Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I'm Alarmed So I'm Going Fishing

When I mentioned Burnversion the other day, it was while knowing that a lot of people probably haven't heard of them, so here you go. I first heard about Burnversion from Kevin of Creature Did, who recommended them to me during an interview back in '95 while he also happened to be wearing a Burnversion t-shirt; there's a picture on one of the Creature Did posts. It was maybe a year later that I saw the Burnversion CD (which actually might've came out in '96, I'm not sure) at Ye Olde Trash American Style, and of course I snapped it right up.

Burnversion operated within the same general territory of Dis- and some of the stuff that would start to come out on My Pal God, meaning moving past grunge onto what was still the beginnings of post-rock, or something like that. This stuff is amazing, in any case, and this has been one of my favorite CDs since the time I bought it. I've also got a Burnversion 7", which isn't nearly as good, and then there's another Burnversion CD that came out in '98 which I've never heard. You'll find a few copies of either CD listed on Amazon right now, though they're in the $25 - $40 range.

There's also a video of Burnversion on a Louisiana TV show which was just posted on YouTube a few months ago that you have to check out (click here) - it's pretty astonishing.

Burnversion -


"Dryades & Felicity"

"Resurrection Time"

"Texas Science Project"

"Time Will Murder Us And Fly"

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Freight Train Movin' On

Freakbaby's "Unable to Turn The Bat on Himself"-- with its "snazzy guitar interplay" (© GC) and a riff that makes "Layla" sound like a piece of crap that Eric Clapton played on-- is definitely one of the high points of 90's Ct. indie rock, and it's the b-side to their "My Pet Pig" 45, no less.

I didn't get to see Freakbaby until after Todd Knapp of 76% Uncertain had joined and after they'd changed their name to Jet Jaguar, although a picture I took at that show is still hung on the wall at Brass City Records (not that it's a very good picture-- it just looks sorta funny, because everyone in the band had their backs turned to me). It was rumored that the name change had something to do with the name Jet Jaguar being more commercially viable, but John Howard has left a couple of comments here before so hopefully he'll come on later and refute that dastardly rumor.

One of the other high points of 90's Ct. indie rock, of course, was when Nevertheless covered "Unable to Turn The Bat on Himself", Cheap Trick-style, at a show in Danbury, just like they had covered The Differents' "Broken Toy" once. I remember walking into the house that Nevertheless had in Waterbury at the time, and they had the "Broken Toy" 45 blasting on a turntable set to repeat, loud enough so that you could hear it on all three floors, playing over and over again so that they could memorize it for that night's show. That's one of the ways Nevertheless learned their cover songs, believe it or not.

Freakbaby -

"Unable to Turn The Bat on Himself"

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I'm A New Shade Of Black

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Creepdust were surprisingly awesome when I saw them open up for Monotonix back in July-- some real old-school late-70's/early-80's punk rock, in fact they kept making me think of a bunch of West Coast bands from that era, like The Flesh Eaters and the Germs and Crime and the Avengers and so forth. Creepdust are the genuine article, too; they've got Malcolm Tent on bass, who's about as old school as it gets, a real no-bullshit frontman (Tony), and a well-tuned sense of punk rock showmanship, all of which makes them a great band to watch.

They hadn't recorded anything yet back when I first saw them, but they've since opened up a MySpace page a couple of months ago (www.myspace.com/creepdust) and put up a bunch of cool songs-- like "Dark Entry", which has some rockin' guitar parts and then a spaced-out middle section that reminds me a bit of Burnversion (dunno if anyone's ever heard of them)... then there's "New Shade of Black", which is probably the one I like the most.

I need to make a point to see these guys again; they had a show last night in Danbury, but I blew it off, thinking I'd go see Oiltanker at Whitney House instead. Of course, I ended up staying home and not doing much of anything, which figures.

Creepdust -

"New Shade of Black"

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Put Fluent In Clichés Upon My Tomb

My favorite M.O.T.O. song at the moment, meaning it's probably the best song in the world right now.

M.O.T.O. -

"I Talk In Clichés"

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Vince Neil Has Death Appeal

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When Big Stick's "Drag Racing" 7-inch came out in 1986, it was one of those you-hadda-be-there moments-- I'm sure it doesn't translate the same way now, but at the time it was so out of left field from everything else that was going on that it was about as unbelievable as it was hilarious. I no longer have the original 7", of course, but I have the one that came with the Blast First "Devil's Jukebox" box set, which gives the same effect of feeling like your guts are getting pulled around while you listen to it.

About a year later I saw Big Stick opening for Sonic Youth at Maxwell's in 1987, and it made the whole concept seem a lot dumber. Yanna Trance couldn't actually play the drums, much less keep a simple beat, and the humongous rock-star costume that John Gill wore on stage was sorta belied by the fact that before the show he was dragging around his own amps with his real name, "Galeski", stenciled on the side. I had a phone conversation with John around that same time, where we talked about including a Big Stick record with the next issue of my zine; he had a song idea that he was working on, based around Vince Neil's car accident that killed the drummer from Hanoi Rocks, called "Vince Neil Has Death Appeal". Too bad that one never came about.

I can also vaguely remember a "Drag Racing"-type song that Big Stick had on a compilation tape or something, making fun of hardcore and specifically mentioning bands like PTL Klub. I wish I still had a copy of it, because I'm sure it was awesome.

Big Stick -

"Drag Racing"

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click for one of the Big Stick - Drag Racing videos on YouTube

Friday, December 26, 2008

Everybody Says It's Just Like Rock 'n Roll

Golden Millennium came about when a couple of guys from the 1-4-5s decided to start a one-off glam rock band, recruiting Britt Daniel from Spoon to play bass and releasing this gold vinyl EP on New Year's Eve, 1999.

I've never actually decided if this is really rockin' or not-- by itself it sounds good enough, but then this week when it popped up on my mp3 player coming right after something that had a little more "oomph" to it, it sounded pretty limp, so who knows. Pretty much the same as how the gold vinyl doesn't really look like gold at all, just some other half-assed representation of yellow, or at least that's what I'm figuring. I guess in the end this is sorta rockin', plus it's worth it just to see Britt Daniel all tarted up like the cover of "Look What The Cat Dragged In"-- that shit's pretty funny.

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Golden Millennium -

"Abby Alien"

"20th Century Boy"

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pull Out The Pin And Throw

If these guys ever put out a record, it would be the greatest thing ever. Think your scene has bands that are better than this? Not even close.

This one's for Greg. Merry Christmas!

Tractor Flip -

"Pull Out The Pin and Throw"

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(Graphic and photo swiped from Tractor Flip myspace.
I don't know who did 'em)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I Wanna Get To The Truth I Suppose

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I used to own a whole slew of Ace of Hearts 45s (wish I still had the Mission of Burma ones), but now all I have is this one, and the Neighborhoods. I wasn't all that into the Infliktors 45 when I first bought it, back when I was 19 or 20 or whenever just to keep up with my Ace of Hearts collection, because it's definitely not a punk record. I guess it's a good thing I held onto it, though, because I can appreciate it a lot more now. This ain't punk, it's dirty blues, or else it's white boys who ain't got a job, with the guitar recorded about as loud as any 45 that I've heard since, so watch out for your speakers.

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Infliktors -

"Where'd You Get That Cigarette"

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

You'll Never Start At The Same Time

Buzzcocks, Belgium, March '79 (photos: Philippe Carly)

There was a time when "Singles Going Steady" was one of the records that everyone in the scene had a copy of, and if you didn't own it, you were pretty much a freshman. I'm not sure if that's still the same now, but whatever. Here's a soundboard-quality live tape of the Buzzcocks in Holland (3/2/79) that I got from Scott Munroe about 20 years ago; it's only three songs, so maybe it was bootlegged onto a 7" at one point. It's definitely from a radio broadcast because you can hear the DJ cutting-in in Dutch at the end of "Promises".

Also, a shout out to Scott, who used to leave comments here as "Scott12XU" but has since gone off to listen to his Orange Juice records, I think.

Buzzcocks (live, Holland '79) -

"Everybody's Happy Nowadays"

"What Do I Get?"


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Saturday, December 20, 2008

You're A Dick And I'm Gonna Kill You

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Back when I was a little hardcore kid, whenever I'd play a new record I'd always drop the needle on the shorter, louder songs first, because one of the neat things about vinyl is that you can tell which songs are quick and thrashy and which songs are slow and boring just by looking at the grooves. Apply that method to this record and you'd obviously play the Olive Lawn song first, because not only is it three times shorter than the song right next to it (The Thrown Ups' "Walrus Head"), but it also has a goofy song title, which is usually a safe bet that something good might happen.

You'd be a little off in this case, since the Thrown Ups rank as one of our nation's finest purveyors of rock ever, while the Olive Lawn song is your basic paint-by-numbers C/Z grunge rock (elevated a notch or two by the goofy song title, of course). But this isn't even a hardcore record anyway, so I don't even know why I'm bothering to go through all of this, except for the fact that early-80's hardcore was way more exciting than the boring early-90's noise rock that grew from it (of which the "Teriyaki Asthma" series, along with the "Love and Napalm" series and all of the others just like it, dealt up in spades).

The b-side presents a bit of a drop off-- though Pain Teens and Unrest are great, this probably isn't their A-1 material-- but I've ripped that side anyway, because both songs are kind of meditative in a way, especially the Unrest song which is almost pure techno. "Caitlin Bums" is also the only song here where the recording doesn't make it sound like my needle has a big piece of fuzz on it, not that there isn't one, you never know.

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The Thrown Ups -

"Walrus Head"

Olive Lawn -

"You're a Dick & I'm Gonna Kill You"

Pain Teens -

"Come Up & See Me Sometime"

Unrest -

"Caitlin Bums"

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Friday, December 19, 2008

The REAL Fake Best Of 2008 List

I fucked up and left the Sleepwall 7" off my "Best of '08" list, even though it's been glued solidly to the inside of my mp3 player ever since I first heard about it through Built on a Weak Spot back in August. Most likely I skipped over it by mistake when I thumbed through my boxes of 7"-ers while I was making the list, thinking it was the Hostile Heyday 7-inch. Just another example of how far downhill this blog has fallen in just 10 short months, I guess. (I also left off the Cheap Time and Gentleman Jesse records, only because I figured they'd already be on everyone else's lists, and also The Busy Signals and Chinese Telephones LPs once I googled 'em and found they came out in '07. Man, this writing shit is tougher than I thought.)

I missed out on seeing Sleepwall in Wallingford a few months ago because I went to the I AM Festival that day instead, but there should be another Sleepwall record out on Toxic Pop in '09, so that's good news. The Toxic Pop description of Sleepwall goes something like, "what a bunch of hardcores would sound like after they've moved onto something else", and if you think about some of the 80's bands who actually did follow that path (Deep Wound then Dinosaur, State of Confusion then Treepeople), they're probably right. I'm gonna post "The World Is Too Dark" here, even though it suffers a bit sound-wise from being the last 3-minute track scrunched onto a 7-inch, because it rules in total Treepeople excess.

Sleepwall -

"This World Is Too Dark"

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Fake Best Of 2008 List

Jean Claude Jam Band -

"Two Dollar Headache"

Superstitions -

"Chainsaw Hands"

The Ergs! -


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It's A Ron Kinda World

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When ib hoisted up a post about "Goo" a couple of weeks ago I knew I had to get around to this one more sooner than eventually, if only for the hilarity factor alone. "It's A Ron Kinda World" easily checks in as one my three favorite Prisonshake single sides, with "Deanna" and "Almost Christmas" being the other two contenders, and might even take the top spot depending upon whichever one I've listened to last.

Not only is the rock fairly deftly accomplished here, but the way the refrain starts out as an almost inaudible hiss before building up to a near shout just slays me, and the one-liner lyrics ("It's not that I'm apathetic, dear/It's just that I don't care") are pretty much a hoot also.

"Recorded no less than on three different occasions, hence the Freddy Blassie inscription (you must find his 'King of Men' LP, you'll die). If you slept through 1991 you might not know that the cover apes Sonic Youth's 'Goo', though originally we were going to call it 'Poo'. The vinyl was supposed to look like someone jerked off in it, but it didn't really come off." - Robert Griffin, Scat Records Quarterly #7

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Prisonshake -

"It's A Ron Kinda World"

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