Saturday, December 31, 2011

A-Z PROJECT: #239-257

I found myself trapped in audiobook hell for a few days. While I love David Sedaris, listening to all of his books non-stop in a row isn't very enjoyable. I've spent this past week on Christmas break at home sick with my wife and grandson (who are both sick, as well), so I haven't listened to a damn thing as a result.

(*) asterisks note things that are burned copies and not an original release. CDRs without asterisks behind them were originally issued as CDRs.

Day #239
ROTTREVORE - "Disembodied" CD (These guys were great, probably the heaviest and sludgiest death metal band in American history, certainly in the 90s anyway. I never realized how similar Daryl from Funebrarum/Disma's vocals sounded to these dudes. I'm sure it wasn't a coincidence. This CD collects their demos and 7"s, everything but their full length, I think. Necroharmonic are a great label and do nice work with their reissues, usually, but the mastering on this CD is fucked. There's so much bass pumped into this CD it's almost unlistenable as a result. I have both of their 7"s, they weren't this fucking bassy. My stereo farts every time I play this and it's completely fucked on my iPod.)

ROTTREVORE - "Iniquitous" CD (Ah, all the great without the added bass! I got this from Daryl/Disma in 1995 or so. I don't remember what CD I loaned him, but he lost it and gave me this instead. I'm sure I replaced whatever it was he lost, but I can't recall what it was now. I just remember being really angry about him losing it. Not much of a story, sorry. I don't have anything add about the music I didn't cover in my above post, either.)

RUDY RAY MOORE - "21st Century Dolemite" CD (Rudy Ray Moore made his name first by singing legitimate soul music in the late 50s and early 60s, then with some of the filthiest party records ever recorded, then finally with the great Dolemite movies of the 70s. He was a one man mogul, a true independent film maker who succeeded outside of the mainstream on his own terms and left a string of great releases behind him. This is one of his later albums and it's a mixture of filthy R&B ala Clarence Carter and the spoken bits he made famous during his heyday. This shit's ridiculous, obviously, the sort of stuff you can only listen to in private, but it's awesome. I'd love to find downloads of more of his old records. Some of them have been reissued recently.)

RUDY RAY MOORE - "Hully Gully Fever" CD (This is a collection of his old soul records from the 50s and 60s. Rudy had a strong voice and sings better than you would think. He sounds somewhat like John Lee Hooker and Geno Washington mixed. Musically this stuff is similar to what James Brown was doing at the time, the stuff he released on the great "Roots of a Revolution" 2CD set. This stuff stands on it's own even without knowing the Dolemite part of his career.)

RUDY RAY MOORE - "The Sensuous Black Man... / The Player -The Hustler" CDR* (I downloaded both of these, both of them are awesome. "Sensuous Black Man" might be the dirtiest thing ever recorded.)

RUIDO DE RABIA / ULTIMO GOBIERNO - split CD (I really don't know anything about either of these bands. I saw this CD reviewed on one of the blog sites I used to frequent and it looked interesting, so I bought it when I found it for cheap a while later. Both of the bands sound as if they're singing in Spanish. Ruido De Rabia sound like Lärm or HHH, really fast and noisy HC that crosses over into blurr territory more often than not. Most of their half of this CD is really good, but some of the vocals are really fucking annoying. Ultimo Gobierno aren't quite as good or as fast, but play similar type of HC as Ruido De Rabia . I probably wouldn't buy one of their full releases, but they're okay for this split. There's probably a reason I haven't heard of them outside this release, though. There's some surface noise and record pops on this CD, so it it sourced from vinyl, but I have no idea if this is a bootleg or not.)

RUIDO GENITAL / PERMANENT DEATH - split CDR (Bummer, I was looking forward to listening to this one, but something went wrong while it ripped to my iPod. The whole thing ripped as a 2 minute CD with just the first couple of seconds of some of the songs, all of the audio scuffed and damaged. After checking the CD in my stereo it seems to have died. I remember liking this one, but it's finding a new home in my trash can. Sucks...)

RUN-D.M.C. - s/t CD (I read a book about the formation and the first wave of rap/hip-hop and the author considered Run-D.M.C. to be the cut-off point. He said the game changed with them and they were the pioneers of modern hip-hop. I'm not sure what criteria they used to make that distinction, not sure I care, but Run-D.M.C. have always been my favorite rap group. I'm not a huge fan of rap in general, mind you, but I've been listening to these guys since elementary school and they've stuck with me over the years for some reason. I didn't hear this one until just a few years ago, though. I bought it at FYE in Oskaloosa when they went out of business for $1.50 new. I haven't spent as much time with this one, so I don't like it as well as the others, but "Rock Box" and "It's Like That" are both great songs. I'd probably like this more if I gave it a few more spins. Still, it's a pretty strong debut.)

RUN-D.M.C. - "King of Rock" CD (The level of improvement between the first album and this one is really noticeable. The rapping is more fluid, the production is better and there's more guitar on this album. The title track is great, "Roots, Rap, Reggae" is pretty terrible, though.)

Day #240
RUN-D.M.C - "Raising Hell" CD (As far as I'm concerned, this is the greatest rap album of all time, but I barely listen to rap, so don't take my word. Listen to it yourself and form your own opinion. I heard "Peter Piper" on a K-Tel tape compilation in elementary school called "Hot Rap" and became a fan instantly. You can imagine the difficulty I had finding their releases here in small town Iowa 1987. I didn't get this one until years after I devoured "Tougher Than Leather". It was even better than I expected it to be.)

RUN-D.M.C. - "Tougher Than Leather" CD (When compared to their previous work, this one sounds a lot angrier and the production isn't anywhere near as sparse. This was the first album of theirs I heard and I used to own it on cassette as a kid. I lost it somewhere down the line, then avoided it for years because somehow I got it in my mind it was cheesy. I bought this CD a couple of years ago and loved it. I've never heard any if their releases after this one.)

RUPTURE - "Alqahir" CD (Rupture are probably my favorite band ever. I'm unashamedly a fanboy and own some of their releases as many as 4 times because of differences in the pressings. I'll try not to gush too much in my summaries today. This 13 minute MCD was released by an Italian label I've never heard of before this. In fact, a lot of the labels Rupture worked with I'm completely unfamiliar with outside of that one release. Anyway, I'm a fan of both their early blurrcore releases and their slower KBD punk stuff, but I make no bones about saying I like their fast stuff more. Much more, in fact. This one is mostly mid-paced. The recording is clean with some digital crackling on some of the louder vocal parts. 4 of the songs are quick,catchy, sorta sloppy punk songs with clumsy vocals. The fifth is longer than the other 4 combined, a long, droning, noisy mess with rambling nonsensical vocals shouted over it. I actually like this song the most of this release. This isn't one of their best works, but it's worth checking out as its still heaps better than a lot of the shit I own. Most of these songs were re-released with cleaned up sound on the CSMD split.)

RUPTURE - "Australia Day" CD (This is probably the only Rupture release I don't like. Coming off of the 1-2 punch of "Lust and Hate" and "Sex, Drugs & Rupture", I was really expecting a lot from this CD when I ordered it. I don't think I've ever been as let down as I was with this one. That day I learned a lesson about expectations. If this sounds like something that was written (maybe improvised), recorded and mixed in one day, it's because it was. It's sloppy, sounds like shit and the vocals are super annoying. The CD actually gets worse towards the end. The cover art looks as if they maybe spent 2 minutes on it and the whole release stinks of "cash-grab". I don't have a problem with sloppy, quickly tossed off annoying shit, but that wasn't what I expected when I bought this. Everything I heard from them up to that point had been great, I was completely unprepared for this level of crap. This is the first time I've listened to this in at least 10 years and it hasn't gotten any better over time. It's just as shitty as I remembered it being.)

RUPTURE - "Boys, Nuns, Beer Bottles & Cunts" CD (This is one of their better releases and, sadly, one of their hardest to track down. The label sort of disappeared after this making it impossible to find outside of eBay. Firmly in the KBD punk style, this is tight and catchy with great production and Gus' vocals don't sound as if he wasn't too out of it the day he recorded them. The cover is pretty minimal with no lyrics or liner notes, There was supposed to be an LP version of this from the same label, but it never happened. Perhaps the LP package was to be more elaborate? This deserves a reissue, more people should hear it. I'm sure the band would be into the idea if someone wanted to take it on.)

RUPTURE - "Corrupture" CD (My favorite Rupture release changes with my mood, but most of the time it's this one. This is the definitive recording of those old songs that appeared on the Dropdead split and elsewhere. Not only is it Rupture's best release, it's arguably one of the greatest HC records released in the 90s, maybe ever. That's a pretty bold statement, but this thing is fucking vicious and played with razor precision. Gus' lyrics were still smart, clever and angry at this point and reading along with the lyrics is a dizzying experience. I've never considered Rupture to be a powerviolence band, but they sure got lumped into that category often. When people make lists of great powerviolence releases, this one is always left out. This is better than anything Spazz has recorded and they always make those lists. This is a GREAT release, one of those desert island albums. The mix on this CD is different than the original 10". I prefer the original vinyl mix, but I rarely listen to it since I bought this CD.)

RUPTURE - "Cunt of God" CD (Unlike "Australia Day" which I also hated upon it's release, I've came completely around on this one. This often replaces "Corrupture" as my favorite release. I originally dismissed this as sloppy and monotonous, but those are the exact things I love about it now. The turning point for me was when my friend Brian and I were in Minneapolis visiting a friend and we put this CD on trying to convince him how excellent it was. By the time we got to "Poof Biff" we were laughing so hard we couldn't talk. It all seemed so ridiculous at that point. The whole thing is unrelenting, a near constant barrage of hateful, angry noise, blasting and screaming. It's a blurrcore masterpiece and there's nothing that sounds like it, even in their discography. I wish they did more stuff like this. I have two copies of this on CD, for some unknown reason, an the LP on brown vinyl.)

RUPTURE - "Forceps Session + 6 Bonus Songs" CDR (Stumblefuck sent this to me years ago after he did a transfer from the master tape and cleaned everything up. There are 6 extra songs from this session that didn't make it on the 7" release. I don't think I ever got a proper explanation as to why Gus isn't on this recording and Kim from Pestilence/Nailed Down sang instead. It doesn't really sound much like Rupture without Gus singing, but it's great either way as I've always been a fan of Kim's vocals. The occasional low vocals come out of nowhere and really distract from what's going on. The guitars sound especially mean on this recording. This is one of Rupture's earliest releases, before they really sped things up. This has grown on me over time, but I wasn't always real into the first few releases. It sounds great today, though.)

RUPTURE - "Gospel From the Gutter" CD (This was the first release on Stumblefuck's short lived Big Fred Records label. I got a flyer for this in the mail, sent away for it not knowing one of the members was behind it and we've been in contact with each other sporadically since. His only other release was the Heist CD. The bulk of this CD is made up of a then unreleased studio session padded out with some rehearsal and live tracks, including the great "hole in the ceiling" show at the Castle made famous in their "Fuckumentary" home video. All of this stuff is hard, fast and rough sounding. The studio tracks have since been released on the "Spontaneous Simian Combustion" 7". I'm a big fan of these kind of catch-all releases. There's enough great sounding material on this to carry it through to the end. Even if you have the 7" this studio stuff ended up on, this should be an essential piece in your collection.)

RUPTURE - "Great Aussie Tits" CD (I got this from Snapshot after Gus died. It's the "Great Australian Fuckwit" 3 way CD with Stanley Knife and Blurters with a "special" home made cover Gus did with pages from porno magazines. I don't remember how many of these were made, but I'm sure it wasn't many. The Rupture stuff on here is great, a couple songs from the Rape Apes session and some from that big recording all of the later KBD stuff came from. All of these songs are excellent. Stanley Knife are a fun band, too, but I know fuck all about them. Sounds like skinhead music, but stupider and somehow better. Blurters are similar to Stanley Knife, but not as silly and less memorable. I usually don't listen to either of them when I play this, just the Rupture stuff.)

RUPTURE - "Gus Chamber and the Rape Apes" CD (I released this one and it's not a Rupture release, exactly. The band name is "Gus Chamber and the Rape Apes", but I sold it as a Rupture release because nobody was buying it as is. Deception didn't improve sales any, sadly. People are stupid. I shouldn't have had any problem selling the 600 copies of this CD I made, but not everyone can be blessed with the same great taste in music as I. This never speeds up past mid-paced, but the songs are well played, memorable street punk and aside from the vocals being too loud and crackling as a result, this recording is great. Not one of their best releases, but certainly worth the 5 bucks I'm charging for it.)

RUPTURE - "Killing on the Brain" CD (A four minute CD reissue of their material from the split 5" w/ Masskontrol from the Pestilence box set with a bonus 4 second song from the same session. I suppose the box set was limited, but this was a pointless reissue since the material exists on the "Righteous Apes" CD, including the 4 second bonus track. Something for collector scum like me to jump on and boast about. This is my favorite era of Rupture, though. Totally fast and noisy.)

RUPTURE - "Lust and Hate" CD (Another one of my favorites, though it's never taken top spot for me. This was one of the earliest releases I heard. Daryl from Taste of Fear had a cassette dub that Stumblefuck had sent him with this on one side and "Corrupture" on the other side. I must have listened to that tape hundreds of times. They started pulling out of their total blurr sound at this point and working more changes into their songs. The songs have more parts than before, not all of them as fast, but overall this is predominantly a really fast album. They production is real scuzzy, especially on the vocals, but it works to their advantage. Hearing this stuff with more clarity would wreck it. The CD has their material from the split LP w/ Belching Beet and their tracks from the "I Kill What I Eat" CD. Not only do I have the Belching Beet LP, thanks to Stumblefuck I have a test pressing of it as well.)

RUPTURE - "Mass Slaughter Permit" CDR (Another CDR Stums sent me after making a transfer from the master tape. I have these songs on this CD, the split 7" w/ Skrupel, "Fuck Your Life" tape and the original demo tape which took three attempts at buying on eBay before I finally got a copy that wasn't a bootleg. Not my favorite material, but it's one of my favorite recordings. Everything sounds overloaded and maxed out, but in a good way. These demo versions of these songs sound better than they did on the records they were released on.)

RUPTURE - "Righteous Apes" CD (This collects a bunch of their vinyl releases, but a lot of it was remixed, unfortunately. "Righteous Fuck" 7", "Baser Apes" 7", "Electra Complex" 7", the "Live" 7", splits with Senseless Apocalypse, Maskontroll, Cheech & Chong (which I still don't believe ever existed) and some other shit. I never understood people who claim "Righteous Fuck" was Rulture's best release, and I've heard that often. It doesn't even sound like them and it's piss week compared to the others. "Baser Apes" is one of their better 7"s, but this remix is terrible. I don't know what the fuck they were thinking, but the vocals are suuuuuper loud and sort of make the EP unlistenable on this CD. The rest of the stuff on here is great. The string of 7"s that were collected on the "Brutal Badlands" CD and the splits with Masskontrol and Senseless Apocalypse are all awesome. The last bunch of songs are all live. Some of them were released as the live 7" on Vibrator Records in Japan. The rest of them are listed as being from the "Live Sex" EP, the "Fuck You" 9" flexi and the split 7" w/ Cheech & Chong, but in my 16 years of fandom I've never once seen any of these releases outside of being listed on this CD. I suspect they don't exist.)

Day #241
RUPTURE - "Sex, Drugs & Rupture" CD (This is an amazing album and one of the 3 that rotates as my favorite release of theirs. It's the best recording they've done, the songs are great, and the drumming on this is stronger than any of the others. It really sounds like they has enough time to do all of the overdubs they wanted, too, and there's loads of cool guitar bits added that really push this one over the edge. It's still fast as shit, but the songs are more complex and more thought out, it seems. The 16 added minutes of Gus' verbal abuse from the stage is a nice touch, too. It's their best album, in my opinion, and probably the best introduction to the band. My CD copy is of a limited edition printing error, and I own the ski-mask version of the LP, too.)

RUPTURE - "Space Ape" + Live Melbourne 2001 CDR* ("Space Ape" is a cool collection of older marginal recordings tied together with samples from old sci-fi films. The song selection is largely from the "Corrupture" era. The sound quality is thin and rough, but listenable. It's nowhere near as shitty sounding as the similar "S.A.T.A.N." 2xCDR. I have this on LP twice, including the limited test pressing version with different cover art. This was never released on CD, I just ripped mu vinyl so I could listen to it outside of my home. The 2001 live gig was Rupture's last show. It's a soundboard recording and sounds pretty good. Some of this has been released on the split 7" with Brody's Militia.)

RUPTURE - "Supreme Rulers of SADOS" CDR* (This is a bootleg I put together of vinyl rips I did of their records that hadn't been released on CD at that point. I couldn't bring myself to actually make and sell copies of it, though, so only a handful of people got them in trades. It has their track from the "Regurgitation" 7" comp, the Flachenbrand split 7", "Hate Makes the World Go Around" 7", "Freudstein's House" 7", "Get Fucked, Cunt" 7", "Wanksparks" 7", the split 10" with Unborn S.F., split 7"s w/ Antiseen, Stupid Babies Go Mad and the "Alqahir" MCD because there was room for it. This goes from the last of their really fast stuff to the slower punk stuff. There's been loads of stuff that's been released since then. It would be awesome if all of the stuff on this CDR and the others were collected on a 2CD set and released officially.)

RUPTURE / THE NERDS - "Rock Inferno" CD (So, Gus died in the middle of recording a new batch of Rupture songs leaving forcing them to either abandon the recording or find someone else to record vocals. They chose to record some of them with Jeff Clayton of Antiseen and some with the dude from the Nerds. The results aren't great. It's amazing how different they sound when one part of the line-up is switched out (drummers don't count, they never have). Gus' ramblings worked over their more herky-jerky songs, but Clayton sometimes sounds like he's struggling to make the lyrics fit somehow. Gus very well may have stumbled over these songs, too, but his vocal style is as such that he would have made it sound intentional, like he didn't give a fuck if it was right or not. I think Clayton did a better job than the guy from Nerds did with these songs, even if he does sorta like Gus. I have mixed feelings about this CD. The songs are fine, but it leaves me wondering what they would have sounded like had Gus lived to complete them. Nerds tracks on here are great, better than the Rupture stuff, I'd say. I should look into more of their releases.)

RUPTURE / NIHILISTICS - split EP material CDR* (The label pressed up the vinyl, couldn't get covers done, dropped the ball and didn't release it. The entire pressing sat in a storage unit for years except for a few test pressing copies that leaked out. I tried to get one of those tests for ages, but failed. A guy I know who was friends with the label had a CDR copy of the master for the split,including the artwork, and made this CDR for me until I could track down a vinyl copy. Years after it was pressed someone bought the storage unit at an auction and acquired the whole pile of records. My wife bought me a regular copy and a test pressing from him at an inflated price last year for Christmas. Since then, Haunted Hotel stepped in and bought the remaining copies to finally give it a release, but last I heard he was having problems getting the covers printed, too. After a short spoken dedication to Gus, Nihilistics do a new version of "Love and Kisses", I assume because it's the song Rupture covered. Rupture do a new version of "V.C.F." and "Normaloid", both of which have appeared on other releases. It's kind of a let down after all the time/trouble it was to get my hands on this.)

SACRIFICE - "Put Her On the Altar" CD (Classic Canadian thrash metal, a band who's releases were really hard for me to find as a kid. I had "Forward to Termination" on vinyl and "Soldiers of Misfortune" on cassette, but the first album alluded me for years. I eventually bought the CD when it was reissued, possibly bootlegged. This CD is a bootleg and collects their demo tapes for their first three albums. Of course, the earlier stuff is better than the later, but it's all pretty good. The sound quality is decent and there are some liner notes on the inside written by DOTD, who I can only assume us Don of the Dead, the singer of Nunslaughter. These older songs are a lot noisier and more evil sounding than the material I was familiar with as a teenager. I don't think I could have handled this much brutality back then.)

SACRIFICE - "Torment in Fire" CD (I bought this in Chicago a few years ago. I don't think it's a legit reissue, though. It's sourced from a vinyl rip the sound is pretty crummy. Their first demo is tacked on the end as bonus tracks. This shit is awesome, totally extreme and brutal. One of the best thrash albums I missed out on in the 80s.)

SADUS - "Chemical Exposure" CD (Another great 80s thrash band I never got to hear as a teenager. I would have been all over this shit back then, even more so than today. Totally fast and angry sounding, technical without the wank. I love how loud the bass is in the mix and the vocals are some of the angriest thrash vocals ever. This is thrash pushed to the edge of death metal, absolutely as extreme as it can get without crossing over. This was originally released as "Illusions" by the band, then reissued by Roadracer once they signed with them. I can't remember if it was remixed when it was reissued. It doesn't matter, I guess.)

SADUS - "D.T.P. Demo 1986" CD (I bought this in Chicago the same say I bought the above Sacrifice album. I was in town with friends to see Iron Maiden, Motörhead and Dio live. This CD blew away everyone in the car on the drive back home. "Death to Posers" is just as savage and brutal as their first album, just sounds rougher. Their "Certain Death" demo is on here as well, also great. None of us had heard Sadus before that day, but we were completely on board after this.)

SADUS - "Swallowed in Black" (I bought this for $5 in one of those buy one get one free sales some distro was having. This might be only the second time listening to it, though. I got a stack of 10 CDs that day, listened to them and filed them away. I've done that with a lot of stuff, it's one of the reasons I'm listening to everything A-Z now. The songs are longer on this one, a bit more technical than on their debut, but the style hasn't changed all that much. It's still a zillion mph thrash with snarling, angry vocals most of the time. Their "Wake of Severity" demo is on this as bonus tracks and it's a little harsher sounding than the album. This is good shit.)

Day #242
SADUS - "Vision of Misery" / RIGHTEOUS PIGS - "Live and Learn" + "Demo" CDR* (I couldn't get into this Sadus album at all, not just today, but in the past, too. I'll stick to the first two albums, I guess. I had Righteous Pigs' 2nd album, "Stress Related", on CD years ago but sold it. It sounded too close to Biohazard for me to enjoy, and I realize I'm probably the only person to make this claim. Their first album, though, is fantastic and is one of the angriest sounding metal/grind albums ever. I've never found a copy of it on CD to buy, so I just downloaded it and burned it with their demo and this Sadus album.)

SAND - "Ultrasonic Seraphim" 2CD (Sand were a short lived German krautrock band that played minimal psychedelic folk music. Their one and only offering, "Golem" LP, was produced by Klaus Schulze and released in 1973. Without the added swirling synth noises, this would be a lot less interesting, but the songs are all dark in tone and sad sounding. It's a bizarre sound with the added noise, and there's hardly any percussion, so it's particularly sparse sounding. This 2CD reissue came out in 1996 and has a whole second disc of outtakes, demo tracks and a couple of songs the singer did for an aborted solo album. The album is much better than the bonus stuff which is pretty forgettable, really, with the exception of the excellent "Power Station" which sounds like it could be an unused Suicide song.)

SANITY'S DAWN - "Chop Copper" CD (I've never been a fan of these guys. I had their first album, then ended up selling it. I bought this used because it was only $3.00. I think I listened to it once before today. I'm just not a very big fan of goregrind, even when it's done really well. This was their last album before they went off into a more powerviolence sound. They've mostly abandoned the pitch-shifter at this point, but it does make appearances throughout. There isn't anything particularly good or bad that jumps out at me about this release, it simply exists. Maybe I'm getting too old for this shit, but I can't get into it. The problem I have with most grindcore is that it just doesn't satisfy my need for noise and distortion, and that's all I'm really looking for in grindcore. It's one of those "Go big or go home" things. If you're not writing memorable riffs, then there's no reason to write riffs at all. Bands like these are middle-of-the-road when it comes to brutality. There's no incentive for me to put this on when I'm looking for something heavy when band's like Anal Cunt, Nilhilist Commando, ASHIAP, etc exist to satisfy that craving. To me, grindcore is for those that haven't progressed onto better/worse things. It could just be that after 242 days of killing my eardrums with shit like this I prefer something with a little more dynamics.)

SANITY'S DAWN / YACØPSÆ - split CD (I dig this SD stuff more than the other disc I have, but I only bought it for the Yacøpsæ stuff. Their stuff is faster, more energetic and more "extreme" sounding. Still not my thing exactly, but it's an improvement. Sadly, Yacøpsæ have gotten so good at what they do at this point all of the personality from their old days is gone. It's fucking brutal, but I miss that gnarly Tumor guitar tone from their old 7"s. Those abrupt stops they do are so clean on this they sound like they were digitally edited. I've seen live footage of them and know they can do it live, but things like that don't enhance the music for me. It just takes away from any human element they had. They peaked on their 10", in my opinion. This isn't my day for grindcore, I guess.)

SAUERKRAUT - "Kuburan Massal Kemanusiaan" CDR (I love this kind of stuff. Sauerkraut are a band from Bulgaria that plays a really primitive mixture of grind/HC and noisecore. It sounds like a group of friends playing music outside of their ability, having a good time with it and making music because they love doing it. It's not "good" by any stretch of the imagination, but it's genuine and that wins out over good any day. It's their lack of skill that pushes this into accidental noisecore territory, and the recording sounds like an mp3 recording device was just dropped on to the floor in the middle of their rehearsal space. There are completely broken cover versions of Napalm Death, Fear of God and Impetigo that showcase their influences and give us an idea of what they were shooting for and ultimately fell short of, but thankfully their lack of ability didn't keep them from trying. If this sounds like a negative write up, you're dead wrong. These are the things I love about them and why I find them more interesting than a pile of bands like Sanity's Dawn and Phobia. This CDR is limited to 30 copies, so you'll probably have a difficult time finding a copy.)

SAUERKRAUT - "Promo 2008-2010" CDR (These guys sound like a different band on each release, that's another thing I like about them. The first stuff on here has a drum machine (not programmed, but played in real time) and a guitar that sounds like it was recorded plugged directly into the 4 track without an amp. There's some serious bacon sizzle going on. The vocals alternate between turkey squawks and a pig snorting. It's awesome. The rest of this sounds similar to the material on the CDR above. There are covers of Sore Throat and Agathocles, probably others I couldn't make out. The playing sounds a little better on this one, but it's still really raw and noisy as fuck.)

SAUERKRAUT / PRIMORDIAL SOUNDS / VAMPIRIC COLD BLOOD - "A Three Way Split CD" CDR (Sauerkraut are sounding more and more like old Anal Massaker. There's a lack of bass on this recording, but the songs are noisier and harsher. The drummer still seems to be struggling to keep up most of the time. Still a lot of fun to listen to. This is my first introduction to the other two bands on this CD. Primordial Sounds are from Belgium and started as a tribute band to Tony/ Permanent Death. Their stuff is awesome, really sloppy and noisy, a fucking mess, but in a good way. They're easily the noisiest of the three, a lot of the time it sounds like the drums are being thrown around the room. The guitar sound is razor thin and the vocals are really dumb grumbles and growls. In other words, good shit all around. V.C.B. are harder to describe, but equally lo-fi and noisy. I'm tapped out at this point.)

Day #243
ANTHONY SAUNDERS - "Rehearsal Tapes Volume 1" CDR (Nearly 80 minutes of almost constant pummeling harsh noise, I assume constructed on a laptop. There's a couple of different sounding pieces on here, but it's mostly full-on. Despite several attempts, I just can't get into this sort of stuff. Not a good way to start today.)

SAW THROAT - "Inde$troy" CD (Sore Throat are absolutely one of my favorite bands of all time, have been since high school, but I never really got into this one. I heard it once in the late 90s, didn't like it, and didn't hear it again until it was reissued on CD. I probably wouldn't have bought this except I was at a concert and saw it in someone's distro box and nothing else caught my eye. I listened to this CD once, then shelved it. I didn't even remember what it sounded like before I put it on this morning. Today I'm listening to it with fresh ears, an open mind and no expectations. Sore Throat have taken on a lot of different sounds over their short career. Both sides of "Disgrace..." sound completely different from each other and different from the rest of their short song crusty noisecore releases. This, too, is different. It's one long track broken into smaller segments. A lot of it is doomy, some bordering on drone. There's some thick metallic riffing mixed with keyboards. Some of this sounds like industrial music, other parts like AmRep noise rock. I'd probably like this if I listened to it more often. I'm enjoying it more today than in the past now that I'm not expecting their stenchcore sound. I'm going to make a note to listen to this more often once I've gone through the rest of my CDs.)

SCAT - "The Pain and Suffering Campaign" CDR (I've blogged at length about my history with Scat. While their music is sometimes directionless and without discernible structure, it's both fun to listen to and play. This was their transition album from doom to a thrasher sound. I recorded and mixed this on my 4 track with surprisingly good results considering the conditions it was recorded in. I've since gotten a whole lot better with my recordings, but this was done before that and I just got lucky. This is my favorite of their recordings. I can't listen to the one I played on because of how things ended. "Killer Instinct" is the best song on here, a total thrash/noise mess with drums that never let up and screaming Kerry King-esque leads. Similarly, "Brunnen G" is a lot of fun even if it is just one riff for the most part. There's a couple of clunkers on here, including "Illusions of My Mind", a crooning love ballad Aaron wrote for his ex-wife in an attempt to win her back. That sort of nonsense has no place on a metal album.)

SCHLONG - "Unessential Schlong" CD (Unessential because this collects a bunch of previously released material. I've always liked Schlong. I bought this because of their name and because at the time I was into Operation Ivy and this is what their drummer did after they broke up. This sounds nothing like Operation Ivy, thankfully. They're kind of a smart assed, country-tinged progressive punk band with a healthy sense of humor and a penchant for covering and speeding up cheesy rock songs. Initially I was on the fence with this CD, but the "Tumors" 7", a cover of Fleetwood Mac's entire "Rumors" album sped-up and shortened to a 7", won me over. The rest of their material grew on me. There's a few songs from their bluegrass band Three Finger Spread, too.)

SCHNAUZER - "When Your Bitch is in Heat" CD (I love Schnauzer, but 69 minutes is way too long to listen to this stuff. They're perfect on split 7"s. That's exactly as long as I can listen to it before the joke wears thin. I've always wished they had less vocals going on in their music, especially the high vocals. This stuff is loads of fun, though. Totally stupid tough guy riffs, tons of breakdowns, songs about lifting weights, killing pigs, etc.)

Day #246
CONRAD SCHNITZLER - "00/106" CD* (Conrad was a German experimental recording artist with no musical background. He was an early member of Tangerine Dream and appeared on their first album and was a member of Kluster who later changed their name to Cluster after he left and found success in the krautrock scene doing much more mellow recordings. Conrad's discography is enormous and a lot of his recordings he didn't make available for purchase and instead just gave them to friends as gifts. Everything I've heard of his has been abrasive and noisy musique concrete that borders on industrial music. This CD was recorded in 1997 and was released on his own label. The sounds range from quiet and disturbing to deafening and disturbing. This music is the sound of my nightmares, recorded with extreme clarity. Unlike a lot of noise stuff, this doesn't get dull for a second. There's loads of stuff going on here, lots of changes to keep me interested.)

CONRAD SCHNITZLER - "Rot" CD* (Recorded in 1973, this was his first solo album after leaving Kluster, two side long tracks of electronic noise. Compared with the CD above, this one is less nightmarish and harsh, but it's still extremely creepy. The first half is slow moving,droning and repetitive with minimal synth being played in opposite speakers behind some looped circuit bending (I think? I don't really know what's creating these noises). The second half is a little more rhythmic and upbeat sounding, but only slightly so. The faster tempo doesn't do much to lighten the mood, really. It's just as weird as the first side. I'd like to hear more of his work, but never think to look for it. Conrad died of cancer earlier this year. RIP, Mr. Schnitzler.)

KLAUS SCHULZE - "Black Dance" CD (When I first started getting into krautrock I bought loads of Klaus Schulze stuff on vinyl at the record store in Iowa City. Someone named Karla Tonella unloaded her record collection, all with her name written on the back cover in magic marker. I started out by picking up the cheaper records, then eventually ended up buying all of them. Klaus started out as a drummer, a great drummer at that, and played on the first Tangerine Dream album and a few Ash Ra Tempel albums. He's more famously known for his work in electronics and synth. The majority of his works are multi-layered, sprawling almost tribal synth drones with swirling electronic noises over them. They're so similar, in fact, I'm going to skip describing each individual album. This is great background music, but it's not so good for sitting and paying full attention to. I don't think he intended people to sit and scrutinize his work, anyway. This is music to drop acid and zone out to. Me? I'll be sipping Diet Coke and staring off into space at work while listening to it. That's close enough.)

KLAUS SCHULZE - "Cyborg" 2CD* (A friend sent this to me as part of a CD trade. It's one of my favorites.)

KLAUS SCHULZE - "Irrlicht" CD (His first solo album, pre-synth material using heavily treated organ instead. Sounds pretty much like his synth stuff. The second half of this is awesome, almost ambient. This was pretty groundbreaking at the time, apparently.)

KLAUS SCHULZE - "Moondawn" CD (This one is cool because he plays drums on the second half of it.)

SCORPIONS - "Lonesome Crow" CD (The first Scorpions album was also the first release on the great Brain Records label. Not only is it not very typical sounding for a Brain release, it doesn't really sound like any of the other Scorpions albums, either. It's also the only Scorps album I've heard in it's entirety and I only bought it because of the label it was on. Turns out this album is fucking great. A 17 year old Michael Schenker played guitar on this and his playing is amazing at even this early age. Not quite heavy metal, this is really heavy rock music. It's great in the same way the first two Judas Priest records are. The line-up would almost change completely on their next album leaving only the rhythm guitarist and singer from this great album.)

SCRAWL - "Q" MCD (Scrawl have consistently been great since they started in the 90s. In fact, I'd even go as far as to say they've gotten better with time and their newest release is their best. This was their second release, the first one I heard. It's difficult to simply call these guys a grind band, but the glue that holds all these weird parts together are short staccato blasts of grind with vocals that sound almost exactly like the guy from Patareni. Between the blasts of grind are thrash riffs, jazz, lounge music, disco, acoustic, etc with keys, horns, accordion and loads of other instruments you wouldn't expect. This CD re-records some of the songs from their great first 7". Seth Putnam from Anal Cunt does guest vocals on a Patareni cover, too. 24 songs in 16 minutes, goes by way too quickly.)

LE SCRAWL - "Eager to Please" MCD (At some point Scrawl added "le" to their name, I assume to avoid problems with the other mainstream band named Scrawl. I have filed in my "S" section, fuck it. This one sounds like all of the songs are cover versions of or were inspired by HC bands. It must be the group shouts that make me think that, because none of them are listed as covers in the booklet. Even shorter than the previous disc, slightly less enjoyable.)

LE SCRAWL - "Snowblind" CD (This CD is great, probably their best yet. I kind of miss the noise parts, but the songs work better without them. The song writing on this is great, very metallic and dark sounding. I go into each Scrawl album expecting a drop in quality, but for the most part they just keep improving.)

Day #247
LE SCRAWL - "Too Short to Ignore" CD* (This is a collection of everything released up to that point with some unreleased demo and live songs. I have this on LP, but the CD version has different live songs that are exclusive to the CD version, so I just downloaded it instead of buying it twice. A great place to start your Scrawl collection considering all of the material in here is out of print now in its original form.)

LE SCRAWL - "Whiskey a Go Go!" MCD (Their shortest release yet, housed in a metal box with a single card insert and a screened patch. The music is the same great blend of grind, jazz,ska, lounge, thrash, etc as the others. The lyrics are all about drinking. Consistently great, they're one of Germany's best bands.)

DAVID SEDARIS - "Barrel Fever and Other Stories" CD1 (My boss gave me a copy of David's "Holidays on Ice" audiobook for Christmas one year and I've been a fan since. I knew his sister, Amy, as Jerri Blank on Strangers With Candy, but had never heard of David before then. Most of his writings are really funny, though occasionally too "gay" for my liking. A good portion of this first disc is spent describing fictitious accounts of his relationships with celebrities including Charelton Heston, Mike Tyson and Bruce Springsteen. The joke wears thin after 10 minutes or so, but continues on for another ten. The first half is made up of shorter stories about smoking, odd jobs gone wrong, a great reading of a will and other stuff. David's work is best when you think he's telling first hand accounts of his life. It's hard telling how much of what you believe to be true is really bullshit, but it's a lot more enjoyable than a 20 minute telling of his sex life with famous men.)

DAVID SEDARIS - "Barrel Fever and Other Stories" CD2 (The nugget of this CD is the story about his brother, Paul, "The Rooster", and his strange relationship with his father. Again, David is at his best talking about his family life. This isn't one of his best books, but "The Rooster" story was great.)

DAVID SEDARIS - "David Sedaris Live at Carnegie Hall" CD (Some of his best stories read at the biggest venue in America. My wife and I went to see David do a reading here in our home state and really enjoyed ourselves, though I did feel pretty silly spending money to see someone stand on a stage and read from a book.)

DAVID SEDARIS - "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" CD1 (This is one of his best books, in my opinion. On this first disc we get stories about sleepovers, strip poker, the prestige of owning a second home and stories of childhood cliques.)

Day #248
DAVID SEDARIS - "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" CD2 (This disc brings us stories of a rich dead aunt and the inheritance she left, desires of being a hippie and begging for change, being kicked out of the house by his father for being gay and the pains of being a slumlord. This last story, "Slumus Lordicus", is the best one of this disc.)

DAVID SEDARIS - "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" CD3 ("Bloodwork", one of my favorite stories is on this disc. to this day I can't hear Fire Island without thinking of this story. The others are great, too. "Repeat After Me" was on the "Carnegie Hall" CD, so I'm listening to it twice in two days.)

DAVID SEDARIS - "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" CD4 ("Six to Eight Black Men" also appeared on the Carnegie Hall disc. It's a funny telling of Christmas tradition in Holland. We also get to hear the story of The Rooster's wedding and of the relationship between he and his youngest sister, Tiffany.)

DAVID SEDARIS - "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" CD5 (A lengthy story about homosexual guilt, a short story about a rubber hand and the story of The Rooster's first born child.)

Day #249
DAVID SEDARIS - "Holidays on Ice" CD1 ("The Santaland Diaries" is the story that made David famous. It's the first story I heard of his and the one that hooked me in. David recalls his time spent working as an elf at Macy's. This is my first time listening to it in years and it's awesome.)

DAVID SEDARIS - "Holidays on Ice" CD2 ("Based Upon a True Story" is a fictions tale of a television producer trying to extract a signed release from someone who's suffered a tragedy so he can make a new Christmas special from it. After she refuses, he addresses the church trying to bribe them into muscling it from her. It's funny, but not nearly as funny as the Dunbar Family newsletter which occupies most of this disc.)

DAVID SEDARIS - "Holidays on Ice" CD3 (A series of angry, harsh reviews of children's Christmas plays starts out this disc and provided a few genuine laugh out loud moments. "Dinah, the Christmas Whore" is next and is a bit of a letdown. Last is a tale of Christmas one-upmanship.)

DAVID SEDARIS - "Me Talk Pretty One Day" CD1 (David talks about attending speech therapy for his lisp in elementary school, his father's deep appreciation of jazz and David's failure at learning guitar, and of family pets.)

Day #250
DAVID SEDARIS - "Me Talk Pretty One Day" CD2 (David talks about his days as a performance artist and crystal meth addict, his stint as a writing professor, fancy cuisine and a nightmarish visitor from North Carolina.)

DAVID SEDARIS - "Me Talk Pretty One Day" CD3 (This CD starts off with a profile of his sister Amy, moves into a rant about how much he hates computers, a story about the brutality of learning French and the difficulties of explaining Easter to a Muslim woman.)

Day #253
DAVID SEDARIS - "Me Talk Pretty One Day" CD4 (More about living in France. At this point I'm craving some music, but that's still a long way off. Still enjoyable, but listening to someone speak about himself for hours on end can be tiresome.)

DAVID SEDARIS - "Me Talk Pretty One Day" CD5 (This is probably the best disc of this book. "Poems About Dogs" is really funny, even if the punchlines are predictable.)

DAVID SEDARIS - "Naked" CD1 (Consistently funny.)

DAVID SEDARIS - "Naked" CD2 (Not quite as funny, but very revealing. There's a long story about being gay in summer camp and dealing with shithead teachers in school that stood out on this disc.)

DAVID SEDARIS - "Naked" CD3 (David talks about his mother's fight with cancer and her eventual death, then about his experience at a nudist colony.)

PETE SEEGER - "Pete Seeger's Greatest Hits" CD (A few years back when I was exploring folk music greats like Woody Guthrie, Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, etc I'd see Pete Seeger's name mentioned a lot, so when I found this CD used I bought it. I didn't like it then, in fact, it's been in my "to sell" pile for years. I never got around to selling it, so I just filed it back in with the rest of my CDs when I started this project. Today is only my second time listening to it. So much of this sounds like it was performed for an elementary school. You can hear kids talking and laughing in the background. Some of the songs more closely resemble children's books than songs. I was expecting something with more grit when I bought this, not children's music. It's my fault for making a blind purchase. "Talking Union" is what I was looking for, but there's not enough of that sort of stuff on here. This isn't bad, just not something I'm interested in.)

Day #254
SEPULTURA - "Morbid Visions / Bestial Devastation" CD (I've owned several Sepultura CDs over the years, but I've whittled it down to just this one. It's the only one I listened to with any frequency, anyway. Noisy, sloppy black thrash. The production on "Morbid Visions" is pretty lousy, especially the guitar sound. The second half of this is much better, songs are better, too.)

SEWERCUNT / BLACK PUTREFACTION - split CD (This CD is only 9 minutes long, so it will take me long to formulate and type out my thoughts of it than it will to listen to it. I don't know who Sewercunt is, not sure where Last House on the Right finds these bands. Their stuff is pretty much straight blasting with noise and pitch shifted vocals over it. Black Putrefaction do dancey techno stuff with gore vocals and periods of sustained drum machine blasts. It's not unlike those techno parts on the later Meat Shits albums, but way less stupid. This is decent, but not something I put on very often.)

SEWN SHUT - "Rediscovering the Dead" CD (I don't remember where these guys were from, but I'm thinking Sweden. I have a couple of their 7"s (maybe all of them?), but picked up this discography anyway because it was cheap. This is good metallic grindcore with some crust riffs peppered throughout. A lots of the riffs are chunky death metal riffs, but there's enough blasting to steer it away from death metal territory. The recording is just dirty enough for my tastes, everything pushed slightly into the red. Good stuff.)

SEX PISTOLS - "Never Mind the Bollocks..." CD (Sharing my thoughts on the Sex Pistols seems sort of silly. Everyone visiting this blog knows this album frontwards and backwards, everyone has an opinion on it. I heard a lot of punk albums before this one, so it didn't have the same impact on me as it may have had for other people, but as an adult I can easily and often enjoy it for the great rock album it is. Contrived, manufactured, punk or not, I don't give a shit. Most of these songs are great and ring around in my heard a long while after listening to them.)

SEXORCIST - "Welcome to Your Death" CD (This CD fucking rules. One of the great unsung bands from the first wave of grindcore, and probably one of the first grind bands from Holland. I remember seeing their releases in the Wild Rags catalog, but never ordered them. Kicking myself now for not buying them then. I have their split 7" with Extreme Smoke and this CD only, but this CD collects everything they released between 1991 and 1993. This shit is total primitive caveman grind with juvenile song titles ("Smoke From a Dildo" comes to mind), spastic monster vocals and crummy recordings. In other words, it's perfect. This CD goes from newest to oldest. The oldest recordings are particularly brutal and noisy. After years of inactivity they released this CD and reformed under the name Brutality Reigns Supreme, but that magic isn't there like it was. Time ruins everything. I often see this CD for sale and recommend it to friends whenever possible.)

THE SHADOWS - "Shadows Are Go!" CD (I bought this years ago looking for the version of "Apache" I heard on the radio. Turns out it was by a Swiss fellow named Jorg something or other, but this CD was pretty great anyway. This is a collection of singles, I believe, of a UK surf rock band that pre-dates the Ventures. I listened to this heaps when I was playing similar music in a band called Honky Tonk Overlords. I haven't listened to this in years, but it sounds great today.)

SHADOWY MEN ON A SHADOWY PLANET - "Dim the Lights, Chill the Ham" CD (Most people know these guys from the opening theme and transition music on Kids in the Hall. That's where I heard them first. Had it not been for a friend in high school I probably wouldn't have investigated any further, but a loan of one of their tapes turned me into a lifelong fan. They've tried to move away from their surf sound on this album, but that twangy guitar sound is all over it. I think they disliked being categorized as a surf band, but that's how I would describe this to someone unfamiliar with them. It's like The Shadows on steroids and with a sense of humor.)

SHADOWY MEN ON A SHADOWY PLANET - "Savvy Show Stoppers" CD (This is the first one I heard. It's a collection of their independently released 7"s. Of their three releases, this is probably my favorite.)

Day #255
SHADOWY MEN ON A SHADOWY PLANET - "Sport Fishin'" CD (This stuff still sounds great this morning, even better than yesterday. That guy's guitar sound is awesome, and he really knows his shit. The whole band does, really. As far as instrumental surfy music goes, I'd choose this before anything else, even the Ventures. This doesn't sound like a throwback, but like a natural progression from what bands like The Shadows started. You get the impression they're not trying to sound like anyone else, but just playing the music they love. This stuff is great.)

SHALABI EFFECT - s/t 2CD (A friend of mine sent me a burned copy of this years ago because he thought I would like it. He described it as modern day krautrock. I liked it enough to buy it when I saw it used. I seem to remember my friend telling me some of the members of Godspeed You! Black Emperor were behind this, but I don't remember exactly. This does indeed sound like something that would have been released back in 1970s Germany. It's sparse, spooky at times and mostly lacking structure. Adding to the krautrock feel is copious usage of middle-eastern instrumentation, but totally abandoning the traditional sounds associated with those instruments. I've probably only listened to this 3 or 4 times in total, but it's really good. It's well over 2 hours long, but seems to go by quickly.)

SHAT - "The Best of Shat: The Cunt Chronicles" CD (Bought this after seeing it used at a record store. It was just too stupid to pass up. I had never heard them before that and had high hopes after reading the track list. Unfortunately, the joke wears thin after about 10 songs, and there's a whopping 65 songs on this disc. The songs are all short, somewhere between nu-metal and bad punk, with lyrics about pussies, dicks, shit, piss, and every possibly combination of those topics. It's not good enough to be funny, it's just stupid. I suppose that's the goal, though.)

SHEEVA YOGA - " Heartotheque" CD (Czech grind/HC. I think this might be all cover songs. I recognize covers of Le Scrawl, Napalm Death, Inferno, Spazz and Beastie Boys right away. This is okay, but not something I listen to often.)

SICKENING MASS OBLITERATION - "... Of Stench After Life" CDR (The guitarist of this band was also in Purulent Shitface and ASHIAIP, both terrific metal free grindcore bands. I think this band existed before both of those, but sounds pretty similar. Really noisy lo-fi Unholy Grave type of grind, bordering on noisecore. These 10 minutes fly by. Awesome stuff.)

SIEGE - "Drop Dead" CD (My copy is the one put out by Lost and Found. I got it from Daryl Kahan when he lived in Iowa years ago. Super fast Boston HC that influenced a lot of the original grindcore bands. One of those CDs I've listened to hundreds of times. One of these dudes died earlier this year.)

SIGUR RÓS - "Ágætis Byrjun" CD (Some of the most beautiful, lush music ever recorded ruined by super annoying falsetto vocals that shouldn't be there at all, but if absolutely necessary, should have been much, much lower in the mix. The lengthy instrumental passages are great, but I cringe whenever the vocals come in. I've tried so many fucking times to look past them, but I just can't. I've been dreading listening to this album. Bummer...)

Day #256
SIGUR RÓS - "( )" CD (If you look at the album title in quotes it kind of looks like a vagina. How fitting.... Okay, not really. I was fully prepared to hate this CD this morning, but I'm enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. The vocals are still an abortion (hey, abortion and vagina in the same synopsis!), but they're less distracting on this one. If I keep telling myself this is a Radiohead album it works better, somehow.)

SILBERBART - "4 Times Sound Razing" + WEED - s/t CDR* (Amother CD I got as part of a trade years ago. Silberbart are one of the greatest rock band's ever, from Germany or elsewhere. They sound especially manic after Sigur Rós. Like a lot of those krautrock bands, they only had one release, but what a gem this is! Criminally out of print and never issued on CD legitimately, this album is a blur of hard rock, proto-metal, Guru Guru and noise parts. It sounds like the bastard child of Deep Purple and Naked City, but was released in 1971. There's shades of early Blue Cheer and Alice Cooper in this mess, too. It's a total mind-fuck of a release and needs to be back in circulation. Weed are good Anglo style German rock, but not one of the stand-outs from that scene. The last song is instrumental and is the best on the album, in my opinion. I think one of the dudes from Uriah Heep played on this album, for what it's worth.)

SILVER APPLES - s/t + "Contact" CD (Silver Apples existed in the late 60s and were a duo of drums and primitive electronics, oscillators, etc. Their music is stripped down, pulsing and rhythmic. It could be considered electronica or techno, but neither of those existed back then. The vocals are haunting and make this a whole lot weirder than it would be without them. The second album is more musical, less spooky, and they added a banjo at this point. This stuff is great, really original.)

SILVER APPLES - "Garden" + HAWKWIND - "Greasy Truckers Party" CDR* (Silver Apples' third album from 1969 but unreleased until sometime in the 90s. Still great, though some of it sounds like it was completely improvised. This Hawkwind stuff is live, came from a compilation LP of a benefit show. Fucking love Hawkwind...)

SKAFISH - "Tidings of Comfort & Joy" CD (This ranks up there as one of the greatest Christmas albums ever. Jim Skafish made his name in the early Chicago punk/new wave scene as part of the band Skafish who were arguably the first punk band in Chicago. That's his claim, anyway. I'm not a punk historian so I couldn't say for sure. Before Skafish, though, Jim was a childhood prodigy on the piano. Because of a steady diet of Peanuts cartoons growing up, I'm a big fan of Vince Guaraldi and of piano trio jazz in general. Christmas always makes me think of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" and of jazz piano, so being a big fan of Skafish the band I jumped on this when I saw it. How demented would it be? Turns out he plays it straight most of the time, and thankfully so. There are enough bastardized Christmas songs out there already. The recording is excellent, nice mix and a great song selection. Each song starts out fairly traditional, then builds up into lengthy solo segments before returning to the main theme. Easy on the ears, well played and very Christmasy. The jazz fusion version of "We Three Kings" is the only exception, but even it is really enjoyable.)

SKAFISH - "What's This? 1976-1979" CD (A few years ago all of the pre-LP Skafish recordings found their way onto a CD. With the exception of the "Disgracing the Family Name" 7", all of these recordings were previously unreleased. This CD is a treasure of introspective, biographical, well played, quirky punk/new wave music. Most of these recordings are studio demos recorded in hopes of securing a contract. A few of these songs wound up on the first LP, but most are exclusive to this CD. I picked up the first LP in Australia. Impetigo covered one of his songs on their first demo and I wanted to hear the original version. It's a strange LP with many styles on it, totally hard to find now. It eventually grew on me to the point I searched the web to see if there were any other releases and found this CD. I can't sing enough praise to Skafish. It's difficult listening, but with a huge payoff. I could have done without the 4 tracks of commentary at the end of the disc, though.)

Day #257
SKEPTICISM - "Ethere" CD (I've heard a few of these guys' releases, but this is the only one I liked enough to buy. Really, I only like the first song on this disc, the piano specifically. The whole funeral doom thing escapes me, but this is short enough to hold my interest and good enough to call for repeated listens. Not a bad way to start the morning out.)

SKREWDRIVER - "Boots and Braces / Voice of Britain" CD (Skrewdriver were a great band. Incidentally, I only own their non-racist stuff, but that's only because they turned to shit once that stuff started creeping in to their music. I don't care what their lyrics are about, what their politics are as long as their music is banging. This CD is the perfect balance of quality song writing and bonehead lyrics. It's as far out as I go in their catalog, but this one and everything before it is awesome.)

SKREWDRIVER - "The Complete Studio Collection 1977-1983" CD* (With the exception of the 1983 tracks, I have all of this stuff on vinyl. I burned this from a friend's copy years ago when visiting him. Great UK punk with lots of hooks and nice raspy vocals before Ian started sounding like the dude from Molly Hatchet. The guitars have a nice overdriven, but not distorted, sound. Its clean, but dirty enough to give this an appropriate edge. This stuff is great.)

SLAPSHOT - "The CD" CD (I'm a big fan of that Last Rites and Negative FX CD, but this stuff leaves me limp. The songs aren't as angry, not as fast and the production is completely sterile. I wouldn't complain if someone had this playing, but it's not something I'd put on myself. As a side note, while driving out of town to a friend's wedding years ago I listened to this CD for the first time and smashed into another car making an illegal U-turn and totaled my car. I can't listen to this without thinking of that day as a result, but I decided way before the impact that I didn't like this CD.)

Day #258
(Christmas vacation, didn't listen to anything.)

Day #259
(Christmas vacation, didn't listen to anything.)

Day #260
(Christmas vacation, didn't listen to anything.)

Day #261
(Christmas vacation, didn't listen to anything.)

Day #262
(Christmas vacation, didn't listen to anything.)

Day #263
(Christmas vacation, didn't listen to anything.)

Day #264
(Christmas vacation, didn't listen to anything.)

Day #265
(Christmas vacation, didn't listen to anything.)

Day #266
(Christmas vacation, didn't listen to anything.)


chuck said...

Run DMC: Hell yes.

Sepultura: Dude, "Arise".

gamma693 said...

I have "Arise" on cassette, bought it when it was released. My wife bought it on CD at the pawn shop years ago and I've never felt the need for there to be two "Arise" CDs in the same house. We listen to it while cleaning the house from time to time.


Glad to see this series make its return! I was worried you'd stopped bothering to do the write-ups :P