Thursday, February 21, 2008


(title stolen from Fredoluv)

It's that time again, one where I put out the call to whoever's reading -- what are you listening to (that I might like)? I think the vastness of the web actually makes it a bit difficult for me to find new (as in new) music that I might like -- it was a lot easier in the days when I just relied on the Maximum Rock 'n' Roll or No Answers review columns. (not as good, perhaps, but easier.) Of all the CDs I bought in 2007 (there were a fair amount), only three (Jesu, Son Volt, Modest Mouse) were actually put out in 2007, and of those three, only one (Jesu) was really new to me. Bearing in mind that I won't start reading Pitchfork until I suffer a few more severe head injuries, where do I find good new stuff?

And, more importantly (sort of got off track here), what should I check out? Things I've been listening to lately, to give you a little idea: Miles Davis "Dark Magus", Jesu (still), Son Volt, traditional Greek and Bulgarian music, Soundtrack of Our Lives, Soul Coughing's first two albums, Government Issue "You", Die Kreuzen, the Gun Club "Las Vegas Story".

* * *

On the music tip, I should mention here that hero to millions Brushback has a new music blog, One Base on an Overthrow, and it's as cool as you'd expect -- obscure mp3s and good stories from old punk bands. So ... go read it!

* * *

And carrying on. A while back I'd started a post on Florida's Cavity, a band that I've always loved but thought kinda underappreciated, then scrapped because that's what I do best -- start writing projects, then start playing Eastside Hockey Manager and forget what I was doing.

I'll revive a bit of it though -- here's three moderately to extremely obscure mid-'90s hardcore/sludge/noise bands that I love a great deal, and that (with the exception of Cavity) seem to be almost entirely forgotten.

Cavity -- I first heard them through old buddy Britt Hallett, in the days of Tucson's Candy Shack/3rd Street Records, and thought, "eh." I lumped them in with the at the time-growing slew of bands that were mining Black Sabbath's increasingly moldering corpse for sound and inspiration, and thought nothing more. A few years later, having left Tucson behind and having become a subpar music writer in a hippie college town, I got their "Supercollider" as a promo from Man's Ruin Records, and was leveled -- moreso when I hurriedly got some of their other albums and found the original lead signer's stuff. Heavy and pounding, with a vocalist that took more cues from Scratch Acid than Ozzy, they were right up my street ... aside from a disconcerting habit of vanishing for years on end, then suddenly reappearing with an amazing album, then vanishing again. They seem to have vanished for good around 2003. Too freakin' bad. They stood head and shoulders above all those aforementioned Sabbathy bands, and I'm rather surprised that they haven't (in the manner of Drive Like Jehu or Swiz) picked up more of a following in the years since, aren't named as influences more often. Perfect Sound Forever's got a feature here. I won't post a mp3 because the album's still in print, but "Sweat and Swagger" off the "On the Lam" album probably ranks in my top ten songs of all time, simultaneously focused as a military exercise and crazy as the Northern Lights.

Pachinko -- there was a period during my senior year of college where every single record I purchased came from Rhetoric Records, Bovine Records, or Vacuum Mailorder. Somewhere in there, I found Pachinko, who were responsible for only a handful of limited-press singles and comp tracks at that point. Like the next band, they took their music cues from AmRep and Jesus Lizard and stoner rock. Their lyrics came from who the hell knows where, and their humor from general stupidity (their single and album titles were generally taken from porn movies, which amused me greatly 13 years ago -- now, doing a web search on "Who Shaved Pachinko," I feel like an asshole). Those singles and those comp tracks were some absolutely fantastic, manic, slightly dangerous songs ("Deep Inside Pachinko" remaining the pick of the litter). Unfortunately, they eventually signed to Alternative Tentacles, and over the course of two unremarkable albums, were overwhelmed by the general boredom that's attached to virtually everything that label's put out since the Crucifucks. I can't find my singles, which sucks. Can't imagine that I would have sold them, so maybe they're under the bed somewhere. Pachinko appeared on a few comps with the Festering Rinyanyons, who had the worst band name ever and put out a single and album of insane John Brannon singing for the Dwarves hardcore, and really should probably be number four on this list.

Ritual Device -- Introduced to me by Jason Auslander, my boss at the school paper and conduit to really good music as I abandoned my straight edge days. Like I said, T&G and Amphetamine Reptile influences, lots of Big Black and Jesus Lizard, but a lot more focus than Pachinko and a manic, jittery energy that was alternately energizing and nerve-wracking. Put out a fantastic single, "Ritual Lips" (don't google that phrase, by the way -- results get disturbing), the "Henge" album on a label that had, oddly, previously released something by Four Walls Falling, and a single with lots of multilated hands on the cover before calling it quits. Singer Tim Moss went on to front the Men of Porn (probably shouldn't google that either), who aren't bad; the rest of the band formed Ravine (who I haven't heard), and that was that. I wrote to them once, encouraging them to visit Tucson -- they sent me a bundle of stickers, which was pretty cool. But I never saw them live.


lralle said...

It topped a lot of those lists last year, but I just bought it this week 'cause it was on sale: The National's Boxer. Singer sounds like Nick Cave/Mark Knopfler, and musically it's dark too - think British post-punk.
I also picked up a used copy of Sebadoh's Smash Your Head on the Punk Rock. Everybody's Been Burned is classic Barlow.
If you're into Son Volt and the like, try the new Gary Louris (Jayhawks, Golden Smog) album, Vaggabonds.

General godliness: Andrew Bird or Josh Ritter

A blog I really enjoy: obscure sound. wide variety of stuff, not just hipster indie

Brushback said...

"Hero To Millions" was on the short list back when I was picking a name for the new blog, actually.

fredoluv said...

I just saw a new Firewater making the rounds on the Bit Torrent sites...

gsdgsd13 said...

lralle -- belated thanks and I'll check those out.