Tuesday, August 29, 2006
The Pandoras' 1989 release. I picked this cassette up for $0.25 at the local Amvets, and though I don't know much about this band, this album has less of a classic 60's garage-rock sound than some of the other stuff I've heard. Rather, this is more like The Runaways-by-way-of-80's hair metal.
Some interesting marginalia: the album was produced by guitar-star Stevie Salas. If any of you ever subscribed to "Guitar for the Practicing Musician" magazine from '90-'91, you may remember advertisements for his album "Colorcode" sandwiched right between those controversial ads for BC Rich's ill-advised "Virgin" line of guitars-- "You haven't tried anything 'til you've plucked a VIRGIN!" The BC Rich ad was pulled after a couple of issues, apparently because non-virgins didn't like the fact that virgins were getting more promotion?
Monday, August 28, 2006
Blitzspeer's one-and-only studio album, Saves, was released in 1991, and has largely been forgotten ever since in spite of its excellence. After their demise a year later, members of the band went on to play in other footnote bands like Monster Magnet and Raging Slab throughout the '90s.
The music is dark, riff-heavy metal that's too loud to be hair metal, but too subtle & textured to be outright thrash. Songs like "Seems Like Yesterday" and "Mother Superior" (which features some chilling phone sex between Lydia Lunch & Joey Ramone) explore some very dark places that most metal at the time either didn't dare or didn't bother to visit. The mood rarely brightens on this sinister disc, except for an unexpected cover of The New York Dolls' "Bad Girl".
So why the lack of success for this band? One reason might have been the year of release: later on in 1991, Nirvana and Pearl Jam effectively killed metal for the next eight years. Or maybe the music was too light for the Morbid Angel fans, and too heavy for the Bon Jovi fans, causing it to fall through a donut-hole similar to the one that is now plagueing Medicare Part D recipients?
I've also thrown in a few live tracks off their follow up live EP, including a killer cover of "Kick Out The Jams" that makes BOC's version sound as if it were being performed by The Wiggles.
Knife in your back, fist in your eye:
Friday, August 25, 2006
THIS is one of the crowning acheivements of my early music collecting career. These guys were a great eighties metal band with unbelievable lyrical prowess: the album takes you on a sordid journey of lesbians, bestiality, strippers, anal sex, oral rape, amputees...and rap music.
One very interesting note about this album is that John Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora contribute some guitar & backup vocals, and it was rumored that they actually wrote these songs & put together the band as a side project. Apparently, those guys aren't the pretty-boys we thought they were!
Once again, let me apologize for the sound quality...while it was ripped in a reasonable 128kbps, the cassette was 12 years old when I ripped it, and had been played, oh, probably 3 million times. The only major flaw is the beginning of the song "Limper", where one channel cuts out for a few seconds.
'cuz you can use a cow for more than makin' leather gloves:
The first post of the weekend is from Ms. Manson's original band, Angelfish. Recorded in 1993, the album has remarkably prescient, indy feel to it: the guitars are raw, the songs simple, and the production stripped down to an almost 8-track demo vibe. Perhaps this rawness of production led Nirvana producer Butch Vig to court Shirley to front his next project?
But enough speculation. This album is chock full of fantastic songwriting that ranges from Pixies-esque guitar pop ("You Can Love Her") to outright goth-tinged doom rock ("Dogs in a Cage"). As great as the subsequent work of Manson, et al. as been, this album still makes you wonder what the pop music world lost when this band broke up...
Mommy can't drive, she's been out all night:
For the last year or so, I've been kicking around an idea for the next great Playboy pictorial: The Women of Electronica. Back in the late-90's through early 00's, it seemed like all you needed to get a record deal was a guitar, some software expertise, and access to a chick who could carry a tune & look good in a vinyl miniskirt.
And look good, they did. The pre-MP3 visual appeal of CD booklets made a cute girl not only a part of the band's sound, but also part of their marketing package. While these bands were often quite good, I will admit without shame that I've sat through some shows from some awful bands only because they had a cute girl in a halter top bouncing around at the microphone.
Anyway, this mix is comprised of female-fronted electronic bands from varying levels of obscurity. My definition of "electronic" is fairly wide, and the songs range from trip-hop to industrial to straight-ahead dance music. There's no cross-fading or any fancy crap like that.
The track list is in the comments.
Pour some champagne, light a cigarette, and throw another bale of deutschmarks on the fire! A fantastic compilation of German Cabaret music from The Weimar Republic & that thing that happened afterward that we'd all rather not mention:
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
This is an integral part of the soundtrack to many of my college blackouts. These guys were students of the SOD/Troma school of ultra-violent hilarity, and this album pretty much covers it all: prison rape, a particularly grisly form of Granny-cide, and cat-smashing.
The SOD-connection goes a bit deeper, as well. Apparently, the lead singer of The Functional Idiots, Anthony, drew the cover art for MOD’s classic “USA for MOD” album, and on the “SOD Live at Budokan” album, you can hear Billy Milano dedicating “Pi Alpha Nu” to Anthony & The Functional Idiots.
This album scores high on the funny meter without getting into Green Jelly-style silliness. Unfortunately, no cover art with this one.
Thanks to Mark for ripping this cassette.
Feed your inner date-rapist:
Monday, August 21, 2006
Here's the first track off one of her early albums, back when she was simply known by her first name and spending much of her free time sitting on Dave Coulier's face. You'll notice a marked difference in style between this and her later work: this is a total 80's dance-fest, more along the lines of Tiffany or Taylor Dayne than Bikini Kill. Not that it's a bad album; rather, it's a fascinating, oft-overlooked step in her transition from "You Can't Do That On Television" moppet to angry, damaged feminist icon. And heck, it was worth the $2.99 I paid for this tape just for the very uncharacteristic photographs in the jacket...she was kinda cute back then!
This is my first attempt with megaupload, so let me know if there are any problems with the download. Also, you should know that many of these files were ripped back when I had a very fine cassette deck, but a very slow computer, so I had to rip them at 96kbs in order to prevent dropouts. Personally, it all sounds the same to me, but I know you hardcore audiophiles are calling me every name in the book right now. Sometime soon I hope to obtain a new cassette deck and re-rip these files, assuming the cassettes aren't dry-rotten by now, but for now, this is the best I can manage.
She may not go down in history, but would she down on you in a theater?:
So I see that a mid-season Real World clone-- titled North Shores or Pacific Heights or Malibu Lane or whatever-- has vanished after two pitiful episodes. Was this the result of a bad timeslot, or the dreaded summertime viewer malaise? I would guess not. All reality TV these days seems well past its prime, with shows like Fear Factor and The Apprentice running on the inertia of such casting gimmicks as “The TWINS Episode” or “Streetsmarts vs. Booksmarts”.
For all of its strengths, one of the major weaknesses in most reality TV is that it ignores one of the basic rules of drama: the audience must identify with the characters, feel their pain when they lose, and struggle alongside them. Can anyone really feel any anguish when the underwear model-turned-real estate mogul fails to win the affections of The Bachelorette? Or when the exotic dancer loses her chance for $50,000 butt implants on Fear Factor? The answer: No. We, the Frito-munching, rehab-bound schlubs in the viewing audience have a pretty good idea that they’ll survive somehow. These genetically-blessed superbeings elicit all the sympathy of a modern day Beowulf: flawless, one-dimensional, and hopelessly dull.
The Jerry Springer Show, in spite of its universal condemnation among moral/intellectual elitists, taught a fascinating lesson in the world of entertainment: stars don’t have to be beautiful, talented, intelligent, or even appealing in order to be entertaining. Imagine Fear Factor being played by such sweating, asthmatic gastropods not from the shores of South Beach, but from the strip malls of Little Rock? Or a Blind Date between unemployed alcoholics with missing teeth and criminal records? Winning the prizes in any of these shows, be they cash, a job, or the affections of a young “hottie”, would be a once-in-a-lifetime achievement for such “Average Joes”. Plus, your average prime-time viewer can identify much more readily with obese, alcoholic contestants than the tanned, confident personal trainers that usually infest reality TV.
TV execs: leave the underwear models in the Sunday fliers. Give us some “real” contestants for reality TV!
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Now here's something for all you misanthropes. I found this cassette about 15 years ago in the great used tape rack at the Record Connection in Waterville Maine. I know next to nothing about these guys, but this is without a doubt the most hilarious album ever made. Check out "Blood on My Knife".
You'll notice that not all of the tracks are included in the zip file...for some reason, I never bothered to rip the entire album, and now that I'm without a decent cassette deck, it looks like this is about as ripped as it's gonna get. But anyway, all the best tracks are here, as well as scans of the hilarious liner notes. If anyone knows anything more about these guys, let me know.
Here's the link, you sexy convicts:
Saturday, August 19, 2006
It's my pleasure to open my blog with a posting of some Norman Bates & The Showerheads tracks. Released in 1990, Queens-based NB&SH produced loud, scuzzy rock & roll that precluded the grunge movement by nearly 4 years. The easiest way to describe NB&SH music: Metallica for tweakers. Take all the stoner parts out of Metallica (i.e. the mellow slow parts, the deep lyrics about the Cthulhu Mythos, etc.), speed them up, jack the volume up to 11, and you get NB&SH. They managed to swing a tour in the early 90s, and released a follow-up album in addition to this indy debut. Recently, they've gotten back together and have played a few gigs at CBGB's, and are putting together some killer new tracks. Visit them and give a big "fuck yeah!" to the one of the greatest rock & roll bands of all time: http://www.normanbatesandtheshowerheads.com/
Here's a couple of tracks, "Graveyard" and "Pseudoworld" off their classic debut album:
If you like what you hear, head on over to http://www.hauntedtownrecords.com/. The full reissue album, plus bonus tracks, will be available soon.
Women: lose some weight. It sounds cold, but hear me out: as a woman, your marketability is 90% dependant upon your ability to squeeze your ass into size 2 jeans, so why not take a few extra laps in the pool? If promotions, dates, career opportunities, and friends all revolved around looking good in a tied-off tanktop, I personally would make sure to melt that gunt away faster than butter in a microwave. Fat broads: you are selfish not only for your excessive food intake, but also for squandering the precious gift of being able to manipulate the superficial male. Think about that for a while, won't you? Preferably on the stairmaster.
Anyway, there will be a bunch of cool, obscure music links coming soon. Check back.
Rock on in London, rock on Chicago. Wheaties, breakfast of Champions,