Friday Random Wah!

Look who’s blogging now.

Which reminds one of a Ziggy Marley song, and that means it’s rime ror ruh Riday Random Ren.


[whack! (computer noises)]

Random Ten.

1) Chameleons – The Fan and the Bellows
I think PP mentioned this song awhile ago, and that I downloaded it on his say-so. One way of seeing the Chameleons is as a tougher-ass, vernacular version of A Flock of Seagulls, and major-labe bands like that. Another way is to imagine talented Northern Brit guitar-guys in the mid-’80s falling into a default New Wave mode, as their counterparts in the late ’50s fell into skiffle (and then later into electric blues). What a great hook, when it finally arrives!

2) Zero Boys – Living in the ’80s
Ach. The shuffle function speaks back to one. I got this single in Wisconsin during a collector-scum phase where I’d spend my band per diems (I was 17 and touring with a hardcore band) looting local record stores and then pretty much not eating from flat-brokeness. I did that a few years in a row, eventually looting Europe — and then cashing in all the vinyl to pay for college a couple of years later. But the Zero Boys were an incredible Indianapolis band whose album (in ’82?) was pretty much the definitive Midwest hardcore statement. Lots of details about the album — the production was copped (by a very talented low-budge studio engineer, probably one of those odd mustache-guys who ran studios then) from the Germs’ GI album, instrument by instrument, and it sounds fantastic. Paul Mahern, the band’s main guy, turned up in odd places in subsequent years, eventually calling himself Namaste Sri Sag Paneer, or some white-boy bindi-head nonsense like that. Indianapolis.

The earlier single version of ‘Living in the ’80s’ is not-quite-there, a bit slow on the tempo, production medium-thin, guitars at half-gnarl. But that’s what came up through the iPipe.

3) Sesame Street – ‘C’ is for Cookie
It’s true and undeniable: ‘Cookie’ starts with ‘C.’

4) Personality Crisis – Mrs. Palmer
The pool that the ear-pod is drawing from this week is like a little Superfund wetland of hardcore and a few other things… Another band that rules, rules, rules (in the binary sense that something can either ‘rule’ or ‘suck’). Interesting, firstly, because they’re one of a very few bands in all of rock history to have a male baritone on lead vox — a giant, scary guy named Mitch Funk. The basic aesthetic was hulking Mitch, with his square Frankenstein head, out front in flannels and jeans…and it’s imporant here that the band was from Winnipeg…and a glammy, low-slung Les Paul sort of leather-pants band backing him up with doomed-pretty-boy Motorhead antics. The record leaps from the speakers. It’s really good.

5) Guitar Wolf – Kung Fu Ramone

6) Reverb Motherfuckers – Threeway on the Freeway
I found out last night — and maybe I was the absolute last person to know this — that the Reverbs were Roy Edroso‘s band, before he went into Shackletonian exile with Alicublog. Wow.

7) Rudimentary Peni – Vampire State Building/Blasphemy Squad
A Brit almost-hardcore 3-piece led by a mostly-functional schizophrenic of the Syd Barrett variety, with a snap-tight rhythm section behind him. The records are packed with ideas, and this 2-song cycle starts in waltz time, interregnums with a strummy… But just download this stuff if you’re interested (assuming you have file-steal software). It’s very good. The obsessively-crowquilled sleeves, by frontman Nick Blinko, are also worth looking at. He’s been in small galleries as an outsider artist in recent years, and did a fictionalized autobio novel in ’95, which read like an obsessive crosshatch sketch.

The three really crucial records are the first two (multi-song) EPs and the Death Church LP, and then there’s a Lovecraft-obsessed album after that with about 38 short songs. I can’t really vouch for the rest, although they’re apparently still releasing new stuff here and there.

[add’d] I thought and thought and pondered for a little while about what was the best thing to download, if one wanted to download something.

The one Lovecraftian album has a neoclassical, conceptual-artscape thing going on, track to track, which is really odd, considering the scabrous punk blare that was the band’s ground aesthetic. Steve Albini, the Nirvana producer (et al), has been sitting on master tapes of a special session that they did for him, for years. It’s easy now, in retrospect, not to know what to make of them.

But if you have to get one thing, ‘Nightgaunts’ is a good song pick, if it were a ‘song,’ which it isn’t, quite. (The band had pretty much gone off the rez, songwise, by this point — it’s a one-minute piece from a long section with no normal breaks between essays, tone-poems, or whatever.) ‘Radio Schizo’ is an earlier, trad-punkier, but also more complex choice since the singer/guitarist is actually a schizo, and is shouting down and fingering a BBC-radio headvoice, in simulated real-time.

Other things aside, I think that they’re probably an album band. No one that I’ve ever played a whole record for, track after another, has failed to be askew and derailed, and to be like, Hell did this come from?

Grand old puzzleworthy Rudi Peni.

8) I’m going on at long length, so I’ll just list the remainder. 8) Spinners – I’ll Be Around
9) F.U.’s – Outcast
10) Ruin – Proof
No, wait a sec. A shout-out to Cordy Swope, Ruin’s bass player, who’s living in Bavaria these days. I ran into Cordy accidentally a few years ago. Was at a show at the Met in New York, looking at a beautiful desk unit shaped like a golden-ratio nautilus shell. And then a week later, he turned up at a party, and I was like, “Oh, you were in Ruin.” And the conversation spiraled in nautilus form, and I mentioned the desk from the week before, and he was like, “Oh. You liked that? I designed that desk.”

Things ought to happen liquidly and often like that in life, but they so seldom do.

Except sometimes, and on that note: MERRY FITZMAS TO ALL! (And many happy returns!!)


Comments: 12


Yes, I’d like two sticky buns and a small coffee, please…

Oh, sorry. That new logo confused me.


Wow. I just stumbled onto your site and am impresed. It’s cool to read stuff written in a looser style than most sites or blogs of this ilk.

I loved the musical romp.

“Things ought to happen liquidly and often like that in life, but they so seldom do”

Those are the moments I live for. Rare, but what a rush when they happen.


My 4 key sticks, but there’s not much more to say about that.


I love Gavin andom 10s (my r key DOESN’T work). I know how did I wwite that? Its a mystewy. Anyhoo, I always feel like I’m learning something- but its never explicit, – more like a feeling. That’s what I love about music.


The entire far left side of my e-typewriter is inactive, I think this is possibly because I have accidently given my keyboard a large dose of rum.

Luckily this is my work keyboard I’m writing on, and I don’t plan to spill rum on that untill next week.


I’ve always enjoyed “Rebel ‘L’,” and love love love the orange with a rubber band mouth who sings “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle.”


And somehow I magically responded to Jillian before she even posted! WoooOOOOooo!


“C is for Cookie” is one of the greatest damn songs of all times. I’m dead serious. Few things in the world can cheer me up as quickly as a singing Cookie Monster. It’s an instant, visceral emotional response that grownup music just never manages to achieve with me.

I miss my Sesame Street Fever vinyl.




That was the best Ghosty noise ever. Already back from a Halloween party, sober and snug in bed. That’s pathetic. I need to at least stay out later than Doughy Pantload.


It sux that Halloween is on a Monday this year. We should adjust the length of the months surrounding Halloween so that it’s always on a Saturday. Or Friday, at worst.


Few things in the world can cheer me up as quickly as a singing Cookie Monster.

So, I imagine that you spend a lot of time listening to Death and Doom Metal.


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