Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Top 10 Saddest Songs So Far

“Mother” - John Lennon.
This one is a killer. So real and honest you can't help but relate.
"Mother, you had me but I never had you. I wanted you, you didn't want me"

9) ”There is a Light That Never Goes Out” – The Smiths
The concepts of death and loss are very romantic and eerie.
“I never never want to go home
Because I havent got one

8) ”A Letter To Elise” – The Cure
Write the perfect letter to a girl detailing your failure as a man and replace “Elise” with her name.
“There’s nothing else I can really do at all”

7) ”Into My Arms” – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
He touches on religion as usual but something about the pace and the vibe of this song sends me spinning.
“And I don't believe in the existence of angels
But looking at you I wonder if that's true”

6) ”My Way” – Frank Sinatra
Another creepy classic that makes you wonder how your grandparents felt.
“Regrets, I’ve had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.”

5) ”Sluttering (May 4th)” – Jawbreaker
Another bitter break up song, perhaps Blake’s best.
“This is a story you won't tell the kids we'll never have.”

4) ”Hurt” – Johnny Cash (NIN)
The original was corny but held together by really strong lyrics. J. Cash makes you feel his pain.
“I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel”

3) "Mercy Mercy Me” – Marvin Gaye
Marvin knew something was very wrong with the world and talks about it here.
“Ah things ain't what they used to be, no no
Where did all the blue skies go?”

2) “Total Recall” – The Sound
Sad, sad comment on another relationship failure. Singer actually ends up tossing himself in front of a moving train over the same topic.
“But I can see
A distant victory,
A time when you will be with me.”

1) ”It’s Over” – Roy Orbison
I think this is the world’s saddest song. The tone, the vibe, the words, and the epic ending that sends chills down my spine every time I hear it.
“It’s over…”

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

4:13 Dream

It’s hard for me to pick up anything new by The Cure and actually be able to give it an honest chance. The band fooled with my head with “Wild Mood Swings” in 1996, then confused me further with “Bloodflowers” in 2000. The self titled 2004 record completely turned me off and convinced me that The Cure had traveled down a road that I was no longer interested in following. What really killed it for me was the production on their 2004 effort. Robert’s voice sounded too nice and the silly effects and production tricks stuck out like a sore thumb. This is exactly what I expected from their 13th, and most recent album “4:13 Dream”.
I could tell what this record was going to sound like just by looking at the cover artwork. It looks like a combination of their 1992 album “Wish” and their last release, self titled from 2004. The vocals are still crisp but not as processed as the tracks on the S/T album and the overall mix is pretty solid. The production effects are successful and buried within their original sound. The songs are pretty good, the lyrics are the best they’ve been in a long time, and the overall vibe left me feeling satisfied. The actual “punch” that The Cure delivered from 1976-1992 is still struggling to be noticed. I would say that this record is a very good move for the band. To me, it feels like a record for the fans, if the fans could only forget the disappointment with their last two releases.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Free Music

Download a free comp from one of NJ's coolest indie labels.
let me run, gaslight anthem, scream hello, the sirs, noun, the bloodreds, fanshen, the low end theory, give me danger!, bearing, we,re all broken.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Jeffo's night off

I watched Ferris Bueller's Day Off last night for the first time in a long long time. It was more amazing than I remember. Partly because I was a teenager who talked my way out of attending many days of highschool, and partly because I love the music and music references throughout the movie. Start in Ferris' s room. He has a Cabaret Voltaire poster. I honestly had no idea that anyone liked that band in or around 1985. I sure never liked them. What a prop. You can also see some obvious references such as a Simple Minds poster. Well in 1985 their "don't you forget about me hit" was all over The Breakfast club and cult and pop teen culture around that time. So, it's understandable why that was there eventhough if you ask me, Simple Minds only had two good albums and they didn't happen in or around 1985. He rocks a Damned "Phantasmagoria" poster as well- so cool. There are a bunch of Beatles references which are always nice. He rocks out appropriately to "Twist and Shout" towards the end, one of my favorites that the Beatles covered oh so nicely (thank you Top Notes for the o.g. idea). Ferris does however make a comment in the beginning of the movie in reference to John Lennon's quote: "I don't believe in the Beatles, I just believe in me". referring to Ferris's discontent with people's beliefs in "isms". But he comments further and says: "After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus." I just found this highly debatable subject to be a little too complex for Ferris Beuller, simple highschool kid to tackle. Beatlemaniacs go back and forth on the notion that lennon claims in the song "Glass Onion" (1968 White Album) that "Here's another clue for you all, the walrus was Paul." And later on the 1970 Plastic Ono Band album's song "God" he says: "I was the walrus, but now I'm John." completely taking back his original explanation and claiming that his words in "Glass Onion" were created to confuse the public (which had been recently obsessed with John and Paul's relationship and Paul's alleged death - which had been first mentioned in 1969 in "Times-Delphic" a Drake University paper. The conspiracy lives on to this day). So I personally think it was a bold move to have Ferris make a comment like that.
The soundtrack is pretty decent. I love the Dream Academy's instrumental version of The Smiths ""Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" while the crew peruses the museum art. You can't say you don't love the Yello song "Oh Yeah". The lyrics crack me up: Oh Yeah... Oh Yeah... Oh Yeah
The moon... beautiful
The sun... even more beautiful
Oh Yeah... Oh Yeah... Oh Yeah

Oh Yeah... Oh Yeah...

Good time

Hilarious. What a movie.

Coldplay vs. Joe Satriani

Ok, I can hear a similarity in the songs. If you haven't checked this out yet, go to youtube and view the video that compares Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" to Joe Satriani's "If I could fly". First off, I don't think Coldplay listens to this guy at all, nor ever has for that matter. Secondly, the Satriani version is just a segment of one of his annoying, lengthy solos. Plus, Joe has all these dumb extra notes, bends, and tweaks to his song.

I think the court will decide the following:
Coldplay you are guilty of being music for jaded alternative radio fanatics and Satriani, dude, you just play creepy music that middle aged bar-going men think they can get laid for jamming along to.

You're both sentenced to LIFE as annoying musicians.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Breathe Underwater

I was at a local restaurant recently speaking to the owner about music. He brought up something interesting that I had already known about him but wanted to know more about. “It’s so great that you guys love music the way that you do. I mean, with the store and all, you guys are living and breathing this stuff. You probably know my cousin Daniel.” He said. He was talking about a man of many talents: Daniel Higgs.

Most notable as the lead singer/lyricist of the Dischord band “Lungfish”, Daniel is also an amazing artist who has done a ton of work including tattooing. When you first hear his music, it seems somewhat simple and repetitive. Upon further inspection, the genius of his technical arrangements strike you violently. Very biological, very organic, yet pulsing like urgent clockwork, Higgs’s music can entrance the most headstrong listener.

I had the luxury of witnessing one of his past projects “The Pupils” while attending one of the large, free, outdoor Fugazi concerts in Fort Reno, D.C. back in 2000. His stage presence is nothing like a real-life experience with him. His feverish convulsions and anxious spasms were surprisingly calming. When face to face with Daniel you find that he is actually a clam, collected “thinking man”; a far stretch from who he becomes before an audience.

Daniel’s upbringing really determined who he is now. The evidence of biology and medical references are a direct influence from his father, who was a surgeon at the Baltimore Hospital. Daniel also received a lot of his influence from his mother, who fell mentally ill in Daniel’s early years, causing Daniel to explore the outer boundaries of his thinking processes and develop the deep concepts found in his work.

As a fine artist and tattoo artist, Daniel is also phenomenal. A very distinctive style with a foundation of traditional art with an infinite “framework” of metaphysical, higher consciousness. I’ve heard two stories from people who have had the pleasure of being tattooed by Mr. Higgs. The first story was from my friend Don. Don brought a drawing of a butterfly to Daniel and asked him to tattoo it on the top of his wrist. Daniel went into the back and drew a butterfly over and over. He would sigh loudly and then crumble his work and throw it in the trash. After several bouts with his dissatisfaction, Daniel came out with a fresh drawing of a lighthouse and said: “Let me just do this for you”. Don accepted and received the tattoo in the spot he had saved for his butterfly.

Another story I heard was a second hand account of someone asking him for a tattoo of Jesus. Daniel went to the drawing board and came back out with a drawing of what appeared to be a “cosmic egg”. The drawing was of an egg with lightning bolts and UFOs surrounding it. The design was accepted and tattooed.

Daniel currently has no possessions and no ties to anything but a personal banker who keeps his money saved and makes his finances available to him whenever he needs access to them. Daniel travels and answers to no one and continues to be one of the most free, creative people around.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Green Ball Crew

So my band played a show down at Asbury Lanes in Asbury Park over the weekend. It was a pretty amazing show. We played second but got there early enough to drink our fair share. I ran into all sorts of people over the course of the night. After we were finished with our set I talked to a few people and then I went to the mens room. Standing next to me at the urinal was Bouncing Souls guitarist Pete SteinKopf. I was pretty hit up and just started rambling to him. "So dude, level with me. You get mad baked before you play". "ha ha, uh what?"
he said half laughing half taken aback by my question. "I've seen you guys play and I've seen you in interviews. Are you really trying to tell me that you don't smoke an insane amount of pot before you guys play and interview?"I said, half slurring and beginning to wash my hands. "Umm... well I like to smoke but I don't do it as often as you apparently think I do.. ha ha" Pete responds. "Oh well, it was nice to meet you. My name is Jeff". "Nice to meet you Jeff, my name is..." says Pete as I cut him off with "Yeah I know dude.. remember?"

Friday, November 28, 2008

Trash Can Rock

Here's another example of an amazing shout out for an amazing band. This young lady was rocking a "whatever's cool with me" D. Jr. tee while the officer on COPS was telling her that her boyfriend shot himself upon his capture and arrest.. "He'll be alright, they can sew people up real good at the hospital he's going to" - Officer. "I'm gonna git her back in therapy, I'm always tryin' to git her back in therapy where she belongs" - D. Jr. fan's mother. (not shown).

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chinese Democracy

I remember buying Guns N’ Roses “Lies” from Sam Goody right around the time it came out. It had one of those Parental Advisories on the front of the cassette, so I had to cover it with my thumb when paying for it. When I got to the counter the clerk ripped it out of my hands and said “Fuck yeah!”.He sold it to me, I took it home, and I learned every single word start to finish.

In 1988-1990 I lived in a trailer home on my family’s lawn while my house (which had recently burned) was being rebuilt. My younger brother and I shared a small room, covered wall to wall with fake paneling and a steel bunk bed. It had an Iron Maiden “Somewhere in Time” poster on one wall and a Megadeth “Peace sells but who’s buying” poster on the adjacent wall. It was perfect trailer home décor. I remember blasting “Lies” with my younger brother singing along one night. My brother yelled “Muthafuckkka!!” and my mom ran in immediately. She took my Lies tape and told me that I was never to listen to anything like it again. A month later, I opened a shoe box in her closet and there it was. I sneaked the tape back into my room and made a little hiding place for it. I shared it with my neighbor Jay, a kid my age who had older grease monkey brothers who regularly blasted things like “Dr. Feelgood” or “Ride The Lightning”. It wasn’t long before I heard the album “Appetite for Destruction”, and knew right then that I needed to backfill my GNR cassette “collection”.

Jay and I were hanging out in our tree house one summer afternoon when we came up with a bad idea. “Let’s see what’s in those cars”. So we sneaked back into the garden center behind the tree house and started opening up cars. I found a bunch of change, a copy of Judas Priest’s “British Steel”, AND a copy of “Appetite for Destruction.” YES. I took it all home, along with a giant primitive car phone and hid them all in my 1988 Topps baseball card complete set box .

Over the next few days we rocked out to more GNR and I started playing Jay’s brother’s guitar. I tried over and over again to mimic the sound of the “Sweet Child O’ Mine” intro. No luck, just some bad notes that ultimately made me think guitar was too difficult. One day after school I came home to a very disappointed mother. “Someone at the Hillsborough police station wants to see you. What’s going on Jeffrey?” I shrugged my shoulders and said “I dunno” . She shook her head and the next thing I knew we were on our way to police headquarters.

The officer asked me questions about the cars we had broken into. “I’m recording everything you say Jeffrey so be honest” he said. Then he asked me if I believed in God.

“Umm…yeah?” I awkwardly responded thinking “wait, I believe in metal now”.

It tuned out I had dropped my pocket knife at the scene of the crime. It had my initials on it and it didn’t take long for the authorities to make the connection. I was let off the hook for being so young but they told me if I got into anymore trouble I’d score a permanent record out of the deal. The officer came to my house and I returned all the stolen goods…well, except the Appetite tape. I wasn’t allowed to hang with Jay for awhile either.

Over the next few years I grew up a bit, but not much. I got into my first Rated R movie: “Terminator 2: Judgment Day”. It during this movie that I fell in love with this brand new song by GNR called “You could be mine”. I needed this song. This song need to be MINE. So being the younger sucker consumer I was, I ended up both “Use Your Illusion” cassettes. I never favored one over the other though. Everyone I knew was either like: “Dude, UYI 1 is so much more killer than 2 – 2 has all the lame songs” and vice versa. I found something special in both of them.

My girlfriend at the time ended up dumping me at some point during the UYI era. I have a distinct memory of showering before school one morning and blasting “So Fine” off of UYI 2. I remember it being a song that spoke directly to me and my feelings at the time.

The song was so powerful that it transcended all the years between then and just a few years ago when a new girl in my life gave it an all new meaning. When I realized that it was a Duff McKagan song, he quickly became my favorite member.

“The Spaghetti Incident?” turned me off instantly simply because of the album’s name and food imagery on the album’s cover. When I finally mustered up the courage to give it a listen, I heard and understood why the public couldn’t care less about the release: They simply did not understand. There are two simple reasons why this album rocks. Number one: Duff sings on many of the tracks. Number two: Every band they cover is amazing. They really show you exactly where they came from with the songs ranging from Dead Boys “Ain’t it Fun” (actually including guest vocals by Hanoi Rocks front man Michael Monroe) to the J.Thunders great “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory” (arguably one of the saddest songs in semi-popular glam rock history). An amazing album to end the era of what I consider GNR.

Today I heard the new one: “Chinese Democracy”. First let me say that it is hard enough to consider it new or to get excited about something I’ve been hearing so much about for so long. This record seriously murders me. It feels like the time I ran into my childhood best friend after not seeing him for 15 years. I still knew it was him but his life had changed so much without me that when we finally reunited it was like we never met.

There are songs that have their parts such as “Better” shows some of Axl’s sensitive side which is tolerable and perhaps his only successful skill that has survived over the years. Am I still seeing the dreadlocks and the football jersey from the 2002 VMAs in the back of my head? Am I thinking of the stories of the ridiculous fights and trashy attitudes Axl has dished out in the last decade and a half, or am I simply coming to terms with the fact that GNR died long ago? Fact is that the new heavier songs sound like newer heavier popular bands and that makes me a bit ill. Somehow the leads and the bass sound amazing. Axl’s voice sounds sonically amazing. The effects on some of the rhythm guitars and the newer more modern tricks they use are corny, weak, and really have nothing to do with GNR. The drum effects? Shoot me. I guess that’s what comes with a band that loses everything except its front man. And the new lineup? I don’t care about a single new member with the exception of Tommy “Take your money and get the hell out of there dude” Stinson. The new record is as much of a mess as Axl’s life has been.

Every mistake Axl has made can be summed up in one decision he made awhile back when tattooed a big ugly black cross over the AFD logo he had on his forearm. It speaks for everything. It’s over. Chinese Democracy should have been called American Capitalism, because that’s pretty much all it is to me. Next time you pick a band to back you up Axl, make sure they like rock music that predates crappy 90’s rap-rock.

Monday, November 17, 2008

That's it, bye

So we went down to part one of the final Ergs show at the Asbury Lanes. My roommate Sarah was nice enough to score me a ticket awhile back so it was a smooth sailing successful adventure. The place was pretty crowded, we ran into a bunch of people we knew, and I think I had about six drinks before 2pm. The first band "The Jurks" were decent. Punky, dark surf rock with a wailing drummer/singer. I thought they would have sounded a lot better with their treble on 6 as opposed to 11 (or as it seemed). Very very loud highs that distracted me from their true, full sound.
Next up was Hunchback. I really like these guys (and gal) when they play their more serious stuff. The singer nails a Gibby Haynes from Butthole Surfers here and there, but influences are across the board. A few of their songs sound like a completely different band, which isn't necessarily bad, but again I am a fan of the darker more serious stuff. Their humorous Beavis and Butthead, and 80's SNL clips were funny but distracting and irrelevant. Their cover of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" was good but not their best cover. I'd have to say the "Statue of Liberty"
by Descendents was their ballsiest and most successful cover to date. I will miss this band but will not miss the Ghostbusters theme song. And if you were there you know EXACTLY what i speak of. Kill me.
The Ergs were solid. Played pretty much what everyone wanted to hear, demonstrated some serious energy on stage and did very well. Unfortunately for me it was another last show by a band I should have paid more attention to. It felt like my girlfriend had finally left me after years of neglect and disinterest on my part. As she waved goodbye I simply thought: "fuck".

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Music Choice?

Ok, so my roommates and I have had the dilemma of two broken household stereos. This means that the living area in our loft apartment is dead quiet unless we are watching television. I never really watch T.V. and this year was the first year I've ever paid to have cable. I just don't have time to watch it. Anyway, there are these silly music channels that we put on when we are hanging out sometimes. One of the rock channels was playing Iggy Pop's Lust For Life. When they showed the info for the song it said: "Iggy Pop Lust For Life From: Songs For Television Commercials Vol. 1". My roommate was like "WTF?! Are they talking about the Carnival Cruise line commercial?" How lazy can you possibly be, not to mention misleading and down right wrong?! They also scroll these little trivia facts that are sometimes interesting but generally boring. Goodbye To You by Scandal was on and a fact flashed on the screen: "Scandal was formed in the 1980's in NYC". A few minutes later another fact flashed on the screen: "Scandal formed in NYC in the 1980's". Wow. Great facts guys. Keep up the good work.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ian MacKaye spoke in Metuchen NJ

Ian is like a rock hero to me. Although I was never a huge fan of Minor Threat or hardcore music, I've loved almost everything this guy has been a part of (Teen Idles, Embrace, Egghunt, Pailhead, Fugazi, The Evens, and anything else he added his flavor to) and I've also love the things he's had to say over the years. On Saturday we hopped the train to Metuchen (which was all of 10 minutes and $1.75) and we filed into some church auditorium. Ian basically let the crowd run the show by allowing everyone to ask him questions. People talked about straightedge, his philosophies on how a band is run, politics, the state of music involving Youtube and ipods, etc etc. His words were all very positive and insightful.
I've met Ian about eight or nine times. Several times at Fugazi shows down in Fort Reno DC, and several times at Inner Ear studio in Alexandria, VA. Before Saturday I had seen him as recently as September 12th Grey Matter reunion show at the Black Cat in DC. Every single time I have seen, run into, or talked to Ian, he has been a real person to me. I never felt anything but honesty and integrity when encountering him. I hope one day to feel the success of living into my 40's as a real punk, rocking my black zip up hoodie and jeans.

Recent scores

The Beatles - Introducing The Beatles - 1964 Vee Jay Records

As the "most counterfeited record of all time", finding an authentic copy of Vee Jay's Introducing The Beatles has been quite a task. I've picked up a few dozen copies of potential originals, only to be disappointed when finding as little as one reference point on each record to discredited it from being a legit copy. There are currently dozens of websites that focus strictly on authenticating copies of Introducing... that I have done my best to pay attention to. In the past six years I have come across about thirty-five to forty fakes and only two genuine originals. This particular copy is an original Monophonic copy with colorband label. It passes all the authenticity points and is the second real copy in my collection. Hooray!

Found: At a record store in central New Jersey.

The Method Actors - This is it (45) - 1980 Armageddon Records

Athens, Georgia has a solid reputation for their early eighties artsy alternative rock scene (most notably Pylon, R.E.M., Love Tractor, and the new wave dance sensations The B-52's). The Method Actors were a group from that very scene who started out when a couple of creative musician-friends put their ideas together and made some impressively innovative music. This Is It starts off amazingly strong with the A-side track "The Method" and is B/W "Can't Act" and "Bleeding". The songs are faster-paced and exciting, with avant-garde effects that humbly withstood the test of time. There are quirky meandering guitar riffs that take you for a high-anxiety ride while deep, dark floor toms bellow from the background and manic vocals intertwine throughout the mix. A score for certain, and it's getting tons of plays since I dug it up. Unfortunately when I took the time to conduct research on the band's later material (This Is It is their first release), I was not as impressed as I wish i was. Their first record and first song still stand out most strongly to me.

Found: In a crate of records in my apartment that was initially thought to be 100% trashed records.

"The music of psychedelic despair." - Tip, Berlin

The Decorators - Test Pressing

A manchester post-punk group who lean more towards a "new wave" sound versus a punk sound (considering the distinctive presence of clean saxophones and bright keys), The Decorators sound like a young Richard and Tim Butler production. I had not heard of the band when picking up this test pressing, but the matrix info and the band name (written on both labels in blue pen) hinted at a sound I essentially predicted. The tracks are solid, but I generally find myself wishing the existence of the horns away.

Found: Other Music, NYC.

The Bigtime Syndrome - (in one eye and out the other) - 1987 Bigtime Records (America) Inc.

I saw the name "Bigtime" in the title of this record and knew I needed to scoop this one up. When I checked out the track listing, it was an instant sale. A slow version of Mirror People by Love and Rockets starts the compilation off followed by a remix of Redd Kross's Play My Song. That's just the beginning. The Dream Syndicate, The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy, Exploding White Mice, Love Tractor, Alex Chilton and Dumptruck were some more selling points. This record is 80% genius and 20% 80's fluff. I'm super stoked to have grabbed this up and for a mere $2.99 I think it's safe to say it was worth it.

Found: The Princeton Record Exchange, Princeton, NJ.

Droogs - stone cold world -1984 Plug N Socket Records

One of the lesser talked about participants in the L.A. Paisley rock movement of the mid eighties,Droogs sound like they could be a collaboration between members of the Three O'Clock and The Last. Super tight rock, melodic but quick to the point and pretty badass. There are flowery psychedelic, if we slowed down any more you might think Lou Reed helped us with this part parts as well as hard clean blasts that make me wish I was up front for one of their shows with a whiskey in hand. They also do a pretty fantastic live cover of "He's Waitin'" by The Sonics.

Found: My friend's mother scored this (and others) at an auction at a VFW in Neptune, NJ.

Marginal Man - Double Image - "1985" Double A Records

Super rare import/bootleg version of their second release. Marginal Man’s Double Image was original released on Enigma offshoot Gasatanka in 1985, but a German label who called themselves Double A Records decided to illegitimately repress the record some time in the mid – late 90’s. Once the band caught wind of this, they did a repress of the album on CD with updated liner notes and new artwork. My personal opinion is that they should have stuck with the original cover design of the Gasatanka version, because the artwork would turn a lot of people away from an amazing piece of D.C. mid 80’s mid-tempo melodic punk. What a phenomenal album.

Found: Double Decker Records Allentown, PA.

Close Lobsters - Foxheads Stalk This Land - 1986/87 Enigma/Fire

A friend of mine recently found some music by these guys, so when Close Lobsters appeared in ROCK C at a record store I visited this past weekend, the album nearly jumped into my hands. I went into listening to them with a bit of a biased opinion, but after hearing the praise my friend gave them, I really wanted to sit back and hear them for myself. When I threw the record on, my first thought was as follows: "These guys would have played THEE perfect set with a band like The Jesus and Mary Chain". A bit to my surprise, I found out later that they had in fact supported The Jesus and Mary Chain on a 1986 tour. Not bad dude. Something about their clean distinct sound would have given fans the perfect, breathable set before experiencing TJAMC. Close Lobsters are Scottish indie pop that sound like The Stone Roses if they laid off the chorus and distortion and had Steve Kilbey of The Church do some (more) masterfully melodic vocals for them. Poppy and hooky, It's quite great stuff. "Feel-good contemplating feeling bad".

Generation Records, NYC.

Lone Ranger - Dee Jay Daddy - 1984 Techniques

Pretty interesting early 80’s reggae dub mixed by Sogie and Maxie in the ever so famous Channel 1 Studios. Sounds like early hip hop vocals over some classic hooky reggae jams. Very energetic feel-good stuff. This record was pressed and distro’d in Kingston, Jamaica.

Found: At a record store in central New Jersey.

Moving Targets - Burning in Water - 1986 Taang

Mid 80’s post hardcore at it’s finest. A melodic Boston punk sound for fans of Mission of Burma, Hüsker Dü, and Gray Matter. From the label who brought us Mighty Mighty Bosstones and The Lemonheads. Moving Target’s debut album is very ahead of its time, and a very solid listen.

Found: At a record store in Eastern Pennsylvania.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Past Videos of the Week

23 Skidoo

Kundalini [1982]

Early Industrial/Funk/Tribal freakout. Think Cabaret Voltaire meets A Certain Ratio.

Einsturzende Neubaten

Autobahn [1980]

This has got to be the most industrial thing I've ever seen... Also, Gustav's favorite band.

Simple Minds

30 Frames a Second (Live 1997)

Total hypnotic rocker from Simple Minds' much underrated 1980 album Empires And Dance.

Cabaret Voltaire

No Escape (1979)

The Cabs' creeptastic reimagining of the Seeds' classic.


Tanzmusik (1973)

Kraftwerk back in their cosmic days. Note the handmade electronic drums.


Spoon Live (1972)

Straight Kraut Freakin' - Now With Jugglers!

Brian Eno and Nitin Sawhney


Come freak out with the Godfather.

A Certain Ratio

Shack Up

Funky post-punk on Factory Records. If Ian Curtis knew how to dance.

Xhol Caravan

All Green

Little-known Krautrock originators. If you watch this you'll probably break through.

Black Dice

Smiling Off

Intense neo-psych video from rhythmic noise wunderkinds Black Dice. Hit the bong.

Roxy Music

Virginia Plain

Come for the star shaped sunglasses, stay for Eno's knob twiddling goodness.

Popol Vu
Improvisation 1971

Moog Modular + Bongos = the perfect recipe to reach the cosmic infinity.

The Cure
Live on Chorus TV 1979

Includes a rare early version of "A Forest," when it was still known as "At Night," which had completely different lyrics.

Making Plans for Nigel

Quintessential XTC single. You gotta love that break at 3:36: Steee-eee-ooooo! Steee-eee-ooooo!

Throbbing Gristle

Real Industrial, yo.

Nude (live 04-02-98)

Original live version from a decade ago, before they butchered it for their latest album In Rainbows. One of the best Radiohead songs ever! Total psych style.

Pink Floyd
Corrosion In The Pink Room

Rare, unreleased Floyd cut from their prime period. Nick Mason plays the inside of a piano, wigged out binson echorec style on the voices... crazy man!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Today in Music History

August 19th 1948: Looking Glass singer Elliot Lurie is born today in Brooklyn, NY. He attended Rutgers College and then wrote the number one hit "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)."

August 18th 2003: Tony Jackson, bassist for The Searchers dies today at age 65.

August 12th 1992: Artist and early electronic music composer John Cage dies today.

August 11th 1975: Davey von Bohlen of Cap'n Jazz, The Promise Ring, Vermont, and Maritime is born today in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

August 10th 1963: The Safaris top out at number #2 on the music charts today with their hit "Wipe Out".

August 9th 1996: After twenty-two years as the pioneers of NYC punk rock (and arguably punk rock as we now know it all together), The Ramones call it quits today. All three founding members (Joey, Dee Dee, and Johnny) would pass away within eight years of their final show.

August 6th 1983: German opera singer gone cosmic new waver Klaus Nomi dies today from one of the earlier cases of an AIDS related death.

August 5th 1965: Beastie Boy Adam Yauch (a.k.a. "MCA") is born today in Brooklyn, NY. Yauch recently announced the cancellation of a Beastie Boys tour and production and release delays on an upcoming album as a result of a diagnosis of cancer in a lymph node in his neck. Get well quick!

July 31th 1971: A security guard is stabbed at a Who concert in Forest Hills, New York. It would be eight years later that the legendary crowd stampede outside their Cincinnati concert would leave eleven dead and dozen injured, leaving the '71 concert incident to be nearly forgotten.

July 30th 1966: Craig Gannon is born in Manchester, England today. He is often credited as the "fifth Smith" as he spent 1986 as a member of the Manchester indie pop group, The Smiths.

July 29th 1959: British guitarist John Sykes (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake) is born today.

July 28th 1948: Founding member Gerald Casale of Akron Ohio's new wave art rockers DEVO is born today.

July 26th 1974: Today Boston holds the world's first Beatles Convention.

July 21st 1973: Today is officially declared "Mary Wilson & the Supremes Day" by the city of Detroit.

July 20th 1956: Paul Cook is born today in London. He would end up playing drums for the Sex Pistols.

July 18th 1988: Velvet Underground singer and heroin-addicted solo rocker Nico falls over her bike today and dies.

July 17th 1967: Jazz Legend John Coltrane dies of liver cancer today in New York. He was 40 years old.

July 16th 1974: Sunny Day Real Estate front man Jeremy Enigk is born today.

July 15th 1947: Roger Kynard Erickson is born today in Austin Texas. He would later go by the name "Roky" and start the infamous psych/garage band 13th Floor Elevators.

July 14th 1984: Phillippe Wynne, lead singer of the Spinners dies of heart attack the day after collapsing on stage while performing at an Oakland nightclub.

July 13th 2004: Arthur "Killer" Kane, bassist for legendary rockers New York Dolls, dies of Leukemia today at age 65.

July 12th 1979: "Lovin' You" singer Minnie Ripperton dies at age 31 today of breast cancer.

July 11th 1969: David Bowie's Space Oddity is released today. It comes out on Philips in England and is called simply David Bowie. Mercury releases the album in the US under the title Man of Words/Man of Music. In 1972 RCA would rerelease under the more familiar end title, Space Oddity.

July 10th 1965: "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" becomes The Rolling Stones's first US number one charter today.

July 9th 1946: AC/DC's original singer Bon Scott is born today in Kirriemuir, Scottland.

July 7th 1940: Richard Starkey is born today in Dingle, England. He would grow up to play drums, join a band called The Beatles, and change his name to "Ringo Starr".

July 6th 2006: Soul man Billy Preston dies today after an eight-month coma following respiratory failure.

July 5th 1989: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and The Replacements start their tour together today in Miami Florida.

July 4th 1944: Harvey Brooks is born in NYC today. This Folk bass pioneer would go on to work with The Doors, Miles Davis,Bob Dylan, and with his own band, The Electric Flag. He was also a musician on the soundtrack for the Peter Fonda/Dennis Hopper/Jack Nicholson Movie The Trip.

July 3rd 1969: Founding member of The Rolling Stones, Brian Jones is found dead in his pool today. Despite the rumors of an overdose and foul play, his death would eventually be ruled accidental.

July 2nd 1976: Brian Wilson plays his first show back with The Beach Boys after an extended stay indoors. The concert is in Anaheim, California, and Mr. Wilson reportedly seems more interested in zoning out than playing keys.

July 1st 1967: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles hits number one on the US charts today.

June 30th 2006: Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett dies today at age 60.

June 29th 1975: Tim Buckley snorts a line of heroin and it stops his heart.

June 28th 1972: Pink Floyd release Obscured by Clouds today. It is written as a soundtrack for the French film La Vallée.

June 27th 2006: Olympia Washington's all-girl rock ensemble Sleater-Kinney calls it quits today after a twelve year run.

June 26th 1955: Mick Jones of The Clash is born in London today.

June 25th 1966: The Beatles song "Paperback Writer" hits the top of the U.S. and U.K. charts today.

June 24th 1965: John Lennon's book A Spaniard in the Works is published today in England.

June 22th 1948: Genius musician and producer Todd Rundgren is born today in Upper Darby, PA.

June 19th 1977: Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols is treated in London for head injuries he sustained today when mugged.

June 18th 1942: Beatle Paul McCartney is born today in Liverpool, England.

June 17th 1965: The Kinks kick off their first American tour today.

June 16th 2004: Number 1 Dolls fan Morrissey carries out his plan to reunite the surviving members of the New York Dolls for a show in London. It would be their first show since their break up in 1977.

June 15th 1966: Capitol Records releases Yesterday and Today, today. Capitol quickly removes the records from the shelves over controversy surrounding the album's cover artwork. The artwork becomes later known as the "Butcher Cover" (depicting the band in bloody aprons with meat cleavers surrounded by headless bloody toy dolls). It is still one of the most sought after Beatles record ever released.

June 13th 2003: Adam Ant is put in a psychiatric ward after being arrested for freaking out and getting naked in a London Cafe.

June 12th 1954: Bill Haley & the Comets release "Rock Around The Clock" today. It takes about a year to get everyone's attention and top the charts.

June 11th 1948: Pretty Things drummer Skip Alan is born today in London.

June 10th 2003: Radiohead releases Hail to the Thief.

June 9th 1977: Patti Boyd and George Harrison get a divorce today. Boyd would later end up marrying Harrison's pal Eric Clapton.

June 8th 1954: Greg Ginn is born today. He founded SST records, played guitar for Black Flag, and has a brother who goes by the name "Ray Pettibon".

June 7th 1966: Roy Orbison's wife Claudette is killed today in a car accident..

June 4th 1990: After looking the wrong way when crossing the street in Paris, Dead Boys and LOTNC rocker Stiv Bators is struck by a car. Hours after refusing medical attention, Bators falls asleep and dies of internal injuries.

June 3rd 1972: Pink Floyd releases Obscured By Clouds.

June 2nd 1967: The Beatles release their epic concept album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in the states today.

June 1st 1991: David Ruffin, singer of The Temptations overdoses and dies today.

May 31st 1963: Prefab Sprout rocker Wendy Smith is born today in Durham, England.

May 29th 2005: Guitarist Perry Bamonte and keyboardist Roger O'Donnell leave The Cure today.

May 28th 1969: Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull are arrested for possession of marijuana today in London.

May 27th 1966: The infamous Fillmore Auditorium is graced with the presence of The Velvet Underground. Also making an appearance in the west is Exploding Plastic Inevitable (VU and the Mothers supergroup) - another genius Andy Warhol production.

May 26th 1995: Flavor Flav gets three months for firing a gun at his neighbor.

May 24th 1982: Topper Headon quits playing drums for The Clash today.

May 23rd 1979: MCA buys Tom Petty's record label ABC Records. Mr. Petty files for bankruptcy shortly thereafter.

May 22nd 1959: Steven Patrick Morrissey is born today in Davyhulme, Lancashire, England.

May 21st 1980: A fight between The Clash and audience members at a show in Hamburg, Germany lands Joe Strummer in jail for assault. He allegedly struck a rowdy fan with his guitar.

May 20th 1967: Jimi Hendrix is signed to Reprise Records.

May 19th 1951: Jeffrey Ross Hyman is born today in Forest Hills, NY. He would later join a rock band and change his name to Joey Ramone.

May 17th 1980: Ian Curtis of Joy Division hangs himself in his home today. His wife Deborah finds him the next morning and notices that he had been viewing Werner Herzog's film Stroszek and listening to to Iggy Pop's The Idiot.

May 16th 1986: Caitlin O'Riordan of The Pogues marries rocker Elvis Costello today.

May 15th 1948: Glam rocker and experimental rock producer Brian Eno is born today.

May 14th 1967: Former Yardbird Keith Relf is electrocuted and killed when he tries to tune his guitar in the bathtub today.

May 13th 1983: "Hand in Glove" by The Smiths is released today. It's their first single of many to come.

May 12th 1967: Pink Floyd play a song for the Games of May event at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall. The song demonstrates one of their earliest examples of experimentation with quadraphonic sound. The tune is later modified and named "See Emily Play".

May 7th 1990: Tom Waits is awarded $2.5 million dollars in a suit against Frito-Lay who used a song in a commercial that sounds too much like Waits.

May 6th 1958: American Bandstand introduces the world to The Champs. They perform the song "Tequila".

May 6th 2006: Grant McLennan, front man for Australian jangle pop band The Go-Betweens dies today in his sleep. He was 48 years old.

May 4th 1978: A riot ensues between two rival soccer team fans at a Preston, England Vibrators concert. When the crowd disperses, one person is dead.

May 3rd 1969: Jimi Hendrix is released on $10,000 bail after an arrest by Canadian police for drug possession at Toronto International Airport.

May 2nd 1980: Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall Part II" is banned in South Africa today. They claim that the song is "prejudicial to the safety of the state."

May 1st 1973: Today is officially declared Marvin Gaye day.

April 30th 1993: Rock critic Lester Bangs attempts to treat cold symptoms with painkillers and overdoses and dies today.

April 29th 1993: Mick Ronson, guitarist and composer/arranger for Ziggy Stardust era Bowie loses his battle with cancer today. His musical contributions can also be found on records by Ian Hunter, Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, and Morrissey.

April 28th 1953: Kim Gordon, bassist for Sonic Youth is born today in Rochester, NY.

April 27th 1975: Over 200 show-goers at a Pink Floyd concert at the L.A. Arena are busted for smoking marijuana today.

April 26th 1984: Count Basie dies today in Hollywood, Florida at the ago of 79.

April 25th 1918: Jazz vocalist Ella Fitzgerald is born today in Newport News Virginia.

April 24th 1975: Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan decide to quit the New York Dolls today while on tour with the band in Florida.

April 23nd 1977: Stuart Goddard sees Siouxsie and the Banshees perform at The Roxy in London today. The inspirational experience causes him to start his own band, "The Ants" under his new stage name “Adam”.

April 22nd 1977: English rockers The Jam release their first single today. It's called "In The City".

April 21th 1959: Happy Birthday to Robert Smith of The Cure. He turned 50 years old today.

April 20th 1976: Black and Blue by The Rolling Stones is released today.

April 17th 1982: Iron Maiden tops the British carts today with The Number of the Beast.

April 16th 1969: Detroit rockers MC5 are dropped by Elektra Records today. The label did not like MC5's decision to place an ad in a local paper that read: “Fuck Hudson’s”. Hudson’s was a record store that refused to stock the band’s album.

April 15th 1971: Rolling Stone publishes an article about the Illinois Crime Commission compiling lists of rock records with drug references found on them. They mention songs such as The Beatles’s “Lucy in The Sky with Diamonds” and Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit”.

Read more here.

April 14th 1983:
Pete Farndon, bassist and one of the founding members of The Pretenders dies of a heart attack today. He was 29 years old.

April 13th 1946: Soul singer Al Green is born today in Forest City, Arkansas.

April 11th 1956: Please,please,please hits the R&B charts. It's a debut for a man named James Brown.

April 10th 1950: Funkadelic guitarist Eddie Hazel is born today in Brooklyn, NY.

April 9th 2003: Paul McCartney buys the entire Carl Perkins song library.

April 8th 1977: CBGBs experiences their first UK punk show. The band performing calls themselves "The Damned".

April 7th 1915: Jazz singer Billie Holiday is born today in Baltimore. Her birth name is "Eleanor Gough".

April 3rd 1965:“Wooly Bully” by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs is released today..

April 2nd 1967: Producer Prince Paul is born today.

April 1st 1984: One day before his 45th birthday, Marvin Gaye and his father get into an argument that ends up getting Marvin shot and killed.

March 31th 1996: Jeffrey Lee Pierce, founding member of The Gun Club dies.

March 28th 2006:
Nikki Sudden of Swell Maps dies of an overdoes following an NYC concert. He was 49 years old.

March 24th 1973: Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd is released today.

March 20th 1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono wed today in Gibraltar, Spain.

March 19th 1970: David Bowie and Angie Barnett wed today.

March 16th 1967: Smashing Pumpkins front man Billy Corgan is born today in Chicago.

March 13th 1956: Elvis Presley, the first album to reportedly sell one million copies is released today.

March 12th 1956: Billie Holiday is given a year’s probation after a drug possession charge from 1956.

March 11th 1977: The Slits make their first live appearance as openers for The Clash in London.

March 10th 2004: Dead Milkmen bassist Dave Schulthise, a.k.a. Dave Blood, commits suicide.

March 6th 1945: Zombies Drummer Hugh Grundy is born today in Winchester, England.

March 5th 1995: Vivian Stanshall, songwriter for Bonzo Dog Band dies at age 52 in a house fire in Muswell Hill England.

March 4th 1966: One of John Lennon’s more famous interview quotes occurs today in The London Evening Standard. "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue that. I'm right and will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus right now." Mobs of angry Christians proceed to torch Beatles albums.

March 3rd 1953: Robyn Hitchcock of the Soft Boys is born today in London.

February 28th 1995: James Brown is released on parole after doing time for being involved in a high-speed car chase that lasted the length of two southern states. This was just the beginning of the end for Brown who would continue on to collect sexual assault and various violent crime charges.

February 26th 2005: Kentucky post-punkers Slint reunite in the UK at a holiday camp. It’s their first show in over ten years.

February 23th 1978: Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen are arrested in NYC today on drug possession charges.

February 20th 2003: 99 people are killed in a fire at Rhode Island’s Station nightclub. A pyrotechnic act by the band Great White ignites the club and causes the disaster.

February 19th 1948: Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi is born today in Birmingham, England.

February 18th 2004: In an entry on Billy Corgan’s website, Corgan writes: “James Iha broke up the Smashing Pumpkins's, not me. I would have gone on forever, the Smashing Pumpkins were essentially my entire life." This of course a comment on the 2000 splitting up of the Pumpkins.

February 17th 1949: Experimental guitar wizard Fred Frith is born in Britain today.

February 16th 1963: The Beatles chart their first U.K. #1 today with “Please Please Me”.

February 13th 1972: Marvin Gaye opens the NBA All-Star Game by singing the national anthem.

February 11th 1972:
Ziggy Stardust is born today when David Bowie performs as him for the first time in Tollworth, England..

February 10th 1967:
Proto-metal greats Blue Cheer perform in San Fransisco today. The show was a "Tribute to Edgar J. Hoover".

February 6th 2001:
Cincinnati Soul Rockers Afghan Whigs announce that they are breaking up today.

February 5th 1982: Alex Harvey of The Alex Harvey Band is born today. he dies in 1982, one day before his 47th birthday.

February 4th 1982:
Alex Harvey of The Alex Harvey Band dies of a heart attack today. This glam legend was 47 years old.

January 30th 1990: France makes Bob Dylan "Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters" nineteen years ago today.

January 29th 1991: Angry over the unofficial re-releasing of their band’s material, The Stone Roses douse Revolver Records MD Paul Birch, his girlfriend and his Mercedes with colored paint.

January 27th 1990:Gainesville, Florida officially claims today, January 27th, “Tom Petty Day”.

January 26th 1978:
Workers at Britain’s EMI record pressing plan refuse to run copies of The Buzzcocks “What Do I Get” 45 single. They apparently object to the title of the B-side, “Oh Shit”.

January 25th 1997:
Billy MacKenzie, singer of the 1980's post punk duo The Associates commits suicide in Scotland. He was 39 years old.

January 22nd 2001:
Jello Biafra loses control over rights to Dead Kennedys material today. He then tears into the remaining members of the band for their talks about licensing DK songs to advertisers.

January 20th 1982:
A fan at an Ozzy show in Des Moines, Iowa throws a bat onto stage while the band performs. Ozzy grabs the bat and bites it’s head off. He later requires rabies shots.

January 19th 1974:
Bob Dylan and The Band play a concert at the Sportsatorium in Miami Florida. A nine-mile traffic jam keeps thousands of fans from seeing the first half of the performance.

January 16th 1988:
George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You” hits the number one spot on the American charts today. The original was written by Rudy Clark twenty six years earlier in 1962.

January 15th 1941: The mysterious, avant garde artist and musician known as Captain Beefheart is born today. Don Glen Vliet (birth name) would grow up to make abstract paintings and sculptures, along with experimental, psychedelic bluesy rock music.

January 14th 2004: Russell Simmons and Def Jam Records gets sued by rappers Eric B. and Rakim. The duo claims they were never paid royalties for their 1987 album ironically named Paid in Full.

January 13th 1962: Chubby Checker's "The Twist" hits the number one spot on the charts today. Although the more popular Chubby Checker version of "The Twist" gave birth to the Twist dance phenomenon, the song was actually written by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters three years earlier in 1959.

January 12th 2001: Liam Gallagher, singer of Oasis, is accused of indecent assault after a report stating that he grabbed the butt of a female employee of Gatwick Airport in England.

January 9th 2004: Jennifer Chiba, former girlfriend of Elliott Smith denies suspicions indicating a possible involvement in Smith’s death (Oct ’03). A coroner’s report is released January 8th, 2004 showing forearm and hand wounds on Smith’s body. Also, the alleged suicide note reveals the possibility of a simple apology letter to Chiba following a drug fueled argument, keeping the case from officially being classified as a suicide. view full autopsy here

January 8th 1947: Glam rocker David Robert Jones a.k.a. "David Bowie" is born in Brixton, London.

January 7th 1964: The Beatles step into the studio for a BBC Saturday Club session. They play what is to become their only known recording of Chuck Berry’s “Jonnie B. Goode”.

January 6th 1946: Roger Keith Barrett, a.k.a. "Syd" Barrett, founding member of the band Pink Floyd is born in Cambridge, England.