Tuesday, April 14, 2009

AFS v. 216 ~ TermBo Turf War

Jay-Z vs. Nas...KRS One vs. MC Shan...UTFO vs. Roxanne Shanté vs. The Real Roxanne...All famous East Coast battles. But who remembers the first West Coast battle? Sir Mix-a-Lot vs. The Egyptian Lover! That's right...Before he went top 40 (when his "Square Dance Rap" was an underground dancefloor hit), Sir Mix-a-Lot picked a war with Egyptian Lover in "I'm Trippin'", wherein he touted the technology of his home studio and the supremacy of his Yamaha DMX drum machine over the Lover's Roland 808 (how did his tune change so drastically by "My Posse's on Broadway"?). Egyptian Lover fired back with "E Rap (Holding It Down)" which dispensed with his Kraftwerkian Arabesque brilliance only to reveal himself as a sorrowfully substandard as a serious battle rapper. Has there been a West Coast battle ever since? Maybe, but now we usher in the "TermBo Turf War" between Eat Skull and The Intelligence, and man am I ever caught in between! The dirt's dished down below the playlist...

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DRUNKDRIVER | Knife Day | Knife Day 7" | Fan Death *new
MAYYORS | Metro | Marines Dot Com 7" | Waste of Oil 2008 *request
KARP | Absolutely Fibulous | Suplex | K Records 1995 *request
BRAINBOMBS | Ooh What a Feeling | Fucking Mess | Lystring *new
BURMESE | Kintardgarden | Colony Collapse Disorder 10" | Rock Is Hell *new
SILENTIST | Verdelet | Silentist | Celestial Gang *new
THE BETTER TO SEE YOU WITH | Dainty Bones | The Better to See You With | Celestial Gang *new
A.H. KRAKEN | Ville Électrique | Tatiana | Gaffer/Down Boy *new
TIMMY'S ORGANISM | Body of Love | dbl 7" | Sacred Bones *new
TIMMY'S ORGANISM | Squeeze the Giant
THE PINK NOISE | Prince Charlie's Revenge | Gold Light 7" | Sacred Bones *new
MAGNETIX | hidden track | Positively Negative | Born Bad *new
THE HOSPITALS | Ape Lost | Hairdryer Peace | Meds *new
THE MOLES | Europe by Car | Untune the Sky | Seaside 1991
BIPOLAR BEAR | Algiers | split 10" w/ Talbot Tagora | olFactory *new
WOUNDED LION | Silver People | upcoming LP *request
WOUNDED LION | Carol Cloud | Carol Cloud 7" | SS Records 2008
THE INTELLIGENCE | Pony People [Wounded Lion] | Fake Surfers | In The Red *new
THE BEETS | Why Should I Live If I Don't Fit | Spit in the Face of People Who Don't Want to Be Cool | Captured Tracks *new
EAT SKULL | No Intelligence | Eusta Kill CDR | no label *new
EAT SKULL | Oregon Dreaming | Wild & Inside | Siltbreeze *new *request
HOLE CLASS | True Temper | Hole Class | Meds *new
HOLE CLASS | Place Like All
PLAGAL GRIND | Blackout | Plagal Grind | Xpressway 1990
THE PHEROMOANS | Revamper | Revamper 7" | Convulsive *new
DAN MELCHIOR UND DAS MENACE | I Don't Want to Be Nice | Dim Are the Lights 7" | Convulsive *new
THEE OH SEES | Meat Step Lively | Help | In the Red *new *request
IDLE TIMES | Whatever Works for You | HoZac Hookup Club 7" | HoZac *new
WET HAIR | Radio Machines/Gold Chains | Dream | Not Not Fun *new
NAKED ON THE VAGUE | Chitty Chat | Chitty Chat 7" | Sacred Bones *new
ZOLA JESUS | Said the White Rabbit | Tsar Bomba | Troubleman Unlimited *new

The latest West Coast battle must have begun with the 2008 release of the Dead Families 7" by Eat Skull which included the song "No Intelligence", and a cover drawing depicting a jumbo jet clipping the Seattle Space Needle with its wing. Back when all us thirtysomethings weren't all on Facebook, I left a comment on The Intelligence MySpace profile suggesting that this was a possible challenge. Intelligence main man Lars Finberg replied, "Gee...I hope not! I can't stop thinking about how great that album [Eat Skull's Sick to Death] is."

Relations seemed totally peachy when Lars and Suzanne roadtripped to Portland to celebrate his birthday by catching Eat Skull live at the Twilight Lounge with The Mayyors, Psychedelic Horseshit, and Fabulous Diamonds. Much shitgaze-related heckling was volleyed back and forth, but it was all good-natured and well-timed in the wake of the Portland Mercury alt-weekly trying to appropriate the term as if it were a honest-to-goodness musical genre.

Fast forward to April 2008, and the new Intelligence album--Fake Surfers--has been newly released on In the Red. Anyone who called last year's Deuteronomy a dud for sounding "too boring" (I thought it was pretty good, but I know that I heard a few such grumbles from the jaded and overstimulated) should be very pleased with this record. It certainly is more exciting...varied, yet cohesive. Most of the riffs and rhythms are more aggressive than anything on Deuteronomy, and there's a good balance between live-band-energy (e.g., "Thank God for Fixing the Tape Machine" and a re-recorded "Debt & E.S.P."), breezy melodies (such as "Warm Transfers"), and songs with that 4-tracky bedroom sound of Boredom & Terror (like "South Bay Surfers" with its vibe-hexing warped orbits of elliptical polyrhythms). "Saint Bartolomeu" sorta reminds me of those mid-period Severed Heads songs that enfolded pure pop perfection in layers of texture, sine-wave scribble, and sampled voices. Fake Surfers certainly joins the race with Eat Skull's Wild & Inside for best record of 2009. And it deploys the most pointed attack with a song entitled "Fuck Eat Skull"! The story's even juicier when you consider how The Intelligence claimed drummer Beren off the wire after Eat Skull unceremoniously waived her in the midst of a nationwide tour after she put in two weeks notice.

I'm sure it's all just for kicks n' giggles, though...These bands are still good friends, I'm sure....No matter how I try to look for some drama in these lyrics, "Fuck Eat Skull" isn't actually about Eat Skull. And "No Intelligence" is about a literal lack of intelligence, as in know-how, mental aptitude, n'at....not the band. In fact, I seem to recall bringing the Space Needle thing and the song title up to Eat Skull, and they said it was completely coincidental. And as much as Beren's bombastic power and pocket-burrowing rhythm has helped make the most recent Intelligence live shows the most effective yet, Eat Skull's new songs are perfectly complimented by the primal style of Kyle. It all works out in the end for everybody who buys these records and enjoys the shows and savors the memories. And there should be plenty of new ones made as The Intelligence embark on their Crimping Our Coast tour...

Apr 13 in Vancouver, BC @ Biltmore
Apr 14 in Bellingham, WA @ Nightlight
Apr 15 in Olympia, WA @ the Clipper
Apr 16 in Eureka, CA @ Accident Gallery
Apr 17 in San Francisco, CA @ Annie's Social Club
Apr 18 in Los Angeles, CA @ Spaceland
Apr 19 in San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
Apr 20 in Isla Vista, CA @ the Biko Garage
Apr 21 in Sacramento, CA @ Luigi's Fungarden
Apr 22 in Oakland, CA @ the Stork Club
Apr 24 in Portland, OR @ East End
Apr 25 in Seattle, WA @ Wild Rose
***and then onto Europe***
Apr 30 in Nancy @ L'Autre Canal
May 1 in Bruxelle @ Bunker
May 2 in Evreux @ L'Abordage
May 4 in Toulouse @ Le Saint des Seins
May 5 in Nantes @ Live Factory
May 6 in Roubais @ Cave Aux Poetes
May 7 in Chalons sur Saone @ La Peniche
May 8 in Limoges @ Woodstock Boogie Bar
May 9 in Clermont Ferrant @ La Cooperatice de Mai
May 10 @ TBA
May 11 in Strasbourg @ Molodoi
May 13 in Paris @ Point Ephemere
May 14 in Bordeaux @ TBA
May 15 in Orleans/Bergerac @ TBA
May 16 in Poitier @ Comfort Moderne
May 18 - 23 TBA
May 24 Off/Travel
May 25 in Tolosa, ESP @ Bomberena
May 26 in Madrid @ Wurlitzer Ballroom
May 27 in Barcelona @ Side Car
May 28 in Valencia @ Magazine Club
May 29 Off/Travel
May 30 in Beauvais @ Festival Mixed Up
May 31 in Rennes @ Le Sambre
Jun 1 in Korttrijk @ Vlas Vegas Festival
Jun 2 in Anvers @ Bar Mundial
Jun 3 TBA
Jun 4 in Stockholm @ Boat Music Festival
Jun 5 in Stockholm @ Club
Jun 6 in Oslo @ Gloria Flames
Jun 7 in Copenhagen @ Loppen
Jun 8 TBA
Jun 9 TBA
Jun 10 in Koln @ Sonic Ballroom
Jun 11 in Amsterdam @ Paradiso
Jun 12 in Harlem @ Patronnat
Jun 13 in Tours @ Aucard de Tour

In other Eat Skull news, Meds has just issued an LP of the Hole Class cassette which Rob recorded with Beth from Times New Viking while he was living in Ohio between The Hospitals' Employer Destroyers tour and moving to Portland and founding Eat Skull. Yeah, that tape was my first inkling that Rob had any knack for pop songwriting. Before that, I mainly knew him as my favorite x-factor in various free-flailing improv bands and noise groups (Gang Wizard, Vholtz, Hale Zukas, Horse Dwarves, etc.), although I also remember the time I saw him play a Davis house-show leading a band called Creepy Crawly Claw, who did the best "Sex Bomb" cover I've ever heard or witnessed. He did a handstand on top of a ratty keyboard with spindly little legs and walked on the ceiling of Mick Mucus' Charred Dog House before falling on his head. I thought for sure that he was injured, but he popped right back up with the mic clenched in his teeth.

I'm so glad to see that Hole Class make it to vinyl after all this time. If you can imagine how Thee Duchess & the Duke might sound with some sweet kiwi-psych damage, then you might be in the ballpark of what this album sounds like. The whole tape is on here, plus some unheard goodies.

Also new from Meds...the first ever CD version of 2008's landmark album by The Hospitals, Hairdryer Peace. Good luck...Meds ain't gotta website. Try your favorite distros. I'm not gonna tell you, or else that's more competition for me. I gotta get these, too!


I'm gonna make volume II of the Live on Art for Spastics compilation CDR featuring bands that have played live here since last year. If you donate $25 or more, you will be thanked by KDVS with a premium package (CDs, records, t-shirt, or ???...you pick!) PLUS the Live on Art for Spastics vol. II CDR! This is very important.....Freeform KDVS is one of the handful of really great radio stations in this world for fans of a wide variety of new and old music, and we rely on listener donations for two thirds of our budget. We only ask for your support one week out of the year, so next week will be your one and only chance to make this fundraiser count for us. We need $60,000 this year. On a more personal note, I want my listeners to contribute $1000 toward this overall effort. This will validate the effort I put into the show on a volunteer basis, which usually amounts to 4-6 hours of listening to new stuff--picking and choosing from lotsa great music on all formats (but lotsa crap, too!), sequencing it effectively for your listening pleasure, and burning the early A.M. oil to post this here blog before waking up at 8:30 to go to my real job that pays the bills so I can buy all these records. Oh, I also teach the class that all the new volunteers must take before they go on the air as trainee DJs at KDVS, and I book and promote several KDVS Presents shows in the Sacto and Davis area as part of a KDVS-led effort to prevent Sacto and Davis from becoming subcultural voidspaces like Fresno and Turlock.

Watch here for an update with the Live on Art for Spastics vol II CDR tracklist once it's complete. And if you wanna donate more than $25, please consider these premium offers....

$100 - host your own hour-long show on KDVS
$100 - four hours studio time with our analog-wizard, Fenris Wulf
$250 - I will book your West Coast tour and roadie your band (up to a week, August through mid-December only, as far south as Mexicali and as far north as Vancouver, BC)


Anonymous said...

this beef is pretty funny. fenris wulf is a real name?

Anonymous said...

Yes...Fenris Wulf is a real name...

DJ Rick said...

Yes, Fenris Wulf is real. Not only is his name like a wizard's name, but he is also a wizard in the studio. He's got our 1" 8-track talking to the board. He wired everything through the ceiling 120 feet down the hall to create a reverb chamber in the old KDVS Engineering Room. The dude is turning Studio A into an actual, factual studio.

I highly recommend this guy, so let that be even more enticement if you have a band and wanna contribute $100 to the KDVS Fundraiser. You won't be recording with some hack.

It should really be Fenris Wülf, though!

Family Time said...

how serious about the tour thing?

DJ Rick said...

Very! (especially if you're in a band I'm already a fan of)

Family Time said...

i am in no paws (no lions) i just wish i new about this sooner i would have totally done it

DJ Rick said...

You should just come up sometime for a little NoCal tour and schedule an extra day to record here. I'll kick down $50 in your honor if you kick down $50. That's $100 total, and you get to lay down tracks with Fenris. You've got a budding fanbase here in Davis already, and I like what you guys are doing, but I think you can probably benefit from this guy's studio sorcery. Anyway, at least think about it!

Juan 20JFG said...

Hey rick, is it ok to donate from outside the USA? we'll be spreading the word

DJ Rick said...

Thanks for spreading the word, Juan. Yes, international pledges are welcome!

Family Time said...

that might be able to be worked out, we are working on a bunch of new stuff along with the release of our album on vinyl. when do you think would be a good time to do all of this? you should email me that way i am not clogging up your post


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