Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Grinderman: BBC Culture Show Interview

Only on rare occasions will I update this thing more than once in a weekday. This is one of those very important news stories that demands immediate attention. From everyone. Everywhere. Now.

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Great, forgotten bands of Chicago's past. . .

Last night my band played a show with their old drummer's new band. Does that make sense? Either way, the show was fun, and all the bands sounded great. My band's old drummer's new band (whoa) features Chicago punk icon Al Burian. It was exciting to see Al kicking ass again. The first thing I did this morning was throw on the band that made Al a well known figure around these parts, Milemarker. Milemarker was really one-of-a-kind, and it seems as if they have been forgotten over the past years.

Back in the late 90's and early 2000's every band in Chicago was striving really hard to sound like Alkaline Trio. But Milemarker showed up and kicked everyone's perception of the "Chicago-sound" into outer space. Blending angular, post-punk guitar work; heavy, distorted synths; and vocals that alternated between vocoder-laden screams and angelic female croons, this band seriously sounded like something from another planet. I remember going to see this band at the Fireside right when I obtained my driver's license. I marveled at their intensity. I marveled at the girl's hairy armpits and nappy-ass dreds. I marveled at how fucking loud they were.

Over the past years, everyone who loved this band seemed to have forgotten about them, which is really sad, because this band slayed. Download the provided mp3 from their 2001 Jade Tree release, Anaesthetic. It's spacey, it's noisy, it's intense, and it somehow is also catchy and (dare I say?) "dancey". Enjoy.

Milemarker - Shrink To Fit

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Feature: Travis Keller Interview

I recently got the chance to have a quick chat with Buddyhead creator and shit talker extraordinaire Travis Keller. If you don't know Travis- the dude was hyping incredible music long before any website was even close to becoming a reputable location for music news, and is the reason that I was, by far, the youngest person in the room at an early Hot Snakes show. If any current music website were half as brutally honest, and uh, half as lazy- the music industry would be a much better place. Anyway, I decided to track him down to find out his thoughts on Pitchfork, The Icarus Line, and a whole mess of other topics for him to soap box upon. Click below for the full interview.

First off, the obvious question is: what are you doing now outside of updating the Buddyhead blog occasionally and running the label?

As little as possible, that's what makes me happy. I like to watch movies made by Sam Peckinpah. The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs, The Getaway and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia are some of my favorites of his. I really like Netflix too. I love finding shit on there and watching rad movies I'd normally never go see. I also like to take photos and I'm currently putting together several photography books.

How do you feel about the direction music based internet sites have headed in since the origination of Buddyhead... specifically Pitchfork, the "blogosphere" [Stereogum, Brooklynvegan] ect.?

I don't really have an opinion; none of those sites really interest me. I check out websites of the few current bands I like occasionally, but I don't read other blogs or music related websites. They're all pretty boring and say the same shit. I'd rather read a Mojo article about John Lennon or Bob Dylan than hear some dork that has a college degree write nine paragraphs on why The Flaming Lips or Wilco are amazing.

Do you feel anybody is carrying the torch from Buddyhead as far as honesty, bluntness, or tastemaking goes?

No. Not at all.

What are some of your goals for the future of Buddyhead?

Make money and/or marry up. I'm really into the idea of marrying up.

Is there any bad blood between Buddyhead and the remaining members of The Icarus Line?

You know man; sometimes you just gotta take the trash out. It totally fucking sucks doing it, but if you don't... your whole house ends up smelling like shit. And no one wants to live in a house that reeks of turds now do they?

What are some bands that you think are currently doing something important or meaningful, or I guess, what are some bands that are "getting it right"?

Off the top of my head...

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's new record Baby 81 is killer, that's my favorite new thing I've heard. They're some of the best songwriters around. Autolux, they're a great Los Angeles band, they've opened for everyone under the sun. They get all the breaks man. I think the record they're recording right now is going to be really fucking amazing. It should come out later this year. In the meantime buy their debut, Future Perfect. It's almost as good as they as live. Pearl Jam - I know it's not cool to say you like Pearl Jam, but I do. They're great songwriters and Eddie Veder is a great front man. They jam it out a little too much live for my tastes.. and their guitar player, Mike McCready, is quite possibly one of the hardest things to watch in a band... ever. Dude sucks. The Black Crowes are great, I saw them live four out of the five nights when they played the Henry Fonda here in Los Angeles last year. The Brakes are a funny little band I like. Their first record is cool. Depeche Mode's last record was great, live was a bit tough to sit though but I like their records. Frank Black was cool when I saw him live this year. Graham Coxon's new solo record is killer. Pretty much anything Jack White does is cool. I really like that Raconteurs record, he did good with that. I love everything Spiritualized has done. I liked Jim Reid's solo shit he just put out (I think a full length is coming out this year), The Jesus & Mary Chain are gonna make a new record too I hear after these reunion shows... hopefully that doesn't suck, Neil Diamond is rad and his last record was really good, Queens Of The Stone Age are cool... but they'd be way cooler if the crazy bald bass player guy got to come back. He was scary. I love Oasis, they're probably my favorite current band. I saw Noel perform solo this year, with Gem, and it was unbelievable. Oasis wins. Bob Dylan's new record was okay but I'd rather have all the hairs on my balls plucked instead of having to see him play live again (dude's trippin'). Tom Petty is killer live still and his last record was good, Two Lone Swordsmen make good records. The Duke Spirit are a great band. I'm excited to hear the record they make with Chris Goss this year. The Cassettes are awesome. They're on my label and I'm really proud of them. Shat are pretty amazing too. You might wanna check them out. Beehive and the Barracudas are cool, if they're still a band. The singer does jump kicks. Fiona Apple is great. I think that Amy Winehouse girl is pretty good. Grinderman is killer. Cat Power made a good record, The Greatest.

What are some records you are anticipating for this year?

Oasis, Radiohead, Coldplay, Jesus & Mary Chain, Dr. Dre. I dunno man... what's coming out this year?

What are your thoughts on the iPod, internet downloading, the "downfall" of the music industry, ect.?

The iPod is great. Internet downloading is killer, I can get any record I want at anytime now. It's a really tough time to run a small label right now, but I still think it's an exciting time in music. Shit sucks and it's changing fast. Shit's hitting the fan hard and all we can do is sit back and watch... times they are a changin'. I dig it.

What record do you think offers the definitive description of Los Angeles life?

Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction

And also...

Tom Petty - Full Moon Fever (This record is one of the main reasons I moved to Los Angeles, it looked cool in the videos)
Elliott Smith - Figure 8
Jane's Addiction - Nothing Shocking and the first live record. Both before Navarro turned into the jivest man alive and ran around town with his shirt off doing reality tv. DORK.
X - Los Angeles
Gun Club - Fire Of Love
Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
Nirvana - In Utero
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Baby 81

And lastly, what are your thoughts on the direction that music based websites should be heading?

Like Lars' dad says in the Metallica movie Some Kind Of Monster, "DELETE."

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Avey Tare and Kria Brekkan: Pullhair Rubeye

When I recently spoke with Animal Collective member Geologist, he mentioned his band mate Avey Tare and former Múm member Kria Brekkan's upcoming record Pullhair Rubeye. I got a chance to track it down and give it a spin yesterday, and this is certainly the bum out record of the year.

Turns out that not only was the first leaked track backwards, but the entire record is! Upon listening to the record in length, the thought occurred to me that this may be a clever ploy to avoid leaking the proper version until the correct release date, but I'm pretty confident it was meant to be an exercise in reverse. Either way, I'm really fuckin' stoked that somebody had the balls to release an entirely backwards record- especially a release as highly anticipated as this one. I am definitely looking forward to reading the humiliating reviews where critics stumble awkwardly trying to romanticize the reverse experimentation. Sounds fucking killer to me! Here's a jam off it to soothe your curiosity.

Avey Tare and Kria Brekkan - Lay Lay Off, Faselam

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The Imposing Threat of EMO.

The following video is an actual news report that aired in North Dakota. Please watch it right away.

I don't even know where to start. Seriously. There is so much to say, but I don't even know how to begin to articulate it. How about this: just watch the video and we'll discuss later? OK, that works.

Also, listen closely to the background music. You bet your ass that they're playing some fucking Fall Out Boy!

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Monday, February 26, 2007

Live: Do Make Say Think @ The House Cafe (2/25)

The weather in the Midwest last night was a fucking awful mess of snow and rain, and made the trip to this show a real fucking pain in the ass. Nonetheless, I braved the elements and ventured to The House Cafe for the first time. I figured not a goddamn soul would be punishing themselves by sludging it out to the show, but there was a surprisingly good amount of attendees. In fact, recently I've been surprised by other instrumental post-rock scenes in really odd locations throughout Illinois. Why this phenomenon is occurring is totally beyond me, as most of the shows I've seen by any band that is even vaguely considered post-rock tends to be a total fucking snore.

Whatever the case, I made it out to see Do Make Say Think on the eve of the release of their new record You, You're A History In Rust. The band boasted, at times, eight members on stage, whose presence often equated to that of a group of mannequins. Granted, they played all their songs well; however, it would not be a stretch to use the word mechanical. Things really only took off during one or two songs, most notably during Winter Hymn Country Hymn Secret Hymn's opener 'Fredericia'. I would argue that DMST's lack luster performance has more to do with their style of music than it has to do with their lack of physicality, and it remains clear that there are not many post-rock bands really getting anywhere close to what they are doing, regardless of the fact that most of the songs have a boringly similar ebb and flow. I appreciate a working dramatic dynamic, but doing the same soft-loud-bottom-out recipe is probably more exhausting to sit through than it is to play. Dig them on record, go to the shows if you've got a lot of spare dope.

Do Make Say Think - Fredericia

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New Banner / New Music Monday

Alright, this week’s banner is the last blowjob 18+ will give to Boston rock visionaries Clouds. The two of us realize that we need to ease up on the praise of this band, but seriously, they are so gnarly. In their song “Magic Hater,” things change from a thrashy punk ruckus to fat-ass groove. Once the drummer brings the funk, Adam proclaims, “Yes! Yes! Sweet, tight and awesome!” I couldn’t agree more, Adam! I also wish I was as stoned as you were when you said that shit into an actual recording device!

As for new music, all I have to say is get off of your asses and buy the new Jesu album. Carrying on in what the Silver EP showed us, Justin is still playing the heaviest, slowest riffs that anyone on this planet has ever heard, all while singing like a godddamn fucking angel. This is a lot less electronic-based than Silver, but still has that same ‘the walls are crumbling!’ guitar tone that it was full of. The songs are beautiful, the melodies are haunting—this shit will bring tears to your eyes. "Transfigure" and "Medicine" are two of the high points on this thing. Get on it.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

Feature: Animal Collective Interview

I recently had some correspondence with Animal Collective member Geologist, concerning everything from how things are in the studio to when cats attack. As most of the blogging community is already aware of, everyone in the band is busy with various side projects, and Geologist does a good job hyping his comrades. Animal Collective is also going on tour with plans of bumming everyone out. We're in.

18+ is fucking proud to present, a moment with Geologist.

First off, I know you guys are recording right now, how does this record differ from previous outings?

Sorry to be a bummer, but the record is not done yet and it'll be a little while before we're ready to talk about it. We've done the live tracking but won't be mixing it for another month (we like to take a break from hearing the songs a million times), and until then, I think we'd rather keep a lot of details about it to ourselves. Even we don't know for sure how it'll turn out until after mixing.

Is it difficult for all of you to work together, considering the vast amount of side projects going on simultaneously? Any kind of power struggle?

I think the freedom to do outside work is what prevents power struggles in AC. If we had a strict rule that nobody could do anything outside of AC then I think we’d get sick of each other. We’ve been friends for a pretty long time, much longer than we’ve been calling ourselves Animal Collective, and during that time we’ve all had more than one project going on in our lives, musical and non-musical, so this really isn’t anything new to us. We’ve always supported each other and hoped for the best for whatever any of us are doing. I mean, I guess projects could conflict with regards to scheduling live performances, but that hasn’t been an issue yet.

I would imagine that, given your previous records, the transfer from recording music in the studio to playing live must be a difficult one to make... do you keep that in mind while recording, or just focus on making the record and then worry about possible problems into the live transition later?

No, because we do it the opposite way. We don't write songs in the studio or in preparation for the studio. We write songs to play live first and foremost. Then we tour with the songs for a couple months on the road to decide what we're happy with, i.e. what is fun to play over and over again, what works between us, find out what energy is created by certain songs. Then after a bit of time (these days about a year), we go into the studio and adapt them for that setting, which usually begins by recording us playing the song live. Overdubs like multiple vocal harmonies or whatever are added later. Even if we write a song that we never play live in front of others, we still write it so that we could perform it live in the studio. Usually after we record a song we stop playing it live, although in the last year or two we've come around to keeping a few oldies with us. For the first few years while people were discovering us - up through Sung Tongs - nobody would ever recognize what we played live because by the time an album had come out, we had already written the next one and that is what we were playing when they came to see us. Sometimes we got two albums ahead. When Sung Tongs came out, we had already been playing Feels songs live for 6 months, so for that period of time, people were still coming to shows hoping we'd play stuff off of Spirit or Here Comes The Indian. Anyways, we still play mostly new stuff live, which bums people out sometimes because they want to hear songs they already know and love. That's cool, we understand that, so we're trying to keep it a bit more balanced between new and old, we just have to make sure it stays fun for us, and playing new songs is more fun. So we don't find it difficult at all to transition the songs. So the short answer is no it's not difficult. Personally I like songs to exist as different versions as far as the live and studio settings. That bums people out as well and they complain that a song on the record has a different energy than it does live, or that when we play a song live it sucks because it doesn't sound like the album. But that doesn't matter to me at all. I mean I'm sorry if it upsets people; I want people to have fun at our shows, and enjoy our records, and I never want to deliberately be a difficult band for people to like. But if you're looking for a band that pretty much plays an exact replica of a song off their album every time they play it live, we're not the band for you, nor would I want to be.

Is there a lot of theory that goes into the records before you record at all? Jamming sessions versus yelling matches?

There is a lot of thought and discussion that goes into the songs. I wouldn't call it theory because none of us really know much about musical theory. We talk a lot in visual and emotional terms. The jamming happens live and after playing a song live for a month straight it becomes clear what works and what doesn't. Yelling matches pretty much never happen, which I find sort of weird because I think yelling between friends is more common among people that have been friends since childhood. People talk and interact with their childhood friends differently than they do with friends they've made as adults. But none of us are really yellers. Even when I do get upset about something, or with someone, it's like the lighthouse keeper forgets to hit the yell switch, and I just talk it out. I guess I yell at my cats when they do shit like steal food off my plate or scratch the wall paper off the kitchen wall. I don't know why though; it doesn't do any good. I got in a vicious battle with one of my cats over a brussel sprout a month or two back that ended up with him getting a free meal and me getting [a] severely bloodied hand.

Both ‘Feels’ and ‘Sung Tongs’ have had particularly unique production, is the way the record sounds an important part of the recording process?

Absolutely. It's just as important to us as the melodies and rhythms. I'd say different people in the band prioritize different things to a certain extent, which comes from the music they listened to and were drawn to when they were growing up, but the differences between us aren't very extreme. And I think that helps the songs because everything ends up being prioritized as important.

Do you guys listen to your own records or find it difficult to?

I don't listen to them very often. It's not difficult in the way it is like when someone hears their voice on an answering machine though. For me it's more like when I was making the record (and I'm including the many months of playing it live prior to recording), I have to hear the songs hundreds and hundreds of times in a short time period, so I get tired of them and I'd rather focus more on new material.

What things have been of particular influence to the new record?

Again, not really ready to talk about the new record just yet. Sorry. But as with all our records, it's very much influenced by what is currently going on in our lives.

What records are you looking forward to in 2007?

Well, not to be provincial, but I'm very excited for Panda's Person Pitch and Avey/Kria's Pullhair Rubeye. I guess that's a cop-out though because I've already heard both and really love them. I haven't been looking at any release schedules though so I don't know what's on tap for the coming year. I named the two AC-related releases because I know about them. I'm sure I'll be excited about other stuff, I just don't know what to expect.

What are some bands that are currently exciting you?

I saw Marnie Stern the other night and really liked her set. I like when the layered vocals take over the song because it's like really pretty icicles that cut through the air all the way to my ears. She played with Barr who is a longtime AC friend and associate. His new album is sweet too, and quite different than his previous outings. I still get excited by our friends in New York, like Gang Gang Dance and Black Dice and Excepter. Scott Colburn, who records our albums, has a new project called Wizard Prison which is sweet. Again, sorry to seem like I only root for the hometeam, but I just don't pay attention all that much. People always think I'm being rude when I say that, but it takes a lot of energy and money to keep up with new music. Things happen so fast these days. I don't have a download program on my computer so I don't know how to do that, and that seems to be the way people really find out about what is new and exciting to them. I've been listening to Don Cherry and Syreeta the most over the last few weeks, and my friend Zach does a dublab show called Turqoise Wisdom and he sent me one of the shows as an mp3, so I've been rocking that on my headphone when I take walks to the store and stuff. I like the laid back 70's vibe.

And lastly, what is something that you wish somebody had told you before you had ever joined Animal Collective?

Hmmm, Well AC grew out of 4 friends who have been playing music since they were 14 or 15, so you'd have to go back to my early teens, and back then, you don't want anyone to tell you anything, except that you already know everything there is to know.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: Howl Sessions

After spending the last thirty minutes trying unsuccessfully to get my friend to smell his own balls (via the swipe and smell method) so he could confirm that balls are indeed smelly, I'm having some trouble as to getting balls out of my mind. In fact, today has been sort of a ball-y day. I awoke to see Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes' balls, and got some other news that felt like a kick in the balls immediately after that. I've since then decided to dedicate this post to a band with- assuming everyone is healthy- six collective balls, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.

To be honest, I didn't give a fuck about BRMC until Howl came out. After ditching the Jesus & Mary Chain riffs, they ventured into some americana/delta blues territority, which, on some level, is admittedly inauthentic. Whatever the case, that record fuckin' ripped, and so did the following Howl Sessions EP that was released strictly to independent record stores of the band's choosing. I don't think I've ever heard a b-side record that has been so consistently good. Even the slow piano driven ballads on here fucking slay! Since it's thirsty Thursday, and our night is just beginning, I've decided to give you all a song to begin the evening with, and a song to end the evening with. Choose your own adventure. As a side note, they are also streaming "666 Conducer" and "Weapon of Choice" off of their upcoming album Baby 81 (due out May 1st) on their website. Shit is gonna rip!

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Wishing Well
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Pretend

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Whoa music reviews!!!

So I'm gonna start doing this thing where I'll take five records that have come out somewhat recently and review them in a very to-the-point fashion. I'm thinking it needs some sort of catchy name. Kenny suggested "Luca's Five Alive." What a fag. I'll think of one soon. Either way, here's my first installment. Enjoy my opinions, because they're always right:

Boris with Michio Kurihara, Rainbow
This Boris collaboration is not what you would expect. No doom, drone, sludge or dirge metal here. This is laid-back, bluesy, shoegazy, loungey pop with great guitar work. So good. Further proof that the Japs really are the master race.

Lifetime, Lifetime
Ten years ago Lifetime broke up. Five years ago Lifetime became really important. One year ago Lifetime reunited. A couple of weeks ago Lifetime put out this record and it totally kicks ass. This sounds exactly like they always have, but maybe even with a better sense of melody. Fuck all those elitist hipsters who will write this shit off. Fuck all those Clap Your Hands Say Yeahs and Deerhooves. Lifetime fucking rules, and they always have.

Joe Lally, There to Here
Yesterday Kenny wrote a post about how much ass Fugazi kicks (kicked?). And I couldn’t agree more. This is the super-stripped down solo effort by Fugazi’s bass player. I want to like this, I really do. But a bass player doing an almost all-bass album, even when he’s played in a band as amazing as Fugazi, fails to excite and hold my attention. This is still 6 billion times better than the latest Shins album. Fuck that band.

This is a collaborative effort by Stephen O’Malley of SunnO))) (can I get a ‘fuck yeah?’) and some English electronic artist named Peter Rehberg, who you’ll only know if you’re a giant fucking nerd. The concept on this record kicks ass: half of it was recorded in some dank French basement during a thunderstorm while the other half was recorded in a greenhouse in the middle of a pasture during a beautiful spring day. This process is supposed to give songs either an evil, menacing tone or a bright, uplifting mood. The truth is, these “songs” have very little emotion at all. This is ambiance at its absolute barest. Even O’Malley, king of the massive riff, barely plays an audible chord. This shit is strictly for nerds, dweebs, geeks, and squares.

Clouds, Legendary Demo
We love Clouds. This is dirty, stoney rock and fucking roll. Take this CD, put it in your stereo, and turn the volume up. What’s that you smell? Is your downstairs neighbor smoking weed again? No, no. That reefer smell is coming from your stereo. Seriously, listen to this fucking album and try to tell me that Adam wasn’t smoking tons of grass while writing and recording this shit. Sober minds don’t write riffs this kick ass. Sober voices don’t wail like that. Fuck yeah, dude. This shit fires me up.

Since we here at 18+ are such huge Clouds nerds, I’m gonna command you to go over to their MySpace page right now and listen to the two live tracks they just posted. Prepare to have your face melted: CLOUDS MOTHERFUCKERS!

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Pelican: City of Echoes

From browsing 18+, readers may get the feeling that we are being paid by Hydra Head Records. This, in part, is due to the fact that we can't stop dick-riding the new Clouds record. In keeping with that trend, I've tracked down Pelican's latest, City of Echoes (due out May 22nd). Since Luke and I are both down-home Chicago bros, and since we both play drums, Pelican is a bittersweet pill to swallow. Sure, the guitar work is usually pretty phenomenal, and hell, my band even recorded at the same place with the same engineer, but if there is any consistent and easily identifiable handicap to their music, it's the lackluster drumming. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy much of Pelican's catalog, and am a particular fan of 2005's The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw, but goddamnit, their drummer sounds like he is constantly waiting anxiously to use his brand new double-kick pedal and turn it out System of a Down style. Usually, this restraint isn't noticeable among a majority of drummers, but most of Pelican's songs have startlingly similar drum and bass parts, which is due primarily to an unimaginative rhythm section. C'mon guys, if you need a new drummer, you know where to find one. I mean, fuck, if you're that desperate, Luke may even be able to take a break from his many punk rock bands to fill in.

Anyway, continuing with Pelican tradition, the best track is saved for last, and I am providing you with it here. Happy Wednesday.

Pelican - A Delicate Sense Of Balance

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fugazi: More Relevant Than Ever Before

I had originally planned to spend a post discussing a ridiculous article that Spin Magazine recently published, but I decided that my write up would be just as big of a waste of time as their original feature. A few hours passed and I stumbled across this Ian MacKaye interview and have since chosen to dedicate a post to talking about how fucking incredible Fugazi is. In fact, that Spin article has a lot to do with my desire to rekindle a Fugazi love fest, because if there is one band that got it right- both on and off the stage- you don't really have to look much further. Doing some brief research can clue you into one of the very few bands worth giving a shit about that traces their roots back to the 1980s.

One thing that continually seems odd to me is the lack of Fugazi talk in the scene, the blogosphere- whereverthefuck. In fact, it is not uncommon to meet people pumping the latest Pitchfork recommendations who have absolutely no idea that music was made before the year 2000. I guess I just expect certain things to fall into everyone's cannon, but alas, this train of thought tends to turn out disappointing. If you haven't heard much Fugazi and you feel embarrassed right now, which you should, you should pretty much go out and buy any record from their catalog. I started with Repeater, and I will help you do the same. Quit wasting your time with bland indie bullshit or worrying about when the last time Lily Allen had a bowel movement was, and buy a fucking record for a change. Here. Now.

Fugazi - Repeater

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Monday, February 19, 2007

New Banner / New Music Monday

Today's new banner is brought to you courtesy of Britney Spears completely losing her shit, walking into a salon, and shaving her own head. Apparently, when she was later asked at a tattoo parlor why she went about shaving herself in a location other than below the waist, she replied, "I don't want anyone touching me. I'm tired of everybody touching me." For the next week, Britney, we salute you and anywhere on your body that you choose to be bald.

Because I've had a busy week, and I don't really feel like writing too extravagantly about new music, I thought I'd throw up an unreleased Somme track. It's totally fucking exclusive. You can also go to the Somme myspace to hear almost all of our debut EP, but you can only download Anvils here. At 18+, we're just that lazy good.

Somme - Anvils

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Super Nintedo Kicks Ass

I have a number of friends who both waited in line over the course of several days and paid hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to be able to obtain either a Playstation 3 or a Nintendo Wii. I would ask them why, and I would receive such answers as:

“The graphics are so realistic!”
“You can use it to surf the internet!”
“Dude, it has motion sensors AND rumbling controllers!”

Ok, ok. I guess some of that shit is cool….SIKE!

Look, over my twenty-two years, I have owned and regularly played only one video game system. And it is the one and only Super Nindedo, AKA the SNES. There is barely anything to say about Super Nintendo other than, “Super Nintendo kicks ass!!”

To fully understand this reasoning, you need to simply take a step back and look at three games:

Donkey Kong Country:

Do you remember when this game came out? Yeah, well I fucking do. The graphics were mind blowing! The music is smooth and almost porno-esque (especially in the underwater leverls). And on top of it all, it’s fucking hard! My buddy Nick and I honestly spent over two hours on one level! One goddamn level! Two hours! Fuck man! A sidenote- when you stomp on the enemy beavers in this game, they meow. Tell me the programmers weren’t keeping their minds in the gutters when they created the meowing beaver.

Super Mario World:

Clearly the undisputed champion of the Super Mario Dynasty. This game kept the elements that made the original Marios so great, but upped it with the cartoonish graphics, amazing sound effects, and—holy shit—a flying dinosaur named Yoshi. This game also has so many secret levels. Beating this game completely is a fucking many-day project. But here’s the best part: when you do finally beat it completely, you unlock a super-secret altered version of the game that’s pretty much like a Mario acid-trip. The koopa turtles turn into weird Mario clones! The toothed, fire breathing plants turn into evil jack-o-lanterns! The Forest of Illusion turns pink! This game is Mario’s shining achievement. His lowest point, however, would be the blackface in the original version of Super Mario 2.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past:

EPIC AS FUCK. Remember all those nerds I mentioned in the beginning of this goddamn post who waited for hours for high-tech video game systems? Well even those faggots will agree that this is one of the greatest games ever created. The storyline in this game makes me want to cry. Lord of the Rings and the Chronicals of (G)narnia can fucking shove it, Zelda fucking conquers!

While these games are mind-numbing as hell and alone make the system worth having, let it be known that I still have plenty of love for MarioKart, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time and the Mortal Kombat series.

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Clouds: Legendary Demo

As a long time Cave In fan, half of me was bummed about the news of their break up, and the other half was looking forward to what bands would come out of the space-metal-behemoth. Besides, Perfect Pitch Black was a mess, so what’s the worse that could happen? I had totally forgotten about Clouds, Adam McGrath's spin off band, until I read an embarrassing review of their debut album Legendary Demo yesterday. The review was crafted by resident Pitchfork metal "expert" D. Shawn Bosler who, as well as the mainpage early in the morning, wrongfully referred to the band as "The Clouds" throughout parts of the write up. Bosler is most well known for his works in other respectable music publications such as Decibel Magazine, where he cleverly refered to Metallica's later career as "bLoaded St. Turds." How anybody can be silly enough to start a review by discussing "hipster metal" in any sort of serious context and still respect themselves is totally fucking mind-blowing to me.

Regardless of the sad reminder, this Clouds record fucking rips! Luke prefers Caleb Scofield's Zozobra, but he also said "the new lifetime album is fucking brilliant." That quote isn't from 1996 or anything- he was seriously talking about Lifetime's 2007 eponymous reunion album. Anyway, one of my favorite tracks on here is "Magic Hater" which D. Shawn Bosler pans as taking "way too long to shake it all out." What the fuck? Listen about 1:18 in to hear Adam talk about how "sweet, tight, and awesome" the beat is grooving.

Clouds - Magic Hater

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Yoko Ono ruins her own record

Last night while I was watching American Idol, I reflected on all the contestants who had failed to make a positive impression on the judges. Withstanding the fact that these two gentlemen were involved with some questionable music, and the lady is a drunk, I've been thoroughly entertained this season, most likely as a result of the contestants' tomfoolery. This, in turn, got me thinking about other people who couldn't sing, and I settled on Yoko fucking Ono.

When I initially heard the news of a Yoko Ono remix album- I was pretty fucking stoked. "You mean a collection of mediocre indie music artists covering Yoko Ono original compositions? Fuck!" Turns out that Yoko still moans in broken english all over the fucking thing- which turns into one giant mess by the end of the sordid affair. Everyone keeps talking about the Peaches collaboration song on here- and there are many other disco songs to choose from- as well as a real snore in her song with gender-challenged critic favorite, Antony. The only song I was looking forward to was "Walking On Thin Ice" which is a song that originally appeared on Season of Glass following John Lennon's death. Here, Jason Pierce of Spiritualized does his absolute best to make the self-proclaimed witch listenable. Musically, the song is pretty redeeming compared to the rest of the white funk allstars celebration going on, but Yoko is once again ruining quality music by raising her voice. Thanks Yoko. Don't buy this shit.

Yoko Ono & Jason Pierce - Walking On Thin Ice

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Undercover of the Week: David Yow joins Qui

I understand that on the average news day, sometimes stories get buried. Besides, there's some pretty crazy shit going on right now. Paula Abdul is claiming to have never been drunk. A 40-year-old female substitute teacher is going to jail for, oddly enough, forty years because she showed her students porn. With that in mind, I think it's only appropriate that the headline news on a majority of music blogs should read: David Yow has joined Qui. Yes, David Yow, the man who became famous for fronting Scratch Acid and The Jesus Lizard while flashing his dick around like it was made of diamonds. There wasn't anything Chippendales about Yow's performances, but you could certainly expect to get a mouth full of cock if you were brave enough to withstand the front row. I mean Christ, the guy played shows where people reacted violently enough to his stage antics that they pelted him in the fucking face with beer bottles. And then he would carry on with the show.

So while the rest of the blogging community feels it necessary to cover the Neon Bible tour at a relentless rate, or what is possibly even worse, wasting a post wondering how it was, I commend anyone who has the taste to cover news that has some actual substance.

The Jesus Lizard - Nub
Qui - New Orleans

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Overcover of the Week: The Police Reunion

Over the course of the last few weeks, I've been utterly confused as to the extensive blog coverage of The Police reunion. Unless soccer moms in their mid 40s are the people updating blogs, which is entirely possible given the anonymity (outside of the first name) of some of the more popular blogs, there is absolutely no reason to condone this sort of activity. A brief glance at Sting's solo career showcases the definition of mediocrity. In fact, I would argue that much of The Police's records are just the sort of completely uneventful and unchallenging music that is most appealing to the average "top 40" music connoisseur. I can only conclude that the types of bloggers covering this silliness are either

A.) Following the trend of the bigger blogs.

Or, the more frightening scenario...

B.) They don't understand what a vast amount of bullshit was put out in the 1980s that allowed The Police to rise to fame in the first place. Sure, they were different- they were "fresh," but look at their competition.

There's nothing rock and roll about being 50 years of age and regrouping your old, washed up band because the yoga background music lute solos didn't flare as well as you thought they would. If you are writing a blog and you don't have anything new to say, don't say anything at all. Save the readers the time it takes to scroll down and look for relevant stories, which, if you are covering this sort of thing, probably aren't there. If I'm looking for reuniting Dinosaurs in rock and roll music, I already have my pick as to whose team I'm on.

Dinosaur Jr. - Almost Ready

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