This is one of the best things to hit my ear this year (2008 for those of you “unstuck in time”) comes out of nowhere with San Fran power trio Nodzzz. Their first run of these is already sold out – but hey, it takes a long time to get things up to Canada (though apparently, Rocket Reducer still has a handful of copies, so act now or forever hold your repress, which are apparently in the works). This band has some buzz going for it right now in certain circles, and after finally getting my hands on a copy, I can understand why. This is really bouncy and “fun” (not the mandated kind, mind you), with a loose style reminiscent of Dead Milkmen meets The Modern Lovers. I think I am digging the b-side a bit more “We are the Only Animals”which is a little less novelty driven as “I Don’t Wanna (Smoke Marijuana),” which I am totally not buying. Highly reccomended.
This is totally unrelated to records (for now), but my band, Endangered Ape, recently finished our first demo “Slaying le Monstre Sacre,” and I thought I would just upload it here. From reading this blog, you probably have a good sense of what I like, and these recordings aren’t too far off – short songs, maxed out reverb, plenty of noise, with enough hooks to keep things listenable (sometimes). Looking to put out a 7″ of some of these songs, and if you have a label or other means to help out with that, please get in touch.
Endangered Ape is also looking to do some touring this summer as well (possibly with some other outsider bands from Alberta). Should be fun.
In other SevenTenTwelve matters, I now have a related Myspace page, so friend me or something.
Further, I have put together a grant application to the Alberta government in order to start a Seven Ten Twelve vinyl only label. If things go to plan, I will be putting out my first release in the second half of 2008, the first of a series of outsider Canadian bands that have fallen through the cracks. Really excited about this.
I purchased these singles on spec after reading some glowing reviews, and spending some time with these singles is like a breath of fresh air. I’ve been getting deeper and deeper into the weird and the obscure that I have been shunning anything with a straightforward melody. The first one I put on – the Airwalker single – is my favourite of the three. Really clean sounding, eschewing noise in favour of some light reverb and simple, catchy hooks. These singles all sound like Jeremy Jay is creating a nice little world of his own here – at times, he is crooning like an 50’s pop star, but at other times there is this strange frailty/hauntedness to his vocals that kind of reminds me of the calm parts of the early Suicide albums. Love this. All three are still available directly from K Records.
These singles will appeal to those who are into that brilliant Devon Williams single of last year – both give me that same vibe of being lost in time (Incidentally, I am going to see Devon Williams in May when he is opening for Destroyer, though that has nothing to do with anything here).
a: No End
b1: Treasure Hunt
b2: Boredom Abolishing
Listen and Order from GARBAGE BAG
This 7″ comes from a new Quebec label, Garbage Bag, and features 3 songs from the legendary Electric Vomit, a Montreal band coming out of the first wave of punk in the late 1970’s. This music is clearly rooted in its era, yet I think that it still sounds vital and raw as it did back when it was recorded. This will please those of you who are into the Killed By Death stuff (KBD). I am really excited to hear more from this label (who are set to specialize in first and second wave punk releases (fuck yes). Highly recommended.
From Garbage Bag
Formed in 1978 by acclaimed underground cartoonist Rick Trembles as a young teen, The Electric Vomit were one of the very few bands in Montreal to come out of the first wave of punk rock in the late 70’s. Due to a lack of record labels and a widespread disinterest for punk rock in the area, the band never got much of a chance to spread the word, let alone release any recordings of their music. But now for the first time ever you can hear what was one of the rawest, fastest and most obnoxious bands in Montreal back in the day. The Electric Vomit were known for their garage approach to song-writing & lo-fi live stage theatricalities geared to repulse. These 3 extremely rare studio recordings were committed to reel-to-reel in 1979 featuring Rabid Roy Random’s amazingly snotty vocals, Rick Trembles on guitar, Guy Lapointe on drums, and Carlos Soria on bass (who would later joined his little brother’s renowned band The Nils). This record is sure to please fans of both traditional punk and hardcore as this band is the missing link between the sound of ’77 and early thrash. Pretty fast for it’s era, you could even call it proto-hardcore. 100% raw KBD (Killed By Death) material. Includes full lyrics & an anecdotal band bio written by Trembles.
a: I Want You
b: Waste of Spaces
Available Mid-March from Sacred Bones
Coming in Mid-March is the first of two Dead Luke singles that Sacred Bones is releasing (the second single is due in April). When the first 7″ is released, Sacred Bones will also be taking reservations for a box set which will pset you back around $15; included will be both singles, a four song CDR from the single, buttons, stickers, inserts, etc. Both singles will be pressed in an edition of 500, but there will only be 100 box sets available, so keep your eyes peeled for that.
I have only discovered Dead Luke recently, but I am coming back to his MySpace page and listening on a regular basis – I really like it a great deal (you can actually hear both songs from this single right now – “I Want You” is streaming at Sacred Bones and Waste of Spaces is on Dead Luke‘s Myspace). There is definitely a dark edge to these songs – almost goth in tone (though think old skool goth and not the crap they call goth rock today) – especially listening to “I Want You” and it’s refrain, repeated in this low voice and with its blown out electronics, the whole affair is fairly sinister. Nice. Really looking forward to this one.
While we are at it, Sacred Bones is also releasing a single in March from Nice Face (Thing In My Head b/w Hidden Automatic) who totally kick ass – more blown out goodness that will appeal to fans of weirdo garage rock. Looks good to me. The first 100 Nice Face singles will be on white vinyl, and will likely have unique covers.
Listen and Purchase on Myspace
This is Josh from Deerhunter/SIDS, releasing this on his own label Army of Bad Luck. My ears are finding this to be crazy good – especially “Early Learning” and “Anything Poisonous,” which are spastic, super short, synth driven, electro-punk songs. Limited to 300 copies on white vinyl, you are into this because of the music, but you want this because of the packaging, which is really something – silk-screened on metallic paper. As a bonus, it comes with a CD of the songs (which I wish more labels would do – I am willing to pay an extra dollar or two if it comes with the songs on CD for easy ripping). This is highly recommended.
Purchase from www.free103point9.org/dispatchseries/
So this is one of those things that I will just order on spec – I read about it on Dusted, about which Doug wrote:
Four sides of radio static with Conet-style vocal recitations peppering the mix. The real TV ghosts; captured sounds of electromagnetic haunt from out of nowhere. One Tom Mulligan is responsible for this offering. It’s something you either know you must own, or will never need to hear. Locked grooves on some, maybe all of the sides. Good right before bed, when you’re so tired you don’t know what’s up. Classy silkscreened sleeve.
I saw “conet-style” and that was it for me. I used to be absolutely obsessed with that Conet box-set, which for the uninitiated is a four cd set of recordings of numbers stations, which are short-wave radio stations that openly broadcast impenetrable codes to secret agents. Most of these were active during the cold war, but to my knowledge some of them are still operating today.
The Conet recordings have a really haunting quality to them, and I can clearly remember the first time I listened five years ago or so and being absolutely terrified. Seriously – nothing is more haunting than a German woman reading in monotone a sequence of numbers in German. If you have heard the weird “YANKE… HOTEL… FOXTROT” at the end of the Wilco album, you will have some idea (Wilco actually sampled from the Conet box without permission and were sued). Looking forward to this one (even if I am not clear on what this even entails).
This is perfection on wax, and hell if I can’t get enough. This Plexi 3 single came out last summer on Dusty Medical Records, and like everything good I am a year late on this. Oh well, better late than never. Imagine – mod styled garage rock and roll stylings over pitch perfect three part harmonies in the vein of every awesome song on that Rhino Girl Groups box set (which, sadly, I do not own). This seven inch contains two originals and a really nice cover of Love’s “You I’ll Be Following.” Mind blowingly good pop record here.
First 500 copies are sold out, but there is a limited 100 run reissue on Clear Wax (I suppose it pays to be late sometimes?), so act fast! Also: Look for a second single in March on HoZac records.
a: American Society
b: Louie Louie
Purchase from Frontier Records
I was first exposed to “American Society” through L7’s cover on Smell the Magic, which was once one of my favourite albums in my flannel days (though I just put it on again, and it has not aged well, save for “Pretend We’re Dead” which remains “listenable”). I’ve been looking getting my hands on a copy of this 7″ for years (though they tend to go for a few hundred bucks) – and here it is, reissued on beautiful clear wax. Essential.
These two SevenTenTwelve favourites are available (as of now) for ordering, directly from Sweet Rot. I believe that this warrants yet another post because these things are scarce and will go fast fast fast: 100 copies of the Meth Teeth on White vinyl / 250 of the Blank dogs 7″ with an inverse colours on the cover (and because the original is in greater supply, this one should end up being the “collectors item” if you are into that kind of shit).
This is from Sweet Rot’s description:
SRR-05 – METH TEETH 7”
Debut record from Meth Teeth, a Portland, Oregon three piece featuring members of Leper Print, Night Wounds, and Artificial Limbs. The A-side (both songs are on the band’s page) aims straight for the throat with a lo-fi, blown out approach that doesn’t sacrifice any catchiness. Side B softens things up a bit with two haunting and infectious folk songs. “Shimmery melodies caked in scuzz,” says DJ Rick. For fans of Bob Dylan, Hunches, Donovan, Ohsees, Sic Alps, etc. Later this year, Sweet Rot will be releasing the Meth Teeth debut LP.
Side A: Bus Rides + Unemployment Forever
Side B: To My Good Friend + Boring Artifacts
100 copies on white vinyl (available through mailorder only…ONE copy per order)
400 copies on black vinyl
SRR-04 – BLANK DOGS 7”
The first 700 copies of these flew out the door. Available one last time in a final pressing of 250 copies. Colours on the sleeve have been reversed.
Side A: The Doorbell Fire
Side B: Outside Alarmer + It Was
For proof that the Internet brings people together, see this (one of my all time favourite) 2005 Ask Metafilter Post that asked: “Did you, as a kid, find Porn in the Woods?” To which hundreds of Mefites responded “YES!” Similar web communities have tackled this same issue (also, a hilarious David Sedaris essay). It seems a that hundreds of kids have shared this communal experience; finding a secret cache of porn mildewing in the wood, behind an out of the way dumpster or under the occasional bridge.
To wit, this is exactly where I found my first ever porn stash, as a seven year old let loose with other seven years olds in rural Moose Jaw Saskatchewan. My comrades and I would bike around aimlessly, playing in construction sites and looking for treasure. And treasure we did find, in the form of a stack of 1970’s era Playboys, rotting away under a giant tree stump in a treed area, just waiting to be found by children. Burned in my memory was four little kids, not sure what they were looking at, but knowing instantly that they shouldn’t have been looking at it, dividing up the few mags that hadn’t decayed too badly. All was good in life for a week or two, with these magazines being the highest form of schoolyard capital, until (predictably) one of my friends was caught with one by his mom, and was grounded for a month. The rest of us, fearing the same consequences, ritualistically ripped up the magazines and let the pieces blow away in the wind.
This all comes up because yesterday, on a walk with Jane and my son, found… porn in the woods. Well, kind of. We were walking through Henderson Lake yesterday afternoon, a man-made lake with a walking path around it that is generally “DESTINATION LETHBRIDGE.” We were walking over this bridge, when something shiny catches my eye:
Kind of a bad photo, but what you are looking at (the red bits) are a handful of pornographic DVD’s (one with the title “Spring Chickens”) that had been… ritualistically snapped up and thrown under the bridge. My son, not knowing what he was looking at (or pretending not to), wanted desperately to be allowed to go “investigate further,” to which I had to say no.
This brought up so many questions to ponder:
1. What is behind the porn in the woods phenomenon?
To which I can can think of two possible answers:
- To keep pornography hidden in an area that it won’t be found easily, so that it can be used in an accessible, but private surroundings
- To dispose of pornography in an area that will not point to one person (i.e. disposing of it in the garbage can out back).
Will the internet age slow (or eliminate) the porn in the woods phenomenon?
- Yes. It is easy for kids to access pornography with the Internet.
- Kids aren’t even allowed to play outside in the woods anyways.
Which means that we will no longer have stories like these:
Has anyone noticed that smell forest porn always has? Kind of musty, but unlike any other kind of smell in the world. It always smells exactly the same. The forest porn smell….
I will never forget the smell of rained on porn mags that have been dried up. For me, it’s the smell of porn.
What’s f–ked up though, is that to this day, my brain associates the smell of ferns with porn. No lie. We hid our rescued stash in a small cave that was hidden by a blanket of ferns.
What I found the most interesting in our discovery yesterday was the way that these dvd’s were disposed of – in a well travelled area, but out of the way enough that most people would not have discovered the stash. Also – with seven or eight destroyed DVD’s, one was noticeably unharmed. Perhaps an homage to a childhood experience lost to a digital age?
Aside from the fact that this is a cover of GNR’s greatest power-ballad, and among one of the greatest love songs ever recorded, Taken By Trees manage to commit the greatest sin by making this song boring (which, looking at the sleeve, I guess they kind of knew already). I kind of dig Victoria Bergsman’s voice, but this is no good – I would even prefer listening to Sheryl Crowe’s (terrible) cover to listening to this again. Avoid.
Congrats Kevin from Cincinnati!!
Those Dancing Days have finally released what should have been their debut single. Irresistible Swedish pop music rooted firmly in gloomy 80’s dance music, with sounds that could/should be massive on the global music charts. Still, even though this is served with a heavy dose of listenability, it holds onto that blown-out sound and garage aesthetics.
Listening to this again, I am surprised that this has yet to make its way into the public conscience yet (or at the very least, the pits of the mp3 blogging circle jerk or a spotlight from Pitchfork, who love nothing more than to champion underdog pop music), but I guess that is just how these things go. A-side, “Hitten” is best-case scenario, and while the b-side to this suffers a bit in comparison, it manages to hold its own with its infectious Blondie-esq hooks. Love this.
Its been a while since we looked overseas for good records, and here is a band whom I have been following over their last two singles (this is the third), and I think I have a handle on it. Lovvers are, for lack of a better comparison, an early 90’s American Grunge revivalist band; listen to the Lovvers brings me back to my flannel-clad youth when I used to rock out with my Melvins tapes in my shitty van. That said, I think that I might be being bit unfair to paint them as simple revivalists (who isn’t), as there is certainly enough of a current stream in this music that it doesn’t feel dated in any way. They can be sludgy and punishing (see: The Laughing man) or they can be straight forward, balls to the wall (see: Search for Gold), and either way, they are killer. Check this out.
Up for grabs:
1. (1) Copy of Fuck Buttons “Bright Tomorrow” Picture Disc 7″ (ltd. to 1000)
2. (1) Copy of The Drones double 7″ (ltd. to 1000)
Of the two of these, I was most excited for this single from UK duo Fuck Buttons , due in large part to the fact that it was recorded by John Cummings of Mogwai, and after putting this on, you can see exactly why. Fuck Buttons, for the uninitiated, sound like an electro-Mogwai, and for those of you who have been gradually becoming disinterested in Mogwai’s increasingly watered down sound (i.e. me), Fuck Buttons are the perfect remedy. This shit sounds like it could have been on Young Team. Really fucking good. They are on tour in North America with Caribou all throughout March and April, and this single convinced me that I really need to see that show.
The Drones are a different beast all together. I think I was initially turned off by this band because a while ago I went to their MySpace to check them out, and in their influences section they write:
Van Morrison or Dylan or Suicide or Bad Brains or Nina Simone or Black Flag or the Scientists or Ornette Coleman or Thelonius Monk or (australian)X or Townes Van Zandt or John Lee Hooker or Karen Dalton or Neil Young or Bela Bartok or Mingus or Al Green or http://www.ubu.com or blah blah blah
Influences are always a tricky beast, and I think people often get confused between “Influences” and “A list of bands that we like.” So using their list, here is what I hear as I listen to this single (again, based only on what I am hearing):
Van Morrison Yes
Bad Brains NO
Nina Simone NO
Black Flag NO
the Scientists NO
Ornette Coleman NO
Thelonius Monk NO
(australian)X NOT ENOUGH INFO
Townes Van Zandt YES
John Lee Hooker YES
Karen Dalton NO
Neil Young YES
Bela Bartok NO
Al Green NO
blah blah blah YES
That said, I do enjoy Neil Young quite a bit, and this reminds me (sometimes) of Neil going off with Crazy Horse. so this gets a pass from me (plus: AMAZING artwork – gatefold sleeve… a beautiful artifact here).
Send me an email to quartermass AT gmail DOT com before SUNDAY at MIDNIGHT and I will randomly select a winner.
I just saw that there is a second (or third? not sure…) pressing of SevenTenTwelve favourite Blank Dogs available from Sacred Bones. I am listening to Blank Dogs practically every day – everything just feels so original and effortless.
Also available for what (I assume) is a very short time today was the Mirrored Cassette, released by this guy. The Blank Dogs site has it listed as “Sold Out” – so I think that is that. I got lucky and managed to secure one for myself, which is pretty sweet, though he was pretty adamant that he “only had a few” (the majority being promised as part of the”Blank Box”).
I also understand that we are two weeks away from the release of the Troubleman Unlimited LP “On Both Sides” – from what I have heard of this LP (which is the stuff playing on his MySpace page) is the best Blank Dogs musics yet.
Also: this video for the song “Poison Ivy” (off the 7″ on Florida’s Dying)
Could I be the last person in the record collector scum universe to hear this gem of a 7″? It came out roughly this time last year, and it popped up on a bunch of year end lists, been reviewed by everyone that matters in the world of seven inch reviews. Yet, according to the Columbus Discount Recording page, this single (limited to a mere 500) is still available, something I can attest to because I only got it this week, so lets see if we can move a few more “units.”
Things have been really cooking in the Ohio scene of late, but you don’t need some asshole in Canada to tell you that – so many good bands, a handfull of really great labels curating it for us who live far away (I love Ohio so much that I came this close to actually flying out to Ohio last October to attend Robert Pollard’s 50th Birthday celebration organized by a shitload of GBV fanboys, but ended up not going because, well, I don’t know Robert Pollard and it would be weird – “Happy Birthday, when are you going to record another Bee Thousand?”).
This EP starts out really strong, and then gets propelled into greatness with “X-Mas in Wounded Knee” – this song is fucking great. Maybe it is the keys, or the blown-out vocals, but it just takes you away to another world, and keeps you there. I’ve listened to it now at least a dozen times, and it just doesn’t get old. B-Side, “Indian Giver” is a sludgy, trippy affair, which I normally love, but I couldn’t have the patience for it with the A-Side being so great.
Stop blowing it and get this to your turntable.
a: Box of Records
b: I’m a Cobweb
Purchase from Columbus Discount Records
From the label that brought you the first offerings from Times New Viking and Psychadelic Horseshit comes a single that I think I am starting to like more than anything from either of those bands. That is something that I have been thinking about saying out loud for a while now, and now that I have s); but this single from Guinea Worms, while sharing a few of the same elements of those other bands, just really turns my crank, you know? It is everything I like about this style of music – the production, the swagger, the messiness, and most of all, the timelessness of it all. Even if this guy is pandering to his audience with a song about records (hey, worked for LCD Soundsystem right?).
Limited to 500 copies, and I heard that they are starting to run short. I promise you that you will regret not ordering this single now.
Listen here (esp. “HELLO FROM OHIO”)
Hello Blue Roses:
Wall of Death (Richard and Linda Thompson)
Purchase directly from Absolutely Kosher
My internet stardom came and went in seconds.
Last summer, my GF and I went to the Sled Island Festival in Calgary, Alberta Canada, and being Destroyer obsessives, went super early to get sweet seats at the Grace Presbyterian Church for the Destroyer and Chad VanGaalen show. Getting there super early meant that we ended up sitting in the front row, which was a real treat because Dan was in amazing form that night – sitting in a crowded church of people being absolutely reverent, it was a religious experience. One of the songs that Dan played for the (possibly first) time was “Foam Hands,” which we promptly uploaded to YouTube and told a few people about. Next thing you know, it is on Pitchfork and Stereogum… the Internet does its thing.
Like everyone else in the world who heard “Foam Hands,” I fell in love with that song. It re-confirmed everything I love about Dan Bejar’s songs – sharp, witty lyrics with obtuse pop-culture references (in this instance “Since U Been Gone”). When I heard, way the hell back in October, that Hello Blue Roses was doing a split with Frog Eyes, and would be doing a version of “Foam Hands” I freaked out. It was enough to get me to start doing this very blog.
And then I waited. And waited. I ordered this on October 17th and it just arrived today. This is the danger of pre-ordering vinyl – shit happens, but I have waited a long time for this record – 112 days to be exact. 112 days of anxious waiting.
So I get it, put it on the turntable and… I don’t know. The Hello Blue Roses side, the pairing of Dan and his SO Sydney Vermont, suffers from the same thing (for me) that the full length suffers, namely Sydney’s vocal affectations. I have heard a few of her songs where she loses it (look for a new album soon from her other band with Dan called Bonaparte where she brings the rock), and I think she has a great voice. Yet, when she is doing the HBR stuff she has this weird… drawl. I don’t know. I don’t like it. Yet, you cannot keep a good song down, and “Foam Hands” manages to overcome. Barely. Thankfully, the Linda and Richard Thomson cover delivers, with Dan and Sydney trading off. It is sweet, and I do like it. A split decision.
I was just as excited for The Frog Eyes side, and they (thankfully) end up making this split an absolute must have. I always forget how much I love Frog Eyes. Every time that I put it on, I am always blown away. Their side of this split is fucking rad. Two re-workings of songs off last years radical Tears of the Valedictorian, they re-do these songs and do them justice. These songs seem like they could have been recorded in the 1950’s, or been featured on Twin Peaks or something. I can’t wait until they put out another album.
Can I make this way too long post even longer, and suggest that it is a fucking tragedy that Frog Eyes aren’t huge superstars. I know, I know, lots of people really hate the singing (or think they do), but I challenge anyone who claims to “hate” Carey Mercer’s singing to listen to these two songs to keep that position. Try “Policy Merchant.”ot
Bottom line: HBR side is kind of ok / Frog Eyes side is amazicon.