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.