Thursday, May 7, 2009

My World Is Broken And You Have To Fix It

The Thing was the name of Sal Canzonieri's band before he formed Electric Frankenstein, probably because The Thing That Sounded Exactly Like Das Damen was too long to fit on a flyer. Back in the late 80's, Gerard Cosloy of Conflict used to print the letters that Sal would send him, in which Sal would run through every mundane detail about his band in order to scrounge up some free publicity ("The Thing are headlining a show in Italy!"). If only Gerard had known The Thing would practically invent Stoner Rock all by themselves-- along with a million other stupid longhair bands in NYC-- he might've been more receptive. Or maybe if Sal tried hiding out in Joe Piecuch's closet instead, he might've had better luck.

I don't know why I'm posting both songs here, except that I'm feeling stupid. "Dream Head" isn't that bad of a jam, if the 80's SST thing's your thing, plus it ends in a locked groove, so that piles on the stupid even higher for ya.

The Thing -

"Austere Precautions"

"Dream Head"

(these files are now listen-only)

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Karl said...

That's madness. At least one of those designs is straight off an old Irish coin, out of circulation since the Euro.

Brushback said...

All the squiggly designs on the record sleeve screwed with my camera, that's for sure.

Sean said...

This was worth it just for the thank you list, although leaving off "air, water, and Donny the Punk" surely caused some letters to fanzines back in the infancy of the 90s.

Brushback said...

Pretty hippie-ish "thank you list" and packaging, I gotta think. These bands (Das Damen, The Thing, etc.) are always claiming that they pre-dated "grunge" and "stoner rock", but their paisley graphics give that one away.

Bruce Weasel said...

I just saw Sal last night opening for The Damned at Toad's.

Brushback said...

Yeah, I knew about that show, but it was 20 bucks and I didn't think it would be worth that much to see a bunch of goth Liza Minellis.

Bruce Weasel said...

well we've all got a little liza minnelli in us, smart ass! (you knew that was coming eventually, right?)

Goth? Goth got nothing to do with it.

MACHINE GUN ETIQUETTE is one of the best punk rock albums of all time.

The early Misfits ripped them off COMPLETELY (only failing to get the humor 'cause they were dumb jocks from Lodi).

Brushback said...

Yeah, all you old guys are into "Machine Gun Etiquette". I remember listening to it specifically because Jim Spad (Vatican Commandos) told me that he figured it to be the first 'hardcore' record.

No doubt the early Damned records were great, but here's what I remember from The Damned in the late '80s: "Elll-oh-WEEEEEEEEEZZZZZ!" Fuck that shit.

Oh, and I still happen to have one Damned LP on vinyl - it's the one with the strawberries and the pig on the cover. It's awful.

Bruce Sensible said...

you crazy kids and your wacky belief there was punk and hardcore made in the late 80's!

It makes me sorry jocks yelled "DEVO SUCKS" at me just so you could not like The Damned! LOL!

get yourself the first LP before I have to call Joe Stumble and tell him of your unforgivable blunder!

Brushback said...

AHA! See, I've heard "Damned Damned Damned" and "Neat Neat Neat" and all of that... but I thought we were talking about paying $22 to see The Damned play in 2009! That's a no-go there, buster!

Brushback said...

By the way, Bruce, we younger folks appreciate you suffering so that us young'uns could enjoy cool punk rock in the '80s and '90s!

Bruce Sensible said...

Hey my last comment disappeared into the ether!

Point being...they were better than I anticipated. But I still wouldn't bet $20 on a bad brains ticket!

You're welcome!!

Brushback said...

Hey-- where's the show review? What songs did they play? Did they go back to the old records?

Bruce Scabies said...

I love seeing shows like this in CT, 'cause they are never as crowded as NYC. case in point...I was able to stand directly in front of Sensible so he could hear all my heckles.

They played a lot of old stuff opening with Love Song, and throwing in a few I was not expecting like "Dozen Girls", and "Second Time Around".

Previously I've passed on seeing a non-Rat Scabies line-up of the band...but as I've learned myself...a younger drummer makes old punks seem faster.

encore, Smash It Up.

Sean said...

Low point of the Damned? The inclusion on the Miami Vice II soundtrack..which is scrubbed from their official discography! But I own it, yes I do I do! There's a Capt. Sensible solo album that has a "what the?!?!" factor much in the way the Dee Dee Ramone solo thing does. I was supposed to go to this show for free and got benched by life..I've always thought they were kind of like a Gilligan's Island band come to life (yeah, I know Steve Shelley and Jad Fair made The Mosquitos real!), but I'd still grab "Machine Gun Etiquette" and "Damned Damned Damned" in a fire.

Anonymous said...

Now this stuff you wrote about The Thing is all fabrication. I don't understand why you would make up a lot of bullshit.

I was there to see all those early White Zombie, Live Skull, Das Damen, The Thing shows at CBGB and elsewhere back in the day in the mid and late 1980s.

The Thing didn't sound at all like Das Damen, they were very popular in NYC and Europe, drawing over 500 people per show. They even recorded a John Peel session in 91 for BBC radio.

Plus, there is NO issue of Conflict with any letters from Sal Canzonieri printed in them, as I have every issue of that zine and just looked through all of them and there isn't any at all.

There's documentary of the NYC 1980s music scene coming out and all these bands are featured in it, including The Thing.

Also, many music history books have credited The Thing and other NYC bands of that time period with developing from Noise Rock (such as The Unsane) into what later became called Stoner Rock (once Monster Magnet was around). It was called "Psychedelic Punk" or "Acidcore" at that time, actually.

Brushback said...

Thanks for agreeing that my own personal opinions are, in fact, made up.

As it happens, I've posted some Das Damen tracks on this blog anyway, so people can compare the two records on their own if they want to.

I was around in NYC during the 80's buying records and going to shows as well, and to suggest that The Thing were anywhere close to the same level as Unsane or Das Damen or Monster Magnet (just to throw some names out there) is kind of misleading... no matter what you've been able to get added into books and documentaries after the fact.

And I personally remember reading stuff in Conflict-- not even knowing who "Sal C." was at the time, it would be hard for me to make this stuff up. If you have all of those old issues of Conflict, though, I'd love to borrow them from you.

I can see what you clicked on to enter this site, which tells me that you're hardly as anonymous and impartial as you're trying to suggest. I appreciate anyone who comes here to provide counterpoint to what I write, though; there's always tons of things that I don't know, or I'm forgetting... especially anyone who wants to talk about the '80s, because there's some stories to tell from back then without a lot of people around to tell them.

Brushback said...

The mp3 files on this post are now listen-only (non-downloadable) files.

Normally I'd offer to e-mail the original files to anyone who asks, but both files are over 10mb, which is too large to send as an attachment.

Plus, mr. hippie here ruined it for everyone by lying and telling me that his letter was never printed in Conflict, when I SAW IT WITH MY OWN FUCKEN EYES. Jeezus christ, I know I get some things wrong around here, but why would I even buy a Thing record in the first place if I wasn't already curious about them from reading Conflict, anyway? I mean, it's not like the sleeve of this record just jumps out and says "BUY ME".