Monday, September 29, 2008

Gapeseed - Project 64

I used to gobble up stuff like this as fast as people could put it out.  Angular, dissonant rock with equal parts chaos and melody.  Maybe a cross between Sonic Youth and Beefheart.  Polvo was the obvious leader of that pack, but Gapeseed deserves mention as well.  

Legacy?  As I've written before about other records on this blog, web searches turn up only the most rudimentary information about Gapeseed.  For what it's worth, I don't plan to throw this CD into my sell pile anytime soon.  Then again, demand for regionally obscure indie noise-pop is unusually low right now.  

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Miss - No Radio

When this came out I thought The Miss were destined to be among the great undiscovered nouveau noise rock/no-wave bands - like my local favorites The 1985 (of whom I'll probably post something here eventually).  

Nouveau noise rock/no-wave?  "Come again," you say?  Well, you could sorta dance to these bands in a quirky sort of way, like Devo, Pop Group and Liquid Liquid.  They were atonal, like MX-80 and DNA.  They had a thick rhythm section driving most of the songs, akin to Jesus Lizard, Craw, Slug, et al.  And some of them actually got kinda big.  Well, Pitchfork big, anyway.  Liars.  Ex Models.  And so on.

The Miss did not get big, but that was certainly not for a lack of recorded effort.  This one and only LP could have easily stood its ground against all comers.  But it never had the chance, and alas here it is on my blog instead.  Enjoy.

Grafton - Blind Horse Campaign

In case anyone is branding me as some indie rock oldster in full-on mid life crisis, here's something from this century.  Grafton is a heavy rawk trio from Columbus, OH - the most hospitable city I've ever visited, for what it's worth.  

You could easily mistake Grafton as an offshoot from Laughing Hyenas and/or Mule.  They also cruise down the same highway as Rye Coalition and Tight Bros From Way Back When.  Not enough RIYL references for you?  How about this - AC/DC.

If that doesn't do it then you obviously do not like rock music.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Death of Samantha - Come All Ye Faithless / Laughing in the Face of a Dead Man

I've had these in my queue for a while.  I am putting them up today mostly because of a post earlier this week over at Willfully Obscure.  You can also find the Death of Samantha LP Where the Women Wear the Glory and the Men Wear the Pants over at Feelin' Kinda Froggy.

DoS is hard for me to describe because (1) I wasn't aware of them when they were actually together, and (2) it's impossible for me to ignore their future collective and individual endeavors (Cobra Verde, Gem, GBV).  They were from Cleveland, so it's no crime to hear some Pere Ubu influence.  However, this is definitely closer to straight ahead rawk than Ubu ever was.  

Come All Ye Faithless was their third and final LP.  Some say it's their best.  I say it's best not to choose sides.  Laughing in the Face of a Dead Man is an EP released between their first LP, Strungout on Jargon (which I can upload too if there are no other takers), and Where the Women Wear the Glory...  It has a rippin' cover of "Werewolves of London" as well as my personal favorite DoS song "Yellow Fever."  

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Timber - Parts and Labor

Quite an enjoyable and schizophrenic album, this one. Way out here in Pittsburgh, this is what we assumed The Knitting Factory must sound like. There are songs that remind me of the Minutemen's virtuosic country-punk-funk. There are jangling, clanging, angular pop tunes a la Yo La Tengo, Railroad Jerk, and Antietem. Ghosts of no wave, horny jazz and a couple noise/experimental jams round it all out.

I can't tell you much else about these folks. The drummer went on to play in the slightly more prolific Run On (maybe I'll up one of their albums sometime down the road). Aside from a track on the Matador comp New York Eye & Ear Control and a pre-LP single with an alternate (in my opinion, superior) version of the track "Stupid Reasons," I think this is all they ever did.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

oh yeah...

also while i'm here, just to set the record straight there is no fucking way this lady is getting my vote to be a heartbeat away...

Munger also asked Palin if she truly believed in the End of Days, the doomsday scenario when the Messiah will return. "She looked in my eyes and said, 'Yes, I think I will see Jesus come back to earth in my lifetime.'"

no news is no news

i've been pretty wrapped up with work and other stuff for the last couple weeks.  however, relief is on the way.  there are a half-dozen albums in the hopper, anxiously awaiting my sophomoric critical accompaniments.  should be plenty more up here by this weekend.  

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Flower - Concrete Sky (1987 - 1990)

I've always had a soft spot for the indie rock happening in NYC in the late 80s.  Sonic Youth of course, but also DustDevils, Nice Strong Arm, Live Skull... that stuff was very popular among the WRCT rock DJs when I started in 1990.  

This is one that slipped under the radar but should not have.  Flower definitely shared some of the sonic dissonance with the aforementioned bands, mixing in a bit of Joy Division's darkness and Mission of Burma's melodic sense.  After Flower, two of these guys went on to form Versus.

Concrete Sky is a compilation of Flower's total recorded output - the Hologram Sky EP and Concrete LP - plus a live track from the compilation NYU's Sorority Sampler.  It's all out of print, originals and reissues, so don't feel guilty.

Garden Variety - Knocking the Skill Level

Nowadays, of course, you can't say the e-word without conjuring the horrors of asymmetrical haircuts, eyeliner, and really bad music.  However, some of us thirty-somethings can remember a time in the early 90s when the word "emo" did not necessarily mean "teh suck."  

Equally drawing inspiration from Rites of Spring, Jehu, and the wide, wide world of pop punk, the second wave of emo (presuming we all agree that the first wave began and ended in DC - Rites of Spring, Embrace, Gray Matter, et. al.) burned brightly for a few years before Carraba and the Fall Out Boys gave the e-word whole new meaning*.  

Which brings me to Garden Variety, who caught lightning in a bottle with this album.  If, like me, you prefer Frame and Canvas and Yank Crime over Every Night Fireworks and Suicide Invoice, then have a listen.

If you like this record I suggest heading over to Wilfully Obscure and grabbing the New Sweet Breath singles.

P.S. the Garden Variety singer's next band was Radio 4, who similarly practiced "dancepunk" before that genre also became synonymous with "teh suck."

*crybaby kiddie-punk shit

Tiger - Shining in the Wood EP

From 2000-2003 I lived with a couple friends in their big old house in the Lawrenceville neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  One of them really loved this CD.  I got it onto my hard drive pretty soon after I heard it.  It's an EP released in America by Bar/None records, featuring the "Shining in the Wood" British single plus the B-sides from two other British-only singles.  

Judging by the dearth of information online, it seems like this is just one more band of which find memories live on among the relative few. That's too bad.  Anyone who enjoyed the Pixies' guitar buzz, the retro-analog groove of Stereolab, and th' faith healers' poppy streak probably would have been ga-ga about Tiger.  

I haven't found anything else in the blogopolis, so if you have some other Tiger records please share the wealth, eh?