Showing posts from January, 2018

Notes From The Record Room: Quarter-Century Nod to the American Jesus...

As a perpetually bummed out teenager, I’d like to pretend that I wasn’t culling my chosen social identity from MTV’s hit parade, but that wouldn’t be true. I was as tuned in as most of my peers, especially once the channel began to venture beyond the plasticity of pop music and expose us sheltered types to the language, garb, culture, and sounds of the underground. The college set of the late 80s were already up on 120 Minutes , but us budding types were suddenly becoming hip to it as well, a younger generation now fascinated with Seattle’s dirt rockers and a sudden slew of maverick bands whose preceding years of blood and sweat was suddenly paying off. You know the rest. In 1994, the same year Green Day released its major label colossus, Dookie , I pulled the cellophane off of a CD called Stranger Than Fiction , another major label debut but from a veteran band whose origins dated back as far as 80s hardcore. The band was Bad Religion . As the majors continued to hit

What's (Re)New?: Tom Waits — Elektra/Asylum Catalogue

The first time I heard Nighthawks at the Diner , I was immediately a Tom Waits fan.  My dad recorded that album on a cassette along with three or four cuts from 1980's Heartattack & Vine to fill the available room left on the b-side.  I was just in love with its mood, more or less aching to be in that crowd, hearing Waits offer tribute to the "bachelors and the bowery bums" not to the mention the "gyspy hacks, the insomniacs."  I could almost the smell the secondhand smoke from that performance as surely as I could hear its content via playback.  This album is probably the reason I like diners as much as I do.  Needless to say, with Nighthawks acting as precipice, I willfully dove into Waits's extensive canon armed with more blank cassettes, beginning with his earliest work, hitting 1999's Mule Variations when it was a new release and then eventually looking back to the Island years.  My pattern of Waits discovery was more of a zigzag in t

No Age: "Send Me"

Myself currently employed at a corporate entity, I've certainly been exposed to and/or required to attend the sort of soul-sucking meetings addressed in the latest No Age video for the song, "Send Me."  I will say, though, I haven't had to be taught how to use a stapler, so this video certainly depicts a level of day job hell I've yet to experience.  As far as the song, "Send Me" is the type of glossy, lo-fidelity track No Age is known to produce, jangly riffs and a quivering tonal backdrop that deepens the duo's sound.  This song is featured in the band's Drag City debut, Snares Like A Haircut , which is releasing January 26th. Check out the video below.  All info on the release was provided by mutante-inc.  No Age Save The People Looking for an escape from the thundering monotony of the nine-to-five? Sign up for the New No Age, Snares Like A Haircut ! The album is classic No Age - well considered from several angles, and handsomel

Ever Heard of Terminal Mind?

I guess it's not uncommon to begin a new year by taking a good, hard look back. Introspection can be a positive thing, especially if, upon assessing the current musical climate, one believes there to be a need to reintroduce what's been unfortunately forgotten. Super Secret Records saw fit to start off 2018 by putting out a compilation of long sought after material from the Austin, Texas punk act, Terminal Mind , whose art-infused interpretation of the punk medium found permanence, albeit obscure and rare, as a 4-song 7." These tracks now appear alongside previously unreleased live and studio tracks, so there's no longer any need to go online, scanning through the wares of virtual merchants seeking to rob you of every hard-earned dollar. Having given the album a listen, which is simply titled Recordings , I thought there were aspects of Terminal Mind's sound that shared some commonalities with the Boston area hardcore and indie rock scenes of the early to m

Oh, 2017... Where Have You Gone?

It’s been 2018 for a week now. The intensity of the Holidays often leaves very little time for me to reflect on the prior year or get my list of favorite albums posted before everyone's touching champagne glasses in honor of the next 365 days, so hopefully you won't have any difficulty ingesting yet another one of these. I'm at least far enough away from mid-December's EOY onslaught that maybe you've had time to breathe before giving this list a gander. Or, maybe it's an irrelevant list at this point and I'm wasting my time. Either way, let's talk 2017: For the annual "Omissions & Lamentations" category, probably my biggest, most venial sin was not checking out Mount Eerie ’s A Crow Looked At Me , which was Phil Elverum ’s conceptual tribute to his recently deceased wife, Geneviève Castrée ( Ô PAON ). Sometimes, with the amount of music that hits my inbox over the course of the year, the obvious or essential records wind up being pu