Friday, May 30, 2008

In the Garage

Couple gnarly slabs of vinyl and tape flew in through the front door this week, and they're all releases from some garage rock faves and some new finds.

***NOTE: I have no idea why there are a few large gaps between some of these posts. Anyone have any clue why this is? It looks fine in the preview but comes out weird when I publish. HELP!***

BILLY BAO "Fuck Seperation" 10" (S-S Records)

Billy Bao fled from Nigeria, landed in Bilboa (Basque Spain) and employed thnastiest punk rock drummer and guitarists he could get his hands on. Since then Billy Bao has released a few 7"s, a full length on Parts Unknown (came out earlier this year) and this 10" of 2 punishing tracks. Actually, this pretty much acts as one long track that features that exact same riff pummeled over the listener's head for almost 20 minutes. This is very reminiscent of the endurance test that was the Cadaver In Drag full length, which I enjoyed immensely last year.
White silk screened cover on a thick, white card stock all on white vinyl. Perfectly captures the white-hot rage of the music within. A man on a serious mission. You better pay attention.

S-S pressed 600 and there are 40 left.

Buy it HERE

Meanwhile, download some OOP 7"s


Bilbo's Incinerator 7"

BLANK DOGS "On Two Sides" LP (Troubleman)
Spun this one a couple times at work before giving it a home. It took a few listens to really nail this one, but once you do, it sticks like hot gum in yr hair. Kind of reminds me of those Devo demos that Eno heard before he went down to Ohio to produce the shit out of them. Also brings to mind just about any of the 80s DIY groups featured on the impeccable Messthetics label, which all makes sense once you check out the band's blog. It seems as if at least one member of the band has an obsession with seeking out little known DIY groups from the 80s and ripping them to their blog. The influences are riding pretty high on their sleeves, but no particular group is overtly sticking out. Every time this got played in the store, everyone had their own opinion of what it sounded like. My ears hear early Flying Nun, the astral pop of John Maus and the bouncy end of Joy Division. It's great to hear groups pick up on this side of the 1980s rather than the god-awful electro/disco end of the spectrum, which has permeated dance music for years now.

This was originally released as a tape on the excellent Woodsist/Fuck It Tapes label.

The band has saved me the time and uploaded the album to their blog. Get it HERE

In addition, here are links to downloads of their early 7"s.

The First Two Weeks 7"

The Doorbell Fire 7"

Yellow Mice Sleep 7"

NAKED ON THE VAGUE "Blood Pressure Sessions" LP (Siltbreeze)
Hard one to pin-down from this newest release by Siltbreeze. This is a duo from Australia that conjure up some hypno-darkness with a dirty organ, untuned drum and a busted up, creeky bass . I managed to catch these folks play at Pub 340 a month ago and the live show was fantastic. Short, sharp stabs of synth, lumbering bass and Lucy Phelan's "doom poetry" (she played both Organ and drum) made for a particularly haunting night. Listening to the record comes close to the dark psychedelia of that night.


SIC ALPS "Fool's Mag" Cassette (Folding)
Managed to scoop up two of these from AQ before they all got snagged, and i'm glad I did because I just watched this fucker get flipped on ebay for $20. Funny thing is, it looks like you can still get copies from the Folding website. Anyways, these four songs were recorded live at WFMU late last year. These are mostly songs that have been issued in some form or another in the last two years and show the band in fine form. The tracks are pretty muddy for the most part but they do show the band's unique garage-pop sensibilities that have had critics and fans wagging their tongues for the last year and a half. Nab one quick before they be gone!

Since I don't have the capabilities to put my tapes into mp3 files (yet!), I have uploaded a copy of their OOP LP Description of the Harbor for your listening pleasure.Also, Animal Disguise is re-issuing all of their early tapes, 7"s and the Harbor LP in one convenient CD. This will be limited to 1000 copies. Act fast.

A.H. KRAKEN "s/t" LP w/CD (In The Red)
French garagesters unleash some sloppy but catchy tunage on their debut for In The Red. Pretty typical group for ITR--barely audible vocals (all in French!), manic and fuzzy guitar work, and all of it underproduced for maximum cochlea scraping. Gotta love the cover with what looks like the little sister of a band member, wearing a Slipknot t-shirt and holding a rifle. How very, uh, French!


FACTUMS "The Sistrum" LP w/7" (Sacred Bones)
Next up is the newest full length from Factums, whom you remember from my 2007 best of list, right? This beast is much subtler than it's aggro, slashed speaker predecessor. In fact, you probably wouldn't be able to guess that this was ever the same band. Blown out guitars and heavily distorted vocals have been replaced by hypnotic, trebly guitar lines and barely there vocals. Most of the record actually reminds me of the quieter moments of early Chrome. There is also an accompanying seven inch--first side, first track is more of that entrancing guitar with manipulated vocals. The second track is a 60 second punker more reminiscent of their earlier work. The second side of the 7" is the best track in the whole package. A short, surfy guitar line with some garbled and aggressive vocals laid out over top. It's good to see that these kids can still get aggressive when they want to. Great package on this one, folks. Silk-screened cover, bonus 7" and two creepy lock grooves at the end of both sides of the LP. You can nab this fucker here and here.


HOSPITALS "Hairdryer Peace" LP (Self-released)
Now we have the newest full length by a personal favorite in the over-the-top garage rock category, The Hospitals. I was expecting a bit of the same ol' with this new one. You know, screaming, violent vocals, neanderthal drum beats, spastic riffs all topped off with some feedback drenched production. Not this time. Ok, the hissy production is there, but the boys are going for a larger approach. Full on psychedelic passages sit side-by-side with some syrupy riffage and hammering, meaty drum beats. The album sold out within weeks from their website but you may be able to get a copy from some of the fine distributors listed at the bottom of this here blog. Easily the best thing these kids have ever put to wax.

I'll let Scott Simmons describe this for you in better, grittier detail...

"Doesn't really matter whether you loved or hated The Hospitals before, cuz this is some year zero shit. This is the most psychedelic fucking record in a long time and there are no rainbows - no feather earrings - no beards. Mixed for maximum hallucinations, it has the stoned riffs of a killer rock record, totally cracked pop, pure headfuck, but more than anything else just an all around perfect album. It's Chief Hospital Adam Stonehouse with oringal Hospital co-founder/shredder Rod Meyer and Rob Enbom from Eat Skull and Chris Gunn from an island off the coast of the future. Sounds nothing like any bands or anything else.. Seriously, if a better record comes out this year, next year, whenever.... I promise. Edition of 500. Don't be an asshole." - Scott Simmons

Yikes! Just looked this up on ebay in the completed listings and it just changed hands for $50 US. Luckily, ya'll can get it free here.

That's it for now. Music Waste picks tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

More Blog Scrawlings

Ex-co-worker and fellow hip hop connoisseur, Sam "Biggie Samuels" Macklin, had enlisted me to pen the write ups for his newest hip hop mix. I must admit, despite there being a slight lack of rarities (a challenge has been issued by him on this matter. More on that at a later date), this is a super-solid mix of 90s hip-hop classics and underrated joints. His special lady friend wrote the notes to his other mix and was bit more personal, and thus, funnier than mine. I think I took it a bit more serious than necessary but that is just how I can get when dissecting hip hop. Whatever. Peep it, yo!

Link is here

Sam lives here
Check on him regularily. He likes to blarg.

Stars of the Lid-Seattle. Whole Show!

As promised, here is the entire Stars of the Lid show from April 18 in Seattle. The show was recorded, cut into tracks, and edited for fidelity by my good friend Adrian. Thanks for getting this to me so fast. This is a high quality rip @320. Adrian has pulled out some annoying background noise and cleaned this puppy up. It sounds fucking awesome.

1. Intro by Adam Wiltzie
2. Fratres (Arvo Part cover)
3. Requiem For Dying Mothers Parts 1 and 2
4. Even If You're Never Awake
5. Syriana Suite (Alexandre Desplat cover)
6. December Hunting For Vegetarian Fuckface
7. Tippy's Demise

Part 1

Part 2

As an added bonus I have included a rip of the very first Stars of the Lid full length, Music For Nitrous Oxide, which has been out of print for many years. These are all 4 track recordings dating from 1993-1994. The album was released on Austin based Sedimental records in 1995. The work here is, what I would guess you would call, lo-fi ambient. The warmth of tape hiss envelopes these recordings and lend it a dirtier, Texan feel, which is exponentially noticable when compared to their incredibly clean, orchestrated work of the last ten years. Overall, a great peek into the beginnings of a band that would soon become a huge stepping stone in the world of ambient.

This is the original press release that came with promos of the album.

"Sedimental announces the first CD from Austin drone stars Stars of the Lid, an amazing 4-track recording that is created in the spirit of Eno, Main, and Spacemen 3. Produced without keyboards, this lo-fi ambient journey employs predominately guitar, avoiding typical rock elements while still possessing the “home” recorded feel of so much independent music.

Being based in Austin, a town loaded with so many heavy guitar bands, one wonders how they came to make such hypnotic and engaging sounds. Especially when Stars mastermind Adam Wiltzie is involved with so many “rock” bands himself, having recorded Ed Hall’s Motherscratcher and its forthcoming release, the Flaming Lips Peel Sessions, as well as running sound for Bad Livers, and Doo Rag tours. Citing Cage, Spacemen 3, Robert from Main and Loop, nitrous oxide, and Bedhead as artistic inspirations, he also comments the group is a reaction against the “muscle” rock and C&W that dominates the Austin music scene and a way to withdraw from it.

The group (un)officially formed when Adam met Brian at KTSB during Brian’s long running overnight radio program of subtle collaging of multiple sources into spacey otherness. Finding kindred creative spirits to share inspiration, and recreational drugs, they began their reclusive recording endeavors.

Despite their current unknown status, we at Sedimental were so impressed by the music of Stars of the Lid , we felt it worthy of our first CD release. After giving this a few listens(especially the brilliant trio of tracks 7,8, and 9), we are sure you will think they belong on the same plateau as EAR, Labradford, Main, and Organum."

DOWNLOAD HERE-------->This was taken down at the request of Adam Wiltzie himself. Apparently NO2 makes him wanna puke when he thinks about and has asked me to remove it. Guess we won't be seeing a vinyl reissue of this any time soon... Send me a shout if you NEED to hear this.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Serious Case of Veee Deee

Veee Deee are a two-piece--drums and guitars, natch, with one dude from Britain (Thomas, Drums) and a Canadian (Clay, Guitar) both now living somewhere in Japan and making some seriously assaultive psych-o jams. Think a hybrid of Lightning Bolt, Ruins and Comets on Fire and yr pretty darn close to the terror that these lads have unleashed on two short-run CDR's. I nabbed both of these from Aquarius Records when they came out earlier in the year and they have been slaying my world ever since. I don't normally go for CDR's from groups that i'm not already familiar with, but after hearing the brief sample on the AQ site, I had no choice but to pick these up.

Veee Deee-self titled CDR (self released)
When this arrived in the mail from AQ, I was blown away by the sonic skree attack of these three tracks. It's not all black reign from the clouds, though, moments of hazy drift float in for a moment only to soon be crushed by a flash flood of furious drumming and spazzed guitar. The last two tracks contain some screamed vocals, although i'm not too sure which of the two are doing them, they are quite raw and gutteral, giving the music even more edge.

Veee Deee- Self-titled (At War With False Noise)A 2xCDR released on the Glasgow label, At War With False Noise, which I also nabbed from AQ. This is currently out of print. Now, if you're gonna release a stinking CDR, please put this kind of love into it. Two 3" CDR's housed in a thick, clear case with some decent art work adorning it, is this much to ask? I usually flat out refuse to by CDR's slapped into a folded piece of xeroxed paper with some scribbles on it. The content can't be that great if so little effort is put into the packaging. Just a theory. Anyways, this release is two songs, one on each disc, and both about fifteen minutes long. Both of these tracks are buzz jams more in line with their Jap-psych brethren of yore, and a bit more "out there" than the tracks on the debut CDR. Vocals are still there but not as important to the music this time around. Again, moments of calm arrive before all out war breaks loose. Good shit here if you are into the above mentioned bands. Like the other VD, these guys will leave you burning!


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ride The Grooves

Sorry about the severe lack of updates but the sunshine calls and I dare not miss out on some sorely needed Vitamin D. Anyways, I am now the proud owner of a new turntable which should keep me basement-dwelling for the rest of the summer. After much deliberation, I decided that a new turntable was in order. I had a shitty deck from the 70s that I picked up for about $60 several years ago, but the needle had had it and it has sat collecting dust for the last few months. The records have been coming in but the means to hear them was naught. Well, kids, let me tell you that it is more than worth your hard earned cash to invest in a decent turntable. I picked up a Rega Planar 1, which is a British made, entry level deck that you can get for about $400 if you shop around. I nabbed mine at Signature Audio on Cambie and 15th.

The difference between my old deck and this new one is night and day. I'm currently playing the Metallica Ride the Lightning re-issue (half speed mastered, 180gr, 2x45rpm 12"s--also limited to 100 copies. Get it fast!) and I can never again listen to this on CD or on my old, shitty turntable. I compared the CD version with the LP and there is quite a difference. The CD is all high end, a much sharper sound. Crisp I believe is the term. Fuck crisp, this LP is super warm. The bass kicks in the gut rather than hanging around in the background. The guitars sound as if they are being played right in front of me rather than recorded a million miles away. Don't even get me started on the drums, which is about as close to Lars as I would ever want to get.

Another great, entry level turntable that I had my eyes on, and you can get on the cheap, is the Pro-ject Debut III. This is $350 and you can pick it up at Commercial Electronics on Burrard. They also have a version with a USB hook up installed inside of it so's that you can digify all yr vinyl, if you're into that kinda thing, which I soon will be. In the next month or so, I will be picking up the Fono Mini amp for the Rega that will allow me to rip some of the OOP vinyl that I have, all so I can share it with ya'll.

Special thanks to Joe for all the help with seeking out a new deck. I wouldn't have even known where to start.

Later in the week there will be music updates. Also, got that Stars of the Lid show in it's entirety and it will be uploaded soon. Peep it!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Stars Of The Lid-Seattle 2008

About 2 weeks ago I was able to catch one of the very few North American live dates for the current Stars Of The Lid tour. The venue was at the Triple Door in downtown Seattle, which is a mere block away from the Pike Market entrance. The Triple Door has more of a dinner theater setup than what you would expect from your average live music venue. Everyone sat at candlelit tables, waiters filled glasses with water and brought out expensive looking meals. Needless to say, I felt a little under dressed and a even a little out of place. Fuck it. I was there to witness the rare comet that is Stars Of The Lid.

Some laptop dude from Seattle opened up (name I can't remember) followed by Christopher Willits, who played his guitar hooked through his laptop. His set was filled with ambient guitar noodlings backed up by his glitch-happy laptop. He had a few truly sublime moments, but I prefer him on record (see the splendid joint effort with Ryuichi Sakamoto). Stars played an hour long set mostly comprised of "hits" from their last 2 full lengths, The Refinement and Decline and The Tired Sounds Of. The main duo of Adam Wiltzie and Brian McBride were backed up by 3 female string players (1 cello and 2 violinists? We were pretty much at the back and couldn't totally tell what was what) who helped dramatize the tracks and give the songs the full, lush sound that they have on record. If it wasn't for them it would have just been 2 dudes standing in front of their amps. Needless to say, it was an awe-inspiring show that sent an electric current up my spine for close to an hour. Luckily, 2 of the SOTL nerds that I was with recorded the show. Down below are links to my favorite track of the night, Requiem For Dying Mothers. A full posting of the entire show is on the way...


more pics...



All photos by me. Audio by Amir.