Find out more by reading my previous blogs……
Husker Du…New Day Rising…1985
Yet it was 2004 when I really “heard” it.
I still remember the first time I brought this record home (a gift from my friend Craig) and threw it on my cd player…….to this day it never gets tiresome. The more you listen to it the more of the subtle textures and sounds you pick out of the mix. I just find it mind numbing that with all the studio time and technology that with all the band’s that Husker Du has spawned and none of them has made a record that even deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as New Day Rising!
As far as who wrote the best songs? You’d have to flip a coin. Mould (Celebrated Summer, 59 Times the Pain, and I Apologize) and Hart (Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill, Books about UFO’s, and Terms of Psychic Warfare) could have each put out great albums of just their own material. But what makes this record so special is how each other’s songs compliment and contradict each other. This record should be in any serious music fans collection. If it’s not already don’t wait another day!
This album is the Huskers at their peak, their most creative point musically.
All in all, this album is simply phenomenal.
I am overstimulated with music
Seems difficult for me to stay focused
I want to press the reset button
There’s too many choices
It’s funny how my attention drifts
all over the place
drinking coffee from my kitchen
a band named Girlpool plays on the stereo
Cleo and Harmony are from Los Angeles
I like their voices playing in harmony
bass and guitar
kinda folky and punky
it’s coffeehouse music
or really just a rainy day album
its called “Before The World Was Big”
a bird chirps next to me
just got text
i am eating eggs and toast with cheese and bacon
for now this is my moment with music
ten years after
i wanted to change
in a white room
keeping it healthy
on the west coast
it’s too true
under these hands
this screen shot
i just don’t understand
what color is the blood
of a sunbathing animal?
a soft morning phase
don’t let it go
beneath a hundred waters
down from the rafters
time for a last call
during the midnight sun
cuz it ain’t all flowers
who’s producing you?
the circle is wide
making my head sing
love my body to death
lost in a reverse dream
guilty of everything i love
in a transparent world
all is clear
in my forest
throw my clothes
on the floor
so……who gets the references????
About ten days ago I went to a local record store called Kiss The Sky at 5:30 in the morning to get a lottery ticket. My number was 63. What does that mean? (You might ask) Well when the doors officailly opened at 8:00 a.m. I had the right to be the 63rd person to be let into the store and buy records. Not just any records but rare limited editions of various vinyl pressings. 45’s, 7 inches, LP’s and special box sets.
I went and had breakfast after I got my number. Then I returned to the shrine of pressed wax that us enthusiasts enjoy spinning on our turntables. It was really crowded inside the store. But I struck up some conversations with other fanatics, like myself.
I walked away with a 45 of Frank Zappa’s “Yellow Snow,” a special Joy Division record containing their first 4 songs and a small box set of eight 45’s entitled “The Space Project.” This box set featured artists like Youth Lagoon and Beach House. It was a rare find and definitely was a limited pressing.
My questions for my readers out there……Did you go? What did you buy? Where did you go? How much fun did you have?
Long Live Vinyl!!!!
What is punk? Why have a playlist about punk music? Well let me tell you. Bands from Europe and the U.S, in the late 60’s and early 70’s created this fast, edgy music. It appealed to teenagers. When you hate your job. Hate society! Drop out of school. Or you HATE your parents because they SUCK! Then punk is what this music provides solace for. They were mostly short 1-2 minute songs, stripped-down guitars and drums, and many times political jams. Punk rock was very much anti-social and rebellious in nature. So this kind of music can provide a great escape and an outlet for hostility. When I am frustrated I listen to groups like Bad Brains, Black a Flag and Minutemen to get me through the dull and miserable times. It’s wild music man! Mosh pits and crowd surfing were born because of this style.
I put together this punk playlist because i feel it covers a nice collection of these rough and loud guitar-driven songs. Some with screaming vocals. Others contain dialogue about being sent to an institution. Remember that the 80’s became mostly hardcore music but not Heavy Metal. It took PUNK to a new level really. Metal is another story altogether. Punk is really in a “left of the dial” category. Mainstream music generally is NOT punk. If you want to know more about a particular band. Just ask me and I will point you in the right direction. So check out the playlist and give these tracks a sample. So many bands to choose from….too many songs! These are 25 really good ones!!! Let your ears do the judging. Peace out and “Rise Above!”
1. Blitzkrieg Bop by the Ramones
2. Kick Out the Jams by MC5
3. Holiday In Cambodia by the Dead Kennedys
4. London Calling from The Clash
5. Search and Destroy from The Stooges
6. Anarchy in the UK presented by The Sex Pistols
7. Where Eagles Dare executed by The Misfits
8. & 9. This Ain’t No Picnic and #1 Hit Song by the Minutemen
10. Straight Edge By Minor Threat
11. & 12. Rise Above & Six Pack by Black Flag
13. & 14. Pay to Cum & At The Movies by Bad Brains
15. Suspect Device by Stiff Little Fingers
16. Punk Rock Girl The Dead Milkmen
17. Teen Age Riot Sonic Youth
18. Celebrated Summer Husker Dü
19. Institutionalized from Suicidal Tendencies
20. Hank’s Little Fingers by Guided By Voices
21. Aurora Borealis. by Meat Puppets
22. We by The Descendants
23. I Will Dare by The Replacements
24. Little Fury Things by Dinosaur Jr
25. That’s When I Reach For My Revolver by Mission of Burma
Thrilling! Haunting! Arresting!
Those are just some of the words to describe this 80’s style, indie post punk band from London. A female-foursome, nonetheless. I was honestly blown away the first time they blasted energetic and addictive raw hooks into my ears. I’m getting more goosebumps just talking about this band for the third time this year. Their debut album is entitled, “Silence Yourself.” The guitars, the bass, & those tight drums are all so clean, yet heavy. Explosively pulsating machines of focused rage! Everything is amplified by their wonderful production. A new wave of post punk; a do-it-yourself revival is coming your way!!!!
In this day and age of music, it’s not easy to find an original and valid band. These girls have done it! They made an anti-pop record. There are no “anthems” involved here. I honestly do think of other garage punk groups from the late 70′s when I listen closely. Groups like Joy Division and Siouxsie & the Banshees come to mind for sure. As lead singer of Savages, Jenny Beth’s voice compliments the instruments quite lovely. Their appearance is dark and mesmerizing. All of it is riveting, poisonous, exclusive and reckless.
This album rocks hard! It really does. This is my favorite record of the year. Why?
Well; first of all, they all actually know how to play their instruments each with a unique sound. Nothing is radio-friendly about them. Compared to their live shows, the album “Silence Yourself” is low-energy. I saw them at Metro Club in Chicago! Wow! Astonishing! I do not believe that these ladies are over-hyped. No. Not this time. They bring it!
The fusion of Jenny’s original sounding screams at the end of a perfect track, “She Will” with the wailing feedback makes me think to myself, “Damn that is genius.” Who does that anymore? I love the bravery and brilliant results of these tracks. At moments they can be be unsettling and dreamy. But still, my ears do the talking. They like what they hear. I find it difficult to avoid them. I keep playing them over and over and over again. Almost every day over this summer and for the past two months. I am nuts over them!
British chicks RULE!!! While tons of bands have all done similar things with their music as other groups have over the years, it’s the jaw-dropping and unique way that Savages recorded the sound on this album that makes the difference. This re-creates rock and roll history, for me. If it SOUNDS great then it is great!
Give it a listen (brace yourself):
It’s time to do a 180. That’s the title of a supreme British Punk Record for the year 2013. The album title is based on the studio in Lambeth, London where the band tends to perform. Palma Violets are a pretty radical group. They are the first of two British bands that made it to the top of my countdown! What does that tell you? I LOVE British bands! They just know how to do it for me. For the fans of bands like THE CLASH, look no further. So these guys are named after an old-fashioned British candy, apparently. The lads of this gigantically buzzed-about indie-rock four-piece from southeast London look like they blew their first paycheck on facials and cigarettes—so far. But Palma Violets have a great sound all of their own, even if it has been pieced together from their favorite records. But that’s ok. The band’s debut single, “Best of Friends,” featured an awesome and stylish organ, plus loud drum pounding and background shouting that recalls the Who or something that begs for a round of drinks and earplugs. Animal like noises blast at times. I even hear a bit of Syd’s Piper in it. No matter. The songs get their rugged physical strength and vocals from the likes of Nick Cave and surprisingly the deep and fantastic Joe Strummer. Give this video a view and a listen! Modern Rock to the MAX Baby!!!! It’s pure brilliance!
Let the countdown begin. I have compiled a list of 20 records that were released this year. 2013 has been a terrific year for music that I like to listen to. That’s the key, by the way. Let me stress the point. What “I” tend to enjoy. So, for the next twenty days I will be revealing my daily picks, counting down from #20 to #1. Please fasten your seat belts and enjoy the ride!
#20 on my list belongs to a band named ICEAGE. The name of their record is called YOU’RE NOTHING. Copenhagen, Denmark is where they come from. Punk Rock is their style of music. These guys are on Matador Records on their sophomore release. Abrasive and raw anger coming from a bunch of teenage rockers. High on energy and heavy on noise. A whirlwind of 2 minute hardcore songs. I have no idea what they’re saying half the time but it hits a nice raw nerve restlessly gasping for air within my being. What is Iceage’s appeal? There are some negative genre connotations associated with the whole punk, post-punk, hardcore, no wave, and so on. BUT I like them because ultimately it’s all about the raw, aggressive, and relentless energy of these four young men.
We need a release to emit our anger from stress. It’s all about escape. So this record made my list. Give it a listen!!!
Savages? Who are they? Four women from London, aka British chicks. They rule. I did blog about them not so long ago. I saw a great show two nights ago at the Metro Club in Chicago. This is a great venue. Basically its across from Wrigley Field on Clark Street. For me its sort of enemy territory because I am a White Sox fan and not a Cubs one, sorry. This street however extends for a couple of miles filled with bars and bars and bars. There are some restaurants and Tapas too. T Shirt shops and record shops, you know? Lots of college age appeal on Clark Street in Chicago’s north side near Lincoln Park. It’s a party community. Lovely I tell you.
Yet, I would have never imagined a band like Savages would be playing there. I only really discovered them about five months ago. I haven’t been a longtime fan. Although I believe they only formed about 2 years ago. I think this 4 piece “all female band” put out an EP and they played several gigs in their homeland until their first LP, “Silence Yourself” which was released this past May. I can’t remember how I came across them. Kind of a stumbling upon sort of accident. Must have been flipping through the internet. Cruising through random sites and sampling a few tracks and such. It was almost like the universe suggested this record to me and that I will see them live, someday.
For about a year, recently I was on a kick listening to bands like: The Who, Japandroids, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, Husker Du and other Post-Punk groups. So I was digging the late 70’s and early 80’s music for awhile. Perhaps because I was spinning these records and doing random searches; I came across Savages. I started to notice some striking connections to the above mentioned rock bands. It really is an amalgamation of that kind of music. Their inspiration comes from a lot of places as well. But I only initially read that information without listening. Blind faith brought me to them. I initially listened to them at work with my iPhone shoved in my pocket and earbuds tucked in my music-hungry earlobes while signing in several packages on the dock.I was struck by this obscure dialogue from a film introducing the album about listening and communicating from youth to elders, I think. All while sorting through packages in the mailroom.Then the bass guitar started ripping through very crisp and aggressively. It was loud but clear. Somehow it was silently loud and then the drums and guitar join in at a pleasurable pace. It really oozed out punk style but not too fast. A nice pace, for sure.
The band, Fugazi comes to mind whenever I hear these opening riffs.Its good to hear this kind of sound coming back in this day and age. It requires bravery to step out of your comfort zone and tell it like it is. What do I mean? Man, I don’t know how to describe these girls. Its very tight musicianship. That’s for sure. All four members are amazing. At times I can hear the New-Wave style of guitar playing too. I tend to be reminded of early R.E.M. sounds, I don’t know why, I just do. Jenny Beth, our frontwoman has quite a stage presence. Somehow, I convinced my wife to go with me.I should probably backtrack again because I’m all over the place.
The allure and excitement of hearing this hypnotic, gothic, post-punk, aggressive and this British politically charged music was enough to make me shiver with enthusiasm. I definitely listened to these girls obsessively all summer long. It has an addictive sound. I knew all along that I wanted to see Savages, somehow. A small club like Metro would be an awesome place. Never thought that I would get a chance to see them either, it was just sort of out of my mind. Then about 6 weeks ago I found out that they were. So I was like, OMG! I jumped on that opportunity right away!
I purchased 2 tickets because, you never know. I guess I had some expectations that somebody would tag along with me but I just couldn’t find anyone. So what was I gonna do with the other ticket? I wasn’t trying to force anyone to go with me. Yet, Denielle, my wife said that she would go with me and be a good sport. She didn’t have to, especially since she was feeling a little “under the weather.” Perhaps she didn’t want me to be alone or whatever. She’s a great backup buddy at live shows. She’s an awesome lady! Not entirely her cup of tea but she kept me company. No guilt trips! She was a trooper.
We drove through the congested gauntlet of Interstate 294, the merges and the one way streets of Chi-Town in order to reach “the venue.” It was worth the rush hour traffic. It was a 9:00 pm show on a Monday night. Talk about dedication man! We have no kids and I strategically planned a half day off the following morning so that I wouldn’t be all crabby at work the next day. It’s good to sleep in when you get home a quarter after midnight.I could sleep longer, stretch, shower, eat breakfast and most importantly not rush off to work until the afternoon. Standing outside on the sidewalk and waiting to get inside while the Autumn air is chilly and crisp and I am keeping my wife safe and warm putting my arm around her. People watching and chatting with others can be a fun time. Its cool and you’re hanging with other devoted fans, all there for the same purpose. To ROCK! I made sure that we bee-lined it for the mighty “chairs” upstairs by the balcony so we can sit down and not crank our necks all night or get cramps in our feet from standing all night while tilting our heads up either.
We ordered a couple of sodas and satisfied our thirsts. The waitress brings the drinks right to our tiny and cozy little table. It was nice and refreshing. It was a blistering performance that night.The stage handlers and roadies were going at it ferociously on the stage setting everything up and making sure the lighting, the sounds and plugs were all hooked up. Crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s. Strumming the guitars, banging the drums and making sure the mics picked everything up. They even laid out the ladies water bottles out precisely. These girls were certainly getting the royal treatment.
The vamping music is always a fun treat. At any concert, especially big acts like NIN or Pink Floyd…the really good concerts, you just hear that echoing kind of like electronica that feels like that of an anticipating crowd. It feels like…..WE ARE READY! You….sitting there…watching it all…and you
are staring in anticipation to the point where your blood’s almost boiling and rising because you’re like OMG I am here….and then…….the lights go off and everybody is cheering and stomping their feet saying OH YEA! Fog machine kicks in, spotlights dim and the 4 ladies come onto the stage and grace us with their presence all dressed in black.
They just busted out right into it man! I love all of the instrumentation and all of the musicians but sometimes my eyes tend to gravitate towards the drummer because she’s really technical and really knows when to crash the cymbals, the high hats, the bass drum and the snares and all of it when precision. It was amazing watching Fay Milton twirl the sticks in her hands and her technical delivery. Brilliant! Then there’s Ayse Hassan, the bassist. Doing an in place kind of dance swaying back and forth but really into a rhythm with her head titled down bobbing her head a little bit and wailing away on that 4 stringed instrument.
The lead guitarist, Gemma Thompson, again she’s all over the place. She keeps walking back and forth towards the large amp and back out to the stage. She was doing all kinds of cool effects; sliding, screeching and thumping. Effects with feedback and twangs and tweaking and just making a lot of cool noise. She really busted out into some really standard rock n roll guitar riffs. Really versatile. Finally our lady front and center, Jenny Beth, knew how to work that mic. She has her high pitches and her low pitches. She has her dialect. Sometimes she will narrate part of the lyrics and tell stories of mystery and wonder. She spoke out against using your phones during the performance and not being so distracted which I thought was a nice brave statement. ( I only snuck a couple during the encore) All she wanted for us was to immerse ourselves within this musical experience and that’s what we surely did.
That night they exceeded my expectations. I was blown away by the performance. I was treated to a wonderful night at Metro. It was invigorating and lively. Just plain Awesome! Thank you and good night.