Friday, December 12, 2008

Don't Call Me Daddy

This is my last day of work for a week. I have to drive out of state for a custody hearing in Illinois on Tuesday that I'm not looking forward to. Custody laws never favor the father, even if the mother and her entire family are literally insane. Yes, insane. And that's not just talk, buddy, that's the truth.

I know nobody cares about my personal life, and there's a lot of other shit I want to write about here that would probably be a lot more interesting, but I don't really have the time. Between preparing for court, this new job, promoting the new Korova full length (which you should buy, by the way), and trying to stay calm through all this recession bullshit, I am swamped here.

And I have another problem. Do you know how hard it is to meet women when you're still married and you don't lie about it? Something about a conversation that is interrupted by "Hold on, I have a new text message," and continues when she says "Oh, who is it?" and then further continues when I say "My wife. She's asking about the child support payment and the month hasn't even started yet. God she is such a bitch" is a total turn off to most females.

Maybe I need to have a set of rules for the women I talk to. I think they're called "standards" but I don't know because I've never had them before. I think I can devise a pretty good set of rules here:

1. Must be a Mod.
2. Preferably African American. Or African...British. I'd like that better because then you get the cool accent. I'd also settle for just African.
3. Must own their own scooter.
4. Must tolerate me listening to/talking about hardcore music.
5. Must have a good job but complain about it.
6. Must not listen to the Bright Eyes
7. Must not read Jane Austen
8. Must drink IPAs.
9. I'm out of stipulations. I never really had any in the first place I just made all this shit up.

Any and all of these rules are excusable if she is or was ever a member of the Vivian Girls.



Baroness-The Red Album

I've been listening to this non-stop for the past few days. When this record came out a friend of mine said that it sounded "Like what Led Zeppelin would be doing in 2007" and I think that's pretty accurate. The CD came out on Relapse Records and the vinyl was a double LP on Hyperrealist, but I think it's long out of print.

This file is hotlinked because I'm at work and can't upload. The file has a password, and it's "thecanyonbehindher"

Monday, December 8, 2008

Rock Me (Amadeus)

Work is kind of stressful. I've been showing up at 6AM the past few days. Fuck...at least I have a job. I don't really have a lot to say. But someday, someday soon, I will rant for a long time.

I have to be up North next week and I am not looking forward to the cold.



This weekend I saw Legion who played a whole bunch of new shit that ruled. Earlier that day, the Crimson Tide lost. It was a good day.

Soundgarden-UltraMegaOK

From 1987 on SST Records. This is the best Soundgarden and if you don't agree then you don't know shit.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Dirty Dead-Carnivorous Lunar Activities (Nothing But a Nightmare) Review

I have to catch up on some review stuff I've been neglecting.

I don't really understand horrorcore as a genre. I mean, I understand psychobilly. I think it's stupid, but I get it, and with psychobilly you at least have a lot of room to experiment with the sound, so there are some really great bands in the genre that stand out among the thousands of terrible ones. I don't think there are any bands in horrorcore that hold that distinction. It's all terrible. And the bands can talk about their list of influences and how broad their musical pallet is all they want, but they're lying. They all sound like Graves-era Misfits and all their songs about the most inane shit they try to pass off as a "statement on the social condition of the United States" or something really pretentious like that. Yeah, I saw Night of the Living Dead, too, and George A. Romero you are not.

I got this CD in the mail on Halloween and I knew it was going to be terrible because it came with a one sheet and I have decided that if you need a one sheet written in third person to send to my blog, you are not a good band. However, it had cool looking Pushead style artwork and a creepy intro and I got really, really stoked. But I shouldn't have, because once the creepy intro was over it turned out to sound exactly like I thought it would. Actually, some of the music isn't that bad, but there's absolutely no range in it at all. There are 26 songs on this CD and they all sound exactly the same. Outside of a couple of intros on songs and a couple of breaks, I can't tell any of this apart. And the vocals are awful. If you can't sing, don't sing. And if you can't sing, especially don't sing and then go and compare yourself to Glenn Danzing, because that is fucking heresy. Maybe if there was more edge in the voice then the parts where he's out of key wouldn't sound so bad. I don't know. There is also a part on "Meet Me at the Morgue"* where the guitar goes completely out of time and for some reason they left in the mix.

MySpace
Interpunk

*Do stupid song titles get you punk points? Because they have 24 of them on this CD plus two covers, one of which is an absolutely terrible (albeit obligatory, I guess) cover of "Hybrid Moments" that is so fast it strips the song of any of it's great qualities. "Hybrid Moments" is my second favorite Misfits song of all time (right after "Children in Heat"), and it's really disappointing to hear it ruined like this. The other cover is "Maneater" by Hall and Oats, which I find completely unnecessary and I'm sick of bands doing "ironic" covers of Top 40 songs and thinking they just came up with a totally new and unique joke to pull on everybody. For the record, though, it's the only song on this CD that's worth listening to.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Punk Rock in the Wrong Hands

I usually take a bottle of water to work with me to drink at my desk and fill it up throughout the day. The past couple of days, which have been mind numbingly boring, I have been drinking 9 or 10 bottles of water a day without realizing it (I think I just go through the motions as a way to pull my mind away from my work -- which is tedious as hell -- for two seconds). The positive result of this is that I have to go to the bathroom like twice an hour, which is a good excuse to get up from my desk for two minutes. The negative result of this is that I have to go to the bathroom like twice an hour, and the people around me all think I have over-active bladder issues. Oh yeah, the girl who sits next to me is smoking hot. Just sayin'.


I wish I lived in an era populated by fashionable women who could sing, like PP Arnold


My boss just left for the day and informed me that tomorrow, being the last day of work for the week, counts as casual Friday. So "blue jeans" (not just any jeans..."blue jeans") are in dress code. Everyone is excited. I don't get it.

pg. 99-Document 8

This band was awesome. This album is awesome. The label that put it out rules. You need to go buy it ASAP. It got re-pressed on vinyl earlier this year. But seriously, you need to listen to it...and you need to buy it so you can read the lyrics. And Robotic Empire deserve your money, they're good peoples.

Monday, November 24, 2008

He's Cursed

The new job is kind of boring. It's a little more stressful because I have a lot to keep up with, but it's not terrible, really. I have my own space and nobody really bothers me. I can only update on my breaks, though. And I have a cold that I wish would go away.

Korova (how many times will I link to my own band's page? However many it takes for you to offer us a record deal!) played in Tuscaloosa this weekend. Totally last minute show at a bar called Egan's. We figured maybe 5-10 people would show up and by the time we went on the bar was pretty much packed and went completely nuts as soon as we started playing. To describe everything that happened before the bar pulled the plug after 3 songs would be a pointless endeavour because it wouldn't come close to explaining the sheer pandemonium of our set. We were permanently banned from playing there (to be fair, they had pretty good reasons). The (much bigger) bar next door told us we were welcome to play whenever we wanted, and I woke up the next morning to e-mails from Tuscaloosa bands offering us shows whenever we were able to make it back down. Good times.



Butthole Surfers-Brown Reasons

The first release. This band is awesome.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm not alive

If you actually read the shit I post instead of just skipping down to the music, you already know that the department I'm in at work is set to be dissolved in mid-December. I just got word that it will, in fact, be done tomorrow. There are three of us that all share a cubicle here; two of us are being let go, and one is being transferred to another assignment in a different department. That person will get to keep their same rate of pay and get their own cubicle (so they don't have to deal with the shit described in the next paragraph). That person is me. Somehow my superiors are under the impression that I'm a good employee.

This could not have happened sooner. The girl who I share a cubicle with that sits on my right -- the one I get along with -- and I are starting to really hate the other girl who shares this over sized bathroom stall with us. We've never spoken about it, but there have been enough instances of eye contact while this girl is pissing me the fuck off for me to know we both feel the same way about it. She's currently watching a reality TV show on her computer about an old woman that is selling crack with her much younger boyfriend to "provide for her family", but her daughter is Karen Clark Sheard, who has won a bunch of Grammys and I assume makes enough money to pay her mom at least enough to not sell drugs on the street. It's got a lot of really loud yelling and swearing and really terrible music and this girl insists on listening to it at a volume that makes it impossible for me to concentrate on anything else. I've been typing this paragraph for 15 minutes and it doesn't even make sense to me because all I can process is this family's conversation over dinner about how they all need to live in the glory of God. I just asked her the name of the show so I could post a link, but she took it as me being somewhat interested in the content and I missed what she said the actual name was, but I do know that it comes via BET.com. They talk a lot about prayer and being good Christians on this show. What the fuck?



Vitamin X-Full Scale Assault

This is the newest Vitamin X LP, produced by Steve Albini. This is definitely the best they've ever sounded. The drums and guitars sound sweee-eeeet. Two songs feature guest vocals by John Brannon of Negative Approach and I don't really feel it. His voice sounds weird on these recordings and Vitamin X don't need gimmicks like famous guest singers to win me over. But I guess they enjoyed doing it. They should have just let me record his parts, I would have sounded way better(pretentious much?). Tankcrimes put this out, who are a really cool DIY label from the Bay Area and Scotty is a wicked nice dude, so help him out and buy the record, you cheap asshole.

The download was originally upped on Short, Fast, Loud

P.S. Eliot-Bike Wreck

And on a continuation of todays hotlinking theme, I provide you with the Ackley's...I mean, P.S. Eliot's Bike Wreck Demo, via I Could Die Tomorrow (who bring it via Puzzle Pieces). I guess this might be the demo the band gives out for free at shows, but I never picked one up because it was in the same fabric cover as the King Everything demo that came out last year so I just assumed it was that. I've probably already said enough in this paragaph to where if the members of P.S. Eliot found this post they'd be super pissed off and I'd have to deal with the Crutchfields giving me dirty looks for the next 15 years, but I will continue.

This demo is so lo-fi and crappy and awesome. The total lack of any sort of production makes the music sound so much better. There's something about girly pop punk that sounds like it was recorded in a tin can that gets me off. The songs are awesome. The writing is awesome. P.S. Eliot doesn't sound like this anymore and I honestly think I like this incarnation better.

Oh shit, is that promo pic for the wrong band? Shit...maybe they should do a reunion so I could write about them instead.

Monday, November 17, 2008

No Headline

Cheat and lie, cheat and lie

The show in Alabaster ended up being a complete bust. After dealing with an embarrassingly low level of professionalism from the club "manager" (long story), we ended up shrugging our shoulders and driving back to Birmingham. We ended up playing a house show to about 20 people, which was a great show and a fun time. Rusted, a new band from Birmingham made up of younger kids, played the house show,(their first), and were awesome. They were vocals, bass, and drums, and played bottom heavy sludge that made you wanna' groove out.



Vivian Girls-Self Titled

This album is getting a lot of press, but I don't imagine a lot of punk kids will check it out because they're the kind of band that hipsters get into and Pitchfork raves about. Regardless, this album is an easy listen but isn't a bore. They have a myriad of influences that mesh well together so it doesn't sound disjointed in the least. They take some obvious cues from the shoegazer style but have melodies that remind me of old Detroit girl groups, but play it all in a style reminiscent of the old Olympia style (Beat Happening, anyone?). I'm a couple of months late jumping on this, but I wanted some time for the hype to cool off before I admitted I liked it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

In the end, she drank petrol

My band, Korova, is playing at some warehouse in Alabaster, about a half an hour South of Birmingham, tonight. I hate to admit it, but shows like this seem to function as "practice shows" for bigger places. Hell, the place might be packed for all I know. I don't know what the hell there is for kids to do in Alabaster, so maybe they just go to this place every weekend night.



I'm sort of weirded out by the current state of the underground music scene. It's so fickle and sectioned off. We've all installed glass ceilings above our bands and say it's in the name of DIY or "staying within the scene", but I don't really see how being DIY means "be poor at all costs". To me, being punk and being DIY simply means maintaining your autonomy. Sure, there are a lot of political things the go right along with the punk mindset, and I believe in the communal aspect of hardcore music, but using that as the reason to never try to have an audience outside of your close friends isn't exactly progressive thinking. We're all playing the same clubs to the same kids all the time, and preaching to the choir. We're getting nothing done. I don't know. Tomorrow I'll probably bitch about outsiders making it big and saying they still believe in the struggle. I'm such a jaded old man.



The Loose Skrews-More Than a Few

I mentioned them in a post the other day. Drunk punk from Atlanta with an obvious nod to early Skrewdriver (hence the name), and a heavy dose of Anti Seen style punk rock thrown in to spice it up. They've got a new record coming out. This is their first album that they self released, and they have a second full length that came out on that punk label that the guy from Hairball 8 tried to start, but I guess he fucked over his bands or something. I don't know anything about that. Fuck psychobilly. I opened the liner notes for this CD up while it was uploading and, what do ya' know, I'm on the "thank you" list. I wonder how many thank you lists I'm on that I don't even know about. God, I'm such an egotistical prick...

There's some other band called the Loose Skrews and I just found their web site. They do weddings and whatnot, and have really pompous bios of each member like they're going to be on VH1 one day and this shit will be totally necessary. They describe their individual members with unintentionally funny exaggerations like "Doug Nations - without a doubt - one of the best bass players in the southeast area" and "Rhonda Porter - Our Angel voiced sweetheart", and I guess most everybody in the band used to be in another band called The Buttercats, which I hope is a name that is completely indicative of their style. The funniest thing is that they're also based out of Georgia. I wonder how many embarrassing booking mix-ups there have been over this. I also wonder if the other band knows that their name is an obvious reference to a legendaryn band that regretably went on to be white supremacists in the 80s. I'll bet they do. They look like they get down to White Rider

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"God" is "Everywhere"

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

I don't really have a cubicle, because it's not a cube. I share it with two other people, so it's too long to be a cube. It's like a rectacle. Anyway, it's annoying as fuck, because the girl on my left is always listening to awful music or watching soap operas on her computer. Of course I don't say anything because honestly, it's not even worth it, but it seriously annoys the hell out of me. The other day I came in and for some reason she actually showed up to work on time for a change and was booting up her computer and listening to Aaron Neville. Seriously, Aaron Fucking Neville (I believe "Fucking" actually is his middle name). I didn't know people still knew who Aaron Neville was, let alone listened to him of their own volition.

I once worked with a woman who listened to nothing but Shania Twain, and I kind of feel the same way about her and this girl who sits next to me now. I wasn't aware that Shania Twain actually sold records, I kind of just assumed she was one of those people that just had videos on MTV and made money from endorsements or something, like a Nascar driver. I'd never met anyone who actually admitted to liking her music. Maybe I'm crazy. Or maybe I have avoided the outside world for so long I haven't met all these crazies who think this shit is good. I consider myself lucky though, because it seems like people who get really into bad music go crazy and kill themselves in front of their obsessions' houses.

Well, fuck me, I just looked at the Aaron Neville web site and it turns out he's playing Birmingham tomorrow night. I guess maybe people still give a shit.



Anges Bernelle-Father's Lying Dead on the Ironing Board

I know I played a track from this LP on the radio show once. I picked this record up for a dollar because it looked interesting, and it is. The liner notes are really good and paint a good picture of cabaret music and the political connotations behind it, and the music is superb. I don't really know anything about the genre, but this makes me want to check it out more. Dry sarcasm, macabre humor, it's all here. According to her Wikipedia, she was more of an actress than a singer, but it doesn't mean this album isn't great.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Going Dead

I'm pretty tired/hungover from the Municipal Waste show last night, but it's worth it because they put on a pretty intense live show. I mostly stayed out of the action but managed to get sucked into the pit a couple of times. I spilled more beer than I drank during their set, and this morning I woke up and went to work still drunk from the night before. Punk rock, right? Download below for those of you who for some reason don't know what I'm talking about.



I was at a friend's house before the show last night and she pulled out an old Chess Records single from '61 by a singer named Betty James. I'd never heard it before but it was spectacular and I can't find any info on her online. I just did a quick eBay search for it and found a copy that's at 30 bucks with another day left to go. It's so weird running into these ultra obscure 45s from the 60s that are so great and yet so unknown. I mentioned the Thee Avantees to her, because they're my prime example of the case for obscure music. They recorded a single called "I Want to Understand" sometime in the late 60s that wound up on the first volume of Quagmire and the liner notes of the CD say there's no info. on them. That's depressing because these guys managed to go into the studio and lay out one of my top 5 favorite rock n roll songs of all time and I don't know if they recorded more stuff or went on to be in other bands that I would like or what. I've been trying to track down a copy of the original record for years now, if only just to hear the B side, but I've asked about it in record stores all over the country and nobody's ever even heard of it. Music hoarding is making me weary.



Municipal Waste-The Art of Partying

I downloaded this from another blog, but I don't remember which one. I have the 12" picture disc version, which looks bad ass.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Life's a bummer

So, apparently (I don't know how I missed this before), Meghan McCain is a "punk rocker" and listens to "punk rock" and is going around telling everybody "what it is" to be "down with the Ramones." Now, the Ramones are the greatest band of all time, but a lot of complete douche bags listen to them, and she seems like a good example. I know I don't "know" her, but I know one thing for certain; you can always tell when a Ramones "fan" is a douche bag, because their playlist only consists of songs from the first two albums, and OH SHIT, what was her top pick? "Blitzkrieg Bop". That song might as well be about Palin, coming in to take over the US and instate a fourth reich under the neo-Conservative Christian guard.

I consider myself politically conservative, but I feel no camaraderie with these assholes.


"A volunteer wears a shirt from the band "Disturbed."


Templars-Omne Datum Optimum

I had to upload this for a friend last night and figured I might as well post it here since I spent all the energy putting it on Mediafire anyway. Also, the bulk of my postings since I've taken up the blog again have been decidedly unpunk, and I wanted to give you assholes something you might enjoy. Go figure, this is my favorite Templars record. I like the older stuff, too, but this one just has a lot more to it.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The entire grill is hot.

Some "collections agency" has been calling me non-stop for the past three days, claiming I defaulted on a Chase credit card a few months ago and I owe around 300 bucks. The guy that calls me is a huge dick...which I guess is a good thing to have on your resume if you're applying for a company that tries to scam people out of money they don't have a right to. The guy's name is RONALD POLIN from MRS COLLECTIONS. I hope he Googles himself and finds this page. Hi, Ron! Fuck you!



Municipal Waste are playing Bottletree in Birmingham tomorrow. I'm stoked in a way that I rarely get stoked about shows. I got pretty excited about Ceremony a couple of weeks ago, who put on a great show, but were touring with terrible bands. I also managed to break my nose that night, and just as it was healing up, some asshole head butted me at the Loose Skrews gig at the High Note (I hate that bar) this past weekend and now it hurts like hell again. I spent $60 that night buying shots for roller derby girls at the bar while I walked around being a belligerent asshole. Sorry if you saw me that night and I just gave you a hard time for half an hour before walking away in the middle of one of your sentences.

Mitch Hedberg-Do You Believe in Gosh?

This album is hil-ar-i-ous. I guess it was the last show he recorded before he died, and it's all rough drafts of jokes he was putting together for what was supposed to be a proper full length. It came out a few weeks ago. Download it and improve the quality of your life.

We Don't Need No Law

Friday, November 7, 2008

Are we not men?

And some people are still trying to convince us we're not in hot water. I've seen studies that say that in a recession/depression, the industries that soar above all others are the vices. I want to open a chain of liquor stores. Hell, as bad as things are, I might be able to convince the state of Alabama to finally change their liquor laws and start selling premium quality beer.

There is an uneasy feeling of paranoia in the air. Or disappointment. Looming disappointment...I can't quite put my finger on it, but I don't like it at all. Maybe it's just anxiety brought on by a lack of nicotine.

Ed Gein-It's a Shame That a Family Can Be Torn Apart By Something as Simple as a Pack of Wild Dogs

Sweet Jesus this band is awesome. I saw them a few years ago and was turned off by the crowd because they happened to draw in the whole white-belt/helmet-hair kids that were trendy back then, but was blown away by their intensity. They were one of the first bands I saw play to a pretty big crowd and still refuse to play on the stage, which was mind blowing back then. I was in a friend's car recently and he threw this on and I remembered how awesome this band was. Just put your head back and try to keep your ears from bleeding.

No School or Movement

Thursday, November 6, 2008

RIP Byron Lee



When I was like 12 and first started shopping in the ska/reggae collection of Charlemagne Records on Southside, I remember always being intrigued by Byron Lee records because so many of the covers were just half naked women. 12 year old boys get into that.

To Science Fiction Writers Circa 1965


"I love you sons of bitches," Eliot said in Milford.
"You're all I read anymore. You're the only ones who'll talk about the really terrific changes going on, the only ones crazy enough to know that life is a space voyage and not a short one, either, but one that'll last for billions of years. You're the only ones with guts enough to really care about the future, who really notice what machines do to us, what wars do to us, what cities do to us, what big, simple ideas do to us, what tremendous misunderstands, mistakes, accidents, and catastrophes do to us. You're the only ones zany enough to agonize over time and distances without limit, over mysteries that will never die, over the fact that we are right now determining whether the space voyage for the next billion years or so is going to be Heaven or Hell"

Eliot admitted later on that science fiction writers couldn't write for sour apples..."


--Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater



Lurker of Chalice-Lurker of Chalice

This record is so fucking awful. It's this guy, Wrest, who was in Leviathon. It's all ambient black metal or something. It's terrible. I don't know what kinds of drugs you have to consume to find this kind of music interesting, but I want no part of it. The only reason I'm posting it here is because people pay $40+ for the vinyl version (the re-press that is, the original is waaaay more), and I don't think that any person should ever have to pay for bad music. So download it and listen to it and wonder why the hell you wasted your time after I just spent an entire paragraph telling you how much it sucks.

Southern Discomfort

I realized something yesterday while I was sitting in my swirly chair -- zoning out, fantasizing about being anywhere else -- and that is that there are a lot more good looking women up in this part of the office. Maybe it's the air. When you're several stories up, where the winds really start picking up outside, it's stirring up something in their genetic make up. Or maybe they just got promoted because their boss has a dirty mind. I'm going with the former, it's more to think on. They don't like me because I have a scruffy face and visible tattoos. I have, once again, turned into to "that weird guy" around the office through no fault of my own.

The current flood of news reports about reactions to Obama's election has a lot of mixed feelings coming up. Some are extremely disappointing, such as this tidbit on the "celebrations" of black teenagers in Chicago. Their violent and racist reactions are exactly the sort of things that lend credit to the backward thinking whites that are upset that a black man was elected president. This is all proof (coupled with the loss on Prop 8) that, while we are making giant leaps forward as a nation, our culture is still fucked.

One of the best things I read about election reactions was
an interesting piece in the LA Times
that covered attitudes of non-US citizens around the world. Most Americans don't know or care when leaders are elected in other countries, but sometimes we forget how much of an impact America has on a global scale and we don't think about what our foreign policy does when put into practice over seas. The article, which quotes world leaders, professionals, and your average joe in the third world, is proof that the world is a much smaller place than we'd like to admit, and if we all started thinking about it like that, we'd probably have an easier time getting all this figured out.

Eyehategod Complete Discography

Everything this NOLA sludge band has ever released, via the great Angrychair blog. I can't speak on sludge with very much authority, but I know one thing, this band rules.

Far From Home

Anarchists believe that you should always be willing to strip yourself of your personal identity in the name of the movement. The belief behind this is that the cause is much greater than the individual, and ego will get in the way of forward movement. It makes sense considering anarchists don't believe in borders or nations, but there are inherent flaws within the mindset.

Corporations believe the same thing. The individual employee is, in effect, useless and expendable. The weight falls on us to keep pushing the great brand name forward, but in the end we will fall and the weight will be redistributed. We live with this all day every day, and they tell us that our fear of falling down is irrational, but if we don't have our fear, what have we got? It's the only thing keeping us human. This tie is a noose wrapped too tight around my neck.

My new sub-department is being dissolved next month when this special assignment is over. I don't know where I'll be reassigned. The terms of my contract allow them to do basically whatever they want with me (again, another post), so there's no telling. I could be out of a job completely or moved to yet another department. Yesterday I was told over the phone by a high-money investor that we handle investments for that I "was moving up in the company, [he] could tell." This made me weary because I had to transfer him to a supervisor and I was afraid he would tell them he thought I was helpful and an asset to the company. My new supervisor had already praised me earlier that morning in front of others. If they dissolve this department and give me a promotion I'm going to go crazy.

The Saints-I'm Stranded

I was going to go with something darker, but that will be for a later post (and it's going to RULE). These dudes were from Australia in the late 70s and churned out some great poppy punk rock that sounded very, very UK.

Welsh Asylums


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Queen is Dead, Boys

The world was not made for me. I can say this for certain because there is no such thing as a time machine, and there probably won't be in my lifetime. If time machines were real, I could hop in and go back to the mid 50s. I'd shack up with Audrey Hepburn and live in her attic churning out volumes of bad poetry that people would get into because in that time it would be "edgy". Or, since it was the 50s, I could just publish volumes of Smiths lyrics and call them my own. And then later I could sue Morrissey for plagiarism.

That's the kind of world that I want to live in.

Fucked Up-Chemistry of Common Life

This album isn't terrible. I heard this band for the first time when they were putting out a single every other month or something and I never saw what the big deal was. They just sound like a lot of skinhead bands and I don't see why people are into this but overlook bands that were doing the same thing (but better) a few years ago. But then again, I'm jaded and bitter. Anyway, I heard this for the first time last night and decided it's OK. I don't hate it, but I really don't think I'd sit around listening to it. I like the guitars and I am a big fan of the production. So, you know, check it out.



Who cares?

I am so fucking bored out of my mind

I don't understand people that are able to work a desk job for years. The longest I ever worked at a desk was for a company in Aurora, IL called Bernina. They're a sewing machine manufacturer and I worked in an office/warehouse building in the technical department repairing sewing machines for about a year and a half. It wasn't all bad because at least I was taking shit apart and thinking about stuff. But this -- phone calls, paperwork, spreadsheets -- this is not the kind of work that people are supposed to do on a day-to-day basis.

Basically, the deal is this. The company I work for (which is actually incorrect syntax...the company I work "with" is much more specific, but that is another entry) handles policies, securities, and stocks sold at independent offices by agents all over the US. A new federal regulation requires us, at the national level, to touch base with customers/investors personally every 36 months to ensure that the information we have on file here is up-to-date. So, we send out the these little mailers with all the information we have and ask them to get back in touch and let us know what's going on. I field those phone calls coming in and keep track of changes in the system. The problem is that people are kind of stupid. They don't read the actual letter, they just look at the top part and assume it's spam, so they call me up and start screaming about how they're going to call their lawyer. Or they ask me what kind of an investment they have because they literally don't remember that they have an IRA until they're told. I just don't get people some days.


The Smiths-The Queen is Dead

How is this album SO FUCKING AWESOME?

Further On Up the Road

Everybody else is chiming in on this. Sorry that this is just another election entry on your blogroll, but I gotta' say something.

I was raised to be patriotic, and I've most of my life having a conservative view of the world. Most of that hasn't changed, but over the past couple of years I sort of lost a lot of faith in the voting populace of America. I had gotten completely surrounded by religious right wing nuts and I was sort of starting to think that maybe everybody felt that way. I don't really have anything against people that are religious, some of my best friends are at church every Sunday, but I had been exposed to a Midwestern "mega church" culture that mirrored the herd going off to be slaughtered without even knowing where they were going. They were all Republican because that's what the church told them to do be. When Obama was announced as the presidential candidate, it wasn't ever about the issues, it was about the fact that he was ethnically mixed and, while he is an open Christian, had a parent from a Muslim country. The first time I ever heard someone make the comment that they didn't want to "live to see the day that a black Muslim would be elected president of the United States," my immediate response was "Well, then you might as well just go ahead and kill yourself."

Now, I don't agree with Obama on a lot of things. But it would have been stupid for me to expect a third party candidate to come out on top this election, so I can't complain. Honestly, there's a lot I just plain don't like about him, but that's not the point. Barack Obama represents the antithesis of that herd I had grown so accustomed to. I had gotten so scared over the past couple of months that all the chain emails and mud slinging were going to work and we were going to end up with Sarah Palin in a position of power on a national scale. It doesn't matter that I don't like Obama or that I don't agree with him on everything, because the point is that right now America needs a drastic change from the past 8 years, and he represents that change. I like McCain, really, but he's not what we need. He's headstrong and stubborn and won't be taking this country where it needs to go.

Here's to the US taking a chance. Finally.

A Silver Mt. Zion-He Has Left Us Alone but Shafts of Light Sometimes Grace the Corners of Our Rooms

Post-Rock/Rock-Minimalism/Other-Pretentious-Names-Rock-Journalists-Come-Up-With-That This-Band-Doesn't-Like-To-Be-Called from members of Godspeed! You Black Emperor. This isn't their best album, but it's pretty good and I've been listening to it lately. Check out their later stuff, it's just kind of a stripped down G!YBE. Brought to you by the fine folks at Constellation Records

Sons of Nero



Their art is way better than the bands they work with.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Low Resolution

People in offices are nice. Too nice. Fake nice. They are suspect, I don't believe a fucking word. They smile and nod and apologize when you pass each other too closely in the alleyways made by a thousand lonely cubicles, but they don't mean it. They're just waiting for their day to retire, die, or snap, whatever happens to come first, and they're all quickly losing all the qualities that make them human. Little by little, we are chiseling away at our natural traits with fast food, network television, and corporate takeovers. I hate people who wear hair gel and patterned ties.

I'm going to vote today after work. Honestly, I don't want to. McCain will lose (but he will sweep Alabama), Obama will win, my guy won't even get a mention. I don't see the point. I mean, I do see the point, otherwise I wouldn't even bother going, I'm just sort of lazy and I don't want to wait in line forever after work. I just want to go home and cook a burritto and chill the fuck out. But, I'm going to go, and I'm going to vote for Bob Barr and I'm going to say "well, at least I tried" and then I will go home and cook a burritto and chill the fuck out. If I wasn't 100% sure Obama was going to win, I'd probably vote for him, honestly. But if I can safely cast my third party vote without fear of another Republican taking office, I really should because there's no telling if I'll ever be able to do it again.

City of Caterpillar-Self Titled

They aren't the best in their genre, but they're pretty good. Some of the long arrangements get a little tedious, but it's good music when you're not really into having your face slapped.

No matter how they toss the dice

Monday, November 3, 2008

I won't be skull fucked by faith

I haven't posted a new entry since August 2nd, 2008. I've been using my Livejournal recently and actually set this entire blog to private, but I'm sure anyone who read my blog regularly already figured that out.

Well, I decided to take this one back up. Supposedly November is national blog month or something and I felt a surge of inspiration to start blogging again. But, the format will be different. I always focused on underground music before, but with my current life situation, I've decided I need to expand the content of this page to better reflect what's going on around me. There will probably still be a lot of downloads (actually, probably more), but the focus will just shift. The only reason anybody ever read this blog was due to the downloads, I'm sure. I won't be posting anything to get "hits", but...well, you know what, I don't feel like explaining myself. Go start your own blog about how that Ian guy is an asshole.

Anyway, here's the update. I split up with my wife the first week of July and moved back to Birmingham. It's nice being back, but I'm going through the legal aspects of the divorce now and my son is still in Illinois. I'm back playing in Korova again and we are releasing a full length (our first in almost 7 years of playing as a band) this month. So, now you're caught up with all that.

After I moved to Birmingham, I took a job working logistics for a life insurance company. Their storage facilities were a wreck but they didn't want to outsource to a warehouse for what is really a small amount of inventory, so they brought me in to fix it all for them. It took forever, but I got it all straightened out and had gone on to do other things in the department while maintaining the structure I set up. Things were going well. Then, all of a sudden, I didn't have a job anymore. It turns out my bosses had decided behind my back that I was too smart for shitty working class jobs and I shouldn't be working in the basement but should be upstairs dealing with people. So I had to take two weeks off while I switched departments, and here I am, my first day at my new job. I moved up six stories in the building and I'm making more money, but I'm not very happy about it. I liked my old job. I like working shitty working class jobs as a matter of independence. I've been told my whole life I was too smart to be doing that, but I'm not buying it. My Dad works in a factory and I was raised in a very blue collar environment, so I don't know how to get along with people that got obscure marketing degrees in fields I don't fully understand and now come to work to try and "corner the market". I like factories and warehouses because nobody bothers you there and nobody has a reason to bullshit.

And here I am, inadvertantly climbing the corporate latter.

They say "dress for the job you want, not the job you have," so I dress like a slob. Actually, that's a lie, I'm just trying to sound tough. But fuck if someone is going to tell me I can't wear jeans and Fred Perrys aren't nice enough for this work environment.

Updates on my job duties later. Download below.

Harvey Milk-Life...The Best Game in Town

Sweet noisy, doomy metal from Athens. They cover "We Destroy the Family" by Fear on this record.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Ceremony-Still Nothing Moves You LP review (Bridge 9)

I avoided Ceremony for two years. All I heard was how great they were, how intense their shows were and how unique their recordings were. I decided that they were too good be true and avoided everything they put out and all of their shows at all costs. I even left a show they were playing early so I didn't see them. I've avoided bands before, but I had never gone near the lengths I went to with them to make sure I'd never hear them. I finally stuck around to see them in Chicago a few weeks ago and realized that I had been missing out on something really great.

Still Nothing Moves You is the kind of record that grows on you. It's not really an acquired taste because the songs aren't offensive or hard to get into, it's just that it takes several listens to appreciate. There are subtleties to the recording that I didn't recognize after the first, second, or even third listens. The guitar work is flawless and there are layers that are purposely buried in the production. The vocals are pushed behind the guitar and bass letting the music take up the majority of the sound and making it easy to lose yourself inside the music. The record literally sucks you in and keeps in you in some sort of punk rock purgatory, which is such a rare feat in any genre, but especially in hardcore as of late. Punk LPs are usually compilations of songs with no direction and no continuity, which makes full lengths tiring listens. The bands trying to write "epics" are more into writing four minute arrangements that go nowhere instead of realizing that piecing together several sub minute blasts into various movements on a theme works much better.

There are weird timing changes, moody intros, insane thrash verses, and heavy breakdowns spread across the 20 minute record. Still Nothing Moves You is not the next evolution in hardcore. It's an example of what can be done within the established context of the genre, and proves with great ease, like few records before it, that hardcore punk is not and never will be a one dimensional genre. The record might not change the world, but no record will. Instead, it achieves something most bands fall short in without even realizing it. There are no points where the sound is forced, and nowhere that the recording sounds like it's lacking. It is, for lack of a better word, perfect. Perfection is the best any band can ever hope to achieve.

There are two different colors for the vinyl, and both be ordered from Bridge 9, as well as the CD version and some packages with t shirts and stuff. I can't say anything about the lyrics because, I hate to admit, I had to download the record because my current life situation prohibits me from spending money on food, let alone records. It's leaked and I'm sure you can find it on the web like I did, but if you have the money to support DIY/underground releases and you don't, just start downloading Dave Matthews because you're not fucking punk. But that's a different article.

Buy It On Interpunk

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Most Intense Hardcore Records Ever

So, lately, my friend Tripp decided he wanted to make a list of the "most intense" hardcore records ever. Not the best, just the "most intense", which, while similar, seems to be totally different to me. So, I decided that since I'm so bored from never doing shit all day lately, I'd start my own. This is all off the top of my head and I don't have access to my record collection or anything. A lot of this is actually pulled from going over old blog entries here and remembering how insane a lot of the records I've mentioned so far are. I have included links where I could find them, but as always I suggest downloading them to hear them and then getting originals when you can. Dead links are not my problem. Feel free to post links if I missed them, or your own suggestions.

I really need to do something more productive!

His Hero Is Gone-Monuments to Thieves (from the first second this record pummels you, probably the most under-rated hardcore band ever)

Refused-Shape of Punk to Come (I get chills every time I listen to this album)

Circle Takes the Square-As the Roots Undo (this band should be HUGE)

HeWhoCorrupts-The Discographer (the first side more than anything, it's the musical equivalent to getting shot in the face several times in a row)

Koro-700 Club (it's over before you can even understand what's going on)

Godstomper-Saturday Morning Powerviolence (how I never managed to track down a legit copy of this record down is beyond me. I heard it fior the first time years ago and couldn't believe music like this existed)

Blood for Blood-Outlaw Anthems (this record makes me want to cry)

Misfits-Earth AD (This album is a total mindfuck, how did they go from "Last Caress" to this?)

Dead Kennedys-In God We Trust, Inc. (This is their best album, and one of the first hardcore records I ever heard, it's so low budget and fast and aggressive)

Minor Threat-Complete Discography (the single best collection of hardcore songs ever. Or songs, regardless of genre. I get offended when I see the VH1 top 100 greatest rock n roll whatevers and Minor Threat isn't even on it, better than Fugazi and Fugazi never would have existed without this anyway)

Folsom-Like a Viper (this record makes me want to go out and fight jocks)

Born Against-The Rebel Sound of Shit and Failure (another cop-out since it's a collection. This isn't as good as Battle Hymns Of The Race War, but it's more "intense")

Anodyne-A Lifetime of Grey Skies (have you ever contemplated suicide? Listen to this, you will!)

Cut the Shit-Harmed and Dangerous (I used to go nuts listening to Bored to Death, but this record trumps it)

Bones Brigade-I Hate Myself When I'm Not Skateboarding (OH MY GOD...IT IS SO FAST. LISTENING TO THIS IS LIKE TURNING A TREADMILL ON TOP SPEED AND TRYING TO KEEP UP)

Token Entry-Jaybird (heavy but still fast, posi but doesn't make me laugh)

Positive Reinforcement-Summer Tour (this is so raw and unadultered it makes me feel like I have rabies)

Tragedy-Self Titled (not as moody as Vengence, but spacial enough to provide the ambiance for the heavy shit. "Confessions of a Suicide Advocate" is life shattering)

Deathreat-S/T (see description for the Positive Reinforcement 7")

Neon Christ-S/T (it's so fast and bizare and makes me want to bounce off the walls)

The Boils-Ripping Waters (I will never forget hearing this for the first time and thinking how totally off the wall it was for a streetpunk band to be playing in these weird keys and doing weird rhythm changes so much. This record is only four songs but is so much better than 90% of the other underground crap that came out this decade)

Hated Youth-Hardcore Rules (this record is from the 80s and they managed to squeeze 10 songs on one 7", that's pretty intense)

Reagan SS-Universal and Triumphant (their singles are great, this is about 10,000 times better)

Slumlords-S/T (duh)

Terveet Kädet-II (Finland has always done it better)

Lama-S/T (another Finnish classic)

Authorities-Soundtrack for Trouble (this band only lasted for one record, they could have been bigger than the Descendents had they kept going)

Zero Boys-Vicious Circle (one part power-pop in two parts 80s hardcore. If the Germs had stopped doing drugs and learned what melody was, this is what they would have sounded like)

Naked Raygun-Throb Throb (everything about this record is perfect from the fast parts to the heavy parts to the straight fucking grooves)

Replacements-Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash (Like Kiss with balls and not the disco beats)

V/A-Decline of Western Civilization Soundtrack (live cuts of FEAR, X, and Reyes era Black Flag all on one record with funny banter from a French guy in the middle, it's essential)

Ramallah-But a Whimper (I know, this is totally lame. I can't help it. This is apparantly before all the drugs drove Rob insane, it's heavy as fuck)

Green Beret-That one record they did that Loren lost on a plane in Osaka because he is a motherfucker and I forgot the name to (you never know what weird sound is going to happen next. It's weird noise/grind/surf/spazz-the-fuck-out rock. They once described this as "run-all-over-your-goddamn-pets-core" and it fits)

V/A-Southeast Hardcore Fuck Yeah! (all powerviolence bands from the Southeast. It's pretty insane and I honestly think parts of each side were cut at different speeds to confuse the fuck out of you)

Graf Orlock/Greyskull split (mostly for the Graf Orlock side because it is one of the most insane recordings I've heard in years and brings sampling to a whole new level)

An Albatross-Freedom Summer Live (I wish I was at this show)

Black Flag-1983 Demos (I still say it's the best thing they ever did. Their later metal stuff but more stripped down)

Bucket Full of Teeth-IV (noise/more noise. How a band had the audacity to put this on wax and then try to sell it to people is completely lost on me, but I got suckered in)

Los Crudos/Spitboy-Split (only the Los Crudos side, the Spitboy side is a bore. Los Crudos were amazing. I wish I was Mexican so I knew what the hell they were saying in all their songs)

V/A-Six Weeks Omnibus Volume 2 (my favorite Japanese hardcore comp)

V/A-Tomorrow Will Be Worse (simply the best hardcore comp. of all time. Charles Bronson, Real Reggae, Fuck on the Beach, Capatalist Casualties, etcetcetc. It never lets up)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Punk Rock Originals: Who's Your Favorite Teen Idol, Baby?

John Leyton-"Johnny Remember Me" (1961, covered by the Meteors)


Rick Nelson-"Lonesome Town" (1958, covered by the Cramps)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Podcast 6/22/08

The quality of the rips isn't great on some of these, but I'm pretty stoked on the mix. Progressive instrument surf rock (Man...Or Astroman?) into 80s Finnish hardcore from a 7" that some call the best hardcore 7" of all time (Terveet Kadet). There's also some oooold 80s punk from the likes of the Vidiots, Black Flag (rare demo!) and Crisis, with some newer stuff in the mix of different styles. Legion are heavy as fuck and Spunk, from Japan, have more of a garage feel. DCOi! are thrashy punk from SoCal. I also threw in some kick ass 90s hardcore (MK Ultra, Anodyne), and old rockabilly comedy track from Bob Peck, and a couple British Oi! numbers to balance it out.

Man...Or Astroman?-Interstellar Hardrive
Terveet Kadet-Ei Enää Koskaan Sotaa

Vidiots-Laurie's Lament
MK Ultra-Worker Vs. Parasite
The Spunks-Russian Roulette
Bob Peck-Sweet 16

Hail Mary-In Motion
Cock Sparrer-Watch Your Back
Legion-Mindfuck

Anodyne-Crop Circle
Crisis-Holocaust
DCOi!-Agony of Defeat

Black Flag-My War (demo)
Close Shave-Rather Be Down the Pub


View Feed (for subscribing!)
Download the Podcast!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Battle of the Beers 6/14/08

This is a first draft

We convened on June 14th, 2008. It was the day before Father’s Day, and we had serious business to attend to. The Plainfield, IL location of Binny’s Beverage Depot was hosting their first annual “Battle of The Beers”. Row upon row of beers sat, waiting for consumption. 25 domestics, 25 imports, all of the wheat variety. Admission was free, samples were plentiful and no one refused you when you went back for a second opinion. I approached the scene with a broken sense of caution, because there was only one thing for certain, and that was that was that I was going to be leaving Binny’s stinking drunk.

Wheat beers have never been my forte, but I knew there had to be something, buried inside the haystack, that would stick to my palette and instill in me the rich feeling of discovering a beer that is uniquely mine. Beer snobs all have their certain go-tos. Sure, we enjoy sitting down with the samples and picking apart the bodies, cleanliness, and clarity of any beer and brewery we come across, that’s what these events are all about. But, in the end, beer snobbery can cloud your vision and there will always be times when we just want something to drink simply because we enjoy it and want to enjoy it over and over again.

Keeping so many beers straight in your head is not an easy task. The 25 imports featured were mostly German brews with names that end up all running together after the first 15 beers or so. There were great stand-outs from both sides, but the Americans fell drastically short in this battle. There were some great contributions from the Americans, including Flying Dog’s (Colorado) “In-Heat Wheat”, Rogue’s (Oregon) “Half-E-Weizen”, and my personal favorite, “Uber Sun” from the always great Southern Tier brewery in New York. “Uber Sun” was a much hoppier, bitter styled beer that tasted more like an IPA than a wheat beer, which is right up my alley.

There were a number of American beers that left a lot to be desired, some were almost tasteless. The contributions from the Point Brewery in Wisconsin were dismal. Their “Horizon” was decent enough, sort of a relaxed take on the classic wheat beer style but with no distinguishing characteristics, and their “Nude Beach” and “White Ox” (which is brewed in the Point Brewery but under the James Page moniker) were both completely unnecessary, they were basically bland light beers with a small edge packaged in fancy bottles, as was North Coast’s (California) “Blue Star Wheat”. The Shiner Brewery out of Texas had their Hefeweizen available, which had a citrus taste that was so overpowering there almost no beer to be found in the drink. The “1809 Berliner” weisse from the Weihen brewery in Germany was done in the same style, but much better executed, with a tangy tinge, but not overpowering.


The Europeans were not without their faults, but the vast majority of the international beers for sampling were quality brews. Erdinger (Germany) made two great contributions, their regular weissbier, which was bitter with a bit of a citrus edge, and their dunkle (dark) was superb. The crowd favorite of the day was Hoegaarden’s (Belgium) weisse which was a beautifully thin beer that packed a much bigger flavor punch than you would ever imagine such a light beer being able to get away with. My personal favorite find was from the Weissbierbrauerei G. Schneider & Sohn Brewery (Germany), who put in three beers that were all great, but their “Aventinus” was the stand out in my opionion. The first little bit was hard to get through, but after letting it sit for a minute and get the aftertaste, the rest went down easy. It was definitely the surprise of the day for me, that beer I’d been looking for.


I admit, with great shame, that I did not get through all 50 beers. I made it to 47 in our three hour window. But there was a lot more there than just the beer. It was the conversations, the mutual respect of fellow beer drinkers, discussing all the subtleties of the craft that goes over most people’s heads. In three hours we had tried and examined more beers than most passive drinkers will try in the course of their lives. Basic economics tells you that in a recession, the alcohol industry is one that will soar. But it’s not about getting drunk, it’s about appreciating something that someone puts their whole life-force into to make right. Whether they’re a European Brewery who has been using the same recipe for 400 years or they’re a new American upstart who just got their foot in the door and is trying to forge new ground, there is a community to seek out their product and appreciate it. It’s just like any other obsession that is rooted in a mere hobby, just like those of us who collect obscure vinyl records or B horror movies. We drink because we can, because it’s one of the few privileges that the state hasn’t found a way to take away from us. It was Bukowski who said “When you drank, the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn’t have you by the throat,” and we don't need to be lifetime drunks to appreciate that (so FUCK YOU Alabama!).

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Public Serpents-The Feeding of the Fortune 5000 (Tent City)

This is the new band from some dude that was in Leftover Crack Choking Victim (this was a complete error on my part, this band has nothing to do with Leftover Crack and I don't know why I wrote that and then didn't catch when I proofread this. Sorry for any confusion). They're self-proclaimed "Crack Rock Steady", which is a label I've never really understood because to me it just sounds a lot like Rancid without the snappy bass lines. I could spend all day talking about the cheesy artwork on this record, predictable (and cheesy) lyrics, and the boring arrangements, but I've decided to take the high road and try to approach this record with an open mind.

There are some cool riffs on this record, like in the song "Dummy" that's got a poppy third-wave type sound with some funny background vocals and a chorus that reminds of the Freeze stuff from the 90s. If the whole album was as high-energy as that song, I could actually see myself sitting around listening to this. The song cuts out in just over a minute (the shortest song here, they need to follow that mode more), the record goes into a bland streetpunk beat and proceeds to alternate between that streetpunk sound and a "1/1" time ska beat for most of the record. To add to that, the song arrangements are typically way too long (majority of the songs clock in at over 2 and a half minutes, which is an eternity with as little variety as they have to offer). A lot of the vocal melodies fall tired quickly and are really too poppy for my tastes, to the point of being generic. For some reason, the band felt the need to balance out this record with some weird electronic music and bland rapping that sounds like the Insane Clown Posse circa 1991 (is it bad to be able to distinguish different eras of the Insane Clown Posse? I find it sort of embarrassing).

There are some cool moments on this record, but mostly just pieces of songs ("Effigies of Life" has potential to be really cool without all the stupid electronic shit). I could honestly see this record being released as an EP with some of the crap cut out and shorter versions of a lot of these songs, and turning out alright. But these dudes tried way too hard to put this out as a full length, and fell victim to their own ambition. Or drugs.

Public Serpents on MySpace
Buy It On Interpunk

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Legion-Savior 7" (Wake Up and Live)

I'm really happy about Legion. They're one of two Birmingham bands right now (the other is Now I Have a Machine Gun) that I feel are representing the best of what Birmingham has to offer as far as the musicians in the band, and are making the effort to tour and prove that Birmingham has a lot more to it than rednecks or Christian hardcore kids. I finally got to see this band for the first time a little over a week ago when I visited Birmingham for the first time in a while. They played a house show and the crowd was pretty nuts considering the close quarters and Alabama heat. Their show last night in Chicago (w/their tourmates Die Young, Ceremony, Life Long Tragedy, the Muzzler, and Sabertooth Zombie) was top-notch. Their van had just broken down and were behind to the tune of a grand on tour, but they went out played just as loud and fast and you could hope for.

I got their new 7" on Wake Up and Live Records the morning of the show (that's a fucking epic story I'll save for later). Matt Whitson, who does a great job recording a lot of local bands, recorded the 7" at their practice space instead of his basement studio, which adds a great raw element to the production, which definitely benefits the sound. The band switches between slow, sludgy metal parts to break-neck speed powerviolence style seamlessly and the vocals are an indistinguishable mess of anger and resentment. All the tracks are tight as hell, which isn't surprising to me considering how awesome some of the previous bands these guys were in have been (JAWZ!). A good comparison for this would be His Hero Is Gone, but they don't sound like a band who would point to them as influence because I'd hate to pigeonhole them like that. I hear some more metal elements and some of the slow parts remind me of Iron Monkey or even Anodyne. A lot of the fast parts, especially with all the starts and stops, seem to pull a lot from Japanese bands from the 90s.

This is a fucking sick record.

Legion (GO SEE 'EM ON TOUR)
Wake Up and Live Records (ORDER IT THERE, FOOL!)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Podcast 5/17/08

Currently drinking: Moylan's IPA. A spectacular IPA for the price ($3.50 for a bomber). A great American style IPA, full of hop but pretty even, without the bitter taste IPAs are typically known for. Reccomended!

This episode is a little heavy on the Midwest (especially Chicago!) bands with a classic track by the Quincy Punx from Minneapolis, and new ones from Rager, the Sidewalk Cracks, and Sweet Cobra, all Chicago bands. The Midwest stand out here is from the State, who are legends in the Michigan scene due to their classic 7" from back in '84. The track on the show is BRAND NEW from a record that just came out and smokes their old material. I don't leave out classic American hardcore, though, as proven by the stellar Siege track from the Dropdead demo in 1984 from Boston, and there are even some international bands thrown for good measure. L.S.D. and Stanhansen are both Japanese (the L.S.D. track dates back to a rare 7" from '86!), Marching Orders are heading up the current Austrailian Oi! scene, Unkind are a heavy and melodic Finnish punk band, and Enola Gay were kings in the Danish scene back in the 80s. This is also the most straight-forward hardcore episode I've done to date. Pretty much everything on this is heavy, even the Demented Are Go track! Enjoy!

Tracklist:

Quincy Punx-Tina
L.S.D.-Jast Last

Unkind-Arjen Juhlaa
Siege-Conform
Demented Are Go-Body Bag
Sidewalk Cracks-Lower Wacker

Marching Orders-Back on the Streets
Enola Gay-Destructive Hjerner
Sweet Cobra-Ruin
Stanhansen-Truth and Generalization

Rager-Save It For the Axe
State-Spiesburger
Rentokiller-The Erotic Principle


View feed (for subscribing!)
Download the Podcast

Naked Raygun-Throb Throb LP (Haunted Town)


Throb Throb is one of the top 10 best 80s USHC records of all time, and it's absolutely the best Naked Raygun record in my opinion. I have a CD version of this that that was sort of a rush job done in the 90s, which is what I've always listened to. There was NO mastering, it was like they just plugged in the record to a DAT and cut out some pops. The tinny, thin production lent something to the recording, it made it sound dated and, in some ways, even more "hardcore", but it wasn't the way this record was meant to be heard. Haunted Town has done a great job putting this version of the record together. The artwork is perfectly re-created and there's a complete lack of over-sized label logos and contact info (which is sadly almost the norm now in high-profile reissues). The mastering job is huge. When you drop the needle and "Rat Patrol" comes in with just the one guitar, it's a long few seconds waiting to really hear how it's going to sound, and when the band kicks into full gear, the sound is all over the place and it's just so huge and pummeling and you know that this is what Naked Raygun, in their infinite punk-wisdom, were going for.

Of course, there's almost no point in talking about the record because you either know it or you don't and if you don't, you probably do know that there's something missing in your life. Everything from the sing-alongs in "Rat Patrol" to the slow, driving beat of "Roller Queen" to the too-short-notice "No" (bonus track not included on the original) is to-the-point and, above all, strictly Naked Raygun. Raygun were never ones to bullshit or beat around the bush, and they never recorded a track they didn't absolutely need to, which is what makes their material so vital. They were one of the few bands in the 80s that managed to carve out their own niche in hardcore punk and create a sound that was like nobody else in the world. This album is essential.

There are 800 of these on gold vinyl and 550 on oxblood. I've got the oxblood version, which is like a dark purple with a black haze, and looks awesome.

Buy It on Interpunk

Friday, May 16, 2008

L.S.D.-Discography LP (Schizophrenic)


I slept on this record for a looooong time. I honestly avoid a lot of Japanese releases because they're pretty trendy. This is a case where I have humble myself and just admit that I missed the fuck out.

L.S.D. were one of the early Japanese hardcore punk bands and this their entire recorded output, spanning 1984-1986 and culled from five separate sessions. The A side is really what you're after here, which includes all the original recordings of their songs. There is a recording that was originally released as a flexi in 1984 (flexis seemed to be really popular among Japanese groups), a 7" they recorded in '86 called Jast Last, a song from a comp. LP and one song from a demo later in their career. All the music is excellent, a good mix of mid-tempo punk and faster thrash style hardcore that is pretty fucking heavy all the way through. The coolest thing about the whole side of the record is that the different sessions don't offer a huge contrast. Releases like this tend to be a little hard to listen to because of the differences in quality or production, and this flows really well, I'm amazed there are no mastering credits and all these songs just happened to flow this well. Fans of any early Japanese hardcore (Gauze, Stalin, etc) will go nuts over this and will obviously love the price-tag, a mere 13 bucks, compared to the hundreds the originals would set you back.

The B side of the record is a live set from '84. The recording quality is really good and the set is top-notch. It's a great addition, especially considering the fact that only a couple of the songs are repeated and the rest of the set is made up of previously unreleased songs. Schizophrenic Records really set the standard with this one.

Buy It On Interpunk

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

SSD To Tour This Summer

You may or may not have heard about the SSD "reunion" happening this summer. This is all you need to know:

"There is absolutely no truth to any speculation that SSD will be performing this summer. The fact is original vocalist David Spring "Springa" is assembling a band of hired guns to tour and rip off the public playing under the name SSD. Due to his selfish actions David Spring has officially been terminated from ALL association with the band SSD. His attempt to recreate SSD in 2008 will utterly fail and I hope the public will not attend his performances and if they do they make it as miserable as possible for him to remain on stage safely. I know I personally will make every attempt to make him pay for his corrupt, cheating selfish actions. SSD will always be a team with integrity. It's unfortunate that a fat overweight "has been" and "nobody" will try to fool the public under the mighty moniker SSD.

His overall contribution to what made SSD such a special band is so far under the radar and almost next to zero. Anybody intimately involved and close to the band understands his contribution. The real fact is that the band had to go out of its way to compensate for his talent, work ethic and criminal behavior.

I feel bad for those fans who have been waiting for a chance to see the band but attending this Dave Springa performance is a travesty and borderline criminal. He is a terrible human being and I'm not just saying this now. He is basically the reason the band dissolved. Our relationship has been civil since we stopped playing but clearly after then band dissolved his musical and organizational ability pretty much guaranteed his ability to get to get zero accomplished. He couldn't write a song if it fell in his lap. Having said that, I have been monitoring this potential SSD ripoff roadshow for sometime and I have done my best to discourage it through various legal and illegal tactics. I have actually held off some royalties and payments to hold over his head and help him make the right decision.

He is basically following the business model laid out by Cliff from the Freeze, Chris Doherty from Gang Green, Choke from Slapshot. I can only speculate but I believe their motives are clear. I hate to throw anybody under the bus but I'm sure this support system of 40 year olds living in the past has helped David Spring organize the tour.

Motives

1) Rip off the public as 40 plus year-olds playing music made by kids and capitalize on American Hardcore Movie.

2) Make enough money to buy their alcohol, drugs and coke and whatever else.

3) Pounce on as many foreign chicks who think these American punk rock stars are special and give them 20 year old pussies. Hopefully they will give them something else as well.

4) Escape their miserable lives and US wifes and girlfriends to pursue their sexual fantisies.

5) Hopefully come back to US with enough money so they can collect unemployment and continue their life avoiding a disciplined work schedule in which you wake up and go to work. They will repeat the cycle every two years.

If it wasn't for my efforts, Springa would have justified this plan and pulled this shit sooner. It seems like he might pull it off this time but I am a fucking fighter and I don't take well to people ripping me off and tarnishing the name of my band. I am assemblng a network of supporters who will help do everything possible to make him uncomfortable and fearful for his safety at each show. If he gets close to the Boston or New York area then I will execute the plan. My goal is to make the tour fall apart due to poor attendance, hopefully get the promotors to back off after my legal representative serve papers. I would also appeal to the general public to understand when they are getting ripped off and for them to NOT BELIEVE that this lineup is SSD. It's just a fat overweight scumbag breaking ranks from the band. He must be stopped.

Please share this letter to anybody or any punk rock news outlet. It's time to put a stop to these rogue motherfuckers who have no integrity. Anyone who can help make David Spring's life miserable will be on my list of close friends who I will be entirely indebted to and hopefully I can repay the favor somehow.

Thanks

Alan Barile
Leader SSD"

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Podcast 5/04/08

Well, I'm back. Work is still crazy and my shifts are being moved around, but I had some time and wanted to put this together. This episode is a little NYHC heavy (Token Entry, Stimulators, H2O), but it also hits Finland for some awesome progressive metal/hardcore, and pulls a couple other great selections from Europe with Mad Sin and the 4Skins. The obscurist points are here as well, with a great number from Agness Bernelle and a lost Freddie and the Freeloaders track recorded at the legendary Sun Studios back in '65. While I was not doing these, I forgot how boring this shit gets when I drink too much and ramble on forever about some bands. Sorry, it won't be so bad next time.

The Process-Svidande Kritik
Naked Raygun-Rat Patrol

Cut the Shit-No Integrity
Agnes Bernelle-Chansonette

Mad Sin-Wicked Witch
Stimulators-Loud Fast Rules!
Token Entry-The Bright Side
4Skins-Plastic Gangster

H2O-EZ.2.B.Anti
Freddie and the Freeloaders-The Octopus Song
Gorgonized Dorks-Cycle of Depravity
Tom Waits-Green Grass


View feed to suscribe)
Download the Podcast

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Where Have I Been?

Currently drinking: Eye of the Hawk Select Ale (Mendocino Brewing Company, Saratoga Springs, NY)

So, for the readers here who don't know me personally, this is what's going on for me right now. March 25th was my 21st birthday. March 24th, I got laid off at my job. I walked into a very labor intensive job that required a lot of studying and putting in a lot of hours. It fucking sucks, and it turns out, I'm not making ANY money (actually coming close to losing money) because it turns out I'm no good at sales because I'm not nearly as big of an asshole as I used to think I was. So, I'm back to square one. It's hard finding good work that actually pays your bills when you're young, married with children, have no marketable skills, and live in a large metropolitan area (Chicago). Hell, I even tried to join the Navy because they send dudes to school for journalism, and they don't even want me because I've got asthma. I'm gonna' wait two months and then lie about it though, so I can spend the rest of my days in a submarine, clacking away on a keyboard while we go all over the world. Considering the amount of drinking I do, I'd almost be Hunter S. Thompson, and that, my friends, would be a good life.

Anyway, that's why there haven't been any updates, and there won't be any updates until I can find steady work and then have leisure time to do this. I have a lot of other things on my plate I want to get done as well. I'm working on my first novel, which is an even better writing outlet. I think, more than anything, the novel is something that I need to write right now rather than just to have something to write to pass some time after a crappy day at work. I'll want proofreaders for it that have more to say than "It sucks!" or "It's awesome!", so if you want to read parts of it before it's finished, hit me up. It's pretty dark, as people should expect from me. Think Chuck Palahniuk with some David Ambrose-esque sort of psychology shit in there, set to a soundtrack of Anodyne's A Lifetime of Grey Skies. Man, you didn't know I read fuckin' books, did you? I'm also playing bass in Government for Hire in Chicago now, and am wanting to do a paper version of Going Through the Motions, which is something I've always wanted to do but have never had the time or motivation tofor. If other people are willing to work with me on it, I could totally see it happening. There are tons of zines coming out of Chicago right now, some are fucking great, some are not so great, and a lot are in Spanish and I can't read a fuckin' work of them after "Hola!", but there aren't many zines being consisistently published and while the Hispanic (Pilsen/Little Village) area in Chicago has a lot of participation and coverage (and rightly so, because the scene is huge and full of great dudes and good bands), the Southside skinhead scene has nothing to show for it. I want to get all the little Southside scenes represented, and fuck the Northside 'cause that shit ain't fuckin' punk!

See you later.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

V/A-I Thrash, Therefore I Am (Schizophrenic) review

Finally, parts of the legendary Borderless Countries Tapes are seeing a proper vinyl release. I Thrash, Therefore I Am was volume 18 in the series, and arguably the most famous and best. To my knowledge, this isn't the collection in it's entirety, but just the best that could fit onto on LP, so it will suffice. I wish every one of the tapes would be remastered and reissued in this format, but they would probably be waaaay too expensive for anyone to actually put together.

Mob 47 provide a perfect introductions to this record for old and new hardcore fans alike. They belt out 9 tracks of top-notch Swedish hardcore that set the standad for all to follow. Product Assar offer up two tracks of lo-fi, relentless punk rock. All pretty straight forward and doesn't break any barriers. Sounds like standard 80s style thrashcore. Honestly, I could take or leave these two songs, as they aren't bad, but are definitely the worst on here. The next set is Moderat Likvidation. The quality on their songs are actually pretty good. It's low budget, but the mix is done well. The guitar playing is surprisingly good (actually all the playing on these tracks are way ahead of a lot of low-budget 80s punk, with some awesome bass soloing!). The vocals are super pissed. I have no idea what this dude is yelling on about, but he sure does fucking hate it. The intro on "Dodeus Barn" reminds me of "Last Rockers" by Vice Squad (which actually isn't a bad over-all comparison, though these dudes have a definite metal influence). These tracks are fucking awesome, maybe even better than the Mob 47 contributions.

Side B kicks off with Existenz, who play tight, fast, punk rock and their tracks are GREAT quality. The vocals are short bursts of syllables, and the English parts I can pick are pro-active (song titles like "Burning Bones of War" and "Fight for Freedom" speak for themselves). Their songs are well put together in a really awkward fashion, the guitars and bass change up rhythm while the drums keep playing pretty much the same straight ahead punk rock beat the whole time. They actually make this sound interesting, which is really cool. They also do some cool breakdowns, though. "Fight For Freedom" breaks into a slow part with a little shuffle to the drums for about five seconds before blasting back full speed for the end. These dudes are fast as hell, but still sound punk as opposed to some of the heavier hardcore on this record. Their last track, "Anger Burning in My Head" sounds like late 70s/early 80s UK punk with a lot more bite to it. Akutt Innleggelse start their set with "De Dode Vakner", and the main riff on that one is pretty much "Bloodstains" by Agent Orange, but all trebly and obviously recorded in some dude's basement on a crappy old tape deck, so it sounds raw as all hell. The guitars are feeding back pretty much any time they let up for an instant during both of their tracks, and the vocals are a tortured mess. This is beautiful. Anti-Cimex are the only other band besides Mob 47 I'd actually listened to before this. The vocals are loud and angry as hell, but unfortunately they're pushed too far back in the mix to really jump out at you. Other than that, these songs are spectacular, and should be standard listening for any 80s hardcore punk newcomer. This is pretty gloomy stuff, with song titles like "Dead Struggle in a Burning Hell". The album closes out with Enola Gay, who sort of remind me of an old crust band called ATV. They're hardcore, but they rock out, too. Their songs are slower than the other bands and some have a little more character, but they can still play fast. Hell, listen to the drums on "Syndebuk"! And then the fucking atomic bomb feedback that goes into insanely fast hardcore on the song "Enola Gay"! Fuck!

The insert in this record is a good interview with the guy who put together all the original BCT comps, who is pretty verbose. The interview is great, with some good history on the series, but the best part is the end, where he's talking about being 53 years old still being as punk as he was in his 20s. It's great, anyone who ever talked about burning out needs to read this. You grow up, but you don't grow out. The color vinyl is pretty sweet as well. Now that this record is available to the masses, I expect to hear these songs actually covered and/or blatantly ripped off at shows on a regular basis.

Buy It On Interpunk! (30 songs for 10 bucks!)
 

blogger templates 3 columns | Tech Blog