Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Melvins The Maggot
The Melvins The Bootlicker
The Melvins The Crybaby
The Modern Lovers s/t
Corleone 10 Yrs Everything I Own Is Broken Or Bent comp DVD

The Melvins put out so much stuff and I'm pretty sure it's all worth hearing (even when it's not worth hearing - they're one of those kinda bands) but The Maggot, from 1999, is the last one I really paid attention to and I'm still chewing on it. "AMAZON" is one of their greatest jams and the whole album is heavy and satisfying in a classic almost-no-bullshit Melvins way. I remember when this album came out it was the rage of the pizza place I worked at. Every delivery driver had a dubbed cassette of it for their car and we would come back from deliveries humming the riff from "AMAZON" and other workers would start humming along while working, sorta like we were in a musical. It was part of a conceptual trilogy of releases that came out within a few months of each other on the Ipecac label, in fact referred to as "The Trilogy". I liked the quiet record too (The Bootlicker), also a good delivery-driving soundtrack, but I never did hear The Crybaby until today (more on that in a minute). They actually came to town on the Trilogy tour (this is Lincoln, Nebraska so cool touring shows were pretty rare) and no less than three delivery drivers called in sick that night to go to the show. I was the third - not too cool, even though my shift was only a 5 to 8 (it was an early all-ages show). I told the shift manager I couldn't make it and he just said, "Oh, you're going to the Melvins too? [big sigh] We'll be fine." The show was amazing - they played two sets with no opening act, and the first set was their 'annoying and/or cover songs' set, starting out with a impressively straight-faced cover of "Tequila", moving on to things like "Okie From Muskogee," a few songs from the The Bootlicker, asking for a volunteer to come up and sing a song that turned out to be "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and amidst it all raging through a barnstormingly awesome and note-perfect version of "Now I'm Here" by Queen. They all wore like hooded friar's robes (except Dale who of course wore nothing but a speedo) and bassist Kevin Rutmanis (ex-Cows, a Lincoln native, he had family in the audience!) had shaved off his eyebrows. ("It's a good look," he said off-mic when Buzz pointed it out.) After about 45 minutes of this goofery they left for intermission, and then the second set was inaugurated with touring guitarist David Scott Stone (a founding member of Get Hustle and the increasingly legendary Slug as well as a reknowned Los Angeles noise/etc musician) walking out and laying down a solo amp-hugging mad-scientist noise piece that seemed to last for about 25 minutes before Buzz came out, adding free-form dirge guitar for what seemed like another 29 minutes, and then Kevin and Dale came out and I swear they went right into something like "Night Goat" and proceeded to go OFF from there for at least an hour straight, Melvins play the hits, one dirge-pummeling epic after another, including "AMAZON". I think the only classic they didn't play was the "Hung Bunny"/"Roman Dog Bird" suite. Today I listened to the whole trilogy back-to-back and it brought back this fine show-going memory. The Maggot and The Bootlicker still sound excellent. I'm hearing The Crybaby for the first time today and it definitely has its moments but I'm not too crazy about it. I do like the 14-minute song that Tool plays on, it's pretty gross and noisy and it has a phone conversation where someone (probably someone in Tool, maybe even Maynard!) says of someone "she has a voice like a fuckin' modem, dude!," which is amazing. After sitting down and watching a good chunk of this new DVD on Corleone Records that puts together almost two hours worth of music-video-type footage by bands on their roster, I was thinking how all the eccentricity and obscurity and creativity reminded me of watching Night Flight when I was 13. I kept skipping around, checking out different things, and ended up watching a video by Ukes of Spaces Corners County with the commentary track on (the DVD has two or three different ones), when one of the commentators said, "This reminds me of watching Night Flight when I was 13." And even if I don't know or care about all the Corleone bands, that's a pretty special warm feeling. Fuck YouTube, I wish there was a nationwide TV channel that was programmed with just random weird post-punk post-everything music stuff. C'mon, it can be from midnight to 8AM, just let me do it. And when you do let me, I'll definitely bring along a copy of this Corleone thing for the library, because there are quite a few careworthy bands on here - the aforementioned Ukes, the great Barnacled whose live performance clip is ridiculous, Mindflayer, Snake Apartment (hilarious weirdo clip with disgusting 'special effects' and is that a southern boogie undercurrent I detect in the music?), Colin Langenus from USA is a Monster, the rather crazy Landed (live clip from like 1999 and Brian Gibson of Lightning Bolt is a pretty terrific drummer), Night Wounds, an impressively progged-out live clip of Alec K. Redfearn & the Eyesores, hip-hop duo Lorna Doom, and more (I haven't seen everything on here yet).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about that sort of TV station and how it's weird how much youtube or or (probably) all suck, despite making so many rare videos/performances/whatever available. It's not just the shitty sound and picture, either, (although that is a big part of it), it's that it puts too much power in the viewers hands. You don't have to watch more than thirty seconds of something because you can always go back and watch it later. I would rather sit through a few videos of someone I didn't really care about to get to that awesome video I really care about than to be able to directly access it any time I want and be distracted the whole viewing time by all the options of what else to watch.

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