Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Downcast - 7" (1990)

Im going to enter this one with little fan fare and see how its received...

A furiously political, Cali hardcore band from the early 90's, musically influenced by early thrash and even early metallica. There is no smiling on this one folks. Just scream your head off.

Try not to hurt those around you.

I think proven hollow has pretty much nailed this one down. And since he is eloquent about the hardcore days, I am gonna let him handle this little record.

"ahhh downcast. this 7" came out at the end of 1990. kent mcclard had been doing probably one of the best hardcore zines around (no answers), and this 7" was the first release on his new label, ebullition. it actually came with #9 of the no answers zine. people really tend to dog on these bands now (downcast, struggle, etc) because they may be seen as "too political" or "too serious" or whatever, but these are usually people who weren't really a part of the action in the early 90s. this is how the shit was. we were young, pissed, and going off. were the politics juvenile? probably most of the time, yeah. but we were juveniles back then. this kind of music and message seemed to actually mean something back then. ut was fucking raw and emotional. and the main thing was that it was a breath of fresh air. the stereotypical sxe scene was quickly becoming ridiculous. it had been branching off into a myriad of ways. the whole socio-political aspect of it was becoming the forefront. i mean it was a changing time in the scene. i had mentioned before that i thought this release was pretty ballsy of kent to do as a first release for a label. it could have easily failed miserably. but it really just kickstarted the whole punk/hardcore thing again. there was something to be excited about again. kent's impeccable reputation at the time also didnt hurt...("i dont really know if i like this, but kent does, so it must be good"). haha. of course this is all from my own personal viewpoint and involvement...haha. obviously there were tons of people who hated this music and kids today who just don't "get it" or find it alittle over the top. but like i said, we were pissed off teenagers. unfortunately i didn't particularly care for the LP. and their follow up band, jara, wasnt very good at all. but i have to say, they were all stand up nice as hell guys. in my opinion, groundwork was the best band of this particular "style."

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Its my turn.

I dont like to ask for things. Usually. I prefer the universes generous synchronicity over the want and need of the average human life. Wow, id i just sound like a dick. Make no mistakes, I dont judge for those who want. I want lots of things. Cold Beer, Sex, Money, Sunshine, Sex, and Cold Beer. I just fit comfortably in the ebb and flow of things...Up the creek without a paddle aint so bad. As Cool Hand Luke said, "Sometimes nothings a real cool hand."

Though that can be taken to mean a number of things, I prefer (as I often times idealsitcally do) to think of it in some zen respect of pure potential. The key is to be ready. Preparedness. If not superficially (Fiscally, physically, or you just left your unbrella at home on a rainy day) then mentally and emotionally. So when that rains comes a falling, you can see that its not all that bad. Its all personal vision. The glass half empty or the glass half full? Optimism vs. pessimism? Well, if the glass is half, or even completely empty, isnt that an amazing opportunity to go re-fill the glass? Who say we cant re-fill it? Who says when its empty, thats it? The empty glass is seething, sparkling potential.

Well, my glass is empty and I'm feeling very optimistic that someone, or a number of someones will help fill my glass.

I am looking for these...

1. Downcast 7" (Mr. PH at the wonderful blagh Proven Hollow has told me he could fulfill this request)

2. Red Eyed Legends - Chris Thomsons newer band.

3. Monorchid - Chris Thomsons older band. I used to have this and seem to have misplaced it. Shit.

4. Minutemen - What Makes a Man Start Fires

5. Abilene - A few of you got me super excited about Abilene, whom I have been aware of, yet never heard.

6. Regulator Watts - again, massive excitement has been generated, a formal request has materialized.

6 is a good number. We'll stop here. I will post the album on receipt.

ALSO! Its a little early, but in a few weeks I am going to be making a few shirts. I am making a Rites of Spring, Embrace, Beefeater & Dag Nasty shirt (it is from a show poster, which can be found in the book Banned in DC) and I am also making a Swiz t-shirt of their script logo. These shirts will not be for sale, but instead I will make a little contest or something. I dont know, I'll figure it out... I will give 5 of each away for free. One shirt for one person. Unless of course I end up with extra shirts.

ITs not gonna be super serious, but I want to give something back to you guys for making this a fun experience for me...

Here is what they will look like... Not sure what colors I will do them on, but they will each be one color. Meaning, all the Rites of Sprin shirts will be one color, and all the Swiz shirts will be another color...Any suggestions? This wont happen for a few weeks...I'll let ya know as it comes along...


Minutemen - Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat (1983)

Oh My oh my...The Minutemen...The Fucking Minutemen...

I think I may just be out of words...Ive been in a lot of meetings lately..the kind where you just sit ther for four hours and take notes and listen to people quibbling over pennies, and watch the clock waiting for lunchtime...

Thank god for the Minutemen. Their minute long songs are perfect for remembering. That way while you sit in said meeting you can hum their tunes in their entirety. D-Boons trebly guitar cutting swaths through the mundane details of corporate life. Mike Watts thunder broom massaging your cortex into a convincing stare of deep intent. George Hurleys drum fills shooting off sparks in your mind, making you seems all the more interested and interesting...

If I am ever in a conversation with you and you are boring me, and you cant tell, its because I have Minutemen songs playing in my head. They cover for me when I just cant be there to deal with the flotsam and jetsam of life. I walk in tune to I Felt Like A Gringo. I chew in tune to Dream Told by Moto. When I sleep, I sleep to the tune of Little Man With a Gun in Your Hand....

If you think I got problems, just think of all the people who dont listen to the Minutemen.

Someone please send me What Makes a Man Start Fires.

Skull Kontrol - Deviate Beyond All Means Of Capture (1998)

In an effort to further everyones love of Chris Thomson (Fury, Circus Lupus, Monorchid) I think you should all hear Skull Kontrol. Chris Thomson has a specific whiny voice that for some reason really appeals to me, and Skull Kontrol is wholly different from all his past works. Here he seems to funnel Ted Leo through the DC filter (though I think he is now - or as of 1998 - based out of Chicago) (and I believe Ted Leo is from DC anyway, or around that area, but were not here for facts, were here for feelings)

Where am I going with this? I dont know...comparisons are a bitch to make, and as soon as I start having trouble it becomes apparent to me that whatever it is I am trying to describe is either hard to describe due to its unique nature (such is this album) or it requires some poetic license (of which I have none)...or maybe Im just out of clever ideas for descriptive terms...So it goes.

Skull Kontrol is more rock than any of Chris Thomsons previous bands, but somehow cuts itself a nice line between the brazen angularity of Circus Lupus and the fire in your pants ferocity of Fury. These songs hop and roll. jangly, jerky, and in a wonderful fashion, completely spastic. Nothing last too long so its a guarantee that if you like this, you will be hitting the repeat shortly thereafter. 8 songs in just over 23 minutes. All fiery rock and roll with those weird vocals. He is also helped out by a female vocalist, of whom I dont know her name. The overall effect is very fun. This album may actually make you want to dance a little, in that herky jerky fashion that no one thinks is cool. Just be careful that you do it in your bedroom and not in public, otherwise you may hurt someone, or just never get laid again.

Oh, By the way!!! Chris Thomson has been in a band since this. Called Red Eyed Legends...I am sure it is amazing...You know I dont ask for things, but I would really love to have the Red Eyed Legends...and the other Skull Kontrol album ZZZZZ...

Pretty Please?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dischord, How do I love Thee?

Let me count the ways...


Gray Matter - Food For Thought / Take It Back (1984 - 85)


Dag Nasty - Can I Say / Wig Out at Denkos (1986-87)


Happy Go Licky - Will Play (1987 - 88)


Soulside - Soon Come Happy [Trigger - Bass 103 - Hot Bodi Gram] (1987-89)


Lungfish - Talking Songs for Walking / Necklace of Heads (1989 - 91)


Jawbox - Grippe (1990)


Nation of Ulysses - 13 Point Plan to Destroy America (1991)


Hover - Lurid Traversal of Route 7 (1993)


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


Hoover - New Recordings (1997)

This list could go well over 100. The date on the Fugazi Live Series cover is wrong. The recording is not part of the series, but I didnt feel like photoshopping it out, and it was a nice cover. The dates listed below is the actual date and place.

Dischord records still charges 8 postpaid for LPs and 10 postpaid. You will not find a better priced record company with such quality records...

I am putting in an order next week for the Hoover - New Recordings record, as well as a number of other things. Its been a while since I placed and order to Dischord and they are always so timely...

Everyone of these records above is an absoulute classic.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Ampere / Das Oath Split (2006)

I have so many things to post, and so little time to marinate on good things to say about them all, so I am gonna wrap up tonite with this lil gem.

The Ampere / Das Oath split was released as a tour only vinyl, but then recently re-released as a limited CD of 500 copies on Clean Plate records. Snatch up a copy quick as they will surely sell out.

For those who dont know of this release:
Ampere is a chaotic hardcore band from Massachusettes. It consists of former members of Orchid and Wolves and shares a very similar aesthetic - short powerful bursts of noise that stop and turn on a dime into melodic shifting pieces. Usually the song is over before you can even say "What the fuh?!"

Das Oath is a noisy fast punk band based out of NYC and the Netherlands. I am not as familiar with them, so if you want to fill me in, feel free. But they seem good and the kids seem to like them.

The clincher here is that all the songs are covers of other punks songs. Das Oaths four songs are good, and quite unlikey covers, which they turn into blazing fast ragers that are better than the originals (except the Jesus and Mary Chain song...that stands on its own, but the cover is good too.)

1. The Living End (The Jesus and Mary Chain)
2. Tourette's (Nirvana)
3. Why Dont You Get a Job? (The Offspring)
4. Feel Like a Man (Negative FX)

Amperes side is pretty much incredible. Every single song is blazingly fast, and may be the best songs Ampere has ever done. I really cant pick a favorite out of this group, you will just have to go through them yourselves. All of the originals are incredible, and the covers are just as incredible. These five songs have been on repeat at least twice a day on my daily commute. When Mr Suit comes on I want to swing from the subway railings like a monkey and start howling "TAKE YOUR FUCKING MONEY - SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASS!!" Much respect. Ampere has a new split 7" with France's Daitro coming out, I suggest you check that out and report back here.

5. Bit Part In a Bad Movie (Born Against)
6. Money Stinks (DRI)
7. Conspiring the Go Go (Anitoch Arrow)
8. The Regulator (Bad Brains)
9. Mr. Suit (Wire)

Tarentel - From Bone to Satellite (2001)

I am not a seasoned Tarentel fan. At times, though peaceful and calming, I find myself bored with some of their ambient pieces. Definitely a time and a place for them, and I have those times and places in my life. But such is not the case for From Bone to Satellite.

This album is peaceful and calming, but it has a ringing tone and a beautiful groove that makes itself known to those with the patience to allow these five slow-burners to unfold before them. The cover art evokes a good image of what is to behold. A void, vast empty space, slowly being filled with twinkling lights, observed from long distances.

It could be earth, as viewed from above, or it could be the stars as viewed from below. Such is the dualistic nature of these songs, to be so slow, so long, and so vast, yet so full and so forceful as to remain deeply embedded in your brain for months to come.

Tarentel are from San Francisco and have recently released Ghetto Beats from the Surface of the Sun. It is a four part limited vinyl release on Temporary Residence limited, home of Explosions in the Sky, Grails and Mono. (Links on the sidebar)


Ten Rapid (1997)

Ten Rapid is one of the more influential record of my lifetime. I remember leaving my school in Burlington, VT in the spring of '97 - I had decided to change my course and switch to graphic design at FIT in NYC. I left a number of friends behind and a radio show that my roomate and I used to do, and a good friend, named Dan, who shared my intense love of experimental music. I was deep in Slint territory at this time, generously lapping up anything that reminded me of that amazing band (namely June of 44) when I returned for a visit to see some friends. Of course I met up with Dan and he was super excited about this new band. He kept raving about this one song with xylophone in it. Needless to say, it was Summer from this album, and while at the time I thought the name Mogwai was funny, I knew he was on to something. I quickly picked up the album upon my return home and it quickly became one of my most favorite albums. The comparisons to Slint are apparent, but they were rocking on some slow-burn shoegazer style mixed with the intensity of Slint. Summer was definitely a rocking track, but I really came to love Helicon 1 and Helicon 2 and also loved A Place for Parks. Ithica 27ΓΈ9 also became a quick favorite. I went to go see them at Brownies in the east village shortly thereafter, but was denied entry as I was only 20 and Brownies was 21+. I ended up staying out side watching through the window as they destroyed this little place. I mustve looked desperate to the doorman, but I hoped he would let me in eventually. Well, it was to no avail, but whatever. Thems the brakes. It wasnt a long time after that they released their first proper album, Young Team, and the world was taken aback by the sheer genius of Mogwai. I personally feel they never reached the heights of these first two albums (save one - see below). Of course they have always been good, and they have moments of genius on each of their albums, but it just aint the same.

My Father, My King (2001)

My Father, My King is the final time that Mogwai completely sent me head over heels. Released as a companion to Rock Action, My Father, My King uses the melody from Avinu Malkeinu, a prayer from the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. The track time totals over 20 minutes of face melting perfection. The song starts off real slow and quiet, gradually building steam and volume until dropping off again, even quieter than it began. It is around this time that Mogwai completely shakes the heavens right from their measly little stars, ripping a hole in the space time continuum with a visciously Sabbathian riff that just pounds and pummels at the blackness left behind. Around this time I was lucky to be older and to see them play at Southpaws in Brooklyn, and they closed with this piece. They completely destroyed their instruments and practically brought the roof down on us all. Stuart was playing on two guitar strings as they neared the close. He had broken all the strings on his guitar but he was not gonna let that minor detail get in the way. All in all that show was okay, but ending it like that has made it one of the more memorable experiences in my show-going career. I would even recommend this track for fans of Stoner or Doom metal, such is the scope and destructive force of this single.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

7 Seconds - Walk Together, Rock Together (1985)

Essentially an underground classic, and easily one of the more important bands in the 80's youth crew scene. 7 Seconds, from Reno, NV were one of the most positive bands of the era, lacking any tough guy machismo or hardline status. They were definitely advocates of a straightedge lifestyle, but they do not overwhelm with that idea. Instead they focus on unity and open-mindedness. Kevin Seconds is something of a spokesman for hardcore even today and despite their late 80's Soulforce Revolution era / U2 era they remain one of the best old-school hardcore bands in all of hardcores short existence.

I guess what really gets me with this one is that I used to listen to it while riding the bus to school, and I must've gotten this record inthe springtime, because my memories are of warm weather and positive vibes. Skateboarding and Hardcore ruled my life at such an impressionable age and whenever I hear this record, or any of their early records, I clearly, lucidly, think of the summertime, specifically the morning sun and dew on the grass. Yeah, that may sound weird, but the bus did pick us up quite early (7.30 if I remember correctly) and I would just rock my walkmen while leaning against the window watching the scenery roll by. I had not listened to this album in a very long time as I must have lost the original tape sometime in the transition to college. Maybe a friend of mine ended up with it, or maybe it got ruined in my car stereo, but nonetheless, I had a few tracks on my iTunes and as soon as I listened to them, I was taken back to my early teens. So fitting that it should be the advent of another summer and this record enters my life again.

Songs. Regress No Way has a meaty tone and its hard not to sing along when he sings "REGRESS, NO WAY!". The Spread is great with its stop during the chorus. We're gonna fight is an essential anthem for anyone; highschool student, working man (or woman ^_~), black, white, homeless, hippy, yippie...you name it, classic fight song.
Cant forget their cover of 99 Red Balloons by German artist Nena, complete with handclaps and "Whoas" and "Ohs". Totally 80's. And of course the extremely positive and influential clarion call for unity, Walk Together, Rock Together.
There is also a live set featuring songs from their 7"s and earlier material. The quality isnt that bad and the song Still Believe and This Is the Angry Part 2 stick out for me as being the best. And of course New Wind into We're Gonna Fight is amazing.

I will leave you with the lyrics for Walk Together, Rock Together as they should resound just as true today as they did back in 1985...

It's Not The Way We Look
It's Not Our Stance Our Style Our Hair
Forget Those Bullshit Barriers
Take Down That Flag You Wear
Just People Living On
With Different Hearts And Different Minds
If We Live In The Same World
Why Can't We Stand In The Same Line

If We Can Walk Together
Why Can't We Rock Together

No I Dont Care
If Your Into Different Bands
No Cause For So Much Hatred
I'm Just A Different Man
Pull Off The Cover I Will Too
And Learn To Understand
With Music Deep Inside
We'll Make This Unity Our Plan

If We Can Walk Together
Why Can't We Rock Together

A Label Is A Label
Definition, Nothing More
And Because Of Labels We Have Placed
We Live In Constant War
Destory All That Tradition
And Live Before You Die
Lets Rock Together From Now On
And Never Be Denied

4 Walls Falling - Culture Shock (1991)

4 Walls Falling were a political hardcore band from Richmond, VA. They had a sound that, though metallic, was very rooted in the old-school hardcore style of the 80's. There are times when listening to this cd that I want to make comparisons to mid 80's NYHC like Sick of it All and Youth of Today and other times I want to compare their sound to turn of the decade New Age Records bands like Mouthpiece, Endpoint and Outspoken. Alltogether though, I think they have their own sound. While old-school hardcore doesnt have much gradation in terms of tone or speed 4 Walls have blended a nice amount og metal and melody to offset this fact. Great fast parts, chugging breakdowns, and youth crew vocals all mke it an essential for any fan of the genre. Greed is my favorite song, opening with a sample of Michael Douglas from the movie Wall Street.

Definitely pick this one up. You wont regret it.

Purchase @ Jade Tree Records

Baroness / Unpersons - A Grey Sigh in a Flower Husk (2007)

This comes straight from Wine-Women-Song, so thanks to him for this.

Baroness is a Metal band from Georgia with Sludge and Hardcore tendencies. They have released two records prior to this, appropriately titled First and Second. Both are devastating EPs showing a band that is clearly on the rise. They are slated to release their first full length, titled Third sometime this spring on Relapse Records.

Both of their songs on this split are, in my opinion, the best they have made yet. They just seem to get better and better. Teiresias is a shorter song, and Cavite is a bludgeoning 12 minute sonic slaughter, with all the stops pulled. It features honest-to-god metal shredding, solos, sludge, downtuned lurch and furious crunch. I am extremely excited for them to release the full length.

I dont really know much about Unpersons, but I found out that the name means someone who has offended the state and has not only been disposed of, but has been written out of all books, photos and records, thus making it seem like they never even exisited. Apparently the Roman government used a similar punishment as well as Stalin era Soviet Union. The term is know as Newspeak, from the book 1984 by George Orwell. It is a book that is considered a "Must-Read" by me and many others.

The band (getting back on track here) is actually pretty good. They have a very Am Rep style sound, but with a much more downtuned aesthetic. It should appeal to many of you who have voiced your love for the mighty Jesus Lizard and other acts with that sound. I look forward to hearing more from them in the future. They have four songs to beat and pummel yourself with.

Baroness Website
Baroness Wikipedia
Baroness Myspace

Hoover / Lincoln

Though this is really more of a Lincoln post then a Hoover post, it is the Hoover/Lincoln Two Headed Coin split 7" that is the most exciting. I say its more a Lincoln post because I have added the two Lincoln 7"s. One from Watermark records and the other from Art Monk Construction. Both great labels that have fueled many a hardcore habit. I believe the split was also released on Art Monk as well.

Hoover were one of the greatest DC bands to come from the Dischord label. Their full length, The Lurid Traversal of Route 7 was and is one of my favorite records. Fred Erskines bass (later of Crownhate Ruin and June of 44) is a driving force and the twin monotone guitars of Dunham and McRedmond cut and scathe and slither while Christopher Farrall keeps everything in time. Or out of time, in a very Hooverish way.

Unfortunately, I cant tell you much about Lincoln, other than they were also from DC, and prior to aquiring the two 7"s I had never heard anything other than the split with Hoover. Their music shares a similar dynamic, as do most bands from the DC area around that time period. The music is a bit more forceful and tumultuous yet still retains a keen sense of melody and restraint. All of their songs are great, and I wish I had paid more attention to them at the time. I was probably drooling over Fugazi at the time (as I still do quite frequently) and let them pass me by.

No covers for the Lincoln 7"s either. If you find them, or if you have the 7"s yourself, I would love to see a scan of the artwork. Just leave it in a comment.

Also, I actually have a request. If anyone has anything else by Hoover other than their full length and the above split, I would greatly appreciate hearing them. I never picked up the reunion ep and have also never heard their other 7"s.


Mono, Worlds End Girlfriend & Grails - Live @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC

So, it took me a few days to get around to reporting this, but the Mono show last Thrusday night was incredible. I went with my friend Mark, who has an appreciation for experimental music. We met in Union Square, grabbed some pizza and drank some Dos Equis before heading down to the Bowery Ballroom. I managed to be practically assaulted by homeless people the whole way down Bowery. One sorry ass looking white schmuck asked for money 3 times while we ate our pizza. So rude. He looked like shit and had an aura of gloom around him. Needless to say I didnt give him a penny. Then this black guy comes up. We had finished our pizza, and he was smiling and happy and asked if he could tell us some jokes. Seeing that he was gonna tell them anyway, we obliged and he told us a few funny black/ white jokes that got a few chuckles. The one I remember was, "Whats twelve inches and white?". Me: "Ummm, what?". Him: "NOTHING!!" hahaha!! I shoulda said John Holmes. He puts brothers to shame. hahha!!! Anyway, I am actually quite the charitable motherfucker, especially for a laugh, so I gave him a buck. White schlep was still on the corner and saw this, after his three attempts to wrangle money from us, and he protested that we should give money to white people, not black people. "We have to stick together man!" I shoulda walked up and shinned him, but I was just happy I didnt even give a damn to him. Racist motherfuckers. Then a few blocks down Bowery another black guy asked me if I like Steely Dan or Stevie Wonder more. Hahaha!! I said, "How can you choose?" and he proceeded to sing me a medley of Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder. The suprising thing was he did Steely Dan far better. Anyway, more amusement, another buck. My charity was stretched to the limite and it was time to get charitable to my ears and belly, so we sauntered over to the Ballroom and ordered some Brooklyn Lagers and I went to check out the merch table.

Time for another paragraph here, lest the compositionally faithful have a fit. So, I went intending to buy the new Grails 2xLP, which I did. It is an amazing album and the 4th side was etched with this trippy floral artwork (I'm a sucker for small details). I then decided on a purchase of a very nice looking grey Mono shirt with a light blue graphic of what looks like Mt. Fuji exploding. 10 bucks, not bad. So we then got ourselves the choicest seat in the house, right up on the balcony overlooking the stage. Bowery Ballroom is my favorite place to see a show. The sound is great, they have 3 bars, Brooklyn Lager on tap, and a very comfy cozy feel. You feel really connected to the bands when they play at Bowery. I have seen Lifetime, Do Make Say Think, Chavez, Sea and Cake, Explosions in the Sky and a few others there and it has always been amazing.

On to the show.... Grails was up first. They played an incredible set of pretty much all new songs from Burning Off Impurities. I had heard one of you say that Grails was a good listening band, but a bad live act. I will have to disagree as they completely transfixed the audience with their Space-Rock Spaghetti Eastern music. That was the term Mark and I came up with as we watched. Like Ennio Morricone shot to the moon on a lysergic Chinese rocket. My only complaint was that they only played for 45 minutes, but it was an amazing 45 minutes if I must say. Always good to leave the audience wanting more. Their bass player was also incredible as was their drummer. They locked into some serious grooves and the 12 string guitars sounded impeccable. I think one of the fun things about watching them was seeing how they reproduced all the sounds they use. I could really tell you exactly how other than it was lots of reverb and effects pedals.

Worlds End Girlfriend was the next to play. Despite thinking that Katsuhiko Maeda's music is wonderful and unique, I had reservations about watching a one man, mostly-digital act. I had recently reported on seeing Eluvium with Explosions in the Sky, and while the sounds were nice, watching it was nothing to really rave about. My assumptions were correct, as Maeda sat in a chair playing a guitar and writhing back and forth and triggering all sorts of effect on a laptop and a few other pieces of equipment. I didnt recognize any of the tunes, though I think he played alot of stuff from The Lie Lay Land. Great music, boring to watch. I did get one good picture that translates pretty well what the music reminded me of. So for that I am glad.

Mono was the headlining band, and the band that everyone seems most excited about. A number of you had told me how amazing they were live and I have read many account of their incredible live presence. Well, they were really something. They came out very quietly and proceeded to melt faces and hearts throughout the whole room. They rocked, they jammed, they ruled. The bassist looked very pretty in her red floral dress, and their drummer was amazing. At one quiet drumless section he laid his head down on the drums and looked as if he had died there, only to reawake as the song built to a climax. It was really something else, and I am kind of at a loss for words on how to describe the experience. It really was something to behold and I strongly urge you all to check out Mono whenst you can. Their setlist seemed to cover most of You Are There and some of Walking Cloud... They didnt touch One More Step, but that was okay because every note they played was so perfect that I couldnt have asked for any more. They finished explosively and left without an encore. As it was in the Explosions in the Sky show, I felt thankful for this, for to play another song wouldve undermined the climax that they had come too. Wonderful.

Mark is converted into a Mono and Worlds End Girlfriend fan now, and I have a new appreciation for Mono myself. The Flames Beyond the Cold Mountain is now a top song on my list of trancendental songs. I also have a cool new Mono shirt.

All pics by me, a non-professional photographer, so apologies for the lack of quality or creativity in the shots. I kept forgetting to take pictures cuz I was so into watching and rocking back and forth in my seat spilling beer all over my self. The videos were also taken with the same camera, so that accounts for the shitty sound quality and bad resolution, but they are kind of cool anyway, even though they are short and you cant hear the whole song. Next time I will bring my video camera and get a full set. I wish I had that for you now...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Quicksand - Slip (1993)

Nothing much to say here....This is one of the finest albums ever recorded in the history of man. If you aint got it, get it, if you dont like it, you cannot come to my birthday party. Nuff said.

its late. or so it seems to my old bones....

Good Night internets... i have fun things to post over the weekend... oh yes? oh yes!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Next Thursday, I am going to see...

Mono w/ Worlds End Girlfriend & Grails!

My Friend Mark and I are going to the Bowery Ballroom next Thursday to check out what is hopefully an amazing trio of post-rock bands. Bowery Ballroom is my favorite place to see shows in NYC and the show was very reasonably priced. 13 bucks!

Mono is supposed to be amazing live. And loud. Though I still most frequently listen to One More Step and You Die, I am assuming that all of their work will translate very well on stage. Especially since they are reported to be very into the crowd dynamics and are know to sink deeply into their music. It seems dualistic, but I think thats what intrigues me even more. I know it is possible so I cant wait to see... I really hope they play Com(?).

Alot of people flipped when Mono and Worlds End Girlfriend released their collaboration in '05. Palmless Prayer / Mass Murder Refrain. I think I was in the wrong mood to digest such a moody piece at the time, but have since learned to respect its craft. It is more subdued overall then the rest of Monos work, and I had not previously heard WEG, so I had no basis for judging his work other then this collaboration. I am sure one day I will hear it at the right time and it will click, and that may be possibly next Thursday. I am hoping the two perform pieces together.

Regardless, I have since looked into a bit more of Worlds End Girlfriends work and have to say, I am pleasantly suprised. His new release, Hurtbreak Wonderland is actually quite incredible, and nothing like the Palmless Prayer collabo. Filled with skittering, Aphex Twin styled drum beats and more strings and horns than you could pack in a suitcase, Hurtbreak careens every which way. Somber, Hopeful, Scary, Muted, Spastic and Serene. The saxophone seems to be a centerpiece on alot of the album and it works really well. I also checked The Lie Lay Land, and while also a very good release, it reeks of darkness and malice. So basically, I like it alot. My past two weeks have been filled with alot Hurtbreak and the Lie Lay Land... It also goes well with the book I am reading, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. OH!

Suprisingly, the name of this page, did and did not come from the title of the aformentioned book. I had, in fact, never read it until about a month ago when I found it for a dollar on the street. I had always wanted to read it, having affinity for things like Zen and things that took place int he 70's. But no, the name does and does not come directly or indirectly from this book. Of course it does, really, but let me shed some light...

Theres a book most of you should read, but probably wont. My pessimism is validated on two counts. Point #1. It is almost 1,000 pages. For some reason, that irks people. Dont be scared. If you read at all, I am sure you have read at least three shitty books in your lifetime, easily totalling more than 1,000 pages. So then you would do well to waste your time on 1,000 pages of hilarity, illumnation, sex, drugs and rock and roll. Also horror, metaphysics, conspiracy, mind control, and dime store philosophy. Point #2. The first chapter has a way of turning people off instantly. I have watched this many times. "Did you like that book?". Answer: "Oh, well, I couldnt get past the first chapter. Africa, then a squirrel in NYC, then a dolphin, then some weird crime caper. I dont know, maybe its not my thing". Me: "Hmmmm."
The first chapter is definitely unorthodox, but Ulysses this is not. Though Joycian in style, it is far more accesible and far more fun. It takes itself less serious. Not so much a Magnum Opus as much as the best shaggy dog joke in all of literary history.

I bet you want to know what book it is...

The Illuminatus Trilogy, by Robert Anton Wilson (RIP) and Robert Shea. Released in 1975, a year after Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance. So the influence is there, and the authors most definitely read the best selling book. Deep within those pages, is the genesis of this blog. I have read the book three times, a rare feat due to its length, and would love to have someone else read it, so I can bounce ideas of of them, but until then, maybe you will find a fun book to read this summer.

Where. Am. I. Goin'. With. This. ?.

Oh, yeah, to see Mono and Worlds End Girlfriend and Grails next week. Its no doubt that these three bands bring out the reflective qualities in a person. If not, youre a dry, shallow husk of a human being, lacking quality....or maybe its just not your thing. ^_^. Either way, Did I mention how excited I am to see Grails?! They are phenomenal and the main reason I wanted to see this show. They have gotten even better with time and though they are the opening act, I am sure they will coat the place in their eerie glow, setting the proper mood for our faces to be melted off.

So with that...


One More Step and You Die (2003)

Walking Cloud and Deep Red Sky, Flag Fluttered and the Sun Shined (2004)

You Are There (2006)


Worlds End Girlfriend

The Lie Lay Land (2005)

Hurtbreak Wonderland (2007)



Burden of Hope (2003)

Redlight (2004)

Black Tar Prophecies Vol. 1,2 & 3 (2006)

Here are the remaining dates of the tour:

May 12 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506
May 13 Charlottesville, VA Satellite Ballroom
May 14 Baltimore, MD Ottobar
May 15 Washington, DC Rock and Roll Hotel
May 16 Philadelphia, PA First Unitarian Church
May 17 New York NY Bowery Ballroom

Check it out if you can, as the previous show reviews have all sounded great. I am so psyched... Totally want to purchase the new Grails album, Burning Off the Impurities too. 2xLP with the fourth side containing etched artwork. I am sucker for artistic gimmicks.. I'll have a full report on that show next weekend sometime...


Here are some other shows I am going to see this summer. Mind you, there is no Stoner or Doom in here....Hint to all you Stoner Doom acts out there. New York City wants you to come perform here. (Speaking of which, I missed the Mammatus show two weeks ago. Shame on me.) Anyway, heres the list...

June 7 - The Sea and Cake @ Webster Hall, NYC
June 8 - Snowden @ Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ
July 7 - Built To Spill @ McCarren Pool, Brooklyn (its actually in a big outdoor pool)
July 8 - Tortoise @ Webster Hall, NYC
July 17 - Slint & Webster Hall, NYC (OMFG!!!! I bought tix for their last reunion in 05, and FORGOT TO FUCKING GO!!!....thats the problem with buying tickets months in advance..)
July 28 - Mouth of the Architect @ Southpaw, Brooklyn
July 28 - Sonic Youth (performing Daydream Nation) @ McCarren Pool. I may go see this instead of Mouth of the Architect

There are alos a bunch of free shows at various parks that I would like to check. the Boredoms are playing on the same day as Built To Spill, so thats gonna be hard. Free Boredoms show, who I have never seen, or a $30 Built To Spill show, who I have seen three times, every time amazing.

Menomena, The New Pornographers and the Animal Collective are all playing. But I may or may not make it out to see them. There are a ton of other shows, but lets face it, I picked out some good ones. I have many other things I want to do this summer, like go camping and hiking and travel to Seattle, and go to the beach as many times as possible.

Thanks for listening, more to come shortly.


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Constantines - s/t (2001)

I like my rock and roll, and I like my post-punk. If you were me you would really like the Constantines first album. Constantines are from Toronto, Canada, and while some say they sound alot like Fugazi, I am going to just go ahead and disagree with that. Alot of people also say that Brian Webb sounds alot like the Boss...yes, that Boss, Jerseys greatest export, Bruce Springstein. He has that same gravely pitch that sounds like hes been smoking lucky strikes and drinking whiskey. The Constantines, while still good, have never bested this first album, in my humble opinion. It has the same soulful softness that later albums have had, but it is balanced with awesome fiery post-punk grit to make you pump your fists in the air and sneer like Billy Idol.

Sorry, Im not feeling too literary right now...

I shouldve just said, "This album rules".

Pissed Jeans - Shallow (2005)

I caught Pissed Jeans last fall when they played with Boris in Brooklyn. My friend and I laughed at the name and thought they must suck. Names can do that sometimes. Even though I know better and absolutely love the Gorilla Biscuits, Modest Mouse, The Samuel Jackson Five and of course !!!. I know these bands are awesome, yet they picked bad names... It took a specific moment for me to realize they were actually good and look past their silly names... Such is the case for Pissed Jeans.

When Carl and I got to the show, in hopes of just seeing Boris and missing out on any shitty opening bands, we ended up walking in while Pissed Jeans was halfway through their set. And suddenly I was transfixed by the sound and the stage manner of the singer. He reminded me of David Yow, writhing and howling, bucking occasionaly and quickly won our nods of approval. The band also does its best Jesus Lizard impression, which for me is okay to try. There should be more bands like the Lizard, and certainly more depraved frontmen like David Yow. As of now, I know of two bands besides Pissed Jeans that effectively pull this off...The Young Widows and Black Elk, who have a bit more metal than YW or PJ.

Pissed Jeans bring a little more sludge into the mix, which is a wonderful thing and while not as good as JL, they have done quite a few good things. Shallow is one of them. They are set to release their new album on Sub Pop called Hope For Men, and despite their kooky name is a band worth seeing live.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Rodan - How The Winter Was Passed 7" (1994)

I can't for the life of me remember where I found this, but I suppose thats not important. Whats important is having it. I only wish I had the real copy in my hands, but I'm not much of a collector and this 7" is definitely out of print. Somehow it just slipped by my awareness at the time...

After being a fan of Rodan since their hey dey, it is a fine thing to hear two more song that I've never heard before. The songs are Milk & Honey and Exoskeleton. Milk & Honey is very similar to Shiner from Rusty. A raging, jagged Louisville hardcore song. Exoskeleton is longer and resembles the rest of the songs on Rusty, with spoken word/ shouted delivery, angular post-rock forays and of course churning, volatile rhythms.

Both songs are highly recommended for any fans of the genre. And when I gt a chance I will up their track from the Simple Machines comp. It is a song called Darjeeling, and while not as good as these two songs is worth having for any completist...


Summer in Abaddon (2004)

Blue Screen Life (2001)

This is a Pinback CD (1999)

Wow, has it already been 3 years since Pinback released Summer in Abaddon?! Time does fly, and not in an liner sense either. More like a pointilist Seraut painting. Time is many things at once, and many things at different times. If one were to try and map out actual time, and by actual I dont mean absolute, rather the relative subjective version we understand and try to measure on a daily basis...if one were to map it out it would be a complex web of interreltions and I bet theres even quite a few curves to account for the "space" in the existence of this visual time map. I also bet it would look quite beautiful, and if it were someones job to put it into music it wouldnt suprise me if it sounded like Pinback.

For any of you who have been visiting for a while it should be clear that I absolutely love Three Mile Pilot. Easily one of my favorite bands. I was lucky to have a friend who moved to NY from San Diego in high school, and is single handedly responsible for many of my San Diego music scene obsessions...The list is oh so long and I wont digress, just take a look back into the archives to see what I mean. But no band stuck with me like 3MP. When I ended up splitting with my friend (we ended up having a long relationship) it seemed 3MP had done the same.

Saddened I took my search elsewhere and really came up with nothing. This was in a period where I stopped feverishly searching for new music and barely listened to hardcore or punk and just did god knows what. I think '98 - '00 are strange years for me...I search for my soul rather than music. Nonetheless, (see, this post is reserved for another digression...am I doing good? ^_~) I returned to my search for new music in the early part of this decade when I moved to Brooklyn, '01 - '02 and decided I should find out if 3MP ever did anything else. Zach Smiths bass playing was something I needed to hear again. Thank the lords and the stars above that he had formed with Rob Crowe (Thingy, Heavy Vegetable and many others) and began recording as Pinback.

Thank my lucky fucking stars. And you know. after all tht digression, I'm not even gonna describe the music. You probably know already, but if you dont, take the sublime bass playing of 3MP, take Rob Crowes soft melifluous voice, combine that with what I said about time and pointilism, little notes hitting at the right time, weaving a tapestry, shake in a little "ooh" and "ahh" and you have some of the best indie rock I have ever had the pleasure of hearing....

Thats Pinback in a nutshell to me. I think the albums will speak for themselves....

You should also take note that they are planning an album release for sometime this year, and Three Mile Pilot is also planning another album release after a 10 year hiatus.... 2007 indeed.