Ah man you haven’t heard of Matt Pinfield? What’s wrong with you? You must of been really stoned in the 90’s or your’re from Canada. The music industry in the world of DJs and VJs was pretty much catered and curated by him all the way from with his early College Radio days in the mid 80’s to today. If there is a up and coming act Uncle Matty knows about them — no researcher tells him. He just listens and literally gives them a spin. One of those place was the old Melody Bar on French Street in New Brunswick, NJ. He was involved with music from his early days on 99.7 on WRSU as the youngest DJ ever on the air, to 106.3 WHTG Program Director down the Jersey Shore, and recently was on the now format changed RXP in NY. The Music Business is relentless indeed so what’s one to do? Companies buy companies without though of any cultural repercussions.
"Hi I am Matt Pinfield and this is 120 Minutes"
“It’s about going past the mainstream and showing you that there was other great music out there that you might not know. And always presented with passion, rather than hipster cynicism.” – Uncle Mattnj.com
The bad news he’s off the radio right now but still somehow the good news for the music industry is that he’s back in a big way nationally and globally for that matter on MTV2 at 1-A-freaking-M in the morning but then streaming on the hive when-ever we want. What makes him a sonic alternative music godfather is he really gets so much respect from bands from Oasis to the Foo Fighters to all the up coming indies because they themselves found influence in the bands he picked out of the record bin and spun. It’s not fake and it’s not an act. He’s a real music fan in the same way Jack Rabid is. He reads the liner notes, knows the record producers, seen the bands live countless times, knows their history and has interviewed just about everybody there is to know I think.
His presence on MTV2 is the one thing that is right today,even though NY radio is a total horrible fucking mess right now; is that Uncle Matt is now hosting 120 minutes again . Not the current faux-reality MTV bullshit but a monthly show where they show some pretty “edgy” music that’s not your run of the mill auto-tuned boring-ass pop or whatever it is that is being played in clubs these days. The stress of it all and rewards have made his life a disastrous roller-coaster for sure dealing with his own demons through the years but in this debut episode he plays videos by bands we’ve been talking about recently here on the RS Blog like Joy Formidable and Black Angels and he also digs in the vault with something off The Bends where we see Thom Yourke as a punk. So tune-in the last Saturday of every month for 2 hours of rock history and check out some new stuff.
Alternative Playlist circa 80-90’s for Junkies & Alcoholics: Cigarettes & Alcohol MP3 by Oasis from Definitely Maybe (1994) That’s Entertainment MP3 Jam cover by The Wonder Stuff off Never Loved Elvis (1991) Aneurysm MP3 Live Nirvana cover by Local H (1997) Beetlebum MP3 by Blur s/t (1997) I Am One MP3 by Smashing Pumpkins from Gish (1991) Flavor MP3 by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Live Tuscon
ALBUM REVIEW: There are a lot of fuzz-o-gistics going on with Black Wine’s Summer of Indifference from their familiar So Cals sounds at times that are mixed with some Mission of Burma and then there are these epic zen-arcadian moments that just rip up the planks. There are also dark pop gems like “Maycrowing” with Miranda their drummer singing who’s narrative like storytelling style evens out the Milo-esque keel in this vessel. In earnest all the vocal melodies drive this underground popish outfit. It’s a very fine roast of 80′ and 90’s pre-punk homage and alternative nostalgia mixed together with great song writing effortless care. If Pretty Girls Make Graves made kin with any of the above this is what’d you get. More band name dropping here than F-Bombs on an episode of the Real House Wifes of New Jersey I know; but it’s true. Listening to this album’s summer soliloquy makes this writing thing actually exciting with a band that has so many songs worth listening to in a row. They are champions as they conjure up Olympic rock anthems like well toned athletes can find their pace song after song. The influences and DNA is all in here — they are naturals which may come from their local jerz pedigree perhaps; featuring members of Full of Fancy, Hunchback and The Ergs shinning in full here– This band is realized. Where as their first self-titled full length was charming and rocked well. Jury is still out on their Ian Anderson Jethro Tull cover. This one is mighty and a very strong follow-up not to be left in the bin as it’s already in our top 10 for 2011. That’s All!
Soon enough review stalker Dave returns from his extended holiday in the sun. Before he gets his blogging groove back on I have one more guest posting of summer playlist tones for y’all. Here’s 4 more that reflect upon the time of year.
Appears the unusual heat dome has broken and the temps are now near 90 degrees in most parts of the country. That’s a bit of relief after the sweltering 100 degree dog days of last week. Some of that was broken up with a scattering of precipitation. Every time it rained it poured and each time I kept humming this oldie but goodie. Next time it rains this summer hum this chestnut and try and get it out of your head.
Summer Rain video by Johnny Rivers from the album Realization (1968)
The Fiery Furnaces have been making some nervous art rock for over 10 years. The Brooklyn based duo have had moments of greatness on some of their albums. But it appears Eleanor had to leave her brother behind to record her sweet NYC tribute album. Included on her debut album, ‘Last Summer’ are songs about city ‘hoods Bensonhurst, Roosevelt Island, Coney Island and Owl’s Head Park. The lead track ‘My Mistakes’ could be the summer song of 2011. Check out the video and you’re sure to be sold with its inspiring imagery and catchy melody. It’s a hook laden beauty of a tune.
My Mistakes video by Eleanor Friedberger from the album Last Summer (2011)
When it comes to songs about this time of year fellow Brooklyn-ite George Gershwin nailed it. In 1935 he wrote the music for the American folk opera ‘Porgy & Bess’. The hit song from the show has been covered countless times by so many including Janis Joplin, Sonny & Cher, Billy Stewart, Peter Gabriel, Sam Cooke, Brian Wilson, Sinatra and numerous others. But when Terry Hall took a stab at the classic in ’82 he ho-hummed his way through it while his “Fun Boys” from The Specials chanted away. An inspired and inventive take on the standard that sums up the season quite nicely whatever year it is. Hush little baby don’t you cry.
When Jack White married British super model Karen Elson he may have subconsciously had plans to record her. Once the 6 year marriage ended her debut album was released. She had been singing occasionally over the years with Robert Plant, Cat Power and with the NYC “cabaret” group, the Citizens Band. The album is a haunting countrified treat that includes a song about the season that Bananarama (The Fun Boy 3’s girls) also complained about back in the’80s. This is not that happy new wave ditty but one that is extremely sad and blue. It’s a tearjerker that may require a tissue. Can’t help but wonder, did she write this for Jack?
Cruel Summer video by Karen Elson from the album The Ghost Who Walks Out (2011)
DOCUMENTARY: Joe Strummer hustlin’ folks to go see him play in Atlantic City back in 2001 in the film “Let’s Rock Again!”(released in 2004). A documentary film Directed by Dick Rude. Needless to say we’ll always miss Joe for his honesty and candor. From “hero to zero” his ambition was to be able to survive the post-Apocalypse of The Clash and make more records by just breaking even and being able to entertain himself, his friends and feed his family. Hard to imagine in this scene that barely anybody recognized who he was when to a whole culture in the 80’s he was cultural rebel as big an icon as Dylan ever was but for a brief minute in time. Miss your way Joe so yes lets rock Again! If I could have a wish come true it would be being able to buy you a beer. Up In Heaven (Not Only Here) MP3 by The Clash from Sandinista! Burnin’ Streets MP3 by Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros from Streetcore Love Kills (dub) MP3 by Joe Strummer from the 12″
All towns have stories. Sometimes it’s just nice historical folklore or a tale about some out of the ordinary or weird thing somebody did. These are songs that remind me of the suburban town Westfield NJ. This could be your town.
West Of The Fields MP3 by R.E.M. from Murmur I always considered this my hometown’s theme song but always at the same time I wondered where the fields were? Since we only have sports fields and no wheat or corn anywhere. It’s freaking suburbia where the MILF’s run wild in their black suburbans and kids jockey for overpriced educations. It’s mostly a young republican mill except for small subculture that makes it bearable.
The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy) MP3 By Simon & Garfunkel. Ok So speaking of class systems. Us alternative kids referred to the preppy 80’s rich kids in our high school or wanna bes with the upturned polo collars as “Groovies”. I think it was Susan Fried who repurposed the term in 85′ or so (or at least I heard her say it first) and it caught on pretty quick and they started calling themselves Groovies themselves. oh “the irony my snossages” as my HS English teacher Mr. Barner would say. We were making fun of them since they were all John Hughes characters. We would hear shit in the halls like “Did you hear about the [insert groovie name here] party this weekend? or did you hear about such and such groovie chick gave groovie jock a BJ last night” etc, etc. We phrased it sarcastically like it sounds in this song all spacey and shit and created a pretty obvious line between the alternative punk kids and them. For Whom The Bell Tolls MP3 by Metallica slowed down to 33 1/3. Hilarious. Sound totally what the black psyche metal kids are into these days.
Quick Chek Baby MP3 by the band DUH. DUH were a punk band of which half were from Westfield and New Brunswick NJ. This is a track from their album/cassette demo which I called Trout I even made an album cover because of the last track of the same name and first song called “Fish House Row”. This tune directly references and describes Maulers which was the term we used for the heavy metal kids who hung out at the 7-11 type quick stops and malls and drove down the shore a lot, smoked Marlboro Lights and went to LaMours or at least as described in this song. Sort of derogatory since it’s slang and means not upper class or brass knuckles. These were the long hairs who wore tight white washed jeans and drove Cameros. Now it’s all fucked up because of that other Jersey Shore show but whatever that element is not worthy of a song. The music they like was awesome because it resembled some of thrash the skater kids liked so we invited them to our outcast parties and wrote songs about them.
Devil Town MP3 by Daniel Johnston from 1990 All towns have their demons. My town had the famous John List murders where he offed his family and resettled down south only to be found after the debut of America’s Most Wanted. The day of the show back in 1989 we all got together and watched from a house right around the corner where the gruesome scene took place some 18 years before where he shot his wife and three children with .22 caliber gun. A year after the murders the house mysteriously burned down. Crazy Train (cover) MP3 by Pat Boone from In A Metal Mood.
Come Home MP3 by The Dismemberment Plan from their record Change. This band’s music always reminds me of vacant streets at night. DC in particular where there is barely anybody milling about. Concrete.
Suburbia MP3 from the 1984 movie soundtrack composed by Alex Gibson. This is some lonely shit. In highschool we must had watched this movie and Repo Man 100 times each. Sometimes just looping them again and again back to back. We were white advantaged punks trying to get a clue. You could not make a movie like this today. The TR (or The Rejected) gave us a framework as we didn’t have it even 1/10 as bad mostly. Got a burn man?
This was fun. We’ll probably work on a Part II. There is always a story to tell.
I guess I was a David Yow fan before I even knew what a Yow was. I was a lucky enough young hipster to have a great local record store called the Music Staff that put all the cool looking records on the walls. Discovered all sort of bands randomly this way. Some total fails like this major label band called Eat or maybe i picked that one up at Vintage Vinyl — the point being when you moved the cover it changed colors. Pretty psychedelic man. Anyway, here was this group from Austin Texas that had this trippy album cover called Scratch Acid which from the first note was just noisy and didn’t care too much about the vocal melodies. It was a revelation that you could have music with no solos just interesting jagged compositions. Even felt a little seedy at times; creating this whole whirling atmosphere of reverb and yelping. So this is what punk from Texas sounds like? So be prepared sometime this coming fall the original line-up will tour and bedazzle you with their Texas-pysch punk and not in a flashy kind of way. More flesh off the bone where your tender spots will be exposed to some incredible music one more time. When the band broke up a couple of them went and played with Steve Albini in Rapeman and then reconvened with Yow to form The Jesus Lizard. The rest is loosely covered music history as carried out by David Yow (yelping), David Wm Sims (Bass), Brett Bradford (Guitar) & Ray Washam (Drums) in different bands below. Enjoy & Explore.
Crazy Dan MP3 1st track from Just Keep Eating Superpussy MP3 by Rapeman from the Budd EP Gladiator MP3 by The Jesus Lizard Filth Pig MP3 by Ministry (Featured Washam on drums during this era) Cold Light of Day MP3 by Dennison-Kimball Trio from Walls in the City. Funny thing about this one is they are a duo and playing jazz to boot. Jim Kimball played drums in Mule and Laughing Hyenas and later toured as the drummer in The Jesus Lizard for one of their reunions tours. Valentine MP3 by unFact is the experimental solo bass playing of David Wm Sims. This spacey jam reminds me of Hugo Largo with the use of delay and melody on this track. From the EP Bleached Valentine (2010). The other tracks have some distorted ambient things happening. Pretty cool -always love the crisp tone he gets out of his bass. Di Di Mao MP3 by Dangerpuss features Duane Denison, Jason Wolford (from Teledubgnosis, Machme), and Wm Sims. Basically whoever shows up to jam with Sims. More here »
What? How did this happen all of a sudden? Sort of rellavation that two very different musical trail blazers turned 50 this year along with many other singing alternative icons. Daniel Johnston’s Birthday was in January and Henry Rollins’s was 02.13.61 to be exact. I know this because it says it on the spine of the Black Flag tour diary he wrote called Get In The Van||||. Fast forward and the Rollins Band is playing a show at The Fastlane II in Asbury Park and he mentions he just turned 30 and you could not trust him anymore. I can’t believe that was 20 motherfucking years ago! Daniel Johnston’s child like lyrics always were and will be trust worthy but Hank was trying to tell me something. Then Rollins released a song called “Liar” pre-shotgun in mouth right as everyone including were cashing in or checking out as the case may be. So I laughed so hard when I first saw the video in a AIM Marketing meeting. He was dressed up like a cop and I thought this has to be a joke. He hates cops but the other young phone retailers had never been exposed to him before and the company owners in particular didn’t understand this outburst. This was serious business marking the punk. We had to help sell this record into stores across North America and we did. That job didn’t last long mostly because I used to gather my info and then chat with folks on the companies dime about other cool music to help pass the time. Oh well. Ancient history but I guess the point is this was the moment when i knew alternative music was over as I knew it.
I’m not sure I buy the whole 50 is the new 40, and 40 is the new 30 because how do you explain those random gray hairs by my balls? The goods news is that these gateway artists are still looking from right side of the grass but who’s going to cary the torch now?
Documentary: It’s a lofty goal to try and answer the question “What is Indie Rock?” and capture the whole of the late 80’s to early 90’s scene before the great music blog plague that is upon us now. Indie rock splintered pretty much as soon as it was born into all sorts of sub-genres.
…We had paper zines back then to rely on and the internets was not accessible to everyone – it was a discreet affair. Sure in there were music scene curators like epitonic who were listening, and many amazing fanzines and then there were dickheads like pitchfork who were not always so praising to deal with but underneath the airwaves was a sense of community. Somewhere in-between the music was exploited and well the rest is loosely documented history. Brad Katz, Myron Kerstein, Linda Cohen and Tricia Halloran want take this challenge and make a Indie Rock documentary. We all have our opinions. I know I tried my best on the east coast writing zines and playing in bands of merry-men. I think there has to be more stories out there right? I Know there is and it’s one of things doc people are looking help in. I personally think it would be an interesting story to talk about the transformation and answer the question: What happened to Indie Rock thru the eys of some of the fanzines? Under the shadow of Nirvana were all these bands that did not have a chance in hell of making a living out of their music. Just do a quick search in your iTunes for “indie rock”. The genre is used loosely to describe all sorts of shitty bands. I think alternative or “Other” is more appropriate sometimes. That’s a sign of something good when you can’t quite put a label on something.
The over-celebrated term at some point splintered into and then gentrified into a corporate rock category where Fleet foxes and the kings of Leon reside but that shit ain’t indie rock at all. Here’s a few things that distinguish the genre with community in mind. (1) DIY self releases e.g. bandcamp in modern terms for you youngsters. (2) You sold records/cds, 7″s and tapes not free downloads (seems absurd no?) (3) It didn’t matter what your band sounded like it as long as it did not sound like anything on the mainstream radio. Once you got major airplay you crossed the line into having an actual job. (4) Slacker was a fun thing. No promises. The thing is about the music is that there was no defining sound but lyrics and pieces by a variety bands like some of the ones below who actually knew what a melody was and they used it with their other tricks and was always part of their diverse delivery.
Some of my Indie’s Heroes: Sense Of It MP3 by Polvo from Cor-Crane Secret I saw Polvo a couple times and they were the quirkier version of SY. Almost songs re-interpreted as noise or vice-versa. Hard to explain but the music is backwards but still had hooks. Great music and totally worth a deep dive. [BUY] Slack Motherfucker MP3 by Superchunk from Tossing Seeds Singles (89-91) This is one of the Anthem’s of Indie Rock. [BUY] Plumb Line MP3 By Archers of Loaf from Icky Mettle More hits on this record than any noisy record of it’s kind maybe since mission of Burma or Husker Du. “She’s an Indie Rocker and nothings gonna stop here” [BUY] For Respect MP3 by Don Caballero from S/T Blown away the first time I heard and saw Damon Che play the drums like some drunken bull on a folding chair. So much energy with no singing ever to be had. [BUY] What Goes On MP3 By Built to Spill (Live) I was a treepeople fan before a BTS. In fact I had no idea they were both Doug’s bands. Fact that 4 guitar parts can inhabit one band’s sound and without that magic it would still be cool. Always discovering some counter melody in this music. [BUY] Gimme Indie Rock MP3 by Sebadoh from III One of the funniest things that random people always told me is that I sounded like Lou on bass with the free use of distortion. Happened a few times. Then they’d describe him to me as the dickhead who played with J in Dino. Always came across as an ass to me when I’ve seen him. Maybe he’s perpetually uncomfortable with his talent? Funny impression but there it is. [BUY] (I Got A) Catholic Block MP3 by Sonic Youth from Sister SST. Silver Rocket MP3 from Daydream Nation. [BUY] In 86-87 I had all of Sonic Youth’s releases to date. I was a indie rock kid. In to everything really. First time I saw SY was a pre-release show of Day Dream nation one hot summer night at CBGB’s in 88′. Lunachicks and Skunk(Aka Mighty Joe Young) were playing with them which was fronted by Matt Sweeney of the epic guitar band Chavez. They played the album front-to back and it was like being on drugs. All the guitars had letters on them and they just whipped through this huge wave of sound. I’ll never forget it. [Our Band will shine tonight] Boilermaker MP3 by The Jesus Lizard from Liar – If you don’t break your neck listening to this music something is wrong with you. David Yo his singing sounds like somebody is slopping paint over the mic. [Buy] Nirvana tried to champion them just as much as the Melvins. I have the 7″s to prove it but sometimes the drunken ranting is just not fit for radio… allas the problem with Indie Rock. Corporate Alternative Rock wanted something easy to sell and most of these bands just weren’t handsome enough.
Numerology is one of those real weirdo sciences based on some sort of mathematical religion I won’t even begin to understand. What does interest me though is that our time on this giant landfill is limited so when there is a awesome calendar that ends on 2012 you have to begin to wonder what the Mayans knew? What is going to happen from a year from now? Obviously their civilization did not stick around or maybe they just got on the good ship, put on their sneakers and got out of Dodge. Whatever the reason when ever there are songs that include some sort of integer it gives the song some meaning that we attach to it I like them usually. Here’s a few odd songs with numbers in their titles. I left out some of the obvious ones and just went in order of what has randomly come-up on a search in my music library then filtered on time, years or when something is counted. Whatever came first you could probably rationalize this post all freaking day!
Repo Man(1984) Directed by Alex Cox (Straight to Hell, Sid & Nancy) is probably one of the most quotable movies involving punk and sci-fi you’ll ever see. The flick self mocks the punk aesthetic as much as it embraces the scene eventhough the soundtrack compilation is not 100% complete it’s pretty awesome. The Plugz a mexican-american punk band composed the original instrumental score for the film, and performed “Hombre Secreto,” a Spanish version of Johnny Rivers’ “Secret Agent Man” plus a few other classics. Emilio (Sheen) Estevez, Dick Rude, Harry Dean Stanton, Sy Richardson, a ensemble eclectic cast and Fox Harris driving the melting aliens around all say some pretty funny shit. Here’s just a few tracks for sampling. If you’ve never seen or paid attention to this very notable conspiracy flick about UFO’s you should netflick it or whatever. Just be careful what you hide in your trunk. For the rest of these tracks you’ll either have to hunt them down or you can friend the Review Stalker Music Blog on facebook and we’ll give you the link to the whole zip. Cut down on all that silly hunting because the life of a Repo Man is always intense.
1. Repo Man by Iggy Pop [Buy Music]
2. T.V. Party by Black Flag [Buy]
3. Institutionalized by Suicidal Tendencies [Buy]
4. Coup D’Etat by Circle Jerks [Buy]
5. El Clavo Y La Cruz by The Plugz
6. Pablo Picasso(Jonathan Richmond cover) by Burning Sensations
7. Let’s Have A War by Fear
8. When The Shit Hits The Fan by Circle Jerks – “Can’t believe i used to like these guys…”
9. Hombre Secreto (Secret Agent Man) by The Plugz
10. Bad Man by Juicy Bananas
11. Reel Ten by The Plugz