Saturday, March 31, 2012


So, in the past week or so, I was in Phoenix, Arizona. It's really not lovely- I far prefer Northern Arizona, these days, and have preferred Tucson, Arizona, but I was there for Family, so you have to go where Family is. But, that meant a trip to Zia's. Zia's is the last real holdout in this country that I am able to pinpoint. Sure, there are standalone record stores, like Amoeba, and so forth, but Zia's is the last independent chain of New/used CD store with the snooty clerks, and the dope-smokin' paraphernalia, tasteless posters, outdated cash registers and the rest of the jive you might remember from the late 1980's, early 1990's, So, did I get anything new? No! I got scads of stuff I already own, or have owned. So, just to re-iterate on some:
I got Quicksand-Slip. There was a time in the early 1990's when "emo" wasn't always a dirty word, and when Hardcore was dividing like cells in an embryo. Still one of my favorite times for music, if not my favorite. Sure, you had "alternative", and "Grunge", but in my mutant mental landscape, such things are but cells, in this new creation coming out of Punk/underground rock. From about 1985 to 1995 you had everything from Country/roots divisions to electronic/industrial divisions. In 1993, at the tail end of that fertile period, a former Gorilla Biscuit masterminded what I consider to be the Platonic ideal for this particular outcropping- the Emo/posthardcore division. Yes, that means I think Quicksand's "Slip" is better than Fugazi, Jawbox, and so on- Now, I think that Jawbox was a better band, overall, and had a few songs that eclipse everyone else, and Fugazi were definitely the spearhead of the genre, but song-for-song, sound-by-sound, note-by-note, I think this one is perfect. From the opening of "Fazer" to the last note of "Transparent" it's one of the few records I have that captures a moment, a feeling, a scene completely. And if you don't dig "Dine alone' I sincerely doubt that you'll dig any of this branch of my tastes. It's like the Cro mags playing a reggae version of a Jane's Addiction song- what could be better? One final note, though- listen carefully to the bass and guitar tone- I know of no one else who managed such a cutting, powerful midrange sound. If you really listen, it makes Heavy Metal sound toothless and mushy.
I also got dEUS- In a Bar, Under the Sea, from just a few years later. For some, it's their favorite period for dEUS. Me, I'm more into the MkII version of the later 2000's, but I don't hate this. It's very loose, funky Alt-rock, like a more Captain Beefheart version of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But, even at that point, my favorite stuff was the Tom Barman pop songs. Overall, it's kinda like how I feel about the Flaming Lips. The early first version is good, and definitely hits the spot for the time and place, but the revamp is timeless, and spotless, and beautiful.
Then , I got Kasabian's 'Kasabian'. I'd never heard it before. I came in with the West Ryder LP, so, at the time this came out, I thought they were just a bunch of sub-Oasis yobbos. Wrong! This is clean, powerful Electro-charged british rock, of the danceable variety. Now, it's not anywhere near the Awesome-sauce that is Velocipraptor, but still, for that British dance rock thing, it's a nice continuation from the Madchester thing, from the late 1980's- a bit more Jesus Jones/PWEI than Stone Roses/Charlatans, but still of that same musical space. If you don't think I'm a massive fan of that sound, you need to google the title of this blog, and check out what you get.
Then, I also got British Sea Power's "Open Season". They've never been one of my favorites. They're ok, and I like to hear some of their tracks whilst driving long distances. They're like a very pop-influenced version of Shoegazing music. Again, it's good, but not great. I doubt if it'll offend your ear, but won't change your life, either. Ultimately, I think it's music for sad girls from small towns, waiting to go to university.
Newer still, but in a way, older- I got Kele's (Bloc party) solo record -The Boxer. I think I'm with Kele on the divide between he and his old(?) band. Yup, hard Electronics over increasingly nostalgic New Wave guitar rock. But, isn't that better "retro" if you remember the 80's?
Finally, I got my 4th copy of Wild Flag's LP. Yes, 4th copy. I bought one that I , unfortunately, thrashed. I got another on Mp3, that I still have. I gave away another copy to a friend, so now, I've got my 4th copy. Yes, it's that good. I'm happily married. However, I would be in love with Carrie Brownstein, if I could be. She plays a mean guitar, in her own style, she sings like Joey Ramone meets Sue Tissue, she's smart, she's funny, and she's stylish. In other words, it's probably for the best that I'm happily married, and that she's bisexual, and involved, because she's way too good for me, and I'd probably end up being some kind of creepy stalker guy. Anyway, my wife really is smart, funny, stylish and happy with me, to boot, so I win, but still, yup, Carrie's one of my ideal women. That aside, this is still the hottest album of party rock I've heard in awhile. If you don't have it, yet, seriously- go and get it, now.

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