Friday, June 22, 2007

I knew I had to rise above it all, or drown in my own shit.
I guess when I said Friday, I meant the following Monday. Also, all these songs--the best songs of the remaining moments of June 2007--can be found on accompanying divShare pages which, in addition to hosting them theoretically until the end of time, will allow you to listen to the songs on one of their embedded players before you decide whether or not to download. Try 'em before you don't buy 'em, but hopefully do buy them eventually because they're worth your money!

Kati Kovacs - "Szólj rám, ha hangosan énekele" (from Kati Kovacs)
Also known as Kovacs Kati, and from an album that may also be called Rock and Roller. This song is fucking great--Hungarian psych funk pop that sounds kind of like Abba if Abba threw in guitar solos that absolutely destroy (or, I guess, if the male half of Abba was Locomotiv GT)--and came to my attention via the sadly dormant Spiked Candy site (the song is also downloadable there, with a little more info about her). You could probably just ignore the other songs on this list and go with this one, and I would totally understand.

The Screamers - "She's The Girl", "The Beat Goes On" (from Demos 1977-78)
I forget what blog posted this record up, but they're god's own personal warriors, whoever they are. This is arty synth-punk from every LA punker's favorite barely recorded band, sounding like James Chance and Suicide doing covers of each others' songs. Kind of what all those art-damaged ex-hardcore kids tried to do in the late '90s/early '00s, only not annoying.

Timothy McNealy - "Easy Easy Easy" (from Fallin' Off The Reel, Vol. 1)
Truth and Soul's collection of vinyl-only singles from a couple years back is such a staple in my car, it's made its way into the "permanent rotation" glovebox along with The Replacements' Let It Be and Sabbath's Paranoid. I refuse to drive without the classics, vehicle registration, and insurance card! This track originally comes off the B-side of McNealy's "K.C. Stomp" 45, which was either recorded in the early '70s or sometime recently. It's hard to tell the new-school old-schoolers from the old-school old-schoolers on this thing, but either way it's a perfect mellow soul joint for those with a strict "good-vibes only" policy.

Ennio Morricone - "Trafelato" (from Crime and Dissonance)
Crime and Dissonance collects a bunch of Morricone's psych-y, free jazz-y, funky soundtrack work and it KILLS, as do the film stills in the liner notes. This song starts out frightening before turning into two minutes of potential Wu-Tang beats, and can be found in the 1971 film Giornata Nera Per L'Ariete.

Them - "Mystic Eyes", "Don't Look Back", "Baby Please Don't Go" (from The Story of Them featuring Van Morrison)
I got obsessed with Them (Van Morrison's pre-Van Morrison band) once I figured out they were the ones responsible for the version of Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue", as featured in Basquiat and probably most recognizable to fans of Beck's "Jack-Ass". These three jams originally appeared on Them's first record--either Angry Young Them or Here Comes The Night (or just Them), depending on which side of the pond you were on, and are right in line with the best of the mid-'60s UK blues revivalists/obsessives. Actually, maybe "Baby Please Don't Go" wasn't on the first record. It may have just been a single.

Black Moth Super Rainbow - "Forever Heavy" (from Dandelion Gum)
This is kind of a guilty pleasure pick. "Forver Heavy" is some kind of psych-stoner jam done entirely on perfect-sounding synths, which is awesome, but the vocoder vocals are a big turn-off. I can handle it on a Daft Punk song, but not here. Thankfully they're not on the whole track. Also, beware--the full album is this one idea run into the ground like 15 times. BUM-OUT.

Funkadelic - "Maggot Brain" (from Maggot Brain)
I can't usually stomach guitar histrionics in that bluesy rock kind of way, but I can make a very easy exception for Eddie Hazel. On Maggot Brain's opener, he mellows out and destroys your brain for 10 minutes as a way of expanding on George Clinton's initial state of the world/mind/ass address.

The Kinks - "Lavender Hill" (from The Great Lost Kinks Album)
I've never investigated The Kinks because it seems like you can be either vaguely aware of their hits or a completely obsessive nerd about them--there's no middle ground. I don't know if I want to be a nerd about them or hang out with nerds about them, but this song is really great.

The Raincoats - "Balloonacy" (from The Kitchen Tapes)
Ramones - "Loudmouth" (from Ramones)
I thought I was basically done with arty post-punk weirdo bands, but I guess not. This live Raincoats record is better than I was expecting--subtle and funky, like a slightly less-together Talking Heads. The Ramones song is one of my favorites of theirs, and sometimes I dream about Ten Tents covering it and making the last part that's kind of a hardcore breakdown go on way too long.

The Velvet Underground - "Satellite Of Love (demo)" (from Peel Slowly and See)
This isn't quite as incredible as the version on Transformer, but it sounds pretty good if you listen to it right after listening to Loaded, which is probably why they sequenced it that way on the last disc of the VU box set. The basic elements are all there (plus an intro that was later scrapped, and slightly different lyrics), waiting patiently for a couple years to go by and for David Bowie to get involved.

The Breeders - "Oh!", "Doe" (from Pod)
It would have been awesome if riot grrrl sounded like The Breeders, instead of trash-punk that, in most cases, wasn't necessarily as listenable as it was politically and socially right-on. Also, does anyone else see an almost direct connection from The Breeders and early Liz Phair to the Smart Went Crazy/Beauty Pill/Soccer Team thing in DC?

Dennis Wilson - "Thoughts of You" (from Pacific Ocean Blue)
Pacific Ocean Blue--the long-out-of-print solo record by former Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson--probably deserves its own post, but it's been talked about so much and I have basically nothing to add to the discussion, other than that it's pretty interesting and mostly really good. This song, which starts out on some proto-Wilco low-key throaty ballad shit, gets incredible just after the opening notes of the M*A*S*H theme song kick in. "Thoughts Of You" is also a good indication of the heavy melancholy/bummage found throughout most of the album. Even the cover shot is pretty heavy.

Holy lord did I post a lot of stuff. I also want to shout out William Berger's Cassette Culture Revisited posts on Beware of the Blog. Lots of cool, obscure noise tapes from the '80s, when band names were great (JFK, Wall Drug, etc.) and underground culture seemed pretty weird and genius. Check out the video for "Teenage Riot" for some of that same feeling. Also, songs from the last couple posts (Shuggie Otis/Budos Band/Jehu) will be posted up anew on divShare pages over the next couple days.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I ain't burnt, just golden brown.
How lazy can a punk get?? The answer is lazier and lazier, by the milisecond. I'm going to try to make up for it by posting TWICE this week, sort of to punish myself but mainly because there are several things I've been liking all at once. First up is some double daring, starting with this Budos Band record, full of even more perfect '60s/'70s instrumental soul/funk jams released within the last couple of years (via Daptone and their time machine), on the El Michels tip but with a little more of an Afro-beat thing going on (and I've heard the beginning of each side of the Bread and Circuits LP, so I know what I'm talking about). It also features, dare I say, better volcano cover art than Unfuckwithable. And check out the cover of their next record! This should have been on the horizontal summer soundtrack list I made in my last post, along with obscure '60s girl groups.

The Budos Band - "Up From The South" (from The Budos Band)
The Budos Band - "Budos Theme" (from The Budos Band)
The Budos Band - "Ghost Walk" (from The Budos Band)

I've been rockin' Drive Like Jehu's Yank Crime a lot, too, and I think I'm going to add it to the punk rock curriculum I secretly hope to foist on my sisters' kids. Maybe it's me angling to be the cool older brother I never got to be (and not the weird, goofy uncle I surely am), or me looking for at least one anti-most-family-functions, pro-listening-to-Charles-Bronson accomplice. But regardless, kids of the future are going to have to learn about '90s hardcore sooner or later, and I'm reasonably sure I'm the most qualified Werts for the job. Yank Crime may even be the best record to start with--it hits pretty hard with dirty, vaguely southern math punk bombs constantly exploding or threatening to explode, and balances out with discordant slow jams that eventually erupt into shouts of "DO YOU COMPUTE?!" and "ALOHA! SUIT UP!". Meanwhile, it's still pretty accessible--compared to their San Diegan brethren from that era--without turning into an "alternative rock Jawbox nightmare", as someone from Harriet the Spy once put it (put this and some Chavez on a tape and you'd be pretty much set for the day!). Maybe I'm crazy, but I think that's sort of an important thing to pass on--that even in an often impossibly crappy subculture, great things are still occasionally possible.

Drive Like Jehu - "Here Come The Rome Plows" (from Yank Crime)
Drive Like Jehu - "Golden Brown" (from Yank Crime)
Drive Like Jehu - "Luau" (from Yank Crime)

#1 Hit Song of the day is The Bitter Sweets' "What a Lonely Way to Start the Summertime", which I cannot get out my head. Full credit goes to T. R. Farren for introducing me to this. Ask him about Brute Force! #2 hit song is "Markos", courtesy of Goblin. Some of the Suspiria soundtrack is great and some of it is music used in a film. Oh shit, check out old Meat Puppets sessions! Do it!! Random songs post with picture of somebody in front of a tape machine coming this Friday, probably.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Here's a pencil pad, I'm gonna spread some information.
Lest you think there's only one great thing (go to just shy of the exact middle of the clip) associated with the word "shuggie", fucking check Inspiration Information the fuck out. Shuggie Otis--the psych-blues Doogie Howser of the '70s--delivers his last studio album, replete with Stevie Wonder soft funk, keyboard preset soul jams, Debarge vocals, and a 1970s future-vision hypothesis that's so intimate and perfect it will make you hate the actual, crummy future that much more. The Luaka Bop cd reissue from a couple years back even includes a few tracks from Freedom Flight (best album cover since Never Say Die!, or ever) to sweeten the already sweet deal. A happier, snappier endless Shuggie(/black metal/No Age/yeh yeh/Goblins) summer 2007 awaits, and I'm ready to dive/cannonball in.

Shuggie Otis - "Inspiration Information" (from Inspiration Information)
Shuggie Otis - "Island Letter" (from Inspiration Information)
Shuggie Otis - "XL-30" (from Inspiration Information)
Shuggie Otis - "Pling!" (from Inspiration Information)

Videos!!!!!! Danzig as performed by Legion of Rock Stars. Vincent Collins' hallucinogenic cartoons. Bat For Lashes' horror movie bikes. A tan Lukas Haas at Andre 3000's pretend wedding. Song!!!!!!! An epic (15 minutes!), moving Vothana track from Hoang Gia that he probably doesn't want you to hear, or me to post. Seriously, if you can't get down with horribly anti-semitic (I think?), Vietnamese black metal, you're more than likely a fucking PANTYWAIST.