Sunday, March 28, 2010

R. Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders- Singing in the Bathtub

Now that spring is upon us, I figure an ol' timey sounding album for sitting lazily on the front porch, or in the back yard, and sipping some booze would make a fine addition to this blog and (y)our lazy drinkin. And please don't think that this is bluegrassy or some sensitive folky horse-crap. It's just music by guys who listen to too many '78s and in turn, this music delivers the listener out of the present time and into a simpler, more carefree state of mind.
Plus there's that Crumb sense of humor. The lyrics aren't drenched in it, and I think it's best not to overdo humor or try to fit too much in. It's far less effective.
This might not appeal to Yanks, fast paced, or serious people, but if you're a lazy Southerner (at least at heart) drinking a little beer in a comfy chair in the garden and sees it as the best thing to do with your afternoon, this just may be for you.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Antoine Duhamel- 'Pierrot le Fou/Week-End'

Many of Godard's best movies have incredibly powerful music, not bombastic powerful, more for how it affects the film. Basically, giving it some of that good ol' movie magic. The music, from the director's viewpoint, is very important to those films. He is extremely creative with the music and its placement in or out of rhythm of the action on screen, especially with dynamics in editing. It gives the films a strange energy.
He also uses great film composers. Some scores are jolly, some are tragic, some are dense, but Antoine Duhamel's are the most raw, ominous, and at times frightening.
'Pierrot Le Fou' is a perfect example. One of my absolute favorite movies, and the music undoubtedly aids the film in completely overtaking the viewer. But I must say that I prefer the movie versions of the vocal songs, and (rant time) where is the music that the guy on the dock kept singing (that scene is a favorite of mine), and the song when they're in the car when he's taking her home the first night (I have a version sung by Jeanne Moreau, accompanied by the composer, Cyrus Bassiak-seen in "Jules and Jim" playing guitar while Moreau sang), the song at the very end, etc.? More Bassiak originals? I want it all! Oh, well. Not that there's anything wrong with what we have here. Especially "Le Morte Bleue" (and that scene!).
I have to say that it isn't the music that came to mind when i remember things about 'Week-End," but hearing the score now, I really appreciate the fact that the music doesn't try to outdo what is happing on screen (how could it?), while still affecting it and resultantly amplifying what is happening. Something subtle in Week-End. Huh...
This movie needs to be re-released, dammit. It's important!

Meet the Residents

This is a difficult record to write about, especially briefly. It is definitely my favorite Residents album out off all the one's I've heard. I definitely prefer their more primitive approach AKA before they went all electronic.
This seems WAY ahead of its time to be from 1973 and is definitely an avant-garde classic (and punk, in spirit more-so than most...DIY label too). Everything about this album is so imaginative, original, challenging yet accessible, oddly inviting, and, overall...great.
A real treat to those who've never heard it...

Teengenerate- Savage

This record was the first time, as an impressionable kid of 16 (1994? '95?), Teengenerate made my jaw hit the floor. I had never heard anything recorded so LOUD. It made me have to go fucking nuts. Still does, too.
Teengenerate were always a perfect amped up, blown out mix of early punk, garage rock, and '50's greaser R'N'R. No pretension ANYwhere, and if you think you hear any at all, you're obviously an asshole.
This does make me feel like an old man, though. Every time I listen to this album I wind up yelling something like, "Kids these days don't know SHIT about fucking rock n' roll! How can they think it's boring? What the fuck, their music is the most boring shit I've ever heard! They could never understand how fucking amazing this band is! FUCK EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THOSE MOTHERFUCKERS! We're all fucking doomed to their bullshit! I need another beer..." etc.
If you don't get it you've just gotta move...and keep turning it UP.

Here is:
FINK (lead vox, guitar, got talent to write so-so songs)
SAMMY (bass, Beatlemania sucker)
FIFI (guitar, vox, drunk, fool)
SHOE (drums, fucker, maximum party lover)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the Dead C- Trapdoor Fucking Exit/Relax Fallujah-Hell Has Come

This was my introduction to the Dead C, and I've been hooked ever since. The first thing that came to my mind was Mystery Pill, an improv. noise band I was in with two friends, and we often had a lot more people but the 3 person MP line up is what it really reminded me of, not that we were in this league, but you know...
How can you go wrong with an album that reminds you of yourself and two good friends getting fucked up and making noise to please only yourselves? If you know how much fun that is you'll understand. Bands who pander to the audience miss the whole fucking point.
This is also the Dead C as about accessible as they get, even though it is a live recording (Harsh 70's Reality era...another album you need if you don't have it). Maybe it's because it IS a live recording that the instruments are more separated and they come across more like some other "band" than their records show them to be (?). If this isn't structured enough for you then you better run for the hills. Honesty and improv. experimentation aren't for everyone, unfortunately.

This 7" has another version of "Power" and "Bad Politics," possibly the Dead C at their most "punk," from the Sun Stabbed EP.

Une Femme Est Une Femme- Soundtrack

This is the most literal "soundtrack" album I may have ever heard. It is almost all of the music (and there's a lot in this movie) as you heard it in the film, with dialogue and everything. Each track is very short (I love the fractured energy of early Godard) and because of this and the dialogue, this soundtrack would probably just annoy anyone who has never seen the movie. This is probably Godard's most accessible and upbeat movie, naturally a good place for apprehensive beginners. Michel Legrand's swelling, oozing, romantic score only adds to its appeal. And if you're like me, you've seen this movie enough times to know all the dialogue, even though I don't speak French, this is a special treat. You can experience the movie even if you can't sit down and watch it. It's like a fractured, jumbled audio book, and seeing as it's a Godard film, what else would you expect?
A fun fact: Godard and Legrand wanted to make a realist musical. Somehow they had an advance private screening for themselves and Gene Kelly. Kelly was confused and frustrated since there was only one sung song and no choreography. He thought Godard and Legrand had lost their minds.

Davie Allan & the Arrows- "Blues Theme" LP, and "Apache '65/Blue Guitar" 45

Every younger generation has to go one step further than the last, and in that way I see Davie Allan to Link Wray. Where Link Wray seemed to write street fighting anthems, Davie Allan was more into motorcycles and tough guy cruising tunes.
Allan's claim to fame was "King of the Fuzz Guitar" and I sure love fuzzy music, especially swarming over trebly primitive backdrop plus the longest tune is 2:10. Too tough to live, too fast to die.
There are a few songs that seem like either pressure for the label or audience pandering, namely "William Tell 1967" and "Ghost Riders in the Sky." They aren't bad renditions but they lack the spark and street punk nature of the Arrows' originals. That's an unusual amount of freedom for a small band at that time. A lot of the albums by its contemporary garage rock vocal bands have one amazing song, maybe a few copies of said song, and a whole lot of covers of already popular songs. All in all these records don't really stand up as strong as they could, but "Blues Theme" is definitely an exception.
I was lucky enough to find an inexpensive first press of the record...and here it is...

This must have predated the "King of Fuzz Guitar" title (released 2 years before "Blues Theme"), seeing as these tunes are not fuzzy, but don't let that stop you. "Apache '65" is a very strong, solid rocker and "Blue Guitar" reminds me of Duane Eddy's "The Lonely One," if only because it's a more "sensitive" tune by a rebel rock n' roll guitar slinger, but Allan's retains more street-cred.

More From the Gay 90's Village

Here's some more proof that the Salvation Army sells some of the strangest records on the market. Old people really aren't so square...
This record is a compilation of one retired plumber from Sikeston, Missouri's personal collection. Paul Eakins collected enough to open the Gay 90's Village to showcase "the world's largest collection of nickelodeons" (this record is from 1957).
I do like how the sound of inserting the nickel into the machine starts off most of the tracks, except for player piano and music boxes. And what better way to spend five cents than to see a mechanized piano/organ with, drums, cymbals, flutes, bells, and who knows what else play pre-arranged "gay" songs? I hope the pianos were purposely out of tune, it suits this music so much better.
To me, this is the equivalent of Electronica for the 1890's, well, more mechanical than electronic but the principle remains. Todays electro-musicians never seem to use a march beat though...
If this intrigues you I recommend looking for photos of these machines (each machine is listed as the artist in the zip file). These really are incredible machines that create some strange jolly music.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Crossfires- Limbo Rock

"The Crossfires were among the first groups to introduce the Limbo on campus at Dartmouth College and Boston University. They have since been in great demand, and play as many as four of five college dates a week in their busy schedule"- (From the liner notes).
A novelty record by an Ivy League party band is an odd thing to find in your grandparent's record collection. Maybe it was my Dad's, or they didn't know what they were buying (seeing how clean the vinyl is)? Or maybe Grandma and Grandpa needed something to liven up their parties now that their only son was off at college? It's hard for me to picture them listening to this.
Family mysteries aside, this IS a very entertaining record, but rather than invite people over for drunken party games, I tend to listen to this record when I'm cooking dinner (got to make that more fun, you know). So domestic...
What really strikes me is the immediacy and energy of these brief songs (nothing over three minutes...perfect) and how they alter the atmosphere in the room as soon as the needle drops. Nothing is overdone and it never goes over the top. Things stay relatively relaxed...making you party in a more dignified manner...but not so much that it seems stuffy. It's still loose and partially wild. Get crazy and mellow out at the same time.
Perfect party music (and cooking music too).
Plus it's also just a great instrumental rock n' roll record.

1) Everybody Limbo
2) Limbo Rock
3) Nimbo Limbo
4) Limber up Limbo
5) Polynesian Limbo
6) Limbo Stick Limbo
7) Koko Limbo
8) Bim Bam Limbo
9) Fuzzy Wuzzy Limbo
10) Southern Fried
11) Viva! Olay! Limbo
12) Jamaica Farewell (Limbo)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thinking Fellers Union Local 282- Admonishing the Bishops

As you've maybe been able to notice, I have a thing for a solid E.P. and I love the way TFUL 282 address their E.P.s. Where most bands try to make solid albums and use E.P.s to get more experimental, TFUL 282 does the opposite.
Coming after the experimental madness of their classic "Mother of All Saints," during the "Alternative Rock" boom of 1993, and on the major for an indie label, Matador (I still say TFUL 282 are the best band ever on that label), this record made a criminally small splash. I know they are far too weird to ever be considered for commercial success, but they deserve the status of indie rock legends far more than label-mates like Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Sleater Kinney, Superchunk, and countless others.
Oh well, just goes to show that originality doesn't get you very far.
The perfect sequence is also something rare, though easier with an E.P. and this one's got it. Each song is unique from every other and show no weakness in composition or delivery. "Hurricane" eases you in and stealthily absorbs the listener leaving the frantic "Undertaker" to snap you out of the daze and remind you of just how versatile a band CAN really be. Finding one as good at that sure isn't common.
"Million Dollars," in turn, effectively reduces the not to overdo it sometimes. "Father" brings it down further and rounds the record out with another low key completely absorbing song. Great great stuff.
The first time I heard this it was grouped on a CD along with "The Funeral Pudding." The flow between "Father" and "Waited Too Long," is so perfect I was shocked to learn it was accidental. Try it if you've got both....
About this file: Like many CD's from the early/mid 90's, this one was mastered way too quietly. I also despise remastering...seems they just try to make older albums sound more modern, more "today." Yuck.
So I recorded this off my 10" and turned the levels up. Tah Dah.
Less talk, more rock:

and from their incredible double L.P., 1992's "Mother of All Saints"...

The Jesus and Marychain- Upside Down/Vegetable Man

"Upside Down" was the first JAMC song I ever heard and as a result has rendered the bulk of their discography boring. This single, "Psychocandy," and parts of "Barbed Wire Kisses" are all the JAMC I need.
I guess there's nothing like fuzzy slacker rock trying to be heard through a wall of screeching feedback to draw me in. The guitars that sound like a swarm of hornets don't hurt either.
Their cover of Syd Barrett's "Vegetable Man" comes across as semi-psychedelic proto-grunge but falls just short of the immediacy of the A-side. It makes me think if Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd had gotten very drunk, instead of high...well, maybe a little high, too, run the whole thing through a distortion pedal and taken a more primitive approach that maybe they too would have stayed interesting longer, but like the JAMC, only put out one great album along with a handful of strong singles.
A well proportioned single, or band, isn't as common as you'd think.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dave 'Baby' Cortez- The Happy Organ

My Mom has always claimed this song as a favorite and no matter how much fun I used to make of it as a kid, "The Happy Organ" really is a great song. I love instrumental "oldies" especially one with this much spark and vitality.
The B-side is a odd choice for what would seem like a party music A-side, a broken hearted ballad. Taken out of context, it works a lot better.
Even though getting the light and dark sides of R'N'R on one single seems like a good idea, it comes off a bit weird...but who cares, right?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Country Teasers- The Scottish Single

1) The Last Bridge of Spencer Smith
2) Prettiest Slave on the Barge/Kenny Malcolm on Smack

You may know "The Last Brigde..." from "Science Hat..." and a different (and the definitive, in my opinion) version of "Prettiest Slave..." from "The Country Teasers Live Album." Here's the version from 1996.
This is a great single and you know why? Because it's by the fucking Country Teasers!

Dwarves- Horror Stories

To me the Dwarves are a great band that went downhill FAST. This is by far my favorite release of theirs. It's a crowning achievement in garage-punk. It's loud, fast, fuzzy, dirty, mean, sleazy, no nonsense R'N'R meets evil psychedelia. Simplicity CAN be exciting, Schpuggenauts. Here's the proof.

Pierre Fournier & Ernest Lush- Cello Encores

I found this going to the free shelf (AKA crap-pile) at an old used media store where I used to work and made me, finally, be able to get into some classical music.
I came to realize that I'm just not into big bombastic symphonies. I much prefer the small ensemble, like this one...just a cello and a piano. To me it is much more effective (I left off side one of the record, with its big symphony and less interesting music).
This is great for moody, sombre, introspective, and/or gloomy (not always, though) times.
Brevity also works for those who aren't sure if they like classical or not...a good place to start...or continue.

Calypso Carnival featuring King Flash

Yet another 45 from my parents' collection. This one has been a long time favorite, mostly for "Mama Looka Boo Boo (Boo Boo Man)." Harry Belafonte did a vastly inferior version that I'm sure a whole lot more people heard. There really is no justice in this world...
Try not to smile once for the duration of this song.
"Zombie Jamboree" (in Long Island Cemetery) isn't bad either.
Just Give it a listen.

Gate- The Monolake

Gate is Michael Morley from the Dead C, and fans of that band will have a lot to enjoy in Gate.
The first track samples the first opening seconds of The Rolling Stones' "Sway" (one of my Stones favorites) the whole way through. I never thought a Stones sample could pass for the Dead C, but it does.
Seeing how noise has grown in popularity, i find it surprising that Gate/the Dead C haven't grown in popularity. Going to noise shows these days consists of hearing bands who WISH they were Gate, even though they probably haven't heard it. It seems subtlety is square these days, but geez.
For something so harsh, this is a very meditative album. I might dare to venture that is is more accessible than the Dead C...
The last track is a cover of Faust's "Jennifer," with Michael playing and singing over the original. I hope it's also an homage to slacker pride.
If you're into drone, feedback, de-tuned guitars, lo-fi minimalist noise and mumbled vocals you may have a new favorite album.

Jon Wayne- Texas Funeral

This was given to me by an old co-worker I used to trade music with after I had put something by the Country Teasers on a mix. The similarities are fairly obvious, even though this is quite unique from the Country Teasers [I swear Ben (in homage?) throws in several Jon Waynish "YEP!"'s on 'Satan is Real Again'].
Jon Wayne is all American, for better or worse. They are obviously drunk, don't know how to tune instruments, have a rare sense of humor/intolerance. In other words, this is a great, lost classic. Gets better with every listen. Yep!
The slighty more competent King Uszniewicz of country music? Legendary Stardust Cowboy toned down by too much whiskey?
No use telling you the jokes here, no matter how bad (good) they are.
Sometimes dumb seems much smarter...

1) But I've Got Texas
2) Texas Funeral
3) Mr. Egyptian
4) Texas Cyclone
5) Texas Jailcell
6) Workin' Man Blues
7) Shades
8) Texas Wine
9) Is That Justice
10) Texas Polka
11) You & the Kitten
12) Apple Schnapps
13) Truckin'
14) One Hundred & Fifty-One Owl Caricatures
15) Texas Studio

Historie(s) de Musique (Music from the films of Jean Luc Godard)

I am a total spazz for Godard's films like I am for Ben Wallers' music. I really can't get enough of his (earlier mostly) films, most of which have great music to boot. With a roster featuring Michel Legrand, Georges Delerue, and Antoine Duhamel it's tough to go wrong.
But why is there no music out there for 'Band of Outsiders' (Bande a Part)? It seems strange seeing as it was advertised as Michel Legrand's last film score (?) and just happens to get stuck in my head quite often. IF YOU HAVE IT PLEASE SHARE.
This is a good compilation though, except for the last three songs...yeesh. And the re-recordings of Anna Karina's songs lack some of the spark of those in the films, but really are nothing to complain about.
A good place to start but leaves you wanting more (I will post more later).
If you haven't seen the movies, watch them all before you listen to this. Godard is a genius.

from 'Breathless' (A Bout de Souffle)- Martial Solal
1) La mort
2) New York Herald Tribune
3) Duo
from 'A Woman is a Woman" (Un Femme est une Femme)- Michel Legrand
4) Angela, Strasbourg Saint-Denis
5) Chanson d'Angela, par Anna Karina
from 'My Life to Live' (Vivre sa Vie)- Michel Legrand
6) Vivre sa Vie
from 'Contempt' (Le Mepris)- Georges Delerue
7) Overture
8) Camile
9) Generique
from 'Les Plus Belles Escroqueries du Monde'- Michel Legrand
10) Ballade pour un Escroc
from 'Alphaville'- Paul Misraki
11) Valse triste
12) Theme d'amour
from 'Pierrot le Fou'- Antoine Duhamel
13) Mic et Mac, par Anna Karina
14) Ferdinand
15) Pierrot
16) Ma ligne de chance, par Anna Karina
from 'Le Plus Vieux Metier du Monde'- Michel Legrand
17) Anticipation
from 'Week-End'- Antoine Duhamel
18) Elle et lui
from 'La Chinoise' - Claude Channes
19) Mao Mao
from 'Sauve qui peut (la Vie)'- Gabriel Yared
20) Le commerce
21) L'imaginaire
Bonus Track (BAD)
22) Ferdinand, par Sporto Kantes

Monday, March 15, 2010

Teengenerate- V.M.Live 11/2/95

May not be the best sound quality, even by Teengenerate's standards, but the energy of this audience recording comes through. If you are new to Teengenerate, download "Get Action!" two posts below on this blog, first.
I'm pissed I never got to see these guys live...

1) Get Me Back
2) Let's Get Hurt
3) Six and Change
4) Savage
5) Kicked Out of the Weebelos

Boby Lapointe- Comprend Qui Peut (Best of comp.)

I first came across Boby Lapointe in Francois Truffaut's "Shoot the Piano Player." His song, "Framboise," kind of annoyed me the first time I heard it, but with every next viewing of the film, I came to love it (see it below). I was also a little disappointed that the album version was much slower, even though "Marcelle" is about the pace it was in the film. I love his mannerisms too.
This is subtly strange music. I can't think of anything else quite like it. Yet another CD that almost automatically puts me in a good mood.
Maybe it's the bouncy, almost march like, rhythms or his seemingly primitive vocal delivery, or both. I don't know much more than that it makes me bounce and laugh, and that's enough for me.

Teengenerate- Get Action!

Why this is not considered a punk rock classic is beyond me. Is it too rock? Too lo-fi? Too straight ahead? Americans don't like it when they can't understand the lyrics?
If you think any of those I would venture to guess that you don't like (early) punk rock and/or you take yourself and your ideas about what is "punk" far too seriously.
They remind me of the Saints (and they were obsessed with early Australian punk) and the Dead Boys...if you sped their records up and added plenty of distortion to the whole thing.
Full fucking throttle.
They included a cover of the Pagans "Six and Change" only on the LP, which I am including separately (sequenced between "Human Tornado" and "Plastic Man"). FYI the LP is still available from Crypt Germany (along with many other great records).
If you don't enjoy this, I feel sorry for you.

Get Action! (CD)

Six and Change

Friday, March 12, 2010

Country Teasers- Laziness E.P.

This is actually more of a Rebel E.P. than Country Teasers, even though "Raglan Top..." was rerecorded for "The Empire Strikes Back."
The version here has the bouncy drum machine (I usually hate drum machines, but not how The Rebel uses one), sped up vocals and lo-fi guitar that was so dominant of Rebel release around this time (2004). I heard the "Empire" version first, which is one of my favorites off that CD (why it was left off the vinyl, I have no idea) I enjoy this one equally. There's just no going wrong with a song this good. Hearing is believing, Schpuggenauts.
"Laziness" is another gem. What better excuse for not finding success, smoking hash, napping, not recording, or fixing mistakes?
Each side is rounded off by a more electronic piece. I must say I am partial to "Assfucksiation Initiated!" over many of the electronic instrumentals, and is he singing in another language on "Ahoy There"? German?
All in all this is an excellent little record.

1) Raglan Top of Lonsdale Grey
2) Assfucksiation Initiated!
3) Laziness
4) Ahoy There

Thursday, March 11, 2010

an E.P. by Francoise Hardy

Along with 60's French movies, I am a total sucker for 60's French pop, especially Yeh Yeh girls.
Francoise Hardy is probably my favorite. Her sultry delivery just wins out over France Gall's brattiness.
Francoise's early releases for the Vogue label rank amongst my favorites, which is why I picked this as possibly my one vinyl purchase (Yeh Yeh vinyl in pretty damn expensive).
There is a great 2xCD collection of her Vogue Years that is well worth checking out.
I personally prefer pop to be in a language I can't understand. That way I don't know how bad the lyrics may be...but I'm still curious. This way the vocalist is more or less just another instrument in the band. Just how I like it.
Pop is self explanatory.

1) Ton Meilleur Ami
2) On Se Plait
3)La Fille Avec Toi
4) Il Est Tout Pour Moi

Music from "Ikiru"

If you have never seen Akira Kurosawa's 'Ikiru,' this may not be the most exciting post. But for you fortunate ones who have (and as a result probably love it as well) you are in for a treat. I don't want to spoil anything here for those who haven't (go see it now!).
After seeing it for the first time I immediately searched the internet high and low for Takashi Shimura's two versions of "Gondola No Uta" (life is brief), but I guess this movie was before the time of soundtrack albums. So I just decided to plug my four track into the TV and make my own.
In my searches I found a version of the song from 1961 by Sagawa Mitsuo (included here). Being used to Shimura's delivery I found this version lacking in the raw humanity Shimura's was drenched in. Upon further listens i grew to like it a whole lot, especially how they rip off the riff from "Sleepwalk."
Did I keep that vague enough?

1) Gondola No Uta (playground)
2) Gondola No Uta (bar)
3) Gondola No Uta- Sagawa Mitsuo

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Rebel- Live Aids

This 7" was recorded live by Ben and Sophie (w/ some overdubs) and launched the label Kanker Mongool with the all too limited pressing of 350.
I love Sophie's drumming. Few drummers can back away and add something as creative as she does. Ben mostly sticks to keyboard, but in a more subtle way than many of his other electronic experimental-video-game-musicy pieces. "You're Just Like Tammy Wynette" is not too drastically different from the "Northern Rocks..." version (nothing wrong there) and stands out as the most immediate song on the record. Worth the price of admission alone. Just give the other ones some time...they'll grow om you like crazy.

1) In My Wallet
2) You're Just Like Tammy Wynette
3) Sweet Little Eyes
4) Knapsack
5) Beware Nicole Intro

Jim Bakus- "I Need a Vacation/Delicious"

Wow, what a bad record. You may know Jim Bakus as Mr. Howell on Gilligan's Island, the voice of Mr. Magoo, or the Dad from "Rebel Without a Cause," but this is his um...single. My Dad says that he used to buy discount bundles of 45's, with good ones on the ends and crap in the middle. Here's one from the crap pile.
The music on "...Vacation" is actually okay, but Jim takes it beyond cheesy. "Delicious" is kinda creepy-ish, unlistenable some days and hilarious the next.
To be honest, I don't feel the need to write about this'll see. Just give it a few listens before you think about deleting it. It becomes rewarding later.

The Yummy Fur- "Night Club"

I came to The Yummy Fur through the Male Nurse, by way of the Country Teasers and I do not hold it against them that some later (? I sure hope so ?) members went on to form the insufferable Franz Ferdinand (YUCK).
The Yummy Fur is far more punchy and accessible than CT and the MN, drawing strong influences from the Fall, the Fire Engines, and the Minutemen (more noticeable on "Kinky Cinema") and of all of their records I've heard this one stands as my favorite. Short punchy Fall inspired off-kilter punky skronky poppy good time mayhem=good in my book, especially when I've been on denser music, as I tend to. This is weird and poppy...crossover!
Seriously though, give this record a shot...something accessible to today (even though this is from '96...modern enough, right?) on this blog? Take advantage!
(too lazy to type out the song titles)

The Male Nurse- "G-D-R/I'm a Man"

I came to know the Male Nurse through the Country Teasers (front-man Ben Wallers, Alan Crichton, once in CT and subject of the song, "Deaths," and one time CT and Yummy Fur drummer, Lawrence Worthington were all in the Male Nurse). In a perfect world they would've been a supergroup, and not a band hardly known for a novelty-ish single, "My Own Private Patrick Swayze," not that that single is anything to sneeze at...
Not surprising for a band with members of the Country Teasers and the Yummy Fur, the easiest band to compare them to is the Fall, but more than the others, the Male Nurse stick to the law of repetition, and unlike the Fall, in the vocals as well as the music. The vocals are slurred and unintelligible but that's how I like it. The voice is just another instrument in the band. If you like the riff once, I hope you like it the next however many times.
The recording quality of the Male Nurse took me by's so clean, but not in a bad way.
A great single through and through, but I still find myself more drawn to the B side.
If any of you have their 2 Peel Session PLEASE share them...I've only heard three tracks and want...errrrrr>need the rest.

1) G-D-R
2) I'm a Man

Having a Good Time with Huey 'Piano' Smith & his Clowns

Many years ago I used to work in this sinking ship of record store. People who wanted to sell used vinyl had to drop it off and if they didn't come back in 30 days it became our property. Most people didn't come back. By the time I started working there the whole back room was completely filled with records and seeing how none of the other employees wanted to deal with them, I offered to go through them, especially when I found out that I could keep anything I wanted.
As you can imagine, most of it was the same terrible shit you see everywhere, some boring but expensive ones (enough to support me financially for a few months after I quit), and some real gems, like this one.
I knew nothing about it other than i loved the Sonics' cover of "Don't you just know it" and of course "Rockin' Pneumonia..."
but this soon found its place beside my beloved Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs records AKA some of the most pure, simple, light hearted, and fun rock n' roll records to help you forget whatever bullshit is bugging you at the moment. Like today, I had a SHIT day at work, came home feeling like crap, until i put this record on and found 2 Old Chub's in the fridge I forgot I had and BAM! Automatic good mood. One man party!
No nonsense rock n' roll tends to do that for me though, and this record is a classic in that style. Should get any halfway decent party, drive in the car, or night at home headed in the right direction. And like all good things, it comes to an end far too quickly.

1) Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu
2) Little Chickie Wah Wah
3) Little Liza Jane
4) Just a Lonely Clown
5) Hush Your Mouth
6) Don't You Know Yockomo
7) Havin' a Good Time
8) Don't You Just Know It
9) Well I'll Be John Brown
10) Everybody's Whalin'
11) High Blood Pressure
12) We Like Birdland

The Noise Makers- "Zoobee/Panic"

I guess I've always been out of touch with popular music. Sure I flirted with it when I was young, but I always seemed to prefer oldies radio and my parents' dusty old records to whatever everyone else thought was cool (which was/is never nearly as cool as this little 45). Plus I've always loved instrumental music.
This one has been a long time favorite by a band I have never heard anything else by. If you know any, please pass it on.
Young folks these days mistakenly seem to think old rock n' roll is boring or tame or something stupid like that. If they actually listened to it they would realize that this music if far wilder, says "fuck you" louder, and made that "fuck you" resonate much louder and more effectively in the society of its time. Today's music is the tame, boring stuff.
The A side is a simple feel good cruising tune. It may not be the best ever, but it gets the job done...with gusto! Puts the action in your pants!
The B side should've been the A side. This song inspires what the best rock n' roll always should: the desire, no, NEED to FUCK SHIT UP!
If you like Link Wray, Duane Eddy, and other oldies instrumental street rock bands this little record will be right up your alley.
Spin it! LIve it! Fuck it!

The Rebel- Bums on a Rock

Upon hearing the great live in studio album, "Northern Rocks Bear Weird Vegetable" the song of the ones I wasn't already familiar with that stood out the most was "Bums on a Rock." A near obsession for finding the original 7" followed.
Like the rest of "Northern Rocks..." I love how different the live band recordings are from the solo home recordings. Each works in its own way and has its own charm, which work for us obsessive Wallers fans, giving us two versions of these wonderful songs to compare, contrast, and have more to listen to endlessly.
The title track is a Wallers classic. I could go on and on about it, but will let you find out for yourselves. Fans of the halfway between guitar driven and electronic Wallers will be in heaven here. Songs like this one deserve to be massive global singles, but I guess the world just ain't ready yet...they never seemed quite bright enough to realize Ben's brand of genius.
"Yellow Boy Game" and "Nurse, Nurse, Nurse" venture more into the electronic, Game Boy tracks that seem to annoy Country Teasers fans to no end, but these tracks are a good place for those types to open their minds and still hear the same music through a different medium, aided by these tracks' brevity and melodic leanings.
"Black Policeman" sounds, musically, very similar to "The Idiot" (on "Idiots V. Spastics" also on this blog) and is a new personal favorite. Dig the sax solo. I could (and do) listen to music like this all day.
"Brite Yn's Cnut" is one of the instrumental electronic pieces I'm not quite as into. Not that it's bad, it's just not as strong as the rest of this fantastic 7".

1) Bums on a Rock
2) Yellow Boy Game
3) Nurse. Nurse, Nurse
4) Black Policeman
5) Brite Yn's Cnut

The Dead C-Stealth/The Factory (Sub Pop SinGles Club)

Calling The Dead C a singles band is pretty dang laughable, which makes me wonder what members of the Sub Pop Singles Club thought when they got this little doozie in the mail. My guess is that they didn't get it, seeing how it is relatively cheap on ebay and I have seen it in a few used bins for even less. That's understandable too. If I were into the bland bands on Sub Pop and was expecting a "single" and got this 7" out of nowhere, I would be confused as hell if not disappointed. Calling the Dead C anti-commercial is a gross understatement, which is a large part of why I love them so much and why most other "indie-rockers" (where is the rock or independence in that just barely under mainstream genre?) turn their noses up at the noble kiwis.
Even being a big fan of the Dead C, this one took a few listens to sink in, as many of their song-structure abandoning pieces do. Maybe the brevity, minimalism, and overall wobbliness of this little record have more of an immediate appeal to me in comparison to their album length sound pieces (which just take a little more time and/or distraction).
Maybe not the best place to start for Dead C virgins (try "the White House," "Harsh 70's Reality," or "Trap Door Fucking Exit" or even their latest "Secret Earth"), unless you're a fan of minimal feedbacky noise, but a nice find for enthusiasts.

1) Stealth
2) the Factory

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Rebel- Exciting New Venue For Soccer and Execution of Women

Yet another extremely solid 7" from the Rebel. Those of you who know "Northern Rocks Bear Weird Vegetable" and Country Teasers "The Empire Strikes Back" will be familiar with 3 of the 4 songs on this E.P., though in different versions.
This is one of those 7''s I have trouble listening to only once. It's a perfect example of the medium: 4 short punchy (fucking great) songs combined into a compact, well rounded package.
Should i go on kissing Ben's ass or should you download it and form your own opinion? Your opinion is that Ben is a genius.
Just so you know.

1) Turtle v. Octopus
2) Please Ban Music
3) Keith
4) Spiderman in the Flesh