Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A couple nuggets...

Well, ever since the Richmond mayor closed downtown's Alley Katz in early June (bullshit tax code violations) there's been a void of good hardcore shows coming to the city. Most notably, the heralded Anal Cunt show last Friday which had the plug quietly pulled at the last second. No reschedule, no venue switch, no nothin'. What a fucking drag. And I guess the day before guitarist Josh Martin was kicked out of the band (so it's now a two-piece) but that's another story. Well what can ya do but go back and revisit some of the rarities from a band that invented a genre but will never see the respect they deserve. First on the list is the "Stayin' Alive" single from 1994's Top 40 Hits. Probably what I'd consider the band's first significant step away from the 20-minutes-of-blur repertoire (yeah, I know Everybody Must Be KILLED had 50 or so "songs" but it's really all the same ol' blur given song titles mixed in with some new blur), the single has a few tracks from the album as well a bonus track. Titled "Schnauf", it's a take on Tear For Fears' "Shout" and is probably(?) a goof on Germany's Schnauf Records who at the time was releasing A.C.-clone Anal Massaker's stuff. And the album cover is absolutely priceless. Following that IS the 20-minutes-of-blur we all know and love from A.C.'s Very Rare Rehearsal From February 1989 CD. Who knows if they were preparing for a show or simply practicing, it's a great look back to the early days of the band. Interestingly, to those critics who call such music "talentless noise" or whatever, the rehearsal shows how tight the band had to be to pull the whole thing off. Seth's liner notes on the CD are almost touching, he speaks with a real sense of nostalgia to the days when A.C. was fun and everyone was best friends, before the drugged-out mess it became. Enjoy.

Grind                                                       Blur

Friday, June 25, 2010

Answered my own question...

Well, ask and you shall receive, no? No sooner had I posted some babble about Regurgitate's first split 7" I got word that the "forgettable" A-side band Vaginal Massaker actually DID forge along through the 1990's and even released a CD! Of course they completely changed their sound from grindnoise to a somewhat restrained death metal vibe (think very, very generic Death) and that's about it. Nothing noteworthy whatsoever, even the album cover screams generic (or terrible, depending on your point of view). Actually, the scans I could find of the cover were so awful that I actually rebuilt it myself, it was so poorly done. Oh well. The band's lineup completely changed from the Regurgitate days as well so it begs the question is it really the same band or just someone grabbing onto the coattails of a (somewhat) offensive name? Who knows. As a final fly in the putrid stew, I listened to the album several times and the numbered track names simply do not fit with the given names of the songs (i.e. on song #3 "Grunge" they repeat "Fuck Off And Die" over and over which makes me think that's actually the supposed song #8 "Fuck Off And Die") so I've tried to adjust it to what my poor German skills (c'mon I'm only on level two of Rosetta Stone!!) can deduce. Enjoy the timeworn tunes....

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Once A Dawg, Alwayz A Dawg...

Originally a Cleveland homey who jumped train with the rest of the bandwagon and relocated to Inglewood, AMG is probably not the first rapper one thinks of when reminiscing about the state of the music world in 1991. Relatively obscure to most (unless you're a big D.J. Quik fan - AMG was his protegé at some point) and lost in the glut of hardcore rappers pouring out of South Central L.A., it's amazing this album ever got made, much less made it onto the charts. Surprisingly, though, it is actually really good. Yeah, yeah, Bitch Betta Have My Money is sloppily produced, has some pretty weak beats here and there, and all in all isn't hugely original; but as a whole it works and is way more listenable then some of the other crap coming out twenty years ago. Some tunes are goofy ("Vertical Joyride"), some funny ("Mai Sista Izza Bitch"), and some just have a nice hook (title track) but all are testament's to AMG's healthy obsession with the ladies. Imagine Too $hort rhymes with some playful beats and you got it. Play it at your next party - word 2 the D.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yeah... I Sweat A Lot...

Y'know that handful of albums you were once so into, but for whatever reason you don't listen to any more? Yet still hold on to? The ones you break out once every five years, listen to straight through (knowing every lyric, chord change, nuance, etc.), then put back away? This is one of those. Junior year in college, I was all about Faith No More. Seeing them live, any appearance on TV, getting all those retarded CD-singles with an outtake or demo or live track, etc. etc. Immensely better then The Real Thing and (somewhat unsurprisingly) rejected by the MTV-brainwashed public, Angel Dust easily holds its own nearly 20 years after its release. Way, way, WAY ahead of its time, it really shows that Mike Patton had his finger jammed up the ass of the music world. Post-metal funk, alternative, anti-grunge, rock nonsense - whatever genre you want to try and classify it - listening to this album literally transports me back to the tiny shithole apartment I lived in. Christ, I can even remember the smell of stale beer and bongwater that stained the piss-yellow carpets. What a year that was and what a fucking album. Fitting for this blog's 100th post.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Whatever happened to Vaginal Massaker?

I'll admit it, I ordered this 7" from Ax/ction Records back in 1993 solely for the name of the band on the front cover - Vaginal Massaker. A big sucker for an absolutely forgettable band with a somewhat sleazy name. Who would have thought it was the B-side band I would become a huge fan of - still to this day! I speak of Sweden's legendary Regurgitate whose 4 minutes of grindcore nonsense had me instantly hooked. Groundbreaking purveyors of the now all-to-common "gurgle" lyrics, Regurgitate blast through their six tracks with speed, venom and lots of tape hiss. One of the more unusual things about this recording are the somewhat standard song titles Regurgitate uses, unlike nearly all of their other recordings which seem to come from an infectious disease dictionary, these are much more tame and possibly political(?) tracks. Maybe they were testing the waters, after all this was their first non-demo release. Regardless, it's still the sick Regurgitate sound we have all grown to know, love and rip off. Sadly, until I get my records back we'll have to make due with a pretty good 160 kbps rip I made some years ago... until then Cheers fellas and Yyyaaaaaah!!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

On another tip...

One of the things people associate with me is the absolutely freakish obsession I have for horror/sleaze/weird flicks from today and yesteryear. I was one of those geeks back in the day who salivated for an 8th generation copy of Cannibal Holocaust with Portuguese subtitles burned into the picture. Trading videotapes was almost a second job. Yet with the wonderful advent (and relative cheapness) of DVD, so much of what was once nearly unobtainable is common fodder in your local Best Buy. Who would have ever thunk you could easily grab copies of Salò and Redneck Zombies while picking up some printer ink? 

But once you get your fill of the NTSC/U.S.-released stuff you gotta start looking elsewhere. Thank you, thank you, glorious Internet. Pick up a region-free DVD player at 220-Electronics (some starting at only $50) and check out Diabolik DVD - easily the best worldwide cult DVD market on the web. Yeah, you could try Amazon or go the next step and order direct from Amazon UK (or whatever country you're into), but Diabolik is in the U.S., compiles it all together, and has better prices, shipping costs, you name it. It's also run by average guys who are just as much hardcore genre fans as small business owners. I tell ya, once I got my first region-free player it was game over. I hardly buy the generic region-free DVDs anymore, the stuff that's available overseas tends to be packaged so much better. Extras, artwork, commentaries, etc. etc. - all unavailable in the U.S.... the world has got a way bigger selection!

OK, OK, but what if you have some flick in mind that you just can't find - at Wal-Mart or overseas? Welp, you're probably fantasizing about some offbeat cult nonsense that simply has no distributor or ownership rights anymore, violates copyright laws (hello Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam), or is even too obscure for the "obscure" DVD labels to hose off and release. Coonskin and Mardi Gras Massacre come to mind as does anything by Chester N. Turner. Welcome to the home-grown business of burning videotapes to DVD. Get a Samsung VCR/DVD recorder and you too can open your own online cult movie depot! There are lots of FAQ's on the internet that posit it isn't copyright infringement, blah, blah Berne Act, but in all honesty it's a bootleg operation and I LOVE it! It's the closest thing to old-school tape trading out there. Sure you get what you pay for, those skips and jumps on a time-chewed videotape are there forever on your burned DVDr, but for $5-$7 bucks can you really complain? With the boom in iOffer there are lots of these operations out there, some riskier than others (I've been burned several times) so it's wise to do your homework. The shops below (Revok and Stumpy) are my faves - I've ordered from each multiple times and have gotten true-to-form product (for what it's worth... can you really blame them if you can't see anything on an advertised grade-D copy of Begotten?). They answer emails, ship relatively quickly, and prices are reasonable. Check 'em out - it's ridiculous the amount of stuff you'll find, including old TV shows, cartoons, concerts, you name it.

Diabolik DVD

Stumpy Disks

Revok Film Prodigies

So shitcan your Netflix account and start checking out one (or all) of the above sites - I'm sure you'll find some lost gems or new treasures once you start digging around. Peace!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Still got it...

Man, saw the Manzarek/Krieger band jam out at the National last night - what a show! They played incredibly well and had a great setlist with a few nice surprises (who woulda thunk they'd rip out "Peace Frog"?). Lead singer Miljenko Matijevic (from the forgettable 90's Steelheart) was a true incarnation of Morrison - halfway through the opener ("Roadhouse Blues") you forgot to care it wasn't the long-dead Lizard King anymore. Cheers for an awesome night guys - hope you come through town again.