these incredibly kinetic paintings. Like Pollack and De Kooning in more recent times, and the Chinese calligraphers from hundreds of years ago, these pieces display not only emotion and intesity but are a record of the act of creation at that moment. The motions and rhythms of the artist and the vibrations of his mood are all perfectly transcribed in the swashes and splatter of paint on canvas. Like a battle, or a "dance", Philip Johnson makes "works with a high degree of rorschach-test value."


Untitled III - 20"x16", Acrylic on Canvas, 2006

One cannot help but feel the psychological impact of the art on both the individual and the creator. The organic nature could only have come from human hands, and stands as a test to time in an overly information based and technologically advanced society. Despite such an overstimulated rush of media you can look at paintings such as these and recognize the universal balance of chaos and order that lies beneath it all. The basic and primitive instinct is still intact and it takes artists of this caliber to remind us all of the natural desire we have to be human; to respond to our world with our natural senses in our own unique ways.


Triptych after Francis Bacon (Left panel), 28"x22", Acrylic on Canvas, 2006

"The making of marks goes back a long time. It transcends literature, as what is literature, but a relatively recent invention; a highly refined and codified set of marks which paint pictures in the mind." - Philip Johnson

You can find these and many other of Philip Johnsons works at his web page. The images are much larger and therefore better to notice the detail of these amazing paintings.

Artists Myspace Page
Artists Wesbite

Friday, October 27, 2006

Groundwork - Today We Will Not Be Invisble Nor Silent



Groundwork played a terrifying brand of hardcore in the early to mid 90's only to practically dissolve unnoticed in the Arizona sun. Members went on to form the politically agressive 400 years and the anti-religious Absinthe. Groundwork had one of the most gratingly, bone crushing version of hardcore that exisited at that time. I have yet to hear a band besides Absinthe that had that same chaotic appeal mixed with the teeth grinding crunch and eerie dynamic that they had perfected. Multiple screaming throat tearing vocals didnt do much to settle the chaos, but this band was about pushing ahead and steamrolling with their oppressive evil crunch. This is a milestone to those who were into hardcore in the mid-nineties and have recently gained some attention due to the revival of alot of mid 90's hardcore. This record was released on Bloodlink Records and features the full length album of the same title and all their 7" releases. This might be out of print, so this is the place to come for you Groundwork fix.

Ampere/ Sinaloa Split 12" (2006)



This is an amazing Split 12" release that has been blowing my mind lately. Ampere are a progression from the amazing and now defunct Amherst, MA hardcore band Orchid (of which they share a member, the guitarist). If you are a fan Orchid then you will be a huge fan of Ampere. Blazing fast chaotic bursts of noise and frantic hellish screaming with unintelligable lyrics that are guaranteed smarter then you would ever be able to tell without reading the liner notes. Small doses of melody and harmony appear only to be wiped away clean by a complete hurricane of noise. Dont doubt it though, there are some incredible and challenging structures embedded under the noise. Grind and thrash fans should easily find this an exciting and lively addition to their collection, and any fan of punk or hardcore would drool to have this in their hands.

Sinaloa, on the flip side, are a much calmer brand of punk and hardcore. They more closely resemble the mid 90's brand of emo pioneered by bands such as Moss Icon and Native Nod. Dont get me wrong, they still inject their own dose of chaos, its just not a full on assault on the ears as much as Ampere is. They use a more tuneful approach, using jazzy signatures and solid rock drumming to make a perfect "Yang" to Amperes "Yin". What does that mean in simple speak? Ampere is fire and Sinaloa is water, and this Split 12" is one of the best pairings of two bands that I have ever heard. This stuff is elemental in the hardcore realm.


All Our Tomorrows End Today, the debut full length from Ampere manages 11 songs in 10 and a half minutes. Now if that doesn't prepare you for the sonic fury they unlease then maybe you should move on. Thank god its only 10 minutes, because a full hour if this could blow all the fuses in your home and set fire to the carpet and your pets.


Sinaloa's debut full length is again more of the same, it portrays this band as being one of quite few who are carrying the torch of mid 90's hardcore and doing a damn good job of it. Both bands should be on your watch list as they seem to be going places.

The Split and Amperes "All Our Tomorrows End Today" can be found on Ebullition Records along with a bunch of other great hardcore in the same vein. Sinaloa records can be found and bought at 29 North Records
.

Into Another - Ignaurus (1994)



This is by far the best album Into Another has released. The first album (self-titled) was awesome. Pure metal in the vein of Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden but with a much heavier groove going. The EP (Creepy Eepy) was amazing, lending a little more seriousness to the vocals but still a pure power metal record complete with a ballad about a dead friend. But who knew they would arrive here, at Ignaurus, with such creativity and such beauty all wrapped up in slick progressive metal and blues, with touches of post hardcore and punk? With such wonderful, poetic lyrics about frustration, dying, the hidden evils of religion, dead war heroes, maritime murders, ghost pirates and fear of identity?

To this day, this is easily one of the most inventive pieces of music I have heard. It is still metal, but it is heavily blues based, and the guitars are heavy, but in a different way. They steamroll instead of crunch. And Richies voice has gotten even better (So have his lyrics) There is nothing too toungue in cheek about this release, save maybe the acoustic "Two Snowflakes" which is about losing someone dear to you. But even that is still a great song in all its cheesy glory. The opener "Running Into Walls" is by far one of my favorite songs ever. I feel awkward even describing it, as it is not so metal, and it is not all that heavy, but it gives you a punch in the gut, and then makes you feel all flowery. "Poison Fingers" may be the heaviest point on this record, but dips in and out of various prog-like passages incorporating heavy riffs mingled with bluesy solos and some amazing bass work from Tony Bono (R.I.P.) And Richie keeps that voice rising up and down throughout, occasionally giving a thrusting grunt to punctuate a tense moment, and then its free and flowing again. "Maritime Murder" is a great song about a guy who was thrown off a boat at sea and comes back to haunt his detractors...wonderful imagery of sinking and the music grows to an almost tribal beat as the song closes. "William" starts off acoustically, very pretty, and details the story of a dead war hero and his memories. The chorus is great, and the songs ends with some good riffing. "Anxious" is a great close to one of the most unique metal and hardcore records around. It is sung from the perspective of someone who wishes they were a different creature, something not so human, so they could hide away. The lyrics are great, "I wish I had wings, you'd all look so funny down there"

Overall, this my not be a very good review of this album. It is very hard to put into words, and the only way to know is to just pick it up, like I did. If you are familiar with their older work, there is a very good chance you will love this record. And if you are familiar with Seemless, their final record, then you will definitely enjoy this one....You can always go to Revelation Records to purchase this and their other albums and if you are into this one I strongly reccomend picking up the Creepy Eepy...(There is a rumour they may reform for another record, but that is just a rumour. ^_~)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Samuel Jackson Five - Easily Misunderstood



A blurb from the bands Myspace page.

"0. Hello 1. We are five young men. 2. We play music. 4. It has until now been instrumental, but that might change in the near future. 5. Or it might just stay that way. 6. In the 2,5 years+ we have existed we have released two albums; "Same, Same But Different" being the first, and "Easily Misunderstood" being the latest. 7. The critics have been nice to us. 8. We have played a bit around in Norway, now we hope to unfold our wings and soar over europe. 9. You can buy our latest album thrue www.dotshop.se, they ship worldwide 10. you can also buy our songs digitally at iTunes. 11. concearning point 8., we're now booking a tour in october 2006, more information will follow as soon as it's confirmed."

I think it encapsulates the humour and direction this band is taking. All spelling and grammatical errors have been left intact as I think they are heartwarmiing in some strange way. It is also worth noting that the band has one of the most original takes on the Instrumental Post-Rock genre in years and is a band that should be watched. Their combination of multi-instrumental talent, jazz like passages, ambient segments and rocking grooves is entirely effective and should please almost any fan of music, no matter what the genre. You can also check out the SJ5's nicely designed website for more information.

Pixies - Live in NYC, December 18, 2004



The Pixies need no introduction. If you happen to need an introduction all you need to do is a google search and you will be ovewhelmed at the amount of media and praise related to this absolutely legendary band. And if you dont know who they are, I suggest you grab this while you can. A live show from 2004 in NYC, one which I foolishly didnt buy tickets for, and regret to this day. Actually I'm over it, but it would have been cool to be there. The recording quality is great, Kim Deal and Black Francis seem to have gotten along long enough to play a few good sets that year, and they are even supposedly recording a new album with an as-yet-unannouced release date. I am not sure how I feel about that, as reuinions rarely ever work out, except in the case of Mission of Burma who seem to have never aged....and something about that line, "It's better to burn out than to fade away", blah blah blah... Enough rambling! Listen to this set and remember why you loved the Pixies (or should have loved them in the first place).

Toner Low



This post thanks to mr. A at Wine Women Song. he turned me onto these guys a while back and I instantly was hooked. Thanks also to Fooch, my buddy out in Seattle who called me last night to tell me how much he loved this album. Hearing that made me want to listen to it right away, and I was reminded again why I think this is such a great album.

Toner Low can superficially be grouped with the ever growing Stoner/ Doom/ Sludge scene that seems to be gaining in popularity every second. You could do that, but Toner Low have something better than that. With the rise of bands like Isis, Sunn O))) and Neurosis, new bands are having to push the envelope to be noticed or regarded as unique. Not so with Toner Low. They dont have to be unique, nor do they have to re-invent the wheel. All they have done is used a good formula and just did it better than most. Crushingly heavy riffs, repeated for a hypnotic head-nodding experience. Psyched out Doom and sinister deep space chill. Sabbath still reigns as the God of such music, but Sabbath was never this heavy. The overall theme of the record is about "Evil Machinery on the Rise" and the evils it will all lead to. It is a very fitting theme for the current day as everywhere we look computer are taking over and once human operated machinery is now equipped with the ability to complete tasks on their own, and do it better.
Certain passaged maintain an evil sound while others have a light almost hopeful approach. Not for long though. The sinister quality lurking under every texture remains there throughout. The whispered vocals on the intro to "Devilbot Designed to Assimilate", the sung vocals at the end of "Praying for Murphy's Law to Arise", and the Sunn O))) tribute, "Into the Sunn of Nymrod" all contribute to making this album a total mind-bending cloudy pysche trip. And the closer, "We Will Conquer" with its amazing rhythm in the beginning, and its apocalyptic thundering crescndo is an incredible way to close out the album and will leave one questioning, "Who is the 'WE' in the title? Is it us that will conquer or is it the machinery that will conquer us?"



The band released the record on their own labelmr. A over at Wine Women Song also has some other great Doom records that fans of Toner Low should find much interest in. There is the new Unearthly Trance, the Funeral Orchestra, with some of the slowest doom yet, and Atavist, an evil sounding form of doom that fans of eyehategod would appreciate. These links will be gone soon, so check them out while you can, and be sure to thank mr. A and buy what you like from places like Stoner Rock.

555 Nude Album Covers



Ive been super busy the past few days, so as a result I havent had much going on here, and tonite when I tried to do a few posts I was getting an Internal Error message for all Blogger.com pages, total bullshit....So I watched a movie. Stir Crazy, with Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor....Freaking amazing!! So now I am off to bed and I notice Blogger is working again, but I need sleep, so I leave you instead with this funny little treat:

Just as the title states, a list of 555 nude album covers. Many of these covers you will not recognize. Many you will completely recognize and may even own. Some will make you wonder why they were included and others will make you want to cover your eyes and think happy thoughts instead. Either way, I am sure you will find enjoyment seeing all the sick and funny record covers that have come out over time. None of this stuff is gonna sell in Wal-Mart, thats for sure.

Highlights (besides the extremely sexy cover above) are the Dwarves albums, specifically "Blood Guts & Pussy", but they are all crazy and funny. Two extreme covers still have me questioning what actually constitutes "artwork": Aminion's The Embodiment of Blasphemy and Latex's Hammerfuck, they are both completely outrageous. I am also a fan of the original ACDC cover for Sink the Pink. Props must also go to the original Electric Ladyland cover from everyones favorite guitar god, Jimi Hendrix. I can think of one thats missing and that the original Slow, Deep and Hard cover from Type O Negative. If youve seen that one, then you know what I'm talking about.

So, let me know which ones you like best and tomorrow I have alot of stuff coming, get psyched, and have fun with the nude album covers....not too much fun though

^_~

Monday, October 23, 2006

Double Nickels on the Dime



I had a busy night tonight, so sinfully I will keep this post short.

"Why a sin?", you ask? Because it is theMinutemen, and they deserve much praise, and much fanfare, shit, they deserve a freaking firework show. Besides having had a hand in writing punk rock history they have remained as one of Punk Rocks most distinctive and unique voices.

D. Boon, Mike Watt and George Hurley were geniuses, and not just that, they partied. The Minutemen had a sense of humour and they had well thought out opinions. You can tell that from the cover of Mike Watt driving in his beetle, the title of the record which makes fun of a Sammy Hagar song about driving fast, the tracklist, with songs like "Anxious Mo-Fo", "Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing" and "The Roar of the Masses Could be Farts". Each member of the trio contributed songs to the album which gives the album an almost experimental sense, with lyrics ranging from the blue-collar politics of D. Boon to the non-linear poetry of Mike Watt. Songs rarely last more than 2 minutes if even passing the minute mark, and swerve from punk rock, to folk to jam to funk and more, so the album retains a sense of playfulness and manages to make its points in a lighthearted manner. Double Nickels is easily one of the most ambitious and succesful albums in American underground history, right next to Husker Du's Zen Arcade.



The Paranoid Time 7" which was the Minutemen's first release for the SST label displays a more restless and energetic band, though still relying heavily on the experimentation that would become their trademark. Songs like "Joe MacCarthy's Ghost" and "Sickles and Hammers" bristle with intense California Econo Punk. It is a fitting example of a band that knew what they were getting into. And its really fun to listen to so you should check it out.

I guess I managed to do D. Boon (R.I.P) and the Minutemen more justice than I anticipated. You could write a book about them, but there are many such books already written, and recently there was a documentary released called We Jam Econo which features the story of the Minutemen, Videos, Interviews and Lots of live footage. You can buy it from their webpage and many other fine stores across the World.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Another Desert, Another Sea



Three Mile Pilot. If you read my post the other day you know I love them. I love all the bands they have gone on to play in, and for some reason I generally love just about most other bands from San Diego. I've never even been there! If you read to the end of the post then you know that Three Mile Pilot are recording new material and planning a release on Touch and Go Records in early 2007. That would make it a decade since they released their last record, Another Desert Another Sea. Way too long, f you ask me, but then again, we wouldnt have the saccharine indie prog of Pinback and the funeral melancholy of the Black Heart Procession. Either way you slice it, Another Desert has left an impact on the indie world, and it is going to require these gentlemen to fill those same shoes again. 3MP have great emotional depth and a flair for the experimental plus the ingenius and one-of-a-kind bass playing of ABS IV (also known as Zach). Any fan of rock or indie and even other forms of music such as punk and hardcore would find alot to love in this band. And anyone who enjoys it will have a lot to look forward too as well.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Clikatat Ikatowi




Clikatat Ikatowi is a hard band to pin down. They adhere to the same chaotic aesthetic that many of the bands from their native San Diego (is there a trend here?), bands like their label mates Antioch Arrow and Heroin. They also share the post-punk dynamism of Drive Like Jehu. What they bring to the the table is a messy, tribal, off the rails, jazzy propulsion, led by the amazing drumming skill of Mario Rubalcaba. A sound that was at once furious, tense and spastic, but also trance-like, atonal and hazy, recalling bands like Slint and Rodan in their more progressive moments. They blaze through nine tracks in just under a half an hour, and I guarantee you'll be reaching to hit repeat. If not to try and grasp what you just heard, at least to say "huh? what the?". Clikatat manage to stay true to their hardcore and punk roots and yet forge a new path in the study of tension and movement in music. A definite leap forward in punk history and an album that has continiued to stay my CD rotation since the mid 90's. "DNA timebomb" is a favorite of mine, with its galloping harmonic bridge, stop and start rhythm and its opening lines, "It's all so / rapidly changing / Confusion / is temporary!"

The River of Souls EP was released at the end of their career and shows the band leaning more toward the hazy thrum of their slower tracks, creating strange, simmering, otherworldly melodies. The two records stand as a good showing of one of the more inventive groups from the San Diego post punk scene.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Drive Like Jehu



Post-Punk, Post-Hardcore, Progressive Punk, Noise Rock, Math Rock, Emocore, whatever you choose to label San Diegos' Drive Like Jehu, one thing still remains; they were one of the best rock groups to come out of the early 90's and they were one of the most agressive while remaining smart and inventive in their approach. Rick Froberg and John Reis (both later of the Hot Snakes, a stripped down version of Drive Like Jehu) were a great team, laying down searingly dynamic guitar licks over the rumbling, stop-on-a-dime rhythm section of Mike Kennedy and Mark Trombino. The first song alone, "Caress", has enough energy alone to light up the whole city of San Diego and the fact that they continue to pull out the same furious punk rock throughout the whole album cements them as being the pinnacle of a style music they helped create. Never boring, never too mathy or clever, Drive Like Jehu managed to balance the visceral with the thoughtful. The screaming monotone vocals of Rick Froberg are the perfect delivery needed for such a molotiv cocktail of music, and John Reis (also of Rocket From the Crypt fame) adds his vocals to a number of tracks, keeping things new and interesting throughout. They were definitely inspired by many things, including the bourgeoning scene from their home city, the DC post-punk scene and the dissonant and progressive nature of bands like Sonic Youth and Slint. Even more so, they were inspirational to a million bands in the post-punk and especially the emocore scene that flourished after their untimely demise in 1995. Bands like Heroin, Swing Kids and the Locust among a hundred others all owe a portion of their sound to Drive Like Jehu.
Reis and Froberg reunited in 2000 with their stripped down punk band, Hot Snakes, and released three more albums in the same spirit as their predecessors. Hot Snakes are a band worth looking into. Fans should also make it a point to search out Jehu's second album, Yank Crime, as it slays just the same (possibly even more). They were all released on John Reis' own Swami Records imprint, and he does all the graphic design for the label.

(Note: Im listening to the song "If It Kills You" and there is this amazing breakdown part that features the sounds of lazers. Frickin lazers, man! Seriously, this and Yank Crime are two of the best albums I own, hands down.)

Three Mile Pilot - An Old Town We Once Knew



Sometimes I wonder how many people think of Three Mile Pilot when listening to Pinback or The Black Heart Procession. Both of those bands are pretty great, yet in completely different ways. Both owe almost everything to Three Mile Pilot. Singer Pall Jenkins, bass player Armistead Burwell Smith IV (a.k.a. Zach Smith), piano player Tobias Nathaniel and drummer Tom Zinser started Three Mile Pilot in their native, and musically fertile, San Diego, CA. Although Tobias was not in the orignal lineup of the band, his piano playing was a crucial part to the moody sound of 3MP, and also the beginning of what would become the dark and theatrical dramatics of the Black Heart Procession with Pall Jenkins. Zach Smith, with his trade mark bass playing, his progressive and interlocking melodies, went to form the beautiful progressive indie band, Pinback. And Tom Zinser has played drums with both bands since. Three Mile Pilot shares these two distinct sounds, the dark, funeral pace and melancholic minor keys, and a sunny, hopeful, yet sinister sound. Songs From An Old Town is a two disc set that collects all the 7" tracks, the compilation tracks and the unreleased tracks from 1992 - '99. On the whole, it lacks the flow of a true album, as it switches from different time periods and exhibits many of the styles Three Mile Pilot experimented with (Some which are obvious clunkers). But in between the few less interesting songs lay some of the best songs they have recorded like "In This Town I Awaken" and "The House is Loss". At times the sequencing of the tracks seem to flow perfectly, as in the "Piano Plus", "Piano Minus" segment of the disc, which flows perfectly into "Red Sensing" and the epic track "Sewn To Our Side". The band seems to have an interest in Sci Fi and a possible underlying humour, as some of the names of their songs have distinct sounding names such as "Urquan Destroyer" and "Jadulastan Requiem". One can wonder at times whether their moodiness is a put on or genuine anguish. The fact remains, that they have crafted one of the most powerful and emotive forms of rock music in the past 20 years, with both this band and their more recent efforts. This record is a perfect document of the sound they have helped create.

It is also worth noting, that Three Mile Pilot have chosen to begin recording again and have signed with Touch and Go records, the same label of Black Heart Procession and Pinback. The album will supposedly be released sometime in the beginning of 2007. Keep your eyes and ears peeled.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ufomammut - Snailking



A devastating album! Ufomammut's Snailking is the perfect synthesis of Doom, Sludge, Shoegaze, Post-Rock and Psychedelic music. Not for the faint of heart. The iItalian band sounds like theyve been at this for year, and this is onyl their second album. The whole thing is drenched in acid, rolled through the mud and thrown through the windows of your soul.
Seriously heavy hooks, great builds, trippy interludes, and tortured screaming. This album should be listened to as a whole, but if you need to know, there is something for everyone. (Well, maybe not your Barabara Streisand-loving parents, but you get the point.)
"Blotch" gets thing started off right. An eerie lurching march towards some inevitable fate with crushing leads and pysch flourishes abound and ending with some seriously creepy organ playing. Next track, "Hopscotch" proceeds to rip your speakers into tiny little pieces and leaves your stereo a melted puddle of plastic and metal. Fuzzed out synths and chopped up samples and some foreboding drumming introduce the next track, "Lacrimosa", which continues with very thick swirling shoegaze guitar work and some well placed feedback. This is one of two emotional highlights on the album. A gong crashes and "Odio" begins, making Black Sabbath wish they had de-tuned their guitars a bit more. This is the most derivative track here and it is still quite a ride. "God" is another creepy track that would make Sunn O))) proud. (though it uses a great rhythmic drum line). "Alcool" is all chills up your spine, leading into the second emotional peak on the album; "Braindome". This track uses sampling that describes the effect of a nuclear bomb. It is a extremely effective track, and heavy as....a nuclear bomb, i guess. Amazing combination of heavy as hell music and great sampling. The last track, "Demontain" is a medley employing all the tricks that Ufomammut have. Lasting almost a half an hour, it goes from Sunn O))) like drone to feedback to crushing riffage to acocalyptic builds and explosive psychedelic crunch.
This album is a mind-altering experience, to be listened to on headphone or good speakers, lights turned down, with the hour set aside to absorb this monolithe known as the Snailking.
This is a definite favorite of mine in the Stoner/ Doom realm of music.

Fugazi - Live @ Irving Plaza, NYC, April 4th, 1995


Photo by Jim Saah

Courtesy of Detectiefvanzwam.

This is so far the best live recording of Fugazi I have heard. It is a perfect showing of their abilites as an amazing live act as well as their strange form of crowd banter. It opens, unsuprisingly, with Ian welcoming the crowd and telling everybody to be cool because the they convinced the bouncers of Irving Plaza to remove the barriers blocking the stage. Then, with no hesitation, they go right into "Turnover" from Repeater. Classics such as "Public Witness Program", "Exit Only", "Repeater", "Shut the Door" and an extended version of "Suggestion", among many others...
It is quite a good recording and any fan of Fugazi should be excited to have this live show.

Fugazi has an open taping policy at their shows, so fans are welcome to record their live shows, and Fugazi also encourages people to share recordings of their shows, so please, keep this link alive and share it with all your friends who are Fugazi fans. Post it on your page, post it on a thread somewhere, post it on your fridge. You can swipe my post verbatim if youd like. Just spread the love.

Also, for those of you who want more live Fugazi shows, they can also be found on the Fugazi Live Series Website.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

From Monument to Masses



The Impossible Leap in 100 Simple Steps is an ambitious album. It is a political record yet it is all instrumental. Save for some screamed passages and a few samples thrown in at key moments, this record is all post-rock. How can it be political then? I wondered the same thing myself. One listen will have that cleared up. The premise is based on all the false assumptions and accusation based around 9/11. The points are made by placing the samples, usually from the newscast of that day and from banal political speeches by none other than George W. himself among others involved in the fiasco. It is up to you to figure out what the band is trying to say, but the whole message adds up to "Bullshit!". I for one dont believe a word of what "they" the politicians say about the events of that day. There is alot fo shady evidence that points to our own government. We may never know the truth about alot of things that our government does, but I think it is clear that any thinking person is right in being skeptical as to the motives proclaimed by Bush and Cheney and many others in control of our country. Enough of the politics. If you wish to discuss, please leave me a comment, and I will gladly talk with anyone on the matter. The album on the other hand, completely separate from the message is very well done. A mix of Post-Rock and Post-Punk with a little bit of Hardcore and Screamo elements thrown in for punctuation. Anyone interested in the genre of Instrumental Music and Post-Punk or Post-Rock should check this one out.

The band has a few other releases including a new one all out on Dim Mak Records which also has released The Blood Brothers, Bloc Party, Neon Blonde, The Panthers, Ben Lee and Japanese Post-Rock emo band, Envy.

Black Eyes



Black Eyes are something of a curiosity. For one thing, they have two drummers, and before you go and tell me, "Oh, well the Dead was using two drummers years ago, thats nothing new" first of all, this aint the Dead, and second of all, it's what you do with two drummers that counts. The other thing is, they sound like almost nobody I have ever heard. There was a DC band called the AllScars that this reminds me of a little, and some people find delight in comparing them to the Brooklyn-based band The Liars. But frankly, I hate The Liars, and while this is a DC band and they do have some DC sound, it sounds completely different from everything else off of Dischord Records. Frantic is one word that comes to mind, but that may be because it seems like everyone in the band is trying to sing (scream?) at once, and while this may sound upsetting it is not. It adds a unique sound of mayhem to the polyrhythmic double drumming. The band also employs two bass players, a technique I find quite effective, also adding to the rhythmic complexity of the band. The last addition is the guitar. The guitar, in respect for the already overwhelming palette, makes noise as opposed to riffs. This is the perfect icing on the cake. Were they to try and write a guitar line or riff that was to go with the rest of the music, it would either just be too much, or become a prog-rock record. But as it is, this record stands as a hyper blast of Sonic Youth inspired, danceable, DC inspired punk rock.

As a side note, this is the last Dischord Records album I will post here for a while. They are an incredible company that deserves your hard earned cash, and yes, I do somewhat worship Ian MacKaye and I dont want to step on any feet.

Los Crudos - Discografia



"that's right we're that spic band"

"Los Crudos es una banda de Hardcore Politico de la ciudad de Chicago, IL. La musica es rapida, agresiva y con mensaje, y aunque sus canciones sean solo en espaƱol, es considerada como una de las mejores bandas punk de los Estados Unidos. Sus canciones estan cargadas de mensajes que reflejan la realidad y los sentimientos de la juventud, especialmente la juventud latina pero sin excluir al resto.
Despues de casi siete an~os la banda se disolvio, no sin antes haber esparcido su mensaje por diversos lugares ya sea en Norte y Sudamerica, al igual que en Europa y Japon."

Translation: This band kicks fucking ass!

You can find more of this stuff at Flat Earth Records
Spanish blurb taken from the Los Crudos myspace page. Also if you want to check out similar bands like this, look up Assfactor 4, Assuck, Dropdead and Spitboy.

Van Pelt - Sultans of Sentiment



"The second and final full-length release from the Van Pelt is really so good that it makes their breakup one of the most painful aspects of listening to the record. Their formula works brilliantly on this ten-track CD, with Chris Leo's spoken vocals clearly paving the way for the evocative rock the rest of the band contributes. Over climaxing guitars and airy build-ups, Leo's abstract musings brim with emotion and, on tracks like "We Are the Heathens" and "Let's Make a List," his creative wording gives amazing credibility to his thoughts on social outsiders and the business of teaching. The arrangements are still pretty heavy on this record, unlike some of the more arty restrained rock on his later releases with the Lapse, and the band is as unafraid to rock out as Leo is to bring himself to the sort of unrestrained and slightly unmusical screams that give true feeling to "Don't Make Me Walk My Own Log." The Van Pelt aren't for everyone, and Leo certainly has the ability to drive some listeners crazy with his often monotonic mumbles, but the odd combination of subtle oddities are enough to make this a standout record from a standout band. No matter where you stand on the nuances of their craft, there's no denying that they do what they do in a smart and original way." Taken from Allmusic (I dont feel that well. I will write again when I feel better)

Be sure check out Gern Blandsten Records for a bunch of great and influential Hardcore and Emo bands as well as other rock oriented indie bands..

Monday, October 16, 2006

Blog-O-Matix

Hi everyone, many good things in the world today, but none so fun as a good old Music Blog. There are thousands of them out there and I am stunned at how many are so good. It seems there is a terrific amount of taste out there. (which makes me wonder why the radio and MTV still suck so much.) These are a just a few of the blogs that I find amazing. They are run by very cool people who would be happy to have you visit and do say "Hello!" and "Thanks!" for anything you might find.

Wine-Women-Song
For quality Doom/ Stoner/ Psychedelic music. He also has a number of other curiosities like Harvey Milk and Kayo Dot as well as many other things. He even does an art post once in a while and they range from the freaky to the beautiful.

Detectiefvanzwam
A blog of various kinds of music ranging from Hardcore, Metal Core, Punk to Indie, Singer/ Songwriter and Avant-Garde. Lots of good stuff here and another great guy.
be sure to visit his old page before it is gone for good (2 MORE DAYS). Open Your Arms and Welcome.

Earwacks
Another page of various stuff from Ambient to Artcore, from Emo to Doom. I am not sure who runs the page, but he has great taste in obscure music.

Un Piel De Astracan
All Indie all the time. Lots of new stuff here, and a great selection of indie records from new to old.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Maximillian Colby



"Maximillian Colby was an art rock band birthed in the early 1990s. They combined the intensity and attitude of hardcore punk with the beauty and weightlessness of noise displayed with shoegazer. Never reaching much popularity outside Harrisonburg, Virginia, they were local heroes nonetheless, establishing some sort of movement with their artsy song structures, stop-start dynamics, and minimal use of vocals, in this case, [blood-curdling] shouting. They never released a true full length or lp, only a few eps, splits, and compilation features. Unfortunately, Maximillian Colby's unique expression of art was cut dramatically short with the sudden death of bassist, Bob Baynor, in 1995. After their demise, members went on to form, most notably, Sleepytime Trio, as well as Supine to Sit, Bats and Mice, and Rah Bras. A discography of their sixteen recorded songs can be found on Lovitt Records."

(review taken from Wikipedia)

As an interesting side note for fans of Avail. Their song "Bob's Crew" on their first album Satiate was a tribute song to bass player/ vocalist Bob Baynor. They were both Virginia based bands. You can find Avail here, and anyone really interested in Maximillian Colby should be sure to check out the other bands the members have started, particularly Sleepytime Trio as they are the pinnacle of that loud/soft, chaotic dynamic.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Rodan - Rusty



Ah, Rodan, how do i love thee? Rodan, a companion piece to the epic and influential Spiderland from Slint. Born from the same Louisville, KY scene as Slint, Rodan forged the angular, spooky post-rock of Spiderland with chunky pieces of DC inspired punk, mixed in some turbulent Big Black inspired moments of Chicago violence and came out with Rusty. Rusty is half responsible for everything from Don Caballero and other math rockers as well as June of 44, Shipping News and a slew of other post-rock bands.
The record starts with the perfect 1-2 mission statement. "Bible Silver Corner" with its pretty and interlocking guitar patterns will lull you with a sense of safety and warmth, only to be shattered by the driving ugliness of the uptempo punk track "Shiner". These are the two extremes you will find here. Though for the rest of the album it is as if the band is trying to strike the perfect balance between these two styles, ratcheting up the tension until its almost unbearable and then shaking you right to the core with massive cathartic release and vicious vocal delivery.
Members include Tara Jane O'Neil, Jason Noble, and Jeff Mueller. Mueller went on to form June of 44 with Fred Erskine of Hoover fame (theres that DC reference again). Noble went on to form Rachel's with piano player Rachel Grimes from Chicago. Tara Jane O'Neil went on to from The Sonora Pine and eventually struck out on her own succesful solo career. And many might know that Jason Noble and Jeff Mueller reconvened in the highly succesful Shipping News. All these bands share that common thread laid forth by Slint and Rodan, and if you have one, you must have the other. All records can be found on the amazing and legendary Touch and Go Records as well as their subsidiaries such as Drag City and Quarter-stick Records. For any fan of post-rock this is another must-have.

Amplifier Worship



Amplifier Worship is one of many Magnum Opuses from the Japanese Death Squad known to many as Boris. Whats best about each Boris release is that each one is different from the next, yet they all maintain a certain signature sound that makes it a Boris album. While I am partial to their shorter bursts of punk and thrash and also their Sabbath-style meltdowns, it is the long winding and often crushing passages of an album like this that makes me feel happy to love metal. This release isn't for the impatient; the first song, Huge, is just that, a huge lumbering beast that slowly unfolds over 9 minutes, beginning with a repeated sample it is then interupted by an amp crash which morphs into low-end feedback and moves into a glacially paced tectonic motion of thick ass guitar rumble. It is a sonic equivalent of watching the world melt in front of you. this is only the first 5 minutes too. Around that mark, things start to swirl in the background a little, and with the twinkling of a cymbal and a distended guitar note the hammer falls. Crushing drums and tortured screaming overwhelm at a whopping 20 BPM. Haha! This is thick as molasses hell, and it just gets better with the next track. I am going to spare you a track by track description, if you really care you can go by amazon.com and see what I wrote there. It consisted of a beast being born (1st track), destroying the world (tracks 2-4) and leaving nothingness in its wake (track 5). Amplifier Worship is a fitting name as the majority of the time is seems like Boris are trying to melt their amps with distrotion and feedback, but never has a metal album been so engrossing and yet utterly bleak and terrifying at the same time.

Do check out Southern Lord Records and while youre at it, make sure to stop by Boris' homepage on Inoxia. And if you need more proof of the genius of this band check out amazon.com for a bunch of glowing reviews of most of their records.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Boris - Vein (for Friday the 13th)



Boris - Vein

Oh My God! I had to add this extra post today for two reasons; 1. Boris fucking rules, they are "Japan's Highest Ranked Ampgods" and they are one of my favorite bands. 2. It is Friday the 13th and this is the perfect thing to post on such a spooky day.

This record is an Ultra-limited, Vinyl-only release from Important Records. It came out at the end of last month and it is already Sold-Out! I dont even have a record player anymore, so I couldnt have listened to this release without the help of Mr.A over at Wine-Women-Song. You should visit his site as he has one of the best blogs going today and he has impeccable tastes that range from avante-garde to doom metal and other experimental musicians. I am sure you can get lost for days at his page. Be sure to thank him as he is the reason I can offer this to you now.

As for a Boris release, this is instantly one of the best. This is their most Thrash oriented release, fast and punk, squawling and screeching and crashing with no regard for eardrums whatsoever. Samples, feedback and all hell breaking loose and damn if it doesnt make you move. It comes highly reccommended to all fans of Doom Metal, Punk, Hardcore, Thrash, Grind, Death Metal, and even the adventurous Rock and Roll fan. This one is seriously NOT TO BE MISSED. Thanks again, Mr.A.

While youre at it, check out Southern Lord Records for other Boris releases including the massive new album, Altar (a Boris/ Sunn O))) collaboration) as well as other tasty slices of Doom such as Sunn O))), Earth, Goatsnake and Lair of the Minotaur. They are the premier Stoner/Doom label going right now.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Triple Post to get through Friday

Hello again. Im tired, but I have a few things that are really exciting. I have one of the primary reasons this whole music thing exists, one that is a good follow up to the City of Caterpillar post, and the last which is before my time, but is a seriously shredding record that all must have.... Excuse the short descriptions, like I said, I'm tired. Plus I've got lots of goodies this weekend.

Also, leave comments! The best part about this is meeting people that like what I like or can show me something new. So hit me up!.....Okay, here we go.



SICK OF IT ALL - BLOOD, SWEAT AND NO TEARS (1989)

This is the record that started it all for me. A young grommet skateboarding around town needs his fix of amped up music. Thankfully I lived close enough to Seton Hall who had a great radio show, 'cause NYC radio shows are terrible. Problem is, WSOU would play all the metal late at night. So I would tape the shows while I slept and have a new tape of unknown goodies to listen to on the bus to school in the morning. One morning I heard Sick of it All. It was instant! I loved it! It was better than Metallica and Iron Maiden, waaaaay better! So I desperately sought out any Sick of it All i could find. And thus, I came across this record. Blood Sweat and No Tears. My friends and I became obsessed. It was perfect for skating, perfect for fucking shit up, and perfect for everything in our angsty young lives. This record is the reason I got into Punk and Hardcore. I still have the tape I bought in 1990, and I will never give it up. Anyway, the rest of Sick of it All's legacy is history. They are still around, same four guys, same ethics, and same attitude. NYHC as its finest.



CIRCUS LUPUS - SUPER GENIUS

A kind of hybrid between the Jesus Lizard and the DisChord sound. They have the lurching groove and the spindly, non-linear guitar patterns of the Lizard. Chris Thompson even has a little bit of David Yow in him (hint of a future post ^_~) Circus Lupus also has the trademark dissonance that has become associated with the Dischord Sound. Like everything on Dischord though, they have their own flavor. This album should be placed right at the top of your "To Buy" list from Dischord Records along with all Fugazi, Q and not U and Nation of Ulysses. Of course you should buy many other things from them, as well, as they are one of the best record labels on the planet. As a matter of fact, you should also buy this next one...



Faith/ Void Split LP

Thats right. You NEED this, man. The legendary split LP from two of DC's most important bands. Faith is Ian MacKayes bro's band (and I bet he's tired of that comparison by now), Alec MacKaye, also of Ignition and the Warmers. They have a good sound, though a little derivative of the scene they were from. But thats not a bad thing at all when your scene is Minor Threat, Bad Brains and Scream and other assorted hardcore and punk luminaries. Void on the flip-side have one of the most Ferocious sounds in all of punk. If "punk" means "pissed off", these guys were freaking sociopaths. This is some of the darkest punk. Screeching feedback, snarling vocals, and not one ray of light. This is the way punk should be. I think most people agree this is their favored side of the split. Faith is really good too though. Void just brought some completely new level of angst to the table this time.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

City of Caterpillar



I am not really sure how to put into words the City of Caterpillar. Of course I will try, but how to do it without being cliche or just comparing them to a bunch of other bands. I guess the truth is I am new to the City of Caterpillar, so I dont completely know my way around, but the whole thing is blowing me away. After hearing a few moments of some of the tracks I was already beginning to obsess. I knew I needed to hear this album, and now I know that you do too...
CoC use a variety of hardcore, punk and post-rock tactics to achieve one of the best records I had never heard before. And I don't know much about the band so I'm just gonna go ahead and compare them to a bunch of other bands. It's the only way. They sound like Fugazi and their whole DC crew, you know, the Nation of Ulysses, Rites of Spring and all those dudes, went and got into a fight with Drive Like Jehu and the Swing Kids and all their San Diego crew because they were competing for the post-punk crown, and the shit was about to get crazy when the whole Touch and Go family, with Steve Albini as the part of God and the boys from Slint surrounding him wearing halos, came to intervene, and Steve Albini said, "Dudes, you must chill" and so they jammed, and they built a city and they called it Caterpillar, and it was mighty and dense and sprawling. The darkest lows were only matched by the brightest highs. Thick angular post punk seemlessly juxtapozed with simple drifting passages of post-rock. This is the City of Caterpillar.
I was lucky enough to come across a split 7" of the CoC with pg.99. It is more of a curiosity but the CoC songs are decent. Thanks to BBQ and lifegrd31 at purevolume.

V/A - In These Black Days #1-6



Hydra Head Records began a limited edition series called In These Black Days. The premise was to release a series of 7" vinyl featuring current hardcore bands to cover a song by the legendary Black Sabbath. Every few months Hydra Head would release another edition, each in limited pressings with great artwork and packaging. I was lucky enough to get 4 of the series and they instantly became the only Black Sabbath tribute worth listening to. I mean, everyone covers Sabbath, come on. But these tracks were all done with the particular styles of hardcore, metal or grind that these bands brought to the table. Just check out the tracklist and you will know this is going to be an interesting compilation. The vinyl are all out of print, and Hydra Head were supposedly going to release a CD of all the vinyl, albeit with compromised artwork, but either way I was able to find the remaining 2 editions to complete the series. So here for your pleasure, some of the best Black Sabbath covers ever put to vinyl. (Snowblind and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath are done amazing!)

In These Black Days - A Tribute To Black Sabbath

Vol #1
1.Killing Yourself To Live - Anal Cunt
2. It's Alright/Sabra Cadabra - Anal Cunt
3. Sabbath Jam - Eyehategod

Vol #2
4. Cornucopia - Brutal Truth
5. Snowblind - Converge

Vol #3
6. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - Today Is The Day
7. Supernaut - Coalesce

Vol #4
8. Into The Void - Cavity
9. Planet Caravan - Cable
10. Hole In The Sky - Jesuit
11. National Acrobat - Overcast

Vol #5
12. N.I.B. - Cave In
13. The Wizard - Botch

Vol #6
14. Children Of The Grave - Neurosis
15. Lord of the Southern Priest - Soilent Green

Monday, October 09, 2006

Swing Kids



Swing Kids were an early 90's hardcore band from San Diego, CA. Being a hardcore band from San Diego at that time meant everything played was fast, jazzy and on the verge of total chaos, but with just the perfect measure of restraint and control. Just take a listen to bands such as Heroin, Drive Like Jehu, The Locust and you recognize it in an instant. Swing Kids had all of these ingredients and put them together just right to create a blazing fury of dynamic jazzed out punk. Screaming lunatic mad right off the rails. They are fast and unrelenting and smart about their approach. Skittering hi-hats and shredding vocal delivery and its over before you know it. Nothing wasted and everything put to good use. Every last buzzsaw guitar and even a great cover of Joy Division's "Warsaw" make this record one for punk history. Members went on to play in The Locust, Bread and Circuits and Sweep The Leg Johnny.
If you like this style of punk than check out Ebullition Records and Gravity Records for more of the same.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Land of Greed, World of Need.



A Tribute to Embrace

This is a cover album of the classic DC hardcore band's self titled record (the one w/ Ian MacKaye of Fugazi/ Minor-Threat fame). The whole Embrace album is recreated, track for track, by 14 different hardcore and punk artists from around the world. The combination of artists appearing on this comp makes this album worth having alone. The fact that it is out of print makes this even more worth having. Just about every song is done well. Whether retaining the original feeling or completely remaking it with their own sound, all the bands manage to breathe new life into an oft-overlooked "classic" album. Some definite highlights are Lifetime's cover of "Money" and Sparkmarker's energetic version of "Do Not Consider Yourself Free", but nothing beats "Dance of Days" by Current, in my opinion. Current was a great band that took lots of influence from Embrace and put it to good use.
The album was the first release by the hardcore label Trustkill Records. Definitely check this one out!! and take the time to let me know what you think and which songs you think are best.

Tracks:
1. Give Me Back - Nations On Fire
2. Dance Of Days - Current
3. Building - Undertow
4. Past - Groundwork
5. Spoke - Outspoken
6. Do Not Consider Yourself Free - Sparkmarker
7. No More Pain - The Functions
8. I Wish I - Blindfold
9. Said Gun - Avail
10. Can't Forgive Rancid
11. Money - Lifetime
12. If I Never Thought About It - Process
13. End Of A Year - Farside
14. Last Song - Ashes

Indian Summer Discography

Seeing as how this is the beginning of a new blog, I will take the opportunity to give you a small idea of what I am up to. This blog is a place for me to give homage to all the things that are amazing and creative in this world, artists that break the boundaries of what is considered music and art. I have a very healthy obsession with music so I plan to offer exposure to bands and musicians I find to have contributed something important to the evolution of music. I also work as an artist in NYC so I would like to introduce artists that I find relevant, or maybe even some classics that have be influential through the years. I may also share other oddities and curiosites that I come across in everyday life. But for now, let's continue with the music.


Indian Summer is an emo band. Oops, I said it, "Emo". The word that has everyone spouting opinions and criticisms. I'm not going to take the time to explain to you what emo is, you either know, or think you know, or you don't care. Its somewhat relative anyway. If you really want to find out, check here. Either way Indian Summer are without a doubt one of the best and shining examples of that form of music; from the quiet-loud dynamics and whispered-screamed lyrics, all the way down to the lo-fi quality and even Bessie Smith records playing in the background. 9 songs of chaotic screamy emo hardcore, the sum total of their recorded career. All of their stuff is out of print, including this discography, so take the opportunity to grab this one for your collection.


13 SONGS combines the self-titled EP and the MARGIN WALKER EP on one CD. It is one of the most important albums in all of independent music. Fugazi embodies the term "independent", and have re-written the rule book on hardcore and punk multiple times. From the unmistakable opening bass line of "Waiting Room" to the cathartic finale of "Promises," the record is DIY post-punk at its finest. Ian Mackaye, Guy Picciotto, Joe Lally and Brendan Canty are all DC hardcore natives who have spent years redefining punk music, and Fugazi is the full realization of that experimental punk ethos. Even on this first record they sound fully formed and ready change to the face of music forever.

I know this is not an uncommon record, but I think it is a good starting point for a blog about art and music I find beautiful, strange, powerful, quirky, moving and influential. Fugazi is all of those things to me. And if this is your first time coming across Fugazi, than this is where you should start. All albums can be ordered directly through Ian MacKaye's own Dischord Records for $10. Or you can pay a few extra dollars to buy it from amazon.com.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Freedom Defined is Freedom Denied