Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Crass - Stations Of The Crass

The following is a mock-up dialogue offering ABSOLUTELY INDISPUTABLE proof that Crass has been wrongly maligned by dumbass mowhawk dips :

- Naysayer: I've listened to 3 freakin' tracks of this Feeding Of The 5K nonsense, and the scratchy, thinly produced, minimalist guitar noise is weird and VERY DISSIMILAR TO THE CLASH!!
- Generic 20-somthing "punk": Oi, it's all about the LYRICS, maaaan. (recites an interpretation of "Banned From The Roxy") Sure, they're just an accessory to my punk aesthete, but those lyrics, maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan. That's what it's all about. (consumes shitty beer)
- Naysayer: Whoa! I guess it's just one of those bands too punk rawk for me! I will not bother letting their music sink in and tell everyone who doesn't "get them" immediately that there's simply nothing to "get"! (resumes rocking the casbah)

...and that's what Don McLean was referring to in "American Pie".

You see, Crass - while thematically punk as fuck - were only really geared musically towards the punk kids in their earliest incarnation. While they were still perfecting their scathing, painfully strict moral codes (which were apparently a little too strict for the band, even), they were also breaking out the berets and shifting their sound into noisy art-rock for the pretentious demographic - like me! That said, Stations Of The Crass is by no means their most inaccessible work; if anything, this features all the wiles of a pop album! A considerably noise-raped, art damaged, ridiculous take on a pop record, but nonetheless packed with catchy vocal arrangements, hooks both lyrical and instrumental, and all the smarts that Crass were known for. How could anyone who's heard this album denounce these guys as a purely idea/lyric-oriented band?

Oh wait. Yes Sir I Will.

For the sake of completion, I didn't schlep off the muddy, worthless live material at the end. I LEAVE THAT IN YOUR HANDS. Hey, do you think Crass themselves would be okay with all this filesharing? I like to think so, being the commie liberal hippy bastards/bitches they are.
(awaits dozens of retarded responses from people who can't detect sarcasm)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Big Star - Radio City

...and now for something completely different: a 3rd-hand Monty Python reference based on the skit comedy show that I've never enjoyed enough to sit through more than half-dozen episodes. Seriously, why the miss-or-miss-or-miss-or-hit? It felt like they were purposely holding back their best gags to pull in the full-length films. Anyone else feel this way? I mean, I'm no Monty Py -

Anyhow, Big Star's 1974 full length, Radio City is the album we'll be covering this evening-so-late-it's-technically-tommorow-morning. If you're familiar with Pavement (who isn't?), Big Star is what I consider the second largest quantity of reanimated flesh in the Frankestein's monster we know as Pavement's sound. The first (including most of the torso and limb-meat) would be The Fall, and the third could be Swell Maps (the toenails).
This theory isn't nearly as logical as I made it seem. Sorry for wasting your time.

But "anyhow", if you were ever intrigued by the idea of the quintessential 70's power pop record, LOOK NO FURTHER, BECAUSE HERE IT IS AS FAR AS I KNOW.
But don't my platitudes feel comforting?
If you dig slow-mid paced, pretty, organic melodies and high-register dude vocals, this album is completely fantastic. The guitar has that twanged-out, scraggly southern rock sound, and mood never dips below slight-melancholy.
This actually isn't my upload. I just nabbed it off google, so wear protection when you thrust deeply into it's audio canal. With your ears.It intrigues me for some reason.
By the way, does anyone know what movie this is from?

Th' Faith Healers - Lido & Imaginary Friend

Th' Faith Healers were an "underrated"* UK shoegaze act who picked up the slack at the very end of contemporaries (and current 'untouchable-hipster-god-figures') My Bloody Valentine's career, but being the kindhearted guys & gal they were, decided not to release borderline worthless paste for 5 years before contemplating worthwhile material (ala aforementioned 'untouchable-hipster-god-figures').

Which brings me to the happy little asterisk (*) HAGHAHAHA AN UPTURNED BREAST HAHHuo]nj

Which brings me to the happy little asterisk * : Honestly, I have no idea whether Th' Faith Healers ever got the attention they deserved - I wasn't exactly doing drags in a London cafe with these guys spinning in the house stereo circa '93. Based purely on observation though, these guys so rarely get namedropped by critics and forum-going shoegaze enthusiasts, I have to assume they simply fell off everyone's radar after their break-up in '94.
Yes, I know that's a weak basis - YOU SAW THE QUOTATIONS, STOP ROLLING YOUR EYES DAMMIT - but so what? Both "under" and "over" with a suffix of "-rated" have been bastardized into meaningless buzzwords, and these guys certainly aren't getting loads blown whenever their name is mentioned.
For example:
Me: Dude, I just saw the remake of My Bloody Valentine and -

For the record, I like both MBV's full-lengths, but Loveless doesn't touch Isn't Anything with a 5-foot pole for sheer listenability. I know! How subversive of me! (pats self on back)

Anyway, Th' Faith Healers. While certainly a shoegaze band, this quad-squad was a lot more manic and a lot less ethereal and whispy than their peers, partially due to their lack of keyboards or synths - which strikes me as odd considering how much krautrock influence is mixed in with their guitar noise-driven style, BUT ENOUGH TEXT NO ONE IS READING:

Th' Faith Healers - Lido (1992)
- This is the less-subdued, more brash half of Teh F@yth Heelorz sound, with plenty of crashing, looped-riffs, churning noise, and with just enough hook and melody to keep it from being completely inaccessible. The cover of Can's "Mother Earth" is probably as good as the original, if you can believe it.

Th' Faith Healers - Imaginary Friend (1993)
- This is the calmer, more restrained follow up that The Healers Utilizing Faith decided on, and it's every bit as good as Lido, if not more listenably versatile. The poptones are in full swing here, from the catchy "Sparklingly Chime" to the epic dirge closer, "Everything, All At Once Forever". Which reminds me, if you're ever stuck in a psych ward, this here is an album to bring. No further questions.

They have a bunch of great EPs as well, but I'm tired of sitting hunched over my computer desk, so fuck you.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Merzbow - Noisembryo

Ugh. I feel like ______________
_____________ or even ___________

What I wrote was actually more creatively disgusting than an implied blank space, but I feel nauseous and would rather not leave that sentence there in plain sight while I complete this stupid post. Consider it a relic of better, non-nauseated times.

Anyway, I chose this album because it's not only one of my favorite Merzbow releases, but it requires little/no effort on my part to describe. It's noise. Sheets and sheets of densely textured, terrifying noise that doesn't actually appreciate in enjoyability with each additional decibel. In fact, the limit becomes pretty clear once you pop this fine diskus in on 7 and find your brain leaking out your nose. It's a fuckin' bulldozer, alright, and just might be the best of the harsh-analog phase.

"A while ago I had a Mercedes 230 that I didn't drive much. The police told me that I had to move it or they'd tow it away. Well, I didn't want to keep it and I didn't have anywhere to store it so I decided to use it for something else. I rigged the cars CD player with our latest release of Merzbow's "Noisembryo" CD so that the music started when the car was turned on and it was impossible to turn it off. I put it up for sale as an extremely limited edition of the "Noise Embryo" CD but no one ever bought it, and in the end the car broke down. So we took out the CD and got rid of the car. Now I'm thinking about if its possible to release a record in a Boeing 747..."
- Anders, Releasing Eskimo Records
It's a true shame that no one on Earth can claim ownership of the fabled Merzcar.
Likewise, it's a true shame that no one but FINANCIALLY STABLE RECORD COLLECTING ASSHOLES can own a copy of Noisembryo that ISN'T entombed in an automobile. Everything in the Merzcatalog up to the early 90's is not only out of print, but so difficult to come by, you might mistake the HA HA HA HA HA I OWN A COPY OF THIS ALBUM ALREADY HA HA HA HA scarcity for nonexistHA HA HA FOR ONLY 15 BUCKS WITH SHIPPING AND HANDLING HEE HEE HUUUence.

In conclusion, ebay.

Other Merzalbums worth merzing (checking) merz (out):
Rainbow Electronics 1 (1990) & 2 (1996)
Music For Bondage Performance Vol 1 (1991) & Vol 2 (1996)
Batztoutai With Material Gadgets (1993)
Venereology (1994)
Green Wheels (1995)
Pulse Demon (1996)
Hybrid Noisebloom (1997)
1930 (1998)
Doors Open At 8 AM (1999)

For the sake of agreeability, the above are all available on CD. Not readily available, but nonetheless... '99 wasn't the cutoff for Merzquality just so you know, but since the man has more releases than there are bones in the human body (perhaps two! Or one and a triple amputee), I haven't quite gotten that far yet.
Merzbow is an AGONIZINGLY prolific unit.