Is there anything more creepy than religious zealots singing about their love of Jesus? Yes, it's when the musical accompaniment is some screwball, lo-fi, electro-psych. I make no claims that this will be universally loved, but if you can get past the preachiness and appreciate it for what it is, I think most will enjoy this. Way creepier than some dude in make up singing about Satan, because these people actually believe it all.
If you're only familiar with Moore's work as a perma-drunk, snooty, twat then first you need to listen to his offensively hilarious team up with Peter Cook as Derek & Clive. Most people don't get the joke and just think it's racist drivel, but like most good comedy, idiots are always going to misread its intent, since they are often the target. After you've given that a listen then you might be interested in Moore's musical work. While I won't claim this is the best soundtrack or anything, I do stand by the title track and all it's weird phasing, droll delivery, and psych oddness. Even the horrible remake of this film (experts shat out by crap master Brendan Frazier) does nothing to diminish the joys of the original. Still worth a watch.
One more from the NWW list. I knew this would be something I would love since I can easily can trace my decision to teach English to Edward Gorey's illustrations for John Bellairs. Gorey's own work continues to be read frequently around these parts. So a prog album which uses his stories as its lyrical content was something I knew I'd love. Just look at the rest of the players. Normally, anything involving Robert Wyatt is something I want to hear. Add in all those other names and you know what to expect.
Time to brush up on your Kobaïan people. You know, that language these Franco-lunatics invented to sing their crazed prog epics. This band seems like something a bunch of composition geeks would cream over, but I don't know shit about music theory, so I'll leave the academics to others better than I. And there's some story arc to this album, involving archeologists and ancient tombs and some other shit. That I shall leave to the true geeks who obsessively pour over these nonsensical lyrics (Magma has some pretty devote followers). There's a certain Trekkie appeal I suppose, but look past that and see this as a real prog classic it is.
So here's some awesome things I've seen thus far today"
1.) A dude who looks exactly like Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler who was pushing an empty wheel chair down the middle of a road.
2.) The Mars Volta wannabe walking around campus. This kid even pals around with another Mars Volta clone just to complete the look. Of all the shit bands to cop a style from, why choose these fuckheads?
3.) An old lady in a rascal honking an old timey bike horn at passersby.
4.) A car that was smoking so badly I thought it was straight out of Spy Hunter. I thought I might get hit with some oil slicks at any moment.
5.) Several dudes with no shirts, but winter caps (dudes, please keep the shirts on; no girl is going to see your nasty sweaty body and just drop to her knees).
So here's an album to continue the awesomeness. More Swedish psych mastery. And people seem to have liked the (International) Harvester, Trad, Gras, och Stenar, etc. things. This is mostly split between sitar laced trance folk, and some really fried fuzz. These dudes were singing "Fuck the Cops" back in 1970. Pretty fucking punk for a bunch of lingonberry lovers.
This post is purely out of love and laziness. Love in that this record is supremely fucking great. A true classic. Laziness because I wanted to post another album, but didn't want to write much. And with this one, the less said, the better. An essential own.
This was one of those cdrs that came from the band and, through friends, eventually found it's way into my mitts. For that I am thankful since I love this band. Infest is definitely a point of reference. But there's moments of Sabbathisms and almost, dare I say, prog in their sound. But these dudes seem to have pretty open ears, so I doubt they'd punch me in the face for that reason. They even do a pretty great Meat Puppets cover, which unfortunately, is not included here. Every time I play anything by this band, my cat has a complete freak out. Yes, that's how cool I am. An old, single dude who lives with his cat and piles of records. God, what a cliche I've become. Thankfully, I've got this to cheer me up.
The birth of noise rock? Perhaps. I think I read somewhere that "Radar Eyes" (the lead track) was Thurston Moore's favorite guitar track. And it's easy to trace the lineage from these guys onward towards what now passes for weirdo out rock. But this is from way back when (1967 to be specific). Don't worry though, this isn't the other Godz that churned out the 70s hard rock. You know, the one that played on Kiss's Love Gun tour. Well, it's not them.
My friends and I have a tendency to get nostalgic for the 90s. I suppose that it had to do with that time being particularly good for many of us, and the fact that the way we live now seems pretty shitty. But then a friend and I watched a documentary on 90s rock and all of the sudden it was as if I ate a madeline and all the memories came flooding back. I realized that for every band like this, there was at least 20 completely bullshit bands trying ever so hard to look kooky. I'll admit that this took me a while to get into this band. I guess I never really got what they were attempting to do. Then one day it all made sense and all was revealed. Now, Royal Trux have got to be one of my favorite bands of that period. I would feel fine posting any of their material (and if you're about to slag on their major label releases you can go scratch) as I love their entire catalog. How the fuck were these people not major stars is beyond me. Jennifer Herrema, marry me.
Christ that took me forever to type that title out. It's a sunny day here and after that extend period of grey, I figure it's time to post something sunshiney and cheery. For a band comprised of teenagers and millionaires, they (not going to type out that super long name again) wrote some pretty great tunes. "Our Drummer Always Plays in the Nude" is more than just a great song, but a creed by which most bands should live by. Especially if your drummer is particularly ugly (as is often the case). While this does have the standard psych west coast psych moves, there's a creeping darkness under the surface. I mean if you have songs titled "A \Child of a few Hours is Burning to Death" you should be sitting around sniffing heliotropes.
I went through a pretty serious obsession with Czech New Wave films some time back. Not sure why, but the absurd sense of humor that tempers much of the bleakness was highly appealing. But I make no claims about truly understanding the political satire many of these movie also relied on (but the usual suspects are standard i.e. religion, communism, etc.). This was probably one of the favorite ones that I saw (Sweet Movie has got to be up there too). It's super weird and sensual, and just plain fucked. Soundtracks can sometimes feel like a pointless album, but this is one that stands on it own. So much so that people from the Espers & Fursaxa and maybe some other people did a recreation of the music for freak folk ears.
Vikings can be pretty sweet, especially when they're not trying to sell credit cards (is anyone else getting sick of that ad campaign?). Here's definitely the coolest modern Viking. Not sure if old Moondog was an actual bum or what, but I know he was a long time street musician in New York. I never got a chance to see him, as I try to avoid New York as much as possible, being that it is a super overrated, asshole magnet (and I seriously think 1 out of 3 people there are faking/over exaggerating their accents). And I'm sure you read street musician and see what this guy looks like and you'd think it would be another lunatic playing a cat skull and a loaf of bread or some shit, but no, that isn't it at all. Moondog was a real composer, and a damned good one at that. Even your precious NPR uses him as crib music. Yeah, he writes rondos and things of that sort. So while he might have looked/acted like a nut job, the music was always pretty special.
Pals are always good to have around. They can help you move your shit (right Matt?), drink your beer, or give you that needed slap. Good thing Michael Hurley had some pals around to help him record this folky gem. Hurley is now trumpeted by the weirdo neo-folkies, but I really don't give a fig about them. But I can't fault their taste, as Hurley writes some really classic outsider folk. It can be inane just as often as it can be heartbreaking. That's no simple feat when you write songs about hamburgers and werewolves. You give it a go Longfellow and see what you come up with.
As I was updating my mediafire account I recently noticed that the Stickmen with Rayguns album has been downloaded over a 100 times. I'm sure that's not that much, but I started this whole thing with the expectation that a few of my friends might find an album they liked. So to see that many people somehow found their way to this miasma is pretty surprising. But that, as well as some of the other more downloaded albums, suggest that the few people who do download from here are interested in punk. Here's something for those people then. Classic powerviolence (dumb term I know) that most will probably have. But if you don't and you feel like punching a baby in the face then this is the right music for you.
Summer school is back on. And you have no idea how excited I am to teach technical writing. I think we'll watch the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, ride a few roller coasters, and let the typical summer hi jinx ensue. Too bad there's no students that look like Courtney Thorne-Smith (in 80s surfer style). But enough about my banal existence. On with the music. I figure the blues is something most white guilt aficionados go for, and I'm sure there's a few of you out there, so why not post this treat. As everyone knows, Chicago has been home to one of the best blues scenes of all time. No need for a history lesson at the moment, but you can go look it up if you wish. It's okay, I'll wait. Anyways, here's one of my faves from my hometown. Taylor was definitely ripped off too many times and never got the true accolades he deserved (Jon Spencer, you own Hound Dog a career). Really snarling double guitar (on a fucked up Teisco or some shit) sans bass and simplified rhythms makes for a pretty fucking classic, yet original, blues sound. Yeah, Elmore James is an influence, but Taylor made this shit sound punk. And "Give me back my Wig" is just great, especially since I'm always afraid that some bandit with abscond with mine.
This cover is from the first 7" which is included here, but I've posted the comp cd that came out on Behemoth some years back. It's just that the cd cover sucks super bad (all black with the band name in tiny white lettering). And this cover is just so much better. Look at these dudes. And look at that pile of beer cans. That's exactly what this sounds like. It's slow, lumbering, hated filled punk made by some of the most bitter people in the world. I really think this band was formed with the expressed intend of pissing people off. That seems like a pretty good reason to get a group going. Definitely better than simply wanted to hang out with people who have similar haircuts/facial hair as you. Later incarnations were fronted by a 12 year old girl (I'm not kidding about that) and were about as weird as you'd expect. I still prefer the "classic" line up though. Definitely the best band to ever come out of St. Louis (Screamin' Mee-Mees a close second).
What evil fiend concocted this double down sandwich I've been hearing about? If you haven't seen the commercials or heard the hype it's basically a sandwich that replaces the bread with fried chicken and is full of bacon and cheese. Despite looking absolutely disgusting, I'm oddly compelled to try one of these monstrosities. Until that day (I'm sure I'll have to be quite drunk) I'll just enjoy DJ Scotch Egg's homage to the Colonel. Don't think that this is some lame turntablism. I don't even think he has a turntable. I believe that all the sounds produced here are either a product of his deranged yelps or his circuit bent gameboy. And it's pretty obvious that he's playing a gameboy. Of course, he's Japanese.
Here's something that I know does not exist on the internet. As far as I know me and maybe 3-4 other people have some cdrs I made of this show that my brother and I attended and he recorded. In college I went through a pretty heavy period of collecting all of their limited run releases and was able to amass quite a large catalog of their work. It was probably my obsessive streak which made me value their records so much (I did the same thing with C93 & NWW too). But I suppose that's the nature of fetish. In retrospect, I still think they have some work that really stands up well. And live they were really fun. I did like the fact they threw cymbals at audience members. In a room full of chin stroking snobs, it's pretty funny to watch as some American Apparel clad loser catches a metal frisbee with his mug. I think that's a pretty good lesson for most bands to learn. Even if you are actually a good band, most likely your fans are lame. So have fun with it.
I'm pretty sure that I'll pick up a few pervs just based on this dude's name. Sorry to disappoint folks, but this ain't that kind of beaver. No, no this is some sweet Miami funk (a scene that was pretty great, but remains super under-documented). Little Beaver takes a much more mellow approach to the funk then say a band that would be on Chains & Black Exhaust. Not hard hitting, but sweetly caressing party down funk. With some really wicked guitar work too. A 40 oz. of your finest malt beverage would probably be the proper accompaniment to enhance your listening pleasure.
I originally thought of posting Virgin Killer, but then I was afraid that there might be an influx of pedos stopping by around these parts (you can find the cover elsewhere if that's your thing). And really, that is a good album, but I prefer this one. And I'm sure plenty will scoff and talk shit about the Scorps, but those fools don't know shit. I can't really get into their whistle fest, feel good, Berlin wall tearing down ballads, but the early works rule. It's not Kraut rock, nor cock rock, just really good heavy German rock. No whistling either. That's always a good thing.
This is an obvious one if you've ever listen to any goth. And if you haven't, then here's a good starting place since it avoids all the cliches that make that genre so laughable. Sure, there's some super corny, cringe inducing lyrics, but there's also a pretty bad ass cover of Eno's "Third Uncle" and that kinda makes up for it. While most Bauhaus fans go for In the Flat Field, I will always choose this one. It has less of the glam/punk influence of their first album and gets much more experimental by adding folk/classical/etc. sounds. And it's always great to see Peter Murphy sporting his silver foil underwear.
It seems like the shoegaze revival has been picking up momentum over the last several years. And I'm fine with that. Most of those bands are listenable, but I really don't find any of them all that inspiring. But at least it's not some ironic revival (I'm telling you, soon hipsters will be sporting Emerson, Lake, and Palmer capes). Going back to the classics, this is a disc that all of my friends deride me for liking. But I say fuck them. This is my favorite shoegaze album. Rather than a bunch of mop top mopes noodling with a mountain of pedals, Swervedriver had the distortion and buzz but still remembered that they were playing rock music. So for all the My Bloody Valentine in the sound there's an equal part Stooges. That's why this record rules and my friends are dumb.
No laughing, but I love Cat Stevens, and I love Horace Andy's cover of "Where do the Children Play?" that opens this disc. And just look how smiley he is on the cover. When was the last time you beamed like that Sir Stoneheart? That should clue you into the feel good vibe that defines this album (greatly enhanced by Coxsone Dodd's awesome production). I assume Andy is more known now for his work with Massive Attack, and while I like them too, this is what I want to hear coming out of his mouth. Thus concludes reggae day.
Here's a reggae album for those who do not like reggae. Mittoo was considered the go to guy when someone needed some smooth organ tones in his reggae. A founder of the Skatalites and continuing on for many years after that, Mittoo played in nearly every reggae style. And that's probably why I like this album so much. There's some pretty heavy rock, funkified organ workouts, soul-inflected interludes, etc. It's really pretty eclectic. And I normally don't even like the organ. I think having to go to church as a kid ruined it for me forever. Thanks Jesus.
This one is a little more fucked then the following posts. Hudson has to be one of my most liked purveyors of classic dub. I get a sense that he's pretty well liked amongst those in the know, since I'm starting to see his name mentioned more frequently. Good for him. I can't pick a favorite album of his, and I normally have a hard time keep reggae artists discographies straight anyways, so I'll just go with this one. I read somewhere that this is often considered the first dub record, and I really don't know enough to argue otherwise, so I'll buy it. If you want to argue otherwise, I really don't care enough to listen. Sorry.
Might as well just make this an entire reggae day to atone for the sin of not post any prior. Normally, my reggae taste tends to run towards the weirder, more drugged out dub, and Dr. Alimantado isn't that, so here's a nice slice of lo-fi dubbery. Unfortunately, I really don't know shit about this album. I assume it's some comp of various affiliates of the New York based Wackies label. This isn't some black hole, dub dread that you'll get lost in or anything. It's dubby, but still pretty fun, replete with bad synths, digital drums, and all the trappings that later made this sound influential to the New York hip hop scene. Get the Red Stripe ready.
I've been told by a few to post some reggae, and post I shall. And I don't remember posting any before, so I'll start it off with one of my all time favorite reggae records. Walking around campus, you're guaranteed to run into at least one dimwit sporting a Bob Marley shirt. I even asked my students about this phenomenon, and the only response I could get out of them was "Well, he's good." Then I asked if they just started smoking pot and if they felt that there was some obligation to listen to that crap. But they just looked at me blankly. I then went on to explain that there's much better reggae available, but I could tell they were skeptical. And this is one of the discs I recommended to replaced their copy of Legend (they never have actual Marley albums, just greatest hits). I'm quite certain that not one of them actually gave this a listen, so here's your chance to be smarter that a bunch of sophomores.
I love the Marine Girls but had a hard time getting into Everything But the Girl despite Tracy Thorn's involvement. Lucky for me that I found this lost classic that marks the transition between bands (at least I think that's the chronology). It's just a stripped down guitar and a beautiful voice (sometimes double tracked). What fucking more do you need? There's even a solid cover of "Femme Fatale" to enhance your swoon. This is just one of those discs that regardless of my mood I find still enjoy it. And it's nice and short. I'll save the whole "why I hate long albums" rant for another post and save your eyes. Psst..Hey Matt...Download this. I'm pretty sure it's your type of thing.
I think I've said this before, but I just ain't to hip to the Beatles and their cult (i.e. everyone) who worships at their altar. While I'd rather listen to Yoko Ono any day of the week, I will admit that they did have some catchy tunes. I just prefer to hear those songs fucked fucked with by others. I know purist will cry sacrilege when hearing an album like this, but fuck them. Go stick you pencil dick in the spindle hole of your butcher cover. Berberian was the premiere mezzo-soprano of her time (at least that's what my limited opera knowledge tells me). And I do know she was married to Berio for a time. And here she tries to legitimize the mop tops' catalog by giving it the full on opera make over. It really is pretty ridiculous, but who cares. I'm sure Beatles fans will hate this, but fuck them. Two down, two to go.
I'm sure it can seem like I only like old things considering how much time I spend here making fun of dumb kids and their stupid trends. But that really isn't the case, and here's some evidence. Lubelski has made a pretty big name for herself from her contributions to albums by Tower Recordings, MV & EE, and other assorted beardies, as well as her membership in Metabolismus & Hall of Fame. And while those bands all have some moments that I can appreciate, this is her album that I enjoy the most. It's super pretty. Like sugar being poured into your ear holes. And in many ways it has a timeless (not it that it's an instant classic or anything) appeal in that on first listen it might be hard to tell exactly when this was originally released. Hmm...maybe that is why I like it so much. Maybe I really do hate everything new. My god, what a breakthrough.
Yep, she's the former Mrs. Miles Davis. The one responsible for turning him on to Sly & Jimi and in the process leading him toward those classic 70s big sun glasses albums that I cherish ever so much. But don't count her as some arm candy with bad ass hair. Her great soul/funk discs can be downright nasty. Listen to the S & M classic "He Was a Big Freak" and you'll see what I mean. This lady could really belt it out with conviction. I sometimes have fantasies about running an afro pick through her hair, but that's neither here nor there. For seekers of true funk only.
So it's mother's day; started in America right here in West by God Virginia. What a holiday. While I have an amazing mom & grandmother, the day itself doesn't really do it for me like Halloween or even Casimir Pulasky or Pączki day. It's nothing against mothers or anything, it's just that not being one (or even having a vagina for that matter) it just doesn't have that personal connection for me. But nevertheless, I figure today would be a nice day to celebrate fantastic females. And this might one of my all time favorite female fronted albums of all time. Fontaine is just super cool. Even Sonic Youth wanted to be her backing band when she became some old, bald, weirdo. But I prefer this album where she is backed by the Art Ensemble of Chicago. It's jazzy, folky, experimental, and rapturous. If you've dug that Catherine Ribeiro album or any of the other French things I've been posting, then pick this up. Thanks to Ryan for turning me on to this disc.
Here's one for when the night is winding down, and your teary eyes are burning so much that it stings to even have them closed. Time to pull this on and slip into the vortex. As I keep saying, the French rule and I'll defend them to the death. And Kanche is obviously of the tradition of Frenchies who produce some of my favorite music. His early 80s works (which you can find over at Mutant Sounds) is far bleak as well, but much more experimental. But I think age suits Kanche just fine, as now the experimentation might have been reduced, but the darkness remains. To sound dumb, I'll just make the easy comparison since it'll be pretty obvious to anyone whose heard this before, but I guess you can say he's the French Leonard Cohen. God, I hate writing shit like that.
Another album for a sunny day. Anatolian psych has been played pretty often at Scanner head quarters as of late. There's just so much good stuff that seemed to be passed over for so many years. And this comp does justice to the great Ersen and his mighty voice. Hip hop kids seem to have been on to these fuzzy/funky/Turkish rock for some time as he's been sampled numerous times. Psych heads seem to have come a little late to the scene though. But now with the reissues of Selda, Mogllar, 3 Hur El, etc (and those are just some of the popular ones) this scene is finally getting its due props. So if you're up for a night of belly dancing alone then tie up your bedlah and blast this shit loud.
Another warm weather treat that'll please you much in a way that an original (not these new ones, mind you) jell-o pudding pop would. Or maybe it's more like a choco-taco. Not sure about that. But I do know that this is one of my preferred Antipodean psych discs. And that under appreciated scene had some good uns too. McNamara plays all the instruments on this neglected slice of acid folk/fuzz psych goodness. I mean, he's no Todd Rundgren or anything, but still, I always like to hear about a dude who plays it all. And do it right. I'm looking at you depressive black metalers.
Nope, this isn't a post on the Chinese political movement of which I know little about. This is instead the collected works of what the Urinals became once they got all post-punky. And it's a perfect day for something like this. Summer has definitely come early this year. The semen smell trees have stopped their offensive odor, I've noticed many a low cut tank top (unfortunately no tube tops), and all the students are packing their shit in to go back to Jersey and start their summer collecting stds. And what a better way to send them off. A song like "I Hate You" somehow seems appropriate.
Since I'm getting all sophisticated here posting albums by geniuses and all, I figure I should post another disc that some of you snobs might like. So I'm sure the beret wearing lot of you are already familiar with Duchamp's art. The readymades, the kinetic art, all that other stuff. Maybe not so with his music. It's what you'd expect really. Time to light another gauloises, take a sip your absinthe, and savor your pretentiousness. Oh, you're as precious as that fool I saw walking around with a bowler hat and umbrella the other day.
This will probably be the only time I get a chance to post an album by someone who won a MacArthur genius grant. And really, she is a pretty talented lady. She describes herself as "a composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music theater works, films and installations." That's a lot of hats to wear. I can barely keep up with teaching, writing, and tying my shoes. So I'm impressed. As you'd probably guess from someone who's so prolific Monk's work is pretty difficult to describe. So let's see. It's pretty droney and there's some weirdo vocals and, yeah...Just download it.
So after a pretty good run of things mediafire decided to suspend my account. This is why the site is now riddled with dead links. I do not plan on re-upping them so don't bother asking. If a link dies, so be it. However, I will gladly try to fill requests assuming I have the album. Just leave a comment or send me an e-mail. It might just take some time though. And if any readers actually want to help out and provide links to replace the dead ones that would be great.
As far as the content goes there's no logic behind the selections. These are simply albums I enjoy and figure there's other weirdos out there somewhere who might as well. Basically, the site is here for me to complain about mundane things and ridicule my lame existence.