Tuesday, June 24, 2008

AFS v. 182 ~ Hello, Tonsils...It's Me, Clifford!

For as long as I've been fanatically obsessive about music, perhaps no other band has been as special to me as Severed Heads. I've caught all kindsa hell from people about it, but I've always rated them right next to The Stooges, The Wipers, and The Fall atop the pinnacle of my all-time faves. Hardcore fans of the Sevs call ourselves "Cliffords", particularly if we enjoy the early, more experimental, primarily loopbuilt stuff from before the mid-80s turn to more pure pop formalist song structure, lyrics and actual singing, and dancefloor accessibility. To call oneself a "Clifford" refers to the band's 1985 2xLP collection of false starts and unreleased early ephemera entitled Clifford Darling, Please Stop Living in the Past. Although I would contend that the band never made a stinker (Rotund for Success from 1989 is the band's low-point for me, but most of it's not as drecky as it is just unmemorable compared to their other albums), and I continue to enjoy Tom Ellard's work up to this very day, I do confess a special fondness of this early stuff. That's what made me spring for the big bucks ($149 + tax at Amoeba SF) for my very first Vinyl-on-Demand boxed-set. This is truly a treasure trove for a Clifford like me. And with all kindsa ex-slackjaw punx gettin' smart now as they hip to the sounds of the "weirdpunk" and the "minimal wave", surely more of you will wanna be a Clifford, too.

You can download this week's show AT THIS LINK HERE! @ 192kbps
(archived for ~4 weeks)

Or, also AT THIS LINK (@ 320 kbps!!!)
(archived for ~10 weeks)

BLACK & WHITE | title unknown | Suicide CS | no label *new
LEADERS | Grenade in the Face | 2nd demo CDR | no label *new
MATTRESS | Eyes | Heavy Duty | Reluctant *new
PHEROMOANS | Open for Business | demo CDR | no label 2008
THE ELKS | Auxiliary Tremors | v/a: Moon Boot Boutique vol. 1 CDR | no label *new
NOTHING PEOPLE | Outsiders Are | Anonymous | S-S Records *new
PIGEONS | Moon Whiskey | Virgin Spectacle | Black Dirt *new
LITTLE CLAW | World of Tired | Why/Why Not 7" | Physical Sewer *new
FEY GODS | Bury Me Standing | Untied CS | no label *new
FEY GODS | Untied
BLUES CONTROL | End Zone | Puff | Fusetronsound *new
JEX THOTH | Equinox Suite | Jex Thoth | I Hate 2007
COMUS | Children of the Universe | To Keep from Crying | Virgin 1974
HEXLOVE/FAULOUAH | Big Happy Lotus | Free Jazz from Slavery 2xLP | Weird Forest *new
BULBS | Uamanas | Light Ships | Freedom to Spend *new
LES BEYOND | More Hands or Wings | v/a: Ammugammu 2xCS | Isolated Now Waves *new
SEVERED HEADS | Headless Corpses | Adenoids 5xLP | Vinyl on Demand *new (orig 1979)
SEVERED HEADS | Nightsong (orig 1981)
SEVERED HEADS | Cowboy Muzak: Dressed in Air/Russian Rifles (orig 1982)
SEVERED HEADS | Lamborghini (orig 1982)
SEVERED HEADS | Harold & Cindy Hospital (demo) (orig 1985)
ZOLA JESUS | Dog | Poor Sons 7" | Die Stasi *new
LEPER PRINT | Dead Flowers | Coma 7" | Die Stasi *new
MOM | The Monkey's Uncle | Tender Sweet Young Thing CDR | Dirty Dog Dick *new
THE FEELING OF LOVE | The Rape Man | new 7" | Florida's Dying *new
A.H. KRAKEN | Black Borny | A.H. Kraken | In The Red *new
NIGHT WOUNDS | Animal | split 7" w/ Mutators | Badmaster *forthcoming
SHPILBERG | trks 4-5 | Gold Fish | Brise Cul *new

One of the most admirable things about this band is that years before this file-sharing phenomenon went big overnight and controversy ensued after corporate douchebags whined woefully--hell, even before the very dawn of the mp3--Severed Heads was the first band to make every song from all of their albums available for free download on "mp2" format. The band continues to let you stream damn near all of their catalog at their website: http://www.sevcom.com/ (with very inexpensive downloads in a choice of hi-fidelity digital formats as well). The band also published schematics for several of their albums to teach fans how to make such creative music themselves. And now their website continues to offer musicmaking tutorials. As helpful and inspirational as the liners of Desperate Bicycles records and Mark Perry's "Here's Three Chords - Now Form a Band" diagram in Sniffin Glue were, the Severed Heads have given their fans as much assistance as possible without driving them to the dump to salvage the tape machines themselves. And, they made a tons of scintillating audio way back in the day, and many great songs since.

The amazing Adenoids 5xLP collection includes material from 1977-1985, and only a few tracks of it are recognizable as early forms of songs heard later on proper albums, such as this instro version of "Dressed in Air", or an early take of "Harold & Cindy Hospital" wherein Tom Ellard is in an early stage of becoming a better singer, or "Lamborghini", an early version of "Petrol" (one of their best-known dancefloor songs) with female vocals. I had never heard anything by the Sevs that predated 1979's Ear Bitten, but Record One includes an unreleased song that restored from a 1977 tape that predated the band's name change from Mr. & Mrs. No Smoking Sign. And while it's been assumed by most of us fans that Severed Heads has been driven primarily by Tom Ellard himself, the annotations also help reveal what the other members of the band did...and now we know that Tom wasn't merely being modest by giving so much credit to Ray Bradbury and company.

I'm also very excited to be bringing you the debut of Badmaster's upcoming (early July) split 7" release of two of my current fave live bands...Two different creatures of the night yin and yang together into this chilling and thrilling split 7". Portland's Night Wounds lead a lurching charge like a compulsively calculating murder cult on the intriguingly textured, ominously creeping "Animal" before warming up the vampire libido on their seductively bleak cover of Death in June's "Nothing Changes", which all the goth and minus the mall, recalling choice cuts of Virgin Prunes and seminal L.A. deathrock. Sounding just as murderous, Vancouver, BC's Mutators are a more unrestrained kinda killer. Supremely incendiary female vocals enmesh with raw Ginn-like guitar without a cushion over the top of militant drums. Side A sucks your blood; side B splatters it on every wall. Seripop sleevework should just put it over-the-top as a multi-sensory exciter and exquisite artifact. We'll flip it next week!

And, yes...the new Mattress full-length is superb! An LP is not too much a dose for Rex's singing...croony nearly to the brink of buffoonery, but only to make naked emotion set against minimal electronics just good humored, wonderfully weird, but still plenty raw and real. And it's a pretty record, too. White vinyl. Screened covers with a hand-drawn portrait. Same program on CD to bump in the ride. If you missed it last year, my girlfriend put out his debut vinyl as her label's first release (Malt Duck 001..."In Your Pocket" 7"+CDR...down to the last few, so hurry!). Now here's a shockingly pro-looking video for one of his early hits, "Eldorado" from his first album-length CDR of the same name...

OH!...and that Jex Thoth! Sorry for sleeping on that one 'til now. That's gotta be the most beautiful and bewitching metal album in years. Maybe in forever!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

AFS v. 181 ~ Is That How They French in Clevo?

Now that they've had an eight-page thread of unanimous "THIS RULES!" on teh TERMBOXZ0RS, surely someone will finally step forward to say that The Mayyors suck, right? It hasn't happened yet (and that person will surely be wrong), but that is how things are supposed to work in the world of one-upsmanship and contrarianism and anti-conformity conformity of record collectors. But now Sacto's scuzziest have a righteous li'l record out, and it's finally time for the world to hear the band that's been like the vice mayyors in the Camellia City. Warm Streams have spewed forth their Camo Babies debut featuring three slashy, scrawly, nasty numbers that pummel forcibly yet humorously, much like the most vigorous moments of Lubricated Goat or early No Trend. The unmistakable vokills of Joshua Ploeg formerly of Behead the Prophet No Lord Shall Live bubbles the band's bile to the top of your throat. The band's other bloodlines draw from The Kill-a-Watts, Sores, Corpse Fucks Corpse, and others. They are known to crack a party off right on time, and if you are a fan of vacation mayhem, I'd recommend booking a flight to Sacto International if they share a living room or basement stage with the Mayyors again. This record comes in a cute colorful picture sleeve and has ectoplasm-colored vinyl.

You can download this week's show AT THIS LINK HERE! @ 192kbps
(archived for ~4 weeks)

320 kbps is not working right now.

GREEN GREEN || Electricity Is Simple || Drinx & Snax demo CDR || no label *new
HANDGLOPS || Something Fun || Handgold demo CDR || no label *new
PSYCHEDELIC HORSESHIT || intro/Catch a Wave || Magic Flowers Dubbed CS || Bumtapes *new
LEADERS || Ixnay || 2nd demo CDR || no label *new
CATATONIC YOUTH || Freedom Vanilla || Piss Scene 7" || HoZac *new
N.213 || God's Hollywood || v/a: Ammugammu 2xCS || Isolated Now Waves *new
N.213 || Earth Spits Blood
FABULOUS DIAMONDS || Concrete || 7" || Nervous Jerk/Mistletone 2007
FABULOUS DIAMONDS || B2 || Fabulous Diamonds || Siltbreeze *new
JESSE TAYLOR || Spell on You || split CS w/ N.213 || Isolated Now Waves *new
TWIN CRYSTALS || Two Girls || Two Girls 7" || Summer Lovers Unlimited *new
DEAD LUKE || Waste of Spaces || Record One 7" || Sacred Bones *new
PLASTOBETON || Hard to Kill || Glam Mort CDR || Tanz Procesz *new
QUEER KONTROLL || Meat Blender || CDR || Isolated Now Waves *new
IN FLUX || Strobe Rapids || split 7" w/ Tobert Knopp || Tape Tektoniks *new
SHEARING PINX || Called by the Wrong Name || Iseult 7" || The Broadway to Boundary *new
STAMINA MANTIS || Unicorns Shit Rainbows || split 7" w/ Shearing Pinx || Reluctant *new
STAMINA MANTIS || Life Is Fucking Nice
MUTATORS || Broken Hands || split LP w/ Shearing Pinx || Ugly Pop *new
HARPOON GUNS || No More Light || Nanonii 7" || Going Underground *new
CONTAMINATORS || Material Messages || Contaminators || Going Underground *new
WARM STREAMS || Model Flesh || Camo Babies 7" || Borox *new
ELECTRIC BUNNIES || Bubble Bath || Fantastic Metal Eye 7" || Columbus Discount *new
LE FACE || No Scene || Salvador Dali 7" || Rich Bitch *new *request
SMITH WESTERNS || Irukandji || Irukandji 7" || HoZac *new
VAPID || Sex Stain || v/a: Emergency Room || Nominal *forthcoming
YOKOHAMA HOOKS || Cleveland French || Creepy Crawl 7" || Lipstick Pickup *new
YOKOHAMA HOOKS || Bloodstains [Agent Orange] || Turn On 7" || Tic Tac Totally *new
PARTY FOWL || Bloodstains [Agent Orange] || El Toro 7" || PPM *new
ANTEENAGERS M.C. || Mao vs. the Sparrows || (Illusions of the) Teens 7" || Plastic Idol *new
DEFEKTORS || Torn to Pieces || Torn to Pieces 7" || Hockey Dad *forthcoming
WICKED AWESOMES || Fighting the Wolf Spirit || split 7" w/ O Voids || Lost Space *new
THE HOSPITALS || Animals Act Natural || Hairdryer Peace || self-released *new
SHEPHERDS || David's Vibrations || Bored Fortress Singles Club split 7" w/ Ignatz || Not Not Fun *new
INCA ORE || Aztlan at 4 Altitudes || Bored Fortress Singles Club split 7" w/ Secret Abuse || Not Not Fun *new
BARN OWL || Teonanacatl || From Our Mouths a Perpetual Light || Not Not Fun *new
HEAVY WINGED || Last Forever || On the Marble Cliffs || Trensmat *new
LITTLE WOMEN || trk 3 || Teeth || Gilgongo *new
MARY HALVORSON & WEASEL WALTER || Bronze, Amethyst and Saffron || Opulence || ugExplode *new

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

AFS v. 180 ~ feat. guest DJ Tigerlily

This week's AFS aired live while I was still on the road, driving home with the triumphant Mayyors following their quick tour of two Portland shows and a Seattle show. But I've still got two fascinating hours of music for you because DJ Tigerlily of the fantastic Period Table of Fun radio show pinch-hit for me and spun her newest fave German club classics, flexi pop gems, French new wave dance tunes, and postpunk reissues. (Even when she dissed the Stinky Toys for only ever making one great song, she sounded like a total sweetheart!)

You can download this week's show AT THIS LINK HERE! @ 192kbps
(archived for ~4 weeks)

Or, also AT THIS LINK (@ 320 kbps!!!)
(archived for ~10 weeks)

LOLLIPOP TRAIN | Teenage Trifle
MARIA NAPOLEON | Viva la Muerte
POP TARTS | Kindheit Jugend Sex
SARA GOES POP | Sexy Terrorist
STINKY TOYS | Birthday Party Frenchy But Chic
GERRY & THE HOLOGRAMS | Gerry & the Holograms
NINI RAVIOLETTE | Indicateur ou Dragueur
MICHAEL DRACULA | What Can I Do for You?
CHRISTIANE F. | Wunderbar
CARMEN | Schlaraffenland
JEANETTE UND DAS LAND Z | Poupee de cire poupee de son
SILVIA | Zuerst Ich
GLEITZEIT | Ich Komme Aus Der DDR
JA JA JA | Ja! Ja! Ja!
X RAY POP | La Machine U Ruver
ELLI ET JACNO | Je t'aime tant
Y PANTS | Magnetic Attraction
WARUM JOE | Datcha (underseeboot demo)
ELLI ET JACNO | Bongo Bongo

Memoirs of Mayyors' "Trail of Beers" tour...

I had a great time with the band, and I know that the boys were quite pleased with the whole tour in every respect.....well, except for us running over some rockslide debris in the middle of the road on Hwy 58 in Oregon on the way up there. I really had no choice but to hit the rock. The other options woulda been serious injury or death. The van ran great until 100 miles later when our oil light began flashing. We pulled over at a roadside gas station and discovered not just a leak but a major Valdez-style hemorrhage of oil. We had to wait for the rental company to tow a van out to us from Portland so that we could finish the last 80 miles drive. We got to the East End with barely enough time to spare to afford a few relaxing moments before it was Mayyors' time to play. If anything, all the anxiety that mishap had caused made the performance better.

Usually, when I see The Hunches, I stand in awe of Chris Gunn's guitar playing, and I just feel like I wanna soak it all in in the hopes that I will learn something about how to play the guitar better than...say, the level of skill the first Ill Repute 7". A buncha barre chords semi-fast. That's all I can manage even semi-decently after all these years. But more than any other guitarist I've seen, I think that Gunn's wizardry does inspire me to pick up a guitar. Well...just before I could move aside Woodhouse's hair to focus on some masterful fretwork, I saw a different kinda intensity that brought out some unexpected mayhem, causing Gunn to murder his guitar. I wasn't learning anything about how to play a guitar, but it was still a fucking thrilling performance. After a few wild swings, he dropkicked his guitar and repeatedly hurled it until it had broken into four pieces. I noticed that singer Hart stopped flopping like a fish and watched on, seemingly as stunned as the rest of us were, while the rhythm section stayed so solid, vaunting that feedback notes for several minutes during the destruction. It was a rare and special kinda performance.

Eat Skull were pretty great, too. Beren was a pretty good drummer the first time I saw her, but right now, she seems about 500% more comfortable and powerful, and I think that the band is even more solid now on the bedrock of tighter rhythm. It gives the spontaneously combustible aspects of the band more license to be more crazy. Guitar's not totally in tune? Amps frizzing?....No matter! JUST PARTY! This band is even more favorite now. I love these guys. It's so cute and sing-songy on the album; I didn't expect "Shredders on Fry" to be such a mean song when they perform it live. Rob was exhorting the audience. The Fang cover ("Fun With Acid") was killer. And, of course, when Rod hits that one riff break in the middle of "Punk Trips," that's the most rousing moment. Front and center broke out drunken into a mosh everytime for that.

We retired to an old friend's house where we partied until after 5:00 a.m., but only after having a pretty decent torta al pastor for under $4 at Javier's on N. Lombard. We saw a fight almost break out there after some crusties stole a dude's burrito right off his table. Dude gave chase, but he was too fat to gain on them, so he gave up halfway across the tiny parking lot. It was kinda pathetic.

Next night in Seattle at Funhouse started with some hoops in the patio, where I was mostly way off, never stringing together more than three makes in a row. I hadn't shot in almost a year. We went inside in time to catch the last few songs of Partman Parthorse. Musically, they were way too gimmicky for me to like much, but the singer was quite a showman and fun to watch. He played up the Adonis angle so much that he even copped the hairdo of one of those Greek statues. Dude strutted around showing off the physique of a celebrity trainer and some crazy calisthenics and yogic action. When he pulled down the shorts to reveal the dong, though, I was disappointed that no one took the chance to yell the heckle "I guess we know which part is not horse!" I mean, c'mon....whether it's true or not, that must happen.

Next up was a band called Pleasureboaters, and they were dancey and angular but not in the shitty dancey-and-angular-like-the-year-2002-reliving-1982 sorta way.....this was more like dudes with much better record collections and a better sense of humor and more jagged and raw. It was pretty fun. The only caveat with them is whether you can stand the vocals, which was no problem for me.

Mayyors played next. There was a feedback problem, and the bass was kinda buried and the drum-miking was poorly balanced. What else do you expect from such a green soundguy with a mohawk and an insistence on blasting Rancid at deafening volume between bands. Yet, most people seemed impressed enough with the Mayyors to make it the best night for merch sales.

The Intelligence followed, and this was the first I'd seen of the new four-member lineup that added a guitarist to the three-piece lineup that toured through the West Coast a while back. This was the best I'd seen them since the lineup that included Matt (Factums) on drums and Lee and Nicholas of Popular Shapes. Some nerds were jumping on each others backs throughout the show which touched off a little bit of mayhem, which pulled in the one and only brodawg in the room. I got flung by this guy and hit a really wet spot on the floor and went sailing far and fast, ending up drenched.

Photos from this show are here...

Party followed at Lars' house, which also carried on 'til the sun came up.

The next night in Portland at the Twilight started with Psychedelic Horseshit. Just Matt and Rich and a tape of Kevin? (Turns out it was not Kevin.) The tape player was very faulty, and the band was so extremely loose, there were some times where it was painful to listen. But Matt kept it funny and fun to watch at least. At one point, when the tape machine was messing up, he just started gesticulating toward the crowd like a magician going "hocus pocus!" or something. Fabulous Diamonds came next, but I didn't even notice they'd started until a few songs had gone by. It seemed like the crowd was ready for some mayhem to happen, but this was starting off a little bit too slow. I had a good feeling that this was playing right into the Mayyors' hands, and it did. Things broke off when the crowd finally heard some loudness and aggression. Eat Skull kept the mayhem rolling. Lars (the birthday boy) came down from Seattle and yelled heckles from atop a table about "CLOWNING ON BITCHES." There were actually a few dudes there who were informed enough about that inside joke to have a good laugh. In the Portland Mercury for this week, there was a write-up about the new Eat Skull record which referenced "shit-gaze" and "clowning on bitches" as if it was taking it at least half-seriously as an actual genre. (HERE'S THE PROOF!) I wrote a letter to the editor chiding this writer for not putting it in all caps.

Afterparty commenced at Rob's house, but we went to go get a box of donuts to bring back. While at Voodoo Donut, we saw this totally whacked drag queen who fell in love with Woodhouse's hair, comparing it to Kelly Liebrock's in her Pantene Pro-V commercials. Back at the party, we viewed some fine doodle masterpieces that should go on the next Eat Skull records and shot the shit with everybody, and TermBo was referenced several times throughout the night.

The drive home was uneventful after the outstanding roast beef/corned beef/chopped liver sandwich from Kornblatt's. Our ears were so fried, we had to turn off the Shit & Shine opus you heard on last week's show. Harsh realm!

See y'all next week!

Monday, June 02, 2008

AFS v. 179 ~ Mayyors Hit the Trail of Beers!

If you're in or near Portland or Seattle, I highly recommend catching The Mayyors "Trail of Beers" Pacific Northwest mini-tour this weekend.

Friday, June 6
Portland @ East End w/ the Hunches and Eat Skull

Sat, 6/7
Seattle @ Funhouse w/ the Intelligence, Pleasure Boaters, Partman Parthorse

Sun, 6/8
Portland @ the Twilight w/ Eat skull, Psychedelic Horseshit, Fabulous Diamonds

Bands of Portland and Seattle, if you come, please bring your latest recordings on vinyl, cassette, or CD/CDR to me for AFS extreme-blogging and Freeform KDVS airplay. No tellin' when I will make it back north this year. Save on postage.

You can download this week's show AT THIS LINK HERE! @ 192kbps
(archived for ~4 weeks)

Or, also AT THIS LINK (@ 320 kbps!!!)
(archived for ~10 weeks)

THE YOLKS // Somewhere New // Introducing the Yolks 7" // Criminal IQ *new
THE BARBARAS // Flow // Summertime Road 7" // Goner *new
GENTLEMAN JESSE & HIS MEN // (If I Can See You) You're Too Close to Me // split 7" w/ Joseph Plunkett // Rob's House *new
RTFO BANDWAGON // New Jack // New Jack 7" // Dull Knife *new
ANGELS OF EPISTEMOLOGY // Vile and Disgusting/William Campbell // 7" // Merge 1987
POLVO // Tread on Me // 2x7" // Kitchen Puff 1990
POLVO // Totemic
JOBY'S OPINION // Natty Bohemian // Natty Bohemian 7" // Friction Media 1995
84 NASH // Not of the Same Tourist // Snacks of Wealth 7" // Cushion 1998
84 NASH // Snacks of Wealth // Snacks of Wealth 7"
84 NASH // Ice Breakers // Band for Hire // Rockathon 1999
84 NASH // Shot Bully // Band for Hire
HEADACHE CITY // Hey Ugly // Teenage Grease 7" // HoZac *new
DAY CREEPER // Daycreep 1 // I Fuck the Body Electric CDR // self-released *new
ELECTRIC BUNNIES // Fantastic Metal Eye // Fantastic Metal Eye 7" // Columbus Discount *new
UNHOLY TWO // Porkys // Kutter 7" // Columbus Discount *new
BLACK PUS // Body on the Tide // 4 // Diarrhea *new
MINITEL // Astre // Streisand 7" // Bruit Direct Disques *new
SHIT & SHINE // Toilet Door Tits // Küss Mich, Meine Liebe // Load *new
MULTIPLEX // Wing Over This Land // v/a: To the Marrow ~ Japanese Deathnology // Toy's Factory 1994
SUPPRESSION // Elite/Stranglehold/Enema // Amputated Brain Stem: 1993-2000 // CNP // *new (orig 1996)
HATEWAVE // Insomniac // Sexual Healing 2 // Apop *new (orig 1995-96?)
RUSTED SHUT // Disease of the Spirit // Rehab // Emperor Jones 2004 *request
TRAIL OF TEARS MALT LIQUOR ICE // Surfing Mural // only 7" // Enoch Organization 1996
MAYYORS // Metro // Marines Dot Com 7" // Waste of Oil *new
PLASTOBETON // La Prison // Glam Mort CDR // Tanz Procesz *new
JAWS // War Harmonizers // Imagery Weapons CDR // no label 2004
THE PINK NOISE // Dead Glitter Sun // Dream Code // Sacred Bones *new
FACTUMS // De-Arranged // The Sistrum // Sacred Bones *new
NAKED ON THE VAGUE // Poltergeist Palm // Poltergeist Palm 7" // Skulltones *new
PINK REASON // Free Bird [Lynyrd Skynyrd] // unreleased *new

I'm so psyched to be driving The Mayyors up to the Pacific Northwest for some shows. Check out the full-length first episode of Forest City Rockers Motorcycle Club feat. live footage of the Mayyors @ The Eagle in San Francisco.

Forest City Rockers Episode 1 from Eighty Four Films on Vimeo.

Check back @ http://www.forestcityrockers.com/ for upcoming episodes of Jay Howell & crew's animation series (featuring live footage of Thee Oh Sees and Crash Normal).

NoBunny's cover of this Yolks' "Somewhere New" got me curious about the original, which led me to this 7" of breezy garagey pop by the Chicago band, and I'm quite charmed by it. It never quite teeters on the precipice of being too sappy-sweet. I will definitely be watching for future releases now. Speaking of breezy garagey pop, that's what Goner's got goin' on with The Barbaras. Three songs here, and this one's the swirliest bit of cleverly coy pop that you'd (n)ever expect to hear from Slumberland or Creation rather than Goner.

When The Police sang "Don't Stand So Close to Me," they still had the courtesy to ask please, but Gentleman Jesse is less cautious about hurt feelings on this cherry piece of powerpop from the new split 7" of His Men and Joseph Plunkett. I thought the South was all about genteel manners! Whatever the case, I'm glad these fellas escaped from that vanfire last year to record my exact thoughts about certain loathsome whippy-chippers...the kind we all know.

Check out the new RTFO Bandwagon 7" for a stunning variety: an A-side of quirky, bouncy poptunes backed by some kinda weirdfolk downer derangement that certainly must be heard in an upcoming AFS. This wasn't quite immediate to me, but I'm coming around to it now, and I'm ready to hitch up.

Much ballyhooing on TermBo about the canonized indie rock of the 90s heyday led to us punk-asses re-remembering what good came from that era, and the debate over Superchunk was like reading the letters section of MRR circa 1992-1993 all over again. Remember when Chapel Hill, NC, became known for something beyond basketball and powder blue, and Sonic Youth namedropped the city in lyrics? If you suck from the teat of Pitchforkmedia, surely you never stopped listing the place as some sorta utopian indie mecca, but the rest of us could probably care less if every record ever by Seam was bulldozed into oblivion. But surely there's a few nuggets that are worth preserving from that time and place, such as one of the earliest Merge 7"es by the Angels of Epistemology. By the 90s heyday of this scene, this stuff was already a few substrates deep, but this sounds like the best and most raucous moments of Fly Ashtray with the edge factor ratcheted up a notch or two, and with some early SY-generation guitar damage. Those exhorting femme vox at the end exude exquisite sass.

Polvo are from that era when the SY-generation guitar sound was in full swing. Today's Active Lifestyles does not stand up quite as well after all these years as Cor-Crane Secret or Celebrate the New Dark Age, but I still think that Polvo were damn near infallible up to about 1994; then with Shapes and Exploded Drawing, they cleaned up the sound and eschewed the mayhem to resemble a more middle-of-the-road mathy college-rock/indie-schlock band. Yet, that's what most people liked best about them, and it's probably why they're so excited about reports of the band reuniting to gig a bit. This version of "Tread on Me" is the rawer one from their double 7" that pre-dates their albums.

Flying below the bevy of releases by Chapel Hill heroes and critical darlings, Joby's Opinion went mostly unnoticed nationally, but this Brainiac-ish "Natty Bohemian" has always been the one (should-be) classic of that time and place that I can most instantaneously recall.

After our station's deepening fascination with J.P. Herrmann solo stuff and Flu Faker, much thanks to Doug (author of the excellent Population: Doug blog) for sending that 84 Nash stuff to KDVS. We only ever had the Kings of Yeah CD since back in the day. Our J.P. discography is closer to complete. People are playing the hell outta this so much that I'm pretty sure J.P. is the most heard person on KDVS lately just short of the Bishops of Sun City Girls fame. Seriously, though...Why hasn't any of J.P.'s recent stuff come out on vinyl? Some shrewd and tasteful label oughta snap that up!

Jumping ahead a bit....lemme just warn you that there's no way you'll be ready for that Shit & Shine track; it is too tremendous and totally bludgeoning. Maybe make yourself a Mainliner appetizer before you abuse your eardrums and speakers like that. But the effort (and possible damage) will be worth it. This rules!

After remembering a few overlooked nuggets of the 90s indie-rock heyday, I suppose it was only right that I dig out one of my top three favorite bands of the 90s "powerviolence" era. The other two were Despise You and No Le$$, but they already had their discography CDs issued years ago. Now the time's come for everyone to remember Suppression thanks to their recently released Amputated Brain Stem: 1993-2000 collection. This includes everything from their earliest grind/thrash releases to their most definitive "West Coast"-style-rivalling P.V. pummelling and their subsequent descent into all-out noise maelstrom, so, of course, it's too much to take all at once, but it's nicely segmented and annotated to help you digest. If you weren't born soon enough to experience this stuff back then, forget about this current crop of nostalgic reunions and style-apers....get with one of the best originals!

And great news for fans of the filthy Rusted Shut (from the desk of Dull Knife Records): Rusted Shut "Hot Sex" 12" EP - Finally! 4 track EP that predates "Rehab", but has been collecting dust for about 11 or 12 years. 2 "noise" tracks, and two classic Rusted Shut tracks that stand up to anything on "Rehab". A limited amount of copies will include a dvd-r of Rusted Shut playing live at the Pink Pussycat Gentleman's Club. Houston. Out in August or September.....[and] a little later: Rusted Shut "Rehab" LP - first appearance of this classic on vinyl. Originally recorded in 98, first released by the band as a cd-r circa 2003, then released on cd by Emperor Jones the next year. A masterpiece. In this biased opinion, this is the finest record to ever be made in Houston, Tx, and one of the finest noise-rock records ever made.

Check back here for even more updates: more reviews, more anecdotes about these bands or records, maybe even an interview...THANKS FOR LISTENING!