...the thing we do instead of the things we're supposed to do...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

hose.got.cable - Majesty

I've been working through the first hour of Star Trek, having called off "Dinner and a Movie", and, instead, just fixed pancakes, eggs and milk.  I have all the epicurean taste of a 12-year-old.  As great as this looks in 1080p, I'm just having a hard time staying awake.  Maybe I shouldn't have seen this four times this summer.  I'm a geek.

hose.got.cable was a bargain-bin discovery for me.  If memory serves, I scored this for $2 from Reptilian on a Sunday when I should have been home, painting a wall or fixing a toilet or doing whatever a typical husband and homeowner does.  But, like I said, I'm a geek.  I like record stores, book giveaways and staying faithful to the people I love.

Back to h.g.c: they were from Richmond and recorded for Old Glory Records. Old Glory was one of those labels like Vermiform, Vermin Scum, and Gravity that was amazingly great in the early 90's and then fell off the map by 2000.  Members of hose.got.cable went on to Rah Bras and Alabama Thunderpussy, which seems like the damnedest thing I can think off.

The nearest sonic touchstone here is probably Frodus.  What you can expect is stellar post-hardcore/screamo that sets things up neatly for bands like Raein & Funeral Diner...hell, most of the European post-Pageninetynine crowd.  The must-listen here is "Chevy Chase, Motherfucker"; to steal a line, it makes me want to run through a brick wall everytime I hear it.  Last note: a label called Cadillac Flambe released a discography which includes this (their only full-length), two singles and two tracks from comps.  I have no clue if that's still in print.

hose.got.cable - Majesty
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: cheap finds, rainy Sundays, geek shit

Friday, November 6, 2009

Lifter Puller - Fiestas + Fiascos

I can't exactly pinpoint when I was hipped to Lifter Puller, which is weird, because there's generally that "Wow!" moment with those bands that I've carried with me since I heard them. Maybe it was the guys from Dillinger 4 talking about playing with Lifter Puller on a riverboat in Punk Planet, or a mixtape from Bachman featuring the Rhymesayers crew dropping LP lyrics into 16 bars. I can tell you it wasn't an immediate thing; I think I had this CD for a month, occasionally listening, before I got it. But I DID get it.

Even though I know Craig Finn was telling stories, there is something unsavory and sordid about Fiestas + Fiascos. Even today it feels hyper-real...a codeine-laced mix of Nighthawks, Jim Carroll and Joe Strummer. This record makes copping dope sound sexy, and deals gone bad sound fun. You want to dance all night at the Nice Nice, then go home to your mattress laid out on the floor and drink shitty booze until 2 in the afternoon. This is the sound of bad choices.

Supposedly there's a Lifter Puller documentary and discography en route. It's not impossible to find F+F or Soft Rock out in eBay land. But enjoy this one while you wait.

Lifter Puller - Fiestas + Fiascos
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: needle tracks, five-day benders, staying up too late

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Minutemen - The Punch Line

Boon & Watt, L.A., 1984

I remember how excited I was when I found a slightly watered damaged copy of The Punch Line on CD in the now-defunct CMart in Forest Hill back in 1995. There's an excitement that I've been missing a lot over the past five years in discovering something brand new. My roommate and I were talking last night about going out on Tuesdays and getting knocked out by a band you've never heard before. I'd say it's a function of getting older, but it doesn't ring quite as true as I'd hope. I want desperately to have that nervous, right-before-the-first-kiss feeling again, the way I did the first time I heard Out of Step or A Love Supreme or The Punch Line.

I don't know what else to say about this, other than the Minutemen have always been one of those bands I'd want to emulate if I were in a band. There is no bullshit here; just the sound of D Boon, Mike Watt & George Hurley getting to the point. It fucks me up knowing that a lot of younger folks have missed out on this (and other SST back catalog) due to Ginn's mismanagement of the catalog. I have loved this band for a long time, but still choose this as my sentimental favorite.

"...I'm already on someone's list as a casualty..."

Minutemen - The Punch Line
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: one liners, fucking corndogs

Friday, October 30, 2009

Update - October 30

I'll keep this short. The past three months have been the most eventful in my life. This blog is not about the dirty details of that life; instead, it's about how music has inspired me and helped me become the man that I am today.

With that in mind, I will posting new material starting November 1st. If you've been dropping by, or reading this for the first time, I highly recommend sweeping through the old posts. If there's something I need to re-up, let me know. Otherwise, I think I have some good treats lined up for you.

Bad times do not stay. No matter how dark it may seem, there is always a light.

Ape Mummy

RIYL: new posts

Monday, July 6, 2009

Shook Ones - 2004 demo

(image from the Shook Ones MySpace page)
A real quick one, before it's my turn to hit the Wii Fit. The extended weekend was very boss...thanks for asking. The following things are currently on my mind:
  • Who keeps stopping in here from Columbia, Maryland? Leave a note or something, wouldja? We should probably bro down.
  • Do I really have to go to San Diego in two weeks? Can't I just hide under my bed and pretend I went?
  • Should I even whine about going to San Diego, especially when everyone I bitch to sounds really impressed by it? Should I just remind folks that its name translates to "The Whale's Vagina"?
  • Why do cats keep slagging off Shook Ones as a Lifetime rip-off? Don't you like Lifetime? Wouldn't you like kids to take Lifetime as a positive influence on their current band? Or do you just want your bands to suck, not rule? Is that what it is?
My favorite recent line from the doods from Shook Ones was that they originally wanted to call their band "Lifespan", but thought it sounded too tough guy HC. Their new record The Unquottable A.M.H. came out a couple of weeks ago. Buy it; it's the tits. Here's their demo from 2004. 4 cuts that'd later pop up on Sixteen. Rough yet crucial, especially coming from a bunch of Washington state fancy lads.

Shook Ones - 2004 demo
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: harmony, TDK C-90s, 3 chord justice

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Uniform Choice - Screaming For Change

(photo by Ken Salerno. Lifted with all due respect to Double Cross.)
Happy July 2nd, readers. Welcome to post #66. I'm in a bitchin' mood. I have a 3 day weekend, my main man Batts is rolling in for steaks and booze tomorrow, and I found the first 4 Ramones records at the Borders near work for a mere $5.99 a piece. Life is swell.

I'm a big fan of finding decent records on the cheap. I had no clue who Uniform Choice was when I bought the cassette of Screaming For Change in 1993 for $1. All I knew was there were X'ed dudes on the cover screaming into a mic. Pretty hardcore, eh? It wasn't until I bought the vinyl years later that I noticed the cover was a painting, not a photograph. I guess I wasn't very observant when I was 16. Anyway, this always struck a chord for me, unlike peers like Youth of Today, Bold & Slapshot. I still love jamming "Don't Quit" after a bad day. 26 minutes and 32 seconds of solid, 2nd wave hardcore. Dig on it.

Semi-related note: so this is still available for sale. I didn't think Wishing Well had been a working label in the past 15 years. Who the hell is keeping this in print?

Uniform Choice - Screaming For Change
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: your X extra sharp, brotherhood, moshing

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Lost Patrol Band - s/t

While I think it'd be terribly presumptuous to say Tony Pence is one of my top bros, he's absolutely on my Top 5 List of Musical Gurus. I can run a finger along a rack of CDs or box of 7"s at the house, and at least 30% were purchased as a result of something he's played me, or name-dropped, or pointed out in a zine. I had a dream about owning a record store; he went out and actually opened it. A good dude with impeccable taste...which is why I like to bring him toys.

Case in point: the Lost Patrol Band. There's a good chance I would have come to find these cats eventually. But shortly after he opened Celebrated Summer, I paid Tony a visit, and he was playing this. Great guitar pop? You betcha. Ex- & current members of damned near every great Swedish punk rock band? Absolutely, kitten. I had to have it. But what would stand in my way? It turned out some legal troubles over the band name led to the entire catalog being taken out of print. A low down dirty shame. But no Wayans project ever stood in my way. I pinned this butterfly down in a 3rd floor walkup in Pittsburgh last year. Asking price? $6. Beautiful.

/just finished watching The Kid Stays In The Picture

The Lost Patrol Band - s/t
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: tight jeans, "Who Put The Bomp?", stripes

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fighting Dogs - 2005 summer tour pre-release CD

(photo courtesy of the Fighting Dogs Myspace page, no credit available)
I'm rather disgusted with myself, having traded in a copy of "The Office" UK Complete Series (amongst other, lesser things) towards a copy of Transformers (amongst other, lesser things). So enjoy some late-night Philly crust, courtesy of Fighting Dogs. The crustier things in life are generally slept on here in the Mummy house. Could it be that I spent the first two years of my Baltimore punk rock being lorded over by worthless crust punx (coughCrassholecough)? No wonder I turned out a money grubbing sellout!

That said, I like this record. It's a little more Motorhead and a little less (insert generic D-beat band). I also like this because:
  1. It came with a sticker.
  2. It came in an envelope.
  3. The songs here have mad swagger. Not like cock diesel false bravado...more like "Man With No Name"/light a match on your cheek confidence.
  4. It was sealed with wax, a most excellent old-timey method of afixation.
  5. It cost me $2 when I bought it in the fall of 2005. Hooray thriftiness! You've never let me down!

Fighting Dogs - 2005 summer tour pre-release CD
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: when I make Clint Eastwood references

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Fall-Outs - s/t

(photo of Zaak and Dave stolen from the Fall-Outs MySpace page)
Every town, no matter what year it is, has an outfit like this. There's this lyric in "Northern Industrial Town" by Billy Bragg that reads, "And on payday, they tear the place down/With a pint in your hand, and a bash 'em out band." Whenever I hear that song (which never fails to choke me up), I think of the Fall-Outs.

I really want to say that this is a record Greg Wunder put me onto when I was 19, but I didn't get hip until I was working with Mark Rigby at Reptilian. Tres trashy garage rock from Seattle. I believe Estrus put out two more records of Sonics-styled guitar rock that I just didn't dig on quite as much. I thought it was very cool that it looks like these guys are still around, playing gigs and probably rocking it harder than most of the kids out there.

I'm pretty stoked that it looks like I'll be able to get my turntable fixed within the week. What does that mean for you, fair reader?
  • More semi-obscure 7"s from the dollar bin!
  • Cruddy, totally scratched LPs from my wife's collection!
  • Thrills, chills & spills!
  • A more complete use of the "bullets" function!
Playlist: Listening to Matt & Kim right now. Downloaded the new Regina Spektor yesterday. Also digging on the Carbonas LP, Psyched to Die 7" & what little Narrows product I've managed to download for free.

The Fall-Outs - s/t
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: Nuggets, Conrad Uno, rotting wood in the rain

Friday, June 12, 2009

Re-up: Sweep the Leg Johnny -

(I really can't remember where I stole this from)
(Re-upped. The first post from last year, now reavailable for your downloading pleasure.)

So I'm dating this girl. She's a riot grrl in 1997, so that should tell you something right off the bat. Or maybe not. But she & I get along swimmingly. We both live about 15 minutes from the Pennsylvania border in Maryland. We have a lot to do, but we spend most of our time making mix tapes for each other, hoping on the hood of my Grand Prix and shouting "Anarchy" and going to DC for shows. After all, the Ottobar was newly open, Memory Lane was a distant memory and the only thing Fletcher's was good for was the occasional H2O show.

She & I drive into DC to see Sleater-Kinney for the first time. We trek down to the old Black Cat, me terrified someone is going to break into the Grand Prix. It's probably the month Dig Me Out comes out, so we are fucking down for the show. I think Versus opened. Wow, they sucked. I'm not feeling it at all. Neither of us is legal drinking age, and if memory serves, there was no re-entry that night, so we both hawk the merch stand, furiously puffing cigarettes like only 20-year-olds can.

(Now that I think about it, maybe it was 1998. I definitely seem to recall drinking a beer.)

(But I digress.)

We end up behind the soundbooth, trying to talk over whatever P.A. music happened to be on. She had seen a flier for Fugazi's annual Fort Reno show, and we quickly made plans to attend. The music changes on the P.A. A marching band beat quietly plays. A guitar drops in for 8 bars, maybe 12. Then...fury.

"What the fuck is this?" I ask her. A shrug.

Stop. Start. Weird time signatures. Whispery vocals that barely raise over the driving rhythm. For a kid raised on harDCore and John Coltrane, this was a revolution.

"Seriously, have you ever heard something like this before-" and then I'm cut off by this skronky saxophone. And Mr. Whisper is hollerin' over the beat, and I really want to break a window out. That's how tightly by the throat this track has grabbed me.

I lean in to the soundguy. "Sorry to bug you, man," laying on my best impression of a hipster. "What is this you're playing?"

"They're called Sweep the Leg Johnny. I think they're from Chicago or something."

And that was the first time I heard Shower Scene.

I got to see StLJ live twice: once at the Ottobar, on a bill with Yaphet Kotto, the Exploder & League of Death; and out at the last Michigan Fest, where they were one of three reasons I drove halfway across the country for a show. I've heard them described as math-rock, but they always struck me as a little too aggressive for that tag.

Enjoy the reason I started this blog.

Sweep the Leg Johnny -
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: Ornette Coleman, Swing Kids, Don Caballero

Monday, May 4, 2009

Anti-Matter compilation

(Mouthpiece photo stolen from Brooklyn Vegan)
It would appear that the past couple of weeks have been chock-full of 90's hardcore, what with Burning Fight taking place in Chicago this past weekend, and the associated book releasing via Revelation Records this Wednesday. I've been listening to Anti-Matter a lot as a result. I'll put it side by side with any number of compilations released in the past 30 years. This record is loaded top to bottom with a great cross-section of the bigger touring HC and emo bands from the early & mid 90's. What other one place can you get music from:

-Garden Variety
-Sense Field

In late 2007, Norm Arenas & Revelation Records released The Anti-Matter Anthology, which compiled a huge chunk of his hugely-influential zine under one cover. My only beef is that Revelation didn't reissue this record to tie-in with the book release. Oh, well...their loss is your gain.

There's no doubt that I'm high on Anti-Matter because of when I listened to it and the strong East Coast bias to the band selection. But I still say this is totally crucial...a must hear!

various artists - Anti-Matter
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: the mosh, the chest tap, newsprint

Monday, April 27, 2009

Emo Summer - Land of Dark Green Leopard Tears...

not quiet enough
she reads windy
a million chords play
haiku games and forget-me-nots

sticky-sweet summer
from spring so sinister
the alliterative notions
posted by h.r.
and allyn wilson riley
they only called me fag
13 times today

i am forgotten
i am damaged
i wait for the rise
of the emo summer
a keyboard
a guitar
a keytar

four beardos
bearing down on bel air and aberdeen
don't you fuck with me
your letter to heartattack
in issue #17
gave me hope
in bad poetry
stinking armpits
and 1984 dodge panel vans

(our drive-thru cups
fall out like
three tears
tattooed on a convict's cheek)

(i cry)

Emo Summer - Land of dark green leopard tears, exploding blue jeaned hormoned flesh, and broomstick mundane pearl plastic combustible long armed furniture (i cry)
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: the dollar bin...where my tears fall

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Heresy - Never Healed flexi

(courtesy of This Is Punk Rock)
Add this to the long list of records that has darkened my doorstep, only to be quickly flipped in order to pay the rent. I was re-reading Choosing Death, and I got to the part where Digby Pearson started describing Heresy. "Heresy were friends of mine and I would always give them the fastest hardcore band tape that I would trade at the time, and (drummer) Steve (Charlesworth) would try to play faster than that." I love shit like that. Kids playing fast and fucked up just for the sake of it. If I ever was in a band, it's probably sound a lot like this.

Never Healed was the first release from Heresy, and the first recording released on Earache Records. It's a great snapshot of not only where the UK HC scene was circa '85, but also provides insight as to the well from which grindcore would spring shortly thereafter. The always excellent Boss Tuneage Records in the UK reissued the entire Heresy catalog in 2006 & 2007. If you're looking to spend a few bux on early Heresy, check out 1985-1987.

Heresy - Never Healed flexi 7"
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: the P.E.A.C.E./War comp, being 14 and owning drums

Friday, April 24, 2009

Spazz - La Revancha

(found this pic of Chris Dodge here)
Holy shit, I actually came back. Funny story there...maybe I'll tell you all about it someday.

Here is the first Spazz full-length, La Revancha, released all the way back in 1997, which, frankly, feels like a million years ago. I didn't grow up hip to Napalm Death, much less Infest & Crossed Out, so this was really a revelation for me. I really miss the whole "power violence" movement, and I still kick myself for not hoofing it out to Berkeley with Chamberlain for the last Spazz show at Gilman St. There's still nothing like a good wall of death to get the heart pumping.

More to come, I swear. And if you're just showing up for the first time, I think most of the links are still live, so getcher rock on, pilgrim.

Spazz - La Revancha
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: short, fast, loud

Monday, March 16, 2009

The rumpus

So here's the deal: I went to New York for 8 days of ToyFair. I contracted a stomach bug and had a dose of the Creeping Death. I got home and my grandfather died. I drove to Atlanta, sharted myself in a Mercury Grand Marquis and then drove home, all in the space of 72 hours. I played with the Blackberry my wife gave my for Valentine's Day. I bought a new living room set. I listened to a lot of Beauty Pill, Bastard & Pulling Teeth. I promise I'll write something new, starting this week. February & March have just been...well, fucked up beyond all recognition.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Now where's the tight fitted, son?

I'm not much of a sneaker pimp, but this is a bangin' idea...

Revelation Records/adidas Anniversary sneakers

Yeah, I wish I was 23, and had disposable income to buy a pair. Any ideas on how much these suckers will cost?

Screamers - Live at the Whiskey, 1/6/78

OK, gang, here's the deal. Tomorrow morning I bail out for NYC for a week for work. That means the moderately-consistent posts cease for at least that long. So I'm going to try to put a few things up today for your listening pleasure.

First up: a partial set from the Screamers, circa 1978. This comes courtesy of the crucial In A Better World 2 CD set released by Xeroid Records & Extravertigo Recordings in 2000. I can't stress enough how freaking awesome the Screamers were. If you're into early L.A. punk, synthpunk or noise, you'll probably dig on the one. This recording is missing "Vertigo" & "I'm Going Steady With Twiggy"; if you want those, you'll have to track down the CDs for alternate versions. The great tragedy is, short of a few demos and live recordings, the Screamers never released a legit 7", much less a LP, during their run as arguably the biggest band of L.A.'s first wave of punk.

BTW, I have no idea if you can still track down the CD. If I get some positive feedback, I'll post the whole damn thing up sometime in the near future.

Screamers - live at the Whiskey, 1/6/78
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: organs, hair, freaking out

Monday, February 9, 2009

Fucked Up - Looking For Gold

Found this on Jen Choi & The Life
I won't wax poetic on this one, but it is one of my favorite records from the past 10 years. You either love Fucked Up, or you hate them. I haven't heard anyone fall into the "meh" stage with these cats. I fall into the former category, although the first time I heard them, I thought they sounded like a bad Jesuseater rip-off. What can I say...I'm kind of an idiot. Looking For Gold is one of Fucked Up's more obscure releases. Here's what teh interwebs has to say about it:

Much mystery has surrounded the release of the first self-released FUCKED UP 12", "Looking for Gold". Released in two separate runs of 300 copies to co-incide with short tours that took place from 23-25th September 2004 (Chicago/Columbus/Pittsburgh), and 15-17th November 2004 (Albany/Sherbrooke/Montreal), the record was never repressed and quickly became sought after by collectors and fuck-heads.

Yep, Rebel scum and tossers alike feen after this one. I saw someone asking about Looking For Gold on one of the many Vinyl Collective message boards. Well, let me do my public service and post this one up. It's not earth-shattering, but it sure as hell doesn't suck either.

Let me also remind you that the
Fucked Up website is, if you're willing to spend a few seconds looking, a very nice place to find lots of bootlegs, mix tape drafts and rarities from the F.U. ouevre. That, and I'm now happy I used "ouevre" in a sentence, albeit probably improperly.

Fucked Up - Looking For Gold 12"
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: turkey bags, head banging, social diseases

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Hives - Oh Lord! When? How?

Just a quick one today, since I bought a few movies at lunch today, and would really like to watch them.

Yes, yes, America loves the Hives. Or, they used to, about 8 years ago. Man o' Maneschivitz, did we go full on ree-ree for the Hives when Veni Vidi Vicious came out! Those guys were fantastic. I must have sold 150 copies of the VVV & Barely Legal LPs on Gearhead that summer. Plus they played a $2 show in Towson that the entire Reptilian crew bumrushed. There's lots of shots of Danny, Nick & myself taking over the dancefloor & trying to ride the camera crane.

For collectors only, here's the Hives debut, Oh Lord! When? How? It's a fun little EP that came out on Burning Heart off-shoot Sidekicks Records all the back in '96. There's a fun pic on the insert of the Hives wearing sneakers and sweaters. No wonder this one didn't get reissued. It would totally clash with their image! How dare we remind them that they once didn't dress like Colonel Sanders!

The Hives - Oh Lord! When? How?
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: Umea, skateboards, demos your friends made when they were 15

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Thermals - live

Ben Barnett played a series of shows in 2002 in Philly, Baltimore & DC. It was during these that he told me he'd started a new band with Hutch & Kathy. All I knew of those two were that they were a pair of Portland hipsters who'd released a pretty decent record that year on Jealous Butcher. Before Ben left the Galaxy Hut, he tossed me a CD-R of his new band. "I think Sub Pop wants to put out the record," he mentioned. And that's how I was introduced to the Thermals.

I don't have a lot of details about this recording, except that it was cut in the summer of 2002, and you can find the studio recordings on the Thermals' first 2 records for Sub Pop. The Thermals have a new record coming out on Kill Rock Stars in March; I haven't heard anything yet, but I'm sure it'll be loud and garagey as fuck.

P.S. Demo cuts from the new record are up at The Thermals' Myspace page...how considerate. And they're pretty damned good, too!

The Thermals - live 2002
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: lo-fi, guitars & garages, LIVE!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Spitboy - Mi Cuerpo Es Mio! 7"

This was probably one of the first 7"s I ever bought, probably while I still lived in Roanoke. Mi Cuerpo Es Mio! was released by John Yates on his Allied Recordings label...a label that is sadly no longer with us, but responsible for a lot of excellent records in the early half of the 90's. Spitboy was one of the great Gilman St. hardcore bands. If I remember correctly, Adrienne, the singer, used to write for Maximum Rock 'n' Roll, and eventually moved to Richmond after Spitboy broke up. I really hesitate to lump them in with riot grrl, because so much of the KRS/DC scene had that Beat Happening sassiness to it. Spitboy was just so fucking tough...like, "Fuck yeah, we'll fight you and ten of your friends if you fuck with us." I never caught that vibe from the likes of Heavens to Betsy (no offense intended). Spitboy was just hardcore, in the purest sense of the term. And when I was 16, it started some new gears turning in my brain to hear songs like these three...set me on a path searching out more than the standard Bad Religion/Fugazi/Jawbreaker trio that seemed pretty standard in Roanoke, VA, circa 1993.

Mi Cuerpo... was collected with Spitboy's full length on Ebullition and a earlier 7" released on Lookout! as The Spitboy CD in 1995 on Allied. If I hadn't just checked around the interwebs, I would have sworn someone had re-issued this CD after Allied went out of business (I was thinking one of those smaller, West Coast Mordam labels), but that appears to not be the case. There's also a split 12" with Los Crudos and the Rasana 7" out there, but neither of those have seen legit digital releases. All the more reason to own a record player, kids.

Spitboy - Mi Cuerpo Es Mio! 7"
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: MRR circa '93, womyn, brass knuckle HC

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Braid - Please Drive Faster 7"

Let's get the self-congratulatory bullshit out of the way first: WOW! 50 posts! It's like, I'm somewhat committed to this, or something. So, I'm averaging...what? 10 posts a month? What a trooper. Let's give it up to Ape Mummy, and his 4000+ page views. Woo hoo!

I saw Braid once on their "final" U.S. tour in 1999. It happened to be the same night where I saw Kind Of Like Spitting for the first time, as well as the night I broke up with my first serious girlfriend. She wanted to see the first Bratmobile reunion show; I wanted to see Braid. I lived in College Park; she lived in Monkton. It was star-crossed, and destined to fail. I guess it all worked out o.k., though. I got to see Braid, who'd I'd been feening to see for 2 years, and caught KOLS for the first time. I was pretty gay for Frame & Canvas, as well as the numerous 7"s I had picked up. I seem to remember the greatest criticism of Braid being that their best songs came on comps & splits. Is it true?

Well, what I can say is that the Please Drive Faster 7" is not only my favorite Braid recording, but also still probably their best record. The eponymous A-side is the perfect mix of early 90's Dischord and midwestern emo. I particularly love the interplay between Bob Nanna's lead vocals & Chris Broach's backups. "Circus Of The Stars" on the B-side is a perfect counterpoint: slower, with Broach on lead and Nanna in the background. This was Braid's last recording session as a band. They would break up after recording these songs in the summer of 1999, with 3/4 of the band reforming as Hey Mercedes the following year. They also got back together in 2004 and toured the U.S. I missed it because I was probably busy trying not to get robbed at gunpoint, or something stupid like that.

While the 7" itself it out-of-print, these two songs were collected along with all other Braid 7" output on 1999's Movie Music Vol. One, which is totally worth shelling out some bread for. Bonus note: if you buy it direct from Polyvinyl, you'll get it for a cool 6 bucks. Score.

P.S. This is also for John Ben Casey of Brooklyn, NYC, NY, who, if memory serves, turned 30 today, and who loved blasting around northern Harford County, singing along to Mssr. Nanna & Broach at the top of his lungs. Happy birthday, Benny boy. I'm in NYC in two weeks for ToyFair!

Braid - Please Drive Faster 7"
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: wonderful puddles, sky rockets, killing cameras

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Career Suicide - SARS 7"

No photo credit. Sorry!
I wish I could tell you why I haven't spent more money on Career Suicide's records. I love just about everything I've heard from them. I'm always stoked when a song pops up on my iPod. Yet I find my racks sadly skimp on product from them. What can I tell you? They rule.

What do you need to know here? Career Suicide are a snotty Dangerhouse-style HC band from Toronto. Two of the members are in Fucked Up, which I guess is why C.S. hasn't toured lately. They've released a metric fuckton of records over the past seven years. SARS was their second 7", and first release for Deranged Records. If you're so inclined, you can pick this up, along with the proverbial metric fuckton of other product, on their swell CD compilation,
Anthology of Releases 2001-2003. $9 plus shipping gets you 44 tracks! Viva la punk rock!

Career Suicide - SARS 7"
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: the Masque, Canada, pogoing

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Failure Design - demo


The Failure Design were a 3 piece (or maybe quartet) made up of Towson U. kids who existed in 2002 & 2003. I remember seeing them at CCAS a few times and thinking they were super energetic. My ol' pal Doug Williams played bass for them when they broke up. Think the typical "I'm singing/I'M SCREAMING" dynamic, backed by proggy jazz-core.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to build a snowman before I go to work...

The Failure Design
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: chest tapping, gas attendant jackets, 7/4 time

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Dismemberment Plan - The Ice Of Boston

Photo by Kampers
Holy shit, planet Earth! I don't think I ever went full retard over a band like I did after the first time I ever saw the Dismemberment Plan. I went through this phase in '97 and '98 where I'd latch onto a band I saw at the Black Cat or Ottobar or Fletcher's, and, for about 2 weeks (or a fortnight [whichever you prefer...that is to say, wherever you may hail from]), I'd turn into a big slobbering mess, blaring the current record at way-too-loud levels inside the Borders-style book & record store I worked for. And then, as quickly as I got high off the band...


...the thrill was gone.

The Plan was one of the few exceptions to the rule. I've probably seen these cats at least a dozen times, including a trip to suburban Detroit for the last Michigan Fest, a few performances down at Fort Reno, and a number of local shows. For those of you reading who were not fortunate enough to see them live...FUCK! They were outstanding! Hardcore kids got their groove back when they saw the Plan for the first time. Why did indie rock dance parties get big all over the country back around 2000? Blame the Plan, yo.

So there's a story behind posting The Ice Of Boston. This 4-song EP was a teaser for Emergency & I, which was initially slated to drop in the fall of '98 on Interscope Records. When Universal/Polygram got purchased by Seagram's, however, a ton of bands got dropped, the Dismemberment Plan included. I can't really remember the details of how the Plan got the rights to Emergency & I back, but a year later, it was released on DeSoto, and the kids had a classic. And a mighty cheer went up from the crowd. The title track came from the D.Plan's 2nd record ...Is Terrified. However, the other 3 cuts are pretty hard to find otherwise. I have the Resin Records comp that has "Just Like You". The demo version of "Spider In The Snow" never got released anywhere else, and "First Anniversary" is similarly unreleased.

Shake asses, get your grind on...this one's a keeper, y'all.

The Dismemberment Plan - The Ice Of Boston
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: the noise, the funk, bringing in either

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Flowers In The Attic - s/t

I cannot stress highly enough what a special place to live and go to shows Baltimore was at the early part of this decade. At a time where we were known more for Homicide, instead of The Wire, and long before a bunch of kids moved down from upstate New York to kick off Wham City!, a group of youngbloods came together in the city, just as they had since time immemorial, to play punk rock and all of its bastard offspring. Between legit venues like the Ottobar & the Talking Head and DIY spots like Charm City Art Space & the Bloodshed, a music fan had more places to watch independent music in Baltimore than at any other point in its history. Additionally, a number of bands starting playing shows, pulling from any number of disparate influences and creating some really distinctive music.

One of the bands that made the scene what it was Flowers In The Attic. Female-fronted and influenced by the late 80's ABC No Rio/Gilman hardcore & crust scenes, as well as a healthy dose of circa '85 SST releases, FITA dropped two EPs and a split 7" during their brief existence. Watching them live was a cathartic experience. I never knew whether to bottle up or explode.

Judge for yourself on this, the 1st of two EPs released on Reptilian Records. Members have moved on to work with a variety of projects, my favorite of which is Hollywood. They rule pretty hard.

Flowers in The Attic - s/t
(click the record to DL)

RIYL: side 2 of "My War", "Document #8", chest tapping, stage dives