Thursday, December 31, 2009

Best Band and LP of the Decade

The Deadly Snakes - Porcella

Regardless of what the critics over a Pitchfork say, it really comes down to taste. Personally, having read through a few ‘Best of The Decade’ lists recently I have come to believe that most of the albums listed don’t have legs. Seriously, I just can’t see myself listening to Animal Collective or Grizzly Bear five years from now. Can you, honestly?

But I still listen to The Deadly Snakes, often. In fact it’s safe to say they never really leave the ipod.

The Snakes were local boys, from right here in Toronto, Canada, with a knack for gritty blues soaked garage rock. Around these parts they are kinda local hero, in part due to live shows that, with as many as 6 or 7 members on stage, were known to shake the pillars of heaven.

Greg Cartwright of The Oblivians produced the band's first two albums and briefly joined the band on the second LP, I'm Not Your Soldier Anymore, playing guitar and singing on such songs as West Texas Sound.

Those first two albums and their third, Ode to Joy, are all rip roaring rock ’n’ roll gems. But it was on their last album, Porcella, that the Snakes truly achieved existential greatness.

Porcella takes garage rock and raises it to the level of art, an achievement few bands outside of the Velvet Underground can claim. The album is like a painting; creative, rich, dramatic, while still maintaining its bluesy garage core. You can listen to it over and over and always find a new place to hang your hat. It comes at you from so many directions it really takes a while to soak it all in, perhaps a decade. The long and short of it is it’s just a fucking great album. Case closed.

So there you go. If you didn’t know it, now you do. Enjoy.

The Deadly Snakes Discography

Love Undone (Sympathy for the Record Industry,1999)
I'm Not Your Soldier Anymore (In the Red, 2001)
Ode to Joy (In the Red, 2003)
Porcella (Paper Bag Records, 2005)
Porcella Vinyl Only Tracks (In The Red, 2006)

Buy Porcella here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Best Album of the Decade – Runners-Up

They didn’t win, but let’s give them all a round of applause. They are all wonderful in their own right and you should own them all.

King Khan & BBQ Show, 2004
Blood Visions, Jay Reatard, 2006
Let It Bloom, Black Lips, 2005
Satan's Little Pet Pig, Demon's Claws, 2007
Witchcraft Rebellion, Old Time Relijun, 2001
Time Bomb High School, Reigning Sound, 2002
Shake All Night, Fe Fi Fo Fums, 2006
Microcastle, Deerhunter, 2008

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Jacuzzi Boys - No Seasons

After a string of solid singles this Miami band knocks it out of the park with their long awaited debut LP. No Seasons is track after track of tight, high energy, garage pop. If ham-handed comparisons help you, then their sound is somewhere between good Brian Jonestown Massacre, sans the pretence, and good Black Lips, sans the nihilism. Seriously, they kill this LP and you are totally square unless you have it.

Jacuzzi Boys
No Seasons
(Florida's Dying, 2009)
Listin to Smells Dead via Weekly Tape Deck

Sample / Buy / Surf

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas in Heaven

For whatever reason, I found myself labouring over what, if anything, to post for this loathsome time of year. Most blogs are posting some sort of yuletide dreck, either opting for hip or campy or flat out lame. And then it occurred to me, like the brightest star in the night sky, that THIS is the only Christmas song I really care for.

Enjoy, cheers and
Happy holidays

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Best of 2009 Part 2 - Singles

Tandoori Knights (King Khan and Bloodshot Bill) – Norton Records
Personal and the Pizzas - Bubbledumb Records.
Fergus and Geronimo – Tic Tac Totally
Dead Ghosts/Smith Westerns (split) – Bachelor Records
Woods – Captured Tracks
Idle Times – Hozac Records
Johnny and the Limelites – Rocket Reducer Records
Ty Segall – Goner Records
Real Estate – Woodsist
Jacuzzi Boys/Woven Bones (split) - Needless Records
The White Wires – Trouble In Mind Records
Nice Face – Sacred Bones Records
Dum Dum Girls – Hozac Records
Vibes – Not For Fun
Bobby Ubangi – Douchemaster Records

Download all of ‘em here in one wonderful pod friendly package.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Spectrals – S/T 7"

Ello Ello, what's all this then? More throw-back fuzzy dream pop from a chap in Leeds who calls himself “L” (er, ya, he should get over that, fast). Regardless, it’s bloody good stuff really and well worth adding to your shuffle for a bit. Look for his full length LP in 2010.

Spectrals - 7"
(Captured Tracks, 2009)
List to Leave Me Be via Weekly Tape Deck

Sample / Buy / Surf

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Shannon and the Clams – I Wanna Go Home

These Oakland based misfits have captured the essence of trashy 50’s sock hop pop and given it the low-fi treatment. The LP reeks of hairspray, filthy porcelain ashtrays and your grandma’s plastic covered couch. If David Lynch every makes a sequel to Blue Velvet he’ll want to call these weirdoes for the soundtrack.

Shannon and the Clams
I Wanna Go Home
(1-2-3-4-Go Records, 2009)
Listin to You Can Come Over via Loud Vine

Sample / Buy / Surf

Monday, December 14, 2009

Best of 2009

1. Ganglians, Monster Head Room
2. The Oh Sees, Help
3. Ty Segall, Lemons
4. Woods, Songs of Shame
5. The Fresh and Onlys, S/T
6. Box Elders, Alice and Friends
7. The King Khan and BBQ Show, Invisible Girl
8. The Intelligence, Fake Surfers
9. Teenanger/Charlie and the Moonhearts
10. Nobunny, Raw Romance

Best Labels of 2009

1. Woodsist
2. In The Red
3. Captured Tracks
4. Goner Records
5. Hozac

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The King Khan & BBQ Show - Invisible Girl

The third LP from these guys doesn’t disappoint one damn bit. True, Invisible Girl is perhaps a little more polished than their two previous savage masterpieces, but nothing has been lost in the process. KK & BBQ have just got more tight and out and out Good! Two punkers on stage, often in drag, making crazy fun music together, what’s not to like? If you are unfamiliar with these heroes among men, Invisible Girl is the perfect departure point. Dive in.

The King Khan & BBQ Show
Invisible Girl
(In The Rec, 2009)
Listen to Invisible Girl via Walrus Music Blog

Sample / Buy / Surf

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Spencey Dude and The Doodles – Debut 7’’

If you are going to San Francisco, to hell with wearing flowers in your hair. Instead, go see Spencey Dude, that is, if you have a penchant for sloppy bubblegum garage rock. The Doodles are dripping with sappiness, unabashedly silly and recklessly careen off course and out of tune towards their inevitable fiery roadside end. So, you know, see ‘em now.
(Rob’s House Records, 2009)
Sample / Buy / Surf

where have all the postings been?

Sorry for the lack of postings. Been really sick. Still am really, but I'll see if I can get something new up for you.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Twerps - S/T Cassette

Here’s another gem from the magical land of Down Under. The Twerps are a four piece from Melbourne Australia that sound like English 80’s post punk, but with lot more garage fuzz, all on the miracle of cassette tape. There is a nice change up for what I think is the best song on the tape, Dance Alone, where the band pour on the cheesy 50’s high-school stylings. Australians, you never know what they will do next.

The Twerps
S/T Cassette
(Night People, 2009)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fergus and Geronimo - Blind Muslim Girl 7”

Jason Kelly (Wax Museums) and Andrew Savage (Teenage Cool Kids), two unkempt nerdlingers from Denton Texas with lot of buzz surrounding them. Check out this single, the better I think of the whopping two they have released so far, to hear what the hubbub is about. It’s good mix of all the right seasonings, soul, pop, garage, and I think I hear sage in there.

Fergus and Geronimo
Blind Muslim Girl 7"
(Tic Tac Totally, 2009)
Listen to Powerful Lovin via Weekly Tape Deck

Sample / Buy / Surf

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

White Mystery - Powerglove 7"

South Park’s Eric Cartman once postulated that “Gingers”, people with red hair, have no souls. To find proof to the contrary you need look no further than Chicago’s White Mystery, a duo consisting of the venerable Alex White of Alex White and the Red Orchestra fame and her little brother Francis. Alex sings like Grace Slick and makes her guitar snarl, while young Francis beats the drums like a mental patient. It’s a rip roar’n, foot stomp’n, hip shake’n garage attack that undoubtedly would be even better live. If only I lived in Chicago. (Hozac, 2009)

Sample here…

Buy here…

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Cave Weddings – Bring Your Love 7”

This is a three piece band out of Albany, New York with penchant for cute garage pop that sounds like its right out of 1964. Two guys and a girl making music that sounds like the Archies meets the Sonics, or some equally silly comparison. Eric LaGrange’s presence in the band may interest some who remember him from such bands as the Romance Novels. But don’t expect anything like the Novels here, these songs are tight, rocking and gosh gee willikers, pretty fucking swell. (Hozac, 2009)

Sample here…

Buy here…

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Super Wild Horses – 6 Song EP 7"

These two ladies from Melbourne Australia make a garage rock sound so primitive that it ultimately mirrors their inhospitable continent; harsh, venomous, ablaze, but irresistibly beautiful. The girls rip and tare at their instruments like two sexy ayatollahs of rock and rollas. It’s loud, disjointed, stripped down to the wires but crackling with soul. (Aarght! Records,2009)

Sample here…

Buy here…

The White Wires – Pretty Girl 7”

Here is some more great music from the Great White North. The White Wires are an adorable little three piece band hailing from Ottawa who play super charged, supper fun, super catchy power pop tunes guaranteed to make you move. Crazy kids. Go to their shows, buy their swag. (Trouble In Mind, 2009)

Sample here…

Buy here…

Real Estate - S/T LP

The much anticipated debut LP from this New Jersey band is certainly worth picking up. Simple melodies are slowed down, baked in the sun, medicated with corona and weed and numbed with monotony to create a sort of Sunny Afternoon Nap Pop. Call it what you like, there is a lot of this fuzzy indie low-fi being made these days, but Real Estate, though perhaps not the best choice for long late night car rides, stands out as premo stuff. (Woodsist, 2009)

Sample here…

Buy here…

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Soundtrack Your Halloween 2009

Tijuana Bibles – Fist of Fury

Perhaps my favourite masked wrestling band, the Bibles were from right here in Toronto until their last show on April 14th, 2007. Not that I am suggesting anything here, but Leather Upper fans might notice a vocal similarity between Craig Daniels and Bibles front man, “The Crippler.” The Tijuana Bibles put out 4 fantastic albums in total, all of them mainly revolving around wrestling, kung-fu, monsters and chicks. Fist of Fury stands out as the Bibles best. One of my happiest Halloween memories is seeing them live at Toronto’s Bovine Sex Club. They are missed. (Trophy Records, 2004)


Roky Erikson – Evil One

For those of you who don’t know the story of Roky, this is the abridged form. Roky Erikson was in a 60’s psyche-rock band call the 13th Floor Elevators and some say they were destined for greatness. But Erikson took too much LSD and went insane and was locked away in an insane asylum where he was diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic and given involuntary electro shock treatment. When he came out he thought he was an alien or something and in the 70’s he formed a band called Roky Erikson and the Aliens and started singing about the monsters, the devil etc. There is a good documentary on all this called “You're Gonna Miss Me”. Anyway, he was recently saved from a life of craziness by his brother and is currently on tour again. I recently had the honour of seeing him at Toronto’s Lee’s Palace. (Sympathy for the Record Industry, 2002)


The Mummies – Never Been Caught

It can’t be Halloween without the Mummies. One of the best garage rock revival bands of the 90’s, their raw sound and mad stage antics are the stuff of legends. Never Been Caught is probably their best, with “Sooprize Package for Mr Mineo” being my personal favourite song on this low-fi masterpiece. (Telstar, 1992)


John Carpenter – Prince of Darkness

Steven Spielberg, it should be noted, didn’t compose the famous Jaws soundtrack. Nor did Sergio Leone, great though he was, compose the soundtrack for The Good the Bad and The Ugly. And it goes without saying that Stanley Kubrick didn’t compose 2001. John Carpenter, on the other hand, composed and performed the now somewhat famous soundtrack for his classic slasher flick Halloween, as he did for almost every movie he directed. One such movie is Prince of Darkness, a forgotten Carpenter, er, gem, that I had the pleasure of seeing recently on the big screen at Toronto’s Revue Cinema. Like all Carpenter soundtracks, Prince of Darkness is minimalist, synthesizer gold! You can almost taste the foreboding. (AHI Records, 1987)


Count Floyd

Awesome beyond my ability to articulate. (RCA, that’s right RCA, 1982)


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Lover! - No Dreams Please EP

Memphis son now Chicago resident Rich Crook (The Reatards, Lost Sounds, The Knaughty Knights) has a new 6 song EP with distinctly different sound from his previous record, the hard rocking, power pop’n Gathered in a Graveyard.

No Dreams Please continues in the direction Crook carved out last year with a plethora of single releases; a little less punk, a little more glamy, 1970’s style pop rock. You can really hear it in particular on the final track of the EP, Downstairs to Hell, with its cheesy Jethro Tull flute and it’s crescendoing, Zep-odramic guitar wank off, it’s hard not to air guitar along with.

If you are looking to hear the Reatards you best to steer clear of this one; everyone else should defiantly check it out. (Big Legal Mess Records, 2009)

Sample here...

Buy here...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

King Louie & The Loose Diamonds - Memphis Treet

This is an album from a few years ago by Louisiana born King Louie and the Loose Diamonds. It’s long out of print, but I scored a copy of Memphis Treet on eBay and it came in the mail today. The closest I have ever come to finding religion came when the needle hit the bright blue vinyl of this record.

“King” Louie Bankston is renowned for his regular gig as a one man band, but here he teams up with The Loose Diamonds, an all star line-up that features the legendary Jack Yarber (The Oblivians), Harlan T. Bobo, Adam Woodard (Tennessee Tearjerkers), and Chad Booth (Kajun SS).

The resulting sound is, or so the jacket cover says, a mix of power pop and “Memphis grease.” Indeed, this is dirty, grimy, back ally southern fried rock ’n’ roll guaranteed to bring out the trailer trash that lay dormant in all of us. Particularly awesome is a cover of The Exploding Hearts song “Shattered”, re-imagined here as “Gypsy Switch”. Bankston was in The Exploding Hearts, so I guess he has license to turn that punk classic into a truck stop opus.

I had the pleasure of seeing Loose Diamonds in Memphis recently at Gonerfest and let me tell you, this music was made to hear live while consuming copious amounts of Pabst Blue Ribbon. If you ever have the chance to see King Louie live, or buy one of his records, I suggest you do. And if you don’t like this album, even secretly, just a little, well then there is clearly something wrong with you. (Empty Records, 2007)

Sample here...

Buy here...

Monday, October 26, 2009

Johnny and The Limelites - And Then We Kissed 7"

I adore this record. The Limelites follow up thier goofy, za-obsessed, no-fi masterpiece “Pizza Party” with another budget rock gem to warm your cockles of your artery clogged heart.

Being from Chicago, the land of the deep dish, The Limelites know that just like their favourate pizza, garage rock is always best when it’s covered in gooey steamy cheese and boy does this record have plenty of that.

The b side’s ultra sappy “Let’s Stay in Tonight” is guaranteed to hit you right square in your nerd G-Spot. It's almost a whole new genre of music, lets call it Ramada Inn Lounge Punk. (Rocket Reducer, 2009)

Sample here...

Buy here...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

GG King - Drug Zoo 7"

One great Atlanta band dies, another is born. Not that the famed Carbonas are done for good, but with guitarist “Gentleman” Jesse Smith working on his solo stuff, band mates Greg King and the gang have reformed.

Enter GG King. Rising from the ashes of the Carbonas like some vicious punk rock bird of prey, GG King attacks, claws and gnaws the musical landscape with equal parts guile and aggression.

The single’s title track, Drug Zoo, is an instant classic and the b side cover of that old Box Tops chestnut The Letter is sure to be a crowd pleaser. (Rob’s House Records, 2009)

Sample here...

Buy here...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Primitive Hands - Split Mind 7''

Stripped down and dirty, that’s how they do it in Montreal. As proof, check out this sweet single from Primitive Hands, a side project of Brian Hildebrand of the fantastic Demons Claws.

Not much in the way of production values here, just raw, unpolished, quite possibility inebriated bluesy rock and roll.

Vive le Québec libre!
(Tic Tac Totally, 2009)

Sample here...

Buy here...

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Max Elliott - The Nature o’ Nature 7"

Now this is Folk music, raw, passionate and half insane. It sounds like something out of the 20’s, sung along railroad tracks, by a fire under a bridge, in the backwoods of American South, on a chain gang or on a picket line.

Max Elliott is a Wisconsin boy, where he also plays in the Psychedelic/Ambient band the Absinthe Minds and he is also the brother of Zola Jesus. To date, he has only one other release, in cassette format, by Jerkwave Tapes, long sold out. However he has a forthcoming tape on Night People.

Along with the single, I have included a few tracks I recorded off myspace. Enjoy. (Sacred Bones Records, 2009)

Sample here...

Buy here...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gonerfest 6 - Memphis 2009

Here are a few random snaps from the trip to Gonerfest 6 in Memphis that I have been meaning to post. If you have never been, and you like underground garage rock, or you are just looking for crazy fun weekend, I would highly recommend Memphis and Gonerfest.