Thursday, July 31, 2008


At first, Hammerhead were scary. Not in the Alice Cooper b horror movie way with kooky make-up and judicious employment of midgets but in the are-these-the-thoughts-and-actions-of-a-blood-thirsy-psychopath way. At first i thought that this could be the soundtrack to "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer." After a while it began to dawn on me that this is Henry's fucking band. It turns out it was just 3 guys from Fargo and none of them were Joseph Edward Duncan III.

When I saw them for the first time in Holloween in 1992. I was kind of left dumbfounded. It was loud, though not terrible fast, and introvertedly violent in a way that transfixed me. Paul Sanders beat and strangled the guitar as if he were trying to silence it, perplexed that all of his clumsy grappling seemed to make it scream and squeal louder and more vociferously. Paul Ericson's bass had so much drive and sound splitting distortion and volume that all the hair on my body fell out and my organs collapsed and then, as the corner of my mouth curled up into what looked like a smile, I soiled myself. After the show, I limped up to the band, all shiny and bald in strange places with trousers that needed to be changed and I thanked them.

"Into The Vortex" traded the etherial killer imagery for this sort of retro futuristic intergalactic murder rock. With graphics, as usual for Amrep bands. courtesy of Tom Hazelmyer. The songs still handle like like an old El Camino: heavy, lumbering and difficult to stop, with hair and some blood wedged in the grill and something unimaginable in the trunk.

Into The Vortex

This song is from a different record but I was at this show.


I used to love anything that sounded like this. Heavy as fuck but meticulously structured, like an epileptic who orchestrates their own spastic convulsions. The Drive Like Jehu's, the's and, yes, the Thumbnail's. I could never get past "Straight To Zero" without punching out my stereo, my roommate and my fish monger. I'd like to see you do the same. Email me for their current addresses. This is their first record put out on File 13 and again 2 years later on Headhunter.


Saturday, July 26, 2008


I wrote this long, rambling, alcohol and drug fueled rant loosely based around Mule. In some way it seemed appropriate given the well documented proclivities of P.W. Long. When I finally got around to reading it again it became clear to me that I shouldn't drink and do drugs. Then I amended that with the stipulation "while I'm writing about Mule." I think I'm going to be able to stick with this one.

if i don't six

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I always thought that if i could have the first 2 tracks of this record, I would need few others. Now whether that meant I would need few other records or just few other first 2 tracks, I never found out. I'm not sure it matters, though, because the third song is pretty fucking sweet. I could go on like this but I hate typing...and music.

The truth is, I waited tables at the same summer camp Matt Sweeney went to. He was tall and lanky, had curly puffy hair (yes, hair) and played bass in a sort of Smith's / Cure cover band. It wasn't 'till I heard Skunk until I realized how far he'd got. Chavez wasn't bad either. Not as good as they thought they were but pretty damn good.

Gone Glimmering


"Don't Ask, Don't Tell." This phrase represents, conversely, a shit policy and an amazing album by Boston band Come. Both are 15 years old (roughly) and both need to be reheard. Plus, you don't want to upset Thalia Zedek. She's not that strong but her bony fingers will tear through your skin faster than a tragic haircut through Williamsburg.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Moving Targets

Listen, I'm not trying to ruffle any feathers or piss on anyone's gods but in my humble opinion MOVING TARGETS' RECORDS BURNING IN WATER AND BRAVE NOISE ARE AS GOOD AS HUSKER DU'S ZEN ARCADE AND NEW DAY RISING. There. I'm glad I got that off my chest because its been eating a hole in my stomach for 18 years. Its compounded by the fact that they never got the recognition that they probably deserved. The songs on these two records also sound less dated than Husker Du. Plus, don't you just think it's time for a Husker Du backlash? People can run around denying their influence and all the cool kids can finally get behind Moving Targets. "Now with 66% less gay angst!" or something like that.

Burning In Water
Fixed Link

Brave Noise

Monday, July 21, 2008

April March

This might seem out of place, but April March is swell. If you're familiar with April March you're probably thinking 60's french pop with an American accent but in 1993 on her first record as the April March persona (she is otherwise known an Elinor Blake from bands The Pussyillows and The Shitbirds) she was less Francoise Hardy and Mireille Mathieu and more Nancy Sinatra and Petula Clark. Its kitschy and its fun and no one can stop me. Download it, tough guy.

Friday, July 18, 2008


A few weeks ago I had a brief relapse into a long occurring crush on Mary Timony. I mean, she just seems so vulnerable but at the same time, unstable and dangerous. The kind of girl who holds a knife to your throat while you're sleeping and doesn't even tell you about it. Then, maybe, she goes and fucks a tv reporter from the local station who she met at a bar and gets pregnant but has a miscarriage because she drinks so damn much and huffs paint with railroad bums even though she doesn't have to because she has a trust fund and you want her to be good to herself and good to you but she just can't 'cause maybe she's evil? Gosh, I just can't help myself

i feel like candy

Shudder To Think

Shudder To Think were never my favorite band. The first time someone a lady friend played me "Get Your Goat" it just didn't do anything for me. Maybe it was just me but more and more I'm beginning to think that maybe it was just her. She was a bit of a shit and I think it wiped off on everything she touched. A few years later when I heard "Pony Express Record" my dick almost fell off. Turns out, that was her fault as well. Life can be funny like that.

I decided to stick this one up not only because its one of the best records of the nineties to be put out by a band AFTER they made the jump to a major label but also because Shudder To Think is doing the reunion mambo this fall...minus most of the band, of course. If you see that girl, don't say hello. Her mouth is a cold sore display case.

08/10 - Baltimore, MD @ V Fest
09/05 - Chicago, IL @ Park West
09/06 - Toronto, ON @ V Fest
10/03 - Philadelphia, PA @ Theater of the Living Arts
10/04 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall
10/11 - Boston, MA @ Paradise
10/25 - New Orleans, LA @ Voodoo Music Festival
11/01 - Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey
11/02 - San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Ok, Unwound. not necessarily underrated but maybe somewhat under appreciated? Another 3 piece west coast band driven by exceptional bass playing. Saw them around this record at Luna Lounge in Manhattan. All these tall skinny boys crowded to the front and no one could see them on that short shin-high stage. I thought to myself "You're on Kill Rock Stars for fuck's sake. Why don't you demand that all the short girls be able to come to the front? Everyone will do as you say. Fuck, they'll think its cool." They did no such insisting but its an incredible record anyway. They were great to watch not because they did a lot of jumping around but because no matter how loud and hard he screamed, Justin, the singer, wouldn't move a single muscle on his face.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

engine takes to water

First post eh? Well, I lost a great deal of my belongings including countless records, cd's and seven inches in an unexpected landlord initiated move earlier this year. I've retrieved many things from the basement, much of it covered in brackish water and giant rat feces. It sits in a big pile (my vinyl, my expensive photography books, i think there's a leica m4p in there) accruing $160 a month from the good people at Storage Deluxe.

This all would have ben much worse had it not been for the mp3 blogs I've been frequenting in the last few months, re- acquiring music i had already paid for years ago. So i figure other people are in the same boat. Most of the music i'm going to post here is out of print records from broken up bands. I probably should have called it that.

Also, I've never had a blog before, so go easy on me and feel free to make any suggestions. Thanks.

steel pole bath tub

So, I've noticed that one of my all time favorite bands is woefully underrepresented in the mp3 blogging world. What i've seen of it at least. It's San Francisco's own Steel Pole Bath Tub and while i think i saw Butterfly Love out there somewhere and born in the basement put up Tumor Circus (Jello Biafra and SPBT) I thought I should make my favorite SPBT record Tulip this blog's first offering.

I was more or less in a perpetual drunken stuper at a small north east university when this came out. Me and a buddy of mine were listening to Butterfly Love almost full time and I remember thinking that while not being nearly as frightening as their first record, Tulip was a little more focussed. The anger and noise was there (Mecurochrome, The Scarlet) as well as the energy (One Thick Second, Soul Cannon) but the songs were just better realized. Maybe it was just that you could hear it better. You could differentiate between the noisy instruments to realize just how wonderfully fuzzy and bent Dale Flattums bass was. I used to muscle up to the front of the stage at shows to see what his distortion rig was and what they using to run those samples during and between the songs (stenographers equipment, I used to think) and hey, is Darren Mor-X just using a floor tom with a snare strapped to the bottom of it? You can hear it on the record. Things you wouldn't expect.

I think this is Darren Mor-X's video for "One Thick Second"