Wednesday, October 7, 2009

We're an American Band....

For my posts, you would be forgiven for thinking that I'm European, but, no, I live near the American Capitol. Further, unlike my recent selections, I listen primarily to Punk, post-punk and Hardcore. On top of that, despite my pop culture leanings, I'm a bit of a Pinko.
Enter The United Sons of Toil, a bunch of American socialists from Wisconsin. They play a particularly political brand of abrasive rock. They call it "math", but it's got almost nothing in common with the "math rock" you mostly hear today, which is all a bunch of random time signatures to my ears (exception: Meshuggah, who sound like an off kilter grind, as opposed to bad, loud jazz). No, this is mid-1990's midwestern strum and klang, like The Jesus Lizard, Slint, and (early) Fugazi. No surprise that prime Son Russell Hall did his time in Pound Wi and P'Elvis .
They definitely know their way around some skronk. So, if you want some loud punk, here you go. All loud, but well constructed, without any hint of metal. Lyrics like a modern Gang of Four, no waste, all anger. They have nothing to insult your intelligence. So, aging hardcores, Listen! You have nothing to lose except your chains!

The Gasoline Brothers

Continuing with my Germanic heritage, here's another Dutch band: the Gasoline Brothers.
They're a bit more spotty than the aforementioned Silence is Sexy and Pandora's Box, but still, they have two worthy albums out. The second, Tsk!, is very energetic new wave with some little country flourishes. Think the Futureheads meets Marshall Crenshaw. The first album, Hm!, is much more alt-country with a lot of experimentation of the kind that Wilco, or the Flaming Lips indulge in. However it's a much more laid back sound. Still some very strong songs, but this is very much a band deciding who they want to be when they grow up. When they decide, I hope they are as strong as songs like "Psychosomatic Heart Failure" and "Sleeping Pills and Asteroids" !
Also, they've got a great website, even with some games, so do click the link!

Monday, October 5, 2009


Yes, I do know how insensitive I am.
Anyway, as we all become "recessionistas", the first thing we cut out is entertainment. I say that instead, we should take a cue from my punk rock past, and change our entertainments. Instead of being entertained by things that line some rich guy's pockets, we should support each other.
Even if you cannot "DIY" your entertainments (we can't all cut CD's and we cannot all shoot movies, and we cannot all write books) I think that, rather than cutting such things out, we should be looking at people who can make their own. So, more Youtube, less you lose. More Jamendo, less jive. More Craftster, less Crap.
It's also all part of my evil plan to get us away from mass culture. The more you seek out alternative means, the more you will find niches filled with riches.
So, if you click on the links, you should see all kinds of pathways to entertainments, and maybe, just maybe, one will inspire you to create, instead of consume