Thanksgiving Day Massacre by The Chinese Stars

Thanksgiving Day Massacre by The Chinese Stars

The Chinese Stars

Thanksgiving Day Massacre MP3 by The Chinese Stars

You dig prog and are anti-holiday then you will love “Thanksgiving Day Massacre” by The Chinese Stars from their 2009 release Heaven on Speed Dial from Anchor Brain label. Think Deerhunter but with more screwed up vocals. A perfect track for to screw people up in your holiday music mix. Features Craig Kureck and Eric Paul formerly of Arab on Radar in this noise unit + another from Six Finger Satellite make up this bastard rock. Chances are if any of these guys were invited to your Thanks Giving celebration they certainly would say something uncomfortable to help get party going or start a fight. Like did you know that in “In 1868 you could get a room, a hooker, and a bottle of whiskey for $2.75. Those were the days… Now that costs $1570.53” – Joke courtesy of @kirkfox. Ok maybe we’re taking you way out but that is sort of the point with music. It’s dark, creepy and surly. Enjoy!

Short music mix for fisting turkeys and waddlers:

Thanksgiving Day Massacre MP3 by The Chinese Stars [Buy]
My Mind Is a Muffler MP3 by Arab on Radar from Yahweh or the Highway [Buy]
Hot Food MP3 by Six Finger Satellite from A Good Year for Hardness [Buy]

Trail of Dead – early years …Are they Tao?

TOD performing “The Rest Will Follow” on the David Letterman Show.

SINGLE REVIEW: The Trail of Dead have jumped labels more than any band I’ve ever tracked with each release and quite consistently. Competing with the Poster Children and a few others with a decent stint on a major label ok maybe not as many as the pkids. Their upcoming release is going to be on their own label – Richter Scale Records. Never had the pleasure of meeting …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (at least not yet) and or since i knew about their sonic existence (thank you Benny of the Highway) they have been one of my favorite heavy and noisy bands of all time. Well at least since 2001.  Everything is really fuzzy before that. Conrad and the boys have persistently managed to bake in all the right elements of guitar swagger, big dumb drums and vocal angst. Giving you this huge soundscape of music. I can hear why Hemispheres was influence on this one with SIDE 1 and Side 2 of continuous music. I can’t wait for Tao of the Dead all to obvious album title. I’m still a devoted fan of their music> Their notereity will be there in a black flag kind of way with many a splinter and broken drum set in their path.  The pre-release of Summer of Dead souls track is exactly what you can expect. Check it out on  I encourage you to go to town if you dig these tracks and get the whole discography or at least parts of it. The new track is great. Feels right and the good payout is that they did not belabor the output. Less vanilla more rock. How’s that for a short review?

Sample some shit:
Gargoyle Waiting from S/T …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead (1998) Trance Syndicate Records

Totally Natural from Madonna (1999) Merge Records. Totally out of character for the bands that were on merge at the time but damn wouldn’t it be funny if they returned like spoon did?

Another Morning Stoner from Source Codes & Tags (2002) Interscope. This is the record that put them on the map blah blah blah. Dude the cool kids picked them up.

I Was A King and you were from The Rural Alberta Advantage

I Was A King and you were from The Rural Alberta Advantage

Saturday Sunday live review: Last minute phone call last night led me to the Mercury Lounge on 5.30.09 with my bud Jim to catch a early show by The Rural Alberta Advantage who recently signed to Saddle-creek, I Was A King from Norway and Elevator Fight (Philly).

Ok so we totally missed Elevator Fight, who apparently have some star power in the band with the offspring of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet. Zoe freaking Kravitz who my daughter is named after on vocals. Can’t believe it honestly. Has it been that long? But we had a decision to make at the bar as to what to drink as they played their last song. I’m sure they will get other Saturday nights and I’ll try not to miss it; just somebody send me an invite and we’ll be cool. They play this sort of cliche roots rock from the couple tunes I heard on their page. I think her band needs to do some more digging in Daddy’s record collection and find their own voice but I get the sense they are going for a straight up pop direction so there may be no hope. Her voice is good so hopefully they put that to good use as you would expect she got her mamma’s looks. This is all pretty funny to me because I’m now recalling as we were waiting for the next band that I noticed this smashing gal that reminded me of a grown up Cosby kid and it all makes sense.

In the grand scheme of things culturally America has influenced the world musically and I Was a King is proof positive of that. The first hurdle I always wonder about is how do bands write melodic pop songs in Nordic and then sing them in English?
Ok, I know the rest of world needs to learn more than one language so that is probably a barrier on our part. I Was A King borrow nicely from art of the short song by gbv and blast out equally potent and abbreviated J Mascis like solos. This band’s performance was a surprise and in this configuration was truly driven by their rhythm section as the two guitarist pretty much played the same shoegazer parts. They were most powerful when they broke away from that but damn I don’t think I’ve seen more capos used in a single show– that’s got to be a pain in the butt to remember so kudos just for that. The real glue was in the singing above the mask of the guitar wash. Guy/Gal vocals really is part of their magic that could be compared to Belly and Swervedriver jamming the black angels without the heroin parts. heh? The lead singer Frode Strømstad has got his song writing machine down Anne Lisa can sure hold her own vocally. I was impressed.

Live I don’t think they sounded anything like Apples In Stereo or Neutral Milk Hotel like their bios says to file them under; in particular because of the lack of additional instrumentation in the live configuration joining them on stage but allas this is a good band and worth catching. I tried to chat with the other guitarist about her guitar playing and pedals but she was chatting up some haggard looking new yawker dude. Check out their most recent self titled album on emusic which was recorded in Brooklyn U.S.A btw.

Now The Rural Alberta Advantage (gotta love that nationalistic Canadian pride) sounded more like NMH in the singing delivery department with the support of their diverse but bare bones instrumentation. With barely any gear on stage you could fit this trio in a Fiat! The powerful vocal melodies indeed carried them from song to song. If you had to file and tag them under quirky and diverse would be appropriate like tapes n tapes is to spazzy drumming and their keyboard parts. Was cool to see the main singer guy Nils Edenloff playing a Seagull acoustic guitar. The string that was holding it looked uncomfortable but he seemed truly happy to hold it up and carrying the band out of obscurity coming from a self-released record and now being picked up by Saddle-Creek quite a story actually with a little push from emusic for RAA is all it took which is one of them stories in the big scary city. So expect lots of interesting things from them if they survive their first big tour. At the end of their set they pulled a move straight out of the small band playbook and sang in the middle of the crowd alla Violent Femmes/Arcade Fire. If you never got a chance to see neutral milk hotel and you have 10 bux burning a hole in your pocket this summer go check RAA or I Was A King when they are in your town. The experience will be worth it. A good time was had and thanks for filling my night this past Saturday. No thanks for $7 Sierra Nevada’s Mercury Lounge. Please send this writer beer money.

Summertime songs:
In the Summertime – The Royal Albert Advantage – buy
Fading Summer – I Was A King – buy

Mr. Thumb Flowers are not Evil

Mr. Thumb Flowers are not Evil

Based out of New Brunswick, NJ in the early 90’s there was prog funk alternative rock metalish band called Mr. Thumb. The group had two singers and a running gaggle of drummers. Above is the cover for a 3 song ep called “This time it’s gonna fuckin’ Hurt” on Hub city label Well Primed Records. The track we are featuring in this post was supposed to appear on a follow-up 7″ and self titled album on Behemoth Records but it never was released due to financial issues at the time(isn’t this always the case?). The band recorded its full length at Trax East in South River New jersey with Eric Rachel and Steve Evetts. Drumming on said record was Dave Rosenberg (AKA Dave Crayola from Deadguy). The original singer Karl Munzel only appears on the Well Primed released. For the rest of the duration of the band the torch was carried by D.Buzz operating the bassness, Bil Weis vox and Jhon Thumb as the nutty jazz rock professor on guitar. You can still catch the Jhon Thumb band or something very close to it. If you ever get the opportunity to see him play it comes as a highly recommended live experience. The kind of thing you should see before you die in lieu of seeing Frank Zappa, Hendrix or a wasted John Frustrante. D.Buzz went on to form Aviso’Hara.

Grab some mp3 trax:
Mr. Thumb “Flowers are not Evil
Deadguy – “Running with Scissors” b/w “Police Story” (black flag cover) [ buy some ]
Aviso’Hara – “Conspiracy Au Go Go” [ buy some avisohara

Court Tavern mini short video

sThis is a pretty well done montage of New Jersey’s infamouse roadhouse biker bar known as The Court Tavern. Tons of local like prosolar mechanics and regional bands [like superchunk, butthole surfers, moistboyz, faith no more] missing that have played the Court but none the less a good job.

You should check out one of them which features Walter from Aviso’Hara, who has just released a FREE online album of the month with The Fireside Chats called FCII: We Will Bring You Champions. The best track is “You Call This a Comeback?”. Walt is also playing tonight, Sat 3/24, with other band Eastern Anchors @ The Brighton Bar in Long Branch, NJ with The Groucho Marxists which features Chris Pierce from Doc Hopper. Later.