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

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

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Trenchmouth Vs. The Light Of The Sun

Photo via Trenchmouth's Myspace page

Sorry, fam. Between vacation, catching up on work and the other various excuses that adults use to talk themselves out of fun, I haven't made any time to give you new music to listen to. So let me rectify this!

is notable for a few reasons. Damon Locks gets a shoutout in the liner notes for Fiestas + Fiascos, which is the first time I'd ever heard of him (I'm a youngblood. What do you want from me?). Fred Armisen, star of stage & screen, played drums for them. And I heart Fred Armisen.

//comedic man-crush

But, mostly, they were a kick-ass post-punk band from Chicago who cut a bunch of records, had nice ties to Baltimore & DC and should be a helluva lot more appreciated these days. ...Vs. The Light Of The Sun is Trenchmouth's third full-length. Skene! released this one in conjunction with EastWest Records. It always cracks me up to see which punk rock bands got signed back in the early 90's. EastWest had Trenchmouth & Sick Of It All on their roster in 1994. Yep, someone totally got fired from their A&R job.

Anyway, I think I picked this up for $2 at Soundgarden back in 1999, then promptly misplaced the actual CD for about 7 years. My copy also came with a most excellent J-card, which I feel is a most underutilized add-on for CDs. File this under excellent housecleaning music.

Trenchmouth - Vs. The Light Of The Sun

(click the record to DL)

RIYL: bass & drums, slinking, Saturday Night Live