24 May 2010

Last to Leave - Live At The Xeno Haus (12/19/09)

Last To Leave, on this live show billed as "Last Avian To Leave Orchestra", is a band from Reno, NV. I know practically nothing about this band, and i correspondingly have no friggin clue where i found these recordings. All i know is that this live recording is a wonderful collection of folk-punk songs in the vein of Rosa and early Defiance, Ohio. Also contains a pretty great cover of Wingnut Dishwashers Union's "Fuck Shit Up".

So here, you go, internet. All the songs are great.

Folk-punk translates well to live recordings. Many other types of music suffer in a live recording format.

18 May 2010

Knucklehead - Voice Among Us

Another from Knucklehead, a fantastic punk band from the locality in which i reside (Calgary).


Mallory - Strange Homes (2010)

New album from Amherst, MA folk-punk band Mallory. I got specific and unsolicited permission to post this album on my blog, which is pretty awesome.

For anyone who liked Lights in the Quarry, Strange Homes has everything that made that album so great, and it has MORE of it.  It shows an evolution of their distinctive take on the folk-punk sound, branching out with accordions, banjos and such things. The whole album is enjoyable start to finish and never lags.

A perfect example of why acoustic instruments of all sorts are superior to electric instruments of any sort.


Black Wine - Black Wine (2010)

New band featuring Jeff Schroek (Jeff Erg, formerly of New Jersey punk legends The Ergs! (one of my favourite bands of all time)), as well as Miranda Taylor and J Nixon of Hunchback.

It sounds at times like... a different take on the sound from The Ergs!'s later Hindsight is 20/20 stuff (which is definitely a good thing), but with the addition of some lovely female vocals. This album is solid start to finish, i highly recommend it.

'Couch Critics' is a standout track.


09 May 2010

Shotmaker - The Complete Discography 1993-1996


okay fuck it. basically what it was about is this band, Shotmaker.
Shotmaker was a band from Belleville, Ontario. This collection is everything recorded during their short existence.

i had some sentence about how Shotmaker is one of those bands with a cult following like Drive Like Jehu and Jawbreaker. i had said how the combination of being a genre landmark, particularly one from the early 90s, that still stands the test of time is a surefire recipe for cult status. also, all three bands ive mentioned are fucking awesome.

Occuring stylistically somewhere in the neighbourhood of Drive Like Jehu and Orchid.

'Failure' is a standout track.

The first copy of this post was better i swear. I cant write it twice because when i type these im basically just talking to myself. my writing style is talking to myself.

Thelonious Monk - Solo Monk (1964)

So i've been listening to a lot of Thelonious Monk recently. Honestly, a lot of jazz really puts me off cause a lot of it tends to be really overproduced or just dull. Also, i FUCKING HATE SAXOPHONES. No offense to anyone who likes or plays saxophone, but they are my least favourite instrument of all time. They just suck and sound awful. And lots of jazz is loaded with saxophones.

Jazz piano is where it's at. As soon as i listened to this album i could immediately see the tremendous influence it had on Tom Waits' (my favourite musician of all time) piano playing. Particularly that of Nighthawks at the Diner, The Heart of Saturday Night, and Small Change. In fact, i just discovered now that this album is Tom Waits' second favourite album of all time. I was also pleased to see Murderous Home on that list.
Monk said 'There is no wrong note, it has to do with how you resolve it'. He almost sounded like a kid taking piano lessons. I could relate to that when I first started playing the piano, because he was decomposing the music while he was playing it. It was like demystifying the sound, because there is a certain veneer to jazz and to any music, after a while it gets traffic rules, and the music takes a backseat to the rules. It's like aerial photography, telling you that this is how we do it. That happens in folk music too. Try playing with a bluegrass group and introducing new ideas. Forget about it. They look at you like you're a communist. On Solo Monk, he appears to be composing as he plays, extending intervals, voicing chords with impossible clusters of notes. 'I Should Care' kills me, a communion wine with a twist. Stride, church, jump rope, Bartok, melodies scratched into the plaster with a knife. A bold iconoclast. Solo Monk lets you not only see these melodies without clothes, but without skin. This is astronaut music from Bedlam.
- Tom Waits

Fire On Fire - The Orchard

Fire On Fire used to be the art-punk-prog-chaos collective Cerberus Shoal, but they ditched their electric instruments, went into hiding for a while, and now play all acoustic—stand up bass, mandolin, banjo, harmonium, accordion, acoustic guitar, dobro etc etc, and they all sing and harmonize on the songs. Live, they do it “old school” and just use two mics placed in front of them on the stage, like a bluegrass band. --last.fm
What an exciting discovery! These guys are goooood. Like a less punk-influenced Blackbird Raum.
I love acoustic instruments, folk music (especially hodgepodge, multi-influence folk), and things written in a minor key. I especially love acoustic minor-key folk music.
Oh now i figured out some of the songs remind of Joanna Newsom as well.


04 May 2010

Orchid - Orchid (2001)

Self-titled album from screamo progenitors Orchid, who were from Amherst, MA and around from 1997-2002. Between them and pg.99 is everything screamo could have been before the 00's happened and the genre was co-opted by terrible radio-friendly pop-rock "screamo" bands (Thurday, Thrice, The Used). The other side of that is the fact that almost all first-wave screamo bands around these days are French, repetitive, and terribly unoriginal; doomed to rehash Orchid and Joshua Fit For Battle riffs until the end of time.
For a pictoral example of what i am talking about/how i am saying it, click here. I swear i don't normally look like that.

Anyway Orchid is still awesome.

And YES screamo is a terrible genre name but its understandable and theres no way in hell i'm calling anything 'skramz'.

02 May 2010

Evil Robot Us'/Abusing the Word Split

Split from Abusing the Word and Evil Robot Us'. As i mentioned in the Evil Robot Us' post from uh... the first day of this blog, they have a demo and this split (which i just tracked down) in addition to their one EP.

I had never heard of Abusing the Word and downloaded this just because i love Evil Robot Us', but i was pleasantly surprised by the entire split.

Marcelo Zarvos - Sin Nombre OST (2009)

Soundtrack from the movie Sin Nombre (Without Name), a Spanish-language film about, in a nutshell, Mara Salvatrucha. Which is a Central American gang. It's also about immigration. The director spent almost two years researching and spending time with MS gang members, as well as riding on top of trains with immigrants.

The movie is fantastic, so i recommend you watch it.

The soundtrack is also very good. Stylistically it reminds me a lot of Clint Mansell (The Fountain, Requiem for a Dream). Except, of course, a lot more Latin-influenced.

01 May 2010

Johnny Hobo and the Freight Trains - Chaos Infiltration Squad!

Another album from Johnny Hobo (aka Pat the Bunny aka i have no idea what his real name is) and the Freight Trains.

As always, the incredible songs more than make up for the low recording quality.

Incidentally, here is an extremely interesting interview with Pat the Bunny.