Thursday, October 30, 2008

Guitar Wolf! Rock N' Roll Attack!

i've decided my band of the day will be the single loudest band i have ever seen live (besides Mogwai...but that was just ridiculous), the greatest punk rock band from Japan ever GUITAR WOLF. first off their name has the two coolest words in the English language Guitar and Wolf together...that in it's self would make them worthy of band of the day status. but since i am highlighting them i won't just leave it at that, secondly they are LOUD AS in the ear splitting and headache inducing variety. it sounds like if the Ramones were just a bunch of japanese kids who wanted to play the Stooges song "search and destroy" at the the highest volume possible. which is to say totally awesome. also they coined a phrase for their style of music called Jet Rock N' Roll. what does that mean? who cares? it's awesome. and finally they made a zombie movie called Wild Zero that's like Spinal Tap crossed with Night Of The Living Dead. rock n' roll zombie movies are boss as fuck. buy Jet Generation and start living your life by the code of the wolf. it's really that simple.

"Jet Generation"

and a trailer for Wild Zero

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

America, America Is Killing It's Youth

today we salute the founders of electro punk and new york city cool, Suicide. who actually started in 1971 and predate pretty much every punk band from new york. Bruce Springsteen loves them and so should you. every band that ever made a buck off new wave pop in the 80's probably should be writing them royalty checks. every artschool dropout in the east village who started a no wave band or started doing performance art in rock clubs owes them their career. everybody else should just buy their first two albums and we'll call it even.

"ghost rider" live. best song ever.

Can You Believe That The Shape Of Punk To Come Is Ten Years Old?

what were you listening to in 1998? well if you are around the same age as me and had even a passing interest in punk rock or hardcore you were probably blowing out your speakers with Refused's hardcore masterpiece, and one of the most underrated and influential records of all time, The Shape Of Punk To Come.

Jesus, has it really been 10 fucking years since this album landed in my life and helped change the entire underground punk scene (probably for the worse to be honest)?

yes it has.

released October 27th, 1998, The Shape Of Punk To Come officially became a decade old this week. granted most people discovered this record in 1999 or 2000 when MTV2 began regularly playing their video for "New Noise" but by then the group had already broken up and all we were left with was the music. it's impossible for me to explain what breath of fresh air that Shape was in the late 90s. fusing together elements of hardcore, electronica, jazz, Nation of Ulyssess style doctrine, and riffs that could chop down a fucking tree, Refused was able to create one of THE most important records of the last 20 years. to say that this album is as important to the punk/emo/hardcore scene that would end up dominating much of the 21st century mainstream modern rock music as Nevermind was to the early 90s would not be an exaggeration. Fall Out Boy and the rest of the horrible shit that passes itself off as emo or punk should be praying at the alter of Refused and thanking these Swedish hardcore kids for creating something so new that it was impossible to go back into the underground afterwards. hell the rise of the entire San Diego hardcore scene, At The Drive In, and underground music in general in some ways owes its success to this one album. hell Hot Topic should be paying Refused royalties for existing in every fucking mall in America.

i mean honestly, this video is the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" of the emo generation.

and i STILL have that haircut.

i'm not gonna attempt to write a review of this album because it's been so very long and i've listened to it so many times that the original impact is now completely gone and i'm not sure if i could accurately explain WHY it was SO fucking important to me, but it should be acknowledged that in the history of music this is a watershed record. so put on your tight black jeans, comb your hair into your eyes, grab your At The Drive In shirt, slip on your fake glasses, and bust out this record because it's 1998 all over again. CAN I SCREAMMMM?!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm Losing Touch With My Mind

so everyone is so into psychedelic rock amd spacerock and acid and the 60s to the point that i want to barf everytime i see a reference to Hawkwind when describing someone's record...anyways the original band that jumped on that bandwagon and made stealing from the 13th Floor Elevators cool was today's band of the day, SPACEMEN 3.

they were fronted by Jason Pierce aka J Spaceman who later went on to form Spiritualized. their sound was very minimalist with droning guitars, softly sung or spoken lyrics, and monolithic drumming. lots of feedback and they lived by their motto of "Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To" . they created the basis for the whole post-rock movement of the 90s and their drumming style was ripped off by nearly every shoegazer band. The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, Suicide, Silver Apples, Sun Ra, and 13th Floor Elevators were just a few of their name checked influences. they released their debut Sound Of Confusion in 1986 and released several albums and Eps until 1991 when the band broke post breakup labels have reissued tons of live and demo recordings as well as numerous greatest hits style packages. it's difficult to pick a best place to start if you aren't familiar with the band. the first album i ever bought was "The Perfect Prescription" and i was pretty much hooked after that, so i'd say that one is as good as any.

the video for "walking with jesus"

Look Out! Soul Is Back

so i've decided to start doing a public service with this blog and highlighting a few bands a week that defined who i am as a music nerd and influenced my ears and my thoughts. i'm sure a lot of these bands you probably are already into. hopefully some of them you will grow to love as much as me.

my first band to highlight is one of my all time favorites, when i think about the coolest bands that have ever existed or when i think about bands that i have tried to rip off the most The Nation Of Ulysses is always at the top of the list. equal parts MC5, free jazz, and art school noise, The N.O.U. spawned from the very fertile DC hardcore scene to become something that was nothing like anyone had seen before. i got into them after the band had already broken up so unfortunately i never saw them live.

their live performances were notorius as the band would sometimes set their shoes on fire while they played as singer Ian Svenoius flayled around wildly and spouted his pseudo political ramblings to the crowd. the group emobodied a rejection of the 60's and 70's rock n roll culture and often called themselves "the real anti-parent culture sound". style was important as they often dressed in suits with their hair slicked up into pompadors. their debut album "13 Point Program to Destroy America" announced them as not a rock n roll group but as a politcal party of the teenage movement concerning themselves with a relentlessly provocative (and entertaining) jumble of teenage rock 'n' roll rebellion, leftist radicalism, anarchist punk polemics, and abstract intellectual rambling.

the band's second album "Plays Pretty For Baby" goes down in my top 5 records of all time. after that they broke up and most of the band went on to form the Make Up while former guitarist Tim Green formed the instrumental metal band The Fucking Champs. since the band only has two real records i just suggest you buy both of them. Plays Pretty is the best but 13 point is a little more straight forward and easy to digest.

here's a couple of live clips of the band
"cool senior high school"

"spectra sonic sound"

Monday, October 27, 2008

give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld

it's very cold outside and i very much just want to lay in bed and listen to Leonard Cohen all damn day. "Chelsea Hotel #2" being a personal favorite.

songs from a room and songs of leonard cohen will get lots of spins this week.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

2 Quick Record Reviews

so what is it with cool New York bands and their 3rd albums? the Strokes and Interpol both put out incredible freshman and sophomore releases that remain some of my favorite records and this decade, but when it came for album number 3 i was left with a big, "uhhhhhh". in the Strokes case they misfired by trying to write a record that would appeal to modern rock radio and with Interpol it was just more of the same shit as before with worse songs. and so now TV On The Radio joins this group of failed 3rd records with their new album Dear Science.

i wouldn't exactly call this a bad record. actually the first 3 tracks are all pretty good and could have fit in on any of their previous albums but after that this album takes a dramatic turn for the bland. with the exception of track #5 "The Golden Age", which sounds like a lost song from Off The Wall if Michael Jackson suddenly developed a deeper voice and Quincy Jones suddenly got influenced by Kraftwerk and Suicide...seriously with a little remixing this could be the dance party jam of 2008, there aren't any standout songs from there on out. mostly the rest of the album sounds like throwaway songs and left over b-sides from their last 2 albums. after 1 amazing EP and two very solid LPs, TV On the Radio have gone from a band that i declared would be the next Radiohead to a band that no longer excites me at all. who knows though...maybe it'll grow on me.

a record that has already grown on me after about one listen through is Jay Reatard's latest singles collection Matador Singles 08, which is a collection of...duh, singles he did for Matador records. Jay Reatard continues to be my favorite writer of poppy and catchy indie/punkish songs. but where Reatard has mostly in the past conjured up new-wavey and LA punk-ish cuts, some of these newer singles are calling to mind one of my favorite sub-genres of all time...low-fi 80s Indie Pop. bands like the Clean, the Tall Dwarfs, and Go Betweens all can be heard as influences on a number of these songs. "No Time", "You Were Sleeping", and "I'm Watching You" being the strongest tracks that carry that low-fi influence...which also happen to be the final cuts on the album and one could assume his next record might explore that sound a little more (crosses fingers and hopes for the best). either way Jay Reatard has unleashed another set of perfect pop that my itunes gladly gives a home to. if you liked Blood Visions or the early singles collection that came out this year then it's a safe bet that the Matador Singles collection is right up your alley.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When You Were Young

LCD Soundsystem are feeling my pain. Losing My Edge pretty much nails what it's like to be a 30 year old music geek who has stopped trying keep up.

can you still call yourself a music geek if you don't really keep up with new music? the only new bands i'm remotely interested in are No Age (who just sound like a 90s Indie Rock band), Vampire Weekend & The Virgins (who could have easily been part of the 2001-2002 New York Hipster band revival), The Black Lips (Atlanta band), and The Shocking Pinks (sad bastard music for a sad bastard like me). i'm not really sure where i was going with this post but The Faint are playing at the 40 Watt tonight and when i heard about that my first thought was, "Why?". i mean seriously, is there gonna be anyone under the age of 25 at that show? The Faint are a perfect example of a band that's time passed years ago but they just keep on keeping on despite a lack of interest. it's like when i first moved to Athens and The Posies played at the 40 Watt and i went just because and noone at the show was a college kid. it was just sort of sad. just a bunch of older people who wanted to hear them play "Dream All Day" and then go home. whatever. i don't even know why i am rambling on about this. i'll be at The Faint show. i'll probably dance and have a good time. and so it goes.

anyways the Faint top my list of Five Bands I Thought Were Gonna Be Huge (like MTV HUGE and kids at your local mall wearing their t-shirts. not indie big. nobody gives a shit abou tthat in the real world.) but it never happened.

1. The Faint
2. The (International) Noise Conspiracy
3. Q and Not U
4. ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
5. The Stills

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Darlin' Don't You Go And Cut Your Hair

remember the days of Alternative Nation and 120 Minutes when you could still discover new bands on MTV? actually by the time this video came out i was already listening to Pavement, but still it was a pretty cool time in the early 90s for music for about 2 years...and then of course Kurt Cobain offed himself, Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails became all the rage with highschool kids and cooler indie-ish bands like Guided By Voices, Pavement, Sonic Youth, Archers Of Loaf, Superchunk, etc... sorta went back to their indie rock ghetto. i quit growing my hair long and started listening to emo and hardcore bands and the rest was history. here's my list of the top 20 Indie Rock Albums of the 1990s.

1. Sebadoh- Bakesale
2. Neutral Milk Hotel- In The Aeroplane Over The Sea
3. Fugazi- Repeater
4. Pavement- Slanted and Enchanted
5. Modest Mouse- The Lonesome Crowded West
6. Built To Spill- There's Nothing Wrong With Love
7. Belle & Sebastian- If You're Feeling Sinister
8. Elliott Smith- Either/Or
9. Superchunk- Tossing Seeds
10. Archers Of Loaf- Icky Mettle
11. Guided By Voices- Alien Lanes
12. Jesus Lizard- Goat
13. Sunny Day Real Estate- Diary
14. Yo La Tengo- I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One
15. Flaming Lips- The Soft Bulletin
16. Dinosaur Jr- Green Mind
17. The Magnetic Fields- 69 Love Songs
18. The Promise Ring- Nothing Feels Good
19. Sleater Kinney- Dig Me Out
20. Unrest- Perfect Teeth

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Heart Nick Cave

5 Nick Cave videos through the years.

Boys Next Door- Shivers
Nick's first band. "i've been contemplating suicide, but it really doesn't suit my style. So i think i'll just act bored instead, and contain the blood i would have shed." is one of my favorite openings to a song ever.

The Birthday Party- Junkyard
seriously was there ever a cooler fucking band than The Birthday Party? goth punk noise. a friend of mine once said to never trust a girl who says she liked the Birthday Party because she's either lying or she's a cutter.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds- The Mercy Seat
Johnny Cash does a really great version of this song. i think this was the first Nick Cave video i ever saw back when i was in highschool and it was a blast from the past video on 120 Minutes.

Nick Cave- Into My Arms
this is my favorite love song of all time.

Grinderman- No Pussy Blues
Nick Cave proves that he can still rock even if he's an old man. the Grinderman record was the album the Stooges should have made.