Monday, February 28, 2011

Liquid Sky OST

There used to be this really great record sale somewhere North of Chicago. Huge tents full of thousands of great finds. I pulled this one out of the dollar bin even though I had only a vague inclination as to what it would sound like. This was well before everyone's grandma had some minimal synth fetish. So I hadn't seen the movie and barring "Me and My rhythm Box" I didn't know what to expect. What I was happy to find is some heavy reliance on the Fairlight. If I ever get to the point where my misanthropy becomes all consuming, I plan on fabricating a water heater, aluminum foil, some pvc piping, and other assortments and living the rest of my life as a robot. This will serve as the perfect soundtrack to that new mode of living. I give myself a few more years before this plan in enacted.


Skullflower-Last Shot at Heaven

Matthew Bower's work ethic makes me feel like I my veins are full of molasses or something. How the hell is that guy in ten thousand bands? There's no need to listen them all because my fingers only have so much stamina and you probably already have heard of most of them (or at least you should have by now). This band went through so many different musical approaches that it's difficult to post just one album since I love pretty much all of them. But this is the one that I think will appeal to the broadest fan base. But maybe you have a different personal favorite. That's fine, we're all entitled to our own opinions. Too bad I happen to have the correct one and you don't.


Frolkhaven-At the Apex of High

I really fucking hate the Police. I mean the band, not officers (though I have little love for them either). Friends, please stop trying to convince me they are good. They aren't. You have as much of a chance of getting me to listen to them as you would a Bob Marley album or whatever those dickless, privledged fucks who pretend their Africans shit out. Are we supposed to be impressed by all of Sting's claims of marathon fuck sessions. I know for a fact that Sting is much more contend servicing himself. Just listen to how masturbatory and self indulgent every thing he has ever been involved with for evidence. So, you're probably wondering, what's the point of this rant? It's all because, if you didn't already know, this band was some early work by Steward Copeland. There's the connection. But be not afraid, this is actually good. And much weirder than you're probably guessing. No budget, garage voyages into the cosmos. Jazzy, noodlely, and spacey. Now I almost feel guilty for mentioned the Police connection. Despite that horrendous taint, this album is still great.


Ike Turner-A Black Man's Soul

In the pantheon of famous and well loved wife beaters, Turner seems to become the patsy. Take a look. Lennon was known to let the five fingers fly. Fuck, he even sings about it. But who talks about that? Michael Jordan's wife seems well acquainted with the back of his hand, but then again, he was able to put a ball in a hole, so I guess it's cool. But when it comes to poor Ike, the dude was never able to get mentioned without some allusion to his lustful fists. Too bad, because he was pretty bad ass (at punching ladies' faces). Some people prefer his pioneering early rock & roll (we can debate whether he actually invented it at another time), but I like this a bit more. This is another one that I'm sure has been sampled to death due to so many obvious breaks, but I don't listen to that shit so I'm only guessing.


The Sundowners-Goat Songs

It's a well established fact that goats are the third best animal on the planer (getting edged out by elephants and owls). So naturally, an e.p. entitled Goat Songs must be good, right? And I don't think this disappoints. I really don't know much of what this is about. There's a pretty fucked Leonard Cohen cover for people who go for that type of thing. But what I think draws people to this release is that it's purported to be a collaboration between Will Oldham (Palace) and Bill Callahan (Smog). At least that's what I seem to remember. This came out back in the early 90s so I might be wrong about that. My mind is in a gradual state of decay. Even if you could care less about those two sad sacks, this is still worth a listen. I admit, they both have moments of greatness, but there's also been much disappointment. Last time I saw Will Oldham, he was wearing nut-hugging cut off jean shorts. Not sexy.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Amebix-No Sanctuary

If you only know Amebix as a patch sewn onto some crusty guy's pants then you are sorely missing out. You don't have to live in the gutter to enjoy this. In fact, I'm sure plenty of snooty people who claim not to like punk would get into this band if they just opened up their ear holes. If you like post-punk things, we'll they've got the throbbing bass sounds that people seem to be drawn to. More into metal? There's an overlap between their sound and Motorhead, which is what many have already mentioned. But then there's some other things that make this sound much unlike the stereotypical punk albums. Keyboards, hand claps, attempts at Russian folk? Probably not what you thought I was going to mention, right? See so you can't just dismiss genres so quickly.

Link Removed

For Against-Echelons

I can't say I remember too much of driving through Lincoln Nebraska. That large tract of land that separates Chicago from Albuqueque that I'd frequently have to drive through becomes pretty fucking undefined. Of course, there's a certain charm in that almost oppressively vast sky, but the lack of reference points can also make you batty. So how does this contender for the best British post punk/ early shoegaze album come from god damned Lincoln? I've played this so many times to friends and then tell them it's a bunch of cornhuskers and not a single person believes me (okay, they don't have the accents down as good as Alain I suppose). One good thing (and perhaps the only) about everybody carrying around a computer in their phone is that I can prove I am right in a much quicker manner now (though I have to use someone else's phone since mine doesn't actually do that). But wait, back to the question. I am serious. How the hell did this come to be? A ten star masterpiece.


Ministry-The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste

Sorry folks, but you really should have seen this one coming. I mean, I talk about Chicago bands pretty frequently. I even posted their Pailhead side project. So save the sneers. I get enough from my students as it is. I've been hearing (not necessarily listening) them from way back when Jourgensen preferred to be called Alain and in sang with a horrid faux-Brit accent. Since it was so ubiquitous it makes sense that I'd come to like it. And I'll make a prediction now. Sometime in the somewhat near future we will see a return of bands imitating the Wax Trax sound. This might send a shiver down the spine of some of you, but really, how many fakegaze bands do we really need?


Don King-One Two Punk (Knockout)

If you check the labels for this post and DNA and Mars mean anything to you, then this is something to grab. While those two No Wave icons were dealing with the more abstract and abrassive edges of the NY sound, this "super group" heads for the rhythmic. The Latin tinged noise funk gestures seem to have few analogs. I guess Konk and Liquid Liquid were doing things sort of this ilk, but this one weirds them both out. I've sure there's a few other bands I could reference and then this would all make sense, but nothing's coming to mind at the moment, and this isn't something I really feel like sitting here and thinking about.


Yeah Yeah Noh-When I am a Big Girl

Last posting day, I focused entirely on music of the 90s. There was no reason aside from the fact that it just popped into my head and I thought it might lead to some diverse results yet still maintain some time of format. So, on that point I guess today I'll go with the 80s since it's another decade people seem to fetishize. You can say what you want, but I don't remember it being all that great. But this album (a comp of their first few e.p.s actually) is that great. I think all it will take is a listen of the lead track, "Cottage Industry," and you'll agree. Some quick glances around the internet seemed to suggest that these guys were pretty popular at the time. I don't seem to remember anyone talking about them.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Ropers

Don't know much about this group so here's my guess. They're probably American but had a massive hard on for the U.K. There may or may not be a cute girl in the band who'd probably play bass. Their hair must have had some shaggieness to it. Perhaps a member wore glasses. The certainly wore jeans and tee shirts although a buttoned up shirt with a possible paisley print might have been worn at some point. Aside from these speculations, they were a really great noise/dream pop band. If I remember correctly, this might be a comp of their early 7"s. Not certain about that though.


Bill Fox-Transit Byzantium

Maybe you remember that band The Mice that were purveyors of fine Cleveland garage pop. Then again maybe you don't. Either way it really doesn't matter since here's your chance to hear what happened after they split. As expected, there's some really great pop songs. Things start off a little folky but then the pop really comes in. And it's pop in a real classic sense. Just a really pleasant album and I don't mean that in a pejorative sense. It's 70 here and it's fucking weird. It should be 30s or so. This is the perfect album for right now.


Rollerskate Skinny-Novice

Everything ever written about this band has mentioned that it includes Kevin Shield's brother. So there you go, his brother was in this band. No, I'm not going to make some silly claim like these guys were better than My Bloody Valentine (little is), but I can say this is a damned fined e.p. There's something about this format that really works for me. Sometimes all you need are just two lengthy, noisy tracks to clear your mind from all those thoughts that are slowly contributing to that brain tumor slowly growing in your skull. You might want to get that check out.


Pale Saints-The Comforts of Madness

I know shoegaze gets a lot of jaw action these days with all the kids trying their hardest to sound like bands that existed right around the time they were being born. I'm still discovering plenty of good things from that time that seemed to have flown under my radar. But here's a band that I was familiar with (bought most of their albums for a dollar a piece) but don't seem to be talked about by people. I dunno. I always thought they had a lot going on for themselves. Definitely the guitar is pretty great so that can't be the problem. Is it the vocals that turn people off? They can be a bit much at times but I think they fits the songs proper. So tell me young 'uns, why not throw this band's name around when some hack wants to poll you on your top ten records that you blatantly try to replicate?


Souled American-Notes Campfire

I've gotten a few messages and e-mails from people asking about why I didn't post this or that Chicago band since I seem to often write on bands from back home. And there's been some great suggestions that will mostly likely makes the virtual pages around here. However, no one has asked for this band. Why people? For many years, these guys have held the crown of best Chicago band. No joke. If I had to list a top ten Chicago bands of all time, they would definitely find a place somewhere on it. Some of this might be a little too alt-country (lousy term) for a few of you, but stick around because it gets oddly spacey too. Great for listening to when sending late night drunken text messages that you'll regret the following date.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Spacemen 3-Dreamweapon: An Evening of Contemporary Sitar Music

I once saw a girl that had this cover tattooed on her entire bicep and I instantly fell in love with her. Not because of her looks or anything. I just knew that anyone who had a Spacemen 3 tattoo that large must be a fascinating person. But I never did talk to her so who knows. Normally, I'd be really reluctant to endorse any band tattoos. Do you really still like that Gruntruck tattoo you got all those years back? But Spacemen 3 are so amazing people should be stamping their face with this logo. There entire catalog is essential, but this one always stands out. Not the space rock/gospel/blues/psych jams as usual, but instead, this is their nod to LaMonte Young's drone music. I remember when this came out I was initially a little disappointed that this wasn't some sitar jam. Anyways, it still works for me.



Charlie Rouse-Two is One

I'm sure this one has been picked to the bones by crate diggers long ago. It's logical since there is so much to sample here. Even though this was released on Strata-East it doesn't seem to have that spirituality often associated with that label. Instead, this seems like something that would be the prefect soundtrack if you were to recreate some 1970s crime capers. There's some slow burners, funked up bumpers, and things in between. After I won a grand last night playing trivia (see how cool I am) I unwound with a listen to this album and it really did the trick. The beers helped too.


Dawson-Barf Market: You're Ontae Plums

Here's an album that'll make you want to dance like a gorilla and slug some poor sap in the face. Normally, when this comes on my speakers I'll flail around like some spasmodic (good thing I live alone since I couldn't take the embarrassment of someone seeing me convulse in that way). This reminds me of bIG fLAME (already posted) in many ways. This Scottish band was so great that I actually get angry when I think about how under rated they remain. But I am one to flip my wig at the slightest instance. Just ask that stupid broad who almost hit my car twice today in a parking lot. This dummy threated to call the cops on me for "slander." But I don't have time to explain to idiot hicks what that word even means so she got off with just a dressing down. Anyways, this is a good un. But what does 'ontae' mean?


Friday, February 11, 2011

Mighty Baby-A Jug of Love

I've said this a million times so I'm sure you're sick of reading it. Christ, I'm sick of writing about it, but it just seems to be an issue that keeps intruding into my life and causing me moments of anxiety and severe aggravation. I fucking hate hippies and I want them gone. A few nights ago I had to endure their horrible clothes & haircuts, their noxious odors (fuck you too patchouli), and their inconsiderate gyrations as I played trivia all because some minor jam band was playing across the street. So I suppose it's easy to forget a time when hippies weren't such vacuous wastes of atoms and hoarders of filth. After the Action (see past post) went bust they dropped the mod and started emulating the Dead. Some where in there a few of these guys did that Habibiyya album I also posted a while back. So as far as hippies go, I can deal with this lot.


Melvins-Joe Preston

I think Joe Preston is the Ronnie Wood (see my post on the Birds) of a later generation. And by that I mean this guy has played in so many bands that I love. Let's take a look:

-Men's Recovery Project
-High on Fire
-Sunn 0)))
-The Whip
-Fucking Harvey Milk

And there's still a million other projects that were enhanced by Mr. Preston's participation. Now, after see that list, is there really any reason why you wouldn't download this (assuming you don't already have it).


Octant-Shock No Par

A pal and I were recently talking about how we could easily start a blog that focuses exclusively on great 90s bands that never seemed to get much affection. Granted, there was plenty of shit during that decade, and I'm really not a nostalgic person, so it's not like I'm trying to hop in a time machine and travel back anytime soon. Anyways, this was my first nomination for bands to be included. To be honest, I might be a little more intrigued by the premise than the execution. The album is really fine, don't get me wrong, but the idea of using home constructed robots to play your drums is what I appreciate. I've already gone on about my love of metal men and how they should (in nearly every instance) replace as many humans as possible, so naturally, this was going to be something that I would enjoy. Anybody out there want to going me in building a droid army and attempt global conquest/human annihilation? People we can achieve total global destruction by 2120 if we unite.


Phantom Tollbooth-Power Toy

Since I'm getting around to requests, I should probably post this as it was ask for about 4 years ago (sorry about that). See, my buddy had my external hard drive that contains a large portion of my music. And after several months without, it was finally returned. So now I can finally get around to something I should have done lone ago. To be honest, I haven't heard this is such a long time that any description will probably be pretty useless. I remember that there's a Yo La Tengo connection and that they were from New York. In my mind it's kinda 80s sounding art rock. But for all I know this could be something entirely else.


Robbie Basho-The Falconer's Arm I & II

There was a recent request for volume two and I figured I might as well include the first. It can't possibly hurt. I've already posted some Basho so if you don't know what this is about yet, then look at my previous write up. All you need to know is this is pure acoustic guitar alchemy. And look at that amazing outfit he's sporting on the cover. Clearly, he was a man of exquisite taste.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Charlie Tweddle-Fantastic Greatest Hits

I've posted a lot of albums that have probably elicited some quizzical looks after a precursory listen (unless you were already in the know). But this one is almost from an entirely different planet. I suppose that at its core lies a country album. Not some weepy, 70s nudie suited country album. Something more akin to the Legendary Stardust Cowboy. But then there's all of these bizarre sound experiments. I can't say that I know a country album (if this is, in fact, a country album) that reaches such levels of dementedness. It's as weird as this experience I had a few nights ago when sitting alone late night down at the local. Some adolescent, certainly underage, was loudly singing the praises of Ronald Reagan and the "golden age of American." Odd, since I am quite sure that this youth was born in the 90s. But what makes it even more unusual was that he was actually wearing a Reagan/Bush 1984 campaign tee shirt. Oh, this also wasn't some ironic hipster either. And that just made me wish there was more vasectomies performed in the 1980s. Fuck the kids.


Joe Torres-Latino con Soul

Listening to this, I'm sure many of you are thinking Nuyorican, or at least something from New York. And you're kinda right, as Torres actually hailed from Spanish Harlem, but grew up in L.A. And that relocation does make a difference in the overall sound. Even though I went through a really heavy Latin soul period, I'm still someone who speaks with little knowledge. So if you're interested you can find a little bit out about this guy on line. But this is his only album, so there's not all that much. So just download it if it's your think, if not, then stick around and the weather is bound to change.


Charles tyler-Eastern Man Alone

We're just going to hop all over the place today because...well, why not. So why not give up the jazz. And what a treat. Honestly, this might be my favorite jazz record of all time. Of course, it comes from the esp-disk catalog, but this isn't some free form mess. The thing that really makes this one dear to my heart is the really unusual instrumentation. Tyler's on alto. And that's not all that weird. But then he's soloing over two basses and a cello. And that's it. How's that quartet for you? I've heard things that use bowed strings in a jazz context obviously, but this arrangement just seems so alien, and attractive, to me. But I'm sure there's plenty of people who'll just say that it gives them a head ache.


The Drags-45x3

I lived in Albuquerque for some length of time, and upon departure, I swore never to return. My parents have threatened several times to relocate to the desert and I made it evident that I would never visit. Yet, now I find myself applying for two positions back in the land of enchantment. That's what happens when you get old and want to move and nothing is available. While I was there, I saw several great shows, but not one decent local band. And that is because I never had the chance to see this group, as I believe they moved away right before I got there. A pity really, as they are probably my favorite group from that whole 90s garage revival. At the time, I found most of it to be pretty redundant, and nostalgia was never my bag, but these guys (and girl) just played some seriously good rock. Perfect for your upcoming weekend drinkathon.


They, Themselves or They-Ribbons & Bows...Angel Dust & Magick Wands 7"

First of all, I'll say that some remaining copies of this 7" seem to still be for sale (how is this?) so send some of your cash over the the nice folks at Malt Duck. There's no need to be miser since this is worth it. A bit difficult to describe, but in that appealing way. I seem to hear some alien jazz tones that crept into so U.K. D.I.Y. cassette for olden times. I bought this when it came out and it continues to get play. And with someone as fickle as I am, that means something. And I really love this girl's voice. Well, really, I love pretty much everything about this 7". I know I've gone on about how much shit sounds the same nowadays. This does not fall into that grave.