Monday, November 30, 2009

Ok, so I just got yet another message on my answering machine where a pre-recorded robot-y woman's voice says she has a message for "Scott Tuttle". Then she says if I'm not Scott Tuttle, please call this number so I can remove my number from their records, and then another robot woman's voice comes on and reads a phone number like it's the single most boring phone number she's ever had to say out loud, or like she's only doing this job for the money and it's been a really long day. Then the first robot woman says that if I am Scott Tuttle, I need to call a different boring phone number and reference a super boring account number, and that by even listening to this part of the message, I am acknowledging that I am in fact Scott Tuttle. Did they think I would scramble to shut my machine off when they shifted the focus to the real Scott Tuttle? Who leaves messages like this? What is this shit about?? Should I just pretend to be Scott Tuttle and find out? What the fuck kind of name is "Scott Tuttle"? Can he even be real? Can robots really get bored? I have so many questions.

Here are some songs I posted on my tumblr within the last month or so: The Parasails, Bumrocks (bored warp mix), Vincent Gallo, The Crossfires, Ornette Coleman, Moondog, some Thai stuff, Abner Jay, Blonde Redhead. I update that shit pretty consistently, so if you're coming here looking for stuff, maybe you should go there? At least for the time being? New posts will be up here soon-ish, though! Also, new geneva13 will be out even soon-isher! It'll include my picks for Christmas songs that are kind of great and kind of not on Sunny 102 and Warm 101.3 and the rest of the holiday/John Tesh/Delilah stations (assuming I finish it in time). Wowee! It's cold, and time to eat. Be back later.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Notes on August and September: Actually, I don't think I have any notes on August and September. It's tough to remember everything. Right now my brain is kind of feeling like this, probably because it's 9:00 am on Columbus Day and someone has been pounding nails into a board with a hammer directly below my apartment for at least an hour. Plus a million things happened this weekend, some of them crazy things. It's a Krazy World. Before I got woke up, I dreamed I was at the record store with a stack of shit I wanted to buy--a box of cassettes and some LPs, a huge haul--but then they decided to close for the night and turned off all the lights at once and started to lock up while I was still in there. Then I dreamed I was in school, and the teacher was handing back a spelling test. She handed my test back, I got a C-. She started talking about what we could do to improve our grades, and part of it was that we had to tape the tests to our shirts and wear them until we had taken a make-up test. I thought she was kidding, so I was like, "Wait, we have to do what? Are you serious?" She didn't say anything, so I asked again really politely, like raised my hand and everything, and then said, "I'm sorry, I didn't catch what you said. What do we need to do if we want to take the make-up test?" She turned around, grabbed my test out of my hand, crumpled it up and threw it at me. I think she called me an asshole, too. I don't remember exactly what happened after that. We had to watch a video or a film strip or something, and I may have gotten a little belligerent, because it seemed like there were no rules anymore, or I just stopped caring. I remember trying to figure out when/if I could get close enough to the teacher to spit in her face, and then I started thinking about putting sugar in her gas tank, and tried to picture myself doing it, in the parking lot in broad daylight. I would be spilling sugar everywhere, and she'd be leaving the school, walking towards her car, digging through her purse to find her keys. I could see myself sweating, trying to finish, wondering if I needed to put in a whole sack of sugar or if even a little bit was more than enough, and then hearing her dress shoes clacking on the pavement, getting louder as she got closer to the car, the car I was trying to ruin. Then, there was the constant, barely muffled thud of a hammer.

But yeah, as far as August/September goes, I don't know that I was really stressing about music at all. I had some time off and hung out with my friends from Michigan, bought a bunch of wine, was sick for weeks on end (pretty much all of September), camped out at my parents' house while they were in Europe and Northern Africa, got the worst fever of my life and went totally delirious, thought I was on a TV show and kept dreaming about things stacked on top of each other, like a garbage dump. I almost threw up but I didn't. Speaking of garbage, though -- the new issue of geneva13 is out and it's all about Geneva's trash situation. I haven't read through all of it yet, mainly because I don't want to get bummed out about landfills and local problems being symptomatic of Earth's general fucked up enviropocalypse. It's one of those things that makes you feel personally responsible and completely powerless at the same time. Ugh. But I wrote a column about my favorite garbage songs and it's fucking AWESOME! Or at least, the songs are decent. I made a mix of the garbage songs + bonus songs to be played at the zine's release party, but unfortunately it didn't get played. Not a huge loss, but people could have heard "Trash", "Garbage Can", "I Sold My Heart To The Junkman", "Teenage Wastebasket", "Peanut Duck", "Everything And More", "Born With A Curse", "Don't Bother Me", and "Werewolf", and it could have gone over pretty well I think. Maybe next time.

I'm trying to think of records that came out recently that were good. The new Grass Widow 12" on Captured Tracks is rad. The new Vivian Girls is killer, too. Don't read or listen to what anyone says about it, just check it out for yourself. And..holy shit! Tyler just sent me a Beavis and Butthead ringtone. This is the greatest shit. Uhhhh, what else? Rusty Kelley from Total Abuse is doing some tumblr things. Pretty crazy about Thee Oh Sees right now. Always insane about Fugazi, right now "Closed Captioned (demo)". Speaking of, read this -- roughly the same shit I thought about as I watched Instrument last week. You should buy this T.A.S.K. record or at least listen to "Holy Coffee", too. Fuck, all I can think about is B&B and how cold it is, and how I need to go to Newark and finish mowing my parents' lawn, visit my grandmother, pick up her laundry. I'm going to end this here. No wait, I'm going to end this with "Ice Cream Paint Job"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


1. Came across a book called The Risen Tide of Shit and Failure. '90s hardcore art allegedly, and the cover looks MITB-ish. I ordered it, so if you want to check it out before you buy, that can be arranged (once I get it). Also ordered that Dave Pajo acoustic Misfits record. Might be some good Fall shit, might be terrible. Nick Drake singing "I ain't no goddamn sonofabitch"? Why not.

2. IDIB's got a couple good things finally: Glass Candy "Geto Boys" 12" and a new Nite Jewel thingie. One-time pressing for the "Geto" shit, if you're still interested (I know my interest in disko shit dropped like a motherfucker). The new NJ stuff I've been hearing has been cool, though.

3. I bought just about everything you told me about. Still waiting on Citizen's Arrest, should be here by the end of the week. Harvey Milk jam is solid, but hasn't sunk in yet. Haven't listened to MK Ultra yet, but it's sitting next to me as I'm typing this. It's right here, Ray, it's looking at me. What do you think of Nazi Dust? I like it after a couple listens. It's more metal than I expected, which is nice. That "South Will Rise Again" comp is kind of stupid, but it reminds me of out-of-town Chuds shows ca. 1999 for some reason, and the Cult Ritual song is worth it. I didn't order that Condominium 7", but I want to hear it. More hXc recommendations, please and thank you! Please pardon my dear Aunt Sally. Oh and I'm still waiting on my Pissed Jeans record, but the guy who took the cover photo (Shawn Brackbill?) is apparently following me on tumblr.

4. I listened to Possessed to Skate yesterday. Suddenly love Spazz and Asshole Parade. Could just be a phase, but what if it isn't?? S. Shootings should happen soon.

5. Did you get 42nd Street Vol. 4?? We should be watching it. Or maybe we should wait until the end of September and do it like balls to the wall Vol. 1-5 . Just an idea.

6. Can I borrow all your Elvis Costello jawns?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hey, I started a tumblr and you can see it/follow it here. It'll be just like People Mover (music-related things), but with very little writing, which means I won't dread having to update it, which means I'll probably update it all the time. And you can learn things from it, like for instance: did you know the Nation of Ulysses clip I mentioned last September that used to be 1:58 seconds long (or something like that) is now 3:59 seconds long? I thought I was hallucinating when it happened. So there's that. What else? I saw Harvey Milk last night. Fucking incredible. Couldn't help noticing Kyle Spence is phenomenal. Better than the first time I saw them in a lot of ways. Set list included "Merlin Is Magic" and "Motown". I really couldn't have been happier. They opened for Torche, which wound up feeling sort of like Sabbath opening for Van Halen, which actually happened in the late '70s, I think, and which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Never sure exactly how I feel about Torche, though. Also, I bought Salo the other day. 50% off select Criterion titles at Barnes & Noble, as of this past Sunday afternoon anyway. I bought a book about Cat Power, too, and now feel like that was a mistake. I flipped through it at the store and found a couple quotes from Henry Owings and thought "this'll be great!". Later, I read the introduction to the book, which starts with Chan Marshall does not want you to read this book. If Chan Marshall doesn't want me to do something, then I shouldn't be doing it. 30-some pages in, and I know why. Don't think I'll finish it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

That mailbox looks like a droid.
I gotta watch Strange Brew because I've been thinking about it every couple of days for the past 10 years probably, and it's on TV right now. But I also want to say this Grass Widow record is fucking killin' it. It feels fresh as hell. Maybe because it's got twisty guitars like Monorchid but with the The Breeders on vocals? Maybe because the songs are a little crazy, sometimes arranged like scrappy prog songs that have to be done in three minutes, but they're not bowing to math? Maybe because the lyrics are legit good? Maybe because they're from San Francisco but they sound sort of British? Maybe because I like all-girl bands in a way that I can't like all-guy bands (Harvey Milk, et al excluded)? Maybe because this GW song I mentioned before (from their split with Rank/Xerox) is like an early hal al Shedad practice tape with the Vince Guaraldi children's choir? Maybe because the cover of their 12" is a picture of their practice space, with a big blanket hanging on the wall with their name spelled out in patches? I mentioned something in my last geneva13 column about "self-consciously post-punk wild women" being not exactly what I'm looking for (even as I love this Mika Miko song/video). Grass Widow are sort of that, but with heavy modesty and great instincts. You can also hear every note. No fuzz, no feedback, nothing blown out. Some people have to go no-fi because they can't write "Green Screen", I guess.

Grass Widow - "To Where"
Grass Widow - "Green Screen"
Grass Widow - "Out Of Body Experience"

Regarding the late Dash Snow: look at this. Doesn't it make you feel like you're doing literally nothing? I'm not at all an expert on him, I was aware of him, sort of. I bought a zine he did that I decided to never look at again because it wound up being weirdly prophetic and I have no interest in revisiting one of the darker periods of my life. But the guy basically had super powers, and said "fuck you" in a lot of fun and ridiculous ways. The more of that, the better. So, R.I.P. Meanwhile: I'm a big fan of Dominique Young Unique and James Moody. Those songs at least. Oh and Cliff Nobles and Co! Long live 94.1 FM.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

YO! Briefly noted: new geneva13 is out and buyable/grabable. It includes yet another music column by me, four pages of things I think are totally pretty good, including: Dum Dum Girls, Brilliant Colors, Onna, Milk n' Cookies, John Lurie, The Stains, The Nerves, Pat Graham, Hot T-Shirts, and Albert Ayler, and some other stuff. Things I did not get around to or sort of forgot to mention were Ancestors and Real Estate. Maybe next time. Also, you should check out this Summer Mix, courtesy of the guy from City Center. Girl groups, etc, so it's definitly worth it. Oh and did I ever mention Ian Svenonius on Dissonance? Totally awesome, and longer than this, but good in a lot of the same ways. Be sure to go to the 1 hr. 36 min. 18 sec. mark to hear "When Love Calls Your Name". Listen to the Congos track after it, too. And turn both them shits way up. Listen to Josephine Baker, too. Buy this Parasails tape if you can. AND: my friend Kaci was an instructor at the Willie Mae Rock Camp For Girls this past week in NYC, and you can see some photos and thoughts about it here. I guess she got an eye infection, but she also got to work with Allison Wolfe. You gotta take the bad with the unbelievably great sometimes.

First podcast coming soon. New posts coming sooner.

ps: Beauty Pill's back and it feels so good. Talk about timing.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sky-scraping afro in the bloom of youth.
Everything that could be said about Michael Jackson's death has to have been said already. Of the very few eulogies I read, my favorites were Rob Havrilla's and Maria T's (be sure to check out that Detention song, as well), because they spoke the truth while saying two completely different things. People loved MJ's music and people thought he was a fucking weirdo, and most people thought both at the same time. I don't know if that's complicated or very uncomplicated. His music was so good and he made people so happy, and his personal life was so unorthodox and made people so uneasy, and the feelings at both end were so extreme and couldn't cancel each other out, and I think it gradually just wore everyone down, maybe MJ included. That's speculation, though, and there's nothing grosser than speculating about someone immediately after their death.

My MJ shit is this: The first album I ever bought with my own money was Bad, on cassette. I was in 2nd grade and I watched TV all the time and taped songs of the radio. I would lay down on my bed and listen to "Dirty Diana" on my walkman, really not understanding what it was about. There was a girl named Diana who wasn't nice? I had no idea what any songs were about at that age. I just liked stuff. The year before it was Los Lobos' cover of "La Bamba". A year later I would ask for a copy of Appetite For Destruction for my birthday. As time went on, I was neither a Jackson loyalist nor did I have any serious problem with him. I didn't end up like Corey Feldman, as this awkward guy who likes MJ way too much and makes Rock and Roll High School Forever. And I didn't end up like this dipshit, who made a 7-part documentary that hinges on something a 12-year-old would make up as a joke and questions that start with "I axe you". I watched the making of the "Thriller" video and thought it was kind of interesting, but also kind of long, and honestly I liked the "Billie Jean" video better. I laughed when, in 4th grade, some kid said "I pledge allegiance to the flag that Michael Jackson is a fag".

Years later, my uncle gave me all his old records, squeezed into two old Ernest and Julio Gallo boxes, and I was psyched to find copies of Off The Wall and Thriller. I put "Rock With You" on a mixtape for my friend Melinda because she liked it so much, and I realized I liked it, too. I saw part of some terrible biopic about him, and this scene where he's in a hospital bed and Lisa Marie Presley is there and she tells him something like, "This isn't going to work..." and then she walks out of the room. From that point on I just felt bad for him. Things were never going to work out the way they should. He was doomed and I knew it.

When I found out he died, I thought of two songs. One was a demo version of "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" from the special edition version of Off The Wall. It's Michael, Randy, and Janet, sounding like they're goofing around in a furnished, wood-paneled basement. Someone's clanging on bottles and there's a false start and they all crack up. It's fun and ideal, even as a kind of rough draft with a crazy collapse at the end, and without those great string parts. The other song was Beauty Pill's "You, Yes You", from their You Are Right To Be Afraid EP. If you listen to it, it's pretty obvious why. It was written several years before his death, but didn't seem incorrect. As part of a full-on, irony-free love song, it made sense. Who wouldn't understand this? Beauty Pill's strengths were (are?) in their warmth, their dry sense of humor, their willingness to tell it like it is, and their modesty. They were a talented band who were either misunderstood or never got their due (I don't remember reading a single review of You Are Right...), and they wrote a song that will always feel strange now that MJ is gone for real.

The night after MJ's death I saw Jonathan Richman at the Bug Jar. He strode up to the stage and immediately started playing a song called "When We Refuse To Suffer". It was funny and he was doing these dances and spinning his guitar, but it was also kind of heavy. I had watched E! the night before and Arsenio Hall called in and said things about working with MJ that weren't suprising and then signed off by saying something that didn't make sense. On CNN, I watched Gideon Yago talk about MJ being seemingly "on something" when he interviewed him a few years back. MJ's kids don't have a dad anymore and people are just saying whatever, and I guess Neverland will be open to the public at some point, with a Michael Jackson corpse dipped in some kind of preservative plastic and placed in a glass case for people to look at. What if he had just made some cool songs, and when he was feeling weirded out by everything, he just stopped, took some time off, didn't take pills, took care of himself, and relaxed mostly? What if he just kept making demos with his brother and sister? I wouldn't have listened to Beauty Pill over the weekend, I wouldn't have had to listen to guys at work struggle to make a joke out of a mega-star death. It could've been different.

Beauty Pill - "You, Yes You"
Beauty Pill - "You Are Right To Be Afraid"
Beauty Pill - "Copyists"

Whoa, videos to make you feel better: The Choir Quit and Hausu. Can't stop thinking about Grass Widow either! Seriously can't! New geneva13 is out NOW, too, but isn't yet available in the store. I'll keep you posted. What else? I gotta eat dinner now, I'm starving. Sorry if this was long and unnecessary!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I love to hear your sweet voice, but not all the time.
Whoa, some belated things from like a month ago. I should've just blabbed about these right after I killed time driving around Canandaigua lake, while kids straight out of '96 style-wise were looking at the apartment I'm in the middle of leaving. But then I got home and they were gone and I was like, "I'm gonna have a beer." Anyway, first off: Middle America. What's up with them? Is it just me and Tyler listening to them? Or is it me, Tyler, the guy from Home Invasion, Fashionable Idiots, and Pennsylvania dudes? Or is it like a lot more people than that? I have no idea what people listen to. I'm fucking old. I also don't know that many people. If I was at a house show and people started talking about Middle America, I'd be like "Middle America! NICE!" and then I'd probably just stand there. There's not much more to say about Husker rage and spooky cover art that doesn't tell you anything. Doesn't it look like it's from a weird PBS art special? Or a museum you went to as a kid that shows up in your dreams every once in a while? Listen to the singer's voice and the guitars overheating and picture the one band in town that's slaying all the others.

Middle America - "Anxiety"
Middle America - "Scraped/Paranoia"

And then Los Mockers! I heard this at my friends Kelley and Kyle's house sometime last year, right before we went to Tap & Mallet and drank what we called "black metal beer" but was actually a beer called Wizard's Winter (I think?). Actually, Kyle wrote about this record on his blog and hit a lot of nails on a lot of heads. He somehow works in Daniel Desario. Actually, if you look at the comment section under his post, you'll see the same story I just told you. Whoops. This record is so good, though. Look at them on that cover, they look like Menudo! But they sound like the Stones! And they were from Uruguay from just the right era and the singer's accent is great. Wait, watch them here. Jesus Christ! I listen to Little Steven's Underground Garage all the time and I've never once heard Los Mockers (or Milk n' Cookies, or the Make Up, or Pussy Galore, or...). What the fuck? Enough with The Oholics already. Original Recordings is like 17 straight hits and it's widely available, so they have no excuse. Here are three songs that are as good as anything anywhere:

Los Mockers - "Every Night"
Los Mockers - "All The Time"
Los Mockers - "Sad"

I looked at the Wooooo page today and started reading all that Franklin group/Bohemian Grove shit. Yikes. I didn't know anything about either of those things but I had this idea for a movie a while ago that would've basically been that whole story, only it would've been set in England and it wouldn't have made any sense. Wwwweeeeiiirrdd. Aren't politicians gross? Isn't Joe Scarborough gross? I don't know if I mentioned The Hairy Posse's take on "New Song" before, but here it is. Oh and Esther Phillips doing "Home Is Where The Hatred Is". The mix I got with my first ever Teenage Teardrops order is in heavy rotation. So is that Vaselines thing that just came out. I'll talk more about that later maybe. No new posts for at least the next week (I'm moving and having cable/internet stopped and restarted again). My only means of communication will be my phone and old fashioned letters. It's a good feeling.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hey, real quick: Check out this Aaron Neville shit, back before he was dueting with Linda Ronstadt (sp?) and soundtracking commercials about cotton undies. It's so good. Everytime I hear it I start daydreaming about making a movie that starts with a shot of the lighthouse out at Sodus Point that has a graffiti drawing of a giant dick on the side facing the water. I saw it when my friend Melinda was in town last month. We drove around listening to almost nothing but Elvis Radio on Sirius. I heard "Mystery Train" just as I was getting into work yesterday and I was like, "YESSSSS" when it came on. I never thought I'd be that way about The King, but now I'm totally that way. So there's that. Also, I'm drinking vodka and lemonade out of a Charlie Brown cup, listening to Don't Look Back from the other room, packing slowly. My new neighbor has lupus and offered to find me a free love seat. New place is either alright or completely ridiculous depending on the day. Regular post tomorrow or Saturday, probably. Oh and new geneva13 issue coming soon (I think?)!

PS--I can't get this out of my head (Jarmusch mania lately).

Thursday, April 30, 2009

I don't care if I'm alone here.
During Kurt Vile's set at Cornell a few weeks ago, I sat cross-legged, with my knees up and with my arms locked around them, my hands clasped together. I thought positioning myself like that would keep me awake, or if it didn't stop me from dozing off, the pressure on my arms from my legs starting to slack would wake me up, and I could at least catch myself before I fell over. I actually thought it out, and was like, "yes, this will work", and it did. It wasn't that Kurt Vile was boring. I mean he was a little boring, or I guess he wasn't exciting. But mainly I was just sleepy. He didn't go on until 1 am, and my usual bedtime is like 11:30. If I have to do laundry, which I can only do later on at night after Tyler's gone to work (because there are businesses below us and using the washing machine during the day interferes with their work, and because the washer and dryer are in Tyler's bedroom), I'll stay up a little later. But I have to put on a punk record (lately it's been Brilliant Colors or that live Vivian Girls LP; for a while it was Deep Wound or Total Abuse), something loud and fun, and...I don't want to say dance around my room, but kind of rock out? Bedroom mosh? It helps if I've had a couple beers. But I have to do that to keep myself awake. That's my laundry routine; quasi-raging, colors, whites. There was a little bit of punk before Kurt Vile went on, but not enough, so I had to figure out the right way to sit.

U.S. Girls played first, and they/she were/was decent. She had a tape recorder, a microphone, a ton of pedals, and an amp set up on a chair. She sang a bunch of words buried under hazy echoes and loud drones. It was a warped mess and it sounded good to me, and I recognized a couple songs so it was even a little familiar. It was also a little underwhelming. Weird bedroom droney stuff is great when you're by yourself in your actual bedroom, but playing it in front of people? As the opener? At the graduate/professional dining hall? I don't know. And she was dressed so normal--short hair, a couple layers of hoodies with pins, jeans, sneakers. That stuff doesn't matter, but I kept thinking, what if a girl came out in a dress and heels with her hair done up like she was in the Ronnettes and then blew your eardrums out? You'd never forget her.

Matthew Mondanile did his Ducktails thing after that. Originally I thought his other band, Predator Vision, was going to play. But he set up by himself and introduced himself as "Matt" and said he came up from New Jersey, and then he started playing some wah-wah guitar and I put it together. It was good. I've been all about him lately, and mostly he didn't disappoint. He did this kind of tribal-y jam in the middle of his set that sounded like Black Dice and went on way too long. And he sang a little bit, and his lyrics were like, "Are you the man/with the plan?" or something, and I was like, "uhhhh...". But he ended with guitar loops and gentle psych solos and it was all good. He also had this dirty brown jacket and glasses that reminded me of Egon from The Real Ghostbusters, and he smelled like weed everytime I walked by him.

I think Gary War played next. I don't know anything about Gary War, but I assumed it was just one guy. Maybe he is on record? He played guitar, and had a girl playing keyboard and a guy drumming. The girl had a notepad next to her the whole time they played, and I guess had all the keys on her board labeled with what note they were. At one point the pad fell on the floor and she stopped playing, picked it up, and then started playing again. I would probably do the same thing. The drummer played the same beat on every song, but people were loving it. I was mainly watching from the upper tier, while people I didn't know suddenly decided to dance to what was kind of Blank Dogs and kind of wasn't.

I guess the organizers saw people dancing and thought it was the right time to bring out the two-man DJ techno crew that was setting up when we first got to the show. I think they were called Teenage Fantasy. They were alright. They weren't offensive. I don't want to say it was "hipster dance shit", but it was hipster dance shit. A guy with kind of an afro in a Bad Brains shirt and a clean-cut guy. Loud beats, synths, mash-ups. When I saw their gear, I said, "Maybe it's just because I went to punk and hardcore shows for years and it's all I know, but I just want to see guitars and drums. I want to see dumb-ass kids playing shitty rock songs." I think what I was trying to say was, "I secretly hope Nazti Skinz have reunited and are playing every show I go to." We waited for the rave to stop, and it just kept going. People ate it up. There was a girl sitting at the top of the stairs leading to the upper area, staring straight ahead and slightly nodding to the beat. She looked like how Farah sounds--small, dark hair, bangs, quiet, scared but not. Every once in a while she would get up, grab people's discarded cups, throw them out, and then go back to her seat. If someone asked her what she did last night, she could say "I zoned out and picked up garbage."

Just before Teenage Fantasy ended their set, I bought a copy of The Hunchback from Kurt Vile right as he was rolling a cigarette. I felt bad interrupting him, but he didn't seem to mind. He smoked and then came back in and set up. He had tons of pedals like everyone else, but used two acoustic guitars--one 6-string and one 12-string. I don't know what all his pedals were doing but everything he played just sounded echo-y. He did a few songs from his new record on Mexican Summer and a few from Constant Hitmaker, including a clunky version of "Classic Rock In Spring". It's one of my favorite songs off that record and it should have bothered me that he was playing it weird, but it didn't. He switched a couple times from the 6 to 12-string and it seemed to take an eternity for him to plug and unplug, get the levels right, and start up again. But again, I wasn't that bothered. He brought up a guy named J. Turbo, who plays on The Hunchback (along with a couple other guys who make up Vile's backing band, The Violators) and did a bunch of wild but not loud solos over Vile's strumming and reverb-y singing. They finished with "Freeway In Mind" and Turbo played harmonica through this cool-looking mic going through a pedal. It was the best thing I heard all night.

I looked around and most of the people still watching were the same people who'd watched every band. The short-haired guys who all looked alike but at different heights; the Latin girls who stood by the same wall spot the whole night and danced when the PA played that "Born 2 B Fly" song between bands; the old dudes standing on the steps; the curly haired kid with the red pants who we saw when we finally found the venue. Who knows what they all thought they were getting into? They seemed like they could have stayed there all night, then got up and had breakfast together. I'm used to a kind of anxiety when I go to shows. The weight of expectation, the awkwardness of being around unfamiliar people. The need to feel comfortable and the desire to be broadened somehow. I'm used to that tension and I almost always debate going to a show right up until the last minute.

I went with Kaci and Ryan, who I don't know real well, but they were awesome. When we got to the show too early, we just went and got pizza, at this place that had a huge photo of George W. Bush, George Pataki, and Rudy Giuliani eating pizza by the entrance. We had to drive back downtown to get there, down these huge, steep hills, and then we had to get around these buses, and then find a spot in a parking garage. We walked in the shitty rain, got our food, talked about people we know in Rochester and high school mascots. At the show, everything seemed calm. You could get free fountain soda if you wanted. There were sort-of weirdos and bored college kids who wanted something to do and it was totally fine. The loud fuzz, beach jams, clangy synth punk, space beats, and slow folk were non-issues, explorations of a kind of patience.

Kurt Vile and the Violators - "Losing It"
Kurt Vile and the Violators - "Good Lookin' Out"

Meanwhile: I only bought one record on Record Store Day, but I made it count. At the House of Guitars (of all places! such a dump!) I found a sealed, original press of the Milk n' Cookies LP for $14. I think I was in shock for a few minutes. In his write-up for the 2xLP Radio Heartbeat re-issue (really a complete Milk n' Cookies discography), Max G. Morton says something about how you can pretty much throw away your Ramones records. I don't know if I'd go that far, but I will say "Not Enough Girls In The World" and "Tipically Teenage" never really leave my head. I feel like they're the official Matt-Tyler-Leah band, too. One of them anyway. So I just stood there like, "holy shit, is this really what I think it is?", and then I took a picture of it and sent it to Tyler, kind of to verify it. All I wanted out of life that day was to see Rational Animals play at Record Archive, and I did that and they were so good. They covered "Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie" which was kind of obvious, and then they covered "122 Hours of Fear" and I might've decided they were the best band in Rochester. And then this Milk n' Cookies shit happens! Later that night, at the apartment, we watched the AVN Awards and it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen. My friend Becca was there and I'm not sure she was crazy about watching porn awards. Or I couldn't tell exactly how it went over. She seemed weirded out when she left. I sort of regretted exposing her to a show where an actress accepted an award by saying "I swallowed a lot of cum that day". But there was also a guy who won the Best Male award and he stood up there and said something like, "I feel like fuckin' crying right now!!" when he clearly wasn't going to cry. I don't know, I thought it was hilarious. Earlier in the day I saw a vinyl copy of Belle and Sebastian's Fold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant at Lakeshore, and what I mainly regretted was that I'd talked myself out of buying it.

Belle and Sebastian is someone else's thing, not really mine. My friend Susanna is probably an expert on them. I think maybe Ryan McGinley is a superfan, too. I want that Belle and Sebastian/Bad Brains shirt, but I wouldn't say I know much about them. The first time I heard Fold Your Hands was at Ultrasonic Sound, a record store that was around from 1999-2001 or so, on Monroe Ave in Rochester. It was run by a guy named Jon (I think?) who's in the picture of Void on page 123 of Banned In DC, and in hindsight it seems like the perfect store, for any number of reasons. I bought my first copies of Spiderland, Unfuckwithable, and the Cap'n Jazz anthology there. If you were like, "hey, I need the Swing Kids discography", you could just go there and he'd have it, and when you got there, he'd be playing something like Loaded or maybe the Brendan Canty/Lois Maffeo record on the in-house stereo, and then you'd talk to him for a little bit and look up at the collection of early hardcore 7 inches lining the wall. At some point it switched owners, moved to South Ave, and was re-christened Analog Shock. It was alright for a while--the kid who took over put on some cool shows in the store's back room. But then the store hours got weird and he wasn't getting in any new stuff, and I went up a couple times in the middle of winter and there was no heat, and then it was just gone.

When I heard Stuart Murdoch's voice, I thought maybe it was John Cale. It must've been "Women's Realm" because there was his voice, very English and airy, and then a cute girl's voice. I asked what it was and maybe even bought it right there. I was so excited about it, it was weird. I remember bringing it over to my friend Jason's house, where all of us used to hang out, and my friend Brady and I were geeking out over it, especially the girl voice parts (Isobel Campbell, I guess). Jason thought this was way more my thing than the bands I was doing at the time, which were mostly hardcore scream-fests where sometimes I'd throw my bass on the ground or fall over. I agreed with him to an extent. Partly what I liked about Fold Your Hands was that it seemed like a cool older kid record. It made me think of cool older girls especially. The kind of girls who were a thousand times smarter than me, who I'd only hang out with accidentally, through some other group of friends, at diners. They'd show up with a chunk of raw sugar cane, or they'd go on and on about taking bartender classes and some guy they dated who "looked just like David Bowie in the dark". I was a straight edge kid, and when they'd go outside for a smoke, I'd want to go with them.

But what I mostly liked about Fold Your Hands was a lot simpler. The music was pretty and catchy, and the lyrics weren't hardcore lyrics. There were boys and girls writing letters back and forth in the middle of a war, and observational stuff about trains and living in a town that's beautiful apart from the people. I've been listening to it a lot over the last month, just on my way to work. There's a part of County Road 4 that runs through Seneca Castle, where the road curves around and there's a sudden drop in the speed limit from 55 to 30. I listened to "Waiting For The Moon To Rise" for the first time in years, going super slow on that stretch, early in the morning, when it was warmer than usual and the sun was flickering through the trees. It was great. I kind of needed it. I deliver mail to people with dirty diapers on their front porch, people who have long, detailed notes taped to their front door about how you need to take off your shoes before you come into the house. My two best buds are moving to the city into this apartment palace and I'm still going to be living in this Nazi date rape shithole. I need to not freak out, and I'm at a point where I'm probably not going to. I think Fold Your Hands is helping. I definitely get "The Broken Vow" in my head a lot for whatever reason, but I need to occasionally hear the weird fuck-you of "If my family tree goes back to the Romans, then I will change my name to Jones/If my family tree goes back to Napoleon, then I will change my name to Smith". That might actually be my thing.

Belle & Sebastian - "Waiting For the Moon to Rise"
Belle & Sebastian - "Women's Realm"
Belle & Sebastian - "Family Tree"

Fuckin' A! Some other songs are "Disappearer", "Sway", "Pole Position". My new favorite Buzzcocks song is "Lipstick", but obviously they're all my favorite. What else? Pukekos posted up both Brilliant Colors 7 inches and both Real Estate EPs. The Brilliant Colors records sound kind of scratchy and slower than I'm used to, but I think my record player plays everything slightly too fast. The Real Estate stuff is a little corny but who cares. There's a new Cult Ritual song, too. Holy shit. PS--the date on this post is April 30th, but I started writing it April 17th and posted it May 14th. What the fuck is wrong with me??

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hey! Sorry, this is another micro-post. Just wanted to say I'm deleting a bunch of files--pretty much all the mp3s from the latter half of 2007 through the first couple months of 2008. Spring cleaning, I guess. You have a week to listen to those songs, possibly download them, possibly love them, possibly turn your brain into mine, slightly. Then they're gone forever and you're stuck with the brain you already have, which is fine. So that's it. Oh and Freak Scene is back and functional and it's off to a great re-start. I think there've been three new posts so far. Also, Maggie Lee, who became one of my favorite photographers after I saw THIS, has been doing a thing on Vice called Zine Creamers, which should tell you everything you need to know about how awesome this girl is. Really cool shit, including (I think) Cassie Ramone's old zines, like I needed more reasons to love her. So good. But yeah. I guess that's really it. I feel like I should recommend some songs. I got nothing. Honestly, I've just been listening to Stan Getz a lot. What a nerd! The record he did with Luiz Bonfa, Jazz Samba Encore!, is great. I thought it was just a Sunday morning record, but it's more like an everyday all-the-time record. That'll change when I get my copy of Hallow (which is STILL AVAILABLE?! WHAT?!), but until then. Oh wait, this popped in my head the other day. OK, now I'm done.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yoooooo! Here's a mid-March round-up. New issue of geneva13 is out and includes a column by me about Classic Arts Showcase, Harry Pussy, and Vothana, among other very important things. For those who already read it (or even those who haven't, or would prefer not to), some related listening: Chunklet, "Mic Check", Maria Callas, Eugene Onegin, Palatka, singer from the Black Crowes, Tyler (pictured), LVTN. Meanwhile: I hadn't been to Soul Sides in forever, but they put a ton of good shit up over the past few weeks. Check out Moses Dillard (and "Move On Up" while you're there) and...well, I was gonna say Pi-R-Square and the original version of "All Falls Down" with Lauryn Hill, but they're not up anymore. You'll just have to take my word for it. Chain and the Gang LP is out and at my house but I haven't listened to it yet. I'm seeing them (but really HIM) in April, on the anniversary of the birth of the Leah. Other things worth noting are "Crawl Babies" and "Should I Tell You". All I wanted to do on my drive home from work was listen to Maiden, specifically the part that kicks in at 1:46. Girma Hadgu's "Ené Alantchi Alnorem" is also good, maybe even better, especially on a nice day like this where I shouldn't even have to work, then drive home from it, then be on a computer. I do have the shades open. More posts soon.

ps -- check out kevin13's journal of urinals he's used in Ireland so far (wait, maybe it's Scotland).

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Good Evening didn't come with a lyric sheet.
But it's so goddamn good! I wasn't prepared for how great this Nite Jewel LP was going to be, and I liked her (their?) 12" on IDIB and everything. The synths are farty and blorpy. It's kind of a dorkier, more relatable version of Glass Candy, which I'm all for. And it's super catchy and not in-your-face, and there's some '80s moping, and there's one song that's a total Arthur Russell thing. And some of the textural background-y stuff has made me say "that's fucking awesome" out loud even after 5 or 6 straight listens. The video for "Artificial Intelligence" isn't what I would've done, but whatever. If you and your friends are out late and then you come home, but you're not tired, and you sit around and make jokes about naming your kids "Shithead" and "Fuckface", this record will sound fucking PERFECT, and that's really what matters. Oh and the Gloriette logo is the best logo I've seen in a while. Also: Are you a girl? Do you want to start a band like this with me? Let's do this. Bonus points for girls who also want to do a band like Middle America, although if that happens, I'll probably ask you to marry me, just a heads up. Another also: These mp3s were made by someone else, from vinyl, and it sounds like they didn't have a good pre-amp/signal booster thing. So they're kind of quiet, but maybe that adds something.

Nite Jewel - "What Did He Say"
Nite Jewel - "Lover"
Nite Jewel - "Weak For Me"

This Fucking Sucks fucking rules!! I've been lobbying for the official release of the full TFS record for years, and now I know why. Oh and I was totally going to say something about Food Of The Gods, but now I don't have to. They nailed it! I guess right now I'm on the fence about Reading Rainbow; cool songs that I can't get out of my head, but a little bit of a cheese factor (lots of animal talk). Slightly less on the fence about Invasion, although I need to hear the rest of the record. Oh shit, did I mention Ducktails already? Go ahead and give me grief about the name, fucking 7" kills! Tapes are probly good, too, but my tape decks are out-of-order. Leah, did you bring back my boombox? Or wait...did you have it? I'm gonna look right now.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Just wanted to say something real quick about Ron Asheton. His death just passed by me, like I didn't even notice it really. I read the headline and had no reaction, and then I was listening to Howard on the way home yesterday and they were talking about him and The Stooges. They played "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and Howard said it was annoying. Artie liked it and then started talking about that Iggy Pop song "Candy". I was actually yelling at the radio, "Play something off Fun House! Or play fucking 'Search and Destroy'! Or 'Penetration'!" I know he doesn't play guitar on Raw Power, but he's still there. When I was in Berlin a few years back, I listened to Fun House just about every night before I went to sleep. I would lay there with my headphones on in this room with a really high ceiling and tall bookcases, in this great apartment that you had to go up a weird secret stairwell to get to, and listen to it all the way through. For whatever reason, it sounded fucking perfect, better than any other time I've listened to it. We went to a street fair and I almost bought a Russian pressing of it, but I wound up buying a Jerry's Kids LP instead, which is decent but I haven't listened to it that much. Years earlier, I'd given my cd copy of the MC5's Kick Out The Jams to this weirdo guy who hung out at Perkins, and Andrew and I watched him basically destroy it in front of us from across the table. I'd decided I was tired of it not being as good as I wanted it to be, so I handed it over. I almost did the same thing with my copy of Fun House, but I thought, no this one's still kind of awesome. I was 16 and every once in a while I would accidentally do the exact right thing. Now I daydream about getting a copy of the complete Fun House sessions and listening to nothing but that for weeks. I probably don't need to do that. But yeah, I felt like being unfazed by Ron Asheton's death was so retarded. I take so many bands and people for granted. There are so many songs that I forget about, and there have been so many times where I've been whatever about something I know I love just because I wasn't completely jazzed about it right at the moment. The Stooges fucking KILL always, every time (even when I don't feel like listening to them) and Ron Asheton was fucking cool, and I need to not forget that.

The Stooges - "Down On The Street"
The Stooges - "Loose"
The Stooges - "Lost In The Future (take 1)"
Iggy and The Stooges - "Penetration"

PS -- picture via Gnarlitude (sorry about the heavy swastika presence lately! nazi punks fuck off, seriously!)