Eksi Ekso

It's a snowy day here in NYC so I thought I would post about some music that definitely enhances a snow day mood. Eksi Ekso are a band from Boston. Featuring former members of The Burning Paris and On Fire (which means nothing to me but maybe something to some of you?) the band is covering the much enjoyed (by me at least) genre of orchestral pop. Vaguely reminds me of my favorite band, The Delgados. Their album, I Am Your Bastard Wings, is taken in better as a whole which many of you probably know is a rare thing these days. Today it's about the single and that seems true even for some of the bigger indie bands. Sad state of affairs, I tell you. To encourage you more fully to purchase and listen to the record as a whole I would like to put a link to the double vinyl version instead of the cd version. You should go to the Mylene Sheath store and pick this up. If you're not convinced by the description of "snow day music" take a listen to these songs...
I Though You Died Last Time
Just Leave


The Need

Yet another Rachel Carns band! Probably the band she is best known for. Her and Radio were a revelation! I got to see the band live many many times and they always brought it. Metal dudes liked them which was perhaps my favorite thing about seeing them live. There were always some metal dudes in the audience at these shows looking a bit out of place but not giving a shit. They were there to rock the fuck out to Radio's awesome guitar playing and Rachel playing her stand up drum kit like a total maniac. Even the singing fit perfectly for the style of music - a homage to and not a parody of metal.

This is definitely a favorite song. From the Destination compilation which if I remember correctly also had Team Dresch on it. Do I remember correctly? Not sure!

This song was always my favorite to see live!
The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown)
I think it's the epitome of The Need sound and songwriting style. Awesome song. (I never had a copy of this song until recently. Found it on an awesome blog called Pukekos.)



I first heard Butterglory in 1996. The radio station I did a show at had an excellent policy of only being able to play the same band twice in a quarter (or was it a semester?) so you were definitely forced into discovering music new to you. One day I was going through new arrivals and came across the record Are You Building A Temple In Heaven and decided to give it a listen. I immediately fell in love with this song:
Sit In The Car
What's not to like? Pure mid 90s indie rock right there, baby.

For whatever reason I never really got into them. My mind remembers them breaking up fairly soon after that record but maybe they had another after it... Perhaps I should investigate their catalog a bit more. Anyway, I only have a few songs from them but the enjoyment I receive from that song is still felt today. Because I like to post 2 songs you get another. This time with Matt on vocals.
Drop The Baton


Galaxie 500

Sorry I've been missing in action. I was cat sitting for nearly 2 weeks and decided to not take a computer with me. I am an internet junkie so it was a change to cut myself off from it. However, I got some good reading in.

One of the books I read was Black Postcards by Dean Wareham. I'm not a fan of any of his music particularly but I do enjoy some of it. I don't think you really need to be a fan to enjoy this book though. I think it's a pretty good eye opener for anybody who likes lesser known bands. Dude started out with Galaxie 500 on an indie label but with Luna jumped to a major in the gravy train 90s. The majors weren't exactly the get rich quick scheme they seemed like though. It's a glimpse at a time when things were different but it brings you to the current state of affairs of the music industry. (Though there isn't much about Dean & Britta except for the recording of their first record.) What I'm saying is that if you're remotely interested in the music business or what life on the road and making records is like you will probably enjoy this book quite a bit.

Here are two of my favorite Galaxie 500 songs in honor of this fantastic book!


Kicking Giant

Hmmm, I'm pretty sure that so far I've only written about one band that Rachel Carns has been in and that was here. So let us back track from that to her previous band, Kicking Giant. I first heard them on the Julep compilation which I picked up because of a Tiger Trap song. Compilations were a good way for me to get exposed to bands without committing $10 to a whole cd. I knew I liked Tiger Trap and Slant 6 (who also made an appearance on this comp) so it seemed like a safe bet. The comp. did indeed introduce me to many bands whose records I would go on to purchase.

The song on the Julep comp. was re-recorded and re-styled for their album. They both have their pluses and minuses though ultimately I think I prefer the album version just because it's a bit more rocking. Since I'm posting my favorite song from Alien i.D. I thought I'd go ahead and post the version I first heard instead even though I don't think it's quite as good as the later version.

The other song I'm posting is Kicking Giant's masterpiece. I don't know what to say about this song other than that.
She's Real (Version)

I will say that Tim Green's work on this album was one of the reasons why (at a much later date) I would push hard for one of the bands I was in to record with him. I enjoy pretty much all of the production work he did while living in Olympia.



I generally try to give you something that maybe isn't just an album track. Whether that means a song from a 7" or a compilation or a radio broadcast... well, you get the picture. I don't always have something awesome like that but when I do I usually post it. Especially when a band is big and gets enough press/blog affection or whatnot. When somebody I know suggested a Spoon post I was reluctant to do it. Until I remembered that I have this track!
The Beast and Dragon, Adored
It's a re-recorded version and I like it better than the album version. Cleaner. It comes from a compilation. So, there you go.

The other song I decided to post is from their first full length record, Telephono, released way back in 1996 on Matador records. It got a re-release from Merge in 2006. I know that early Spoon gets panned but I don't mind when a band wears their influences on their sleeves. We're all inspired by something, right?
All The Negatives Have Been Destroyed

The kids went so crazy for Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga. I can't help but wonder what the next record will sound like.


Lord Cut-Glass / Emma Pollock

Chemikal Underground Records recently sent out a message to people on their mailing list that was of particular interest to me. Please read the most pertinent part of the mail:

"Ex-Delgados To Release New Material On Chemikal Underground...

Alun Woodward is set to release his debut solo album next year under the moniker of Lord Cut Glass. Over three years in the making, Lord Cut Glass' album is not the easiest project to categorise - a dazzling mash-up of brass, strings, accordions, pounding bass drums and all round Woodward-inspired strangeness, it's our humble belief that this album's going to cause something of a stir once tracks start to get aired. It's been a long three years since we've heard new musical output from Alun (excepting his marvellous contribution to the Ballads of the Book album) so to have a full album's worth of new material should be enough to send tremors of excitement through all right-minded lovers of music everywhere. Release dates are still to be finalised but be on the lookout for previews from early next year onwards...

Completing the homecoming theme, we're delighted to announce the return of Emma Pollock to Chemikal Underground too, with her second solo album scheduled for release later in 2009. It's great to have Emma back under the avuncular guidance of Chemikal with plans to start recording early next year and an autumn release firmly in our sights - assuming we don't end up killing each other first. More details of the recording sessions will be made available in the fullness of time but for the moment it seems only right and proper to have Alun and Emma back in the Chemikal stable with new projects on the horizon..."

I do like to fancy myself as the biggest Delgados fan on the planet. This is such exciting news! Emma released an excellent record on 4AD that seemed to go over quite well on her tour with the New Pornographers but I must admit that I'm pleased to see her back on Chemikal. Alun is one of my favorite songwriters ever and I've been anxiously awaiting any news of a solo record. To get both wishes in one update - it was a glorious day!

Ballads Of The Book is a truly unique record. Scotland's literary community merges with Scotland's music community. The idea was for the musicians to set the writer's words to song. So while these 2 songs might not be the best indication of what to expect from the two solo records I found the venture so incredibly worthwhile that I want to share these songs with you. For good measure I've included a Delgados song from my all time favorite album, The Great Eastern. Truth be told, the Delgados post I wrote still contains valid links for songs. If you have never listened to the band before please do so now!

A Sentimental Song Lord Cut-Glass & Alasdair Gray
Jesus On The Cross Emma Pollock & Louise Welsh
Thirteen Gliding Principles The Delgados


Television Personalities

Okay, so, you know how you have friends you really respect and they LOVE a band and you listen to that band and you don't really get it? That was me with this band for a long time... a very long time... we're talking years. I couldn't help but think that I was missing something. What the story ends up being is that I just wasn't hearing the right songs. How do I know this? Well, because, when I first heard this song, Look Back In Anger, everything changed for me. I mean, come on, this is a fantastic song. It's perfectly catchy and ramshackle yet lyrically it's hurt and honest yet not malicious. What a combination!

Here is a song from later in the discography. The recording is more polished but it doesn't take away from the spirit. If you go through and listen to Dan Treacy's lyrics over the course of his career you will note that he doesn't lose the spirit. He's been through some shit but he still sounds like he's trying. You have to admire that.
The Man Who Paints The Rainbows


747 tattoo

Tattoos In Flight contacted me last week asking if I'd be interested in having my 747 tattoo up on the site. I wrote a little blurb about it and now it's up! I have many tattoos but the 747 is definitely one of my favorites. You can see my cassette tape tattoo (which is the art work from a Delgados single) on my profile page.

Grey Anne

It's Sara from blowin your cover doing a guest post outside my normal realm of music blogging. Today we will focus on Grey Anne (formerly known as Per Se) the musical moniker of Anne Adams. The name Grey Anne is a former nickname for Adams, her sister's name is Grace and their mother would begin to say "Grace" and then quickly correct it to "Anne" with the effect being "Grey-Anne." Grey Anne is a Portland based artist via Anacortes, Washington and has been a staple on the scene since the early 2000s.

Adams has a gorgeous pure voice reminiscent of a jazz singer or someone who has grown up on stage rather than in a studio, this is no surprise considering she spent many years in church choirs as well as memorizing musicals for fun. Musically the songs are sparse, mostly Adams' sweet voice over her crisp guitar with an occasional drum or cymbal which allows the listener to focus on the stories Adams is generously sharing with us.

I do mean generously as facts n figurines is Adams first release besides the single track "Adelaide" which appeared on the PDX Pop Now! Compilation all the way back in 2004. Adams has spent the last years concentrating on her live show with Per Se and Grey Anne creating a stage presence which involves fairy wings, stuffed animals and lawn ornaments as well as carefully crafting her beautiful, breezy, folky-pop songs.

On Grey Anne's myspace she compares her music to Steena Nordenstam, Mazzy Star, Blossom Dearie, Bjork and Suzanne Vega however the artist I hear most strongly is Mirah, as well as a bit of the recently blogged Dear Nora and a tad of Kate Nash (in her sparse demo form).

Grey Anne's long awaited debut album facts n figurines is due out November 11th on Greyday Records. If you are in the Portland area you can see her perform a handful of shows over the next couple months, the rest of us will have to continue to be patient and wait for a full-blown tour.

the liking


Election Day

This should go without saying but please get out and vote. I'm sure it's painfully obvious that I'm a liberal and am voting for Obama. For those of you in California please vote NO on prop 8. As a big gaywad and former resident of the state I beg you.


Dear Nora

I can't remember if I'd heard of Dear Nora before I saw them (actually, it was just Katy) play. Her and Mirah played a backyard in Sacramento one night and I remember little else about any of it. I do remember being completely taken by Dear Nora's songs and bought a 7" or 2. Generally, I am not a fan of a solo performer playing an acoustic guitar but she was extremely strange, engaging, and the songs were great. Of course, I do prefer the full band arrangements probably because I'm a drummer. Linton from the Aislers Set produced the first full length. The mark of Linton's production is all over it and I love it. The handclaps that come in for the second chorus is my favorite touch on this song.
Since You Went Away

This song is from an out of print 7" which I may or may not have bought that night. Hmmm. Sometimes it sucks when giant chunks of your memory are missing! Anyhow, this is more like the Dear Nora I saw that night. I am pretty sure that I never saw the full band. Sad!
Just One More Thing


of Montreal

I live in NYC, read music blogs, and have friends playing CMJ shows so even if I wanted to ignore it I probably couldn't. I didn't RSVP to any parties and have no plans to go check any bands out. In fact, tomorrow night I'm trekking to Jersey City to see The Magnetic Fields. All of this because my first year here I was ruined.

See, I went to see of Montreal play during CMJ in 2005. Easily one of the most fun shows I've ever seen and one of the best as well. My mind paints it as what it would have been like to see New Order at the Hacienda. At that point in time I was kind of bored with music if I wasn't playing it. I wasn't really enjoying the live experience. They renewed my faith in fun shows that night.

It's odd but I haven't been able to get into any of the albums that have come out since. I haven't gone to see them since. The photos I saw of the show here a couple of weeks ago looked like it was a really good time. However, I fear that none of their shows will compare to the CMJ 05 show. After that show I couldn't get this song out of my head... The Party's Crashing Us

I was even happier when I found this remix because it felt more like the live experience to me. Even though the original version sounds more like the one they played that night the energy of the remix feels more authentic to my memory. I'm a person who usually strongly dislikes remixes so I feel that the fact that I possibly like this version more than the original is quite astonishing. Funny what memory will do! The Party's Crashing Us (i am the world trade center remix)



Quasi is one of those bands that used to mean so much to me but sort of lost me a couple of records back. If we were in a relationship the speech probably would have been of the "It's not you, it's me" variety. So I guess what I'm really trying to say is that they didn't lose me but we grew apart? (Forgive me, it's actually very late as I write this. I'm fond of setting times for these to go up and not posting them immediately.)

ANYWAY. The first few records lyrically are really it for me. Sam Coomes was already nailing a funny turn of phrase in sad songs even earlier in writing for The Donner Party. By the time Quasi was roaring he was a master. The recordings were always enjoyable but I absolutely loved to see the band live. I have a very distinct memory of Sam humping his roxichord in pure frustration during the tour that Quasi served as Elliott Smith's backing band. Janet seemed completely befuddled by Sam's nervous breakdown and if I recall correctly they had to start the song over several times. Can't remember what song though! When they tour again I think maybe we can rekindle our romance.

The records that really stand out for me are R&B Transmogrification, Featuring "Birds", and Field Studies. Those are the records that I related to most when they came out. These are songs that are born out of a relationship falling to bits, hopes and dreams falling apart, and other downer subjects. In other words, my favorite types of songs.

Here we have probably my favorite Quasi song. It's a song that describes the loneliness you feel after a breakup so well.
The Skeleton
Another song about love gone wrong.
In The First Place
I didn't do a very good job of getting some of the songs with humor in them on here. Sorry about that. Perhaps an excuse to go pick up one of the records mentioned above if you do not have any Quasi of your own.


The Ballet

The Ballet are one of those bands I saw so often in 2006 and 2007 that it was a little weird when they stopped playing live. Then I kind of forgot about them, but when we were unpacking a couple of weeks ago I saw the cd and decided to do a post. I generally hate describing bands, (which is why you hardly ever see me do it here), choosing to let people come to their own conclusions and opinions on music. I hate hype to the point where I will unfairly hate a band because of it. However, I do admit that with the Ballet I often tell people that if they like the Magnetic Fields they will like the Ballet. Since I know A LOT OF PEOPLE like the Magnetic Fields (as witnessed by me going over my bandwidth last month!) I figure that for those of you who haven't heard the Ballet this might be a treat.

If you go to their website you will find two of their very best songs to download. These are some of their other best songs though I do recommend ordering Mattachine! from the band directly or getting it from itunes if that's your thing. The entire record is excellent! Hope to hear some new music from the band someday soon though I believe they might be in grad school hell.

Cheating On Your Boyfriend


The Monochrome Set

Another band that I'm afraid I don't know all that much about. I'm pretty sure that the first time I heard them was through Little Hits who posted the single version of The Jet Set Junta a few years back. A few weeks ago while at Kim's for their closing clearance sale I came across a copy of The Independent Singles Collection which I got for a steal. It was just released earlier this year by Cherry Red Records who have worked with the band off and on since the 80s. I'm quite pleased with the purchase and think that it was probably a good starting place.

This is probably my favorite song from the collection. It makes the stomach fluttery like watching porn for the first time when you're not quite old enough to know what's going on. A great blatantly perverse song about sex.
The Mating Game

I tend to hate songs that use the bands name like a theme song of sorts. When I read that they wrote this because they were inspired by The Monkees theme song I thought that was pretty entertaining. Of course, it helps that this is a good song! If you like these songs it is safe to say that you will like the band.
The Monochrome Set


18 Wheeler

Pretty much anything I could tell you about the band I just learned from the 18 Wheeler wikipedia page. I came to know of this band because a guy I worked with was a huge britpop fan and buyer for the record store I worked at. He was constantly buying these imports for the store that really had no market where we were located. If you weren't Slowdive or My Bloody Valentine you weren't going to sell in our store. Anyhow, he bought this for the store and he must have played it in the store one day. I liked it and bought it. It's power pop for the most part, but I know that when I listened to their later albums I didn't like them - they went electronic for the third record. Maybe I never heard the second record. The 90s are a fuzzy haze of depression!

I've probably discussed before that my favorite songs tend to follow the verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure. Certainly not all of my favorites but a good number. This song is no different. Definitely my favorite 18 Wheeler song and an excellent starting point if you've never heard them.
I Won't Let You Down

I thought I would post a song that is just about the opposite from a straight ahead up-tempo pop number. A good song if you've recently (or perhaps ever) been heartbroken.
Hotel 167

I loaned my copy of this record to a girl I once had a crush on. The crush fizzled and I never got my record back. I ended up having to buy this again on import. I'm pretty sure it's out of print by now, but I'm also pretty sure you could find it if you wanted it. The record is called Twin Action, and it came out on Creation Records in 1994.


Bishop Allen

The other day I was writing a friend about music. I was reminded of a time about 10 years ago when my therapist at the time asked me if I ever thought that perhaps the music I loved made me depressed. At the time I told her that if anything music saved me from being even more depressed! I told her about how I kind of maybe thought that Joy Division were a bad scene for me so I put them away for about 5 years, but other than that I thought music served me instead of abused me. I've often felt like I don't fully connect to some music until I listen when depressed. Something Madonna once said has always stuck with me - something to the effect of when she was happy she didn't sit down to note it. She was too busy being happy! However, when depressed or upset or whatever, well, that's when the writing floodgates tend to open. I still don't think that music depressed me. However, I will concede that a great emotional song can really do me in.

In the last 3 years there haven't been very many songs that have just absolutely floored me on first listen. When me and my girlfriend first started dating we would listen to random records that she had that I had been curious about. One of those records was Bishop Allen's Charm School. If I recall, I became more curious after seeing the film Mutual Appreciation in which Justin Rice (from Bishop Allen) starred. I thought it was a cute and fun little record and enjoyed it. The sort of band that you have no real idea what might come next. Then, their monthly ep project got onto my radar and I checked out the newer stuff. I was surprised by the growth of the songwriting. The April release contains the song responsible for knocking me on my ass due to the imagery and beauty involved. It also happens to be a song that can put me into a severe bum out mode. None of this is helped by the fact that I temped at Rockefeller Center at x-mas time (not recommended unless you wish to be homicidal) AND am so susceptible to lyrics that I did recite my times tables the next time I was landing at JFK.
Flight 180
I must add that I find this to be a much better version that the version they re-recorded for their next full length. I don't know why, but I do tend to like the first version of a song before a band over thinks and tinkers with it to death.

They released their second record, The Broken String, to a good amount of blog press. Some songs from the ep project were re-recorded and there were some brand new ones. Overall, the record is much more "mature" than their first. The lyrical content, production, and musicianship had all grown. I like the record quite a bit. To me, all I ask of a band is to move forward. Evolve a little. So how could I not like the second record? It was slightly difficult for me to pick a song from the record but finally decided on this one for no other reason than we're expecting some here tonight as I'm writing this on 9/25.

My favorite song from their first record can be heard in the commercial for that new movie with Michael Cera. Apparently Bishop Allen are in the film?



I do this for free - meaning, I don't pay for bandwidth to host music. My free bandwidth won't reset for another 5 days. This is fine though because I'm going to get some posts in the pipeline. We just moved and while unpacking cds I found stuff that I didn't remember having which is pretty exciting. So, in a few days there will be music posts again! Hold tight.


No Songs, Just Words

I just read that Richard Wright of Pink Floyd has died. This may be a terribly unhip thing to say but Pink Floyd meant a lot to me when I was a kid. I think that when you're a damaged kid you find something to fill in the blanks. For me, it was music. For a lot of my friends as well. A band that made a concept record about putting walls up around yourself to protect your emotional state should be required listening for angsty 13 year olds. I will say this - what me and my friends went through was more than run of the mill teenage angst. All of us had emotional problems, troubled homes, some of us were developing drug/alcohol problems. We certainly weren't the sheltered rich kids that we were growing up around. We couldn't relate to their trivial top 40 music. We had to go deeper and darker. So we did. Metal was big among us, classic rock, and a few of us liked college radio and punk. Anything that felt real, I guess.

Anyway, Pink Floyd. Me and my best friend (a guy named Chasz) spent a lot of time hanging out together listening to music. We had very similar lives and problems. So much so that we were in the same counseling group for children of alcoholics together at school. We loved our counselor so much... I'm sure that some of that had to do with the fact that she was into Pink Floyd! She really understood where we were coming from with our obsession, and unlike most adults she didn't look down on us for finding comfort in music. Chasz and I used to pool our money and go to the record store and buy records to share. On our way there our favorite song to sing was Pink Floyd's Time which, looking back, seems quite fitting for two 13 year olds with a lot on their plates. We ended up buying everything from Pink Floyd and even got into the solo Syd Barrett, Roger Waters, and David Gilmour stuff. I think about Chasz a lot. We were each others lifelines for a couple of years. It all ended because of a stupid fight when we were 15. Thankfully, we ran into each other a couple of years later and made amends. I always wondered what happened to him but then I found out about 5 years ago that he died. I had high hopes for him but he never made it out of the shit that tried to keep us down. I miss him.

I sincerely hope that I'm not the only one who made it out. I feel a responsibility to tell the stories of my friends. If you were going through anything real as a teenager and had just one friend I'm willing to bet that you've never found another friend like them. We grow up and become jaded and closed off. It's not as easy to let people in yet it's easier to cast them aside when the going gets rough. Maybe it's easier to find our own way ultimately. Not sure. Whatever it is, I just know that I've never said so little with people yet we all said so much. We just said it through song lyrics. It's still my preferred medium for communication. Recently I've been listening to Dark Side Of The Moon again. It may be a terribly unhip thing to say but Pink Floyd still mean a lot.


The Magnetic Fields

Another band with so much to choose from! It took me awhile to warm up to The Magnetic Fields - it wasn't until 69 Love Songs that I became obsessed. I had liked songs prior to that but something about the scope of that project really got to me. Some of my favorite songs ever come from those records. Seeing the band live is probably the best way to experience the music just because it's completely different than the recorded versions and of course the cranky Mr. Merritt and the personable Ms. Gonson somehow balancing each other out. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they're touring again for the latest record. You can find dates at the end of this post.

This is my preferred version of this classic song. An extremely clever song. Definitely ranks as one of the best songs Stephin Merritt has ever written. No easy feat!
I Don't Believe You

My current favorite song from the 69 Love Songs record. I love the interplay between Claudia and Stephin's voices and the hilarity of the lyrics.
Yeah! Oh, Yeah!

A bonus song from the latest record, Distortion, which I enjoyed even more in a live setting. Especially this song. Stephin took the lead vocal with Claudia and Shirley singing the backing parts. It was brilliant and funny and sad, just like so many of their songs.
The Nuns Litany

Tour Dates:

Oct 10 Minneapolis, MN
Oct 11 Madison, WI
Oct 13 Dallas, TX
Oct 14 Austin, TX
Oct 15 Boulder, CO
Oct 17 Atlanta, GA
Oct 18 Raleigh, NC
Oct 23 Jersey City, NJ
Oct 24 Columbus, OH
Oct 25 Philadelphia, PA
Oct 26 Washington, DC


Beat Happening

I've never met anyone who feels neutral about Beat Happening - you either love them or hate them, right? I remember when I used to play Beat Happening records in the store and most people had an immediate reaction. Unfortunately it was almost always a negative one. The primary complaint was Calvin's voice (followed by their seeming lack of skill at their instruments) and I do understand that it's not for everyone. Neither is free jazz or field recordings or grindcore, no? Whatever, to each their own. (I must say, following up Beat Happening with The Shaggs would have probably sent people over the edge but The Shaggs stuff hadn't been re-issued yet. Unfortunate.)

Anyway, the most charming thing to me about Beat Happening was the fact that it was amateurish. It was empowering to hear music that seemed within reach to make. The lyrics were always sweet even in the more sexual songs. I feel like Calvin pulled off the highly sexual sweet boy very well. Heather's songs were always winners and brought something extra special to the band. Her voice was more traditional so I always felt that her songs were a good way to dip a potential fans toes into the Beat Happening waters.

It was nearly impossible for me to pick just two songs. My favorites change all the time. (At one point back in the mid 90s I had made a Beat Happening mix and every song on it was my favorite. It was right after a break up and some days it could nearly send me to tears.) I feel like these songs are very good introductions to the band. If you can spring for the box set I highly recommend it.

Look Around


Juxtapoz Magazine - Current Issue

Juxtapoz Magazine has an issue on stands right now that is blowing my mind. It's about nyc graffiti. I'm a huge fan of graffiti art and love going to Europe to see it where it seems much more appreciated as an art form. In fact, many of the artists in this issue show regularly at galleries overseas and are highly respected artists over there. I live in the South Bronx where a lot of the dudes featured in this issue came from. A lot of them still have strong ties here - tattoo shops, art studios, etc. The building I currently live in is owned by Sharp, and Daze has a studio here, as does John Ahearn who is a sculptor. Hell, for all I know some of the other dudes in this issue have studios here...

I highly recommend picking this issue up. The interviews/profiles are totally fascinating. A glimpse into the city as it used to be through the eyes of people who were active in the scene. I'm glad that these artists have found a way to continue doing what they should be doing - creating. I have no artistic talent myself but I haven't felt this inspired to dick around with paint and pens in a long time. (If you happen to live in nyc you can pick this issue up for 40% off at Kim's by Columbia University as they are closing that location and selling shit off. We bought some rad stuff at a considerable discount on Monday.)


Noise Addict / Ben Lee

Who didn't love Noise Addict? So cute! Young Australian's making indie pop. What's not to love? I preferred the Young and Jaded e.p. to the full length they put out. Probably due to this cover:
Back In Your Life (jonathan richman)
Come on! That is awesome! I love kids with impeccable musical taste.

I actually still love the first Ben Lee record. It's upsetting to think that I've hated everything he's put out since. I don't fall for novelty so I don't think that's it. Maybe it says more about me? I still believe in a teenagers version of crushes and love. I couldn't get behind his adult take on those topics. I think that as we grow up and get hurt we become more closed off as a defense mechanism. It's hard to imagine an adult writing songs as naked as the ones on Ben's first album or the Noise Addict songs. My all time favorite Ben Lee song...
Don't Leave


Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers

Can't say that I'm a huge Jonathan Richman fan or anything but I do find some of his songs totally charming or awesome. The number one choice for charming and awesome is this song:
Back in Your Life
I mean, really. Listen to it and tell me that if somebody wrote that song for you that your pants wouldn't be charmed off. Mine certainly would.

This song is more awesome than charming but only by a nose. His young man enthusiasm is infectious. You can't help but get a smile on your face when this song kicks in. I often have trouble controlling my desire to dance in my seat on the subway when this song comes on. I don't dance. That's how good this song is.
Government Center


John, Peter, and Franklin

I couldn't possibly figure out how to do a Mountain Goats post. It just didn't feel right - how would I choose just 2 songs?! I mean, even if I picked 5 or 10 or 20 I would still be slighting too many good songs! So I thought I would do something a bit different with this post.

I assume that if you're reading this you probably know the Mountain Goats story. It's been widely written about over the years so I will spare the details. However, maybe an important one is that for quite awhile John was only interested in recording stuff that was pretty lo-fi. The early releases are of varying sound quality but the actual songwriting quality was always there. As time went on the recordings did move to an actual recording studio and of course the sound quality became consistently good. The songwriting quality got even better. So a real studio, adding more instrumentation, we have a guy not afraid to switch things up, apparently. (In some ways, the band becoming just that, a band, on the last couple of tours strikes me as Dylan going electric. It's a fun ride to be on.)

Some of the people involved with the Mountain Goats have been friends for a very long time. It strikes me as a wonderful thing to bring your friends with you on the way up. Peter Hughes was an early supporter of the recordings John was doing. Now he plays bass with him. Before all of that he was in a band called DiskothiQ which John cites pretty often and occasionally covers. My favorite song by them (and a great song for a road trip) from the hilariously titled Waterworld album. (Hilarious because it was apparently named after the movie of the same name... A very expensive movie to make that tanked badly.)
Witness Protection Program
Here is my favorite Mountain Goats song with Peter's restrained bass.
From TG&Y

Another old friend of John's is Franklin Bruno. I first heard of Franklin because of his band Nothing Painted Blue.
Missed The Point
(For some reason I think of NPB and J Church playing together a lot in San Francisco in the early/mid 90s but maybe they just always played around the same time.) Franklin is a witty and intelligent songwriter and NPB were a fun poppy punky band. His songs are sometimes a bit warped but that's part of the appeal for me. John sometimes covers him live, sometimes Franklin pops up to play with the band, he's recorded stuff for them... he's a very handy guy to know. (Recently saw him play under the name The Human Hearts with Matt Houser formerly of Palomar on drums.) Him and John had (have?) a project called The Extra Glenns as well.

The Mountain Goats are hitting the road yet again in September. If you haven't seen them live I cannot possibly recommend it enough. It's an experience.


Velocity Girl

Yet another one of those bands that I can't believe I haven't written about! It's almost wrong of me to have written about Julie Ocean a couple of posts back given that I hadn't yet written about Velocity Girl! Anyhow, on with the post...

I first heard the band when the record store I was working at received a promo copy of Simpatico and I put it on. It was one of those instant love affairs that happen less and less for me these days with albums. I listened to the record at least once every shift and sold a few copies here and there. I loved most every song on the record and soon learned that they had already had other releases out. One of the most depressing things to me is that I never got to see them live. They played a 21 and over venue the tour for this album and I had not yet acquired my fake ID that would soon save my underage ass from missing great shows. I have too many favorite tracks from this record so I picked the one that highlighted both Sarah and Archie's vocals.
The All Consumer

In my quest to be a very informed fan I then purchased their first full length cd. The album Copacetic didn't hit me in the same way. I think that I liked the production less and maybe the songs just weren't resonating with me in the same way. Their songwriting seemed like it had grown in the right ways between those first two records. Don't get me wrong though, there are still gems on that first full length. My favorite:
Audrey's Eyes

Then I picked up the ep that had some of the Bridget Cross vocals on it. (Bridget left VG to join Unrest.) I enjoyed the early songs and her vocals quite a bit. Thought it was an interesting move to keep the band name but switch out vocalists. Not a practice I condone! Well, obviously they had their success with Sarah Shannon on vocals and that is the VG I think of when I think of them. A nice glimpse of where they were coming from though.
I Don't Care If You Go

That brings us to their last release. Gilded Stars And Zealous Hearts was released in 1996. (My brain remembers 1995 for some reason....) I actually found it to be their strongest record with all the songs being really well written. Maybe a bit too polished and definitely the sounds of a band growing up but still strong. I was quite dismayed when they disbanded as I thought they would be around for awhile! After all these years, the song I'm posting still gets a lot of plays by me. It's a great mix track, especially for road trips.
Go Coastal



Palomar are one of those bands I can't believe I haven't written about yet! I absolutely love this band. They are a 4 piece from Brooklyn, and in my opinion they should have achieved more acclaim by this point. They write incredibly catchy yet bitingly smart songs. Rachel handles most of the lead vocals, though on occasion Christina takes over and on one song all 4 members switch off on lead. There are a lot of backing vocals, some call and response, some harmonies - all of this helps them to stand out a bit from other bands mining similar territory.

Another interesting thing is their evolution. The first record (which was incredibly difficult to find but can now be downloaded via their myspace page) was a good introduction with snarky and witty pop songs but the songs weren't as catchy as they were capable of writing. Rachel's singing voice has changed quite a bit over the years. This is definitely the least accessible record of theirs partially due to the vocals - an acquired taste sort of thing.

The second record finds them hitting the jackpot of melody, attitude, and fun! Probably one of the most all out fun records I own. It was incredibly difficult for me to pick just one song to post but the song I'm posting wins for this lyric - "I used to go to the punk shows, they're not like they used to be, no, they're different, and they're not getting better, no" - I think that the lyric sums up the attitude of the record. Musically it sounds similar to their first but a bit more polished and thought out - fast paced guitar driven pop that edges towards punk. The vocal take is similar to the first as well, but they are dialed back a bit. That being said, I have friends who still couldn't stand the vocals on this record. This is the last record with the rhythm section of Matt and Sasha.

Their third record was the biggest leap. All polished up, no abrasive vocals, more mature songwriting themes lyrically, and with the addition of Sarah and Dale in the rhythm section a much more solid (and much less ramshackle) base for the songs. (I love the second record and definitely am not knocking Matt and Sasha! It's just a noticeable difference.) All of this was announced immediately from the first song on the record.
The Planeiac
I think that this record is their most solid - every song on this record is great. Their harmonies sound the best they've ever sounded and Christina's songs are just as good as Rachel's. I know I talk about this a lot but I'm most impressed when a bands sound evolves. Most bands are happy to stay in the rut of what works. This record proved that Palomar was not that band.

Their most recent record continued on in the mature vein. Lyrically it's the most mature thing they've ever done. For me though, the second and third records are Palomar at their best. I'm curious to see if they make another record - there's been some grown up stuff going on in their lives so I'm not sure how the band fits anymore. I'm certainly crossing my fingers though!


Julie Ocean

Julie Ocean fit quite nicely in the theme of my last post - a current band rehashing the sweet sounds of mid 90s indie rock. One of my favorite new bands! All of the members hail from some fine bands, most notably Jim Spellman who played drums for one of my favorites, Velocity Girl. In Julie Ocean he handles guitar and vocals and has an extremely likable voice perfectly suited for some indie rock/pop singing.

One of my favorite sites to read (Aquarium Drunkard) did a nice interview with one of the members back in June. If you care to read that you can find it here. I commented on the post at the time saying that I couldn't find the cd. After exhausting all of the small indie stores I found myself in Virgin one day and they had it. Odd and a bit upsetting!

Anyhow, two very fine songs from Julie Ocean!
Bright Idea
#1 Song


Fast Bird

Fast Bird are a new band from Brooklyn. Sean handles guitar and vocals, Jenny is on bass, and Ludis plays drums. (Full disclosure - me and Jenny have been in a couple of bands together.) While they are a new band I think they fit quite nicely amongst the posts I've done. They have that certain mid 90s indie rock sound I go on and on about, you see. That sound just seems to be good songs, no? I mean, there is nothing wrong and everything right with guitars. Guitars that have a little jingle jangle to them are even better. That is exactly what Fast Bird have going for them. Originally I was going to post 2 songs but noticed that if you direct yourself to the link above you can download all of their available songs from their myspace page. However, below, a taste...
Dance Monkey


I'm Through With White Girls

Last night me and my girlfriend went to the Afropunk Festival at BAM in Brooklyn. We saw a very funny film (the title of the film is inspired by The Dirtbombs!) that I would like to encourage you netflix users to save. I'm Through With White Girls.

After the film there was a Q & A with the writer, director, and one of the producers. An interesting thing came up when the producer asked about the audiences feelings on the name of the film. A woman said she would blog about the movie but not mention the name. She felt like she couldn't say the title to her (white) girlfriends! I was taken aback a bit. Funny is funny is funny. If someone is that uptight or fears that their friends are that uptight I think that we're in trouble. It's a comedy. It is funny. The title of the film is funny. Who the hell would be offended by that??? I'm white and I have zero problem with it. In fact, the title was a selling point! Anyway, I generally do not like comedies but this one stood out and I highly recommend it.


The Carrots

The Carrots are a 60s inspired girl (and 2 guys, I think) group. I got hip to them only recently and only because the singer for YellowFever plays keyboards with them. I grew up listening to Motown with my mother so I kind of love/kind of hate this resurgence. The Carrots fall on the love side for me. They do what they're doing very well. I'm guessing because what they do feels authentic; it feels real and not manufactured. That has everything to do with the fact that it's coming from the heart. I can totally get behind that.

I am also interested in the fact that the original music from the 60s was so heterosexual and concerned with keeping up gender roles but the song "Beverly" turns that inside out. So while the song sounds authentic to the genre it is a very modern lyrical take since it's about girl/girl stuff. I think that is brilliant! It's also brilliant that the other songs are about boys. I appreciate a modern take!

I love Jennifer's vocals in YellowFever so it's no surprise that I would be equally fond of them in the context of The Carrots. I think she has a rich voice that's suited for many different types of music.
Doing Our Part


New Musik

My story is a fairly typical one for someone my age who had open ears. I grew up in a musical household—there was usually music on somewhere, at least when the TV wasn’t. Much classical, opera, and rootsy American stuff—my father was into Western folk and labor/protest music. My parents also had many of the requisite 60s pop LPs—Peter Paul & Mary, Dylan, Beatles, 5th Dimension, Simon & Garfunkle—which I glommed onto as a kid and memorized. This was on Long Island, where I came of age in the 70s in what was a genuine cultural wasteland, as much as it’s become a cutesy cliché now [“OMG! I love the 70s!”]. As a tween/teen, when I started to identify personally with music, not a lot was available to me. Most kids in school listened to the absolute worst shit imaginable like CSN, Fleetwood Mac, Pure Prairie League, Loggins & Messina, Eagles, Jackson Browne, The Outlaws, etc. My friends and I—all out of our heads on drugs from age 13 on—gravitated backward to tougher music: classic rock like Stones, Who, Hendrix, but also stranger, druggier stuff where we could find it—Sabbath, King Crimson, Blue Cheer, Jefferson Airplane. What was still alive and vibrant for us was the Grateful Dead, and I’ll freely confess now that I was a teenage Deadhead. The Dead were not quite absolutely God-awful yet in the late 70s, and some of those Dead shows I went to back then were among the brightest and highest experiences of my life. I could [and have done] write about those days forever, but shan’t here.

So the 70s are winding up. Through the miasma of psychedelics and pharmaceuticals I was adrift in, new music started to penetrate once in a while. People on TV talked about the Sex Pistols, “punk rock.” The Cars, Blondie, Talking Heads, Elvis, and Police started to make inroads into radio, however feebly. A stoner girl lent me Lou Reed’s Transformer, which woke my ass up for a minute. The husband of one of my father’s colleagues taped me a couple of Eno albums, 801 Live... Then in 1979 a kid in my class took me with his older sister to see Talking Heads and B52s at Stony Brook University gymnasium. [My take on the Talking Heads then, between More Songs... and Fear of Music: minimal Grateful Dead meets James Brown. I’ve yet to hear a better nutshellism!] I woke up some more, and the next summer that same kid, and sister [with boyfriend now], and I traveled into NYC to see the Talking Heads play in Central Park, premiering their big band and the material from Remain In Light. Now, this fully woke me up. The park was crawling with every kind of weirdo imaginable, and everybody...was happy. I’d never been in a public space like that. People drinking and messed-up, but COMPLETELY tolerant of one another. I felt at home for the first time in a long time. More than the Talking Heads that day I remember the opening act, a Japanese band called Plastics. They were ridiculously fun and energetic and great—I never wanted to go home!

But go home I did, and somehow I managed to graduate and matriculate to SUNY Buffalo. Leaving home was wonderful; saved my life getting away from Long Island. And so it was in Buffalo, in 1980, that my world really opened up to music. Without parents around, all I had to do was drink a lot, take drugs, and listen to music [I excelled not in college]. I made friends, good real friends for the first time in my life or at least since childhood. And these friends loved this new music. They loved British punk but moreover “new wave” music. What’s now lumped under the ungainly moniker of “post-punk” was not so easy to pigeonhole back then. It was new psychedelic, new romantic, dance pop, new folk, synthwave, gothic, agitprop, minimal, electrofunk—whatever. What it all was, more than any other thing, was NEW.

But enough about me! All this back-story was meant to get me to this point: I made two great friends that year, Danny and Paul. Paul was from a very dink town in uppermost upstate New York and Danny was from New York City, but Paul was the new-wave cool cat and Danny the hapless goober [I was the weird Long Island stoner kid in between the two, you see]. Danny and Paul were both music nuts—they raced out to buy the British music papers the day they hit the record shops, and from them I learned to comb the NME, Melody Maker, and the Face. And together we spent the next few years accumulating piles of music and obsessing over all of it. I’ve kept on obsessing over music for the rest of my life, but for my purposes here I’m just going to cover those years, and I’ll likely reference Danny and Paul a good bit.

[Sorry for this huge post! I promise this is a one-time indulgence. I wanted to provide a bit of context. From now on I’ll keep it short and about the musik.]

Straight Lines
I think this is a good song to begin with, as I’ll be posting music that was brand new to me at the time, new to popular culture like nothing before it, and will hopefully be new to you. Straight Lines was released in 1979, the first single from New Musik’s first LP, From A to B. New Musik sadly failed to hold an audience on either side of the Atlantic, and quickly disappeared from view. Very sadly, because they were a terrific band—new, shiny, smart, poppy, strange—and Straight Lines is a wonderful song. They made a couple of albums, both of which are very much worth obtaining if you happen upon ‘em [I think it’s all out of print]. Singer Tony Mansfield went on to produce lots of music in the 80s.

And a Plastics song, just because this got me thinking about them!
Diamond Head


Sonic Youth

I am not a patriotic person - I generally dislike the 4th of July. In fact, my favorite 4th of July was spent in Europe where it is obviously a non-event. However, today I am excited. Why? I am seeing Sonic Youth for free. I love SY and I love free so it's a very good situation. I haven't seen SY in 13 long years so I'm really looking forward to it. Of course, as the weather goes here it is overcast and thunderstorms are predicted throughout the day.

I'm extremely fond of demo versions of songs that are true demos! This is a great example of a song still being figured out. The wording and phrasing, the tempo, hearing this and then the band version really gives you the full picture of what it must mean to be Sonic Youth. I do like that this version can stand on its own.
Eric's Trip (Demo Version)

Initially I was going to post "Teenage Riot" as the second song but thought about the fact that a lot of people seem less excited about newer SY. I actually really loved the last record so figured I should post one of my favorites from that. Kim Gordon is the coolest. The fact that this band has so many songwriters and singers is part of what keeps them interesting. The fact that I can do a post and not put up a song that Thurston sings lead on is pretty telling and awesome.
What A Waste


Well, thankee!

Hello to all! I am very grateful for and excited over this lovely invitation to contribute to Logical Logic. Thank you!  It's an honor and privilege--and I really mean that. This is a wonderful, thoughtful, and tasteful blog, and I hope to live up to all that. And yes, indeed, I'll be posting songs from mostly the late 70s and early 80s. This is an era that gets an inordinate amount of attention, on the Internets and everywhere else, but I'll hopefully be posting gems that you haven't heard of, or maybe have heard of but never heard. In any event, gems they will be, and they'll every one of them improve your life. This I can comfortably promise. So, where Logical Logic hearkens to a time before Internet access to music, I'll try to take you back to a time before there was even any popular notion of "independent" music at all. When things were a mess, but when the music being made and recorded [often on big-ass labels] was fresh and original and exciting in a way that is hadn't been before and has never been, to my mind, since. That sounds like fuddy-duddism, I know, but hopeful I'll be able to convince you.

And...now to push this button that says "publish post"--can it be that easy? Will this thing publish something else altogether? Will it send this post straight to some creepy cyber void? I have no idea. I am as new to this as I could be, so I may fuck things up a bit at first, and I beg your patience ahead of time. I'll post some music in a couple of days, after I'm sure what I'm about to do hasn't killed the blog...



My friend Evan (a man of impeccable musical taste) has now joined me in doing this project. He will be tackling stuff from the 80s primarily. Stuff that we can all love and learn from, I'm sure. Not sure when he'll get his first post up but thought I'd mention it!


Vivian Girls

A year ago this August I thought I was going to see Vivian Girls play a show in Brooklyn. It ended up that I was in Athens for the Popfest and missed them. I still haven't seen them and am starting to feel ashamed! A friend of mine in Oakland has even seen them and that's 3000 miles away. This goes to show how little I make it out for shows these days, I can't even see a band in my own backyard. Ah, well, perhaps this is the true worth of the internet - I don't have to leave my house to go stand around at shows. I digress...

I am puzzled by bloggers posting the longer songs by this band! There is absolutely nothing wrong with their bread and butter being songs under two minutes long. In fact, they should be applauded for not being afraid of having short songs. Too many bands these days are concerned with writing a 4 minute pop song when it's been proven time and again that you can get in and out in under 2 and show the world your brilliance in that time. It's fairly obvious here that I get much more enjoyment out of their shorter songs, no?

Especially this song!
All The Time
It reminds me of Tiger Trap, and that, my friends, is a great thing. Throw in a surf guitar lead and I might think I was hearing an early lost recording. This song exemplifies what Vivian Girls do well. You like this song and you will like the band.
Wild Eyes
This is a slower and sweeter version of what they do best. Based on their first releases it's clear that they have impeccable influences and I'm pretty excited to hear what comes next. Check the tour dates on their myspace page. You will probably see them before I do.

(Still more guests to come, a move to take place, and a vacation to have. Posting will continue to be sporadic until August.)


Team Dresch

Ah, queercore, we're talking about you yet again. If you were young and gay in the mid 90s you probably have extremely fond memories of Team Dresch. Probably the single most important queercore band, not only for being recognized as the band that helped bring the movement to the forefront of indie music for a short time, but also because of the fact that Donna Dresch and Jody Bleyle were both running labels that were focused on releasing good music, most of it queer. Also, the members of Team Dresch were all extremely talented musicians and that set the bar higher for the next crop of queer bands.

To this day my favorite song is from their first 7" release on Kill Rock Stars. The guitar lead is pretty much the best thing in the world. I spent much time bonding with someone over this song, two young queer girls obsessed with music connected by the usps. Hearing this song was a turning point - finally there was music for me, made by people like me - and I never looked back. Seeing Team Dresch and Bikini Kill at Gilman is one of those shows that will forever be burned in my memory. Anyway, the song...
Hand Grenade

Team Dresch released two full length albums and had assorted tracks on compilations. This song comes from the Free To Fight compilation that Chainsaw and Candy-Ass co-released. It's a fun and funny short song that I always liked for the slight silliness of it. Plus, a nod to Ann Bannon! Before the Ann Bannon revival was going crazy!
Song For Ann Bannon

Last summer I saw the band play. They had played shows occasionally over the years after their breakup. I had avoided seeing them, afraid of going back and ruining it all. It was actually pretty awesome to see the crowd last year. A great mix of those of us who were around the first time and a whole crop of kids who were too young to have seen them back then. Last I heard, they are supposed to be recording a new record and based on the new songs they played last year I'm pretty excited!



I feel like 764-HERO are probably best known for their release Whenever You See Fit which was a song they did with Modest Mouse. It came out as an ep and that seems to be how most people know of the band. That release came mid-point in their career though so let's go back a bit.

In 1995 Up Records released the bands first single, High School Poetry. I absolutely loved this song back then. I must admit that on hearing it again for the first time in a long time I found it to be a bit embarrassing! Maybe a bit too angsty for me now in my 30s. Anyway, this song was recorded while the band was a 2 piece. John Atkins had come from a band called Hush Harbor and drummer Polly Johnson was apparently in a band called Belle Jar. I saw them at some point while still a 2 piece and thought they were quite good live.
High School Poetry

In 1998 or so James Bertram joined the band and filled out the sound a bit. This song is leaps and bounds better than the first single (which is no real slam of the first single) partially because the band had been together for 3 years but also James Bertram really added something special. I got to see them as a 3 piece as well and as good as they were as 2 they were even better as 3.
Stained Glass


Courtney Love (the band, not the woman!)

I've had guests from Europe and have been unable to post. This summer looks to be very busy for me on the guest front (and a vacation or two of my own) so please hold tight when there are gaps. I will return! This week I hope to do a post every day to make up for it.

I forgot to mention to most everyone that I took a stroll down memory lane recently. I went to see Lois play an opening slot for The Rodney Graham Band and then she played in the band as well. I am pretty sure that the last time I saw Lois play was in her rather short lived band with Carrie Brownstein called Tommy. Back in the mid 90s! I have many fond memories of seeing Lois play back in the 90s - usually with former Tiger Trap drummer Heather Dunn playing with her. I hear she stopped playing because of stage fright but have no idea if that is true.

However, this post is about Courtney Love! The band consisted of Lois Maffeo and Pat Maley (recording engineer responsible for Yo Yo Studios) with Lois on vocals and Pat on drums. Not remarkably different from the Lois stuff to come later but I feel like it still has its place. It's funny to note that they named their band "Courtney Love" long before Ms. Love became an international annoyance. I believe she was an annoyance to people in Olympia long before she made her mark on the rest of the world. Anyway, enjoy these tracks.

Hey! Antoinette
My Last Night


The CeBe Barnes Band

The CeBe Barnes Band consisted of Rachel Carns, Radio Sloan, and Miranda July. I'm sure that many of you know that Rachel and Radio went on to form The Need and Miranda July went on to.... yeah, you know. I got to see The CeBe Barnes Band live back in 1995. They played a show at a glbt center in San Jose with Sleater-Kinney that I was at. They kind of blew my mind. I ended up seeing The Need numerous times and also a lot of Miranda July's performance pieces. It was an awesome time in the sense that Miranda July was opening for bands and there wasn't a huge disconnect in what she was doing versus a band playing. I always thought that Tracy & The Plastics was what Miranda July would have been had she continued making music.

Anyhow, The CeBe Barnes Band. Totally awesome. Extremely short lived. I am pretty sure this is the only release. Here's the 7" which is probably best known for the song She's A Winner though the first two tracks are even better. (Once again, special thanks to Blowin' Your Cover for converting the vinyl to mp3s!)

Height of Fashion
Consuming You
She's A Winner



Nar are Sacramento punk legends. I don't know anybody from the area who doesn't love Nar. Seriously. They released several 7" records over the years but now all of the songs are compiled onto one cd. I highly recommend acquiring the cd. Simple, fun, fast, catchy punk. What's not to love?

My all time favorite Nar song. Someday I'm going to cover it.
Cool District

A great song slamming scenesters. The world needs more songs like this.
Holiday Routine

A bonus track for all of you Go Sailor fans out there. Most people probably scratched their heads when they noticed that Blue Sky was a cover. Now you can hear the original!
Blue Sky

Scott Miller (not *that* Scott Miller) has been in many bands over the years. You can currently find him playing drums in legendary Sacramento punk band The Bananas who just finished a tour. (I never realised how popular they are until the other night. Went to see them in Brooklyn which was the first time I've seen them outside of the Sacramento comfort zone. The kids were going crazy and knew all the words! Warmed my cold and bitter litle heart.) He also fronts (fronted?) The Bright Ideas (who you can find off of the Bananas myspace page) and The Ski Instructors. Drummer Ed Carrol played in the FM Knives, and bassist Jason Dezember played drums with Smog.


The Time Of The Assassins

The Time Of The Assassins come from Melbourne, Australia. Their debut album, Awake In Slumberland, was recorded by the legendary Steve Albini and mastered by John Golden. If you're an audio nerd you will know those two names carry some weight!

I know that most people like to know what something sounds like instead of just listening to it. I am the opposite maybe because I find that I rarely agree with what people say something sounds like, yet I totally draw comparisons between bands. Can't fault somebody for using a shorthand of sorts! When I put this album on I felt like I was listening to some alternate version of Unwound. A little more polished, a little less experimental. Then I was thinking that it kind of reminds me of Blood Red Shoes who I know all the kids are going crazy for. Take my opinions with a grain of salt, you know? However, I do think that if you like either of those bands you will like this band.

This song caught my ears because of the bass line to "New Dawn Fades" from Joy Division running through it. That's the only blatantly Joy Division rip-off in the song though. Singer/Bassist Carisa Bianca Mellado handles the lead vocals with singer/guitarist Aspen Michael Taylor coming in with counter vocals towards the middle.
The Swan

To offer a contrast I thought I would post a more rock/up-tempo song that Aspen handles the lead vocals on. This one definitely fits in with the bands mentioned above. The record as a whole is much more solid than the debut record tag implies. Kind of a throwback to a more straight ahead rock time in the indie scene. It's not surprising that I like this record given that I am a sucker for mid 90s indie rock.
70 Days & 70 Nights

The band is on tour right now in the states. I have a feeling that they're pretty good live. Hopefully I will find out at the end of the month. There's one show in West Hollywood, Ca on May 15 and then they head to the east coast for 5 shows. Check the myspace page for details.


Head Spins

Sorry to get personal with everyone but I've been dealing with some annoying health stuff lately. I went to the doctor today and she told me that I have situational vertigo. This is making it difficult for me to do much other than be in bed or on the couch. Hopefully it will be clearing up (although slowly probably) and then I can stand to post again.

I will leave you with a song from High Places that is appropriate for the title alone. The fact that it sounds a little woozy is just a bonus.
Head Spins


Skinned Teen

One of those bands I don't remember hearing for the first time or how I got into them. I'm guessing that it was at the record store but I could be wrong. I enjoyed Huggy Bear quite a bit and a co-worker liked east bay punk so the thought of the Skinned Teen/Raooul release being played in the store is not difficult to imagine.

Skinned Teen were from London, and legend has it that they formed after a Huggy Bear/Bikini Kill show. You can hear those influences most on the track Punk Rockest which comes from their first 7" release. By the time that the Raooul split came out they had developed a bit more of their own sound. You can hear their growth on Ex-Boyfriend Beat from that split. They didn't have tons of releases but have remained one of those bands that I've never gotten tired of. After Skinned Teen called it a day one of the members went on to form a band called Petty Crime who were awesome! Used to have the 7" but don't think I do anymore. If you ever see it pick it up! Now I have no idea what any of them are doing. Shame!

Punk Rockest
Ex-Boyfriend Beat


The Third Sex

The Third Sex were from Portland, Oregon. They were part of the queercore movement that took place in the mid 90s. A friend of mine at KDVS thought they sounded more old school Portland (specifically like Neo Boys if I remember correctly) than anything else at the time. They were a three piece with Trish and Peyton trading off vocals and guitar and bass with different drummers filling in. Their first seven inch release, Mombies, was an instant hit on my radio show. They weren't as polished or musically accomplished as some of their peers (Sleater-Kinney and Team Dresch come to mind) but the music was passionate regardless. Lyrically they tackled the usual riot grrrl topics but somehow the music was more interesting to my ears than some of those bands like Bratmobile, who I always thought were boring. The main draw for me was hearing songs that felt like they were about my life. Songs about girl/girl love were still a novelty to me and at the time I found them incredibly important. I thought I would focus on lesser available tracks today though I do recommend their full length albums, both available from Chainsaw Records still, I think. If not, there's always ebay! I would like to mention that I once went on a road trip to Portland to go on a date with a certain member of this band. It was ridiculous and awesome and sort of epitomized the indie aesthetic to me - you could be anyone and be in a band and you could be anyone and talk to a band or go on a date with someone from one of your favorite bands. It sounds absurd but somehow it was really powerful to be able to feel like you were that close to what was going on.

Special thanks to Blowin' Your Cover for ripping this 7" for me!

This track is from the Free To Fight compilation.
Monster Snack


My First Punk Show

As I've mentioned before, the first punk show I ever attended was Tiger Trap, Cupid Car Club, and Slant 6 in Sacramento, CA. It was the summer of 1993 (July, I think) and I was 17 years old. Prior to that show I had been into labels like Sub Pop and Rough Trade but I had never been to a club show. I didn't know I was entering a new world and a new way of life just by going to a club show. It was especially jarring since up to that point nearly every show I had attended was at an arena or amphitheater with 10,000 or more people. This was a small club with probably 150 people in attendance and that might be pushing it.

I roped some friends into going to the show. We made our way to the outskirts of downtown - a somewhat foreign land to suburban me. None of us knew what to expect since we hadn't heard of these other bands. I was pretty excited when Slant 6 took the stage and they were three girls. I was definitely a riot grrrl/feminist at heart even if I didn't know the terminology yet. They were so rad looking - totally cool with an air of hipness unknown to me in suburbia. I was practically intimidated just by looking at them. Then they started playing and the songs were fantastic... simple yet powerful and catchy but still punk. They were blowing my mind. When I started working at a record store the next year I flipped out when I saw their debut album Soda Pop * Rip Off in the bin and bought it and put it on right away. Instantly made fans out of my co-workers. I would later learn about Christina Billotte being in Autoclave and bought that stuff up to. She's had a rich history since then with Quix*O*Tic and the Casual Dots. However, for me, Slant 6 will always have my heart.
Time Expired

After Slant 6 played there was a short break (not like an arena show at all!) and Cupid Car Club took the stage. Almost instantly I thought their singer looked familiar. When Tiger Trap took the stage Rose Melberg said something about Ian Svenonious being Sassy Magazines Sassiest Boy In America a couple of years prior. A ha! I remembered him! Awesome! Maybe I was more cut out to go to punk shows than I had originally thought. Anyway, I had certainly never experienced anything like Cupid Car Club before in my life. Energy and madness and..... FUN! I felt like I was witnessing something spectacular. I remember thinking to myself that I didn't know a show could be so crazed with passion. I was getting off on the energy. I wanted to go to shows like this all the time. Where the bands might not be making millions but were doing it because they felt like they had to. I walked out of the club that night a convert. I did my research on Mr. Svenonious and learned about his storied history as well and got into Nation Of Ulysses. I saw his later bands (The Make Up and Weird War) but didn't really enjoy the shtick. Cupid Car Club was short lived but pure.
Grape Juice Plus


When Push Comes To Shove

Over the years I have had many songs capture my attention and affections. I have been a fan of music almost my entire life. My earliest memories start at 3 years old and I can still remember what songs were popular at the time. I've mentioned it before but would like to say again how much I appreciate having older siblings and parents who like music. So, with 29 years of music listening and loving under my belt I would like to present you with my all time favorite song.
This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)

My mother is responsible for my love of Motown and oldies in general. She always had music playing in the car which probably explains why listening to music in a car is one of my favorite things. As I got older I would ask her for specific memories of hearing some classics for the first time. I enjoy people telling me about their first time hearing certain songs. Samuel R. Delany tells of hearing Martha & The Vandellas (Your Love Is Like A) Heatwave for the first time in his book, The Motion of Light in Water and it may very well be my favorite first time hearing a song story. I worry that we don't have songs like that today. I don't think Umbrella is a classic, you know?

The first time I recall hearing The Isley Brothers song was on an episode of Moonlighting which Dana Delany guested on before her starring role on China Beach. Now, given that my mother loves Motown and was always playing it I'm sure I heard this song prior to that. However, that episode married the song and the story so perfectly that it made a deep impression on me. Probably the first time I understood the power of music to help tell a story. When I got older I became obsessed with the song. Analyzing what makes it so great to me. The bottom line is that it is just perfect. The Funk Brothers playing is top notch. The bass line is my favorite ever played, the piano, the drums, the strings! That's just the first 15 seconds! Then the vocals kick in and take it even higher. Ronald Isley just nails the pain of having your heart broken over and over by the same person. Of course, Holland-Dozier-Holland (along with Sylvia Moy on this song) understood something about songwriting that very few people have understood since. I only wish I knew what it was! There have been many covers and none as good as the original.


New Bloods

New Bloods are a relatively new band (they had their first practice March 2006) from Portland, Oregon. Drums, Bass, Violin and voices intertwine and come out like a cross between The Raincoats and Erase Errata. I feel like New Bloods are a bit more melodic than either of those bands though. Kill Rock Stars just released their album The Secret Life this past Tuesday. They are touring like maniacs and there is a chance for a good portion of you to catch them since they will be hitting the states AND Europe! They need a bit of help so if you happen to be in Denver, Boise, or Omaha or Lincoln, Nebraska and can help them out you should get in touch with them. I'm including the date and location of the shows currently booked, if you want full information follow the link to their myspace page at the start of the entry.

Two of my favorites...
The Secret Life
The Cycle Song

Apr 11 Olympia, Washington
Apr 18 Portland, Oregon
Apr 20 Vancouver, British Columbia
Apr 21 Seattle, Washington
Apr 22 HELP US! Boise, Idaho
Apr 23 Salt Lake City, Utah
Apr 24 HELP US! Denver, Colorado
Apr 25 HELP US! Omaha or Lincoln, Nebraska
Apr 26 Kansas City, Missouri
Apr 27 St. Louis, Missouri
Apr 28 Bloomington, Indiana
Apr 29 Detroit, Michigan
May 3 New York, NEW YORK
May 4 Providence, Rhode Island

May 7 Leeds
May 8 Newcastle
May 9 Bristol
May 10 London
May 11 Cork
May 12 Belfast
May 13 Dublin
May 14 Paris
May 15 Nantes
May 16 Madrid
May 17 Barcelona
May 18 Bordeaux
May 19 Lyon
May 21 Berlin
May 22 Berlin
May 23 Amsterdam
May 24 London

May 29 Washington DC
Jun 3 Athens, Georgia
Jun 4 Gainesville, Florida
Jun 6 Pensacola, Florida


Excuse 17

Ah, once again we find ourselves in the mid 90s. The Periscope compilation that Go Sailor first appeared on also features what I think is the best Excuse 17 song. The comp came out between their first record which was released by Chainsaw and their second (and last) record which Kill Rock Stars released. This song was my introduction to the band so let's start with that and work from there.

After hearing and falling in love with that song I promptly bought their first record. The record was almost too catchy to be lumped into the riot grrrl category. The fact that they had 2 guitar players (no bass player) set their sound apart from their contemporaries in Bikini Kill, Heavens To Betsy, and Bratmobile. The lyrical content fit right in with riot grrrl though and that was always how Excuse 17 were described. This song is a great example of the record as a whole.
Imaginary Friend

I loved the first record so much that I was extremely curious to hear their second record. I had a lot of faith that they would change their sound somehow, do something different, and I was excited to hear it. When I first put the record on I immediately sensed that it was going to be angrier. The guitars were louder and more in the front and the record opens with Becca Albee stating, "I'm punker than you, I'm so sure." While there are still the lyrics about dudes being shitty the bigger message of the record is about the music industry and press being shitty. The sense I always got from this record was that disillusionment was already setting in. There were still some catchy songs on the record but overall it was more about being angry and not sugar coating it with hooky guitar parts.

After Such Friends Are Dangerous came out and they toured supporting it the band ended. Carrie Brownstein hit the road a few months later with Sleater-Kinney and never looked back.


Stockholm Monsters

One thing I find completely fascinating is musicians who drastically change their songs from demo version to final release. None of the bands I've been in have ever operated that way and I know plenty of other people in bands who don't operate that way. Actually, I only know one musician who it seems like almost always changes his songs from demo version to final version. I know that sometimes it's encouraged (or demanded, ha!) by the producer or engineer. An example of that is this song, Fairy Tales, by the Stockholm Monsters. Most people thought that the version Martin Hannett demanded out of them was not as good as their demo version. Of course, the funny thing is that it's a matter of personal taste, isn't it? I love the Hannett version much more than the demo.

Fairy Tales (Demo)

Fairy Tales


The Softies, Go Sailor, Rose Melberg

I've made my love of Tiger Trap abundantly clear here already so now I'll express my love for some of her other projects.

Go Sailor and The Softies were her projects immediately following the demise of Tiger Trap. I had the pleasure of seeing both projects many times including a melding of the two when Jen from The Softies joined Go Sailor on stage for a full band version of the Softies song Loveseat. I enjoyed that the bands were different from each other with The Softies covering the acoustic side of things and Go Sailor being poppy and punky but not pop punk!

Oddly, my favorite Softies song is actually one that Jen takes lead on. If I had the song mentioned above converted from vinyl I'd post it but since I don't I will default to my favorite. You can still hear Rose chiming in nice backing parts! Anyway, I always thought that this was a perfect crush song because it turns it on its head a bit. Talking about how perfect somebody is because they're as fucked up as you and that's why you can't be together.
As Skittish As Me

This song is a cover of the Rocketship classic! When I posted on Rocketship awhile back I posted their version (which is now down so don't bother trying to download it!) and have been meaning to post this cover. This version is slowed down and stripped down but I think that goes to show what a strong song it is. It's been said that a great full band song is really only a great song if it can stand on its own with just an acoustic guitar. I do recommend tracking the original version down though just so you can hear it in all its glory!
Hey Hey Girl (Rocketship)

The first Go Sailor song that came out was on the Periscope compilation put out by Yo Yo. It was instant love. I was still terribly distraught over the Tiger Trap break up but once I heard this song I felt a little less sad. It was proof positive that Rose was an incredible songwriter and had great taste in picking musicians to enhance the songs. They were a bit more poppy than Tiger Trap with the most glaring difference being the lack of the surf guitar leads that Angela Loy provided in Tiger Trap. I collected all the 7"s as they came out but enjoyed that those songs along with the compilation tracks were compiled for the self titled cd release.
Last Year

Rose's first solo record, Portola, was more like like a compilation of songs rather than a cohesive release. Featuring covers, Tiger Trap songs that never got full band treatment, one of her best songs (Golden Gate Bridge), and a collaboration with her old friend, Dustin Reske of Rocketship. Since Dustin is such a great songwriter in his own right and has been mentioned in this post that is the song you get!
The Love We Could Have Had

Rose also played drums in Gaze, got married, had a baby, and kind of disappeared for awhile. A bit over a year ago she released a new solo record and I got to see her play a few shows and couldn't believe when she pulled out a Tiger Trap song! I had never heard her do one live since they broke up so it was a real treat. I apparently don't have anything from the last solo record handy so perhaps another time.


Spider & The Webs

I've been busy AND not feeling well - sorry for the lack of updates lately.

All I really know about Spider & The Webs is that former Bikini Kill member Tobi Vail fronts them. I saw them live in the Summer of 2005 and enjoyed them so much that I bought an 8 song cd they had with them on tour. I would say that this stuff is much more akin to The Go Team (Olympia band from the 80s NOT the UK one!) than Bikini Kill. Pop songs, not riot grrrl anthems.

Since we left off with me posting a Primal Scream song I thought it would be fitting to post a cover of a Primal Scream song. I do not actually like the original version of this song but this cover (and the Half Japanese cover which I don't seem to have) totally rule.

Movin' On Up (Primal Scream)

Frozen Roses

Back to more regular posting soon, I hope!


Leave Me Alone

While riding the subway yesterday I was reminded by my iPod that I wanted to post these songs together. I love when I'm listening to something on shuffle and the pairings are perfect. I was feeling extremely depressed yesterday which only enhanced the pairing.

I've had several conversations about Bernard Sumner's lyrics. For the most part they're just not very good. However, if you think about where he was coming from and the shadow he had to step out of it's admirable that he didn't take the easy route and just rehash Ian's lyrical territory. I think everyone would have given him a pass if he had sung about wanting to off himself given the situation New Order formed from. Of course, this is a poor example of what I'm trying to illustrate. I do tend to prefer New Order guitar songs to the ecstasy fueled lyrics and synth/sequencer anthems. Once in awhile Barney could surprise.
Leave Me Alone

I actually dislike Primal Scream quite a bit. It's funny when a band has one (or two) excellent and amazing songs but everything else is not even tolerable! I never really got the Screamadelica love. I would almost think that love for it would be based on being there for it, but I certainly know people who love that record who have no physical connection to that time in the UK. I don't even try to understand when they turned into a very poor version of The Rolling Stones. Whatever, right? This song is gold.
Velocity Girl