MUSIC REVIEW: Every once in awhile we ask our twitter followers if they want to review something because we can’t keep up because before you know it something good gets buried deep in the glut of email pretty quickly. Seriously it’s a big problem that you hear other blogs complain about I am sure. We’re a show of one(mostly). Anyway, we’ve had long in depth discourses about Buttnado, Fartnado and more recently barfnado in the twitterverse. Real mature shit whilst drinking beer. So when the Jersey City fuzzz trio (in NJ in case you need a map) VOMITFACE sent us their latest we aimed our buckshot into the wild interwebs. Scott raised his hand. Not knowing anything or even if it was in his wheel house. Either way this is an experiment. If you too want to try your hand please give us a shout [reviewstalker at gmail]. Either way. El Editor-in-Chief dig this. We do. Totally RIYL Mudhoney/Melvins/sloppy rock vibe and not afraid of the distortion pedal. (detail of their pedalage below) Judge for yourself. The influences feel right. Give them a tickle on the BOOKFACE.
From Scott: Not my sweet spot for music but I did listen to each song at least twice to try and be fair….
“Bill Me Later” The first 25 seconds is very Soundgarden-like and captures the listener right away. The verse then starts to sound like an amalgamation of everything 90s with a sound that made me think of an early Nirvana garage outtake. The singing was in my opinion the weakest link but I could see younger people enjoying this played live.
“Sloppy Joes” This sounded to me like a super heavy Marcy Playground type song.. good intro again and the chorus also made me think rejected Nirvana demo tapes… It has good energy and I think there’s an audience for it, that’s just what it sounded like to me.
“P.S. I Hate You” The least listenable of the three songs ventures into some sort of punk death metal territory. Not my thing but certainly a small club song for the right audience.
Pedals: ZVEX Box of Rock–> Daredevil Real Cool Fuzz –> Seymour Duncan Tweakfuzz –> TC Electronic Hall of Fame
Their Bass is run through a Fender Sub-lime and Russian Big Muff.
We dig our old pal Sluggo; a former bartender and booking guy at the Court Tavern in New Brunswick NJ. Although he goes by The Slugger on his weekly Radio show on WRSU radio show (Thurs 6-7pm 88.7fm). His friends call him Doug. In this cast he plays a solid set of some pretty awesome Pre and Post punk rock and New Wave. Every week is something different though and he does NOT take requests. Basically if you’ve ever put a quarter in jukebox at the Court is what listening to this show is like. Almost. Except for the drunks breathing on you at the bar and the old movies playing on VHS on the old TV. A education none the less with tunes by Butthole Surfers, Devo, Captain Beefheart, Jonathan Richmond, The Cars, Mission of Burma, Roxy Music, The Sparks, Peru Ubu, The Damned, XTC and a ton shit I’ve never heard ever before except by name and some more popular tunes. Follow him on Facebook and also check out his band Mr. Payday. Also a education in what punk rock should be like.
SINGLE REVIEWS: Fuck, I know it was Bon Scott’s Birthday the other day but Rick’s voice is sounding a little blown out like he’s just had to many smokes or he’s on the whiskey. It’s a really gritty throbbing song and love it that way so we’re sincerely looking forward to Bed & Bugs (subpop) coming out on Sept 10th. This is quality rocknroll and just when you think it’s done it comes right back at ya! Long time coming…
Next up are Those Foreign Kids doming something special from Oslo Norway with a song called “Get Eaten” because we think you’re special. It’s a little punky like early Alice Donut or the soundtrack to the movie repo man/em>. You know like that is a fucking thing? It’s distant and big like it was recorded in a huge hall with tiny microphones. This is the First single off their upcoming debut album called Zero Gravity Somersaulting Craze coming out this fall on Geertruida: www.geertruida.net. Enjoy.
INTERVIEW: He might not mention Johnny Marr or Ed from Ohio as his guitar heroes but Mr. Doug Gillard is one of those guys who you should just know as such. For Christ’s sake just one glance at his wiki page none the less re-affirms that the guitar has infinite possibilities in the right hands. A few years ago he put his 2nd solo album called Call from Restricted and is now working on a follow-up in-between touring and playing with Nada Surf and producing like the Eternal Summers and playing with a bunch of different bands. His pedigree is as rich as it gets. You know that killer epic 90’s song “I Am a Tree” on Mag Earwhig(Matador). He wrote that tune with some bro named Gem then recorded it with Pollard where he did a stint in GBV between 1996-97 with his band mates Cobra Verde. In addition to Death of Samantha; plus a shit load of other appearances. He has a single out too which you should just own. He took the time out of crazy schedule to put pen to paper to a few caffeine inspired questions. So here you go.
RS: Who and where are you recording your new album>
DG: I’m recording it here in NYC with Travis Harrison at Serious Business, and in Austin with Louie Lino at his Resonate studio, with George Duron on drums there.
I’m also in the process of producing the newest LP by Eternal Summers. Louie Lino & I recorded them in Austin, and I played a little on the songs, helped them co-write a section here & there.
RS: A we never heard of the Eternal Summers until we saw a photo posted of them with you; too many bands not enough time really. Very cool you’re working and producing with them. We did notice the big pro-tools monitor display on your FB page. Do you miss recording to analog or has digital made life easier?
DG: I miss analog a bunch, but it is easier to record digitally, and I’ve come to expect the visual of the files as well – helps you see sections of the song to punch in at, etc…
Analog vs. digital isn’t the debate anymore for most. Rather, its “How does this get distributed and heard?” RS: Lots of words of wisdom. We wholeheartedly agree. Sometimes we think the concept of demoing tunes for a album has gone out the window for new bands. Do you think it’s too easy for up and coming bands to record their music?
DG: Yes. Though I do demo most of my songs, and get too lazy to want to play them again in the studio, so I fly them in from my garageband demos a lot. Its not just laziness- its also knowing I wouldn’t capture the same spark if I replayed it. RS: Do you think they skip right to album and lack a song writer process? Of starting with an idea and then proofing on 4track?
DG: Not sure what you mean by this question, but everyone has a different process. I do think that not enough people try to avoid typical chord progressions, melodies or add interesting basslines to their songs. They should live with the song idea for a bit, and then see if it needs something else. Most times it does.
RS: Right who the hell knows what a 4track is. We personally make music when we’re all alone. What is your song writing process been like?
DG: I always have riffs or parts that I record or voice memo. Sometimes I will marry some of those together, or sometimes a complete song will come to me wholly. It varies, and I’m glad it does. The best are ones that happen by imagining or singing, & I haven’t arrived at it by having a guitar on. I like figuring the chords out later, knowing what they should be beforehand, as opposed to knowing what the moves on the fretboard are as I make it up. Those times are rare, though.
RS: What was your first guitar? Mine was a taped up tennis racket that I played air guitar along to van halen II.
DG: I had some small toy guitars when i was really little, then at 5, I got an almost full size plastic guitar with steel strings from Sears that had the brand name “Emenee”. We had a reel-to-reel tape recorder in the family for trading audio letters with my sister who was living in Germany, so I would use it to record and write songs, until i was about 9.
RS: Does you new record have a title and planned release date?
DG: No title yet, and no release date, as of yet. I’d like to see if a label would like to put my LP out as well.
RS: Any special guests planned?
DG: Aside from Travis Harrison and George Duron both on drums & maybe Sally Crewe on a couple backing vocals, none that I know of just yet. My pal Kendall Meade may be tapped for some bv’s. If my last single “Breaking In Two” makes the record, there’s a very special guest in NJ native Erik Paparozzi on that song.
RS: Do you plan on playing some new tunes in may?
DG: Yes- hoping to have at least 2 ready.
RS: Cool we are very psyched for the show! Any covers you would like to play?
DG: Sometimes i do a slow, glammy “Boney Maronie”. Used to do “Some Might Say” by Oasis and “Stop Me” by the Smiths, and in 2009 we did Buzzcocks’ “Autonomy”. Probably one or none at the Asbury show, though.
RS: Nice my band rarely gets our act together to do cover songs. We’d love to do a nada surf song but they are so perfect. We figure so why mess it up. But what has it been like recently touring and recording with Matthew Caws & the guys?
DG: I love playing in Nada Surf. They’re the best guys to hang around & be on tour with, every one of ’em. And they choose crew people that are really nice & good folks, always. And that’s important. I love the songs, and Matthew & I are around the same age, and have a lot of musical tastes in common, Oh, and we’re both WASPS. Wait, we never even talk about that! The tours went great, and that band has sown the seeds of great friends & fans all over, so its always a positive atmosphere wherever we go. Looking forward to recording our next LP within the next couple years. Ira Elliot is an amazing drummer, and also my bandmate in Bambi Kino, the Hamburg-era Beatles band we have. (We play only the covers they played in clubs from ’60-’62).
RS: Seems as a working musician and the number of groups you have been in over the years it surpasses what any one person would strive for in their musical career. What keeps you inspired?
DG: I always have more music to get out. Always more songs I’ve written that need to be heard. That’s the main driving force with me , always has been, but I also love co-writing with people (Mascott/Kendall Meade, Sally Crewe, and Eternal Summers recently) and seeing what I can add to someone’s song idea. I’m a pretty good bridge writer when someone needs one. The other part of course is that I always enjoy adding guitar textures or solos to others’ work.
RS: We should have been more careful to ask you this but here it goes. Who are your guitar heroes
DG: Oh man, too too many. James Honeyman-Scott(The Pretenders) has always been up there at the top for me. Mick Ronson (David Bowie -The Spiders from Mars), Robert Quine (Richard Hell & The Voidoids), John McGeoch (Siouxsie and the Banshees, PIL), Billy Bremner/Dave Edmunds, Pete Townshend, Glenn Tilbrook, Marshall Crenshaw, Geordie, Phil Manzanera, Chet Atkins, Robin Guthrie, Tom Jobim & Joao Gilberto, Bill Nelson, Jerry Reed, Marco Pirroni, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Adrian Belew, Les Paul, Pat Place, John Lennon, Andy Gill, Chris Spedding, Will Sargent, Verlaine/Lloyd, Rew/Hitchcock. I’m sure there’re a ton more. Dave Gregory (XTC)
RS: Damn this is a list. I’ll admit though I know half of these guys but once I looked them up I was all smart and stuff. Last nerdy question. Do you think social media has made things easier to be a full time musician/ artist?
DG: No. Its made it easier to tell people about a show & “invite” them, advertise product, but that goes hand in hand with there now being 10 million artists all doing that, all fragmented into whichever genre someone’s individual tastes zoom in on. So it seems tougher to reach people, especially beyond the several that pay attention to your particular page or feed.
RS: It’s a bender for sure. I was talking to friend of mine who is a used to play in bands for forever and who has been Highschool teacher even longer than . He said something interesting that kids these days don’t consume music in so many ways we did by genera or label. They actually don’t distinguish between genres and on one play list might be listening to Snoop one minute and then Eternal Summers the next.
RS: Last Question, what’s your goal for 2013 into 2014?
To record as much of my own music as I can, while I can, and, to paraphrase a King, to live a little, love a little.
MUSIC REVIEW: Do you like Lux Interior inspired garage psycho-billy? We think Majestico has got some threads a little loose in this Rolling Stones inspired meets pico de gallo wax on this new 7″ EP called Love is God. It’s not a Mardi Gras band from the looks of it or a purest roots rock band but it is out today on Jeffery Drag Records. Is this “folk ‘n’ roll”? We think there is more of a creepy roll here that is just getting the weed going a bit. This is the bearded skunky variety perhaps with some shiny specs of brilliance. Music for garage rock fans who like a show with their acid or acid in their blues show. This stuff will last like trails and you will want to come back for the weird. If anything try and figure out how they convinced a Mayan to appear in their video. Give it a whirl and get away from that lame electronic shit. This is a real rock show.
RIYL – Sounds like these sound man: I Was A Teenage Werewolf MP3 by The Cramps from Songs The Lord Taught Us (1980) Oh Lord MP3 by The Brian Jonestown Massacre from Take It From The Man! (1996) Radiation Blues MP3 by Dax Riggs from We Sing of Only Blood Or Love (2007)
At first listen Aggi Doom from Scotland reminded me of the B-52’s but it was killing me for days that they really remind me of the Bush Tetras with their minimal jungle sound. Regardless their sound is raw and the type of stuff you’ll want to keep playing over and over again. Comprised of Joan Sweeney (ex- Remember Remember, The Royal We) and Hillary Van Scoy (ex Divorce). Think Evens mashed with Throwing Muses or heck download the song here and buy the 7″ from Soft Power Records and be the cool kid on the block with foreign wax.
They were funky, dark and fun. Here’s a couple by the Bush Tetras. They had bouncy rhythms and dissonant guitar riffs in the vain of Talking Heads led by female singer Cynthia Sley and lead guitarist Pat Place as an output of the original No Wave movement. Very cool stuff.
Just in time for you to carve up turkey the classic Guided By Voice’s line-up of Robert Pollard, Mitch Mitchell, Kevin Fennell, Tobin Sprout, Greg Demos and Jimmy Pollard will have a 7″ with 5 songs on Fire Records. So get prepared for the domestic release coming November 28, 2011. Christmas will be here early kids. The classic cover art already sold me the song. If your a fan of the early off-the-cuff song styles you’ll love this single! I wonder how short the 4 songs on the B side will really be? Here’s some old classic shorties. What’s your favorite short song? I always thought of them as interludes or intros sometimes because it was the set-up for the “hit”.
Cigarette Tricks MP3 from Alien Lanes(1995) clocking in a :14 seconds! Hit MP3 or this one at :23! hollow cheek MP3 from Mag Earwhig!(1997) :33 more than half a minute! Kicker of Elves MP3 from Bee Thousand. (1994) This is my fave of these short ones even though it epically comes at over a minute at and six seconds. It’s perfect.
SINGLE REVIEWS: Consider this month’s FIVE Crop O’ Singles your spin through a 45′ bin at a record shop except here we give you the goods in the form of mp3’s. Cool right? We strongly recommend that you actually go and purchase or investigate all of these bands and better yet go out of your to see them live. Ultimately we leave it up to you and your own devices how you go about consuming music so here’s this month’s curated selects you bastards.
Lightouts – Have consistently been delivering flaming gong rock-n-roll at such a steady pace we’ve been happy to be at the listening end each ime. I don’t know why other bands don’t do it this way by releasing 2-3 songs at a time is the perfect cadence to saunter and appear yet again for a third time on the RS blog! The Eloise Suite the “A” side rock fire-stomper is reason enough to grab your chick and shake your hips and swill some PBRs but the real motivator that should peak your curiosity is the closer. “All I Want / Heroes which is a LCD Soundsystem & David Bowie cover packed into one song. The artwork series is pretty cool too! I hope they actually print and produce some of these. I would surely had noticed them in the bins.
Next up is Knifey Spooney from Oakland California. Here’s a actual 7″ that’s available as 00 and 11’s for you to grab here if your’re into real quirky rocknroll chordage. “Art for Show Press pass” is sloppy like Sorry Ma’ and fun like The Raging Lamos which is a odd reference just for the old Jersey Court Tavern crowd who will know exactly what I’m talking about. This is fun like a fast version of Black Diamond and a little sloppy version of the Melvins. OK a couple references for you in one paragraph should be motivation enough. Art Show Press Pass MP3 by KNIFY SPOONEY [BUY THE REST]
A little bit like Cheap Trick and The Knack combined in what is a band known as The Perms because it’s totally ok if you want to party all night staying up late watching The Legend of Billie Jean and drinking Dr. Peppers. Oh now that you have this 70-80’s hair image planked in your head with the 101 rock rhymes you’ll probably enjoy the straightforward nature of this band. Nothing too deep it’s just a good rock song kids by a trio of Canadians. Get with their 5th album coming out this month called Sofia Nights. High School High MP3 by The Perms [ BUY ]
Long band names scare me but not so much these days. Here’s a beautiful light shoegaze dream-pop band called Letting Up Despite Great Faults. “Teenage Tide” reminds me of Lush dark bits of The Ravenettes with their whispy reverb drenched moments making peppering of subtle feedback which makes for an incredibly & unmistakably catchy song. More of this secret formula can be found via their record Paper Crush. Teenage Tide MP3 by Letting Up Despite Great Faults [ OLD FLAME ]
ok if you spun some pavement delivery and the concrete soundscapes that i love by grandaddy with a UK band shoegaze outfit fit to support Manchester flower power scene they would sound like Silence Rises. This may have been their game-plan developed in the boardroom of some dank rehearsal space and I would have told you I have reservations because the groups name sounds like the name of a Emo band but in the end the creative department would be right and I’d be wiser after a good listen to the full track. Throw down some RadioheadBends era inspired guitar power and “Shallow Water” will help you get your rocks-off. Blues for a Dead Lover would be the case study for a well delivered execution. Shallow Water MP3 by Silence Rises [ OWN THE FULL EP ]
EDITORIAL: Over-all I feel Record Store Day was a smashing success all over the world and as I watched the tweets and the enthussiam eb and flow it’s apparent the fans sort of loosely fall into a few categories. 1) Ebay swindlers 2) Rabid Early Bird fans 3) Slackers. I fit into category 2 & 3 for the most part. I’ve only bought the occasional item on ebay all of which were implements for making noise as I prefer the hunt. Anyway, a lot of what the stores get depends mostly on what they can afford to buy from their regular stock purchases. The store with the deeper pockets received more of what they requested for their particular clientele at least what my understanding is. So until they opened their boxes of goodies they could not even begin to hold stuff for their preferred customers. I don’t think a RSD point system would work but perhaps a lottery for entry might be better? Which would allow for the frequent customer to get a edge over the shysters. Also, not to mention Record Store Day is about celebrating commerce with your local merchant instead of cowardly downloading gobs of music you’ll never appreciate. For me it’s about the interchange of art but at the end of the day first come first server is pretty damn fair.
The bigger picture is really centered around the indie retailer staying alive and re-engaging music fans to take part in celebrating and re-discovering music not just one time a year but all year around. Us oldsters knows there is just too much music to consume in any given day; which is why we’re addicted to every part of the pleasure of listening. Sure we’re all going to download stuff to see if you like it (em-hem this music blog) but what happens when you hard-drive crashes? Isn’t it nice to be able to go to your own “record” library and reload the CD? Of course collectible vinyl is little bit harder to do and it’s an expensive habit to keep up – Trust me I’m a bandito with not enough time to even listen. I know I’m being really rightious but I’ve paid my dues and know it takes money to keep the good stuff coming. I see it as a re-investment into something I care about. All this schwagg I bought also reminds me personally of just sharing and spinning music for the shear enjoyment of it and a little bit is the music snob in me or sucker – however you want to look at it but damn is this new to me FELA 45 Morning in Lagos Part I & II awesome. When I find the time it’s bliss. Which is the point. Musicians and artists need to make a living so fans should PAY tribute every once in awhile not just every 364 days. Anyway enjoy some of the spoils that were available. What did you get?
Out of Print Again! D-7 MP3 by Nirvana covering The Wipers from the Hormaoning EP Pay To Cum MP3 by Bad Brains from their 1st 7″ Black Grease MP3 by The Black Angels EP from Light in the Attic which sounds amazing on vinyl like if a orgasm were like hot melting thick chocolate to yours ears. Crank to 11.
Tomorrow you shall Carpediem the crap out of some amazing schwagg and limited record releases. One spot and item that you should know about is this rarities Tape being offered to special customers at the Sound Station in dear old colonial Westfield, NJ. They have a special offer on freakin’ cassette. The contents of which are evem super secret and rare even to me. When you get there ask for Bob or Liz and tell them The Review Stalker sent you. They will know what to do. No you won’t need kevlar or anything like that but be prepared to imbibe some live music starting at noon by Milan, or catch some Reggae music, maybe catch a set by locals 117 Band or Daveen Decite. Anything could happen on Record Store Day! Be sure to check-in at Foursquare at The Sound Station in Westfield and try and kick me out as Mayor. The challenge is on and maybe you will find some of this stuff.