Abe Vigoda – Animal Ghosts 7″

a: Animal Ghosts
b: All Night and Day
Purchase right from Post Present Medium (PPM)

This is one of those things that you hear for the first time, and think to yourself “this is going to blow up.” I’ve always fancied myself with a talent for spotting bands that are going to eventually be huge, for example when I was in grade 6, I was into MC Hammer before anyone else in my grade 6 class room; I was listening to Blink before the 182; now with I am using this talent (my only talent of note) and I am telling you that this band is going to be huge.

The reasons are many;

1. Abe Vigoda are awesome.

2. They take a pre-existing (but tired) genre that everyone knows and loves (in this case, that mix of new wave fashioned pop-punk, with just the right amount of the “e” word thrown in, you will recognize the sound as soon as you hear it) and makes it relevent by being just different enough to seperate themselves from a glutted music market

3. They are uber prolific… check out the discography on their myspace page:

2007 inch 7″ – Post Present Medium
Siked Psych: NNF Gold – Not Not Fun
40 Bands in 80 Minutes – Sounds Are Active
Kid City – olFactory Records
Split 7″ w/ Child Pornography. – Oms-b
Split Cassingle w/ Hot Girls Cool Guys – Not Not Fun
Sea & Sea Music Factory – Not Not Fun
7″ – Silencio Recordings
Sky Route/Star Roof – Not Not Fun + Post Present Medium
Under 21: Los Angeles! – olFactory Records
Treasure Tropics split 7″ – Not Not Fun
Love Means Never Having to Say Yr Sorry/Sorry – Not Not Fun

4. See #1.

5. They are a key band in a scene that is also blowing up – they are part of that LA scene (alongside bands like Mika Mika, No Age, Silver Daggers).

The 7″ here is really good, and you should order one. Seriously.

Mutators – Paper Words 7″

a1: Paper Words
a2: Little Liar
b: Glass
Available directly from Broadway to Boundary

Broadway to Boundary are going to be a label to watch. This Mutators 7″ kind of comes out of nowhere, and the upcoming lineup features a Shearing Pinx 7″ in January and a Sex Negatives 7″ in December. It is nice to see Vancouver producing a scene like this, and it doesn’t hurt to have a local label to distribute it beyond the rockies.

I am going to agree with Jason’s assessment here; this is pretty damn good, but I can see some people absolutely hating the music. Too abrasive, too challenging, too fucking harsh. You have this band completely thrashing out, but with that element of drone that a lot of these West Coasters are going for.

On top of that, you have this woman absolutely screeching into the mic, getting that “screeching into the mic” distortion that we all know and love. Remember when the screamo sound went somewhat mainstream a couple of years ago? Especially in Canada, when Alexisonfire and Billy Talent blew up? That was nice screaming; this, on the other hand, will hurt your feelings.

The Mutators 7″ comes in blue vinyl and is limited to 300 copies.

Temperatures – S/T 7″

a: Too Hot to Handle
b: Too Cold to Hold
4th Harmonic Records
Cheapest at Smallfish Records

I ordered this on a whim a month or so ago, after reading Thurston Moore’s guest list thing on Pitchfork, calling UK act Temperatures his favourite new band. Intrigued I hunted this down and then forgot all about it until it arrived yesterday.

Musically, this is experimental noise at its finest. Really off the wall, and after a few listens, I am starting to pull it all together in my head, but the effect of the noise and the randomness is really jarring at first. Of limited appeal to most music fans, but for those who are looking for a nice detour into the noise genre, this is a great place to find that.

The sleeve is amazing – one one side you get this glittery snowflake, and on the other, it looks as if the band heated up an element and individually burned each sleeve. I am a sucker for that kind of DIY treatment, and combined with the ultra-low release number (219 copies), this is a winner for me.

Fucked Up – David Christmas 7″ (December 15)

a: David Christmas
b: Stars on 45

I ran across this on Pitchfork this morning, and it is still blowing my mind. Toronto band Fucked Up is releasing a charity single to benefit the Toronto Food Bank and George Herman House, a transitional housing program for women living with mental health issues.

The A-Side is from their upcoming album The Chemistry of Common Life. The b-side (and this is the mind blowing part) is a “Do They Know It’s Christmas” type deal that features:

  • Nelly Furtado
  • LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy
  • Black Lips’ Cole Alexander
  • Matt Sweeney
  • The Faint’s Jacob Thiele
  • Jay Reatard
  • the Horrors’ Faris Rotter
  • Rites of Spring’s Mike Fellows (!!)
  • Chromeo’s Dave One
  • Shenae Grimes of “Degrassi: The Next Generation”
  • AFI’s Davey Havok
  • What’s Your Rupture? label guy Kevin Peterson
  • Panthers’/Orchid’s Jayson Green
  • Poison Idea’s Jerry A.
  • Terror’s Scott Vogel
  • Attack in Black’s Dan Romano
  • Face to Face’s Trever Keith

According to Fucked Up’s blog, this is limited to 1000 copies, and while it is initially available only at the benefit show, it will be available online after the show. As they put it:

So don’t worry if you are some asshole from Omaha that needs a copy of the 7″ so you can sell it on eBay (“this record has never been played”), you will be able to obtain one.


LES BOF! – Un Disque Maxi! 7”

a1: Boule De Cristal
a2: J’ai Perdu Mon Mojo
b1: Chante
b2: C’est Fini
Preview tracks at their Myspace

Of all of the new 7″ released this week in North America, this was the one that intrigued me the most. A four piece band from Scotland playing 60’s era French garage-rock? Yes please! This 7″ includes Cover versions of Them’s “I Can Only Give You Everything” and Naomi Neville‘s “Fortune Teller.” I mean, if you are going to do retro garage, you have to do it properly, no? This appears to be the real deal, and I can’t wait for it to land on my doorstep.

Purchase in North America from Scratch Records.

Live Blogging: Stories, Texts and Technoscience (4)

Verran: Science and an African Logic

1. Explaining away what is meant to be explained: Verran pushes you towards: “What is to be explained?” (Dorothy’s “What is the problematic?”) – who has what sort of problem? Starting with the problem explains away the interesting part, instead of eventually getting to the problem. This means rethinking both ontology (now understood as political) and politics (not a matter of intervention, but clarification). Problematic is limiting because we can move too quickly that which should be kept open. In the best ANT studies, it is not a strict beginning.

2. Literalizing: numbers are a conceptual organization, but we treat them as a natural kind. The history of numbers is taking embodied rituals. Once the literalizing is done, those things are there? “We do things with numbers, but numbers are things with us” – “numbers are familiars that seem to do us as we do them.” Goes to the Thomas theorem – we create the reality, but it becomes real in its consequences. It then is able to change in various ways in the course of doing us.

204-205 – once in existence, the numbers systems take on a life of their own. Meanings become black boxes – at that point, the grammar becomes part of the system.

Ontological Politics: sorting out what counts as “differences.” What counts as “X” when “X” counts? What does count? ANT politically does not want to put anyone in a “hero role” positions (direct lineage of “Science as a vocation” – lets acknowledge). Multiple versions are all not equal as “what counts” – multiplicity. ANT always wants an honest game that understands what the rules are, who is doing what.

Reflexivity: 4 pages from the end: “Would I act any differently?” – and she says “not really.” A curious example of a knowing actor. Even in the ANT study (236) “letting these little rituals happen as they would… trust teachers, and to trust myself to know what was successful.” The knowing teacher, the bottom line: trust the people who are actually out there doing the out there work. So then, what was the book about? The work was about western ways of knowing. The theory needed a knowing subject – trust embodied certainty?

Where the observing writer – who is the reader, and what is that reader supposed to be concerned with? \

How much do you watch the world / how much do you let it be? How much is it doing Warhol and just setting up the camera and documenting? As soon as you start publishing something, it becomes part of the picture.

The book ends up being about bodies, and repeated enactments of bodies, and the possibilities of language, and how our categories are repeated things we do over and over again, give a name to, and then reify the name. The name does a thing (it does us/as we do it).

Ordered/Ordering Micro-worlds: what is the ordered/ordering micro-world? Something is happening / is ordered (the people have resources they are expected to deploy, say a diagnosis) /is ordering (a teaching scene – doing ordering that will perpetuate). The scene could be otherwise (say, an other diagnosis) (the deconstruction of the category). Recognizing the inadequacy.

Foundationalism (p. 210): foundationalism (learning to see through the confusing surface p. 165). The expert gaze is supposed to see through to something else with expertise. The “murky surface” – claims to explain all possible worlds must be refused (relativity). Yet, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t safe to get in an airplane. It’s built within specifications that work in this world, good enough to get from here to there (modest version of social science – middle range). The idea of some ultimate theory is a foundationalist pipe dream (another authority bid). Live in a world of modest claims.

Findings: “the report has me “finding” the order” – another version of literalizing.

218: Think of certainty (method as it is taught): downward flow / legitimizing / (also 144 – translations). Method is a way of legitimizing various claims by having a cognative authority. All about claims making. Which winners/which losers?

Constitution of certain categories: who are the winners and who are the losers? Who comes off better or worse?

Magic Arm – Outdoor Games 10″

a1. Outdoor Games
a2. People Need Order
a3. I Want You You Want Me
b1. D.A.Q
b2. You Should Know
b3. Move Out

Out of all of the formats that I am covering here, it is the 10″ that captures my heart like none other. There is something so clever looking about them… Yet it is so hard to find 10″ records, let alone any that are worth purchasing. Here is one worth your time and money.

I picked up this EP after hearing the band Grizzly Bear rave about it a few months ago, and I flipped out after hearing the first song “Outdoor Games.” In fact, I am going to do the same for you before we go any further – go to their Myspace page – listen to the first song that is going to load, then come back.


You can see why Grizzly Bear is all about this guy, one Marc Rigelsford out of Manchester. Some of these songs have that same lush, organic feel to it that Grizzly Bear dish out, complete with that same sense of longing and heartsick dread. In other parts of this EP, the sound is somewhat akin to something you might hear on a Chad VanGaalen record – playful, yet simple electronic beats, the use of toy keys (I definitely hear a Casio SK-1 in the song D.A.Q. (Don’t Ask Questions).

You can get this right from the Switchflicker’s ordering page (it will be coming from the UK, so be prepared).

The Futurians – Play the Breathtaking Sounds of Tivol 7″

a: Vihaan Vitusti Kaikkea Mita Kulutusyhteiskunnan Aikaansaama Pinnallinen Alkoholiin Perustuva Sosiaalinen Kayttaytymiskulttuuri Edustaa (.mp3 clip)
b: Jawol, Tivol!

I have no idea what any of this means. See if you can make heads or tales of this description:

The gap between Finland and New Zealand narrows thanks to this new lathe cut single from The Futurians. Therein, Dunedin’s greatest primitive futurist sci-fi punk band tackles two songs from the mighty Tivol. The originals come from Tivol’s debut, The Breathtaking Sounds of Tivol, released by 267 Lattajjaa as a 3″ CDR in 2003 and subsequently reissued by Holy Mountain as a 12″/CD, Early Teeth, in 2005. These two songs are completely blasted in every sense of the word. Lathe released in an edition of 50 copies, with spray painted & stickered sleeves that slightly reference the original Tivol release. Manufactured by Peter King in New Zealand.

After I did some investigation, it sort of makes sense. I see the word “Holy Mountain” now, a record label that usually releases good stuff. And this “lathe cut single” that only exists in an edition of 50 (!) is a New Zealand band that I had never heard of covering a Finnish band I have never heard of (playing a type of music described as “Spacekraut”) and it is going to cost me $15?

Is this some kind of dare?
Get this directly from Soft Abuse.

LCD Soundsystem – Someone Great 2×12″

a1: Someone Great (Album version)
a2: Time to Get Away (Gucci Soundsystem Remix)
b: Get Innocuous (Soulwax Remix)
c: Sound of Silver (Carl Craig Remix)
d: Us V. Them (Any Colour You Like Remix by Windsurf)

Its telling that every time anyone talks about Sound of Silver, it is prefaced with “album of the year.” I like that. LCD Soundsystem, bringing the people together! Even the people who hate a thing because everyone else likes that thing give terribly weak reasons why LCD aren’t among the most entertaining, most interesting “working” band.

Yet. if I am being honest, it took me a couple of months to actually fully embrace the album as a whole. I just couldn’t, for whatever reason, get into it. It wasn’t until I got Sound of Silver on vinyl that I fully understood what I was missing.

Here we have the third single from the album (the first being “North American Scum” which is available in 12″ and 7″ versions; the second being “All My Friends”, which is available as one 12″ and two separate 7″ that had Franz Ferdinand and John Cale covering the songs). James Murphy is continuing his trend of “dance songs go on the 12 inch/rock songs go on the 7 inch”, and that is exactly what we have here – remixes oriented towards the “dance” side of the equation.

The key selling point of this is the Carl Craig remix of the song “Sound of Silver,” and you have to give it up to the man – he does the most interesting remix on this single. Everything else does a serviceable job, but present the problem I generally have with remixes – growing up as part of the punk scene, I never really got the need for the dance remix if you weren’t using them to dance to. Give me the original any day. I suppose this is how I feel about this single; I like most of the tracks here, but, given the choice of listening to this or the LP, I am going to chose the LP every time.

Of Montreal – Gender Mutany Tour 7″

a: Back to School (Royal Trux cover)

b: Subtext Read, Nothing New

So I pick up a copy of “Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer” at a particularly dark point of my year, and guess what – it is perfect. A concept album about having a nervous breakdown after a nasty breakup turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. So, as I do with every new discovery, I frantically search through the back catalog to find more of the same, and turns out I was right to ignore them up to now. The two album previous to this are decent, but everything before that is fairly weak.

This 7″ is from their “Gender Mutany” tour (limited to 1000), and you can buy it directly from Polyvinyl. The A-side is a Royal Trux cover, and the B-Side is a previously unreleased original. I’ve listened to this a few times, and the only thing that really excites me here is the artwork. The songs are decent, but they both take the same meandering psychedelics approach that, while pretty enough, isn’t very compelling.

Pitchfork ran an interview yesterday with Kevin Barnes which is worth reading.

The Ostrich – S/T 7″

a1: Medication
a2: Seedy Eye
b1: Fire Drill
b2: Dead Horse

Listen to some of these at their Myspace page.

Calgary is going through another boom cycle (thank you, oh holy oil!), and this is the perfect soundtrack to the increasingly claustrophobic feelings that many long time Calgarians are harbouring right now. The cover art depicts the cranes that litter the skyline of the city, working tirelessly to build new skyscrapers and condos as fast as possible. The cranes are manipulated to look somewhat demonic, and I see this is as fitting statement.

With all the built up tensions of a small city turning into a metropolis seemingly overnight, The Ostrich make perfect sense. Musically, I am reminded of early B-52’s or Talking Heads, mixed up with some Joy Division (at least in tone), and also the darker side of Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet. The production is just perfect, really doing a nice job of capturing the energy of the music with the dark, garage-like production.

This 7″ is limited to 300, and you can try contacting the band directly at thee_ostrich@yahoo.ca to get one of these, which I would of course recommend.

This is the best Canadian 7″ I have heard this year.

Live Blogging: Stories, Texts and Technoscience (3)

In methodology, three of the core areas

1) The question of “facts” – the way in which the word “finding” gets tossed about. In a literal sense – “what you find” or the activity of doing the findings. But in Fleck (or Latour), it is the “what are you producing”? What does “findings” imply – something that you come upon (“wow, there it is!”).

Building on that, the possibility of sociology is the idea of social construction (without which you don’t have sociology). Durkheim – Facts, Marx – Reifications (Etc). Natural scientists believe that the science will eventually explain all (i.e. poverty). Metaphysical fairy tales.

This gets us to the notion of the “science wars” – we might go larger and talk about the “reality wars” – nothing less than the nature of reality. We can also use Helen Veran’s descriptive terms – universalists vs relativists. Also: Internalist vs externalist. We have to remember that these are simply metaphors.

Externalists always want to place things in a broader contexts – there are only values that are sustained by a sufficiently enforced consensus. There are various mechanisms to do this, to find what counts. If you want to sustain, you have to enroll sufficient allies and get them to back your explainations (Actor-Network theory). Ironic in Hacking’s view. You have something that is ontologically subjective – medicine is only there because of social arrangements that acknowledge it as there.

Internalists think that this is not the case, medicine is what it is because bodies are there, that work the way they do universally. Regardless of the rest of the historical contingencies that may have shaped the where and the when, you would still get the same result because bodies break down in the same way.

Mol, John Law and Veran – are there multiple ontologies? Are there multiple objects of whatever there is (Numbers in Veran’s book). What does it mean to advance the claim that things internalists understand as singular, externalists understand as multiple.

For an internalist, method is a guide to a discovery of true facts in the social world – things are there to be discovered. America was always there to be discovered! It was always there.

Degrees of constructionism – Hacking’s three dimensions.

2) Method is a consensus by which certain practices are considered to have produced facts, and these facts are understood as being there, waiting.

Sociology as another actor (in medicine, in criminology). So, what kind of actor do you want to be, given that you are functioning as another actor. Sociology cannot guide you ethically as you intervene. Internalists can discover “value neutral”, though it depends on what Weber is calling you to. For an Externalist, Weber is recognizing the need for ethical considerations (and since you have these facts, what are you going to do with this ethically).

If method is a conventional understanding, then we need to enroll people to do method another way. Gathering like minded people to advance claims. For an internalist to apply internalist standard to an externalist argument doesn’t work. They can’t talk to one another.

Hackings six grades of construction commitment (p. 19)
A. Historical
1. Argues that X has been constructed over historical
2. X is not inevitable but contingent result of
historical processes — statement (1)
3. No commitment as to whether X is good or bad
4. not much different than just history

B. Ironic
1. shows that something we thought was inevitable is
actually highly contingent, the product of social
history (19-20)
2. yet somehow feels that in our present lives, we are
pretty much forced to accept it (20)

Ironist is much more identifiably a constuctionist. What we think to be inevitable, could be different. Pullman’s His Dark Materials existing in a parallel world (inquisition still happening). Really get an alternative physics that notices different things. Understands things that could have been different. Like Nietzsche – understands genealogy as a succession of roads not taken (that could have been taken). Ironist perceives the dangers of revolution (end up with the gulag).

C. Reformist
1. accepts that X is a bad thing — statement (2)
2. and wants to make it a little less bad

Reformist – once recognizing that something can be different, modify things accordingly. Max Weber’s switchmen of history – revolutionaries want to derail the train.

D. Unmasking
1. wants to undermine ideas by exposing the functions (or
interests) they serve
2. a reformer and an unmasker may be one and the same

Alongside with the reformist. Secret History of the Cancer Wars. “Running for the cure” is dangerous because it takes you in the wrong direction that is positively unproductive. Not that things should be done differently, but this is how things are.

Foucault – pointing out inconvenient facts (Weberian term), which is a way of showing something as different.

E. Rebellious — also accepts statement (3): that X should
be done away with (20)
F. Revolutionary — goes beyond ideas and actually tries to
change the world

How much are you willing to sharpen your guillotine?


Elevator word: “social” “generalizability”

John Searle -rules that only make sense in the context of certain games. “thou shalt not kill… within the ingroup.” Epistemological objective (strikes in Baseball). Ontologically subjective (certain kinds of things – rent for example – only makes sense within complex arrangements). Is it a four-fold table to fill in other categories? Ontological objectivity? Epistemological subjectivity?

Indifferent and interactive – Quarks (p. 30).

Hacking thinks the analogy with baseball did more harm than good. I.e. quarks are not like strikes.
Strikes are “ontologically subjective” — that is, hey would not exist without human rules and ractices but quarks, if they are real, do not depend on us in this way

Perhaps Fish should have said that it is the idea of uarks that was socially constructed. However, Pickering, the author of Constructing Quarks, denies that it is just the idea of them that is constructed. What he meant is, is that if you come at the world in certain way, you can get results that can be construed as evidence for quarks (30, q.v.). Hacking finds this less interesting than the converse claim: if you come at the world a different way, you get evidence for a different, successful physics (31). In effect, what Pickering says is that physics would have evolved in a different way (q.v.) For Hacking, this is a highly significant issue:

1. most physicists think that the road taken was inevitable
2. for the social constructavist, on the other hand, a successful science could have developed along an
entirely different path (32-33, q.v.)
3. for Hacking, this disagreement whether there is something contingent about the development of science
is sticking point # 1 in the science wars (more in chapter 3).

Interactions (31)
He’s given several examples how ideas or classifications and objects interact with each other
1. child viewer of television or 2. woman refugee. One obvious way in which these classifications interact with their objects is that these are classifications of people, who are aware of how they are being classified (31-32). But, also of course, inanimate objects are not aware of how they are being classified, and hence do not interact with their classifications (32)

D. interactive kinds
1. classifications of people are interactive kinds because they interact of things with that kind
2. only classifications in the social sciences are interactive kinds, not those in the natural sciences

Indifferent classifications. Quarks are there whether you know about them or not. America was always there. To hold out the category of indifferent classifications is to hold out a bit of internalism. Microbes were always there – they were also interactive (antibiotic resistant infections – came to be due to human intervention). Indifferent and interactive.

Veran: can you do more than decompose? How would she have done “the arithmetic logic” multiple?

Psychopathologies: indifferent and interactive. Biolooping? Thinking about more psychological diseases? Autism wars? ADHD wars?

Main critique of construction: one way street. “it’s social construction” is taken to be the answer for everything. Right, what is the research project. Just identifying it as a construction isn’t particularly interesting. It ignores that 1) construction is two way. Stories: two ways: people make up stories and stories make up people. The interaction determines the physical realities. At this point in time, each is causing the other to be. For those two way things, the metaphor isn’t useful; it tends to get you to see “people constructing X” – X is taken as “the construction of” – people being constructed by the whatevers. Tends to lose the subtlety of interactive classifications. The usefulness of the metaphor comes in Fleck – shows how syphilis is constructed in laboratory practices. Not trying to unmask syphilis.

Worldmaking: Nelson Goodman’s “Ways of World-making.”

Child abuse: if new kinds are selected, then the past can occur in a new world. Description of a bad historical fiction. Ways that we can think about. Perpetually re-reading the past. Capable of re-feeling events in ways that heal. That make these things livable by re-feeling them within this new framework. A lot of what social science does is to re-describe. The power of re-descriptions that provide for re-feeling is to experience a sense of injustice where, at the time, no injustice was felt. In re-feeling it, it comes off as unjust.

The social sciences are thus inherently an ethical practice.  The point is that the value-laden work that sociology has a claim to is accepting that its classifications evaluate who is troubling or in trouble. (p. 131). Two responses: 1. get those responses out 2. this is part of the deal, What is left if you try to be value free? How do we become accountable for the moral implcations of our classifications and incorporate that into our writing?

Kinds are always motley kinds. Think of fabrication mechanisms (Latour). Motley sampling? Loose assumption that these are people that count as X. The sociologist is taking on a lot of the fabrication work.

The motto is “motley.” p. 133 The fundamental question is what those kinds do to us? If what the course is teaching you is we need to look at who makes the world up in what kinds? By asking this question, we have to engage the six grades simultaneously.

Times New Viking – 7″ Pre-Order

This is just an excuse to give you this Mp3 containing two songs from TNV’s upcoming 7″ for Matador. I’ve listened to this a dozen times or so this fine morning, and it just presses all of the right buttons for me; lo-fi, short, noisy, messy – check, check, double check.

“I need more money / ’cause I need more drugs”

These Ohio kids recently signed to Matador records, and of course all of the indie-rock reference points are covered here – early Pavement, Vampire on Titus era GBV, Sebadoh – but if Times New Viking sound like anything, it is the SoCal crap-core act FYP. This is a good thing.

Don’t hesitate to pre-order this shit.

No Age – Singles Series


1. Get Hurt 12″ (Upset the Rythm) (Ebay Store in North America)

a1. Everybody’s Down
a2. Switches
a3. Get Hurt
b1. Neck Escapah
b2. Great Faces
b3. I Wanna Sleep


2. Sick People Are Safe 12″ (Deleted Art)

a1. Boy Void
a2. Sick People Are Safe
b1. Vacation Pay
b2. Semi-sorted


3. Dead Plane 12″ (Teenage Teardrops – SOLD OUT)

a1: Dead Plane
a2: Goat Hurt
b1: Never Not Beaten
b2: You is My Hot Rabbit


4. Youth Attack 7″ (Youth Attack Records – Sold Out)

a1: Neck Escaper
a2: My Life’s Alright Without You
b1: Escarpment


5. Post Present Medium 7″ (PPM)

a: Every Artist Needs a Tragedy
b: Loosen This Job


5 singles put out by five labels in one month (March 2007) from three different countries (USA, UK, Sweden). When you collect all 5, they spell “NO AGE.” Limited edition coloured vinyl (i.e. I got one of the 100 “beige swirl” copies of the “Dead Plane” ep). You don’t even need to know anything about the music before you are ready to spend the next week tracking down one of each – this is a record collector’s wet dream.

As a strategy for getting a relatively unknown band from LA some action, this is a perfect way to do it. I remember pulling my hair out the day I heard about this series, trying to figure out where to find all of these. The band didn’t even have a proper website (only myspace) and all it said was “five eps out on five labels!” I had to HUNT.

In the age of eBay, with its saved search functionality, the hunt is mechanized for me. I don’t have to do any work – I just have to be patient. Honestly, this has killed some of my passion for record collecting, as it is just too easy. When something like this series comes along, it go my heart racing (would I get one of the coloured vinyl editions, or would I be too late?!!?). I had fun searching for clues, working my contacts… amazing.

The music is another story – NO AGE are one of my primo musical discoveries of 2007. So fresh sounding, so inventive; the recordings are all messy and lofi enough to suit my taste (I love lofi). I just haven’t heard anything by them that I dislike – it really just doesn’t get any better than this.

#3 and #4 are both sold out, but they don’t say “out of print” which is promising. If you want these, just try emailing the respective labels. This has worked for me (even if they point you towards a distro or record store that might have copies).

The Thermals – Pillar of Salt 7″

a1: A Pillar of Salt (Mp3)
a2: Product Placement
b1: A Pillar of Salt (demo)
b2: Saint Rosa and the Swallows

Available on the cheap from Sub Pop directly.

Taken from 2006’s The Body, The Blood, The Machine, “A Pillar of Salt” is a song that I have heard a hundred times yet still manages to excite me. I suppose the “pop punk” classification works here, but more Ted Leo and less Fat Mike. This single has two versions of “Pillar of Salt,” as well as some worthy b-side material.

As much as I love this music, I have to say it: this cover is TERRIBLE! The headless suits – fine. Why are they putting the bar code front and centre? Oh, I get that it is some kind of “statement” on how this band hates the “commodification” of punk music; you would have to be pretty fucking dense to miss that. Yet, this kind of commentary is ham-fisted to an embarrassing level.

Those Dancing Days – s/t 7″

a: Those Dancing Days
b: 1000 Words
(Both songs available to download on their MYSPACE page)


This band is going to break on the strength of the lead vocalist Linnea Jönsson – you just can’t argue with the singing; however, I beg you to pay attention to the drumming, especially on a side “Those Dancing Days” (can we make a general rule: debut single should have a song titled after the band). The song starts off with drummer Cissi Efraimsson going insane on the kit, and the rest of the song is just pure virtuosity. The flip side, “1000 Words” is the better of the two songs, with its “Piccadilly Palare”-esq verses, its jarring proto-chorus/hook, and again, the craziness happening behind the kit.

A couple of months ago, I fell in love with a These Dancing Days song called “Hitten” (see video below), and when I throw this slab on the turntable, and I can’t help but think that as good as this single is, I want one for “Hitten”! Sweden just keeps delivering the goods. How is it even possible that so many amazing musicians are coming from one tiny country?

Buy from The Record Store. (this one is also sold out almost everywhere else).
“Those Dancing Days”


Shocking Pinks – Singles Series

Listen to the Shocking Pinks Singles Series Player


Blue: (Rough Trade Shops)
a:This Aching Deal (think The Bats meets My Bloody Valentine)
b: August 3rd (Arkitype remix)

Green: (Rough Trade Shop)
a: Victims (“it’s like a garage band raised on a diet of just Sebadoh or a classic Flying Nun band that you heard on John Peel once”)
b: April May

Red: (Rough Trade Shop)
a: The Narrator
b: Dressed to Please

Pink (7″) (Norman records)
a: End of the World
b: Go to Sleep

Pink (12″) (Norman records)
a1: End of the World
a2: Go to Sleep (Deerhunter Remix)
b1: Go to Sleep
b2: Go to Sleep (Eluvium Remix)

(set on my own shocking pink kitchen table)

I will let the music here speak for itself: kind of like like My Bloody Valentine, New Order, Hood, The Clean, Liquid Liquid, Pavement (also: every free thinking band known to man). Layered, atmospheric, otherworldly, manic pop hooks, wistful psychedelics, frantic basement percussion & breathless energy. Any of these singles in isolation would make my year end list, but the combination is just value added, double plus good. Kind of like Voltron or something.

This series was supposed to ramp up to the LP (out on DFA in September), but I only got the End of the World singles on Friday. Each of these puppies is limited to 500 copies, and from what I can tell, they are only available overseas (I put links to the webstores that these are still available at, as they are already sold out in other places).

This is the song/video (End of the World) that started my obsession with this band:

The New Pornographers – Myriad Harbour 7″

a: Myriad Harbour (Dan Bejar) (Mp3)
b: Fuge State (AC Newman)

My Bejar fetish is well documented, and when I saw this, I jumped at it. If we squint past the terrible New Pornographers logo (with a font worse than comic sans), we can pretend that we have a Destroyer/AC Newman split 7″!

I am pretty sure that this is only their second 7″ (the other one being a promo!) How does that work? The New Pornographers have always been a singles band for me: where are the singles?

This is a good start, as “Myriad Harbour” might be the song of the year. I have listened to it countless times, and it is as catchy a song as you can make. As an added bonus, some of Dan’s delivery here is hilarious, especially this verse

I walked into the local record store /And asked for an American Music Anthology /It sounds fun!

For whatever reason, this line always cracks me up. An online acquantance “in the know” recently told me that this was the worst thing that Bejar has ever recorded, done on purpose as a way to get out of the NP’s without hurting AC’s feelings. I call bullshit on that.

The b side is from AC Newman, and is another sleepy affair that would fit nicely on Challengers, or more precisely, on his solo record.

This 7″ is limited to 500 copies, available now at Insound.

Pet Politics – The Spring 7″

a: The Spring
b: Taken Away by Aliens / Glass of Champagne

This just arrived in the post, and I have been listening to it on repeat all afternoon. Simply put, this 7″ will make you feel happy, which should be the ultimate goal of all pop music of this sort. Out on vinyl-collector boutique The Great Pop Supplement, this is limited to 300 numbered 7”s in circular, shell like sleeves. I found this via Seven Inches Every Day blog, and am very happy that I took his advice on this one.

From what I know, Pet Politics is one man, Magnus Larsson, from Gothenburg, Sweden. Referencing the American lo-fi movement (think Crooked Rain era Pavement meets the songs that Tobin Sprout sings on the early Guided By Voices albums), this band is everything that Loney, Dear promised, but ultimately wasn’t for me this year.

Good shit: highly recommended.

Listen to the songs here, and then order by emailing thegreatpopsupplement@hotmail.com for availability/pricing. I would act fast, as this gem won’t be around for much longer.

Pink Mountaintops – Single Life 7″

a: Single Life (song streaming on their Myspace)
b: My Best Friend

A song like “Single Life” is genius in the intercontextuality of it – I imagine this song works nicely on a road trip through the Rockies, or cranked on some shitty garage sale speakers in a dingy basement that has Jimmy Hendrix tapestries hanging from the ceiling. B-Side “My Best Friend” is a spiritual affair – this one would play well on an Oasis album circa the mid 90’s, back when “Oasis, best band in the world?” was still an open question.

Out of print at Jagjaguwar, but Scratch still has some.