Friday, September 30, 2011

I've Been Sitting In This Dump All Night Just Waiting For You

I ended up seeing Easy Action twice in the same night last Friday; after they finished up their set at The Flywheel at around 10:15 or so, they then scooted another 25 miles north up I-91 where they played an even better set at The Wheelhouse in Greenfield. Not that they even had much of a chance at The Flywheel, since the sound at the beginning of the Flywheel set was pretty rough; I couldn't hear the guitar at all at first, just mostly the drums and vocals, and then midway through the first song John abruptly stopped singing and dropped the mic to the floor because he was getting shocked by it. Eventually the mic situation got sorted out, and then after that the problems with the sound seemed to go away also. There were a few sludgier songs early on in the set that I didn't recognize, either -- new songs? or songs from a record I don't have? I never found out, because they didn't have a set list written out for either show -- but, in any case, it wasn't until about halfway through the set that things started to warm up.

I ended up hearing about the second show while I was milling about in the front room before the earlier show, thumbing through the Flywheel's zine library; it was around that time that Thurston Moore showed up and started chatting with the band just as I was standing there reading a zine called I Would Punch An Ass For Cake (true story). John Brannon: "Yeah, we're playing another show after this one, a few miles up the road", but nobody seemed to know the name of the place or exactly how to get there, so as we were all leaving, I told Easy Action that I was just going to follow their van, and then we both did U-turns in the center of Greenfield a couple of times before finding the place. It turns out that The Wheelhouse is actually a pretty nice little room, tucked along a back alley and hidden downstairs in a basement somewhere, with a whole bunch of plumbing and sprinkler pipes sticking out, and a bunch of writing on the bare stone walls so that it still looks like an actual basement. Easy Action came out swinging this time, changing up the set list from their earlier show by opening up with "I'm Waiting" (with John's voice on the first verse sounding like one long solid "WOOAAHHRRR", just like back in the old Negative Approach days), and then even doing their 10CC cover, "I'm Not In Love", which they didn't do at the Flywheel. They pretty much ripped it up and laid it down, with about half of the people who were in the audience at The Flywheel making the drive up to Greenfield to catch the second show as well. If you were one of those people who were at the somewhat-flabby Flywheel show but then didn't go to the second show, it would've turned your whole night around, trust me.

The Deacons opened up the show at The Flywheel, and I've known Rich for over 25 years now (and Al for a little bit, too), so it was nice to hang out and catch up with them and buy a couple of records and stuff. A band from around that same area of Massachusetts, called Powerblessings, went on before Easy Action at the Wheelhouse show, and they friggin' kicked a load of ass-- I don't know how many of you out there remember a band called Pipe, who were on Merge back in the '90s (I've posted a couple of their singles here), but these guys sound a lot like them. They were supposed to play at a Whitney House show that got cancelled by the hurricane a couple of weeks back, so I'm glad that I ended up catching them here. I don't really know any of the words to their songs but the singer's viewpoint seems pretty great, way more amused than pissed off, like in a "well, that shit was pretty fucking stupid" kind of way. I saw someone else compare them to The Jesus Lizard, which is something that I really can't follow along with, unless you amend it to mean some of Pissed Jeans' faster songs mixed with Pegboy/"Understand"-era Naked Raygun. Anyway, they've got four songs up on Bandcamp which are supposed to be on a 7" that's coming out soon-- I'll go ahead and post one of them here...

Easy Action -

"Dead of Night"

The Deacons -

"D-Train to Brighton"

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Hate Your Folks And You Know Why

The first show I ever went to at Whitney House was Guilty Faces and Dean Dirg back in 2008, only I left before Dean Dirg even set up because I wanted to be home by 10 (I'm pretty sure it was a weeknight). Probably one of the more stupid things I've done lately, but there's been so many bands in my life that I've seen and don't even remember seeing, that missing one or two now isn't going to make much of a difference... anyway, this is the "tour" edition of Dean Dirg's "The Chimpänzee EP", though I don't know what makes it different from the regular edition other than the fact that the tour edition is hand-numbered. The songs on this 7" are all kinda short, so rather than doing my usual thing and just posting two or three songs that are only 30 seconds long (which would be pretty dumb), I'm going to post the whole thing as a zip file.

1. Squad Car (:32)
2. I Don't Like You(r Band) (:58)
3. Amateur Action (:38)
4. Mum I Hate Your Kids (:29)
5. Hit The Wall (:30)
6. 15,16,17,18... (1:14)

Dean Dirg – The Chimpänzee EP [Ken Rock, 2005]

Saturday, September 17, 2011

We Hate This Fucking Place

I've already written a couple of times about how I used to be really into Freemasonry back in the '90s, which is how I stumbled onto buying this 7" in the first place, since Galanas:.Cerdd is ex-Freemasonry. This is one of the neat little 7"-ers that I was going to review in the last issue of Brushback, except the issue never came out and blah blah blah, you know how that goes. I forget what the Soli Deo Gloria song on the other side sounds like (and I didn't listen to it again here-- I'm pretty sure it's an instrumental), but the Galanas:.Cerdd song is pretty great, sorta like a more amped-up/metal'ed up version of the kind of stuff My Pal God was putting out at the time-- you know, bands like Hurl and Dis- and so forth.

When I first got this 7" in the mail, it came with a fairly long and despondent letter from Chuck, the guy who ran Moodswing Records, talking about how all the bands he was putting out were breaking up and so forth. I'm hoping he doesn't mind me reprinting the letter here, because it's definitely one of the more memorable things I've ever gotten with a record. I'm pretty sure the label situation turned out okay anyway, because Moodswing is still around and you can even still buy this 7" from them (for like a buck-fifty or something).

Galanas:.Cerdd -

"Three Dot Dash"

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What I Can't Do And What I Won't Do Have Become The Same Thing

I guess Oiltanker's new LP coming out just as they're about to go on a 10-month hiatus counts as a weird sense of timing (obscure reference that you won't get: "it's your delivery"), but so far it's no big deal because they kicked ass at their LP release show on Friday anyway. Oiltanker's set-up happened to be the biggest row of stacks/cabinets I have ever seen at Whitney House, meaning they were pretty loud, but the place was so packed tight with people that once I moved back about 30 or 40 feet I didn't even really need to wear earplugs. I keep hammering on the fact that I think Oiltanker are the best live band in CT, and it's because their riffs are friggin' killer, everyone in the band knows their shit, and when they're locked-on the sound is overwhelming. Their "Crusades" 7" is literally one of the best punk/HC records ever from CT and so it oughta be a tough one to top, but after a quick listen-through I think I can say that the new LP is worthy of the task. The packaging came out really nice, too-- great artwork on the sleeve, a full-sized lyric sheet (printed in two languages), plus everything's all in black and white so the overall look is really intense.

Escalator shook a little rust off in time to play a great set, also. It's been a while since the last time I've seen them (like 11 months, maybe?), which makes it kinda easy for me to lose track of how much I like their sound. Escalator's sound is really heavy and thick for "just" a two-piece, but leaves plenty of space to allow the riffs to work. I really like Ben's guitar playing-- it's Iommi heavy (taking on part of role of the bass) but still nimble and punk as fukk. Fast noisy shit with deep grooves in between, you'll like it.

Oiltanker -

"Who's In Control"

Escalator -

"Efficacy & Obsolescence"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'm Stupid Anyway

Three best American punk bands: Crime, Pagans, Weirdos, though not necessarily in that order... I was never lucky enough to actually own any Crime records, but I ended up being just lucky enough to find "Piss On Your Turntable", a bootleg CD that collects just about every piece of Crime vinyl in one place. A good chunk of the CD is the "San Francisco's Doomed" LP, a semi-legit release from about 20 years ago, half of which was a studio demo recorded in early '78, the other half being a rehearsal recording from '79. The '78 stuff fucking rips-- heavy drums and loud guitars all over the place, just a classic piece of rock... there's also a 12-page booklet of lyrics and stuff, but I'm not gonna scan the whole thing because nobody ever reads that shit... anyway, here's a couple of tracks from the '78 recording, plus the whole thing all at once, which I'll take down sooner than eventually...

Crime -

For a short time, here's a .zip file with all 11 tracks from the '78 recording:

Crime - San Francisco's Doomed (1978 demo)