Showing posts from November, 2008

Maus Haus: Rigid Breakfast

So, this is a pretty wild track from Maus Haus , a somewhat strange combination of Kraftwerk industrial consistency meeting up with the progressive edge of some Nuggets based psych band like Count Five . Interesting sci-fi theremin. Their album, Lark Marvels , is slated for release early next year. "Rigid Breakfast" Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

A Post-Hardcore Revival: Foals & French Miami

Foals Antidotes Sub Pop Released: 4.8.08 Rating: 7.5 out of 10 French Miami s/t Dinner Party Records Released: 11.18.08 Rating: 8 out of 10 When the fists stopped flying around the mid-eighties, allowing for some of the crooked noses to set and the flowing blood to scab over after the turbulence of the hardcore days, a wave of desired artistic growth and possible boredom with the scene led to the formation of post-hardcore. Post-hardcore groups, mostly those of late-80s Dischord era ( Rites Of Spring , Fugazi ) or mid-80s SST ( Hüsker Dü , Meat Puppets , later evolutions of Black Flag via the enlightenment of Greg Ginn ), were noise-allegiant but turned on to melody which, in most cases, was avoided when it was all about yelling, screaming and going really fucking fast. The sounds of post-punk has seemed the basis for inspiration within the indie rock scene these days, evoking Joy Division s a-many, with Public Image disco beats aplenty. Oxford, England’s Foals , debuting in early

Eagles of Death Metal: “CAN YOU DIG IT?!?”

The Duke Spirit Eagles of Death Metal The Note West Chester, PA 11.20.08 It only took four days for the buzzing in my ears to cease. Photo by Kii Arens I got to the West Chester club, The Note, (owned by figurative and literal Jackass Bam Margera ), around 7:45 Thursday evening amidst thick snow flurries and chilled November air. Waiting for my brother to arrive, I was talking to a friend when Jesse “Electric Boots” Hughes walked by, a rockabilly Fraggle of a man with there-for-show sunglasses propped onto his nose. The guy was all smiles and as pleasant as any amicable acquaintance, going out of his way to make conversation with the winter-bound filter suckers braving the air to appease their nico-demons. My friend managed to get an autograph on her ticket stub. I had will-call tickets, so I had nothing scribble-worthy to present. Missed opportunity; fuck will-call tickets. Margera, flanked by his local comrades and star struck suburban boppers, was also at the show that night p

No Ripcord: Guns N' Roses

Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy Interscope Released: 11.23.08 In light of the "monumental" release of Guns N' Roses ' Chinese Democracy , the entire No Ripcord staff was asked to chip in their two cents regarding the album. Hopefully, as the week moves forward, more reviews will be made available. No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: Robert Wyatt

Robert Wyatt Rock Bottom Domino Originally released: 7.26.74 Reissued: 10.28.08 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

The Gutter Twins: Live at the TLA

Afterhours The Gutter Twins Theater of Living Arts Philadelphia, PA 11.5.08 Photo by Sam Holden Weather related traffic was part of the reason. Needing some dinner before the show was another. And then there was the task of actually navigating South Street in its torn up and tire shredding condition. When all was said and done, my friends and I arrived at the TLA in time to hear the last two songs from the opening band, Afterhours . Clear Dixies of amber firmly in our palms, we watched the opener and remained unimpressed. The fact that they sang in Italian somehow made them intolerable in that “we should sound like Dashboard Confessional so the American girls want to lay us” kind of way. Traffic, for once, wound up a blessing. When The Gutter Twins took the stage, it was all applause amongst the maybe sixty of us standing around. Red overhead lights stuck to Greg Dulli , who took banter duty, (at one point he told us all, “I am happy. And I won $500 on the Phillies, motherfu

Miriam Makeba (1932-2008)

South African singer, Miriam Makeba , died November 9th after suffering a heart attack during a live performance. She was 76. Miriam Makeba performing “Pata Pata” Though not very well versed in Makeba’s work, I’m aware of her opposition to apartheid and her significance as a cultural fountainhead who adorned the world with the music of her homeland. Due to her vocal protest of apartheid, Makeba was exiled from South Africa for a little over thirty years. Miriam Makeba performing “Kilimanjaro” Performing in honor of six African immigrants slaughtered by the Italian Camorra mafia, Makeba collapsed and could not be revived. South African President, Nelson Mandela , who allowed her passage back into South Africa in 1990, said of Makeba, "It was fitting that her last moments were spent on a stage, enriching the hearts and lives of others - and again in support of a good cause." Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

No Longer the Indian of the Group: RIP Jimmy Carl Black

Listening to We’re Only In It For The Money , one of the largest jewels in the extensive crown that is Frank Zappa ’s legacy, the spoken quote, “Hi Boys and Girls, I'm Jimmy Carl Black , and I'm the Indian of the group" springs up here and there and is one of the more memorable aspects of the album. Jimmy Carl Black, indeed of Cheyenne heritage, was Zappa’s drummer in the original Mothers Of Invention . Having been diagnosed with lung cancer, Jimmy passed away on Saturday, November 1st at the age of 70. Jimmy Carl Black performing “Lonesome Cowboy Burt” from the film 200 Motels On his website, it reads, “Jimmy passed away peacefully last night Saturday 11/01/08 at 11:00 o'clock pm. Jimmy says hi to everybody and he doesn't want anybody to be sad.” After the Mothers dissolved, Jimmy did continue to work with Zappa on a sporadic basis, appearing in his movie, 200 Motels and working on later albums like 1981’s You Are What You Is . He also worked with two Zappa-ba

Sic Alps: The Summary of an Entity Born in the Wrong Era

Sic Alps A Long Way Around To A Shortcut Animal Disguise Records Compiled & Released: 5.13.08 Rating: 10 out of 10 U.S. EZ Slitbreeze Released: 7.15.08 Rating: 9.5 out of 10 The Garage Rock Revival of the early millennium was a pretty significant, though somewhat short lived, musical movement that brought back unpolished, barebones sound aesthetics and fell back on age old recording techniques and equipment. Spawning the sudden relevance of a ton of ”The…” bands, The White Stripes remaining at its forefront, the genre reeked of 60s era Nuggets imitators that easily regurgitated elementary chords and shoddily mic’d drum sounds, which really wasn’t a bad thing. For a while, I was happy about it. Despite being faced with a lot of Kinks rip-offs, it was good to hear the basics back on the radio: bands at least SOUNDING like they were thinking less about sugarcoated production and adhering to more of the DIY/raw sounds of 60s Proto/Garage Rock. As far as I was concerned

MacKaye and Moore discuss "Indie;" The Tapehead Gets Nostalgic

Crawdaddy , still a force to be reckoned with in terms of content, reviews and general rock knowledge, had an interesting article featuring a Q & A session with Ian MacKaye and Thurston Moore regarding Independent culture in terms of publishing, music and literature. If you're interested in checking it out, click here . I would probably trade ten years of my life to know firsthand what it was like to come up in their respective worlds, where information was sought out and hard won, vinyl and cassettes were precious and the record stores were swelling with enlightened teenagers ready to do damage on their secondhand Strats. The albums back then...It's overwhelming to think about. I find myself sometimes nostalgic for an era or a feeling I was too young to understand or appreciate. With THIS era, I sometimes feel too out of touch to understand or appreciate it. But, at least I'm trying. If there's any consolation to be had, it's that the music still matter