So this is my first real introduction to The King Khan and BBQ Show, and the only word I could use to describe this listening experience is “delightful.” When “Teabag Party’ started, the first response was actually laughter. I guess I still haven’t grown up past the whole “heh heh, this song is about sticking your balls in someone’s face.” What can you do? B-side is pretty fucking solid: “Teenage Foetus” is as authentic as a garage song in 2008 could ever hope to be. “What’s Mine is Yours” sounds as authentic as a 50’s styled do-wop song could ever sound in 2008. Both sides end with the same thirteen second long song with different words, one about this guy named Larry who is apparently a “Gay Blade;” the other is about eating the internal organs of one “Gangbang Gordon.” Loving this.
Its weird when Jason posts something at Seven Inches (Everyday), I always hesitate posting the same thing, or at least right away. He just posted about this Them, Themselves or They 7″ only yesterday, which happens to be exactly when I got the record in the mail. So I was thinking “hold off;” and then I put it on, and I got really excited about it, and am now posting about it anyways. I am sure the inner psyche of the blogging record collector is really interesting to you, no? Ok, lets move on then.
Malt Duck Records is now two singles deep into their catalog, and I am going to tell you now that this is one of those labels that you are going to have to start following. Their first single was released last year, Mattress “In Your Pocket” should have made it onto my year end list (kind of an oversight on my part), and as good as it was, this new one ups the ante a little.
Them, Themselves or They’s Angel Dust & Magick Wands 7″ starts off nicely with a side of weirdness that always stays grounded (as in, it never really shakes the groove it is in), and instead tries to fill in the haunting soundscape with strange noises and whatnot. B-side is even more mellow, and the comparison I read on Seven Inches that it sounds like a less precise Wooden Shjips is dead on here.
- Pre-Order from Sub Pop
Top of my 2007 year end list was the amazing No Age series, whereby when you collected all 5, the covers spell “NO Age,” and so it is no surprise that one of my most anticipated releases of 2008 is the new No Age LP “Nouns,” which Sub Pop is releasing in May. I just caught wind of this pre-order for the album track “Eraser,” alongside three b-sides covers of Nerves (“Hangin’ On The Telephone”), Nate Denver, and Urinals songs. This 7″ isn’t going to be ready until April, but I can see this one selling quickly.
Also, the initial lineup for this year’s Sled Island Festival in Calgary was released… and No Age are on the bill. I’ve been wanting to check them out live for a while now, and here is my chance. Awesome.
The Gutter Twins (Greg Dulli and Mark Lanegan)
Jose Gonzales, RZA (Bobby Digital)
Scott Kannberg aka Spiral Stairs
Drive By Truckers
Miss Murgatroid and Petra Hayden
Hot Little Rocket
The Broken West
Carolyn Mark and many more.
Full line up to be announced MAY 1st.
The Insignificants 7″
a: The Insignificants
b1: Blue and Green
b2: Conspiracy of Praise
Purchase from Tic Tac Totally
Relentless Machines 7″
a: Relentless Machines
b: Blasphemer’s Reunion
Purchase from Dusty Medical Records
Both of these records came to me recently in a big package from the amazing and awesome Bistro Distro, and even though The Insignificants 7″ has been out since 2006 (and the Relentless Machines 7″ since last year), these are revolutionary to me in my living room, right now. Thomas Function are really fucking great, with a really cohesive full sound of bashed out keys, swirly whirl guitars, some nice, competant/clockwork drumming. Then the vocals start, and you get a sense of why Thomas Function are doing something special here – great, off kilter vocals reminicent of lots of other great off kilter vocals, but with vocal hooks all over the place. Relentless Machines 7″ is a solid progression in terms of sound and quality and fucking awesomeness. Really looking forward to the LP, which will be a no-brainer. Yes, you need these.
I did some random ordering from random places last month, and accidentally ordered two copies of Relentless Machines from two different places. So, lets do another contest: email me before this Sunday and I will randomly draw for my extra one.
Milwaukee act Goodnight Loving definitely have good things going for them – kind of a rockabilly/country vibe going on other times and on the a side there is even a touch of 60’s pop going on. Versitility is good. I am imagining some kind of story arc here – being drafted into war, and then life isn’t really that great when you are forced to fight on lies (my favorite event today involved walking through campus at the University of Calgary and seeing this jackass wearing one of those Fat Wreck Chords “Not My President” George W. Bush t-shirts. Something about the rest of this poor bastard’s ensemble that let me know that this was not being worn ironically).
This 7″ is really hard to resist – this is my fifth spin, and I am feeling tired of trying to think up clever things to say about how much I am enjoying this. Repress of 200 copies in trash coloured viny out now.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
a: Look at What You’re Doing
b: Teenage Filmstar
Purchase Right from Ugly Pop
Listen at CBC Radio 3
This Vancouver band (including members of New Town Animals, Smugglers and Emergency) have put out a few decent singles, but for my money this one is the one to get. Super catchy, brit-styled pop-punk, with a bit of a modern edge (think The Exploding Hearts, RIP). Finally came across a copy (third pressing?), and I couldn’t be happier with it. They are, indeed, “ready for the radio.” Very Fucking Good, especially.