Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Full on scrooge rant . . . . White Hills / Gnod | Split Cdr

Is something going on tonight? What the fuck? Nobody's on the message boards. Some family came over and wore out their welcome. There was TONS of traffic today, now there's barely anybody on the streets. I don't know it's all weird. It's like it's a holiday or something. Oh well, here I am in front of the computer, getting away from the madness, having a Belgian brew and enjoying the fuck out of it.

Anyway, thought I'd throw this gem up for you fine folks, but not because it's a holiday or anything, so don't even go thinking that I'm in the spirit, because I'm NOT. You see, I believe we should be nice and give half a shit about others and give no matter what time of year it is, without needing holidays.

Ok, enough of that. So I came across the following review on Foxy Digitalis and had forgotten how good this split Cdr is. Funny how much good music slips to the bottom of the play list and almost becomes forgotten, due to the fact that there's just so much music coming out these days. It's not hard for some very good stuff to not fall through the cracks. So here's for moving some of those 6-12 month old releases back up to the top of the play lists folks.

"Two experiences I’ve enjoyed a great deal of late: a Sloow Tapes release by GNOD called “The Somnambulist’s Tale” and seeing White Hills play live in Glasgow. This album finds these two forces meeting in a particularly fine sense of harmony.

Although GNOD (it stands for Global Network of Dreams, in case you’re wondering) and White Hills are both known for turning the dial up to 11, quite a lot of the music here is in their mellower vein. Although the album opens with a generous helping of buzz-saw guitar and later there’s some heavy riffing too, the centre of this work revolves around drones and hypnotic percussion.

If your not familiar with GNOD, from Mamchester, England, or the American trio White Hills, from New York, I would commend both bands to you on their own. Together they’ve made a highly enjoyable album which, I suspect, not many people will get to hear. I hope you enjoy the privilege as I have.

[Since writing the above review, I'm grateful to Gnod for contacting me to correct an inaccuracy on my part. I'm now informed that "the global network of dreams is nothing to do with us, merely an unfortunate acronym we discovered after forming. Gnod is Nowt, the pagan god of nothing." I look forward to hearing more music from Gnod, a band clearly much greater than the sum of its name! --J.C.] 9/10 -- John Cavanagh (19 November, 2008)"

Noël baisant joyeux

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad

After running all over town trying to find this super limited brew, I finally found it, and grabbed the last one off the shelf. Oh the life of a beer geek. I think the endeavor will probably be worth it, as the Smokestack brews just keep getting better and better, and the Sixth Glass Quad, of which the Bourbon Barrel Quad is an offshoot, was exceptional, so I approach this one with great anticipation.

The "BBQ" comes in the same style bottle as the Saison Bret. It has that classically simple look to it, with the name inscribed in handwritten font. This one is numbered 04780/10630, and shows 11.8 % alc/vol.

A dark, almost opaque garnet colored pour is topped by a huge, dense tan head. Hues of crimson reveal themselves when held to light. Head retention is excellent, with a fine sheet of lace left behind. Dark fruits (raisins, grapes, figs) present themselves to the nose at first. Behind that we have some grain and subtle spice (nutmeg, coriander) along with a welcomed, but surprising hint of brett. Smoky phenols envelop the aromatic profile.

An initial sip reveals a spicy, bready sweetness that ends with a good hit of alcohol heat. Further exploration reveals the aforementioned brett funk, a furtive note of burnt wood, some spicy candy, more dark fruits such as grapes, prunes and cherries, and a hint of taffy. Toward the end of the glass, when everything has warmed, the essence of the bourbon barrel aging reveals itself and hits at the back of the throat with the oaken notes and grain, providing for a special encore.

Mouth-feel lies somewhere between medium and full-bodied, but it's definitive rich, creamy and viscous qualities make it quite drinkable.

The "BBQ", monikered appropriately as it's brewed in KC, is an exceptional beer that should make any Midwesterner proud, and any East or West coaster envious. Trade or travel, but do whatever you must to get a hold of one of these.

Friday, December 19, 2008


A who's who of mid-20th century artists, musicians and writers, Without Stopping follows Bowles through his middle class New York upbringing, through his journeys as a young man through Europe and North Africa, Central and South America, and back to North Africa as an older man as he settled in Tangier.

Having thoroughly enjoyed The Stories of Paul Bowles, and their rich desolation and iconoclasm, Without Stopping worked well as a follow up, exploring the depths that must have been the impetus of some of his short stories. And while there are a lot of well known facts about Bowles life that are left out of this book, those omissions do not detract from the overall telling of the experiences and travels portrayed in the book. In my opinion, the reader is not left wondering too much the reasons why, but I suppose I will look to a Bowles biography soon to get the rest of the story.

All in all this is great reading for those who have had dreams about living the vagobond, starving artists life, but never had the guts to follow them. Those like me.

I'm also reading psychologist Phil Zimbardo's The Lucifer Effect, which is a good study of his infamous Stanford Prison Experiment and a further exploration of the reasons why "normal" people can do very bad things, a subject I've always been fascinated by. It is good to educate ourselves about the many times conflicting workings of our minds, as we never know when might might be in a situation to become a hero, or become a devil.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Miss Lana Rebel | All I Need LP

Miss Lana Rebel, of Wantage USA's fabulous math-metal-punk instrumental group Last of the Juanitas, steps into the realm of country ballads and runs about as far from her distortion filled roots to the other end of the musical spectrum as an artist can go. But maybe this isn't as removed from her previous endeavors as we might think, as real music is real music no matter what form it may take.

Punkers embracing country is nothing new, just look at the Mekons, who did it very well, and there's no doubt that the true and original country musicians were rebels for sure. While The Last of the Juanitas were no Mekons, and Lana is no Tammy Wynette, All I Need is filled with enough country balladry and two-steppin' hooks to interest the most hardened of punk rockers who might be looking for a change of pace (even if just for the novelty) because somewhere right under the surface of things some common sensibilities stream through the chords whether they be distorted and picked or acoustic and strummed.

While Lana has everything country down pat here, there's one essential element missing from this record, and that's grit; the kind of grit that comes from being in bar brawls and living in trailer homes, the kind of grit that comes from working at the Wrangler plant and driving a beat-up truck, and being proud of it. Now I'm sure she's experienced plenty of livin', but it's just ain't the right kind. The real country music, as far as I can tell, is also a way of life that's been lost to time. And while that element of "being there" may not be completely present, this record is still darn good in it's own right, and I give Lana kudos for keeping real country music alive and making her own statement against the CMT bullshit that inundates the airwaves and makes for cheap entertainment for people who spend too much time at Wal Mart.

For the love of cheep beer and tight fittin’ jeans step out and do something different.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Steel Pole Bath Tub | Bozeman/Borstal 7"

If you like early Jesus Lizard along with a healthy dose of Black Sabbath and Melvins undercurrents, then you will probably dig this one. Dale Flattum's bass lines keep things grounded until Mike Morasky's kick-ass riffs and schizophrenic vocals come in and slay.

The early 90's, what a great time for good sounds, but those days seem to go way unnoticed these days. WTF happened to all these great fucking bands! Time moves on.


Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nar and Lizards | Split LP

Actually ended up with this when one of my punk/skater friends left it at my apartment back in the early 90's. He never asked for it back, and I never offered. A sort of pay it backwards for all the damn CD's and shit people "borrowed" from me back in the day and never returned before I implemented my no loaning out albums rule. Fucking don't get me started on the tragic loss of Melvin's Lysol LP. Still brings a tear to my eye. Anyway, this is excellent garage-type power-pop-punk from Sacto circa '92. Lots of teenage love-angst and sweet hooks for certain. Completely infectious.


Here's a review I wrote on RYM quite a while back.

"This is a split LP from the bands Nar and Lizards. These two bands produced some of the most pure and melodic garage punk your ears will ever have the pleasure of hearing. Nar and Lizards are reflective of the early 90's sound coming out of Nor-Cal from such bands as Crimpshrine, Riflesport and Green Day, cept' ten times better!! This is the real thing. Nar's Spacesuit is the greatest punk love song ever written. No doubt, go find this record if you can."

This is good stuff no matter what flavors of sound you like, and now you don't have to go far to find it. Enjoy.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Los Llamarada | The Very Next Moment 7"

Lots of buzz going on about this band over the past year or so. Los Llamarada take that shit-punk-noise veneer we're all liking, but is already kind of getting old, and morph it into something more interesting and predictibly longer lasting. I grabbed this single last year, and somehow it faded into the stacks of records, which is a shame, because a revisit has really paid off.

Anyway, I figure it's time to pull it out and share it with you fine folks. They also have a couple albums out you can get on SS as well as a couple of earlier Cdr's. You can get the debut, Close Your Eyes, here.


Friday, November 21, 2008

Saint Arnold Christmas Ale

This is the the first of the winter warmer's for me this year, and it seems like a fitting brew for today, seeing how the temperature has dipped down into the 30's.

Ok, let's get down to business. A two-finger tan head rises quickly to the rim of the pint glass while a flurry of excited bubble activity goes on down below. Retention is good, with the head fading slowly over a matter of minutes, leaving a thin sheet of lacing all around the glass. Color is amber with some pure red hues off and on throughout.

You get the malts rising to the nose at first, with a subtle spiciness right below that. A faint note of caramel is also noticed. Tastes spicy, earthy and bitter up front which is a nice effect. Then the malts and a bit of caramel sweetness join the party to balance things out.

Mouth-feel is medium, and it goes down fairly smooth with a noticeable alcohol heat at the very end. It's not too highly carbonated, but as mentioned, it has some good bubble activity.

I'm looking forward to some great winter warmers this year, and if even half of them are this good, I won't be disappointed.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Chriss Sutherland | Me in a Field

One of my favorite releases of the year so far, and barring some the release of some exceptional discs in the next two months, will definitely be in the top 5, and probably closer to the 1 spot .

There's a lot of tradition floating around here, mixed with many things new and fresh. It's very melodic, yet edgy and introspective.

Sutherland, of Cerberus Shoal fame, and also of the excellent folk quintet Fire on Fire, is an artist not to be missed in whatever musical form he and his genius decides to take.

Here's a review I wrote of Me in a Field upon a first listen a few months ago.

"Mellow range music for broken but unvanquished hearts sung in a foreign voice that somehow makes sense. Sutherland takes the familiar and crafts, hones and weaves his unique creation into something not only interesting, but also pleasing, while a musical wink of an eye makes you get it.

Melancholy echoes play off canyon walls and rise above a fireside picking with an edginess that is done so well it goes almost unnoticed, leaving a subtle and soft yet fulfilling substance. An empty space becomes active with an ineffable haunted shimmering resplendent with streaks of hope. A thirst for belonging and companionship is quenched by a communal spirit that rises from the ashes of a smoldering desperation.

Telling a story of a pioneering spirit, Sutherland takes us into an expanse we might want to avoid, but need to experience. In the end we are rewarded handsomely for our joining in the journey. This is the story of another genius bard that will undoubtedly go unnoticed while his poetry begs to be heard, but falls among a mass of deaf ears whose crisis could be ameliorated with his succor."

Buy it suckas.

Also, Fire on Fire has a new full-length coming out Dec. 10th on Young God Records. I'm sure it will be a barn burner if it's anything close to the ST EP from last year, which you should grab here. My compliments.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Failing Lights | True Form 7"

This intense slab of noise on white vinyl with perfect minimal packaging comes to us via Chicago’s Bloodlust! label. Limited to 300 copies as is seemingly standard these days, and apparently about sold out. One song on each side.

Side A, Discovery of a World in the Moon begins the planetary motif of the disc amid a churning of hateful noise, all covered with sheets of white hot feedback and drones which are kept alive by a pulsating star music borne possibly light years ahead of its time yet obviously honed directly beside it's peers.

After the abrupt culmination of side A, side B picks up a bit softer, but just as chilling, as it's sound delves into a deep space of haunting and endless electronic voices. Ideal Lunar Landscape leaves us a bit more circumspect with it's sharp contrast, but somehow it's atmosphere is still unsettling. As our mind numbs a funureal dirge evolves and the unwelcomed brevity of this passage is realized.

buy from label

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fun Fun Fun

Day 1

Despite the dirt and dust Fun Fun Fun Fest lived up to it's name and provided some tasty treats for the punk rockers. I showed up later than planned on day one, around 5:30, due to hitting the records stores and bars all afternoon. After grabbing a Foster's 24oz, which was the only choice besides Miller Lite (WTF!) I headed straight for stage 3, where I camped out for the remainder of the night.

I ended up catching the last half of Municipal Waste's set. I haven't seen a mosh pit that ferocious in years, and it kept up it's intensity in front of stage 3 (punk/hardcore) pretty much for the remainder of the festival. Municipal Waste seem to be a pretty fun band, but a little of that brand of hardcore can go along way with me.

Next up were Integrity, which much like Municipal Waste, I can get enough of really quick. They were followed by the highly anticipated Adolescents who kicked off their set with No Way and ended up playing through most of the ST with some other bits and pieces thrown in here and there. The crowd sing-a-long with Ameoba was fucking rad. A lady in front of me turned to me and said she'd been listening to the Adolescents since she was about "this high" with a big smile on her face and motioning with her hand way down low, and that about summed it up.

All immediately took the(b) stage and played a perfect set which included all the pop-punk classics, including Sex in the Way, Pretty Little Girl, Simple Things and She's My Ex. A good time was had by . . All. Despite rumors floating around the crowd, no Descendents songs were played, which is cool with me, because this was an All show.

Headlining day one were the Dead Milkmen, who came out way more powerful than I had expected. While the Milkmen have a lot of fun and sing about the most goofiest of shit, they mean fucking business when they hit the stage. They kicked things off with Punk Rock Girl and got that one out of the way quickly. I found it interesting that half the crowd were high schoolers or college age kids, and were singing along to every song. There is hope for the future! And it also made me feel not so damn old. Highlights for me during their set were Smokin' Banana Peels, Stuart and Methodist Coloring Book.

Day 2

Sunday night I showed up just in time to hear Joey Shithead and crew slam into some true hardcore DOA blasts from the past that showed many of the newer bands how it's done. After DOA's intense, non-stop set, some goofy fucking band with a singer that talked to much rock star played, and then came out the the Cro-Mags(Jam). While not the original lineup (missing Harley Flanagan and Paris Mayhew thus the moniker with [i]Jam[/i] added) the crowd was nonetheless treated to an overwhelming wall of hardcore noise with a good amount of traditional 80's politico speech making by singer John Joseph. I could have done without a lot of that, as much of it came across as dated, but what the fuck ever, We Gotta Know was the shit.

I know a lot of folks like Bouncing Souls, but they're not really my can of beer, so I headed out to drain the big lizard in the backyard and get another brew in preparation for what would be a transcendental set by the Bad Brains.

The Bad Brains were probably the first true hardcore punk band, with the exception of maybe the Misfits, that I truly got into. Theirs was one of the first hardcore sounds that actually struck a chord with me, and played a major part in developing my ear for punk. I remember seeing photos of H.R. and Bad Brains in Thrasher and thinking those were some cool motherfuckers, and after all this time nothing seems to have changed. They represented, and H.R. answered the question posed by one Austin paper as to whether he would "bring it". He fucking "brought it", and more.

This show was a long-time coming, and was the main reason I travelled 7 hours to Fun Fun Fun. While there were some great acts playing, I probably wouldn't have made the trip if it weren't for the Brad Brains. That being said I did have a great time hanging with a couple of very good friends and enjoying the Austin Scene, which was all icing on the cake.

All of this combined with some beautiful weather and I couldn't have asked for much more from a festival. And with the exception of one incident, that of being accused of stealing beer from the beer line (give me a fucking break, the customers where the only ones getting ripped off in the beer line) the folks in Austin were a nice and friendly group of people, and I'm ready to go back next year.

P.s. I want to apologize for the terrible quality of the photos (in forthcoming links). My compact camera was no match for the lack of lighting on stage and the dust particles floating in the air.

Fun Fun Fun
Fun Fun Fun
Fun Fun Fun

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Treetops | Permission/When I Was Younger

This, one of the many Treetops releases of late, finds it's way to our outstretched hands via the exceptional ArborCdr label.

Taking us deeper into drone forests canopied with petulant bursts of noise and echoing with a haunted desolation, Permission/When I Was Younger, takes a simplicity of instrumentation and creates a complexity of texture, crafting and mixing a hierarchy of sounds which result in a feeling of belonging despite a certain isolation.

Through a hoary and combustible air a rusty voice lingers, reaching, tentacled into the confines of a space that can only be described by sound. Words and theory suffocate, pictures and vision desiccate. All that is left is the aural sense. And that is all that is needed.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bleach | Killing Time

Part of the second wave of Shoegaze, Bleach were a bit more raw than some of their predecessors, and comparisons to Lush end with the fact that both groups had female singers.

Bleach were definitely a bit more unruly than most Shoegazers and were quite a bit less dreamy, but that's not to say they didn't have their ethereal pop moments. Take for instance Trip & Slide and Shotgun, both of which bleed some pop genius, but are are grounded with some attitude as well.

Killing Time is fairly raw, mostly driving, and has some good hooks and melodies. Good stuff any way you cut it. You can get this CD on Amazon Marketplace for dirt cheap if you want a lossless copy.

I always get to jonesing for some shoegaze from time to time, and like to throw some of the oldies in the playlist, so here's the vinyl rip for you folks like me that still dig that sound.

Highlights include Friends, Fall, and Trip & Slide


Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rake | Cow Song 7"

Probably the first noise rock I ever got to back in the early 90's. Didn't really like it that much at first, but kept this one around, and glad I did. Noise is an addiction for me these days. Once you develop a taste for harsher tunes, it's amazing the things you start to pickup inside the hurricane of sound.

Rake page.


Friday, October 24, 2008

"Choc" Signature Series Belgian-Style Dubbel

Wow, these Choc Signature beers are coming fast and furious, and I can't get enough of them. So nice to see a local brewery take it up a notch with the bigger beers and do them well.

Pours a dark brown with cherry hues into a goblet. Topped with a fairly quickly fading, two-finger somewhat airy tan head. A thin lacing sticks to the circumference of the glass when all is said and done.

Aromatically we get some dark chocolates, cherries and esters, some toasted malts, an essence of hops, and some sweet candy to wrap it all up. It's complex and a bit subtle at the same time.

Taste is robust and complex, although not as much as the smell. I'm getting some more dark chocolates and some grain. Taste also involves some silky sweetness.

This is a full-bodied brew. A good shake reveals some quick bubbly activity, so I would say carbonation is medium. The alcohol (8%) is blended well, and is barely noticeable until the very end.

As I've said before, I may be a little biased since this is a local brewery, but you can't go wrong with these brews, and nobody I've talked to about them has been dissapointed. Seek em' out and enjoy.


Joe Pritchard, owner and proprietor of Pete's Place (the best Italian food in Oklahoma) sent me an email letting me know a bit of the history behind this brew. I found it very interesting!

"We think it is the best beer we have ever made

Good story too

They went to brew it one day and the yeast that they had been growing for a week was, well, let’s just say it was not very good. Lots of “interesting” growth!

Michael went to the homebrew shop in Tulsa and got yeast from all the Belgium abbeys. Combined it for a yeast cocktail. So that beer has a little bit of every Belgium Abby.

Not on purpose but it turned out great"

It did turn out great, that's for sure.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


From time to time I'm going to throw in some brief thoughts on books I'm currently reading. I like to see what others are tuning their minds to, and I suppose some out there might like the same.

Having finished Cities of the Red Night a while back, I worked up the nerve to begin The Place of Dead Roads, but it didn't take much internal coaxing, as Burroughs always gets me excited. Not that way you dirty pricks!

The Place of Dead Roads is a sequel not so much in the sense that it picks up where Cities of the Red Night left off, but that it further explores the extremes of Burroughs homoerotic and violently drug addicted and sexually energized worlds. But there is so much more to it than that. Burroughs explores themes of class struggle, religious domination and the grey areas between good and evil with the wit and humor that only his mind can summon.

This time, the protagonist Kim Carsons leads the Johnson family (a group of rogues) on a journey to secularize and sanitize the world in this violent old-west shoot em' up. Be prepared for the fractured and fragmented, the gory and profane, and the real and unreal.

I've also been taking my time with Babel's Collected Stories. Having been interested in Russian history since I read The Gulag Archipelago, I had Babel on my reading list for a long time. These are gripping stories, with the most striking being the Red Cavalry stories, which take us through the horrors of war as sort of snapshots of humanity, and many times inhumanity, which detail the actions of Russian soldiers and civilians who cannot escape the inevitibility forced upon them by their mutual history and impossible circumstances. In these tales choices are made, choices are lived with, and rarely is the noble path taken, which makes them all the more real. Most of these stories are very short, but in their brevity lies a power of description which is benefited and sublimated by Babel's economy of words.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Boulevard Saison-Brett

I owe this one to serendipity. Had no idea it was even out, and there it was, beseeching me to grab it off the shelf. All the smokestack series have been exceptional brews. I expect this one to be no different. Very limited, as I'm reviewing bottle # 9825/11950. Let me say it once again, there's something deeply satisfying about uncorking a beer bottle. That "pop" that once only the wine snobs got to enjoy, can now be enjoyed by the common man.

As with the Doublewide IPA, this one has a prolific head that just doesn't stop. I slow poured this one into a snifter, and it still overflowed the rim. Retention is excellent, and big chunks of lacing are haphazardly left around the glass. Color is a subdued, somewhat hazy orange.

The nose is complex and filled with the robust, interesting and much welcomed brett funk. There's some citrus and some spice as well. Overall expectations just rose a bit. On to the palate. I taste yeasts, hay, some lemon tartness, orange peel, an essence of sweet bread in the background and some malts. There's a slight bitterness in the aftertaste, and some estery and phenolic essences also involve themselves. The taste and aroma are both complex and exceptional.

As mentioned before, this one's highly carbonated. Mouth-feel is crisp and medium to full-bodied, but is damn drinkable despite it's 8.5% abv.

Unique, tasty, well balanced, well crafted, and I good go on and on. If you are lucky enough to have Boulevard distributed to your area, I would seriously try and seek this one out before it's all gone.

Warmth / Medroxy Progesterone Acetate | Split 7"

Seasons of infinite pain; epochs of bliss. Over the top with the words? Probably, but this is one of my favorite releases of the year so far, so fuck it. Both tracks evolve slowly and involve the listener in an experience few noise artists can pull off. For every ten releases of marginal importance, you come across one of these, and it makes it all worth it.

The entirety of this split draws you in, but never really spits you out as much as it just pulls you in and mangles with sinewy maws of noise and grips with hands of haunting ambience. Over the top again? Well, yeah, but this release brings it out the verbal superfluity, and I'll make no apologies for being excited about this one.

First two tracks from the 7". Last two tracks from the accompanying 3" Cdr.

Dig it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Barbar Belgian Honey Ale

I usually approach beers with non-beer elements in their name (honey, fruit etc.) with a certain amount of apprehension and lack of expectation, just to be safe. However, with this one, I have high expectations from what I've heard about it. This one pours a somewhat hazy orange into my DFH snifter. One-finger of off-white froth resides above the brew for a short while before settling down with some inconsistent chunks of lacing scattered around the glass. A whiff reveals some definite yeasts, which were also visually evident during the pour, a bit of biscuity and honey sweetness and a good malt base.

Taste is complex, tart, sweet almost to the point of cloying, but not quite, and a bit bitter in the end. Some spice, big fruits and clove exist, and the honey essence is mixed in fairly well, which finishes things off nicely. Mouth-feel is rounded and creamy at first, but finishes with a bit of crispness. It goes down pretty easy, with the 8% alcohol being barely noticeable. It's well carbonated, which keeps things pretty airy in the mouth. Not bad overall, but not totally my cup o'tea either.

Dead Luke | Record Two

This, the almost sold out Record Two, is the aptly titled follow up to Record One. While mostly the same in style (but not quite on par with Record One) Dead Luke strike a slightly different pose in ethic with this one. I don't know really what to think of all this new retro scuzz bedroom-synth stuff. Some of it doesn't blow me away particularly, but most of it is pretty damn good. That practically describes 90% of my record collection, which is a good thing.

A lot of groups are redefining the old standard styles; new wave, psych, noise etc, and putting their own touch on them. While the creative process may be somewhat eschewed by tradition, many times it leads to a precision in sound which seems to be working fairly well.

Side A, Jumping Jack Flash Drive, is a catchy cover of the Stones song. It's Devo-ish with its synths, while also including some spacey synth freakouts over the top of it's techno drum beats. Typically modified vocals stream things along while a cool lead guitar solo bleeds in and out during the course of the song.

Side B, Not Tonight, is even more Devo-like, and delves deeper into the New Wave tradition for it's tropes. Not as catchy as the A side, but actually more interesting. Not Tonight is the redeemer of this one. A bit dreamy, a bit haunting, and more minimal for sure, it makes seeking this 7-incher out worth the effort.

Buy it you freeloading scum.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Heavy Winged | A Blanket of Ash

Upper crust improv psych-noise from the vagabonds of the American underground. You guys know the drill. Not to be missed.

AQ sums it all up a lot better than I can.


Heavy Winged were in town a few weeks back, and let us have a bunch of this tour only cd-r, limited to just 50 copies, and thus, we assume, already well out print.

Like the rest of their discs, a seriously frenzied chunk of repetitive psych groove blowout. The drums and bass locked tight, looped and cyclical, pounding out fiercely hypnotic jams, while the guitar, just wigs out, soaring and squealing, and grinding and chugging, spitting out squalls of glittering high end, and unfurling churning downtuned riffage, tightly wound for sure, but also loose as hell, the rhythm section solid as shit, letting the guitar go apeshit, and go apeshit it does. This seems to be a whole live set. The opener is as described above, while the second track begins all moody and meandering, with the guitar slipping and sliding over a lazy strummed bass and a a smattering of cymbals, it does get heavier, but much more drone-y and almost dreamy. The final track is a serious blow out, the drums tribal and frenetic, the bass a super distorted throb, the guitar offering up mostly streaks of feedback, eventually launching into some high end buzz and spray, while the drums pound relentlessly, the whole thing eventually crumbling to pieces.

These guys kick so much ass, especially live, so for a handful of you, here's a chance to hear what all the fuzz is about.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Brew and Noise.

Good sounds and good brew have always gone hand in hand with me. Well, maybe not always. I just started getting into the "craft" beer thing a few years ago, and I've found that the craft brew industry, in many cases, shares the same ethic with the DIY/underground music world. That is, there's lots of people truly believing in what they're creating, and fuck all to the mass consumer mentality. Not only that, but there's usually some kick-ass cover art on the bottles.

Now, we've all learned a long time ago, that just because something is rare, or is created with the most noble intentions, that doesn't necessarily make it good. That's why we explore. That's why peole experiment, so the hidden gems can be sought out and created. That's also why we have the internet, so others can help us along the way.

So, when I come across an exceptional or interesting brew, I'll probably post a review of it here, as I also review beers on Beer Advocate, which is a great place to get good brew info and hang out to see what others are enjoying.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Endtables | White Glove Test b/w Trick or Treat

When I say eclectic, I'm not kidding. I'm not sticking to one flavor here. I get bored easily, so I gotta get to tons of different types of music. Got a hold of this 7" white vinyl back in the early 90's through mailorder. Oh the days when you actually had to work to get some good sounds. Since that time these two songs have been some of my favorite punk songs of all time. This is a re-issue of sorts. I think the original songs came out in '77 or '78 (edit 1979 per label). Both songs are doozies.

You can also find these two songs on the Bold Beginnings: An Incomplete Collection of Louisville Punk 1978-1983 comp. I think the two songs on the single are the best two of the collection, but if you like them I strongly suggest obtaining the entire comp. It's strong and timeless. had this posted way back, and has some good info on the Endtables.


Starving Weirdos | Harry Smith

More exquisite drone magic from Starving Weirdos. Maybe not as strong as previous outings, but that's not saying it's not moving right along into the never never lands.

Here's a review from Hawaiian Winter Music Reviews.

Starving Weirdos have gained a certain amount of notoriety as one of the most interesting groups coming from the west coast right now. Their one-sided LP, Harry Smith, served as my first exposure to their unique sound craft apart from some music found on the Rootstrata website. This music was recorded live and served as a live soundtrack for silent horror films by the record's namesake, Harry Smith. The artwork on this record is as unique as the music itself, with a pasted-on collage reminiscent of older punk LPs. In fact, one of the saddest parts of the experience was having to poke a hole in the art to be able to play the record.

It becomes apparent in the first few minutes of this music that it is being created by musicians attuned to their own vision of sound, and is an exercise in musical patience as much as suspense. The music is as creepy as the films that inspired drove its creation and reflects a solid perspective on the work of Smith, himself. This record is one of the best examples of the development of drone music in recent years. The use of these drones is simultaneously subtle and spectacular. These guys are sure to be among some of the best drone bands out right now and help to keep the music respectable and enjoyable.

Highly recommended, this album is limited to 300 and its a wonder that it hasn't already sold out.

I'm going to try and mostly post stuff that's out of print or vinyl only and is not otherwise available in the blogosphere. We'll see how it goes. Hope you fine folks enjoy this one.


Joining the fray.

So, everybody who's anybody seems to have a blog these days, and there's no doubt there are some amazing underground music blogs out there. There's a veritable endless universe of great, and often times forgotten tunes out there that have thankfully been resurrected.

When the initial thought of creating a blog struck me a few months ago, I had to ask myself what could I add to the panoply of great blogs that already exist. The answer to that was simple, probably nothing. However, I figured I'd give it a shot, and hopefully somebody might find something of interest here in the future.

What I intend to incorporate in this blog is chiefly music; mostly centered around limited edition releases from artists that move me, and who might do the same for you. The intent of this blog is not to post a shit-load of albums so people can free-load their HD's up with a ton of music they will never truly appreciate.

This age of Internet accessibility, where so much is so easily available, has diminished our appreciation of music enough. That is, we have moved away from the album experience, and from truly spending time with music and getting to know it and feel it. As with everything, there is an inverse argument, and the Internet has definitely served as a great medium those of us discerning seekers of good sounds to get to the stuff we might otherwise not have the opportunity of hearing.

Also, I will only post the highest variable bitrate .mp3 files which have been derived from vinyl rips or CD's from my collection. For anyone who is interested, I use an Alesis Masterlink standalone CD recorder with a VPI Scoutmaster as source with a Wright Phono preamp for the vinyl rips.

Furthermore, from time to time, if the fancy strikes me, I might throw in some thoughts or reviews of good brews and good literature, two things besides music that I enjoy.