Wednesday, June 28, 2006

"F" Is For (Not) Fake

The same exercise in futility which drives The Nazi Pope to ask why God was silent during the Holocaust sometimes propels me to stare at my overburdened CD storage shelves and ask why they can't magically increase in size to meet the demands of my bulging music collection. Most of the blame can go to my generous spirit: when copying CD's for myself, I always copy extras to lend to others, often resulting in 10 extra copies taking up valuable shelf space. Therefore, in an attempt to alleviate the already maxxed-out row of CD's filed under "F", I invite you to send me an e-mail with your name (phony is fine) and address, after which I will send you a CD of your choice: 1) the self-titled deadpan debut of New Wave pioneers The Flying Lizards, 2) The Good Earth, the Velvet-y sophomore effort by The Feelies (produced by Peter Buck of REM), 3) It's Only Right And Natural, the mostly-improvised queer/not queer folk-punk album by The Frogs (sampled by Beck on Odelay) or 4) the original version of My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts (which contains the track "Qu'ran", now unavailable on subsequent reissues) by Brian Eno & David Byrne (I am aware this CD falls under "E", so don't bother to point it out--I know more than you do.)
The fine print: This offer is not a fake. I will send you one CD free of charge (two CDs if you give me a good reason for being so selfish.) Your address will not be used for future unsolicited mailings. You will owe me nothing in return. I don't have to like you and you don't have to like me. You will not receive any spam in the future (well, at least not from Disco:Very.) Each CD in the overcrowded "F" shelf was chosen precisely because it is out-of-print and therefore not denying anyone a royalty check. If you are a member of The Flying Lizards, The Feelies, The Frogs, or happen to be Brian Eno and/or David Byrne, please don't sue me. I give because I love.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I Repeat Myself When Under Stress

Close personal pal Puss, after years of collecting my free-to-anyone-who-asks annual year-end best-of CD compilations, commented that I must really love drawn-out repetition in music. It's true. I love drawn-out repetition in music. It's true. I love drawn-out repetition in music. It's true. I love drawn-out repetition in music. It's true. I love drawn-out repetition in music. It's true. I love drawn-out repetition in music. It's true. I love drawn-out repetition in music. It's true. I love drawn-out repetition in music. It's true. I love drawn-out repetition in music. It's true. I love drawn-out repetition in music. It's true. I love drawn-out repetition in music. Why else would I covet Circle-offshoot Itavayla and their bizarro/electro ZZ Top-esque tumble in the hay on tracks such as Future Boogie and Tesco? Please note: quoting a King Crimson lyric is a concession to those upset over the missing umlauts.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Listen To A Weird Noise Band

More than a few of the compositions compiled on Another Wasted Sunday Afternoon concern themselves with the Us vs. Them state of mind dominating hearts and minds immediately following the emergence of early punk. Instant Automatons gave a snarling yet humorous report from the frontlines, whether the topic be on one's look (Short Haired Man), lifestyle habits (Gillian Is Normal) or musical choices (People Laugh At Me, Electronic Music.) With their stripped-down lo-fi electro-fuckery and who-gives-a-shit? vocal delivery, fans of The Fall, Wire and Swell Maps would better their lives to pick this one up. The good folks at have sifted through hours of music to excavate the best 70 minutes of music you will ever find running through your head day and night. Do I have to draw you a diagram?

The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich and Roll

"Girlfriend came out at just the right historic moment...riding the tidal wave kicked up by Nirvana's Nevermind and helping to fill the void that had been created by the instant obsolescence of the music of the '80's..." - excerpt from liner notes in just-released 2-CD edition of Matthew Sweet's 1991 album Girlfriend

The bloody battle begun just months earlier was finally coming to an end. Trapped in their reinforced bunker nestled deep underground, a handful of big-haired pop stars (including Whitney Houston, Cyndi Lauper and A-Ha) paced their cramped quarters, cyanide tablets at the ready lest they should fall into the hands of Colonel Cobain and his ragtag army of flannel-flying punk liberationists. The sonic bombardments continued apace from above, creating an instant obsolescence of all 80's music. Vince Neal, croutched in a dark room below, was preparing to die from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, agonizing over the distress and betrayal of seeing Decade of Decadance, the Motley Crue quickie greatest-hits collection released earlier that year, failing to reach the dramatic heights in sales of Nevermind. Meanwhile, reinforcements from Seattle marched on: Mudhoney continued their destructive carnage southward (towards Los Angeles), single-handedly overtaking the Coconut Teaszer, while the more unconventional advance attacks of The Butthole Surfers drew in from the southeast. As the Mighty Pop Empire lay in ruins, a severed hand fitted into a single white glove--torn, somewhat hidden by fallen debris and charred almost beyond recognition--was the last remaining symbol of a once formidable influence over a generation. As Emperor Mellencamp signed the Treaty of Surrender, Matthew Sweet and his band took advantage of this unique surge of freedom--a tidal wave, if you will--to perform Divine Intervention, followed by the original demo of Winona, to mark the slow passing of wartime into a newfound spirit of peace, prosperity and neo-primitive Maori tattoo markings going mainstream on biceps across the land.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Bling It On

It's a clever marketing angle, naming your 20th-something album Introduction despite the band/band leader whiling away in obscurity for 40 years. If such trickery leads unknowing listeners to take a gander at the loosely-tight meanderings of Vexations, Note To Selves and It Will Be (Delivered), all the better. This is The Red Krayola's most accessible album, but considering Mayo Thompson's previous track record, this is a relative assessment. The knowing wink of coupling caustic aural chaos with the slang title of closing track Bling Bling says just about everything you need to know.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

If I'd Have Known The World Was Ending I'd Have Baked A Cake

This is what the A Frames excel at: they write rock's biggest dumbest guitar riff--bigger and dumber than your head--then proceed to rub your face into it for the duration of an entire song. Cool enough, but when they top it off with deadpan apocalyptic/paranoid rants, it's the icing on the de-evolution cake. NASA should be sending out galactic radio waves of Ionic, Modula and Search And Rescue so other inhabitants of the universe can hear what Earth's final days sound like when set to music.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Insane In The Membrane

If there was an international contest held to name The World's Laziest Human, I would win before the race even began owing to the fact I'd be napping through the whole event. General laziness is the reason I rarely bother to digitally transfer all the thousands of albums I own. I have owned the LP-only comp of 1960's French rock tunes Ils Sont Fous Ces Gaulois (Vol. 2) for years but the idea of all the work it would take to convert the whole thing to mp3 files makes my eyelids go into a deep coma. And really, why bother when if you wait long enough, Elsebasto will do it for you? Maybe someday Monsieur Elsebasto will have the energy to tell us what Loups Tous Les Soirs is going on about. [Update: Elsebasto appears to be dead. Or no longer blogging. Or both.]

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Hardest Button To Button

It's no secret that I loves me some youthful retro New Wave dance rock. When I hear bands like Avenpitch--on tracks such as Butterfly Radio, Dusseldorf and Jack The Idiot Dance--they get me moving and grooving, instantly pushing all the right Electroclash buttons. Do you like my Electroclash buttons? I bet you do. Go ahead, you can push them. Yeah, right there, push them softly. Softer. No, a little softer. Yeah, that's it. Ooooh, yes, tell me you like those buttons. Tell me your friends like my buttons. Tell me your friends are jealous that you're pushing my buttons. Aren't these the nicest buttons you've ever pushed? Treat those naughty buttons a little rough if you want. Go ahead--teach those Electroclash buttons who's boss. Ouch! Ow! Hey, not that rough. Jeez, what do I look like, Pamela Anderson?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Easy Like Sunday Morning interrupts the World Wide Web for the following announcement: After years of quest, I have finally found a song by Mogwai that I actually like: Acid Food off Mr. Beast. Yes, it's one of their "easier" songs (i.e. it doesn't screech and howl like early Sonic Youth.) Does that make me easy? It takes one to know one.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Cuts From A Hearty Stalk

It's amazing the amount of attention you can get stalking record companies via persistent pesky e-mails. The iconic New Zealand label Flying Nun has personally assured me--little ol' me!--that the very rare cassette compiliation Oddities 2, which assembles live and unreleased tracks by The Clean & The Great Unwashed, will finally be reissued on cd for the first time later this year. I can only meagerly repay them by urging you to buy the 2-cd set Cuts, which collects almost everything recorded by Toy Love, the late-70's/early-80's outfit made up in part of Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate of Tall Dwarfs. You'll get a headrush buzz from the pogo/thrash sing-alongs of Pull Down The Shades, Ain't It Nice, Toy Love Song and Don't Ask Me but when you injure yourself, don't expect me to take any of the blame.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

It's A Family Affair

Longtime guitar cultist Richard Thompson is the forgotten uncle at the family reunion who, when you finally tear yourself away from the more short-term entertaining relatives with their bawdy jokes and staged screaming matches, turns out to be the most wise and charismatic of the bunch. That is to say, he's usually not the first artist coming to mind when I'm trolling around the web looking for downloads. When I do happen to stumble upon his music, I'm always surprised at how enriching most of it can be. How pleasant, then, to find Chocoreve offering RT: The Life And Music Of Richard Thompson (top left), the just-released retrospective with what has to be the ugliest boxed set graphics ever created. For dessert, you'll want to head to the buffet table of 8 Days In April which is posting the original efforts (eventually scrapped and re-recorded) of Thompson's masterpiece Shoot Out The Lights (scroll down a bit to find it.)