Although my facebook friends only got to the eighth line their hearts and twisted minds were in the right place. Merry Christmas from the Review Stalker music blog.
On the first day of the Apocalypse my true love gave to me…
A Haz-Mat suit filled with candy
[ Unsane – Hazmat MP3 }
An extra hour of sleep ( because you’re playing with the casino’s money) 3 crashing asteroids
[ The Platters – Blue Christmas MP3 } 4 firey fault lines
[ Archers of Loaf – Plumb line MP3 ]
LIVE REVIEW: Such a great performance the Archers of Loaf put on the other night at Webster Hall. This band created a indie rock time capsule way back in 1990’s and then proceeded to back it up with one amazing record after the next until they decided to fold-up shop.
So here they are repeating what seems to be like a great re-start and a chance of being a real working band again! Thanks goodness they are back in favor with Merge Records and it doesn’t hurt either having Bob Weston re-master Ickey Mettle — which you can pre-order now. Beats living in a van Mr. Eric Backman. If you had to explain what the hell indie rok was to an alien or to people in the future all you’d have to do is point them to the music on Icky Mettle. Trust me. I loved Crooked Fingers when it was good and when you fiddled solo on stage at Brownies with a bunch of guitar effects or invited the whole world onstage but AOL is like an old girlfriend that’s good in the sack and your’re glad she has come back to give you some lovin’. Lets hope they stick around to make some new music – hell I’d settle for some well chosen covers because I’m not going to find a beach band who could capitalize on it (Fantasy scene …and now some bands interpreting their favorite songs as covered by AOL…). So 2 encores and just about all the hits you could get drunk on is not too band — (See set-list below) only these guys can play their music. One of the down-falls any band that plays out constantly is road-burn and the sets and music literally slow down to a boring crawl. Bands these days just can’t just take-off to Jamaica or France to recharge like the Stones used to do so no surprise it happened to AOL I’m guessing. This set had a great rhythmic sense of high-points to it and didn’t fall into their previous downer neutral modes. So totally uplifting to see a revitalized energy put towards their amazing landscape and catalog of music. So in future ignore management, make the wife’s happy and focus on the fans. Because the fans will be happy so long as they have cold beer and this music to sing along with. Thanks Guys maybe I see you in Philly!
Here’s the set list from Sunday night’s show. (WHO HAS THE BOOTLEG?):
Strangled by the Stereo Wire
Dead Red Eyes
Let the Loser Melt
You and Me
Might Revenge MP3 from The Speed of Cattle
Smokin’ Pot in the Hot City
Greatest of All Time
Lowest Part Is Free Freezing Point MP3 from The Speed of Cattle What Did You Expect MP3 from The Speed of Cattle
Web in Front
Matt Gentling not fooling anybody in-between the encore -photo by Monsieur McFartbag
Step Into the Light
Audiowhore Harnessed In Slums MP3 from Vee Vee
All Hail the Black Market
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.
We love the Archers of Loaf around these parts. I’m not sure if Indie Rock as I knew it would have any real meaning without Icky Mettle. Seriously, the record is wholesome college noisy indie rock with just the right amount of grit and sing-along to make it a true college radio break-out. They got weirder as they went breaking boundries staying under the radar from major airplay. Meaning no top 40 hit but all hits on every record in their own right. So it’s about time they did a reunion show. Don’t get me wrong big fan of Eric Bachman’s post AOL band Crooked Fingers which was more neuvo folk with a huge following all on his own but there is no denying the Loaf. I’ll have to find out more about this show and if there are any more shows planned? The past year there has been a bonanza of reunions…
Archers Of Loaf Live Maxwells -IckyMettle Tour
Here’s a live show from 1998 that Captain’s Dead posted last year. The pic above was 1994 or so I think. I don’t remember that era as it was a total blur of some amazing music coming out every month that it was hard to keep up. Also, nice live review of the show on Sunset in the Rearview; apparently some nut from Jersey traveled down to North Carolina based solely on a rumor AOL was going to be playing.
Cue up the tape to the right spot as I remember playing a Sunday night show at the old Brownies around 2000 in the loweast side with Aviso’Hara and for some odd reason (really fucking stupid actually) I left my bass at the front of the stage so I had to return the next night to pick it up right before the Monday night show. The door guy let me in and thank g*d it was there hiding in the shadows. I think we actually got the club a noise pollution ticket and then they became a old hipster disco. Anyway, Then on my way out I run into Joe from Plug Spark Sanjay and a couple other Hoboken friends who had shown up to see Mr. Backman play a solo set with just him and his guitar with a bunch of effects. So I stayed and was blown away and have been a fan ever since hearing and seeing this reimagined style of folkish indie rock. Music is about accidental discovery sometimes and that night was one of those instances. [Get some back catalog Archers]
Crooked Fingers Live Shows:
Jan 21st The Grey Eagle, Asheville NC
Feb 19th The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY
SUPER EXTRA JUICY BONUS:
3. Hit it nowMP3 by Plug Spark Sanjay from Regular Pinto (1999). We’ll have to revisit this record and band properly very soon (actually I think I lost this record so need to get a burn from somebody – help!?) but if there is anything new you’ve never heard of and this is it; you should download this right now. Don’t pause for even a second. It’s the opening track to their debut and it’s a #1 hit and it’s catchy as all get out.
4. Accidental (Moron) MP3 by Aviso’Hara from Our Lady of The Highway. Recorded at The Pigeon Club in Hoboken, NJ by Wayne Dorell. More Our Lady by Aviso’ this way »