Women – “Eyesore”

Starting off with an icy cold, choppy guitar riff redolent of the mighty Crescent, but sounding echoey and timeless like when you’d play your dad’s 45′s on a toy record player, the fabric of Women’s sound is so different than what the ear has been trained to expect in a time of AutoTune and ProTools. Tension slowly builds, the song dissolves and then reconstitutes itself, this time as a slice of teenage heartbreak circa the Beach Boys when they all wore matching shirts and had matching falsettos. Another slow dissolve, and the song reconstitutes itself again into a slashing, chiming, heart-pounding riff that’s urgent like the Jam and strident like Wire. I could listen to that riff for an half-hour easy.

Download/Listen to Eyesore.

Wild Nothing – “Chinatown”

Two things that never usually happen to me just kinda happened that sweltering July day. (Well, three if you count the fact that I actually found my way around without getting lost ALL AFTERNOON!) First off, I wander into Red Onion Records in Washington DC and they’re playing something I actually dig over the sound system instead of, like, Mongolian hardcore or what have you. The sounds are instantly cloying: overcast waves of shoegazey guitar, a rhythm section that sounds like it was teleported in from a Joy Division session circa ’79, and floating atop everything in a opiated haze are these androgynous, little-boy vocals. First song, sure, everyone gets one song right in their life. Second song, great, they still keep the momentum gonig. And when the third song erupts in this My Bloody Valentine-meets-Stone Roses wonderment, bringing back memories of listening to Stone Roses’ cassettes in awe in my cousin’s attic. Fuck, I need this. So the second thing that never happens is that I go over to the clerk and ask about the record, and instead of sneering and burying his nose back into his back issue of Forced Exposure, he smiles warmly and picks out the record for me! He even ended up stocking our zine. Goddamn, what a day!

That band was Wild Nothing.

Noun – “Brother”

Screaming Females singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster, in a move that reminds me of the “I’m bored, time to put out a record”-isms of Robert Pollard, decided to preempt the upcoming release of her full-time band Screaming Females new album by releasing a solo platter as Noun.

I can’t speak to the rest of the record, but on “Brother,” her diction and enunciation is absolutely fucking superb, I feel weird pointing that out. But it’s true. Paternoster has a pretty original vocal style, veering from a deceptively young-sounding coyness to an all-out heroic Danzig-esque (in Samhain) bellow. What? Yes! The music goes sfrom a sludgy, Melvins-esque creepy crawl to a Slinty-restrained strum simmer. We like.

Listen to/Download Brother.

Burn Your Playhouse Down

Congratulions to the Possum, George Jones, for getting inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. Listen, no one can belt out a country weeper like George Jones. Not Gram Parsons, not yer Merle Haggard. Hell, he burrows into the everyday traumas and banalities of romantic dissolution with a flair for the dramatic (and melancholy) that would shame longtime partner Tammy Wynette and bluegrass divas like Loretta “Fist City” Lynne and Dolly Parton. The way his smooth and honeyed baritone serves as a conduit for all of his built-up frustrations and personal torments – this is the fella, after all, who drove a lawnmoyer miles into town after Wynette flushed his keys down the toilet, so desperate was he to get completely fucking blotto – it’s amazing to me that this guy didn’t inspire the same suicide-watch concern that Ian Curtis did at his mordant peak. Have you ever seen the album cover of him sitting in an empty diner nursing a milkshake and heartbreak – even Morrissey wouldn’t dare to pull overwrought gambits like that! And yet Jones would still stride out onto the Grand Ole Opry stage, with his bizarrely coiffed golden hair, aviator shades, and a full-on denim suit, sing a set of absolutely devastated love songs belying incredible vulnerability, and still dare anyone to step outside for a fight. No wonder Elvis Costello loved this guy. Too bad it wasn’t mutual.

He’s coming to Florida in October. If he doesn’t blow off the whole tour….. oh man, I can’t even think about it.

Woven Bones – “I’ve Gotta Get”

“Well when I die don’t you bury me at all/ Just nail my bones up on
the wall/ Beneath these bones let these words be seen/ “This is the
bloody gears of a boppin’ machine.” Every time I hear Woven Bones, I think of the Cramps “Rockin’ Bones” and how the Austin trio manifests the sloppy, ghoulish promise of Lux Interior’s dementoid howl. Woven Bones are a mess, a fuzzed-out, monochord, pained mess. I love Woven Bones in the same way that I love Times New Viking and early Sebadoh and Nuclear Death, they represent absolute musical freedom and inclusion in an almost free jazz sense. It’s in being so caught up in the moment and the fever of creation that maybe you don’t give a damn about where the microphones are set and what kind of recorder you are using. It’s in the feral strut and tribal drum stutter, melting every song down to its trace elements. It’s in the sense of possibility inherent in their albums, like a clarion call to make your own fun. The promise of a new 7″ out on Hardly Art is almost enough to make this summer heat worth living through.

Listen to “I’ve Gotta Get.”

The Fall – “Glam Racket”

Mark E. Smith seethes and slurs ultra-pissy hate mail to flavor of the week Brit Poppers on this late-90s live cut (“You hog the bathroom/And never put your hand in your pocket” and “In fact you’re a half-wit from somewhere or other” are some of the best bon-mots), backed by a strident, strutting groove that splits the difference between T. Rex and the Jesus Lizard. It’s already fucking genius, and then all of the sudden, it becomes like a hip-hop song where like Jay Z strides up to the mic in a surprise appearnce,  when goddamn Brix Smith comes out of nowhere after a grinding drum fanfare to spit out her own verse. What? And then her and Smith (kinda) harmonize together! This “dream lineup” of the Fall would soon splinter due to Smith’s shambolic antics, and fondness for mind control and the demon rum. So this concert recording stands out on the Twenty-Seven Points live collection as a very intriguing “what if.”

Listen to/Download Glam Racket!

Words of Advice: William S. Burroughs on the Road

By the 1980s, Burroughs, finally returned to the US from decades of travel in Tangiers, Paris and London, was ensconced in the so-called Bunker in New York and began writing again, working on his Last Trilogy. It was at this point that Burroughs realized that the real money was in readings, performances, and lecture tours, and demand was high for his particular mix of outlaw cache and prophet theatrics. So like any good rock band, Burroughs dutifully hit the road. This is the first in-depth cinematic look at that fruitful period in Burroughs life, a prolonged victory lap, if you will. He toured colleges and rock clubs throughout the world, coming face to face with the underground youth culture that he, in large part, had created. So there’s William Burroughs playing the genteel southern businessman to a roomful of European goths and trenchcoat mafia types.

Read the full review at Ink 19.

Why Not Make Your Own Icons?

“Bruce Roehrs filled countless legal pads with transcendental bleurrrrrrrrgh the likes of which we’ll never know. ” (RIP)

Popnihil oo2 – 1 of 1

Art by Jason Brown
Words/Layouts by Matthew Moyer

Haunted George – “Weeks In A Casket”

So yeah, what the hell is Hasil Adkins, reincarnated as Tim McGraw, doing playing Cramps homages behind heavily fortified chicken wire? Why don’t you ask him?

Procedure Club – “Feel Sorry For Me”

Finally! I’ve been kinda draggin’ this week, feelin’ sorry for myself, pretendin’ to read the same five pages of the same book over and over again, lookin’ blankly ahead, not even keepin’ my ears open for new music. (Took solace in old standbys like Beach House’s first album and a Christian Death retrospective.) But then this song comes, (out on Slumberland, natch) from New Haven duo Procedure Club, and I can feel the clouds parting a tiny bit already. This is insular music at its best; fidelity is sacrificed for lo-fi mystique and immediacy, the mood is hazy and distant, the playing is rudimentary but perfect. “Feel Sorry For Me” is a fine mix of Vaseline’s exuberant amateurism and the sunglasses-at-night sneering primitivism of early Jesus and Mary Chain. The archaic drum machine’s clicks and fuzzed-out guitar jumbles keep everything nice and mantric, and then they just go crazy with the vocal delay at the end. And I’m in love!

Listen to “Feel Sorry For Me.”