Wednesday, November 21, 2012

VA - DeKalb Brawl City [2012]

This comp arrived in my mailbox some weeks ago, and finally I can share it with you. For those of you who don't live in Illinois, DeKalb is a town at the western extreme of Chicagoland, out on the Emperor Reagan Expressway. It's isolated enough from Chicago to have grown its own punk scene in the past few years, and the label Don't Panic, It's a Distro have assembled this compilation of the town's premier DIY artists. Sounds range from the thrashpunk of Sick/Tired (featuring members of MK Ultra & Weekend Nachos) to the World Inferno-infused ska stylings of Danger Boy to the blink-and-you'll-miss-it electronic glitch of Gonzo Violence to the folkpunk of Davey Dynamite ... you get the idea. For a comp with such a variety of genres, one might be tempted to write it off as being 'all over the place.' Truth is, it works together really well. Usually you can't pay me to listen to metal, but when the tracks from Minimum Wage Assassins and Baptism came on, I actually kept listening. It's possible you won't dig every track on here, but there's definitely something for everyone.

1. Hasta Lumbago - Race Car
2. Turbo Vamps - For My Boys
3. Sick/Tired - Sky High
4. "Richardson" Richardson - Beard Option / Incestuous Scene
5. Danger Boy - Dinosaur Neil
6. The Stockyards - Dead Roses
7. Minimum Wage Assassins - Chopped Up Burnt Left for Dead
8. MZRCDXVL - Pace
9. The Rales - First World Decay
10. Nobelium 102 - Unicorn Genocide
11. Davey Dynamite (& Friends) - Up and Down (Live from College Ave)
12. Gonzo Violence - Ghetto Tactics
13. Seasonal Men's Wear - Ice Climbers
14. Baptism - Ezway
15. A - DeKalb Raw Pity
16. Sleeping Under 47 - Rain Comin'
17. Jim Crowbot - DeKalb Brawl City

DeKalb Brawl City - listen/download here
Don't Panic, It's a Distro

[p.s. - 100th post! here's to the next hundred]

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

ONO - Albino [2012]

Since I mentioned these guys in my End Result post, I figured I should bring it to your attention that ONO released a new record on Halloween. It is a hell of a thing. But before I get into the record perhaps some introduction is in order:

Around 1979 or 1980 the two founding members of ONO, P. Michael and travis, started playing dirty R&B tunes at strip clubs, weddings, wherever else would have them. They were as likely to play stuff by King Crimson as Rufus Thomas or Bo Diddley. Eventually they found their way into the punk scene via queer bars like La Mere Vipere, O'Banions, and Medusa's (travis had been on shore leave from the Navy in time to be around for the Stonewall riots in NYC), freaking out the audiences at shows they played with Chicago bands like Naked Raygun, the Effigies, Algebra Suicide, and of course End Result. Actually their first gig in late 1980 was opening for Special Affect, which featured a pre-Ministry Al Jourgensen. Whenever out-of-towners like Lydia Lunch or Cabaret Voltaire would roll through, ONO would bring the noise.

During that first decade ONO released two LPs, 1983's Machines That Kill People and 1986's Ennui. Two slabs of true weirdness ... people were not particularly receptive to the industrial-noise-gospel-synth dirges contained on those albums, especially when confronted with the band members' outlandish stage attire and unsettling ritualistic behavior in live shows. Still, the band continued to perform through to 1990, appearing on compilations alongside Algebra Suicide, Portland weirdos Smegma, and a whole rabble of forgotten groups. For more info on the band's history, consult the writeup/interview in Roctober, always an authoritative source for Chicago punk and outsider musics.

There wasn't much noise from the ONO camp through the '90s, though travis and P. Michael kept themselves busy with other projects. Then, in the late aughts the world seemed to catch up to them, and ONO started gigging again at various DIY venues throughout Chicago. Which brings us to Albino: a haunting  summation of the dark magic the group have generated over the past three decades. I could tell you about "I Been Changed," with its gospel-tune lyrics of redemption sung over a Birthday Party-style blues-punk din, or the excellent cover of the VU's "All Tomorrow's Parties," but really my words can't do this album justice. Just hit play:

Albino is out now on Moniker Records in a pressing of 300. You can stream the album and purchase it on the label's bandcamp page.

Divine Intervention Now - Demo [2012]

I just heard this from Ongakubaka and felt compelled to pass it along. Doom-laden lyrics delivered in a captivating folk-pop fashion. This is some masterfully played stuff from one Phillip Mahoney over in Philadelphia. He calls it a demo but the production is razor sharp. I don't want to talk your ear off on this one, you should just listen.

If you want to shell out $20, you can get a copy of the album sent to you in a unique beetle-shaped flash drive. To quote Mr. Mahoney:
After the coming apocalypse, only the bugs will remain. Contains full five-song demo, lyrics, original image for playback display, and the full text of Erich Von Daniken's "Chariots of the Gods."

Short of that you can download the songs for free on bandcamp. Highly recommended.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Puke Skywalker - Poison EP [2012]

So I dig this Puke Skywalker stuff for a couple of reasons. One is that it's a name I was often called in grade school by the ever-so creative dipshits with whom I was educated. Another is that this dude used to maintain an excellent music blog that had a lot of influence on the stuff I've listened to in the past few years. A third is that this guy makes some sick, often bizzare, always interesting remix music. 

This EP is a different animal than the Tripper Crust EP I posted some months back. While that one dealt exclusively in blastbeats and grind sounds, Poison has an almost optimistic sound (I'm reminded of James Ferraro's Far Side Virtual stuff), and could even be perceived as 'danceable.' It opens up with a reworking of the VU's 'I'm Set Free,' followed by an Alan Parsons Project tune. He still manages to work in some early 90s powerviolence samples, but it doesn't run the show this time.

Get into this and share it with your weirdo friends.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Roselit Bone - Live at Ella Street Social Club [2012]

I had already been digging these outlaw countrypunks' knife fight tunes for a while by the time one of them sent me a submission. Roselit Bone plays apocalyptic folk songs that bring to mind the likes of a Beefheart or Tom Waits. Or even Man Man, to cite a more recent example (mostly in the vocals). Shit must look pretty dire from up in Portland for these fellows to conjure the haunting mood present on this live set. Roselit Bone seem like the kind of band that is best heard whilst staring into an empty glass of hooch in a dim saloon. It's not all drunken gloom, though. Maybe the standout of these tunes is 'My Coward Heart' -- a ballad in a classic style (chord melodies!?) that is refreshing to hear.

This 7-song set was released on cassette back in the summer. You can order it for $5 on Roselit Bone's bandcamp page, or download a digital copy, PWYW. Do yourself a favor and get into this.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Atomic Tanlines - Demo [2012]

I was beginning to worry that nobody made punk music this catchy anymore. The Atomic Tanlines hail from Denton, Texas, home to such folks as Wiccans and Marked Men. This demo contains a handful of grade-A good-times punk bangers that will leave you wishing it was longer than eight minutes. Songs titles like 'BSDM vs. Tupac' and 'Fuck My Reproductive Duty' give you an idea of what you're in for. Vocalist Allyssa Lowe has got some righteous pipes, real charismatic and performative. Just watch the video so I don't have to spell it out for you:

You can read a Shotgun Seamstress interview with the singer of the Atomic Tanlines here.

The demo is available for free download so have at it, fiends.

Vice Versa - Rehearsal Tapes [2012]

If the blues stylings of the Chaw were a little too polished for your primitive ass, give these Russian mudslingers a listen. Instantly bringing to mind heavy Japanese sounds à la Blues Creation, High Rise/Mainliner, Leningrad Psychedelic Blues Machine, or American heads like Purling Hiss or an old Black Keys album mixed under the influence of cough syrup, Moscow's Vice Versa play the kind of feedback-drenched rock and roll that I should by all rights be sick of already, for all its simple premises. But bands like this keep dragging me back in. There are some really fine moments on this demo; at some points, like on the 10+ minute 'Stranger,' the racket reaches the stratosphere where you'd expect to find Les Rallizes Dénudés. During the less noisy passages Vice Versa sort of resemble the somberness of St. Petersburg's Sonic Death, but without the acoustic instruments. Highly recommended, especially if you're into the stuff mentioned.

This was released earlier this month and you can download it for free on bandcamp.

Distract - Demo [2012]

Featuring members of the Outs (RIP) and excellent noisy bludgeoners Cold Lovers, the pist punx of Chicago bequeath to you this sick demo. I'm not nearly well-enough versed in the folk culture of hardcore to speak about this with any fluency, but suffice it to say this one burns proper. The chorus to 'Our Strength' is a singularly concise statement of feminist defiance against patriarchy in the punk world (or anywhere else, for that matter). If you hang around hardcore shows in Chicago, you've probably already seen these ladies play -- but if not, you should correct that. Ask a punk!

Distract bandcamp

The Chaw - LP [2012]

I'll kick off the submission pile with the Chaw, hailing from the East Bay. The guy who sent me this expressed an affinity for the Janitors, whom you are probably familiar with if you visit this blog with any regularity. The Chaw are definitely kindred spirits in that realm of dark, fuzzed-scuzz psych rock; but whereas those Swedes like to drive a jam into a well-dug repeating groove, these guys sound more like the kind of dudes who'd sucker you into a drunken brawl at one in the morning. There's a palpable unifying ambiance in these songs, whether they're playing straight-ahead gutter blues or sinister ballads. The baritone vocals feature prominently and recall Nick Cave (especially the Grinderman stuff) more than a little bit -- though you'll hear no objection about that from me. At its heart this is an LP of meticulous pop songs, but with the rough edges of a Jim Morrison or Tom Waits sort of vehicle.

This untitled (self-titled?) LP got released earlier this month. They're offering free listens here, and you can stream/purchase a copy over at the Chaw bandcamp page. Down a few tumblers of whiskey and stagger around to these jams.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Mark Stewart interview in The Wire magazine

So I've been pretty distracted from writing about musics, what with heavy classes and falafel-slangin' taking up most of my time. But I'll have a few days free to get back into things on this page, so look forward to some new submissions and classic hits.

In the meantime, check out this lengthy interview in The Wire with Pop Group vagabond Mark Stewart. Dude is all over the place -- quite literally in terms of geography, as well as music and ideas.