Thursday, 29 December 2011

I hate the Vaccines...

...but their old label Marshall Teller has a penchant for putting out some pretty cool, trashy, dreamy rock at the minute. I bought the Total Slacker LP 'Trashin'' and at first really rated it but am now a little underwhelmed by it's constant stoner humour and reference to the nineties. Even the songs themselves have become tiresome, it's that kind of new but familiar sound you get from a band that reference so blatantly to the past.
I bought, because of the inclusion of Total Slacker, the split 7" between them and Weird Dreams. The Total Slacker numbers seem just like off-cuts from the album, nothing too special but the flip side; Weird Dreams... hmmmm.... 'Summer Black' is popping along, keeping me bopping along when suddenly... Bam!!... 'Joan' starts to play... You know why they chose this to close their side. Maybe it's because it's new to me but this song 'Joan' is just such a perfect melding of pop-pathos, classic rock and total sonic meltdown.

My friend recently caught them supporting Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks and his description was that they were "too dreamy" (a direct quote)...

Dip it after seventeen

Jazz. I used to hate it. Rock 'n' roll. I've always loved it.
Though rock 'n' roll in it's modern 'commodity' doesn't really sit well with me, there has always been something about a four four beat, guitar, bass and songs of love that has always done something for me. Buddy Holly.
On the other side of the coin, I love jazz. I love noise. I hear free-noise. PC Worship 'Godless Love' with it's acoustic timeless and timely strumming, electronic whistles and wails in the background could be nothing but free. I have another PC Worship tape that melds extreme noise to almost grunge-lite rock songs, always ending with an uneasy mix of violin or sax noise playing to close and open the side (they're cassettes I have... you remember them, kids!)...
I was trying to compare it to living in a suburban environment and having all these disparate influences baring down on you, influencing every sound you make... when it's probably just the bass player awaking late, too stoned to get up for his mid-morning alarm clock and someone with a saxophone turning up to band practice instead.

I was going to post this blog sooner but having seen this extra "review" scrawled in my own, drunken spidery hand (typos included) on the side of the previous writings I feel compelled to include them.... :

"This ain't no where near jazz this is noise. Pure simple noise punk with freedom many talk about but seldom act upon"

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

He had nubs at right angles

I sold an Epiphone Dot the other day for £140. I think I got a fair price, the local guitar emporium talked me out of selling it to them on the basis of their tax returns and I don't have any guitar-less rich friends who I could rip off. Anyway, the money has set me straight. Debts = nil. I now have a small stake that after the next pay day (too long away) will go towards a hot microphone. Or I could just splurge it all on bunch of vinyl from

Monday, 26 December 2011

The Polyps

Ants On The Golden Cone by The Polyps is acutally the best album of 2011. Sorry Ryan Garbes, but this shit just hits me where it hurts and I hurt so bad at the minute.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity - for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.

Wise words, from Peter there. I am a slave to the ungodly sounds of Rock 'N' Roll and right now I couldn't think of anything more ungodly than Starving Weirdos' 'The Path of Lightning'.
I own their 'B/P/M Series 1' LP and have been playing it loads recently, a total modernist take on piano music. Destruction as a form of creation. General tomfoolery in the studio. One side taken by one member of the group, the other taken by another to which they both add and twist the work of pianist Darius Brotman. Really haunting, enchanting stuff that I heartily recommend.
Now, 'The Path of Lighting'.... I'll readily admit I have downloaded it from some nefarious source and have been playing it to death. Four tracks of cacophonous atmospherics that make me see the full possibility in music making. I don't mean that in a derogatory way, these guys have a craft (the B-P-M Series 1' LP stands testify to that) but so many groups do noise and oddness for the sake of it whereas these guys are trying something new and interesting.    
I will be buying it, not only does it have the best album cover you'll ever see, it's also worth every red cent of the $20bux you'll spend on it musically. As I've said previously about a different band, when my pay day comes... so will there's.

Monday, 19 December 2011

My girlfriend hates my heroin (my record collection)

Over the past couple of weeks I have discovered a bunch of bands that have simply put my whole out look on music in a new light. As I've said before I never generally had much time for contemporary music, which  I'm going to lay a lot of the blame at the door of the NME, but the music I've discovered recently has just simply blown my mind.
Ryan Garbes and the Wet Hair group... drone rock supreme.
Tyvek.... Hardcore in excelsis
PC Worship... a big bag of free noise, grunge (as in real dirty, fuck ups) mixed with a pop sensibility
Broken Water... Guitar abuse like it should be.

I don't know, the list could go on. This year's been a happy year for me. I've got out of my pre-'94 rut and started enjoying new music again!! Anyway recommendations are heartily welcomed.

Friday, 16 December 2011


Noisy trash like Tyvek, Johnny Thunders and Iggy & the Stooges pisses all over them (The Beatles)... A good pop song is a good pop song. It moves the masses, creates a sing-a-long and forms mass memories and emotion........ But the screaming and wailing of a less-than-quarter coherent Iggy Pop lolling around on a table with shards of glass sticking out of his chest is so much more of a thrill and musical epiphany than 'love, love, love, we all need love, love, love...'....

Take your kafkans and your friggin' joss-sticks and shove it. I want visceral experience. To quote the great Iggy Pop:

"Look, you're here to see me, and I can't go on until my dealer is here, and he's waiting to be paid, so give me some money so I can fix up, and then you'll get your show"

Iggy & the Stooges - Live at the Whiskey a Go Go (17/10/73):

It's raw, recorded in someone's sweating armpit and exudes more power and attitude then the past three decades put together... I don't care if it's on headphones, car stereo or some shitty cassette deck from the eighties.... blast this and have your mind blown.... Whatever your view on drugs is, they aided in the creation of some of the most visceral, heart-felt, energetic music created. Like I've said before... I ain't golden and I ain't no fucking starchild...

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

After a brief discussion through the intraweb

It has been decided that The Beatles double A Side single 'Strawberry Fields Forever' and 'Penny Lane' is the greatest single ever released. Fuck Englebert Humperdink.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Velodrome 2000

A random EP I bought when I was a poor, simple, Nirvana loving teen.... if only I'd thrown my entire music collection in the bin the moment I'd got home and become a disciple of theirs I probably would have been listening to The Jesus and Mary Chain rather than Rancid and those other American sub-par-punk-pop bullshite that me and my friendship group were somehow drawn to... (I'm pointing the finger at someone but names will remain nameless)......... anyway, back to Velodrome 2000. Trashy, badly recorded, male/female vocals... they pretty much sum up everything I like about music nowadays when it comes to punk rock.... I'm sure they won't mind me putting up a couple of tracks for your listening pleasure:

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Anger Jam in Fuck You Minor (with harmonica solo)

If I ever have to engage in a blues jam in D again, then please kill me slowly. I didn't pick up this piece of wood and wire to strum tired ol' licks and bust out that I IV V progression for my own personal fucking entertainment!...!...!. Goddamnit! I love the blues. Albert King, Professor Longhair, Josh White... yadda yadda... but to turn up at a friends house that contains at least five guitars, two basses, plenty of percussion, an 8 track, a drum machine, a computer, mics... the lot.... and it's just cover after cover.... I'm not a starchild and I'm not fucking golden and no-one wants to hear another shitty version of 'Woodstock'... I don't want to play that shit.
We can all play. We have the equipment. Not to sound too high and mighty but let's create. Let's do something exciting. Maybe it's just me? It seems most people are happy going the whole cover/tribute act, wedding-song-quick-buck-repertoire...

Monday, 5 December 2011

Broken Water

I'm tired and over-worked but so happy because I've discovered an amazing band out of the blue! Those lovely folks at Night People Records have got a couple of compilation mixes up for download free on their website ( and one of them ('Cola Heavy Nights') is just pure revelation. I mentioned Wet Hair in the previous post reviewing Ryan Garbes LP 'Sweet Hassle' and for some reason after years of complete and total rejection of all music post 1994 I keep finding these incredible noisy bands I instantly fall in love with (PC Worship, Trailblazer, Peaking Lights etc.). Who would have thunk it. Anyway, this one comp. that I just mentioned has a song called 'Heal' by a band called Broken Water... and fuck me if it isn't one of the greatest pieces of noise rock grunge psychedelia I've ever heard. When it peaks and explodes it's just beautiful... it's been a while since I've heard a guitar squall like... Buy their music at:

When my pay day comes, theirs will as well.

Special mention to the compilation for giving me the PC Worship track 'Staring at the Sun' as a separate entity. I got the 'Millenial Kreephaus' download (for $2bucks) which is two sides of free-noise jazz punk with the aforementioned track buried inside it's flowing mix. Buy that as well, it's unlike anything you're likely to hear this year, next year or for the next few years.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Slits' Y3LP: the perfect follow up to a perfect debut.

The Slits' debut album 'Cut' has grown to become one of my all time favourite albums. There's so much energy, wit and melody contained within, something most punk albums of the time lack. The production is also spot-on perfect (big up Dennis 'Blackbeard' Bovell). Now this blog post isn't really about the debut, I want to write about the follow up they released in 1980, a collection of studio jams, demos and general fucking around. I think they even self-bootlegged it. All I can say is more groups should do this. This is a real album. Pure, unadulterrated mayhem and melody thrown in the bin and rolled down the hill. In a strange way it reminds me of Neil Young's 'Journey Through the Past'. An artist just doing what the fuck they like for sake of no one but themselves and maybe a couple of friends. Fucking wild, creative music unlike anything else.

The Slits - Y3LP

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

An interview of sorts with..... Sloppy Heads!

Sloppy Heads are a band from New York City. They make noise pop for the kids. They consist of Jarnow who plays guitars, Ariella Starmaiden who plays bass and Vape Stiles who plays drums and keyboards.

Right, the actual interview was conducted too long ago via e-mail so I've sort of chopped-and-shopped the whole sorry mess.
First though an ad verbatim rep from Sloppy Heads PR Dude Vlada in response to the question of what the future holds...

"I am not waiting for all that is in this future for the HEADS! We will be giving lots of big creamy RELEASE, sweet tunes, and delivering the goods near and far! These HEADS are having so much to give, I am hoping one day they do not burst open in dangerous explosion all over laughing loudly! Please to be watching for more HEADS music in the newest issue of very beautiful and very smart-making and really read it you'll thank Vlada YETI MAGAZINE (they are from Oregon) which is filled with LOVE from man we are to be much loving, Miguel McGonigal (the HEADS sing the song about the "Photo Album of Baby"). Also they are to be having the song "RESISTANCE, BABY" on the Brahject as VAPE STILES has told you and perhaps SPLITTING A 7-INCH UNIT with their secret HUNKY friend who is filled with EXTRAHYPNOLOVE. Vlada is to book them on COSMODROME TV PAGENT, laughs loudly!!!"

I first asked how they met and how the band came into fruition.

Jarnow: Vape and I met sometime in the 1980s on a baseball field in a part of our hometown known as The Pit, where sand had once been blasted for the Empire State Building. I turned him onto Weird Al [Yankovic], I think, and he hipped me to some cool Choose Your Own Adventure-type book. We met again in high school, start brahing about music one day outside class and haven't really stopped since.
I met Young Fizzy when I was in college via a semi-academically-orientated music listserv[?], that had been started by a mutual friend. I don't think it took too much convincing, but I convinced her to move to New York after she graduated. Vape had moved there, too. Along with a bunch of other heads, we started hanging out a lot, seeing a ton of bands, movies, eating, travelling...
We all played music, though not necessarily in bands, and definitely not with each other. Then Fizzy bought a bass and became Starmaiden. I started bringing my guitar over to her place sometime in early 2009 and we started playing pretty quietly in her living room. After like six months of doing that, and occasionally playing loudly through amps at a rent-by-the-hour studio, we got a gig at a freegan-anarchist pad around the corner from my loft.
A month later, my neighbours thre a New Year's bash. We decided it would be capital to play and that we should probably get a drummer. Vape was not a drummer. But then one day he was.

I then asked them about New York itself, as a someone who had grown up on a steady diet of all things musical and with New York being such a huge factor in all things musical, not forgetting the film, TV and just about every other damn thing about it that seeps into everyone's culture. I said I thought of New York as being either grotty clubs where everybody knows everyone else and you're always welcome to play, a hundred different bedroom labels ready and willing to put out your next release, or whether it was a much more do-it-yourself, fuck-you-and-get-on-with-it attitude...

Starmaiden: New York is a music-lover's dream, with multiple great shows happening at venues aroudn the city every single night. All three of us are pretty avid show-goers. If it weren't for band practice we'd probably be out seeing music seven nights a week.
Vape and Jarnow grew up together in Northport, Long Island. I was born in New York City and lived there until I was six, when my family moved to Miami, Florida. We all moved back to New York City soon after the turn of the millenium.

Jarnow: There's certainly oodles of music to see in Brooklyn. And I'd say both the ways you imagine New York to be are probably true. It's not terribly hard to get a show or set one up. And certainly every band seems to put out there own music (or is on a sometimes-existing label run by there friends), but for us and probably most bands our size, nobody's reallt beating down any doors. It's all pretty self-motivated. I sort of imagine it's like that everywhere, just on different scales.

I don't know if you've heard their stuff or downloaded the couple of tunes I put or here or even bought the 7" that is available through but, personally, I love it. I asked them where they recorded the EP, if they produced it themselves and what the experience was like...

Vape Stiles: We have been lucky enough to do all our recording to date at the Ocropolis, the studio owned/run by our friends/heroes Oneida ( First Gasp! [the debut EP] was recorded about three weeks after I joined, because there was an open date at the Ocropolis, and part of their philosophy is that it be wasteful to have a studio and not have it be in use 365 days a year. Kid Millions chose to spend a weekend recording a band that barely existed, and which he hadn't even heard, which is still humbling to think about.
We weren't remotely prepared by any convential standard, but the opportunity to record with him, there, however ludicrous a prospect it may have been at the time was not something we could possibly turn down. So we just went with it, which I think is exactly what they were trying to inspire us to do. Had they not been so generous with us, the course of this band has taken would probably be very different.
We were asked back into the Ocropolis about six weeks after we record First Gasp! to do a track fir a compilation Oneida had conceived called the Brahject (after their label, Brah Records), which came from the same idea that led them to welcome us into the studio in the first place. They set themselves a goal of doing six hour sessions with twenty or thirty bands they were friends with, because they wanted to share their environment and working method with as many other musicians as possible. That's finally coming out sometime soon [Editor's Note: this interview was done about six months ago] as a digital release to benefit the victims of this spring's disaster in Japan. Kid [Millions], having also played with the Boredoms and spent time in Japan with them, felt that catastrophe particularly acutely, and, Shinji from the Boredoms hasa started a charity for the people affected. We're pretty stoked about how our tune turned out, even more so to be on the same compilation as Akron/Family, Liturgy, the Notekillers and a bunch of other awesome bands. 
We haven't been back in a proper studio since then (and the Ocropolis will soon be gone, because the entire Monster Island complex it's a part of is closing, tragically), but we obsessively record all our rehearsals and gigs, and have produced some stuff we're proud of. Notably the ultra-limited-edition Custy Blaster cassette and the Headsquarters Vol. 1 CD-R... the first release from our live archival series, Road Heads, is percolating, and will come out approximately whenever we feel like it.

Then to finish the interview I asked my all time favourite interview question, and quite possibly the most boring and cliched... "What are you currently listening to?" "Who are your favourite bands?" etc etc

Starmaiden: My favourite bands are Dump, Oneida, Sightings, Albert Ayler and Moondog. I am really excited because I found a copy of one of my favourite record City of Glass, a record from 1953 by Stan Kenton playing the compositions of Bog Graettinger, an astonishingly advanced and mysterious collection of music. I'm also very excited about the recent vinyl reissue of Yo La Tengo's And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out, which I've been searching for forever. I recently fell in love with a heretofore unknown by me pianist called Mal Waldron, who was profiled on local station WKCR. I was just blown away and it renewed my interest in jazz piano. I also love the Flesheaters, Flipper and the Byrds. Also every record collection should contain a copy of the double-LP, The Mathematical Genius of Pep Lester. And I adore the compilation that the Numero Group released for the Twinight label. Every artist and album mentioned about come highly recommended by me!

Jarnow: Current rotation of new stuff includes: Oneida - Absolute II, The Ex - Catch My Shoe, Akron/Family, various bmbz [sic] mixes of S/T II. The Feelies - Here Before, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings - The Harrow and the Harvest. Lots of projects related to Lambchop (Kurt Wagner and William Tyler Solo and side projects, The Mattoid). Old stuff: Neil Youngs - Old Ways, Chris Knox and Alec Bathgate's pre-Tall Dwarfs band, Toy Love. Lots of Mississippi Records cassette mixes (also available on popular reissue label, Mediafire). Swamp Dogg, Ween - Quebec demos. The Raincoats. A girl-group anthology. WFMU DJ compilations. Grateful Dead, August 1971.

Vape Stiles: The three touchstone influences that we all share, and which probably come through our music in ways both intentional and not, are the Grateful Dead, Yo La Tengo and Oneida. The latter two of those bands we all see basically whenever they play in town. I'm the psycho Ween fan of the bunch but Jarnow and Starmaiden both like them as well, and that's another name that comes up often when we're rehearsing; they've probably influenced us more than we even realise. All three of us regard the Basement Tapes as holy document... I personally find them (and John Wesley Harding) to have an almost mystical power, like Dylan found a way to unlock something in the human mind (or mine, at least) with words and music; somehow, his lyrics can be almost irreducibly obtuse and yet prodoundly powerful and affect you deeply emotionally even if you don't know why. We can pretty much always be sidetracked in practice by learning a new Dylan or Dead cover, and I think we'd all love to someday have a big songbook of both at our disposal.... We're already well on our way.
Aside from all that, I listen to a lot of commercial hip-hop, noise/drone, dub, old rock, garage, reggae and soul. All of us have listened to a ton of sixties and seventies international psych, and I'm particularly obsessed with Japanese rock of all eras.

And with that the interview was over. They disappeared into the interweb and have been on steady rotation on my headphones ever since. I'll end this with a quote I extracted from very early in the interview... I just thought it would be good to end with

"Sometime before our first show, a man came unto us on a a flaming pie in the traditional manner and told us we were Sloppy Heads, but the band existed for a long time before that" for more info

Monday, 28 November 2011

Ryan Garbes 'Sweet Hassle'

I've recently been digging around and discovered a group called Wet Hair. Spacemen 3/Spectrum fans will really dig their keyboard drone rock styles, but it's the recently released solo album by one of their members (I think the drummer) that has got me all hot and bothered. Here's a review I wrote of it:

It's been a while since I've truely engaged with a contemporary album for any length of time. I have been listening to 'Sweet Hassle' continually since I bought it. There's something about the sepia-toned cover that seeps into the music. I hate reviewing music in the context of drugs but it's impossible not to. This album is so high. This music is so fucking high. Like if ecstasy got you high but made you feel a little hatred instead of a little love. Codeine and bourbon. The songs begin like sloppy home demos, but are layered upon and seeped with a real, tangible, edgy emotion that it ends up sounding like a new kind of rock 'n' roll. Bewitched keyboards and organs feature predominantly throughout adding a production sheen that is half twisted. I don't know what Ryan Garbes set out to do but all I do know is he's created a true modern classic of alternative rock.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

I suck

It has been too long. I have started studying. Mainly I suck. I have an interview with Sloppy Heads to write up. I have an article about Van Morrison's 'Caldonia Soul Music' I need to edit and put onto the computer... Eventually.

Also, the links to the tunes are all dead. If you want any of them just send me an email and I will send you the files...

Friday, 22 July 2011

Sloppy Heads

I love a good old racket. I also love the whimsical pop song. The Sloppy Heads perfectly combine these two traits into an original sound that also gives clues as to their influences. In the most uncontrived and effortlessly entertaining way they switch styles from track to track; a vaguely sounding 50's love song on one to huge twenty minute tape-collage jams on another.

Unsigned in New York. I couldn't recommend them enough. Here's a couple of tracks off their EP which you can purchase on 7" from

Photo Album of Baby

The Electric Momz

Saturday, 9 July 2011


I remember buying the album ‘Spiderland’ by the band Slint and before having a chance to listen to the CD having to go on a camping trip with an organisation called CISV. When I got back I put it in my over-sized, over-priced five disc multi-player and it immediately got jammed inside the machinery and I had to prise it out of the disc tray, resulting in it becoming scratched. For some reason, despite extensive damage, it played perfectly for nearly a decade.
I now need to invest in a new copy; it has been too long since I have heard ‘Nosferatu Man’ or ‘Don, Aman’ without interference, though I have been listening to the couple of tracks that still play without skipping over the past few days and have realised how much I truly rate the album. ‘Spiderland’ is without doubt one of the seminal album of the nineties and is in much needed rescuing and reappraisal in both current personal compact disc status and general critical standing status. 
Here is a live version of a track off their first album. It pretty much sums up Slint and is a better representation of them then the version that appeared on the debut ‘Tweez'.
Slint – Ron [Live]

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Smith Westerns

We're dancin' and we're havin' fun
I'm dancin' with my number one
And the night is goin' fast
I hope that it will last

Smith Westerns. No frills, just hooks and energy to spare with lyrics that have that Orbison-esque simplicity that I find so appealing.
I like these guys so much I almost bought tickets to see them supporting the fucking Vaccines. Needless to say I couldn't bare the thought of giving those third rate indie hacks a single penny, so I didn't go.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

1984. The year 'This Is Spinal Tap' was released. Ween and Simply Red form. I was born. Twenty seven years later I start this blog in honour of the art form I admire and aspire to the most; Rock 'n' Roll.
I'm hoping to include some or all of the following:
Reviews of releases and gigs. Musings on long forgotten gems and already much discussed classics. Self made mixes for you to download. Illegal uploads of copywritten material for you to download. Scans of amusing/interesting/obscure record sleeves for your viewing pleasure. General soap box opinion on everything. Everything.