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Showing posts from October, 2009

Happy Halloween!

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Hope everyone has a safe and happy day of marauding homes, pillaging chocolates and freaking out the neighbors. In the words of The Misfits : Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Chuck Biscuits (1965-?) UPDATE!

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D.O.A. ’s Joe Keithley has gone on record that reports of Chuck Biscuits’s demise are false. There’s an article at Straight.com . In the meantime, if Biscuits is alive and well, can someone update his Facebook ? Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Chuck Biscuits (1965-?)

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I received a text message earlier today from my brother about the "late" Chuck Biscuits , a drummer whose credits include Black Flag , Danzig , D.O.A , Social Distortion and Circle Jerks to name a few. Immediately bummed about the news, I sought out and found a few articles that claimed he'd died after a long battle with lung cancer at the age of 44. But, that's changed... There have been reports that Chuck Biscuits may be alive and that the entire story could be a hoax. As of yet, neither story's been confirmed. The story in NME ... The story at Punknews.org ... The story at Spinner ... So, no grieving just yet. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Them Crooked Vultures

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Queens of the Zeppelin Nirvana Foo... The super trio of Josh Homme , Dave Grohl and John Paul Jones , Them Crooked Vultures , posted their new single, "New Fang," a couple days ago. To put it obviously, "New Fang" is exactly what you would expect from such a direct marriage between Zeppelin and the Queens, a happy and heavy thump thump that incorporates Homme's grab bag of inspiration with Jones's natural arena blues inclination. Abandoning the Foo Fight for a little while, Grohl seems to typically mesh well with Homme, as QOTSA's Songs For The Deaf readily and ably confirms. With "New Fang" a decent enough preview, I think it's safe to say that Them Crooked Vultures sounds more exciting and dignified than a Zeppelin reunion would have. Their self-titled debut will be released November 17th on Interscope. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: The Jesus Lizard

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The Jesus Lizard Pure/Head/Goat/Liar/Down Reissues Touch and Go Released: 10.6.09 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Warpaint (...again)

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A couple months ago, I posted a track from Warpaint 's new EP, Exquisite Corpse , and properly kissed the collective ass of song and band. Today, I'm posting their video for the song, "Stars," and properly kissing the collective ass of song, band and video. Fifteen, maybe sixteen, years ago, Warpaint would’ve been one of those bands that I’d have played over and over again, awestruck and engaged by the poignancy and mystifying beauty of what they do. Music was more visceral to me back then, as it is with anybody when pubescence takes hold and the realities of the “real world” have yet to sink their jaded teeth into your psyche, withdrawing the emotional attachments one has before they’ve seen and done it all. Even the video, the band more or less fairytale frolicking through the ashes of Angeles National Forest, sparklers and playful childhood exhibition, both innocent and sincere... I don’t know. I think this band makes me nostalgic for discovery. As ofte

Boris Put Out Some Singles and Make Some Hits…

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Boris Japanese Heavy Rock Hits Vol. 1-3 7” Southern Lord Released: 9.09 (Vol. 1), 10.09 (Vol. 2), 11.09 (Vol. 3) Rating: 7.75 out of 10 It’s actually not too off-putting that Boris decided to dub their new series of 7” releases as “hits.” The Japanese drone trio has tapped into the manufactured mainstream to come up with their own variation on the pop genre while utilizing a “singles” format. They combine 80s hair metal, glam rock, somber chick rock and then bookend it with the more familiar aspects of their sound. The word “heavy” is included for a reason, as this 3 part series isn’t meant to abandon the brand of sludge that Boris is typically known for, just take it somewhere else for a little while. Though 2008’s Smile made the mistake of allowing their signature mire to obscure what was going on musically, Boris was at the same time positioning themselves to do more than just make loud noises. Although 2005’s Pink had already communicated a fondness for genre hopping,

Shopping For Records #19: Bleach Is Twenty...

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1989 was twenty years ago. Although the realization had set in when Sub Pop claimed those numbers a year ago , twenty being the number where "modern" becomes "antique," the idea that an album like Bleach , (or a band like Nirvana ), could reach the point of "classic" is humbling to someone like me. Photo courtesy of Sub Pop Records In a few weeks, I'll be reviewing the album's reissue. As essential as the album was to my teenage years, I don't want to blow my introspective/analytical/fanboy wad on what is meant to be an announcement, so I'll say this: November 3rd, Bleach is being reissued in honor of its twentieth year. It will be released as both a CD/double-LP with new artwork (as in "never seen before") and a live performance (as in "never heard before"). The double-LP will be available in white vinyl, as was the case when Bleach had been first pressed twenty years ago. Since you're here, why not e

Breakfast at Sulimay's: Episodes 30, 31 & 32

Modest Mouse & Willie Nelson with Norah Jones The Big Pink and Gold Panda DJ Tiesto and Volcano Choir Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: Locrian

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Locrian Drenched Lands At War With False Noise/Small Doses Released: 7.15.09 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Sun Boxes

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I received an email a couple days ago from Craig Colorusso , (member of a band called, MUUD ), about a sound installation called, Sun Boxes . Information is somewhat lacking, but Important Records ( Grails , Acid Mother’s Temple , Sic Alps ) seems to be sponsoring the event. Image taken from MUUD Flickr page. Basically, Colorusso sets up twenty speakers, all powered by solar energy, that will each play a different guitar sample as the sun activates them. So, over the course of the day, a composition is generated that an audience can basically walk around and experience from within the “orchestra.” The installation is taking place this weekend at The North Shore of Boston, Saturday, October 17th. Were I in the neighborhood, I’d definitely check this out. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

A Band Named ZUU…

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ZUU Everywhere Self-released Released: 5.12.09 Rating: 7.75 out of 10 Can you take me there? Can you give me more? Can you include any more appropriate questions in your album? Questions that I ask of any album I listen to? More than a month of listening to Everywhere , the self-released sophomore album from Cali trio, ZUU , (their drummer is credited as an “additional musician”), and I’m still objectively uncertain about my feelings toward it. At times, it’s unsettling to hear something this well done. ZUU is a really tight band, churning out nineties-stalgic sex appeal, licks and glam’d out riffs that would entice the deaf. Everywhere provides Everything: alt pop near-ballads, smooth rock n’ roll, psych atmospheric nuance, experimentalism sans distraction. ZUU is what Sonic Youth would sound like if they really had sold out and I’m aware of how insulting that sounds. To put it another way, they have all the heart and the vision, but seem light on the grit. And, th

What I Heard This Morning: Birds & Batteries

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It would be impossible for me to talk about this band, San Francisco electro-funk quartet, Birds & Batteries , without employing the same list of ever-tapped comparables: Kraftwerk , Talking Heads , Devo ... etc. I will say though that Birds & Batteries take the CBGB art band formula and apply some second wave D.C. hardcore aesthetics, creating an emo synth pop hybrid that sounds noir-ish, clean and accessible. "The Villain" is taken from their new EP, Up To No Good , which comes out in November. ”The Villain” Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead