Thursday, December 13, 2007

Swanor/Scraps of Dogs C20 split
Robedoor "Pained Seer" C30
Fucked Up "Hidden World" mp3s
McLusky "The Difference Between You & Me Is That I'm Not On Fire" mp3s
Charlie Parker "Bird at the Hi-Hat" CD

The two tapes are on a new-to-me label from the Bay Area (I think?) called Caligulan. I have not heard of Swanor or Scraps of Dogs, so listened to that one first -- Swanor does fairly run-of-the-mill semi-melodic creepy-soundtrack fare, they could be good but I can't really tell from this release. It IS as good as that KTL3 LP. Scraps of Dogs show more potential with two deeply fuzzed-out horror-movers. Still nothing that, say, Wolf Eyes weren't doing, say, five years ago, but I would check out more, Scraps of Dogs particularly. As for Robedoor, at this point in the season they've pretty much got the Western Conference locked up, but it's still interesting to tune in just to see HOW they win, or if there happens to be a rare upset....after all, "Pained Seer" does seem like a title verging on self-parody, or maybe just continuing in a line of intentional humorousness from such gems as "Wretched Yeti" and "Stoner Reaper". This tape may not be the smoothest game they've played, but they still come away with a victory. Seems more synth/keyboard-heavy than I'm used to from them (but then I'm not really sure what the hell the instrumentation is with Robedoor), the side two jam particularly, built around an excellent doom synth line... okay, okay, here we go: this "game" was tied at "halftime" but in the "second half" they pulled away for another decisive "victory" by breaking out the "doom synth" offense... there, I knew I could maintain this metaphor....jeez, I haven't even watched sports for 20 years... nice packaging on both of these Caligulan releases, BTW, kodak photos as J-cards (gives me a flashback to the early cassette-label days of Celebrate Psi Phenomenon!), spray-painted on the inside, with other nice touches. The Robedoor tape comes with a Magic the Gathering card! (Goofballs.) First time I've actually sat down to listen to Fucked Up "Hidden World" beginning to end....and then I had to leave for an hour after like the second song. (I'm at work.) But the album is so long I still got to hear a nice chunk. It's powerful. The singer has a great voice but it seems to only have one setting. The band chugs along real well with a weird rockabilly twang lurking on the fringes. (Am I crazy? Whatever it is I like it.) Coworker was surprised they were from Canada, he said they had a "Boston sound." Speaking of coworker he plays McLusky a lot, as he did today, and I get a kick out of it. A lot of jokes, like "Note to self! Be erect by half past ten!" and the one I just noticed today for the first time when they sing "Our old singer is a sex criminal" for the last The Charlie Parker disc is another work stand-by, so good, one of the great founts of music, right up there with Coltrane, Shankar, Fahey, etc. This disc is a rough-and-ready live-on-the-radio thing from 1953 and 1954.

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