Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sonic Drive-In, Not Drive-Thru...

Mystery gift provided by robotic drive-in employee. A little bit of everything for everyone. This mechanistic minion of corporate drive-in wage slavery is also a purveyor of fine weirdo folk or whatever neue-hipster label you wanna affix to his rampant musical meanderings.

Wooden Tit Bean Ice

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Not Much Ashtray Dirt...

Garage rock from Philadelphia produced by Joe Talcum of the Dead Milkmen. Ashtray toured extensively with Afghan Whigs and Ed Hall throughout the '90s. They released a couple of 7-inch records and a full-length CD.

Here's a smidgeon of their self-titled CD:


One, Two, T'ree... Sing It, Nancy!

The first female MC in the reggae dancehall scene, Sister Nancy, began her musical career in the late '70s while working with her brother, Brigadier Jerry. Performing at Reggae Sunsplash and releasing a live album on Heartbeat Records, she quickly became a celebrity with the release of two LPs and a collaboration with Yellowman. She still performs occasionally but currently works at a bank in New Jersey, stating that she gave her career a rest so that other female DJs could step up to the plate.

One, Two...

Twist It, Bo!

A second installment of Bo Carter re-issues brought to you in 1973 by world-renowned record label Yazoo Records. The unusual approach he took with strumming the guitar makes him one of the masters of the blues guitar. In a genre where so many collections of musicians' recordings come off as repetitive, Carter's ability to maintain the listener's attentiveness to what he's doing with the guitar is quite astounding.

For those who are so taken in by his picking that they wish to try to emulate, there is an actual DVD devoted to studying his playing technique here.

Twist It Babe: 1931-1940

Monday, September 7, 2009

O'Hell with Anok in the PRC

Dave O'Dell traveled to China in the mid-1990s as a foreign exchange student for a semester and wound up staying for 8 years. This period of time proved fruitful in the form of several jobs: writing for Beijing Scene, working for Pearl Printing's technology sector, developing and printing web promotions for bands on the Rock Records label, as well as some film work with IMAR Film Company (the first independent film company in China).

A chance meeting with China's first punk band, Gao Wei And Underbaby, led to many organized punk gigs, including the first punk festival, titled (you guessed it!) Punk's Not Dead. A shy friend by the name of Xiao Rong said he was starting a band called Brain Failure. Although, the first incarnation of the band didn't last too long, a new incarnation was started when Dave decided he would join as bassist and it wasn't long before the band became a hit sensation with Chinese youth. Brain Failure even went on to play in US musical events such as CMJ and SXSW in the late '90s/early 'oughts.

The Anarchy Jerks are basically a Chinese Oi band. Their gigs are almost always followed by government repression of various sorts, which usually end with shows being shut down by cops with guns and in riot gear. They even played a rave in Yunnan province on a small island that was located outside of Dali, where police landed and demanded to know what a DJ was and whether raves were considered subversive. The police asked one kid if his wallet had some kind of political significance and used this as the reason for shutting down the rave.

Although, a Westerner may think that some of this music simply hearkens back to English punk and oi, it's amazing that a youth movement of this sort can flourish in such a repressive and contained environment.

Anarchy In The P.R.C.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not to be Confused with the Metal Band by the Same Name...

Although this CD is out of print, a Google search will show that excerpts of this album by Diamondhead have made it onto many online radio shows. This drone outfit was started by L. Eugene (Lonnie) Methe ("The New Obama"). Hailing from Omaha & Philly, Mr Methe sought musical refuge in Austin for a time and played live gigs with the rhythm section from The Young.

"...the entire album manages to sound like they're in the process of tuning up for a real gig that probably happened after someone turned off the tape recorder." - RKF, Dead Angel

"Throbbing rhythms and loopy experimentalism trade body blows. No one wins, but it sounds really cool."- Jon Worley

'Dirty Realism'

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"You Could Call It a Gimmick but That’s Just Short-Sightedness..."

Originally released on Anomalous Records, this album was re-issued by Sublime Frequencies, where all copies quickly sold out! The sonic explorations captured by Robert Mills fit well within the parameters of the Alan Bishop recordings on the Sublime Frequencies record label so it's not a big shock that they picked up this auditory treasure.

"Let Millis be your guide on this mini-odyssey through strange lands; great to listen to and also useful as an insight as to the one of many 'bedrock' influences on the work of this very singular band."
-- Ed Pinsent / The Sound Projector

Leaf Music, Drunks, Distant Drums

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Drummond Up Business

Houston, TX- In 1965, Fred Carroll started a record label called International Artists so that he could market a band by the name of the Coastliners. It was a failed endeavor which led to him quickly selling the record label for $35 (the cost of the printing ink for the logo) to local lawyer Bill Dillard. Bill got together with Noble Ginther (another lawyer), Lester Martin (a recording studio owner), and Ken Skinner (of Tapier Music Corporation) and released a series of 45 singles that garnered very little recognition.

It wasn't until they caught wind of an Austin act by the name of the 13th Floor Elevators and signed contracts for the release of You're Gonna Miss Me that people started paying attention to the label. After the Elevators' two Dick Clark appearances and a second run of the popular single, it wasn't long before the label felt in over their head so they hired Lelan Rogers from LA to handle their production and promotion. Shortly after this personnel addition, the label signed Red Crayola (later called Red Krayola), Lost & Found, Thursday's Children, and the Golden Dawn. The move to a psychedlic repertoire was extremely evident in the acts that they signed to the label.

In 1968, the label started to suffer and Lelan left. IA decided to hire Fred Carroll back, who took over the tasks that Lelan had been brought on to do. Things started to perk up a bit with a release by Bubble Puppy and IA acquired a record plant in Nashville. However, the label officially filed bankruptcy in 1971 and little else happened until Lelan bought the rights to the Elevator's back catalog in 1975 and Roky Erickson & Mayo Thompson (of Red Krayola) resurrected their careeers. The unfortunate thing was that with all the interest generated in IA and the 13th Floor Elevators, the lack of output resulted in mass bootlegging of albums throughout Europe, Scandinavia and Japan. Lelan finally sold off the rights shortly before his death in 2002 after a legal battle involving the 13th Floor Elevators. A very thorough insight into this debacle can be explored in Paul Drummond's book Eye Mind: The Saga Of Roky Erickson And The 13th Floor Elevators, The Pioneers Of Psychedelic Sound. Although, some have questioned the integrity of what has been written there.

In 1980, a 12-LP box set of International Artists' releases was pressed; it included re-issues of previous recordings, demos, interviews, and radio spots. Sunspots released a CD and LP of Epitaph For A Legend- capturing the high points of this box set- only a few years ago. It quickly went out of print and was issued yet again by Collectibles as a double CD. Here is the Sunspots pressing of this original single disk collection.

Epitaph For A Legend
Epitaph For A Legend Liner Notes

Friday, May 22, 2009

Chumbawamba A Capella, or Chumbawamba, Yon Instrumentation Doth Slumba!

In 1989, Chumbawamba released an album of a capella songs of rebellion spanning many centuries. The 10-inch record did not sit well with the "punk public" who were still listening to "re-hashed versions of Feeding of the 5000." The staff of Maximum Rocknroll even had a staff meeting to discuss whether they would continue to do any write ups or interviews with the band and after a hearty discussion deemed the recording as "not punk" and haven't mentioned them much ever since. In Ian Glasper's book The Day The Country Died: A History Of Anarcho-Punk-1980-1984, Boff Whalley said, "On the one hand we thought it was ridiculous, and on the other we thought it was quite funny! Some of those people were just's no good getting all upset about it; we never said anyone had to like it; we just wanted to provoke them, to get them to try something different for once..."

English Rebel Songs 1381-1914

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Barraged by the Beatitudes of Borchert

Wolfgang Borchert, a German playwright during the Second World War, found himself sentenced to death by the Third Reich for his inflammatory criticism of the governing party through his writing and plays. He was sent to fight in the front lines as his punishment. Each time he returned wounded and was accused by the Nazi government of intentionally wounding himself in order to escape death in battle. A year after the end of the Second World War, he finally succumbed to his wounds but not before enjoying a bit of success for his work in theatre. His appeal lay mostly in his firmly held idea that the youth of Germany were not responsible for the sins of their fathers.

Aryawn's latest musical effort focuses specifically on the prose of Wolfgang Borchert. His written account of being a soldier expected to easily flow back into the structure of society after encountering the hazards of war are relevant to those who are about to return to a world that will never be the same for them. The musical approach on this new CD demo is quite different from the previous recording effort. Although there are hints of an alternative sound still present, it has fewer ties to the punk roots in Aryawn's first recording. It almost begs the question: Now that punk rock has grown up and given birth to children of its own... who is responsible for the most current sins being perpetrated on society?

Bush, Borchert, & Birkenstocks

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Don't Tell Mom (the house burned down) Fest II

The first year anniversary of Aryawn will be celebrated tomorrow evening at the 2nd annual Don't Tell Mom Fest. The event is being re-located to the Wok House since House of Commons burned down two months ago and is currently being rebuilt. Donations for ICC (Inter-Cooperative Council) will be cheerfully accepted at the event.

Team Robespierre- Dirty sounds for dirty people!
Best Friends Forever- Celebrating 14 years of friendship!
Henry Sugar- Kill Henry Sugar? Never!
Aryawn- Defilers of genre...
Jaakko & Jay- "We are what we are, we are what we say and we say what we want. And just because we dont look like you, or act like you, it doesnt make us any better or worse."
Electric Mountain Rotten Apple Gang- AMERICAN FOLK RIOT!
THAT Damned Band- "The locomotive’s motives are to haul and deliver!"
Why Can't The English Teach Their Children How To Speak?- abcdeghijklmnowhycan'ttheenglishteachtheirchildrenhowtospeak?pqrstuvwxyz....