Pre / Aids Wolf – Live Dates Split 7″

Purchase from Skin Graft Records

This is a crazy release, and I am not sure what is going on here except that I am a sucker for nice packaging and a good story behind a release. Apparently, is 7″ was a Russian bootleg that was seized by Austrian customs officers. The label got permission from the bands to officially release this, and so they decided to release it with crazy packaging and extras. The bootleg label SINRAFT (ok, I just got what is going on here) hyped the release as:



For those of you who don’t know about AIDS Wolf, they play music that, if I’m being honest, scares me a little. It’s so crazy, so loud that I am afraid listening to it in my room will open up a portal to another dimension (or get me evicted, one or the other). The Russians describing Pre as sounding like Melt Bannana, I suppose that is about as accurate a description as you are ever going to get.

For $8, you get the 7″ which comes packaged in a 7″ x 7″ eight-page calendar sleeve with topless pictures of both bands in full-color, and mailorder copies also include a double sided PRE / AIDS Wolf poster and seizure sticker. Which is a pretty good deal if you ask me. Or, if you throw in another couple of bucks, they are going to send you the bootleg Strangulated Beatoffs 7″ as well. That’s what I did, so I’ll write about this again when it comes in the mail.


Cococoma/Hipshakes Split 7″

a1: Never be True
a2: Brain Numb (The Hipshakes cover)

The Hipshakes
b1: Hurt My Pride
b2: All I Give (Cococoma cover)

Purchase from Tic Tac Totally

This is such a nice change of pace; going back to basics with rudimentary pride. It only took two songs each to convince me that I need to follow both of these groups with funimentalist passion.

First up is Chicago based Cococoma, who do garage-punk like it never went out of style, and deliver the goods like few other bands I have heard on this genre recently. Their original “Never Be True” sounds like it belongs on a compilation of garage bands that you haven’t heard of, but with every track being a classic. Their cover of The Hipshakes “All I Give” made me want to fight, and also to listen to The Hipshakes. Which is convenient, because the flip side presents The Hipshakes in their fantastic glory, doing a fantastic job of giving it everything they have for two 90 second-ish songs.

Get this.

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.

Crystal Castles / HEALTH Split 7″

a: Mothers Knows Best / Trash Hologram – Crystal Castles
b: Crimewave / Glitter Pills – HEALTH

Lovepump United Records
White vinyl

crystal castles health split

Third split 7″ in a row! This one is another winner.

The Crystal Castles were one of those bands I have read about but never listened to, and this 7″ is a great introduction. This 2-piece from Toronto have a sound that is very “of the now,” in that there are so many bands lately that sound like this. Not a bad thing. Lots of interesting things happening on these two songs, the second song, “Trash Holograms” sounding the best, with its vaguely lo-fi Daft-Punkish feel to it.

I imagine that when Crystal Castles play live that they have cool video collages playing behind them. I also imagine that lots of kids who wish they were the cool kids but who pretend to not care about that kind of “bullshit” like this group as well. The actual cool kids would listen to this and cry because they are not accustomed to having their minds blown in such a fashion. So who are the “true” cool kids then? Only Jesus knows.

I was looking for cam-phone evidence for this claim on youtube, but instead I found the video for “Trash Holograms,” which you can watch here. I imagine that it would be something like this playing behind them when they do this live.

HEALTH (all caps!) bring in the second set, and it starts of with a little bullying, like some drunk guy at the bar saying to you “wanna fight?” in the men’s washroom while you are standing at the urinal. I first came to HEALTH after my discovery of NO AGE last spring. There is quite a range on their side, going from chaotic to beautiful. These guys are gonna be huge.

This 7″ comes recommended, but I have read that it is “strictly limited,” so act now or forever hold your peace.

One last thing: you will often hear me proclaim my love of short songs. This is something that I bring up far too often, and something that I will bring up here. Both bands play short songs, and I love that. The short song factor is enough to recommend these songs. My main beef with “electronica” and “TECHNO” is that the music is ok most of the time, but I get so fucking bored with anything over 3 minutes long. Crystal Castles and HEALTH get this, and have done the world a favour.


LCD Soundsystem / Arcade Fire Split 7″

a. Poupee de Cire, Poupee de Son (Serge Gainsbourg cover) – Arcade Fire
b. No Love Lost (Joy Division Cover) – LCD Soundsystem

Arcade Fire Side LCD Side

This is how NOT to do it.

Back in August, it was announced that a split 7″ would be available at the shows that The Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem were be playing together in September and October. Of course, fans of both bands (and I imagine that these bands have a great deal of fan-overlap) were eager to get their hands on this.

Trouble started when people reported that availability at the shows was sporadic, and many fans left empty handed. Coupled with the fact that there was no word on exactly how limited the single was, or whether there would be any left for sale in the bands web stores (as promised in the press release), panic ensued.

As a result, when a few singles ended up on eBay, they were being sold for over $60 (on average), and a few sold for over $100. Right now, because of the lack of communication from the bands involved, the single is being sold on eBay for between $20-30. Fans eager to get a copy caught a break when it finally ended up on the Arcade Fire webstore for $5. This was exciting, until you went to the check-out, and the cheapest they would ship it to you was with a $20 courier service….

The DFA store started selling it yesterday, for $7, and with shipping coming in at a couple of dollars. What an ordeal.

All of this is exactly how not to release a single for bands of this popularity, as it plays right into the hands of scalpers looking to make a quick buck. While I think that fans who paid $100+ for this single are foolish for doing so (especially when it wasn’t clear yet that the singles wouldn’t be available in the web stores), most hard core vinyl collectors understand the drive to maintain the “complete” collection, and so should the bands. This is especially true when a single being marketed as a “limited edition” – and this can mean anything from 100 copies to 10 000 copies. Bands of this size need to let their fans know exactly how “limited” their releases are so that they can help their fans maintain some kind of perspective.


The Music:
On LCD’s side is a Joy Division cover, “No Love Lost.” Fairly straightforward cover, not unlike their cover of Harry Nillson’s “Jump Into the Fire” (the “Daft Punk is Playing at my House” B-Side), in that it faithfully covers the song while giving it the LCD twist to it. Highly recommended for this song alone (listen to the Mp3 on this blog).

The Arcade Fire cover the Serge Gainsbourg-written, France Gall-sung “Poupee De Cire, Poupee De Son (listen to the Mp3 here). This sounds like this was written in Paris in the 1960’s, and still maintains the Arcade Fire’s own trademarked “swell” near the end. This might be my favourite vocal performance from Regine, who sounds so different from her other songs.


Again, buy it at the DFA store. Don’t waste your money on the Arcade Fire’s webstore or eBay.

Frog Eyes / Hello Blue Roses Split 7″ Preorder

I went ahead and pre-ordered this 7″ a few weeks ago, not knowing anything about it other than:

1. Dan Bejar is involved


That’s about it.

Hello Blue Roses is Bejar and his significant other Sydney Vermont, and it sounds like Destroyer with female vocals, filtered through a smoky opium den. The Hello Blue Roses side will feature the brilliantfantastic song Foam Hands (which will also appear on the next Destroyer album, coming March 2008). The other song is a cover of Richard and Linda Thompson’s “Wall of Death.”

Frog Eyes‘s side features re-workings of two songs from this years “fucking rad” album “Tears of the Valedictorian.”

This 7″ will be limited to 500, and can be purchased from Absolutely Kosher here!

Don’t blow this one.