Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sunday Playlist.

The Ones "Tightrope"

I threw on Staring Down the Barrel this afternoon which is mind-bogglingly good straight through but after hitting The Ones track I stayed there for a while, getting up to start it over a couple-two-tree times1.  This song —listen here—ranks with The Dogs "Slash Your Face" or "Sonic Reducer" in the pantheon of monster riff air guitar jammers.  It loses points on the G45 scale for being a new discovery, thus no legacy, and on the P452 scale for having no pic sleeve, but on music alone it is absolutely one of the best.

"The Third Unheard: Connecticut Hip Hop 1979-1983" compilation (Stones Throw 2004)

I was fascinated to discover this collection of early CT hip hop. I shouldn't be surprised that this scene existed but when the "early hip hop" synapses fire in my mind I think "Bronx"—a specific locale as opposed to "New York" which often means "Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, Long Island, Connecticut, Northern Jersey, & Westchester/Putnam/Orange Counties".  But here it is, proof positive that the scene had arms that reached outside of the borough borders.  This collection is centered around New Haven and Bridgeport, many songs touched by Mr. Magic, including the standout "Get Up (And Go To School)" by Magic's nephew Pookie Blow3 .  I will be petitioning The Hall of the Guitar Solo to include Pookie's kazoo solo as it deserves to be admired alongside "Band Aid" and "All Wasted".  In "Rappin' With Mr. Magic" he shouts out a roll call of cities around the state, including some towns that seem hard to imagine a vibrant scene of any sort, let alone graffiti/music (sorry, Ansonia).  Stylistically, the tracks featured here are very similar to their Bronx-born cousins: re-appropriated disco beats looped and rapped over; shout outs and hand claps; "c'mon party people...", "'til the break of dawn", "throw your hands in the air", and more of the cliche-yet-essential call-out lyrics that are, really, perfect.

Cider 1st EP (Non-Commercial Records 1994)

I picked up this spare a while back and wanted to give it one last spin before sending on to its new home.

Gary Glitter "Hello! Hello! I'm Back Again" 7"

A while back I was listening to this album of Post-Regiment demos.  It was mostly B- takes on their A+ songs, but tucked in was a cover of this Gary Glitter song.  After I couldn't get it out of my head for a week I decided to pick up a copy of GG's original.  So good.


1No typo, just thinking about Terre T's in studio interview with Veedee, which is one of the best.
2As I recall, this only existed in old emails unless one of the parties involved spun it out into the real world but was our toying around with the G45 scale to fit punk better...add a slash for pic sleeve, maybe another for early/late for the trend.  Actually, not sure if sleeveless helps or hurts the cause but I suspect that planned sleeve never distributed is a bonus.
3Pookie was apparently of no relation to Kurtis but I believe any confusion on that point was deliberate by PB and/or Magic.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!!!

Right now I am:

a) Listening to X! Records "Shiftless Decay" compilation LP. Good record all around, especially on the tracks by Tyvek & Little Claw. Detroit is a curious place...I' don't think I've ever been to the city proper yet, S & I sometimes talk of it as a place to live. It has the right things going for it: cheap real estate = artist used real estate = venues, galleries, interesting happenings. Plenty of cool art and bands, many of whom are showcased on this album. We'd intended a detroit trip this summer but it'll have to be put off until next year.

b) Clearing out my reader. I've been away for most of the last week, out in Southern California. It was a great time: I love the region and couldn't even begin to recite the amount of cool shit we saw/did/etc. But I am behind in all things current, such as email, twitter-reading, blog-reading, so on. Bless the reader for collecting all of what I've missed out on. May I recommend recent posts by Shit-Fi, my man Zach Malfa-Kowalski, the brilliant photographer Sandy Kim (whose book is apparently out of print yet NOT on my bookshelf...please help if you can), oh, many more, but I'm a speed-reader tonight as I try to get caught up so no more recommendations.

c) Eating ice cream out of my baseball helmet.  Yes.  At the ballgames you can buy a helmet full of ice cream and I do.  Tonight the menu is mint-chip which is a sure-fire indication that the Gal is out of town as she'd never approve of my mint-chip choice.  Also, in her honor I've decided to make whipped cream, but I have no concept of what constitutes a "little bit" of vanilla as I obviously used "a lot".  Come home soon, please.

d) Thinking about Blank City, which I saw last night at Jacob Burns Film Center.  We'd initially been scared off by the thought of yet another film about the lower east side glory days, but I was pleased to find that this had a different slant and is focused not on the bands these folks were in, nor on the cable access shows they made, nor the articles they wrote.  I know about all of the above...but I am in the dark on their films, which are featured here.  Super 8 and lo-fi, sometimes narrative, sometimes not but seemingly always of interest.  I cannot tell a lie: I sat through most of the movie wondering what my movie should be.  No decisions have been made but stay tuned and drop a line if you want in.  It'll be HUGE.

e) Listening to Siggy Magic and the Hey-Ho Band on Smash the State V3 (I'm a slow writer...expect 2 or 3 more "listening to..." entries before this is over). Fucking Siggy Magic.  Brilliant.  Oh boy, I need it.  Please...somebody?

f) Still thinking about Blank City.  I love that John Lurie goes on record that he will always hate Basquiat for selling out and making money cool within their scene.  Also, Jarmusch's tale about dragging a sleeping-bagged JMB out of the camera's eye as he slept on the floor while JJ filmed Stranger Than Fiction.

g) Balancing household monies.  I am ahead.

h) Debating what to do tomorrow.  Today I missed out on: the films of Errol Morris at AMMI, Times New Viking in the park, Brown Sugar at the punk house, Psychedelic Horseshit at another punk house, Estrogen Highs in New Haven, the films of Lumet at Walter Reade.  What will I miss out on tomorrow? Psych HS is playing a free show, there are more Errol Morris films, etc but there is so much more cleaning to do at home.

i) Listening to "One Chord Punk Rock Song" by Da Slyme.  Canada's Urinals?  Last track on STS3, next album up is...

j) Listening to degenerates set off fireworks.  I fucking love it when degenerates set off fireworks.  Also, listening to Smash The State V2.  Did I mention that I'm sorting though comp LPs at the moment trying to decide which are keepers and which can go.  It's actually a tough decision as it comes down to a fundamental issue on the reissue comps: is it necessary to keep a comp that bootlegs multiple tracks from other comps but includes cuts otherwise unavailable?  It is the reference library vs. living space question. Usually, I am on the side of living space but with comps it is different.  And then my inner dialogue shifts..."Really, at this point, isn't this all available in shitty MP3 anyway?  Aren't your emotional ties to a vinyl refereance library of obscure punk rock by way of bootleg compilation outdated?"  No decisions have been made, but...

k) Getting tired.  Sick of the blog neglect and plenty more to come here but for now, g'night.