Archive for February, 2008

BUILT BY SNOW-“Noise” (EP)

Posted: February 29, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

Sorry no posts lately–Been in the hospital.  Here’s a little something for now . . .

Built By Snow’s debut EP “Noise,” is completely indie and D.I.Y., which is pretty amazing because the production is quite good. In fact, because it’s so good the EP isn’t nearly close enough to the punk it aspires to be. For example, one song has a chorus that cries, “Fuck radio and rock and roll!”–but the songs are practically radio ready. The entire record is crisp, the lyrics well-enunciated, and the background vocals pure. So it ends up sounding like an angry Snow Patrol. Interesting.

The band hails from Austin, TX, and if we were still in the 1990s, when record contracts were free and easy, I’m sure they’d be signed by now. How about it? Anybody out there looking for them?

Radio

THE BEST OF JOE STRUMMER–LIVE, RARE, A to Z

Posted: February 27, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

Don’t worry. I’ll be posting more complete shows. But today is devoted to single songs, maybe where I don’t have the whole show or where the whole show wasn’t all that great, or maybe some single studio cut that was never released . . . A to Z. If y’all dig this, I may do the same for The Clash.

Unlike previous A to Zs, this time there’s a zip file at the end and only a few choice cuts individually uploaded. Enjoy.

A is for Afro-Cuban BeBop. A real short cut, sweet and mellow.

B is for The Bobby Fuller Four. I Fought The Law-Joe live. This is probably one of my least favorite tunes when The Clash do it, but on this live version he adds a rolling keyboard that gives the whole song the feel of an insincere drunk bragging at the bar.

C is for another Cover. Blitzkrieg Bob (Ramones)-Joe live. A regular staple of his live act. And unlike Joey Ramone, Joe Strummer always remembered the words.

D is for Dub! Bankrobber Dub-Joe live. It’s enough that it’s rare to hear live dub—but even better: New verses!

E is for evil. HBO used this tune for that horrible John From Cincinnati show, and now I can’t listen to it without thinking about that miserable mess. Johnny Appleseed (synth mix).

F is for Flea! It’s a Rockin’ World-Joe Strummer and Flea, visiting South Park.

G is for “Guitar Song”, also called Gunslinger Man. This isn’t great quality, but I’ve only got one copy of it, so I’m figuring it’s somewhat rare.

H is for Hollywood! Joe appeared in Aki Kaurismäki’s “I Hired a Contract Killer” playing this song: Burning Lights. It’s just him and his guitar.

I is for Ishen. From 11/2/99. A great reggae style tune.

J is for just Joe. Return of the Blues Cowboy. Joe, a piano, and a straightforward country blues tune, from the great Jools Holland show.

K is for the keyboards in Forbidden City (11/6/99). A very simple song, from Joe and the Mescaleros’ Rock Art and the X-Ray Style record. I like this version because of the keyboard breakdown at the fadeout. Cool jam.

L is for London Calling. A live solo version, where you can really hear the words.

M is for Movie Soundtrack. In The Pouring Rain is from the movie of the same name, and it’s got a recorder in it! (No, it’s not a great song, but still–bet most of you don’t have it.

M is also for Moses. Get Down Moses. A live version from 2002, delivered like a psychotic Southern preacher.

N is for Nothin’ About Nothin’ (11-2-99). A live version of a track off the “Permanent Record”
long-player. This is a great song—one I wish he’d done with The Clash.

O is for an oldie! A somewhat brief bit of Joe at the piano doing Let The Good Times Roll.

P is for Police and Thieves. Musically, there may not be a huge difference between this version and the studio version by the Clash, but Joe’s voice is in rare form here—crisp, clear and fresh. Excellent quality from 10/17/01.

Q is for quiet. A soft version of The Clash classic Armagideon Time from September 1982.

R is for Road to Rock and Roll (acoustic version).

S is for The Specials. A Message To You (live, date unknown).

U is for unsung. Mango Street. This is basically Island Hopping, but with whistling and clapping instead of lyrics.

V is for Victory Lane. A foray into spoken word over music. I dunno about you, but I’m not a fan of Ghetto Defendant for the same reason I’m not a big fan of this rarity.

V is also for Viva La 15th Brigade. I’m really not sure what in Joe’s middle-class English upbringing makes him so fascinated by Mexican politics. I can only assume this is some sort of holdover from the Gates of Hell sessions. But I dig it, anyway.

W is for Walk On The Wild Side (Lou Reed cover). Joe used to cover this tune a lot. He doesn’t do better than Joe on it, but this version has a violin. So check it out.

W is also for Whiteman in Hammersmith Palace. It’s my favorite song in the history of the word, I can’t think of anything for Z, so this is what I’m putting up.

X is for X-Ray Style 11.16.99

Y is for Yalla Yalla. A live version, where he expresses his bitterness about how the song didn’t do well.

_ is for no letter, numbers! 1969-Joe Strummer. Rough punk, like old Clash.

Z is for ZIPFILE!

SUPER 400-“3 And The Beast”

Posted: February 26, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

Any Stone Temple Pilot fans out there? If so, this gnarly album is right for you. Super 400 are a new metal power trio making constantly loud jams—like The Cult, Velvet Revolver, Kings X, etc. They’re straight outta Troy, N.Y., so they got the good suburban roots so essential to the kind of “teen angst” behind this genre. There’s not a lot of up-and-coming rock bands making these albums anymore, so it’s our duty as Americans to support them. Wailing, screaming vocals, blasting riffs off a heavy guitar, and heavier drums. “It’s Gonna Burst” has some of the best of this kind of guitar work I’ve heard in years. And when they slow it down (just a touch) on “I Could Be Reborn,” they go back to the roots, recalling Cream’s Wheels of Fire period.

Plus, there’s a chick in the band!

Great stuff!

Emergency

Push Back Now

Live songs:

Northern Girl

Moby Dick (Led Zeppelin cover)

Sunshine of Your Love (Cream cover)

THE BREEDERS-“Double Trouble”

Posted: February 25, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

art_1.jpg“Double Trouble” is a widely circulated bootleg compilation of stuff from The Breeders 1993 tour, the one from when they were at the crest of the “Cannonball” wave. I haven’t heard the new Breeders album, “Mountain Battles,” (it isn’t out yet, I don’t think), but I’m really looking forward to it.

In case any of you don’t know who they are, The Breeders were an alt-rock band that peaked in the early ’90s, rising from the ashes of two great alternative/punk bands: Kim Deal of the Pixies and Tanya Donelly of the wonderful Throwing Muses. Kim was joined by her twin, Kelley Deal (guitar and vocals), to form the heart of the band. They’re often credited with being part of the riot grrrrl movement.

A few tastes, and a zip.

1. Iris (3:11)
2. Cannonball (3:35)
3. Saints (2:34)
4. Hag (2:25)
5. Fortunately Gone (1:50)
6. When I Was a Painter (2:46)
7. Doe (2:06)
8. Limehouse (1:54)
9. Only In 3’s (3:39)
10. Doe (2:05)
11. Hellbound (2:46)
12. Safari (3:13)
13. Happiness is a Warm Gun (2:40)
14. Driver (2:38)
15. Do You Love Me Now? (3:02)
16. Don’t Call Home (4:01)
17. Fortunately Gone (2:00)
18. I Just Wanna Get Along (1:54)
19. When I Was a Painter (3:57)
20. Limehouse (1:59)
21. Iris (3:33)
22. Opened (2:22)

“Thank the Lord for heroin, and thank him for your soul.” How did an album with a lyric like that get by me? And it’s not like that’s the only drug poetry on Spider Bags’ “A Celebration of Hunger,” a 2007 release from Birdman Records. Just about every tune is a tribute to excess. To wit: “Wakin’ up drunk makes me happy. Lately, you just bring me down.” And to a woman who wants to save the soul of a drunk: “I’ll gladly take your offer, now that I’m not so sick.” I could go on quoting this record for days.

A North Carolina six-piece punk country band, the Spider Bags are ostensibly Americana, but it’s the kind of reeling-in-sickness music you’d expect from Neil Young, Gram Parsons, Meat Puppets, or down-tempo Counting Crows. Every song is able to find beauty in pain and darkness, with lyrics (“She’s got a crooked face when she smiles”) that are as thoughtful as the music behind them. I’m gonna go so far as to call this album brilliant. That’s right, brilliant. There’s not a bad track on the entire record, and it’s a goddamn shame I didn’t hear about this album when it came out, because it easily would have made my top 10 for the year.

I hope to hell someone keeps me updated on their doings–and I hope even more that they don’t all die in a collective overdose before they record another album. As for this one, you can find it on emusic, and it’s well worth your time.

Blood for You

Waking Up Drunk

ROBOTS IN DISGUISE-“We’re In The Music Biz”

Posted: February 24, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

Why do I dig the new Robots in Disguise record? Let’s see . . . They’re an electro punk duo. That’s not it; I pretty much dislike that genre. Their stuff is pretty frenetic and silly. Also not generally my style. And yet . . . I really dig it.

We’re In The Music Biz” is the third ridiculous record
by Dee Plume and Sue Denim, a pair better known for their stage presence (Sue Denim wears a unicorn horn) than their tunes. Track by track, this album is generally derivative. “I Don’t Have a God” is a silly nihilistic rant. “We’re in the Music Biz” is, as you might expect from the title, an ode to making records. “Can’t Stop Getting Wasted” is about getting wasted. And “The Sex Has Made Me Stupid” is about . . . Well, you get the idea. And yet many of the songs here are fun and bouncy, and they have a sense of pure honesty to them. There’s no affect here. It’s as if Elastica made records out of playground taunts, and then were covered by Le Tigre. If constant shouting, high energy, and sexless sexiness turn you on, this is for you.

And the lyrics may not be as infantile as they appear. In “I don’t have a God,” they holler: “It’s a messed-up world and I’ve got cravings!” And, from “Everybody’s Going Crazy,” the line “shake your hands, get ready for the crazy dance!” pays tribute to my guiltiest pleasure of all: Men Without Hats. And the music can sometimes show surprising ingenuity. In “Don’t Copy Me,” there’s a drum solo that sounds exactly one I heard from Animal on the Muppet Show, but the minimalist guitarwork is surprising, along with the tone changes and the sudden end of the tune. A keeper, for sure.

We’re In the Music Biz

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, 1/19/74

Posted: February 23, 2008 by dillion in Uncategorized

I don’t usually post Bruce stuff here, but it’s not because I’m not a fan. It’s because so much Springsteen is easy to find. But I recently scored the “You Mean So Much To Me” boot CD, and I learned that it’s the first time he did, “Incident On 57th Street,” one of his best tales. It’s also phenomenal quality. I’m gonna also suggest you check out “Rosalita” (with a little taste of “Shotgun” and “High Heeled Sneakers” in it) and the especially long blues classic “Walking the Dog.”

Y’all know the drill: A few tastes, and a zip.

01 Does This Bus Stop At 82nd Street? (4:04)
02 Walkin’ The Dog (9:13)
03 Incident On 57th Street (7:44)
04 Kitty’s Back (9:53)
05 Thundercrack (11:51)
06 You Mean So Much To Me
07 Growin’ Up (3:01)
08 Blinded By The Light (10:59)
09 Let The Four Winds Blow (Start cut, 6:43)
10 Rosalita (8:53)