Thursday, November 29, 2007

to be a

It's pretty rare that I discover an album completely on my own. I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a straight line from someone else's record collection (mainly TFS's) to mine, or that I don't spend my few hours of free time everyday wandering the internet in search of other nerd dudes' recommendations and free samples. Even when it's not one of those two situations, I can usually retrace the steps (down to absurd details, like what shirt I was wearing and the feeling in the air) that got me to owning any album in my room, but every once in a while that trail goes totally cold, as is the case with The Covocation Of...'s 2001 album, Pyramid Technology. I think it may have been a Jason Schulmerich (then of Fantastic Records, later of Hell On Earth, and now of the Yawn Factory) recommendation based on my known appreciation for Unwound, Botch, Aesop Rock, Sam McPheeters, et al. I seem to remember him saying, "You'll like this." either right before or right after I bought it, but I can't be sure. I also seem to remember playing it, along with Lightning Bolt's Ride The Skies, for Tyler in my parents' computer room, and then him putting it on a tape with a Scorpions record (maybe Lonesome Crow?). That would make sense, but again, I can't be sure. Regardless, Pyramid Technology is fucking killer and more instantly satisfying than some of guitarist/vocalist Tonie Joy's earlier, arguably more essential projects (Moss Icon, Universal Order of Armageddon, The Great Unraveling, etc.). Kind of a dirty prog mega-rock thing, kind of a psych wah-wah version of the hal al Shedad, with Joy singing about dark forces the way Benjamin Britton Lukens sang about sad angels, albeit less British-ly (no pun intended?). Additionally, bassist Guy Blakeslee and drummer George France both slay harshly, and Chris Coady's production is the best shit ever. They don't make records like this anymore (as far as I know), and this was only six years ago.

The Convocation Of... - "Crimson King's Deceit"
The Convocation Of... - "Ramblin'"
The Convocation Of... - "Unlimited Outer Thought Broadcast"

Not surprisingly, Mira Billotte's version of "As I Went Out One Morning" is the best thing on the I'm Not There soundtrackt. Speaking of that...uhh sort of, check out Eddie Hazel doing "I Want You (She's So Heavy)". Tasty licks! Also, every episode of Dr. Katz is now available on DVD. Get on it!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I'll rent
the truck.

Punks! It probably goes without saying that Nazti Skinz' long-gone Sic Semper Tyrannis EP is not going to appeal to everyone. If you can make absurd off-color jokes with your friends (please notice there's a T in their name!), were a fan or member of The Chuds (Newark), or are generally not an uptight pantywaste, you'll be fine. Otherwise, you may have questions or concerns. Mentioning that Nazti Skinz featured members of Wrangler Brutes, The Monorchid, Le Shok, etc. and that their sole EP was released by Youth Attack may also help put it in the proper context. Plus, just try not to boogie to "No Accident"! It's impossible. Can't not boogie. It's that teenage trash feeling, the perfect blurred line between pure, ridiculous anger and fun (not to mention a certain mysterioso reputation and general scarcity) that keeps Sic Semper Tyrannis going for semi-crazy $50+ prices on eBay. It's that undeniable need for horribly/awesomely-recorded gems, perfect for skating and destroying or wishing you could skate and destroy, that must be pursued worry-free.

Nazti Skinz - "No Accident"
Nazti Skinz - "Tirade"
Nazti Skinz - "Criminal Crime"

Songs that may go over easier include Nelson Angelo and Joyce's "Sete Cahorros", Francoise Hardy's "Le Temps De L'amour", and/or Olivia Newton John's "Magic". Also, a couple good VBS joints--No Age on Practice Space and Enrique Metinides on Art Talk. Avoid the Enrique Metinides stuff if you can't handle dead bodies and sad things.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Kurt Werts is 65 years old.

It's my dad's birthday today! He's 65, approaching old fogey status. That's him in the black vest and flowers (and my mom staring at the camera) at what I've been told was a Sgt. Pepper party. This was when they were living in...South Dakota? I can never remember which Dakota they lived in. I think it was South. Or maybe they were still at Grove City. Regardless, my dad's pretty great. If you see him, wish him a Happy B-Day. Also, feel free to check out the best "Dad" song I could think of below.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I can feel
the real dis-ease.

I've been pretty burned out on music lately, but here goes anyway: a couple post-Halloween records that also work year-round. First is Quix*o*tic's second and final album, 2002's Mortal Mirror. Featuring Christina Billotte (Casual Dots, Slant 6, Autoclave), Mira Billotte (White Magic), and an almost unrecognizably shred-free Mick Barr (Crom-Tech, Orthrelm), Mortal Mirror, for me, kind of blows all those past and present works out of the water (although I do adore Crom-Tech, and I'm starting to adore White Magic, and there is that one Autoclave song). It's also essentially a guide for what girls should do if they're going to start a band--spooky, slightly mathy garage/ girl group jams, with stunning Aaron Neville and Black Sabbath covers thrown in. That's only if you want people totally falling in love with you and thinking you're the coolest, though.

Quix*o*tic - "Anonymous Face"
Quix*o*tic - "Open Up The Walls"
Quix*o*tic - "Lord of This World"

And then there's Velvet Cacoon's Genevieve. Full credit goes to Tyler Farren for randomly throwing this on the living room stereo (thanks, Leah!) one afternoon, and for generally being my #1 black metal supplier (sorry, Leah). I'm still an amateur enthusiast, but I'll say this: Genevieve is in the gauzy, speed drone realm of the black metal universe, full of multi-layered embittered darkness and occasional growls of despair in mini-epic form--not quite the high Wagner-ian drama of something like Vothana, but moving nonetheless. I want to say if you could get down with Orchid, you could probably get down with this, too. But who knows? I had this idea for a haunted house/hayride thing that revolved around Genevieve being played really loud inside an abandoned church, which seems kind of cheesy now. It's good, though, it's pretty scary.

Velvet Cacoon - "1"
Velvet Cacoon - "P.S. Nautical"
Velvet Cacoon - "Genevieve"

Random other songs are "Scrapbooking", "Odorono", and "Ten Thousand Animal Calls" (remember this song??). Check out clips from the best album of 2008, I mean besides whatever Straight, No Chaser puts out. Oh and Spiked Candy got updated big time last week--major French girl pop and Halloween song talk, plus A LOT of downloadable things.