Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Harry Partch's Instruments

Thanks to The Stash Dauber for the referral...

Harry Partch's Instruments

Harry Partch playing his instrument, Kithara II (Photo: Danlee Mitchell)

About the Instruments
By 1969, the year he recorded "Delusion of the Fury," Harry Partch had designed 27 new instruments, all to be played on stage at the same time in a spatial ritual theater. These instruments were made to be beautiful in sound, vision, and "magical purpose." They were tuned according to the natural overtone series, "Just Intonation" Some, like the Chromelodeon, had as many as 43 tones in a single "octave." He made particular instruments for specific needs in his compositions, not the other way around. But, more than this, he designed the instruments to be "corporeal." To Partch, corporeal meant to involve the whole body, the whole person in the art.

Play the Virtual Harry Partch Instruments
Below you can play the Partch instruments, listen to Partch explain each instrument, and hear musical examples.
(Go to the original link to play...)

Marimba type
Bamboo type
Metal, glass, bells
Adapted from existing
Harmonic Canons
Borrowed from others
Hand instruments
Reed organs and pipes

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Swingin Cornflake Killers at the Barley House - 4/4/09

Teabagged by The GRUMPY OWL


Posted by Ryan Oakley, April 18, 2009

Dispossessed fanatics seem to like me. Can’t imagine why.

During Bush’s tenure the radical left often linked here and now, during Obama, the fundamentalist right often does. Not wanting to encourage these people, I’ve remained more or less silent about Obama. I saw little sense in lending my brains to their insanity. Although I loathe the man, his third-rate hustle of hope and his brainwashed followers, I’m basically uncomfortable with the support of the right wing. As for the left, I was just used to them.

But left wing, right wing, I can’t stand either.

Collectivist control versus individual freedom is where my heart lies. A bureaucrat’s stated reasons for passing laws about my life are completely irrelevant. Their truncheon is not.

So, now that the bloom is off the Obama rose, now that the right is rising up while the left is quietly disappointed, I’d like to take this opportunity to say: “Fuck all of y’all: I told you so!“ I’m not proud.

I remember Clinton and I remember the resistance to him. I remember the days when Michael Moore hated the democrats. I remember how good everyone got at seeing beyond the president to the systemic problems. Then there was Bush and all that was forgotten. People actually seemed to think that Al Gore would have done things differently. People are fucking morons.

For God’s sake, Clinton bombed a baby aspirin factory in Africa because his dick got sucked. For the last eight years, I’ve had to listen to democrats pretend that was a poorly timed act of foresight and heroism in the hunt for Bin Laden. It wasn’t. He was just trying to change the news story. He killed people because his dick got sucked. That’s the sort of man he was.

He also killed roughly a half a million Iraqi children with sanctions and bombing runs that were as unjustifiable then as they were under Bush and are now. Bush Jr. did not create Iraq policy. He continued it. Now Obama continues Bush policy.

You can see why Obama doesn’t want to press charges against anyone for anything. The same charges could and should be pressed against him. But they won’t be. There’s a total lack of principles on both right and left.

Except for those of the Marquis De Sade and Machiavelli.

Right now, the right is screaming about socialism and claiming to be the party of small government. But the only jobs that were created under Bush’s reign were government jobs. The first of the big bailouts came from the Republicans. Government spending, regulation and market interventionism sky-rocketed under his leadership.

Right now, the left is curiously silent about the ongoing wars. They don’t seem to mind that Obama has expanded the war in Afghanistan and into Pakistan while doing nothing to end the one in Iraq, increased military spending beyond what even the Republicans wanted, is continuing to support mercenaries and has changed absolutely nothing in American foreign policy. He’s also maintained the warrant-less wire-taps, invoked state secrets, which means the government is beholden to no laws, has talked about closing Gitmo but left the actual policy that allowed it as well as the black sites completely intact, and so forth.

There has been no change.

The government offers no hope.

When you look at the whole thing, it’s funny to watch the teams change sides. After eight years of calling Bush a Nazi, the left are upset when Obama is called a fascist. Yet he has done nothing different from Bush. Aside from the stem cell research, he has not overturned a single policy. If Bush was a fascist then so is Obama. If Obama is a socialist, so was Bush. They both do the same things. The only difference is in their stated reasons.

When exactly did the left wing become supportive of giving failed corporations billions of dollars; of wars in the mid-east and of the infringement of civil liberties? It was at the exact moment their leader started doing it. The same moment the right wing decided they were against these things. Everyone hates the whip until they hold it.

It’s a sad god-damn state of affairs when men of the most basic principles can’t support either the power or the opposition. And yet, here we are: Teabagged on the left, teabagged on the right. And no one even bought us dinner.

Friday, April 24, 2009


One of my French Facebook friends, Vincent Guyot, directed me to this blog...
Some nice stuff...


Deadlicious™ is our universe. Made of our discoveries, personal backgrounds and homemade culture. It's a strange and funny mixture that we want to share with you. It's what we are, real and rock'n'roll !

Filo Loco ♠ Big G ♥ King Santo ♦ Jimmy Pantera ♣

All content on this site is copyrighted and/or trademarked, and all rights are reserved by the respective authors. Visuals and references are presented here as quotes under Fair Use for the purpose of scholarship, information or review.

Les 4 vents de l'amour - Aslan

Collection "Les 4 vents de l'amour". Les Presses de la Nuit, Paris, 1958.


Some other good images from Deadlicious!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Few Artists Are Appreciated In Their Lifetime

endless hours of fun with blahgs

Extensive list of music blogs from all genres...

Welcome to All Music, All Blogs (daily updated). A blog which aims to list as many quality music blogs as possible and so to create the biggest online music blog library on the WWW!

Example of listings:

60s70s80s90s00s of powerpop (Power Pop)
A la Piscine (Pop Rock, Prog. Pop) (French)
Ain't superstitious - (1990s and New Pop with an Indie taste)
Akashaman`s Kosmos (Vintage Pop)
Alain Finkiel Krautrock (Euro pop, Youtube clips)
Albumes 2007-descargas (Mainstream Pop)
Albuns Gratis (Pop Mainsteam)
Bleedinout (Prog. Pop)
Charlie's Blog (Mainstream Pop, Mixes)
Chocoreve (Power pop, Cult, World and Rock)
Confessions of a Puta (female singers)
Disconap (Pop, Clips)
DJ Copycat (Mainstream Pop)
El Hombre Infinito 8 (Podcasts Prog., Alt., Old)
Gayj's Music (Mainstream Pop, House)
I Love Music free
KolaBlogRadio & DJ Ultrasound (70s, 80s and 90s Radiopop)
Mistureba Musical (Prog., Alt. Pop music)
Music is the heart of our Soul
My Favourite Tune (Asian Pop, Ost & US Pop)
NitroFiles (80s, 90s Pop)
One for the kidz (Pop-punk, Powerpop, Emo, Alt. Rock)
pOp Madness
Power Pop Criminals (Powerpop)
Powerpop (Powerpop)
PVAc to 44.1 kHz (Powerpop) (Spanish)
Radio Rommeltje (80s, 90s and today Pop)
Stop Link (Pop music of all kinds)
The Hits Just Keep coming (Old Pop hits, Classic Rock)
Under The Radar Talents (Pop, Indie, Lose MP3s)
WorldVix (Various kinds of mainstream Pop)


TWILIGHTZONE! (Psych., Garage, Punk)
8 Days in April (Vintage Psych., Prog. Rock)
Agona Shorthand (Psychedelic, Dub, Alt. Rock)
Link The Butler
Dr. Schluss' Garage Of Psychedelic Obscurities
Red Telephone 66


Freewave- Links to the best in blogs...
The cream of the crop from music download blogs!


Faster downloads then p2p
Complete zipped albums. No more partial downloads
No networking knowledge needed like p2p (ie ports)
Scarce and obscure music, discographies, and box sets
Find recommended new music
Cross-linking on blogs = unlimited choices
Worksafe surfing
Like Used Record Store Shopping Online
Oink is Dead. Time to move away from music torrents people.
Try before you buy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Top Ten (10) Things NOT to Do If You Are Arrested

Top Ten (10) Things NOT to Do If You Are Arrested (from KAREMAR blog)

PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THIS ADVICE. A wide variety of people are arrested every day and the majority of the individuals make the same mistakes which make there situation even worse. Many of these reactions are understandable, however some defy logic and reason. Nobody plans on being arrested, but you may be arrested for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Share this with your colleagues, friends and family because it will come in handy for many of you. The basic rule is to simply listen to the officer and do as your told, "Put Your Hands Behind Your Back" and do NOT do any of these Ten Things:

1. Don't Talk.
Do not say a word to the officer. Shut the F. up! I cannot stress to you the importance of this rule. Do not talk! Do not attempt to convince the officer of your innocence. Everyone is innocent, no one should be arrested and no one should be in jail and that is all the officer hears all day every day. He / she does not care generally whether you are innocent or guilty and there is nothing that he / she can do at this point. Most times, when people speak to officers they say something that makes their situation far worse. Keep your mouth shut, there will be plenty of time to talk later.

2. Don't Run.
I said above to listen to the officer and follow his / her instructions. Do not be scared and do not let the liquid courage aka alcohol convince you that you can outrun the twelve officers and helicopter that will track you down. Also, police become highly suspicious that someone running has a weapon and may be quick to draw their weapon. Additionally when they do run you down expect much stronger force used to subdue a fleeing suspect.

3. Never Resist Arrest.
Perhaps the most important thing not to do is touch the police officer at all! Again, sober up quick and follow what the officer says. Many people attempt to bump the officer or swat an officers hands away. This often falls under the assault statutes and now a minor misdemeanor arrest becomes a FELONY. Thus a reckless driving charge leads to a year or more in state prison. Additionally, touching the officer in any way can lead to a batton in the mouth.

4. Don't Believe the Police.
It is perfectly legal for the police to lie to get you to make an admission. The police frequently separate two friends and tell one the other one ratted him / her out. Because of the lie, the other friend now rats the first friend out. Police and detectives also state that "it will be easier" to talk now...LIES!!! DON'T BELIEVE THIS BS! It will only be easier for the police to prove their case!

5. No Searching.
Do not allow the police to search anywhere! If the police officer asks, they do not have the right to search and must have your consent. If you are asked make sure you proclaim to any witnesses that "You (the police) do not have consent to search." If they perform the search anyway, that evidence may be thrown out later. Also, if you consent to a search, the officers may find something that you had no idea you had placed somewhere, ie: marijuana left by a friend.

6. Don't Look At Places Where You Don't Want Police to Search.
Police are trained to watch you and react to you. They know that you are nervous and scared and many people look to the areas that they don't want the police to search. Do not react to the search and do not answer any questions. LOOK DOWN AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!!!

7. Do Not Talk Shit to the Police.
I don't care if you have been wrongly arrested and the true culprit is standing in front of you. Don't talk shit! Police hear all day that my dad is the the Governor's Assistant's Intern and I will have your badge for this! Police have a lot of discretion in the upcoming charges brought. Police can add charges, change a misdemeanor to a felony, or even talk to the prosecutor that is ultimately prosecuting you.

8. If Police Come to Your Home, Do not Let Them In and Do Not Step Outside Your Home
If the police are confident you have committed a felony, they are coming in anyway, because they generally don't need an arrest warrant. Make it clear to the police by stating: "No you may not come in", or "I am comfortable talking right here", or "You need a search warrant to enter my home." If they return, your attorney can arrange for you to turn yourself in should that be necessary and you will spend no time in jail between the hearings.

9. Outside Your Home Arrested, Do Not Accept Offer to Go In Your Home for Anything.
The officer may say to you, how about you go inside and change, freshen up, talk to your wife, husband, get a jacket, or any other reason. The police will graciously escort you in and then tear your home apart searching through it. Also, do not let them secure your car. Your car is fine. Remember they are lying to you. They don't give a damn if you are really cold or if you need to talk to your wife or husband.

10. Don't say a word.
It's incredible how many people feel that they can convince the officer, the booking officer or a detective (if your case reaches that stature) that they are not guilty. YOUR CASE IS NOT DECIDED BY THESE PEOPLE. They have no affect on your records. Wait to speak to your lawyer! The courts give enormous weight to "confessions" during this stage. A suspect is almost NEVER released after being arrested.

Follow these ten simply rules religiously and many of your rights will remain intact. I don't care how nervous, scared or drunk you are, THESE RULES ARE VERY IMPORTANT, and will help you tremendously in the short and long run.

Quick Test Question
An altercation occurs with your live in girlfriend. When the police arrive they find you on the sidewalk, a few houses down the street. Your girlfriend points you out and the officers then arrest you for assault. During the arrest, they let you know that they do not intent to question you. They just need your name and address. What do you do?

Well the police are lying to you and rule number 1 is to keep your mouth shut, so you don't say anything. Your name is all you may need to give. If you give your address, that may indicate that you live together converting your alleged crime from a misdemeanor to a felony. An officer will attempt to get you to make an admission, especially when they have no evidence. KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!


By: Sophie (for the Senders' version of CRAZY DATE)



First released in 1983 on Moonlight Records as a Cassette Only edition, it was reissued a few years later (1988) on Glass Fish Records (with a new artwork) but since then it has never been available on cd even though some memorable moments (2 songs) can be heard on the 2cd anthology "1976-81". An acoustic performance recorded at the Portland Arms, Cambridge in November 1978.

Give It To The Soft Boys / Sandra's Having Her Brain Out / Give Me A Spanner, Ralph / My Evaline / Human Music / I Like Bananas (Because They Have No Bones) / Horns Large Horns / Book Of Love / Wish I Had My Baby / White Shoe Blues / In The Mood / That's When Your Heartaches Begin / Have A Heart, Betty (I'm Not Fireproof) / The Duke Of Squeeze / All Shook Up
Posted by angelo at 08:06

(Click on original blog for download- PW is password)


Rick Benedict posted this on his site...

April 2009

As I sit writing these memories down I have just been told of the death of my good friend Rocky Hill. So, now I sit listening to an album he made in Dallas in the 70's. I don't think it ever got released. But I have a copy of it. Thank God. Rocky was so damned talented, but as talented as he was he was the same degree of difficulty. He was his own worst enemy. I played in
several bands with him and I was always in his corner and if that description reminds you of a pugilistic relationship with the world, it definitely was. So talented, hard core. A real blues man. I first saw him play at the Cellar in 1967 in Houston in the American Blues with his brother Dusty on bass and Frank Beard on drums. Sharkey played keyboards and Phil sang and was
pretty. They all had blue hair! Really blue! Everybody had blond hair and so the Nestle Blue Hair Spray made their hair really blue. The Airline Motel where they all stayed was threatening them with paying for the pillowcases and towels that were turning blue with their use. Frank decided he wanted to go home to Dallas, so the job became available and I took it. So now how was I going to get my black hair to turn blue? I ended up with a long blond fall sprayed blue. It worked pretty well. It made me a target for the go-go girls. One night a drunk dancer decided to take issue with my oh so obvious wig. She snatched it off my head leaving me sitting there playing with my hair all pinned back with bobby pins, looking stupid and mad! I believe I kicked her into the pillows and put my wig back on my head.

But Rocky and I were pretty good buddies. We even went to San Francisco tosee Little Richard's band (* Little Richard had been a show drummer in Dallas and had played with Rocky and Dusty in a band called the Warlocks) The Anonymous Artists of America. They played in Haight Asbury Park with Steve Miller and the Diggers fed everybody. It was a "Be In". We also went to an art exhibit that was full edible and consumed by the patrons. Wow. Rocky turned me on to a lot of music. I think he introduced me to Lightnin' Hopkins a local bluesman (Houston). I later did some recording with his harmonica player Billy Bizer. Rocky was a force to be reckoned with and I did it as often as was possible. Through out the years, I even played with him again in the 80's and again in 2002-03. He ghost wrote (which just means he got no credit as a songwriter for the song) many of the ZZ Top songs and was paid a monthly stipend until he died. He never had to work, he never had to gig, and I for one think that was a pity. Most never got to see him really play, like I knew he could play and I thought if he had had to gig it might've gotten easier for him or made him stronger. But as gigging became more and more difficult for him (he thought he couldn't play unless he drank and once he drank he couldn't play). Also it was killing him. He had Hepatitis C and despite efforts to the contrary by his wife Joy, he still insisted on drinking. He always thought he was hiding it, but no. I even wrote a song on that very subject. He asked me to bring him liquor when we were practicing during a revival of the Rocky Hill Band in 2002 but I refused. Louie (*Lou Bovis who's Mom owned Lou Ann's in Dallas and made him promise to always play with Rocky and who played with and put up with Rocky until he died) would bring him a bottle of vodka because Rocky would promise to beat him up if he didn't. Now, one thing you didn't want was for Rocky to throw a punch at you. At one point he was not drinking and had taken up boxing and working out and running every day. Rocky stood about 6'2" and weighed about 230. And if he ever hit you, you would for sure know it!

Take a message to Garcia! Rocky Hill is dead! R.I.P.
I hung out with Rocky a lot at the Old Quarter (the original) listening to Towns van Zandt and Rex Bell, taking acid trips and contemplating life and music. The Old Quarter was in an old building with high ceilings and store front windows where you could sit and watch the foot traffic, down by the bayou in Downtown Houston. There was a whole district springing up down in
that part of Houston at the time, along with Market Square and Love Street Light Circus. It also had an upstairs part to it. I used to sit and look out that window into the dawning of new days having spent the late night hours tripping with Rex and Rocky and Rex's girl friend. The club was like someone's living room with sofas and easy chairs and coffee tables scattered about. Its décor was furnished in late Goodwill. All kinds of people ended up down there. It was a study in diversity. Allen's Landing was just down the street with all kinds of poster stores, bars, psychedelic shops for clothing and smoking paraphernalia, just old buildings we had claimed for our own to hang out in. Market Square which was just a short distance away ( a matter of a few blocks) was a destination for a lot of folks with Rock, blues, hippies, vaudeville, banjo music, steaks, girls, jazz, Greek music and food, hotels, hookers, dealers, whatever you wanted you could find in that part of town. And people were coming. The joint (The Cellar) paid for itself in six weeks, a cost of about $225,000. If you watched one table all night long it would "turn over" about 5 x an hour, sometimes more. That's a lot of $2.50 drinks per night. And they paid their bands, well, not much. I
started out at $13.37 a night and at the most, I made (w/ The American Blues) $ 30.00 a night. It might've been $50.00. I really don't remember. What a place the Cellar was, and still is in some minds. There was nothing else like it. Pat Kirkwood created it in the middle sixties. It was a place to hang out at, drawing the very hip and beat fans. It was about jazz, coffee, girls and thou. Black and dark, cushions on the floor so as to lounge and watch the girls in their underpants dance. Open all night! They had more than one band, and all the equipment was provided. Wow! Here was the deal, during the week there were two bands plus an early set. The doors opened at 6 pm and closed at 4. On weekends they ran 3 bands plus an early set and stayed open till 6am. Your status with the club and management resulted in when your band played, if your band played, and what you made. You might get the early and late shows while the top bands played during the middle hours. It was a high test proving ground. Johnnie Carroll, who'd had been a rockabilly star earlier was the music director and did a lot of the early sets. I used to go in early and play with him sometimes; he turned me on to Willie Nelson. And I got to experience playing with the Echo-Plex as he would loop the tape and walk off while me and his guitar gently played. And so it began. The later sixties brought about a change in music (The Beatles and the British Invasion) and a change in the number of bands seeking to play. It was a hotbed of testosterone. Musically, it was a hotbed of amazing talent. I guess that involves testosterone too! It was whack! It was right on, dude! Ask anybody that ever went there. The evidence still exists in the number of musical careers that have spanned the decades. We still get together. In fact we just celebrated the Fiftieth year anniversary in Feb. 09.

************ ********* ********* ******
"All good things are wild, and free". Henry David Thoreau

Friday, April 17, 2009



FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2009

Judy Judy Judy...

an inspiration to stenciling.
guess what kind of beer?



Is a new vehicle for the exploration of the contemporary headscape, the post-postmodern Weltanschauung, of the disaffected human soul cut adrift in an environment of cultural debris and philosophical vacuum, bereft of ideological certainty, drained of angst and motivation like an empty swimming-pool.

Will explore the para-literary, ontological indeterminacy, the poetry of quantum mechanics and posthuman pornography, the disinterestedly transgressive, the shamelessly narcissistic, a new aesthetics based on total disinterest and the psychopathic imagination.

Will carve new channels for the mind and emotions, and shamelessly plunder the past.

Disrespects all barriers, boundaries and genre-manoeuvres of the cultural and marketing industries...



We want your fiction, artwork, photographs, articles on any subject under the sun – music, film, literature, politics, science, magick, gardening even(!!!).

PARAPHILIA will be updated every few months. Back issues will be archived and available as downloads. We plan to present an annual paperback collection of the best material received during the year.


There is no particular style or genre we are looking for. We want the work that is in the depths of your subconscious, the things you want to say but censor through fear of censure, through need of acceptance – social or commercial. It’s time to take over the means of expression from the conglomerates and industry.

Push it! Please don’t send us material that most other magazines would accept. Go large! Defy the limits and expectations imposed on you by the world.

PARAPHILIA MAGAZINE is a non-profit making venture. We do what we do out of love. Hence, we will not be offering payment for inclusion in the magazine. All copyrights, of course, belong to the authors, artists, etc...


In the spirit of ‘What the fuck!’ we have decided to extend our activities into ‘book’ publishing. The titles will be put out in a variety of formats; primarily in digital form (for various reasons). Some of the electronic-books will also be printed as limited edition hardbacks or paperbacks, some as subscription only, others for general sale. The different editions of any titles published in multiple formats will contain some different material. There will also be some titles published only in ‘hard’ copy. We will announce these titles as things progress.

We will also put up material for exclusive perusal on the website, which can be viewed and/or read in THE DUNGEON section - forthcoming.

All submissions to:

D M Mitchell / Díre McCain

We have now enough material for Issue Two and are putting the final touches to it. The 'publication' date to be announced soon.

Please send us some material for Issue Three - the usual, dark, funny, erotic, traumatic, esoteric etc.. stuff. The sort of stuff that life is really made up of.

And we are looking for special 'themed' material for Issue Four. Aside from our regular serials, we will be displaying all the fun of the fair. Circuses, clowns, jugglers, freaks, monsters, fairgrounds, musee mecanique, animated tableaux, etc...

Thank you
the editors

I Are Great (Self-Indulgence to the 'n'th degree)

I am including this not only just to show off, but to share Miss Laura's hilarious descriptions of aging punkers at the Nervebreakers' Club Dada show & her very astute observations on what makes old-school punk rock different from what followed it...

lauralately’s music blog

I’m on a Tex Edwards kick!

I’m going through a new phase. My current obsession is country/punk legend T. Tex Edwards, a fixture of the Dallas music scene for over 30 years.

This phase began courtesy of Mark, my better half, who was a regular at Dallas punk club DJ’s in the ’80s. He got to see a lot of cool stuff happen, including the rise of the legendary Nervebreakers, for whom Tex was the singer. During their heyday, the Nervebreakers played with every great punk act that came through town, including the Sex Pistols (the ’Breakers were the opening act at the legendary Longhorn Ballroom show), and the Clash. After their demise, Tex went on to play with many other bands, including Out on Parole, the Swingin’ Cornflake Killers (get it? cereal killers!) and his most recent act, which has one of the greatest band names ever: the Affordable Caskets.

Mark took me to a show by Tex and the Swingin’ Cornflake Killers at the Barley House a few weeks ago, and I had a fantastic time. At the end of the show, Tex gave me a CD copy of an album he’d recorded in the mid-’80s with Out on Parole - it’s called “Pardon Me, I’ve Got Someone To Kill”. I popped it in the next night, and loved every minute of this album of country-western cover songs about killing people. As a teenager, I was a fan of Nick Cave’s gloomy “Murder Ballads”, and “Pardon Me” is “Murder Ballads” recorded ten years prior and with tongue firmly in cheek. Tex invited us to the reunited Nervebreakers at Club Dada on the 11th; I had prior commitments, which I bailed on early to see the ‘Breakers perform.

The Nervebreakers’ music is fun, snotty punk rock, but this is punk like it was before speed metal accelerated the collective angry-music tempo and punk turned into the NOFX/crust stuff that was the soundtrack to my adolescence. The Nervebreakers’ sound is a relic of the age that spawned the Ramones, and its ties to rock and roll are more evident than any similarities to modern punk.

The show itself was everything I expected, nothing more, nothing less. This is a show by a bunch of guys in their fifties, played to an audience of the same; if these graying guys had tried to thrash around and spit on people, it would’ve looked ridiculous, and they wisely abstained from such antics. This is not the concert to attend if one wishes to see a cranked-up screamfest, and with that in mind, the Nervebreakers put on an enjoyable show. While they were doing a final pre-show soundcheck, Tex stood onstage, looking greasy and disheveled and motionlessly staring at his feet; at first I thought there was something wrong, but I soon realized it was part of an act. Tex really made the show as great as it was: his near-catatonic, glassy-eyed performance was just unsettling enough to serve as an effective vehicle for the “fuck-off” message of the music, and it was the perfect way for a gray-haired, pot-bellied guy to come across as snotty and rebellious.

The other aspect that made this show as fun as it was, was the audience itself. Have you ever seen old people slam dance? If you ever get a chance, do so. Watching white-haired dudes in the front row pogo-ing during the aptly titled “Pogo” was absolutely priceless. I ran into a friend who was there with her mother; her mom was gettin’ drunk and dancing with guys while her daughter stood there with her arms crossed, looking slightly mortified. These old folk can really show the kids how to party, although the moshing usually came in ten-second increments - too much thrash dancing and one might break a hip, no?

All age-related joking aside, I had an absolute blast. The atmosphere at the show was one of gleeful nostalgia, and I totally got swept up in it - I began wishing I’d been born 25 years earlier so I could’ve seen this music at its zenith. The Nervebreakers will probably play more shows, and I’ve heard album rumors - they’re releasing some stuff they wrote back in the seventies but never recorded until now, which should be interesting.

To conclude this post, here is a gift for you: Tex Edwards & the Swingin’ Cornflake Killers, recorded in the early ’90s performing the Wynn Stewart classic “I’m A-Gonna Kill You”. This video embodies everything I love about Tex - he’s totally nuts, in the most rock ‘n’ roll kind of way.


I also re-posted this with The Nervebreakers Yahoo Group at:

Some of our members there had some interesting comments I hope they don’t mind me sharing…

I liked her objective observation about this punk vs. what people are now used to thinking of as punk. Much the same way as I viewed early Parliament/Funkadelic as being an exciting new road for black music, only then to see that only one element of it, the pounding bass, was singled out and expanded upon to become a monotonous fixture and focus for the next 20 years, discarding the facets that made the music interesting and creative, similarly, I view the homogenization of early punk into fast monotonous assembly-line drivel in the ’80s (after the creative first wave was long over) and that now being what some consider the standard as a sad fact of consumer taste.

I went back and reread it and you are right, she does well both in placing the idea of punk music in placing the music of the nervebreakers into context. maybe J Liles should worry that she will take his job. (Just a joke in reference to her next blog entry after the Tex one.)

I get kind of weary of the punk subject, because almost everyone referencing punk is talking about the copycats that came after the real wave of punk was past, and I guess it’s just a personal preference, but I just didn’t like hardly any of that.

On another subject, Saturday’s Nervebreaker performance reminded me how very good they are at the little punches and breaks. I mean, it’s not the easiest thing to take an already powerful punchy collection of songs and still manage to bring something special to each one to make it really pop during the song, and the audience loves it when that happens. That’s something that is just nonexistent in the frenetic speedpunk that has come to reappropriate the genre.

The Over/Under: The Kinks

From MAGNET: Real Music Alternatives

The Over/Under: The Kinks
April 14, 2009

The Wilco Over/Under was really well-received. So much so that somebody calling himself “sgtpepper64” on ViaChicago, the Wilco message board, lavished this praise on MAGNET’s Roob (you’d know him if you saw him): “What a dick who doesn’t know shit.” The Robert Pollard Over/Under was really well-received, also. So well-received that Pollard’s wife deleted Roob from her Facebook friend list, no doubt furious over the part where he called Pollard “the greatest songwriter who ever lived.” The R.E.M. Over/Under went well, too. So well that some guy called “haggis” on Murmurs, the R.E.M. message board, wrote, “This is crap. The guy obviously has serious R.E.M. issues” after Roob said that R.E.M. was one of his favorite bands ever. OK, so on we go with the Kinks. As the years go by, it becomes more and more apparent that the Kinks were equal to—if not superior to—the holy trinity of the Beatles, the Who and the Stones. When all is said and done, the Kinks just may be recognized as the greatest band ever. But for now, they’re just more fodder for MAGNET’s weekly Over/Under. Hopefully, Pete Quaife’s wife doesn’t zap Roob from her Facebook friend list after this one.

:: The Five Most Overrated Kinks Songs
1. “Celluloid Heroes” (1972)
“Celluloid Heroes” gets the same big, giant asterisk treatment that we gave Robert Pollard’s “Subspace Biographies” back in February. The problem isn’t the song, it’s the arrangement. The studio version pretty much renders a brilliant song unlistenable. Ray Davies penned a stunning tribute to the actors and actresses whose lives were torn apart by the same Hollywood machinery that made them stars, then he ruined it with a John Tesh-ian wash of synths that drown out the song’s power. Nothing wrong with keys in Kinks music. A bunch of early Kinks tracks were beefed up with some glorious barrelhouse piano, much of it provided by Nicky Hopkins. But here, John Gosling’s keys detract from an otherwise classic Kinks song. If we want synths, we’ll pull out Rick Wakeman’s Journey To The Centre Of The Earth. They don’t belong here.

2. “Come Dancing” (1983)
Davies mined the same territory—sentimentality with a twist—far better before and since. “Come Dancing” is a tough listen, one of the few flat-out duds in the Kinks’ vast catalog. For a songwriter who was so brilliant at creating these lonely images of pedestrian life in small-town England, “Come Dancing” tries too hard to tug at the heartstrings and conjures up an image of happy times that have slipped through one’s fingers. Gotta admit, by the time this track ends, I’m glad they knocked down the damn palais.

3. “Juke Box Music” (1977)
Davies is a god at crafting devastatingly beautiful choruses. Nobody in the history of pop music wrote such unforgettable verses and then just blew you away with an even more heart-wrenching or uplifting chorus. And then there’s “Juke Box Music,” with its chorus of “It’s only juke box music/Only juke box music/Only juke box music/It’s only music/Only juke box music/Only juke box music.” Etc. And so on. The verses are pretty meh, too, but this is the worst chorus in Kinks history. Other than maybe “Rock ‘N’ Roll Cities.” And that doesn’t count.

4. “Destroyer” (1981)
I had a girlfriend in college who loved Harry Chapin. OK, stay with me here, this is difficult for me. I’d be in my apartment blasting Uriah Heep or King Crimson, and Janet would sit there studying, then politely ask if we could listen to “Verities And Balderdash” next. Anyway, when tickets went on sale for a Harry Chapin show at Ohio State’s Mershon Auditorium, I had no choice. If I refused to go, she’d refuse to give it up. Come to think of it, she refused anyway. But the point is, Chapin sucked, and the low point of the evening was this pathetic song he did where he took the characters from that morbid “Taxi” song and continued the story years later. It was called “Taxi The Sequel” or “Taxi II” or some such crap, and the realization struck me at that moment that the worst thing any artist can do is recycle old material. It’s sad and it’s pathetic and it’s an open concession that, “Hey, I just got nothing anymore.” So when “Destroyer” starts out, “Met a girl called Lola, and I took her back to my place,” I hearken back to Mershon Auditorium and Janet and that horrifying “Taxi” sequel. Come on, Ray. Not another Lola song. It’s not funny, it’s not clever, it’s not necessary. Of course, “Destroyer” also lifts the “All Day And All Of The Night” riff, so now you have a rare case of multiple self-pilfering. Harry Chapin would have dug it. Janet probably would have, too.

5. “Catch Me Now I’m Falling” (1979)
Low Budget as a whole is underrated. Ironic that it took a British band to provide the most perceptive musical chronicle of the U.S. circa Jimmy Carter’s presidency. But “Catch Me Now I’m Falling,” built around the legendary “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” riff, is a low point here. I have no problem with borrowing a riff from the Stones and tweaking it to fit a new song. Think of World Party’s “woo-hooo” bit in “Way Down Now,” which cops from “Sympathy For The Devil” without stealing. But this is flat-out robbery. And a band that created so many unforgettable riffs—from “All Day And All Of The Night” to “You Really Got Me” to “She’s Got Everything”—just shouldn’t have to resort to it. This was Ray and brother Dave Davies—while still fine songwriters—admitting that they had run out of riffs, so they just shrugged and used somebody else’s. Still bugs me. Not only that, this is the worst couplet in Kinks history: “Now I’m calling all citizens from all over the world/This is Captain America calling.”

:: The Five Most Underrated Kinks Songs
1. “Plastic Man” (1969)
At first glance, a totally ridiculous track, almost novelty. But it turns out “Plastic Man” is much more. It’s not only a biting social commentary on the disingenuous dirtbags who invade our lives on a daily basis but a great little rocket-fueled music-hall rave-up with a gazillion beefy chord changes and a healthy dose of hyperkinetic drumming courtesy of the underrated Mick Avory.

2. “Mindless Child Of Motherhood” (1970)
The first Kinks show I saw was at the long-forgotten Westchester Premier Theater in Tarrytown, N.Y., in 1978. About 40 minutes into the set, Ray introduced Dave, who was about to sing his crowning achievement, “Death Of A Clown”: “This is me brother Dave, and he’s going to sing ‘Death Of A Clown’ now. It’s a great song, but he’s actually not much of a songwriter. Just got lucky with this one, then, didn’t you Dave?” Dave was clearly pissed, but the show went on without any fisticuffs. “Death Of A Clown” may be Dave’s masterpiece, but he penned a few other terrific Kinks songs: “Living On A Thin Line,” “Susannah’s Still Alive” and “Mindless Child Of Motherhood,” to name a few. The latter, originally released as the flip side to the “Lola” single, is a tightly wound powerhouse mid-period Kinks track that holds its own against the best of Ray’s 1966-1969 songs. Luck had nothing to do with it.

3. “Sunny Afternoon” (1966)
The magnificent “Sunny Afternoon” has never been accorded the same legendary status as Ray’s finest songs—”Days,” “Waterloo Sunset,” “Victoria,” et al—but it belongs in that category. “Sunny Afternoon” came along in the summer of 1966 and showed remarkable growth for a band that just two years earlier was releasing straight-ahead covers of songs like “Long Tall Sally.” Now, Ray was emerging as a master storyteller and melodicist, and “Sunny Afternoon” was one of the first and finest of his richly detailed vignettes of everyday life, rising atop an unlikely musical amalgam of Vaudeville, ragtime, pop and Broadway. It would prove to be fertile territory for the Kinks over the next decade, but they never did it better than on “Sunny Afternoon.”

4. “Shangri-La” (1969)
Ray never really needed to put out that endless string of late-’60s/early-’70s theatrical concept albums, because he had this remarkable ability to condense an entire theatrical concept into one song. He didn’t need the 40-minute form because he could so remarkably use the five-minute form. Consider “Shangri-La,” which outwardly is yet another Davies tale of a British suburban loser and his mundane life. But musically, “Shangri-La” is astonishing. It starts out with Ray singing over a little acoustic guitar, then some horns kick in, then a harpsichord appears out of nowhere as the whole thing speeds up and changes key, a device that usually destroys pop songs but here deftly creates musical tension. Then comes Dave’s otherworldly “you can’t go anywhere” harmony—with apologies to the Pips for their work on “Midnight Train To Georgia,” I submit that this is the greatest harmony vocal in pop-music history—setting up the triumphant hook. And that’s just the first minute and a half. After another verse, with more insanely great Dave harmonies—check out the “TV set and a radio” bit—and another chorus, the thing changes key again, then descends from music-hall pop into a hammering hard-rock verse, then morphs into the “la-la-la-la” version of the chorus. Then we skid to a halt, slow down and get one more chorus, with Dave’s “you can’t go anywhere” harmony just falling impossibly out of the sky and twisting itself into Ray’s lead vocal. There’s so much happening here, but it all works together, thanks to the genius of the brothers Davies. “Shangri-La” was released as a single but didn’t go anywhere, except in the Netherlands, where it peaked at number 27. But 40 years after it was released, “Shangri-La” stands as an epic, sprawling, five-and-a-half-minute mini-opera unto itself. A masterpiece.

5. “Better Things” (1981)
By the early 1980s, with outstanding comeback records Misfits and Low Budget fading in their rear-view mirror, the Kinks had ceased being a relevant band, and Give The People What They Want was the first in a string of desultory records that continued with State Of Confusion, Word Of Mouth, Think Visual and UK Jive. But each record seemed to have one damn good track buried somewhere within—often at the end of side two. Think Visual had “Lost And Found.” Word Of Mouth had “Do It Again.” State Of Confusion had … hmmm … I’ll get back to you. And for anybody who dared make it to the end of Give The People What They Want, there was “Better Things,” a vintage Kinks track with hopeful lyrics, old-school Kinks harmonies and a poignant Ray vocal. Sentimental without being cliché. That’s what Ray always did best, and with “Better Things,” he conjured up his old brilliance and did it one last time.

Read our 2008 Ray Davies cover story and Dave Davies feature. Plus, MAGNET had Black Francis, Robyn Hitchcock, Neko Case, Of Montreal and others write about their favorite Ray songs, and then we picked 10 overlooked Kinks tracks you need to know.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

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WFMU's Terre T has been playing selections from the We Went And Recorded It Anyway compilation of pop-punk and power pop rarities for weeks now. And so I bought it, and love it. Kinda makes ya wanna cry, doesn't it?

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