Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Well a Happy New Year to all of you, may it be half as happy as mine, sitting here home alone tonight cleaning up the house (believe me, it's intentional and I love it), finally getting to a bunch of vinyl that's been sitting in a hidden away stack by my stereo for well over a year, probably well over two years. Okay, okay, it's been THREE YEARS in some cases. It's these records that all came out at about the same time, mid-late 2005 seems about right, and I tell ya, I don't usually get too negative on the ole blog here, but I haven't even gotten to a side two yet with any of these. I keep taking them off instead of flipping them over because they're all this same sort of annoying shriek-tactic art-school (or wanna-be art-school) tantrum-punk. First record was by An Albatross (I can't show you the 'rad' and 'gnarly' silkscreened monster/thing on the cover because I can't find an image online but the album is called Freedom Summer Live if you wanna research it yourself). I didn't even make it through the first side. Next was Abe Vigoda. I know people like them, and it was a better album -- I made it through all of Side A -- but I still didn't see the point. I mean, it punk rocks along all right, but I'm just not getting any specific soul or nuance from it, and the singer doesn't seem to be saying anything as he sort of hum-yells his way along in a strictly sub-instrumental role that might as well be wordless. There's skill and cleverness in the playing and the guitar/bass/drums arrangements and the way the parts move and interlock and forge ahead, sure, and I imagine they can put on an exciting show, but I'll put this one (even with its stylin' Not Not Fun silk-screened and hand-sewn and marbled-vinyl package) in the sell pile. Let me know if you want it... After Abe Vigoda I put on this crazy (great) looking picture disc (lots of cats) by a Bay Area band called So So Many White White Tigers whom I remember hearing about circa 2005... I see that Chris Woodhouse recorded it, I like his bands like Karate Party and the Mayyors, but this So So Many band is just not my cup of songwriting tea, nothing but stiffly fast caterwaul and meaningless aggro. I made it through all of Side A but I think only because it's a 45 RPM. Jeez, what is up with this music?? I'm really glad that around 2006 the weird underground rediscovered KBD or soul music or something, because I feel like the music that's been bubbling up since then has gotten more listenable overall... even when this newer so-called "weird punk" is generic (and it often is), at least it's not constantly frantic-times-ten, at least it can slow down to a fast trot and groove a little (like the aforementioned Mayyors), at least the singers occasionally make an actual statement involving words, ideas, or feelings, and sometimes they're even good enough to do it via actual musical phrasing... instead of just shrieks or aggro sounds. Funny, next record on the pile was Prescribed Burning by the Hair Police... now this is a band I actually listened to and liked in 2005, but I haven't listened to 'em too much lately, and I was like "Hmm, they do shrieks and aggro too, maybe I won't like this anymore," but you know what, this is a much better record than the last three, simply because Hair Police are a much better band. I mean it's not Hair Police's best, maybe not even in their top five, but it's got QUIET PARTS. It's a record that remembers that human beings BREATHE. And it's still plenty noisy too, take that all you 2005 aggro art punkers.

1 comment:

Benjamin Parrish said...

ha! great post! i remember seeing so so many white white tigers in 06 on a porch in olympia and thinking it was one of the most generic trying to be weird punk bands ever. the singer could have been singing "look at me look at me" for all i know... yikes. oh well, at least weird forest (the label that put this out) put out those good yellow swans, inca ore, and wooden wand records to make up for this one.

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