Thursday, January 29, 2009

Varukers - Another Religion, Another War (1984)

I'm in a band where my main song-writing inspiration is Celtic Frost. This works out pretty well for me since I think about Celtic Frost most of the time.

Now, back in the early & mid 80's, Tom G Warrior was probably spending a lot of time thinking about Motörhead and Discharge and Amebix and the fucking Varukers. So, according to logic and the transitive property, I am spending a lot of time thinking about the Varukers, which, all things considered, is a pretty rad thing to think about.

Most of the things that I said about Deep Wound also apply to the Varukers, a blur of d-beat aggression into the rhythmic emphasis of the chorus. What's the deal with the d-beat though? It's like once you reach a certain bpm, what is ostensibly just a basic backbeat with syncopation leading up to the fourth beat flips into this weird intuition defying monster that lends itself nicely to an ambient syncopation hum over which chords can fly in any which way they please. Super cool, wish I understood it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jacula - Tardo Pede in Magiam Versus (1972)

There are a lot of ghosts whispering right now. Many ghosts tell me their tales, ghosts of gorillas, ghosts of Cicciolina, ghosts of Bach and his son Carl Phillipp Emanuel. These ghosts are singing me a song, and one is singing Jacula Valzer in my right ear while the other is singing Long Black Magic Night in my left.

Much creepier than movies about ghosts taking over the internet, much creepier than blog posts about ghosts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Shangri-Las - Myrmidons of Melodrama

Hey chances are that I've probably made fun of some band that you like for having teen angst. Man teen angst can actually be pretty cool when it's not all done up in false poetry. Also it helps when you have a genius song-writing and mad scientist style production.

That's one of the coolest things, when you have some ostensibly silly teenage love songs coupled with Lolita style sexuality, but also fucking godhead songs. The classic example is Phil Spector with The Ronettes and The Crystals, but George Morton was operating on a similar level here. See also: France Gall & Serge Gainsbourg, Britney Spears & whoever produced Toxic.

The Beatles stole a lot of ideas from this era of girl group pop, and you can hear it in the way that the verses of a lot of those songs have a beginning, middle and end then adjust to lead smoothly into the chorus, rather than just repeating the same vocal idea four times. We've got layers and layers here in these songs, but, as is expected of great writing, it's never distracting. You don't have to hear all of the syncopated percussion if you don't want to, but if you do you might just stuff your bra and keep a diary. God I hope I don't get my period in gym class.


Note: I deleted the final tracks of this collection, which was a make-up advertisement and other things, so the ish would fit on mediafire. If you are offended, I am not sorry. Find something better to care about.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sidney Bechet - Original Recordings (1932-1952)

As requested by a punk who I know, here is one of the main psychos of New Orleans jazz. Let me give you an example: Sidney Bechet was jailed in Paris when a passerby was wounded by a bullet he fired during a duel. A fucking duel in the middle of Paris.

These aren't Bechet's earliest recordings of the 20s, which are also really rad, but dude basically kept the same agenda throughout his career. Blues is extremely prevalent here, as many of these compositions are based on the 12-bar form and feature extensive pentatonic improvisation.

What's important, though, is Bechet's ability to think ahead in his solos. It's one thing to be able to string chords together throughout your improvisation. It's another to have clear statements that all have something to do with each other and make sense together any which way you want to connect them. It's like looking at, I don't know, a fucking Nautilus or something, which, on its own, is a creature that looks just completely wild as fuck. And then you sort of think about coral reefs as a whole and what other insane beasts dwell there, and the whole thing really just makes your brain seem so goddamn pathetic. But then you realize what a magnificent flesh computer you have bouncing around in your skull, and everything falls into place. What I'm saying is that Sidney Bechet's playing is like evolution.

Bechet mostly follows chords around with his huge vibrato, and throws in tons of diminished runs which I'm just a big giant sucker for. Maple Leaf Rag ~2:20 for a nice break Yngwie Malmsteen would be jealous of.

Also check out this version of Summertime. Fucking heavy. Put it on: yr moshing.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Hey, I've been in the process of moving over the past few weeks, and I haven't had much time with my music and the internet in the same place. Updates will resume at their previous clip sometime v. soon. Great!

Friday, January 9, 2009

OC - Word...Life (1994)

I feel like New York hip-hop has been under-represented on my blog here, especially because, along with astonishingly primitive black metal, it is my favorite thing. O.C. is part of the Diggin' in the Crates crew and Buckwild did a lot of production on this album, so if you're expecting some sort of jazzy, lyrical hip-hop, then your head is in the right place. Congratulations.

This isn't quite Illmatic or Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, but what is other than The Infamous or Ready to Die? This is squarely on that second tier, though, which is really saying a lot. But hold on, who wants to read my writing about categories, especially when I was going to ridicule people who like "hip-hop" but not "rap." I'm over it though, smooth brains can do what they will. That shit just isn't my dad.

O.C. is unapologetically more intelligent than his peers, and he has quiver full of little poison arrows for fake thugs and sell-outs:

What's-her-face told me you shot this kid last week in the park/That's a lie, you was in church with your moms

I'd rather be broke and have a whole lot of respect/It's the principal of it, I get a rush when I bust some dope lines oral, that maybe somebody'll quote/That's what I consider real, in this field of music

He also gets all high school existential for a minute, wondering why life is so damn short and all. Hint: it prob has something to do with the values of some fundamental constants.

This whole album is rooted in reality, and O.C. steers well wide of melodrama and irritating polemicism. Instead, the universal themes of struggle to earn your own place, proving haters wrong, existential melancholy, and alpha male bravado shine through. That's right, even if you live in the hills of New Guinea, you will relate to this record. You already slept on it once in 94, don't fuck up again.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Super Rail Band - New Dimensions in Rail Culture (1982)

Band names, like lyrics, are one of those things that are always kind of stupid. However, this is in the running for the best: Super Rail Band Of The Buffet Hotel Del La Gare De Bamako, Mali. Hell yeah, motherfucks. The fucking rail administration of Mali sponsored this shit. How cool is that, and how do I apply?

Attn: Rail Adminstration of Mali
I can play a lot of Megadeth songs on guitar and various arpeggios, so whenever you're ready, just leave me a comment and we'll see what's good.

So, the music. We've got some shredders: Foliba at 3:50. We've got cool syncopated rhythms. We've got two vocalists with really rad super-clear voices. Songs are based on a groove more than anything else, and, when I listen to this, I have a weird association with driving a van full of sleeping dudes through Nebraska.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Think I Care - World Asylum (2006)

If you've looked at my blogger profile at all, you may have noticed how I feel about Celtic Frost. Think I Care felt the same way, or they at least felt the same way about Sheer Terror, who certainly groveled at the jeweled throne of Tom G. Warrior.

The agenda here is very, uh, primitive. We've got a plethora of chromatic, mid-paced riffs that just force the corners of your mouth down as far down as they can go. Riffs establish a pummeling stomp through down-picking on an open chord, then are offset with a syncopated flurry of fifths. This is done with the intuition of bands like Nuclear Assault or the Cro-Mags, making each deviation a spike in your endorphins. Song structures are typical of post 85 hardcore, with loose verse chorus arrangements leading up to "the big heavy." Depending on your mood and breeding, you may find this fun or you may find this tedious. My argument is that you should loosen up because not everyone wants to listen to Richard Strauss all of the time.

I saw this band many years ago, well before I was smart. As such, I watched respectfully from the side and probably thought about Dillinger Escape Plan riffs or something fucking stupid like that. This may be a false memory, but I think the drummer was playing without bending his wrists at all, delivering a true pre-agriculture beating to a world gone wrong.


Note: My friend Dave kindly pointed out that the intro to this record is a straight up rip of Cro-Mags - Death Camps. Dave is the most knowledgeable mosher of them all.