Saturday, October 8, 2011

Freestyle - Don't Stop the Rock

Freestyle Fridays begins today on Saturday with this essential jam. If I had to have one freestyle song stuck on repeat in my mind for the rest of my life, it would be this one. Pretty Tony, from Miami, is also behind some classic Debbie Deb and Trinere tracks.

Get it here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Baby's Gang - Challenger

The space shuttle Challenger blew the fuck up in 1986. One of the cosmonauts on board was from my neighborhood and had gone to college with my teacher. Our entire second grade class watched on the television as the Challenger went ka-blooey. All of the teachers cried.

Before all that business the Challenger was the inspiration for one of my favorite Italo Disco records. This is it. The title track and the legendary party banger Happy Song are without a doubt classics. Justice had clearly been listening to this shit on repeat when they wrote DANCE and who could blame them? Check out the whole LP below. By the way the above video is priceless.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Pluton and Humanoids

I don't really know anything about this crucial italo-disco jammer except that it rules and gives me glorious party flashbacks to my time in Berlin and that it needs to be on any vocoder themed mixtape you might consider making. Ok, I know a little more than that. It came out in 1981 and the song is called "World Invaders."


The Sisters of Mercy

While on tour with a couple bands this Summer it was discovered that a friend of mine (one of the band members) had never really listened to the Sisters of Mercy. Upon this discovery most everyone in the van spent the next hour or so playing their favorite TSOM song and talking about the importance of this band to their own musical history. My friend has since acquired the Sisters' first LP First and Last and Always and loves it but hasn't had a chance to dig any deeper yet. This post is for him.
The Sisters, Siouxie and the Banshees, and Bauhaus were among my gateway or introduction (depending how you categorize those bands) to punk back in the Eighties. The tracks on TSOM's Alice and Reptile House EPs, Siouxie's the Scream, and Bauhaus's In The Flat Field were as vital and urgent to me as anything I was hearing on my local college radio station filed under "punk rock". I was around 9 or 10 years old so any stray from MJ's Man In The Mirror, Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up, and Bobby McFerrin's Don't Worry, Be Happy was desperately welcomed. This was the shit for me.
Since my friend already has the Sisters Of Mercy's first full length I've opted to offer him the ensconcing releases (sorta). Some Girls Wander By Mistake is a collection of early singles (including the Alice and Reptile House EPs) released independently before signing to WEA (Warner) in 1984. Floodland (1987) is the lush and self-indulgent follow up to First and Last and Always. Both rank among my all-time favorites. I haven't included their final (so far) record Vision Thing as I don't feel it really lives up to their earlier records. It's got some excellent tracks (see: Ribbons) but the bar-rock swing of most of the album doesn't do a lot for me.
By the way, the drummer of this band is a revolving series of drum machines and laptops named Doktor Avalanche. In addition to providing the drum tracks for the Sisters since '81 he also briefly ran an advice column.

Some Girls Wander By Mistake

Friday, September 16, 2011

WUGAZI - 13 Chambers

Ok...ok now...this post is going to be rife, nay, RIDDLED with disclaimers and qualifications. Let's fucking do this.
First off, I know that this record is 1) available for free download from the dudes who created it and 2) has blown the fuck up over the last few months with everyone's mom bumping it but neither of these facts matter here. Nobody's mom reads this shit and B's not as hip as your mom so I suspect he hasn't heard WUGAZI. This is for him.
Brass tacks: This is Wu-Tang vocals over beats made of Fugazi samples. Most are refering to this as a "mash-up" but I'm OG and hate that term. This is a "mixtape" of "remixes".
I'm a fan of both Wu and Fu but I've always been way more into 36 Chambers than 13 Songs. Wu-Tang matches the raw intensity of Minor Threat more for me than FUGAZI and I bet Ian would be just fine with that fact.
So here it is. Dig or don't. I honestly couldn't care less.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

White Walls - Kevin (CS)

This tape is nuts. Brutal, desperate, depressing, heavy as fuck. Dissonant but never confusing. Cincinnati's White Walls  describe "Kevin" as their magnus opus. It's a funeral dirge. It's slow-motion car crash. It's a slug of whiskey that's almost too hot to swallow. The tape was released by LIFE-ROT but LIFE-ROT's gone (at least I can't find them). White Walls' debut 7" was released by Video Disease Records but that shit's sold out. They're playing in Cincinnati next week while I'll be in Columbus. Google Maps tells me that's a day and a half walk.

Until recently I worked at a punk bar with a punk kid who's got switchblades tattooed on his face. One night after a show there said kid and I were talking about band merch. He said "Fuck these kids selling tapes at shows. I always try to support the bands but if they're selling tapes I'm like, 'fuck that', they need to get modern and put out a fucking CD". What a maroon.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Siege - Demo (1984)

Siege were an amazingly fast thrashcore band from Weymouth, MA. They played their first set at their high school's battle of the bands in 1984 where they were disqualified for smashing a bass on the stage. A kid who was there wrote a boss article about it in the school newspaper. Check it out:
 The kid who took the pictures and wrote the article is now a man and has a website with a page about the show. Check him out:
I don't remember much about Weymouth, MA but I did used to hang out with a girl from Waltham, MA when I was in high school. Her mom had been asked out by Aerosmith's Steven Tyler while they were in high school but she turned him down because "he had no future". She's now happily married to an electrician named Buddy.  Sorry, Steven.


Ror(fucking)schach - Remain Sedate

This weekend Rorschach is playing two shows in the Bay Area. I never got to see them play back in the day or any of their North East shows in '09 so I'm pretty jazzed. I'll be at the 924 Gilman St. show because the line-up is fucking brutal. If you're not familiar with this band you need to listen to this (their first and my favorite) record, go to both shows, and then buy everything Rorschach (and the other bands) have for sale. I'll see you there...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chrisma - Chinese Restaraunt

There's a lot of mystery behind this 1977 release. You can dig into all that here and a million other places on the web if you feel so inclined. What I believe is this: Some Italian "punks" got together and made a synth-pop record with some serious Are 'Friends' Electric?, Cross-eyed and Painless  type shit going on. If you like Silver Apples, early Kraftwerk, and/or impossibly skinny women in black leather pants and red stiletto heels you'll probably dig this.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Blitz - Second Empire Justice

 I love this fucking record. I don't really know where it came from or why Blitz decided to make it but I'm glad they did. Watching their video for "New Age" (a single they released before this LP) it's clear that Blitz was already heading in a drastically different direction from Voice of a Generation. Instead of beer soaked Oi! anthems Second Empire Justice is a highly stylized album full of moody darkwave/post punk tracks.
Check it out. Don't tell your tough older brother.