Friday, May 30, 2008

Adventures in Scrobbling

So I started a account, as some of you may have noticed. I have known of its existence for quite sometime, but I never really understood it or rather, took the time (miniscule as it may have been) to understand or "Scrobbling" for that matter...

So it goes, I am logged in for full-time scrobbling. For those of you who are as archaic as me when it comes to the nets (the internets, not the NJ basketball team) scrobbling refers to the magical process of transferring your listening information from your iTunes (or other computer based music device) and even your iPod to the site and in turn keeps running totals of your listening habits. This translates to current listenings, weekly top artists and overall top artists.. I'm sure there is more to it. Oh, yeah, you can talk to your friends and loved ones, as a few of us meat heads have done already. You can look at your friends listening habits or the listening habits of total strangers if you like. You can have recommendations... all that shit, toughguy! You can even get a little widget like the ones on the left, or right depending on what mental hemisphere you reside in.

Enough! this isnt an ad. This is a totally self serving list of one of my adventures in Scrobbling.

I took the liberty of leap-frogging through my iTunes at work, skipping over every other album as I saw fit, playing a song from each one, or in some cases, a few in a row. So, for some reason, I am going to document this experience. It should be known that my library is currently arranged by when I ripped the songs to iTunes. So this list of bands covers a period of time at my job when I brought these in to listen to. What day to cover? I dont know. I planned on doing this on Wednesday, but then I did some more leap-froggin yesterday. Im going to focus on yesterday since its fresher in my head.

1. Bread and Circuits - Shameful Library: from the split with Former Members of Alfonsin. One of B&C's greatest song and one of Kirsch's best bands. Good way to start the morning.

2. The Mercury Program - The Secret to Quiet: from All the Suits Began to Fall Off. A seriously smooth instrumental track with Vibraphones galore and awesome DCish guitars that remind me of Hoover.

3. Shapes and Sizes - Head Movin': An indie band I know nothing about. But I really like this song. That is all.

4. Blonde Redhead - U.F.O.: From La Mia Vita Violenta. One of my favorite songs. Its go a sexy smokey sort of feeling with some good slacker vocals.

5. Absinthe - Head of Twine: amazing anti-christian hardcore from Brendan and Dave from Groundwork. This is some abrasive stuff, and supposedly will be re-released as part of a discography. This song has a sick ass breakdown towards the end.

6. Council of Five Nations - Ocean Girl on 5th: A 7" Ive had forever and a day that I know nothing about. Emo-ish screamy hardcore from CT. The song is from a split with In Vain who shared members with CoFN. Its a great song. Kinda Native Nod-ish. Let me know if you can find anything out about them.

7. Engine Down - Slingshot: Under the Pretense of Present Tense. Phenomenal song with awesome bass work. Its too bad they changed so much from their earlier DC twin guitar sound.

8. Guyver One - ΓΈ: from their 7". I didnt know a thing about this band when i bought this. Its was purely for the awesome artwork. Luckily the band turned out to be awesome. This song is great, when he screaming "Fucking Nothing, Fucking Nada, Fucking Zilch!"

9. Richard Hell and the Voidoids - Love Comes in Spurts: Richard Hell is awesome. I got into the Voidoids after readin Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil. You all should read that book. Its fantastic and even people that dont care for punk like it. It covers the burgeoning punk scene from VU up the British Invasion. It ends with Sid Vicious' death, which is kind of lame, but the stories from Iggy Pop and Dee Dee Ramone are worth the price alone. Plenty of other great stories about a time that will never happen again.

10. Econochrist - Withdrawal: You all know how good Econochrist is. They werent the first to do the crusty political punk thing, but damnit, they did it best.

11. Struggle - Red, White and You: Best lyric in a hardcore song. Ever. "I'm Officer Friendly now fucking lick my boots!!". Im not a big fan of Struggle other than this first 7", but the four songs on it get played often.

12. Toner Low - Evil Machinery on the Rise: It opens with a deep gutteral Ommmmmmmmm before laying into riffs so thick you are gasping for air. A long, plodder of a song, but one of the best Stoner/Doom bands going right now. From Amsterdam, no less...

13. Sufjan Stevens - For the Widows..: Damnit, this guy gets me all choked up. Its those fucking banjos. Why do banjos make me so soft?

14. Sufjan Stevens - Casimir Pulaski Day: Fucking...

15. Sufjan Stevens - Chicago (Acoustic Version): ... Banjos. (sniff!)

16. Please Inform the Captain This is A Hijack - Angry Sleepers: Great song. EVERYONE MUST GO! I dont really love this album, not as much as the self titled, but this is easily the best song they wrote.

17. Navio Forge - Weaponizing: This sounds like it could have been a Fuel song too. Which means its rad as fuck. I clearly had a Mike Kirsch moment for a few days...

18. Bread and Circuits - The End of History: Yep. Mike Kirsch Moment. Similar yet entirely different from my Sufjan moment right above this.

19. Goatsnake - Innocent: Fuck yes! What an awesome guitar sound this band has. When mentioning Greg Andersons previous bands people never seem to mention that he was in Engine Kid. I wonder why this is.

20. Current - Dial: I still have this record (Coliseum) and my freaking cat chewed the cover to shreds. Regardless, this record was my introduction to one of my long standing favorite bands of the genre.

21. Julia - Tongue Biting: This song sounds like it could be Bluetip song. I never appreciated them as much when I was younger. But this band has more than stood the test of time. I find myself wondering what I was thinking not giving this more play back then. If I want to ratchet up the tension ten notches I put on the Untitled last track.

22. Native Nod - Back to Mimsey: One of the best emo songs ever. Eerie and explosive. I have no idea what he is talking about in the song.

23. Union of Uranus - Panacea: Listening to these guys is like being flayed. Its a wonderful experience that you should try sometime. Aurally removing the flesh from your body with UoU. mmmm.

24. Orchid - Death of Modernist: See above description. I just hope people know that UoU was doing this in the early 90's. Orchid do a good job of it, but not as good as Ampere.

25. Life At These Speeds - Retina: It took me a while to like this album. To Your Health. I pretty much love every second of it now.

26. Converge - Divinity: "God Killer, Mind Cleaner". Those are awesome lyrics. "The shallower, the more I sink".

27. Life At These Speeds - Birds and Climates: This is one reason why it took me so long to get into the new album. The urgency is so ripe here. Compared to the poppy melodies of To Your Health this feels like death metal. Obviously its nothing like that, but its a track that only seems to build in intensity as it plays.

28. Pinback - From Nothing to Nowhere: First song from the new album, with Mario Rubalcaba playing drums. He played in 411, Clikatat Ikatowi and Black Heart Procession as well as Thingy and Hot Snakes. Pinback is one of my favorite bands because Three Mile Pilot os one of my favorite bands. This song is one of the least Pinback-ish songs in their catalog.

29. Crud is a Cult - Stance/Emotion: The gang vocals at the end are choice "Love Hate Life Death!". I also like the double tracked vocals on Seans voice.

30. Overcast: Then I got to Overcast and I had to give that a few plays. Overcast played some awesome fucking metal. They had some seriously good rhythms too. Brian Fair is one of the best metal vocalists, even to this day. Though I am not a huge Shadows Fall fan, as the bird flies.

ahhhh, well, that was fun. I listened to a few more things, distractedly I might add, and then listened to Underdog and Into Another for the rest of the day and my ride home. (Thanks Sven!)

Maybe this would have been fun with more graphics... who knows, not me. Its friday and I'm off. Its 2pm. Life rules, for today at least. I'll make my crucial death metal post later on and who knows, maybe I'll stay indoors for long enough to catch up on some of my other stuff..


Thursday, May 29, 2008


I didnt have any time to do anything last night.

I owe some people things, and I owe all of you more updates...

if only there were 48 hours in a day...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Is a Good Day For Death Metal

Malevolent Creation - Retribution (1992)

As it turns out this whole week has been good for Death Metal. Actually, ever since hearing the new Arsis record and then finding the Cannabis Corpse record I have pretty much not listened to anything else (Well, some Sufjan Stevens oddly enough. I was listening to Suffocation and then Sufjan comes on and I swear, that dude is a tear jerker. One minute my head is being shredded into little digestible pieces of flesh and the next minute im listening to acoustic music and its hitting me hard. anyway)

So, here I am sitting on this immense album from Malevolent Creation which, along with Heartwork, Arsis and Cannibal and Cannabis Corpse and Converge has been my steady favorites for true misanthropy throughout the week. It is a little known fact that I spend most of my week making graphics for baby clothing. Yes, that is what this badass does for a paycheck. I draw little elephants surfing, monkeys playing guitars and the occasional giraffe driving in an off road vehicle. You get the picture. Its no wonder I listen to such fucked up viscerally disturbing tunes. There is a sort of reciprocity to the whole idea of making cute graphics for the newest beings on the planet whilst synonymously listening to music about being mutilated and ripping entrails from a virgins cunt.

Malevolent Creation get the plays because along with being brutally heavy and uncompromisingly grim they have a great vocalist and sick groove to their style. Now while a band like Converge or Immolation (or lets say Meshuggah too, for arguments sake) can pummel with razor sharp guitars and frantic atonal time distorting attacks there is something to be said about a riff. Its what your head latches onto long after a song is played. And while Malevolent Creation dont push the envelope in any direction they make up for this lack of artistic egotism by bluntly hitting you over the head with riff after luscious riff of downtuned palm muted guitars. They know how to use the Slayer arpeggio guitar strumming style so well known to the genre. Its when they hit a mid paced lurch that you just cant help but smile and think that this shit was made for floor punching. While Malevolent Creation cant claim to have invented this awesome breakdown they have certainly learned to use it with bludgeoning force and damn near every hardcore band with a breakdown has also realized the immense potential in making your listeners feel like they could stand up to god and karate chop him in half.

As an interesting side note Malevolent Creation was originally from Buffalo, home of the mid paced chug, before moving to Florida to be with their blackened brethren. They also have an adept grasp of the ubiquitous double bass drum. No death metal should be without it.



Its Friday, I had a busy week, hence no posts. This nice long weekend we have should prove fruitful in that regard. In the meantime, I have started a account in part to put one of those little charts in my sidebar so people could see what my habits are, but also to learn more about my own listening habits. So, if you care, add me up, whatever the deal is, and have a great fucking weekend!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday is a good day for...


Carcass - Heartwork (1993)

As it goes, Metal got me into Hardcore, and in a strange twist of the plot, Hardcore got me even more into Metal. If you have been following over the past few posts, Hard Rock got me into Heavy Metal, which led to me to Thrash and Speed Metal (I never mentioned my love of the song Painkiller by Judas Priest or Caught In A Mosh by Anthrax), which led me to Sick Of It All and Biohazard. The road gets hazy through this section because I got into Fugazi and DC styled stuff as well as Slint and early Post-Rockish stuff like Tortoise and Rodan around the same time I was hunting for the entirety of the Revelation Records catalog. It was maybe towards the end of 94 that my Hardcore worship was fully blossoming. I had moved into the realms of early emo, which I still cant remember calling emo, though the word was tossed around with bad connotations by jockish hardcore kids. It was in this time period of being into multiple facets of hardcore that I began to note the similarities between metal and hardcore and, as though a light from on high was shone upon my world, Converge entered my life.

Its a meandering road, this travel through tims day of hardcore reckoning. But nonetheless it was my friend Dan who purchased the Halo In a Haystack LP on Earthmover Records that began a link that to this day cannot be broken. Now I have told this story before, so I wont recount that one again, but after the sale of Halo in a Haystack I was only left with a dubbed cassette copy with the xeroxed artwork fashioned into cassette size. Of course this is one of the few tapes I still have in my possesion. I eventually added some 7"s to the other side, Barritt, Channel, and later in the future, the Execute demos (Execute was a Vermont band with Todd Henig from Seven Years War on drums and a local snowboard kid, Jon, I think, on vocals. I'll get that up one day, along with Barritt who were awesome) Where the hell am I going with this?!?!

Oh, well, I just mentioned Vermont and that is where part 2 of this story takes place. I went to college in VT in 95 where I met Jim from Albany who loved Snapcase as much as I and introduced me to the Albany scene of One King Down, Withstand and Stigmata. The next year I became friends with Brendan who not only shared our love of all things hardcore, but even more so was seriously into Death Metal. He introduced me to the Converge 7" with Saddest Day on it and needless to say I was addicted. It was full circle for me. Liking Thrash and Metal and then Hardcore and then finding this ultimate blend of the two.... it was a revelation.

Converge still rules to this day. I consider them more Death Metal than hardcore in fact, but thats all relative (they call themselves, "Aggressive Music"). What counts is that Hardcore made me like metal, and specifically very heavy, churning, fast metal, even more than I did before.

So it is with that story, however inane, that I present you with Carcass's 1993 masterpiece, Heartwork. I know most of the readers wont latch onto this, but really, its an insanely good album full of catchy riffs and blistering tempos. The opening chords are heavier than most hardcore and there are some breakdowns that make it clear where bands like Overcast, Unbroken, Starkweather and Converge got some of their inspiration. If you like those bands I just mentioned then you should really do your best to make it through the first four songs at least. Do something while you listen; read, work on the computer, paint or make out with someone. In fact, yeah. Make out with someone while listening to Heartwork. That is your homework for the weekend.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


You all know I dont post many videos, but I could not pass this up. You must wait for this to load and then watch the whole thing with sound. Its unbelievable stuff!

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

The best part is this was made by the same person who did the video for the La Quiete song from their 2006 7". I believe Gabba just posted all three of the La Quiete videos on his awesome blog Hardcore For Nerds.

Here is the La Quiete video.

la quiete from blu on Vimeo.

Please check out their site and drool at the fantastic work these guys put out.


In other news, I added some new blogs to the side links ---------->

If I am missing any that fit within the content presented here than don't hesitate to tell me. And don't take it wrong if I don't put it up right away. I get sidetracked.... a lot.


Sweet Baby Jaysus made an awesome mix tape on Burning Down the Dreams of Forever that pretty much made my morning. If you are looking forward to tomorrow being a good morning than I suggest you take a little stroll over that way and grab that mix and ensure yourself a good mood.

Friday, May 09, 2008


Seaweed - Four (1993 - Sub Poop)

Seaweed - Weak (1991 - Sub Plop)

I started snowboarding in 1991. It was a glorious thing to experience. I bascially learned how to snowboard on golf courses. This may sound weird, but the only mountain we had near us was called Big Birch and, let me be honest, there was nothing big about it and I dont really recall any Birch trees, but that part is of minor significance. The main point is that it should have been called Big Bump. I got some better snowboarding in on my front yard then I ever did at that paltry mountain. But credit is due where credit is due; along with my friends Joe and Fooch and another friend from high school, Dan Hickey, we made the trek to learn snowboarding. I believe Dan was the only one who had been before. Joe and Fooch and I were deep into skateboarding at this point so it seemed a natural progression to throw the same moves down while moving very fast on a slippery downward slope. This turned out to not be a bad thing and we all picked it up within the afternoon. Except for Dan, he already knew what was going on. That night we went to the old folks home and used the hill to try out some more carves. This also proved useful and quite more so because it was free and only a walk away from the house. Thus began out snowboarding lives.

That winter was great. In fact, we had lots of good winters in the early 90's. Not really sure what happened, but its of no consequence to me (excuse the extreme ecological incorrectness of ignoring what many call Global Warming), this is a story about snowboarding, and somehow, the band Seaweed. So fast forward a few weeks and one of us came up with the great idea of to hit the Mount Kisco golf course. This was probably Joe as he and his dad did landscaping and plowing and he was privy to lots of hidden areas of the great expanses of tiny Northern Westchester. So we head out there and sure enough there is a hill. Kids are sledding and we begin snowboarding. It was tiny, but it made for an easy hike back up and it was endless fun. Especially when we started making jumps. Now, which one of decided to venture into the golf course, i dont know, but it was surely inspired by one of the sand traps that we encountered on our first day there. They made natural jumps and were capable of giving you quite a pop into the air. So begins our 18 hole adventure of snowboarding.

In an effort to move this along, I will say that the first year of my snowboarding career took place mostly in that golf course, slogging with our boards, hitting every sand trap we could. Sometime just setting up on the high side of a sand trap and treating it like a mini bowl. After all, we were skateboarders and it was hardly a stretch to think of snowboarding as incredibly similar. So sand trap after sand trap, grinding bushes covered in snow, shooting through trees, I only wish I could do that now without getting arrested.

So, in a similar vein as my experiences with Thrasher Magazine playing tastemaker to my unbridled enthusiam for all things punk and hardcore, Transworld Snowboarding entered my life and, aside from offering pretty pictures of places I wouldnt visit until over a decade later, it offered a wonderful music section which I frequently would skip to first to see what was new.

Enter Seaweed. The biggest draw for checking out Seaweed wasnt that they were punk. That was a given. Thats most of what Transworld and Thrashers music sections consisted of. The biggest draw for me was the fact that they were from Tacoma, WA. I was born in Tacoma, Washington, exactly one day after my father died in an Air Force accident. Saving the specific dates for myself, it happened on the 11th while my mom was in the hospital and the 12 I was born into this world. Needless to say, my Bronx born mother was now alone with a new child in her care and a family that was very far away. So my tenure in Tacoma and the west coast ended shortly after it began and we moved to Yonkers where my grandparents could help my mother get back on her feet and take care of me when the need arose. This was an agreeable decision to my unformed mind and I happily remember this as my life. I am a New Yorker, born and raised just over a half our out of NYC. But I was born in Tacoma, and this is where a great rift happened that I to this day have not figured out. It was draw that could not be ignored and before I knew it I had ran to the store and purchased Four by Tacoma's very own Seaweed. Somehow I felt my dad would be proud.

It's no suprise that music and skating or snowboarding go so well together. Fluid motion, pushing yourself, pulling off sweet moves like in the BMX movie RAD or Breakin' all deserved proper soundtracks. Seaweed was the most inspiring soundtrack to go snowboarding to. It was perfect in every way. It was upbeat, melodic punk, with great vocals, great lyrics, not too much or too little of anything. In fact, I will go so far as to say Seaweed made me a better snowboarder. How, I couldnt tell you, but I'm laying claim to the truth of that statement. Of course Seaweed didnt prevent me from destroying my knee, but maybe thats a whole other matter. I dont hold it against them. Seaweed still rules these many years later. And the link with Tacoma? Still hits every time, gives me chills of nostalgias and mysteries I dont quite get. I imagine my father smiling.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Quicksand - Slip (1993)

Quicksand - How Soon Is Now [Smiths Cover] (1993 - B side from the Dine Alone Single)

Quicksand - S/T EP [only one song, Clean Slate] (1991)

Nothing gets me hotter and hornier more than Quicksand. And frankly, you can take Manic Compression and stick it where the sun dont shine. Eh, its good, but nothing close to the power of Slip. The funny part is when I first purchased Slip, I didnt like it. It wasnt heavy enough.

I entered middle school with a healthy dose of classic rock under my belt. (Thanks mom!) and this in turn led to a middle school obsession with hard rock music, namely Motley Crue. I really didnt think anything could be better than Motley Crue. That is, until Guns and Roses came along with Appetite for Destruction. Now, my young mind couldnt grasp all the stops this band had pulled out; It's So Easy meant nothing more to me than "ease of use", like, "that math test was easy!", and I certainly only thought of Mr Brownstone as some cranky old man that lived next door and clearly couldnt put up with these young ruffians rocking out all the time. Ha! Yeah, I think around that time my friend Wayne attempted to get me into Slayer - Reign in Blood and that was just too soon for me. The satanic cover art scared me. I come from a catholic family. The fear of god was born in me and took many drugs to finally be quelled forever, but in middle school, evil was ever present. The few kids smoking pot, the even fewer girls having, gasp! sex!. These were different times, the very end of different times as it turns out. But I digress.

So Slayer was out. Megadeth and Metallica? They were in. Metallica especially. I was getting into the sound of palm muted guitars and Metallica had them in spades. It was around this time that I started listening to Seton Halls WSOU Pirate Radio. The metal shows were on late at night and me, being a youngun, had to hit the hay on the earlier side. So I would set up a tape and dub one side of a tape hoping to get something good. The next morning I would be all excited and head to the bus stop with my monolithic walkmen, which was about the size of an average lunchbox and I would be all giddy as they played bands like Overkill, Iron Maiden, King Diamond and the likes. These were great times. (Consequently I revisited Slayer around this time and found much to like and little to be scared of. I just needed to ease myself into it. I even think it was my fast growing love of Slayer that helped me digest Converge only a few short years later)

The most memorable of these occasions was when I heard a spot by a band called Biohazard; "We are Biohazard, from Brooklyn, NY and you are listening to WSOU Pirate Radio." They sounded so badass. The song was Blue Blood and in that same show they played some Sick of It All. I should mention that this is now falling around the end of 8th grade. Motley Crue, as epic and amazing as they were, had fallen by the wayside in favor of heavier music. It only took a few hardcore songs for me to develop an obsession with heavy and fast palm muted guitars mixed with attitude. I was also starting to become more serious about skateboarding. So this angsty badass sound resonated in me even more so than ever.

I owe a lot of my musical discoveries to Thrasher Magazine. Without them and WSOU I probably would have never of heard of hardcore or punk music. Or maybe just much later than I did. I didnt have an older bro or sis to get me into things, so Thrasher was my sibling. I couldnt go on line and surf the net to find out more about Sick of It All or Biohazard, and I didnt have anyone to ask, but it was clear that my life could not go on unless I had a real solid copy of this immense sound. It was almost as if it were a dream, I didnt really hear it, and I half expected it not to exist.

It must've have been the incredibly shitty Bazaar Mall in Mount Kisco, New York that produced the fruits of my searching labor. There I found a tape of Blood, Sweat and No Tears. The faux shattered glass graphic with the photos of people going apeshit and the awesome type face. I was kinda scared, but I purchased it with my friend Fooch. (I still have that tape. One of three that I can let go of) I can say with almost complete honesty that I never looked back from that day. Hardcore was what I wanted and all I could do now was find more and skate like no tomorrow. This led the march to bands like Minor Threat, 7 Seconds, Dag Nasty and The Circle Jerks. Between my friends Fooch and Joe, we amassed a nice little cluster of bands. Fooch tended towards the more brooding and brought in Type-O-Negative. Joe tended toward the punkier and introduced us to NOFX, Pennywise and Green Day and I managed the straight and narrow, searching in vain for Youth of Today and Gorilla Biscuits.

It wasnt until 1993 that I found the holy grail of musical existence. And that came in the form of Trash American Style. A one stop shop for everything underground. They even preferred to work on a barter system! They had 7"s from bands I never heard of, LP's and CD's, used and new, and stickers and anything a little punk grommet could want (and a lot of GG Allin stuff as well, which always irked me). The first thing I bought was Youth Of Today's Break Down the Walls. I went back maybe a week later and bought Start Today and thus ensued a weekly habit of purchasing records from every band that sounded cool, had a cool record cover, or was on a label that I knew was good. I ordered catalogs from every label that I could and ordered as much as my meager bookstore job would allow.

But back to the matter at hand. We're still in 1993, and obviously I had heard that Walter Schreifels had a new band. Not so new in 1993, but still new to me and most of the world. I bought the tape with Fooch again, and I remember giving it a listen for the first time in Irvington NY. We were being hooligans and doing really bad graffiti and I just wasnt into it. I felt like I had wasted my money. Where was the punch? Where was the heavy? In any case, I found the song Freezing Process to be pretty intriguing and I slowly started getting really into it. I think Unfulfilled was the next song to catch my ear and my friend Joe was all excited about Too Official and Transparent. Thus began our love affair with Quicksand.

We went to see them play with Rage Against the Machine in NYC in the fall of 93. I had hurt my knee earlier that year and pounding around that night I did what has now become the bane of my existence and popped my knee cap out. My enthusiasm outweighed my pain and I managed a hobbling bounce for the rest of the show. State of the Nation played that show as well, and of course I purchased that too. (wonder what ever happened to that album?) It wasnt until early the next year that I got to see Quicksand again, this time headlining, with Orange 9mm and Foundation opening for them (the old band Foundation, not the new one) Well that was a hell of a show! My knee didn't pop and I got all frenzied while Chaka and the guys from Foundation got all frenzied too. I really felt like a part of some amorphous powerful being of angst and change. It was immense and I still cant stifle the smile that comes to my face when I think of how that opened up the world of hardcore to me. Not just in the sense of songs and listening, but the fact that other people were into this, other bands were like this and the shows were cheap, you just had to pay attention and find them and maybe travel a little bit. Man, Quicksand set off some of the best days of my life. Skatebording, seeing shows, buying records. That was the life.

Enjoy these. I have never heard another band like it my life. And even if I did, it doesnt have that history attached to it. I want to be 75 years old and still smile about it, listening to Freezing Process or Unfulfilled and getting my creaky bones moving again.

Sparkmarker - Products and Accessories

Sparkmarker were a great band from Vancouver who managed a very precise blend of NYC post hardcore crossed with DC post hardcore. They existed for the better part of the decade from 1990 - 1997 when they packed it in and moved on to other things. One thing that always struck me about Sparkmarker was the singers voice. It was and still is very unique in the realm of hardcore and punk. He sings, but he kind of yelps at the same time. I dont mean that as any negative aspect, yelping, in this case, works really well. The songs are rhythmic and more to the point than a band like Quicksand and heavier and more visceral than a band like Soulside who they kind of remind me of at times.

I first heard of Sparkmarker from the Land of Greed, World of Need comp from Trustkill Records. It was a compilation of bands covering the Embrace album song for song. And while lots of people froth over the mention of Embrace I never really liked them all that much, preferring instead to listen to these cover version, many of which are better than the originals. Current, Sparkmarker and Avail by far had the three best covers, followed closely by Beltaine, Groundwork and Lifetime and even Rancid had a great track. (In fact, if you use the useful little search field up on the top left, you can type in Land of Greed and the file is still linked up. I think it was the second post I did. Its worth having.)

Nonetheless, hearing the Sparkmarker track and being obsessed with Quicksand made me want to hear more and thus this band entered my life. Lots of bands get described as sounding like Quicksand, but with the exception of this band and maybe Shift in their earlier years, no other band really sounded like them. Except for maybe Never Only Once from Vermont, but how many of you have heard that? Its a good EP. I should upload that too.


Dive were an awesome hardcore band occupying space and time around the Boston area in the early to mid 90's.

I know very little of this band. Supposedly members went on to perform in bands Get High, Overcast and the Dropkick Murphys. The only band I know out of those three is Overcast, and they were some seriously awesome early metal core. Dive is way more old school hardcore oriented. I wouldnt go so far as to label them an old school band by any means as they also share alot in common with some ebullitions early stuff, like the Downcast and Struggle 7"s, but they have a fast hardcore sound that is undeniably awesome and somewhat influenced by bands like Boston counterparts DYS and Slapshot. So you kinda take that mentality and then throw in a breakdown like the one in Hate Comes Easy from the Downcast 7" and maybe add in some melody that might take you over to an area like Burn once occupied around the same time, and come to think of it, I think of Burn often while listening to Dive. Especially the Force Five 7" from Moo Cow records. Like maybe Burn if they came from Boston.

Yeah, whatever, you should listen to it. It rules. This is the Moo Cow Records 7", the Figure Four Records 7" which shows a lot more of a melodic tendency and a song from the Over The Edge Compilation which came out on Endless Fight Records, which is the only song I had heard from them until more recent years. For some reason I found myself listening to Force Five in particular a lot lately and thought others might appreciate hearing them again. You can still buy that 7" from Moo Cow Distro for $3.50, so dont go getting any crazy ideas to spend tons of money on one.

On a side note, I am pretty tired of hardcore in general. Of course I still like the music, but the whole hardcore thing is really fucking lame. The way people treat each other, the way people play know it all, the elitism of young people who feel that this is their punk rock. Its just stupid. I like the little community we have here, and its been awesome talking with you guys and meeting some of you. Frankly, the biggest issue is I am running out of records to post. I have this awesome Barritt 7" I want to rip somehow, and a few more posts, but this page may be nearing the end.

We all knew it couldnt last forever.

more news to come...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

La Famiglia

This is a pic my friend Joe took of us last night. About a block away from our new place. Lara is holding Mugsie. Shes one year old. I am holding Mo and he is two years old on the 15th of this month.

This is the fam. Dont mess with us. We'll fuck you up. ^_~

I have some posts coming up tonite. are you psyched? cuz I am...

Friday, May 02, 2008

Request - Dive - Help

Hey all!

I just moved from one part of Brooklyn to another. This is an incredible thing as I now not only live near the Brooklyn Museum, The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and Prospect Park, but I also now have a back yard with our very own tree, whom we named Harold. My girlfriend Lara and I enjoy naming our plants as if they were pets. I understand this may seem odd, but if you saw the character these plants have then you would understand. We have a Split Leaf Philodendron who is very hearty and gigantic. His/her name is Phyl. We have one of those trees that look like palms which we named Matthew Gerald and we have a banana plant which we named Super D. We also have two giant palm things that refused to accept any names and thus go by the joined and extremely un-clever name of Palms. So now we have Harold and hes a beaut!

What I intend to say is life has been busy but the pay off is immense. So with that said, on to the topic of the day.

I have two things, or three that I am planning. One of these concerns the awesome band Dive from Boston circa the early 90's.
I want to make a somewhat comprehensive post of their stuff. The only problem is the rip of the Moo Cow Records Force Five 7" has an incredibly bad hiccup in the middle of the second song.

Here is the cover of the 7" I am looking for...

I would greatly appreciate it if anyone can give me a proper rip of that song, titled "With Forgetting and Reforgetting" or a rip of the whole 7" as it will be consistent. I have the Figure Four records 7", the Moo cow 7" and one song from the awesome Endless Fight Records comp (which you can still download here).

I would also love if anyone would like to share some info or stories of this band as I only know they are awesome and from Boston. I only had the Endless Fight song from back in the day, so my knowledge of this band is lacking at best.

My friend Sean and I are going to see Brainworms and ...Who Calls So Loud (ex Funeral Diner) tomorrow afternoon at ABC No Rio. Should be awesome. Sean also wants me to post some swedish hardcore. So I was thinking of making a post of Abhinanda, Shield, Spawn and Refused. Sparkmarker and Avail to follow.

Hope everyone is well!

Thanks for all the comments. You guys are the best readers on the net!