Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sounds Of Terror

Newborn blog, freshly ripped screaming from the placenta, begins massive postings offering download after download of hokey Halloween vinyl (and the occasional Pink Panther Punk), while the rest of the blogging globe shakes its head in wonder and asks, "When does he get some shut eye?" The obvious answer is: Zombies never sleep...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Add One Cup Instability, Mix Well With Tone-Deaf Vocals

There are three main components which go into creating the perfect pop song, and Vile Vile Grass (by The Red Krayola) has them all: 1. Hesitant, unstable guitar work; 2. Rushed, off-key singing; 3. Paranoid ramblings overly concerned with Tarzan which then spiral into a nervous breakdown. This is one of the few accessible tracks on 1999's otherwise "difficult" Fingerpainting (and by "difficult", I actually mean jarringly brilliant). You can find it at Drag City.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

All Over Your Face And Stuff

There's no denying it: I'm an easy sell for a Mash-Up that has me cackling like a school girl. Especially if it uses Television's boho pre-punk masterpiece Marquee Moon. But especially if placed alongside the Khia grind and bump hit My Neck, My Back. The unstoppable superstar DJ Certified Bananas has merged the two into Television Is Crack, which made me gleefully skip around the room upon first encountering it last year buried within one of his genius monthly on-line mixes (no longer available except to stream on YouTube). Remember the first time you even heard this Khia classic? After you get over the short shock of such up-front sexuality, you really have to sit back and admire what is essentially a highly-instructional Joy Of Sex chapter to which you can dance.

A Cast Of 79

Here is what I did in my 20's: played with a lot of mostly shitty local bands, few of which are worth talking about. Here is what Cast King did in his 20's: he recorded for Sam Phillips of Sun Records. Here is what I expect to do when I'm 79 years old: die. Here is what Cast King did when he turned 79 years old: he released his debut album, Saw Mill Man. This short but potent CD contains a mere 12 songs--Faded Rose, Wino and Numb are but three--of the reportedly 500 songs King has written during his lifetime. Considering how long it's taken him to get from point A to point B, here's hoping he records the next 12 songs as soon as possible. Buy this cool little obscurity at Locust Music. [Update: Sadly, Cast King has passed away since this was first posted.]

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

You Shoulda Woulda Coulda Been A Contender

You decide to vacation in Thailand, and for some distant reason, you decide to start fights with everyone you meet. This was a mistake on your part and your broken nose and fractured ribs are the proof. This is a country that produces boxing anthems punctuated by the sounds of your opponent elbowing you to death (Thai Boxing) and spoken funk-ballads glorifying the feats of Muhammad Ali (The Black Super Man). This raging bull of a country will kick your ass till next Tuesday, fool. Next time, buy yourself Volume 3 of Thai Beat A Go-Go at Amazon before you call your travel agent.

The Kids, Whose Attention Span Has Apparently Increased And Are Now Seeking More Classically-Informed Rock Music, Are Alright

The kids in the street are chanting their demands, and they want Prog. If Prog was a meat, the kids would be blood-thirsty, ravenous wolves ripping and snarling their way through a freshly-killed meal. To stretch this metaphor further, Delay 68 Records (which has just released Prog Is Not A Four Letter Word, a nifty comp of international math rockers) is the lone zoo-keeper poking raw flesh on sticks through the feed door of each cage. Although the album's definition of Prog is rather loose (Powiedzielismy Juz Wszystko by Breakout sounds more like Queen than King Crimson), there are many gems to unearth, such as Lambaya Puf De by Baris Manco, which almost has a smooth Punjabi funk thang going on, and if you put your ear to the boogie rock cowbell of Nem Erdekel Amit Mondsz by Illes you can almost hear the roar of topographic oceans. If those aren't reason enough to buy this fine compilation, perhaps you'll be motivated by wanting to own what is quite possibly the year's most untasteful cover art.  This album is ugly on the outside and ugly on the inside.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Bombast For The Bored

Now that concept albums are once again in vogue (thanks to you, Billy, Bixler and Stevie), the time is right for the grand reissue of two wonderfully bombastic out-of-print collector's holy grails that are a kind of Thick As A Brick for the post-Weezer set: L'Enfant Assassin Des Mouches by the French composer (and arranger for Serge Gainsbourg) Jean-Claude Vannier and Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki, by the French/Japanese micro-orchestra Yamasuki. Both albums are reissued by the crate-digging maniacs at Finders Keepers Records, and both will make your hair stand on end. If you are losing your hair, they'll make it grow back. Le Roi Des Mouches Et La Confiture and Mort Du Roi Des Mouches (Vannier) contain enough romantic strings, sexy sitar stylings and heavy metal crunch to make you flip what's left of your wig. Meanwhile Seyu Sayonara and Yama Yama (Yamasuki) is akin to hearing Pacific Overtures remixed by DJ Doom. Buy both CD's for maximum bugging out. You have nothing left to lose but your mind.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Glitter, Thy Name Is Disco:Very

Unlike the rest of you, I have a glamorous, high-profile job of note. You heard me: I HAVE A GLAMOROUS HIGH-PROFILE JOB OF NOTE! As such, pressing and important life-changing projects can pop into my "In Basket" at a moment's notice, and these exhausting yet necessary intrusions can throw my blogging schedule into utter turmoil. Why have I not been updating with any regularity? My glamorous, high-profile job is the very reason I have not been updating with any regularity. If there is one thing Mariah Carey and I have in common, it is that we both have to sweep away some of the glitter which rains down on us and our far-reaching careers on an almost hourly basis. While I'm busy cleaning up, I give you this link to some crazy-ass French dude named Chocoreve who is offering downloadable files (password: posted_first_at_chocoreve) to almost 100 different psychedelic rock, garage rock and Krautrock album masterpieces (such as Blues Scene, shown above). Sadly, they are all RapidShare files, but seeing how you little people--living in poverty and squaler--are used to daily disappointment, I'm sure you'll get over it. Eventually. [Update: Chocoreve seems to have died, leaving his website in permanent limbo.]

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Copper, Cattle, Citrus, Commerce, Climate

Since it will probably be another year until we see a follow-up to Illinois, and probably two more years until he tackles the next American state, bloggers seem to be placating themselves with live recordings to wait out the delay for the next sprawling set from Sufjan Stevens. It is unto this fray in which I heartily jump: here is Mr. Stevens and his squad running their paces at Lee's Palace in Toronto, on November 16th, 2004. You can download it here as a 71.2MB jesus-fucking-christ-this-is-going-to-take-forever! mp3 download, or you can click here for an .sitx file (which, presumably, will download faster). If Sufjan happens to be reading this musical offering and intends to sue my ass to Kingdom Come, I'd like to strike a little bargain: you cancel the lawsuit and I'll teach you the little A-R-I-Z-O-N-A Is My State diddy drilled into my preschool-era brain by the Phoenix Union School District way back when. Feel free to use it on the eventual Arizona album in the year 2037. Sadly, the lyrics do not mention any of what we used to call The Five C's.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Comics: When I read cat comic Garfield, life seems chaotic and unstable. Now, with the creation of the Random Garfield Generator, all is right with the universe.

Blogs: Is Worker #3116 the funniest man in the world or just a raging bitter asshole who can make you laugh to the point of dry heaving? The answer is yes.

Commercials: Blixa Bargeld, lead shouter/singer of the industrial rock outfit Einst├╝rzende Neubauten, pitching for Hornbach, Germany's home improvement megastore (here, here, here and here).

Fun: Prepare to waste your entire day--nay, the rest of your life--with Let Them Sing It For You, micro-sampling at its most extreme.

Web: Tiny hamsters sleeping, adorable puppies in a cup, cuddly kittens stretching after a nap: If the awwww-factor were a drug, Cuteness Overload would be the head of a murderous worldwide cartel.

Vlogs: A kind-of video All Things Considered without the quaint affectations, but funny (and entertaining): RocketBoom

Vinyl: Quite possibly the world's largest collection of Halloween records, lovingly scanned and catalogued for our amusement. Now all we need are the audio files...

Music: Someone was bound to do it, I'm just glad it was the AV Onion.

Video: On the Egg Obsessive Meter, I fall somewhere below Edith Massey and these people. Synchronized group excercise in a giant omelette pan has never looked so good.

mp3's: Now that my business has prospered, I am suddenly filled with the urge to visit my parents.

Monday, January 09, 2006

You Are Oriental And We Are Oriental, Too

Don't even begin to tell me Neo-New Wave is on a rapid decline due to the slowly-rising popularity of Neo-Prog. I am so still into The Plastics from way back in the day, that my Neo-Post-Neo-New-Wave revivalism is half a decade ahead of itself. In other words, much like the hick trucker I spotted back in 1988 whose 1969-era muttonchop sideburns predated their full-on faddish return in 1993, my unwavering love affair with Dance In The Metal and Back To Wigtown (both from Origato Plastico) makes me five years ahead of my time. Unless you live in Japan, the closest you can get to the album are those rare occasions when CD Universe has it in stock.

Petey, Can You Hear Me?

Pete Townsend of Mod rock combo The Who has lived long enough (and rocked long enough) to proudly earn the title, Elder Statesman of The Rock Aristocracy. Personally, I've always fondly thought of him as The Doddering Pain-In-The-Ass Grandfather-Figure Who Dominates The Topic Of Conversation at Family Reunions By Cornering His Relatives With Stern Lectures On How We're Ruining Our Lives And How We Should Heed His Advice Or Else We'll End Up Like Him. Give Grandpa a polite and reverent pat on the head, you children of rock and roll, set aside that noisy Slayer cd and replace it with Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks by ambient wunderkind Brian Eno, jumping ahead to track 5 (An Ending (Ascent)) and keeping the volume extra quiet so as not to jolt granddad's teeth past his gums and into our heaping plate of fruit compote. Here's $15, children, run along and buy a copy of this cd at Amazon.