Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lifter Puller "Soft Rock"

I used to hang out with some pretty fucked up people. I guess sometimes I still do. But, they used to be far more fucked up people. Lots of drugs, really bad drugs, and deviant (sometimes just plain wrong) sexcapades. I was once in a band with this guy who told me about the time he tried to have sex with his dog (apparently, it didn't work out; the dog got mad and bit him. Ah, the toils of young love). He was really into GG Allin, and it was kind of disturbing, but back then I didn't really think much of it.

He lived in the basement of his alcoholic sister's house (who claimed to have slept with every one of the Dead Boys except Cheetah, cause "he was the ugly one"), where on one occasion, during a particularly heavy bout of drinking, he took me to this freezer in the basement and told me he wanted to "show me" something. After chipping away at the ice for ten minutes, a plastic garbage bag began to emerge. He ripped it open and I was horrified to see a dead dog grinning at me. "Is that the dog you uhhh... you know." I inquired. "No, this was another dog that died and my sister wanted to give it a 'proper burial', but couldn't afford it. So, she put it in the freezer until she had the money. That was 2 years ago." Uh huh... There really wasn't much to do on Long Island except be fucked up. He left town eventually, and the last time I saw him, he booked a show for my (then) band, and he had just gotten married. He asked if I wanted to see his new gun.

"Soft Rock" is a compilation of pretty much everything Lifter Puller released (with the exception of the "Fiestas & Fiascoes" LP). Over the course of the 40 tracks presented here, Craig Finn (now in the Hold Steady) tells a possibly fictional tale of the criss-crossing lives of numerous fucked up individuals. Whereas the Hold Steady goes for a raucous, anthemic bar-rock assault, this is a far more low-key outing, relying less on catchy choruses and recycled Springsteen riffs than atmospheric synths and solid post-punk indie rock (all recorded back in the 90's, before the whole modern post-punk indie rock revival). The lyrics are pure gold; I've always secretly really wanted to put "Nassau Coliseum" on a mix-tape for someone (IE. a couple of ex-girlfriends), but I just never had the guts.

This is not in chronological order; the best stuff on here is the first set of B-sides/rarities (tracks 1-6) and their second album, "Half Dead & Dynamite" (tracks 7-17). Their first album (self titled, tracks 28-40) is a far less inspired indie rock jaunt, obviously building up to something, but not quite there yet. "The Entertainment and Arts" EP (tracks 22-27) is also great, and contains a much cooler version of "Star Wars Hips" off the first LP.

I had to split this into 3 parts because Mediafire doesn't let you upload anything bigger than 100MB. Download them all and 7zip or whatever should reconstitute it all as one, like adding water to a batch of sea monkeys, and ending up with one big vat of dead sea monkeys.

Download Part 1

Download Part 2

Download Part 3

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Noothgrush "Erode The Person"

I can't do it. I have nothing angry to rant about right now. This record is angry enough that I just don't even feel it's necessary. On paper, this sounds awful (misanthropic nerds playing plodding, distorted songs about Star Wars), but in actuality...hell, fuck it, even on paper, its awesome. Just trust me and download this if you like smoking weed and hate most people.


Hellbender "Footprint of the American Chicken"

After listening to nothing but metal for the past 8 or 9 months, I think I may have finally reconciled my intense hatred of pop-punk with my secret love of really, really good pop-punk. And I'm OK with that.

Also, I went to see Wolves In The Throne Room at Europa last night, and it just pissed me off. I mean, they were good, but I have to say...OK, I am super anal about this stuff, but the drummer was just not up to snuff. I'm not trying to talk shit, all I'm saying is, somebody must LOVE pro-tools. Also, what is it with Black Metal bands and mixing the snare so low that you can't fucking hear it. I mean, like, at all. At one point, the (I think) confused sound person turned the snare mic up to a barely audible level, and the singer yelled at him to turn it down.

Yeah, OK, so I agree, Darkthrones' "Transylvanian Hunger" is an awesome record, and you can't really hear the snare too well on that, but (and you can impale me on an inverted jesus dildo for this if you must), it's not even their best record. Put on one of their later records, after they put a little bit more into the recording process, and lo and behold, the magic of the snare drum appears! It adds life to the song, a sense of forward motion. Even on that Burzum record, where he tried to use the worst mics possible to achieve some ridiculous outsider aesthetic, you can hear the fucking snare. What is it with all these bands who have decent recordings but try to emulate this one horrible quality that comes out when you record something on a hand held tape recorder shoved up your own ass?

Anyway, after they played, my friend Jen from Chicago tried to trick me into going to Lost and Found bar up on Greenpoint Ave. by telling me to meet her at Tommy's Tavern (a slightly less irritating shithole) after I refused to go to L&F, and then texting me after I was already there and telling me to go to L&F. Seriously? No way in hell will I be caught dead in that shit hole. Do I LOOK like I'm into shitty bands who spend all month trying to rip off Dillinger 4 and paying $5 for a glass of watered down Stella? Don't I look more like a guy who could go home, spend $3 at the beer window, get drunk in the backyard and then spend the rest of the night downloading music and jerking off? More importantly, what the fuck does any of this have to do with this pretty awesome pop-punk record by a band from North Carolina who has probably never even sacrificed a virgin?

Uhhh... well, I had to wait for the bus home for a while, and that sucked, and I bet Al Burian hates waiting for the bus, too. And there's a couple of lyrics that mention the bus. Also, once he smoked all of my friend Kevin's weed, and even though Kevin wasn't there, he should have been. So uhhh... stick that in your pipe and smoke it.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

(Young) Pioneers- "Free the (Young) Pioneers Now!"

I hate folk punk with every ounce of my being. I think it is the absolute worst sub-genre ever to emerge from the cancerous bowels of the punk movement. It is certainly the most embarrassing. I find it hard to align myself with anything that would somehow align itself with Defiance, Ohio (some of them are nice enough folks, but I absolutely cannot stand their music). And apparently, there is a band playing in my living room this weekend that I am strongly confident is a folk punk band. I'll be drinking on the back porch for that one.

It truly amazes me that a band as great as the (Young) Pioneers could be indirectly responsible for possibly the worst genre of music to ever exist (with the exception of nu-metal, and yes, I'm counting ska). There seems to be a lack of (Young) Pioneers stuff on the internet (at least, I could find practically nothing after 10 minutes of searching), so I decided to put this up. You probably have it, anyway. If not, get this. It is really awesome, totally catchy folky punk (not folk punk) without all the hokey trappings of it's modern hellspawn.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Floor "Self Titled" LP

No Idea Records is, nowadays, kind of a joke amongst people who don't like "beard core", ie. watered down pop hardcore with really, really "gruff vocals", AKA bands who've listened to far too much Hot Water Music. I haven't really paid much attention to their output lately, but for a while, it seems that this was all they put out. But, back in their earlier days at least, they were a really diverse label and put out stuff that was all over the place. Case in point: the Floor self titled LP. If you haven't heard of Floor before, they played on and off from 1992 till 20004, before they broke up for good and formed the much more pop(ular) band Torche. Please don't dismiss this because you think Torche is cheesy. Whereas people refer to Torche as a "pop-doom" hybrid band (when in actuality they're just a poppy hardcore band with some slow songs), this actually lives up to that moniker. I honestly can't think of a single other band that really sounds like this (if you can, please, let me know). It's equal parts melodic pop anthem and crushingly heavy doom. I don't have any wacky stories or angry rants for this one, but according to iTunes, I've listened to this record more than anything else in my whole library. Best jams- "Figured Out" (I try to rip off that snare-crash triplet thing he does whenever possible), "Scimitar", "Downed Star". Just check it out, man.

download here

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sir Lord Baltimore- "Kingdom Come"

A few days ago, I was walking a dog that I don't usually walk anymore, and after about 10 minutes I realized that the owner had put Nail Polish on the dog. Good fucking grief, are you serious? I tried to avoid people for the rest of the walk, which wasn't too hard cause it was sort of raining out. I didn't want anyone to see and think that I'm the type of weirdo that puts nail polish on my dog. I mean, there's plenty of valid reasons for people to think I'm weird. Putting nail polish on a dog is not fucking one of them.

A little while later, I was smoking a cigarette before getting on the train. I was standing there with my sweatshirt and umbrella and this wild-eyed man started talking to me. I was wearing headphones, so I missed the first part of what he had to say. I took them off and heard "And when the rapture comes, you're gonna need more than an umbrella and an overcoat, you're gonna need a boat!" and then he scampered away before I could respond. I guess (read: hope) I look kind of evil. I was wearing a shirt that had a mythical skull-hawk-beast on it. But, I didn't get to tell him how I've heard it all before. Just because I am not weak enough to succumb to your bullshit religion, doesn't mean I'm ignorant. Anyway, if you want to interpret the rapture from the bible, next time god comes, it's supposed to be with fire, not a flood. Oh, how I pine for the days when we fed these people to lions.

Sir Lord Baltimore reunited in 2006, and are now apparently a weak-willed Christian band. Sucks to be them. I guess they were never really evil, anyway. However, a 1971 review of "Kingdom Come" (written by "Metal Mike" Saunders of the Angry Samoans!) was the first ever documented use of the term "heavy metal" as a musical descriptor. Wicked. Presented here, for your consideration, is their 1970 debut "Kingdom Come". Crucial jams include "Master Heartache", "Hell Hound", and "Lady Of Fire". A must-hear for fans Blue Cheer, Black Sabbath, and all those other colorful bands.


The Melvins 25th Anniversary

Saw the Melvins last night at Webster Hall. In case you didn't know, they were performing the "Houdini" record in it's entirety. Sort of.

The show was billed as starting at 6:30, oddly early, but when we got there, we were informed that it wasn't actually going to start till 8. I guess Webster Hall figured maybe people would come in early and spend copious amounts of cash on over-priced swill. Instead, I took a page from my earlier years (OK, who are we kidding, this practice continues today) and we went to the liquor store and got smallish bottles of whiskey, pouring them into cups from the Dunkin' Donuts, and drinking across the street from WH.

The Melvins took the stage at around ten after 8:00. Only it wasn't the Melvins, it was King Buzzo with the original lineup of the band from 1983, and they played about 10 tracks off their 1983 demo (re-released in 2005 on Ipecac as "The Mangled Demos"). Sweet. It certainly wasn't the Melvins of today, but it was cool nonetheless. A lot faster and to the point, it lacked the ass-kicking punch of what you'd expect from the Melvins, but was still decent hardcore punk stuff.

After that, the rest of the band left the stage, and Dale Crover got behind the kit, but uhhh... for some reason, they played the next 6 or 7 (more recent) Melvins songs sans Bass guitar. It sounded OK, but... the Melvins with no Bass? That's like, the Melvins playing the songs too fast... which they proceeded to do when Trevor Dunn (Fantomas) joined them on stage and they started playing songs off of Houdini, finally. OK, so it was only one or two songs, but they sped up "Honey Bucket" to the point that I felt it was ruined. And when a band says it's going to play an album in its entirety, you kind of expect a song by song rendering of said album. They played most (not all) of Houdini, but in a random order that was somewhat misleading compared to how the show was announced. But I'm not trying to dwell on the negative; it was a great show. They rocked out harder for 2 straight hours then most bands around now can for 45 minutes. Dale Crover is a phenomenal drummer, and their live rendition of "Spread Eagle Beagle", a 10 minute drum solo, was far more interesting then expected (though it certainly was no "Moby Dick"). A good time was had by all.

Here's a video of Buzz on that crappy Fox show "Red Eye" from the night before. He looks younger on TV. The host is a real sack of shit.

edit: Also, I think B.D. Wong was on the same 4-Train as me. I kept staring at him trying to figure out for sure. I think I creeped him out.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Best Buddies...

While I generally hate the fact that corporate news programs spend far more time with terrible "life-affirming" puff pieces and scare stories designed to get Americans to spend more money on crap they don't actually need, and this is certainly one of the former, I have to say, this melts my blackened heart like a pile of dog diarrhea melting on the sidewalk in mid July.

Saint Vitus- "Born Too Late"

Brooklyn is a pretty shitty place. Don't get me wrong, I like it OK. But, there's just so many fucking assholes. From the bloated, 45 year old mess of a woman in the vomit-stained and not at all ironically worn "Baby Girl" t-shirt staring at you like you're the freak, to the crack head in the fried food store who get's pissed and acts casually threatening in response to the $.75 you just gave him because he "needs $2.00" and "just got out of Rikers", and can't you just "help him out" because really, I guess $.75 isn't helping a guy out, even though it's seventy five cents more than the 8 other people who didn't even acknowledge his genital wart infested ass gave him, and really, you just want some fucking fried chicken but it's deal with ole genital wart or go get chinese food, and its all I can do not to scream at this fucking huge slice of turd pie at the Chinese food joint who's screaming at the poor little Asian man behind the counter because an eggroll is fifteen cents cheaper down the block (I don't really get what system of logic he's using; mine says to go down the block, but maybe fucktard is on a higher, uh, evolutionary plane than me or something) and uhhh... yeah. So, there's a lot of assholes. Don't even get me started on the teenagers (more on teenagers later) or the crybaby fashion victims that line the gold paved streets of Williamsburg.

I was going somewhere with this... oh. Life in Brooklyn is fun, but it can get kind of heavy, like Saint Vitus's "Born Too Late". Strap on the old headphones and crank this to the point of painful, and it makes it alot easier to say "fuck it" to the fact that the dude standing in front of you on the bus won't get his fucking crotch out of your face, or that it's illegal to decapitate pubescents, even though the seventh graders at the bus stop wouldn't stop pointing and laughing at you

Their S/T record seems to get a more credit, but this is, in my opinion, a far superior album. The lyrics are the perfect combination of the absurd and the right on ("Every time I'm on the street/people laugh and point at me./They talk about my length of hair/and the out of date clothes I wear."). The riffs are fucking crushing. The cover of "Thirst and Miserable" rivals the original. These are the motherfuckers who invented doom metal, at their peak. You should have this, but if you don't just fucking download it.


Beehive & The Barracudas- "Plastic Soul with the White Apes"

Last night was the first show I've played since the last Ghostwood show on New Year's Eve. It was a mess, but people still danced (which is how it always goes. Drunk people at punk shows will dance to anything, no matter how bad or good it is. I hate it. How are you supposed to know if you're any good or not for real?). I fucked up a bunch of stupid little stuff on the first song, my favorite one, and then I fucked the same stuff up when we played it again as the last song. We only had four, plus a really bad cover of "Sex Bomb" that I later learned was unrecognizable to a good chunk of the audience. I'm the only one in the band that can legally drink, and also the only one that's been playing their instrument for more than a few years (or in the case of half the band, for more time than we've been a band, which is about 3 months). It's sloppy and simple, but there is something to be said about the energy of a band that can't really play but still tries like hell.

That energy is alot harder to capture when you know what you're doing, but it can be done. On "'Plastic Soul' with the White Apes", Beehive & The Barracudas manage to pull it off. I really don't know anything about this band, and can't find much out anywhere. Apparently from a (seemingly) fictional town called Blight, Michigan, one of the few things I know is that this features Gar Wood of Hot Snakes, leading me to believe they're from San Diego. It's got a great, raw garage sound with a hint of soul, and in my opinion, captures the energy mentioned above. And it's great to listen to when you're getting a little stoned, too.