Friday, November 22, 2013

Black Black Black “s/t”

(Aqualamb) It’s good that they are not called None More Black Black Black, because this semi-industrial death-adjacent unit is more dusky than straight up dark, which may not be a bad thing. There are some actual hooks here, which are not hidden by doom and gloom. And they reference Soylent Green, Satan and spiders, the three tastiest “S”-words!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Metalleg “Hit of the Week”

(Trend Is Dead) If you love Metal and legs you are right on both counts, but that has nothing to do with this band. Miraculously this is a hooky, bouncy poppish punk band that has none of the poison that makes “pop punk” the worst thing in the world. This probably in large part because not only is there very little annoying fake nasal singing, but this band’s great singing actually demonstrates dynamics and skill (listen to that choice lilting chorus falsetto on “Too Bad”). Feels like punk rock but tastes like Willy Wonka candy!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The New Sounds of Numbers “Invisible Magnetic”

(Cloud Recordings) Perhaps I’m being swayed by the inner-childlike cover art by number one New Number Hannah Jones, but what is making me get extra enchanted here is that NSON are creating progressive, psychedelic, Elephant 6-ish music that somehow has an early 90s indie pop vibe. In other words, they are injecting simplicity and spareness into inherently complex forms. Really fresh tasting produce here!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Halfrican vs White Pages split cassette

(Cantstandya) Slippery, skanky punkr ock fromGlasgow via the Bowery via a dilapidated garage in Ohio vs. Boston via a Tasmanian Devil cartoon scrambled egg hardcore garage trash punksplosions….and everyone’s a winner!

All Dogs Invited “Mammals Amongst Us”

(Skymongrel) Sure, we all know poetical lyrics could come from writer-happy Iowa City, but dreamy/dreary Brit pop enchantments? Wrong continent! I recieved this cassette delivered to my door, so I guess you could say I get a “mammal-gram!”

Space Wolves “III,” “IV”

(U-T) I consider myself a fan of the idea of Morrissey, though I don’t actually enjoy his music. Space Wolves are far more poppy, jangly, lo-fi, and delightful than Mr. Smiths will ever be, and there are at least a dozen genuinely infectious tunes amongst the 25 cuts on these two cassettes. But the main Space Wolf clearly does not share my aversion to Morrissey’s singing and phrasing and inflections (though he lightens the melodrama by 500 notches). But even with a vocal approach that does not float anything resembling my boat I still really dig the pop chops and sweet songwriting, so two space paws up!

Maude Flanders "Puvvy Puzzy"

(Skymongrel) Iowa City's alright if you like saxophones! Invokes the Residents without sounding like them at all.

Devin Dart/Velvet Glaciers split cassette

(FeltCat) I was a teenager when the punk rock store owner/clerk told me I needed to buy the new KLF “Chill Out” LP, the first, best, and close to only, ambient record I have. While it’s always impressive to hear any sound artist create an atmospheric wall/vibe/spell, it’s rare to hear the nuance, whimsy, and serenity the artists formally known as the Timelords delivered there. VG  harkens back to that record, in part by manipulating some old records as playing-on-a-distant-AM-radio-in-a-field audio snapshots, but also in making me feel uncomfortably blissful.  DD's strange vibrations also do an amazing job of getting my brain to forget all the bullshit I have to deal with by filling it with some far more special blend of feces.

Neil Hamburger Comics Digest

(Blank Stare) How many comix artists does it take to make a high quality Neil Hamburger comic? Apparently more than 13, because this stinks. Jerry Lewis's comic hijinks translated quite successfully on the comic book page, marking yet another difference between "America's Funnyman" and "The King of Comedy." 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Local Comics #77 by Mike Goetz

(1340 Brandywine Dr. Rockford IL 61108) If Goetz was a football player he’d be the “Pun”-ter!

Room 101 “The Grand Prize Game”

( Chaotic hardcore by NOLA-via-Chitown noisemaker Reynolds achieves what so many of the greatest 80s hardcore 7” EPS achieved…it feels like a full-length pummeling LP. With a measly five songs (“why back in my day hardcore acts squeezed twice that many…”) he still manages to make enough intense noise to compromise a levee and eutanize a nutria, while holding tight to his hometown roots with his titular saluting to Chicago’s greatest clown (not Gacy or Rahm, btw).

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mac Blackout Band "Heartbreaker" EP

(Pelican Pow Wow) You know how Boston kids say "wicked" to mean cool? This hard garage trash sounds genuinely wicked, in the sense of demons doing evil. And cool.

Confessions From the Grassy Knoll: The Shocking Truth DVD

( Guest review by [classified] )( MVD Entertainment )  
At 1 PM on Wednesday, June 13, 1962, amidst an unusually heavy downpour, the SS Maasdam docked at Pier B in Hoboken, New Jersey as it had many times before and continued to for several years hence. She was a fine ship, part of the prestigious Holland-America Line, and amongst its passenger roster this day was an oddly attired young man, his bride of fourteen months, and an infant girl who couldn’t help but glare and screech at the stormclouds raging above.
Despite every observance to the contrary, history was indeed being written in Hoboken on June 13, 1962, but until now, the entire story has never, ever been told.
After having mysteriously defected to the then Soviet Union whilst on Marine duty in the South Pacific, Lee Harvey Oswald seemed to have remained in Russia only long enough to renounce his American citizenship, attempt suicide, take a young bride in Minsk, then perform an abrupt about-face of conscience and petition to return to the very country he had just made such a big fuss over denouncing. With a Russian wife and newborn daughter in tow, despite this being the very height of the Cold War, the Oswalds had absolutely no difficulties whatsoever in securing permission – and even Government funding – for a journey back to the U.S. in May of 1962. A mere four weeks later, the Maasdam deposited this motley trio on the wrong side of the Hudson.
It was then that a man known as Spas T. Raikin, who depending on which blogs you consult was either a representative of the Traveler’s Aid Society or a high-ranking member of an anti-Communist emigrĂ© group with FBI links, met the young family and invited them to partake in refreshments at the piano bar of the Redwood Lounge, just a short walk up Third. There, to the strains of “St. James Infirmary,” it was decided Lee’s wife and child should take a room for the night at the nearby Meyer Hotel before continuing on to Texas the following morning.
Raikin had other plans for the man of the house, it seems.
A late-afternoon bar-crawl along Hudson Street (then nicknamed The Barbary Coast for its preponderance of watering holes) seems to have strangely endeared the usually suspicious Oswald to his traveler’s aide, so much so that Lee readily agreed to accompany Spas into the nearby Lackawanna Rail Terminal. Apparently oblivious to the rush-hour crush, the two lingered here for several hours, darting in and out of Duke’s Pool Room where, as if by pre-arrangement, a third man suddenly joined the proceedings. Revealed here for the first time, Oswald was now escorted outside into a waiting maroon Lincoln Continental with New York plates and driven to the far end of town, Fourteenth and Washington to be exact, to the site of the infamous Madison Hotel. 
Hudson County’s most notorious flophouse, where furnished rooms were rented in eight-hour shifts to visiting seamen and their playmates, the Madison provided an incongruously seedy backdrop to a rendezvous of then-unimaginable historical import. For it was here, very late on the night of June 13, 1962 that Lee Harvey Oswald first came face-to-face with the man who would put into motion a tragic chain of events which would culminate less than a year and a half later in no less than the death of American Camelot and the squandering of an entire generation’s spiritual innocence.
Despite an over-abundance of adventure and intrigue in his short life already, Oswald was scarcely prepared to break conspiratorial pasta with the man who now beckoned him forward to a rickety table in the corner of the Madison Lounge. Oswald had seen this man before: not in person of course, but on the television, in the magazines, and even on the silver screen. Why, even his friends in Russia knew of this man; this legendary American who forever seemed larger than life and was now involved, it transpires, in an escapade that over-shadowed even his greatest achievements in the entertainment field.
Young Lee Harvey’s eyes remained transfixed as the envelope now changed hands and his mission was described in ominous detail by the man whose voice tonight sounded a far cry from its usual silky radio baritone.
A minute later, the man quickly stood, threw a coat over his shoulder, and darted towards the Madison’s side entrance, but not before tossing a wink and an oddly reassuring grin back at the twenty-two-year-old ex-Marine. “Don’t let me down now,” that smile seemed to say, and no, history chillingly records, each of us knows only too well that Lee Harvey Oswald did NOT let Hoboken’s favorite son down. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Zisk #23

( Tons of White Sox stuff in the latest issue of the best baseball magazine ever. Roctober's Rev. Norb visits New Comiskey Park (post 9/11), Roctober's Jake Austen imaginary rule changes includes obtuse reference to Andy Hawkins non-no hitter, Tim Hinely mentions Greg Luzinsky, the Mendelsons hit 30 parks, including the Sox's, R. Lincoln Harris barely mentions the Sox while bailing on a Sox-centric Zisk reading to see Pearl Jam at Wrigley, and Brennan Jones recalls the infamous Ventura/Nolan Ryan incident. Great reading for the ChiSox's warmup to Worst for First next season (some Sox has to do it).

Friday, November 1, 2013

The Sidleys "Bittersweet"

( While the tone. content, lyrics, and raw emotion of this couple's musical exploration of the lowest points in their relationship (leading to betrayals, breakups, changed relationships) are all jarring, what really shocked me wasn't the soul-searching but the actual soul. It's hard to believe these are white people, not because of the powerful, rich tone of Annie Sidley, but because the approach to contemporary grown folks R&B, involves aspects of quiet storm, non hip jazz, and adult contemporary that are popular with older black music listeners but are not fetishized or considered cool by a lot of white acts that draw on black music. The result is a surprisingly mature, honest, and musically sophisticated pain journey.