Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Halloween Do's and Don't

I would just like to say that if I see any men dressed as Heath Ledger's Joker or women dressed as Sarah Palin tomorrow, I'm going to punch them in the face.

Conversely, if I see any women dressed as the Joker or men dressed as Sarah Palin, I'm going to give them a hug.

Download The Unblinking Ear Podcast

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This Moment in Slack History: Morsels from the Last Great Era of the 7 Inch Record

"This Moment in Slack History" collects songs from 90s indie 7 inches. For further explanation, please see my original post here.

DiskothiQ "Massapoeg"
DiskothiQ was the band led by Peter Hughes, sometime bassist for Nothing Painted Blue and current member of the Mountain Goats. All three bands were heavily associated with the Shrimper Records scene of the mid 90s. (Check out the Abridged Perversion comp for a good sampling of the label's product.) Shrimper began by releasing extremely lo-fi cassettes but eventually branched out to vinyl, putting on this 7" in 1994. Packaging innovation!: a 3/4 sleeve with sand glued into a pattern on the back. Perfect for fucking up your other records. DiskothiQ made a few full lengths before disbanding in 2000, most noteworthy being their Football Albums: two discs, one for the NFC and one for the AFC, and a song for every team. No kidding. These and their other full lengths (including an unreleased album) are available as FREE mp3s from the band's website if you want to give them a listen. "Massapoeg" is not on there, however, and for my money it's the highlight of their career.

Download DiskothiQ "Massapoeg"

Note: If you enjoy this little feature I infrequently do on 90s indie 7 inches, I highly recommend you check out Mike Lupica's Anti Static Podcast for WFMU which is back in action after a hiatus of a few months and, frankly, a lot better than my nonsense.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Best. Craigslist Post. Ever.

From the Pittsburgh>Missed Connections:

Will you "B" mine? - w4m - 20 (Liberty Ave, Bloomfield)

I was on Liberty Avenue near (but not exactly at) the Citizen's Bank near Pearl, and I caught you out of the corner of my eye. You were a 6'4" 200 lbs black man, and, I must admit, you're way sexier than any of the 72 year old men I've been hanging out with recently.

I know I might not be exactly your type, but I'm wondering, will you "B" mine?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Presumably numbers 904 to 933

It's been brought to my attention that last couple of posts (excluding the half-assed Rudy Ray Moore obit though I did beat the New York Times by 2 days) have been seething with negativity and loathing for my fellow man.

While it's easy to criticize (and fun too!) I'm not here to be divisive or make my many readers feel like lesser beings because of their musical choices. I'm here to to share the music I love with the world. Can you feel the love, people? Anyone want a hug?

Thus, I bring you, in no particular order, the 30 best albums that did not make KEXP listeners' top 903 albums list. These albums are all great to brilliant (or 4 and 1/2 to 5 starts, if you prefer) and deserve to be in your collection. All are from artists not included on the list in any capacity. This is because a) nitpicking which Kinks album is best is a subject for another post and b) I'm going to assume that most anyone who likes Sonic Youth will pick up Bad Moon Rising eventually. (Though I'm probably wrong.)

Please note: I am not judging the KEXP listenership for the exclusions of below albums even though you would think a Pacific Northwest station would show some love to Greg Sage and the Wipers or at least have enough Cobain acolytes to be hip to the Raincoats. I just hope they all somehow find their way to my little corner of the blogosphere and discover these musical treasures. And hey, they did have the good taste to include The Dream Syndicate's The Days of Wine and Roses, so who am I to judge?

Real Kids s/t
The Soft Boys Underwater Moonlight
Flesh Eaters A Minute to Pray a Second to Die
The Saints Eternally Yours
Angry Samoans Back From Samoa
The Bats Daddy's Highway
The Fall This Nation's Saving Grace
The Embarrassment Death Travels West
Flipper Generic
Descendents Milo Goes to College
The Feelies Crazy Rhythms
Prisonshake The Roaring Third
The Wipers Over the Edge
The Gun Club Fire of Love
Silkworm Firewater
X Ray Spex Germfree Adolescents
The Pretty Things S.F. Sorrow
The Zombies Odessey and Oracle
Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers L.A.M.F.
Michael Hurley, Unholy Modal Rounders, Jeffery Fredrick and the Clamtones Have Moicy!
Tommy Keene Songs From the Film
Dag Nasty Can I Say
Pere Ubu The Modern Dance
The Raincoats s/t
The Rip Offs Got a Record
Jay Reatard Blood Visions
Ponys Celebration Castle
Reigning Sound Time Bomb High School
Sally Crewe and the Sudden Moves Drive it Like You Stole It
Roy Wood Boulders

And to put my money where my mouth is here a guarantee: If any of you go to the WFMU Record Fair in New York this weekend, buy one of these albums and don't like it, I will buy it from you at the cost you paid for it. Offer good on LPs only!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

With apologies to anyone who might be playing it...

...after experiencing more than a few, I've concluded that the CMJ Music Marathon is more or less a bunch of marginally talented people yelling "Me too!" at the top of their lungs.

(Most images of the CMJ logo are kind of boring, so here's a picture of CM Punk wrestling Samoa Joe)

Yes, there are hundreds of bands playing in New York over the next couple of days and a few of them are even good. However, is it crass to suggest that all these worthy bands will be playing NYC at some other point when one wouldn't have to elbow their way through a bunch of should-have-been-wet-spots-on-the-sheets with passes who are only at the show because a) they think they should be and b) are getting in for free? Should "passes will be honored" be a prerequisite to going to a rock show?

I know most bands feel like they have to play the game but given the current state of the recording industry is that really a wise or necessary move?
As the parents of most of my ex-girlfriends have wondered loudly to their offspring, don't you think you can do better?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Moderate Rock Made Easy

...or Further Proof that Radiohead has Ruined Music for an Entire Generation.

Just after my post on Wednesday about the editors of Pitchfork's attempt to stick it to Jann Wenner, I learned that Seattle's KEXP radio made their own attempt at a definitive list of the music enjoyed by dull young white people. However, this list was voted on by their listeners rather than dictated by the powers that be (whomever that might be). Of course, one could make the case that the opinions of the listeners are informed by, altered and inseparably linked to decisions of the programmers, be it those at KEXP, PFM or elsewhere. This begs examination of the relationship between source and target, the ideas of collective agreement and perhaps even the fundamental flaws in democracy itself.

I was going to write a lengthy analysis of the list tackling these issues but instead I'll just post the following excerpt which I think you'll agree explains it all:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Eating a Dead Horse

...or A 6.8 out of 10 in Canon-Defining.

Come November 11th, the world will be groaning audibly.

Bashing Pitchfork is about as tired and pointless as reading Pitchfork so I'll give them this: at least they had the decency to release this on the Tuesday after the election thus insuring that a large percentage of the Obama-voting populace would not be staying at home, writing angry message board posts debating the placement of Neutral Milk Hotel.

For what it's worth, I'll still take Rock, Rot or Rule as the ultimate argument settler regarding all matters musical.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Unblinking Ear Podcast: Math in the Real World

This is my 13th podcast. (Ooh scary!)

Made 2 days after my 31st birthday. (Palindromes!)

I played 3 bands whose name starts with a V. (The 22nd letter.)

It features one record of which only 100 copies were pressed. Another which has only 2 known existing copies. (I don't have either of the originals.)

And the most important use of math in this podcast is that I finally figured out how to use Audacity's "envelope" tool which means I could lower the volume on my mic levels. (Which were, frankly, way too high.)

Now give it a listen and I'll be 1 happy camper. (Thank you.)

Download The Unblinking Ear Podcast

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Out-Of-Print Digital Relics: Wire Rarities

As unlikely as it seems, vinyl is not the only sort after medium for rare music. An increasing number of CDs are falling out-of-print and fetching high prices on eBay and Amazon. Sure, you can probably find just about anything via Soulseek or some other file sharing service but I thought I'd make things easy for you.

Behind the Curtain (Early Versions 1977 & 78)
Due to adult-type obligations, I'm unfortunately going to have to miss tonight's WFMU-sponsored Wire/Times New Viking show. However, I thought it was still a fine opportunity to share with any other Wire fanatics this 1995 collection of live and demo material from the group's very earliest days. I believe the first six tracks are from the same show that produced their cuts on the The Roxy London WC2 compilation. Once you hear their take on JJ Cale's "After Midnight" you'll... well I was going to say something about Eric Clapton but chances are if you like Wire you already know he's awful. The remaining cuts are all demos some of which are of otherwise unreleased songs. Of special interest are the last 10 cuts which are songs that later ended up on 154. If you've ever considered the arrangements on that album to be somewhat fussy, it's stunning to hear these songs in more visceral, stripped-down form. It wouldn't necessarily say these versions are superior but if your favor the straight ahead minimalist impact of Pink Flag to later abstractions, you might find them preferable.

In "40 Versions," Wire sang:
I never know which version I'm going to be
I seem to have so many choices open to me
It's not hard to see another unique event
When you miss the beginning and you miss the end
Pretty self aware, I suppose. Behind the Curtain is a neat little window into the group's process. Not the best place for neophytes to start by a long shot but if you're like me and Justine Frischmann you'll find it a fascinating document.

Download Wire Behind the Curtain (Early Versions 1977 & 78)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Remember when I used to write a blog?

That was a lot of fun.

I'll be getting back into it very soon. I've just been quite busy of late, dear reader, and unable to devote much time to the semi-entertaining nonsense that constitutes this patch of space of the interweb. I'm quite proud to say that what's been occupying my time are actually legitimate adult activities. (And by "adult" I mean "mature." Not "pornographic.")

There will be new posts forthcoming in near future including and Out-of-Print digital relic, a digitized 90s 7 inch and my finds from the Brooklyn Record Riot a few weeks ago which should provide content for a new podcast and an edition of Paleontology for Dullars.

If you feel the need to send me an angry e-mail regarding the lack of updates, you may want to install Google's new Mail Goggles service.

Now if only Amazon would do the same thing. I wouldn't be left wondering what I was thinking when the 20th Anniversary Edition DVD of Robocop showed up at my door.

I think you just saw about half of the bonus material of the unrated version.