Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Slow Death - Sorry Sam

The Slow Death - Sorry Sam.mp3 Listen on Posterous

The number of bands hitting their self-deprecating, double-time punk stride is growing day by day. In fact, I don't know the last time I heard a new band do the mid-90s skate punk thing - it's almost like they've scaled it back to just blasting stuff out instead of trying to play as fast as humanly possible. 

I've got a bunch these kind of bands that'll be posted here in the next couple weeks, but today it's
The Slow Death who bring together members of Pretty Boy Thorson and the Falling Angels, the Tampa-based Rest of Us, and the hugely-missed (at least by me) The Ergs as they rampage their way around the country.

I’m not gonna muck this up too much. The album "Sorry Sam" comes from, Born Ugly Got Worse, in all its 12-song glory, is a somewhat gruff pop-punk blast of catharsis. It works, you know?

Pay what you want for The Slow Death’s new album, Born Ugly Got Worse, at Kiss of Death Records.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Radiohead - "A Wolf at the Door (It girl. Rag doll)"

Radiohead - A Wolf at the Door (It girl. Rag doll).mp3 Listen on Posterous

The first song I heard in the car this morning was “Planet Telex,” the first track on The Bends, Radiohead’s second album. I did not intend to post about Radiohead this morning. Yet I found myself, this evening, flipping through their discography, from The Bends itself, up through various b-side collections and finally to Hail to the Thief and In Rainbows.

I’m not sure what I was looking for tonight, and I’m not sure if I found it, but I had a realization this afternoon that I spent most of my 20s being as lazy as humanly possible - this despite working 50- and 60-hour weeks at several jobs, being married and having three children, and working on and off on other stuff. Just because you are busy or working a lot does not mean you're actually accomplishing anything. I've done some stuff. I'm not sure I've gotten anything done though.

The on and off part is what bothers me too. That’s the part that isn’t good enough. Sure, I’m a bitter, ah, Millennial or late Gen Y or... It doesn’t matter. The point is, I’m one of these young people that isn’t happy. I know how much of it is my fault, and from the work I've done, I also know that the greedy schmucks a generation before me have sucked everything dry. I blame both, also knowing full well that if my personal version of lazy had not been so well engineered, I might be better off. 

It's not lazy on any level to work those kinds of hours. But if you're not meeting any goals, or enough of them, to push forward to some kind of larger something, then it's pretty much just life masturbation, no?

So, as I let the Radiohead discography flow, the “what happened” of “15 Step” is the perfect alternative to “Just” insisting that “you do it to yourself.” But there’s more, because being lazy is not just something that magically happens, without you noticing. It’s that you let it happen, you let it consume you, and by the time you realize it, it’s done. 

The reality is that you fight it or succumb in the hope that eventually you’ll come out of it. My 22-year-old self would be livid if I could separate him out, like the white from the yolk of an egg. I've heard that your 20s are made for this sort of thing, and nobody really gets serious until they turn 30 anyway. I don't know if it's true but suddenly I feel like a didn't milk a few years hard enough - and maybe that is as it should be.

“A Wolf at the Door” feels like cold water in the face. Or the alarm. Better yet, it's your car hitting the back of the one in front of you because you refused to look up from something far less important than driving. Maybe I've got Thom Yorke's lyrics all misunderstood and turned them into something for myself. I don't care, and hopefully he'll understand that I don't care.

Since the track is from Hail To The Thief, everybody can sound like a Radiohead genius for knowing it, because so many love to dump on what was essentially a superb album completely unlike what people wanted to hear from the band. Actually, it’s better than that. I’m not going to make the case for Hail To the Thief at this point though.

Anyway, there it is. Thanks for the insight, Radiohead.

Drag him out your window

Dragging out your dead

Singing I miss you

Snakes and ladders

Flip the lid

Out pops the cracker

Smacks you in the head

Knifes you in the neck

Kicks you in the teeth

Steel toe caps

Takes all your credit cards

Get up get the gunge

Get the eggs

Get the flan in the face

The flan in the face

The flan in the face

Dance you fucker dance you fucker

Don't you dare

Don't you dare

Don't you flan in the face

Take it with the love is given

Take it with a pinch of salt

Take it to the taxman

Let me back let me back

I promise to be good

Don't look in the mirror

At the face you don't recognize

Buy Radiohead’s Hail To The Thief at Amazon.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Ettes - Red In Tooth and Claw

The Ettes - Red In Tooth and Claw.mp3 Listen on Posterous

The Ettes were not a new concept for me when I saw them at The Black Cat in Washington, D.C., on September 4. I had heard a few mp3s, watched a video or two on YouTube. You know, not an obsession, but certainly not a real familiarity.

The crowd, which felt to be about the same number of people from start to finish, though I was up against the stage the whole time so I can’t be too sure, stood through The Bam Bams, who were intense, especially their super-focused drummer who smiled through the entire set, and Friends, who channeled parts of the 80s I’m glad I wasn’t all that into during my single-digit years of life.

Coco, Poni and Jem finally took the stage after this mix and proceeded to pound the shit out of the audience. Like, whoa.

When it comes to pounding, really, Poni is an animal. By “is an animal,” I mean she has certain qualities that set apart her favorite drummer, Animal, from the rest of the pack. Hanging over her set, while abusing the kick drum especially, she supplies a backbone that most bands would kill for.

The bassist is often the sane guy in the band - Flea notwithstanding - and Gem covers that. His playing also often has a guitar-like quality. He looks like the coolest mother fucker in the room. The band obviously has something to do with it.

Which brings me to Coco. When she howls, and her eyes roll back in her head before she starts pounding her guitar again, it’s hard not to fall in love for a second. The woman is fronting a ferocious punk band, and she sounds like the kind of “let’s fuck and move on” rock star that Robert Plant embodied. And like Plant, she’s got a few lyrics that cover that exactly.

This whole beat punk thing, that's their word, and which seems pretty accurate, finds the band’s albums progressively mellowing in speed, but maintaining heaviness. And everything is faster in concert anyway, resulting in a now two-month obsession over the full four album discography of The Ettes.

What I’ve come away with - full disclosure, I’m listening to their third album, “Do You Want Power” for the third time today, of which “Red In Tooth and Claw” is the first track - is that The Ettes, with Coco as their center-piece, are ahead of all the rock bands aping old sounds. They’ve taken from punk, 60s whatever, and country just enough to turn out a sound that doesn’t really sound like anybody else. Which is probably why their discography has remained on repeat since that night in DC.

Buy The Ettes album Do You Want Power, and the rest of their discography, at Amazon.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop

Friday, October 21, 2011

Astronautalis & DJ Fishr Pryce - Mr. Blessington's Imperialist Plot (remix)

Astronautalis & DJ Fishr Pryce - Mr. Blessington's Imperialist Plot (remix).mp3 Listen on Posterous

Let's get this show back on the road, yes? It's been a minute since the Mop has cleared a floor as your (not so) humble record pusher worked himself through a word block of sorts. I know writer's block is BS to people who don't write but when you're just writing the same thing over and over and even you stop finding it interesting, well... Anyway, having been kicked in the face for weeks as two of my closest people lay down some great words for the masses, I think it's time. There is nothing more inspiring for a writer to get at it than being surrounded by other writers. 

The first track back is a mixtape mashup. We've posted a selection from the mind-expanding mixtape Astronautilus and DJ Fishr Pryce dropped earlier this year, and this morning, on the way to work "Mr. Blessington's Imperialist Plot" spoke to me.

The original version of this track is bit softer and more menacing, where here, Gaga suggests a covert strategy for blackmailing oneself to the top of an office hierarchy: pa- pa- pa- poker face, pa- pa- pa- poker face.

That's the way it's done in real life, right? Step on everybody on the way up, and then step on them on the way down? Boots on the ground people.

This is probably where I should use a superhero reference about getting back in action and making it happen but considering the subject matter of this first post back, I'm going with a villain: "This town needs an enema, and this mop has a long damn stick." Brace yourselves.

Posted via email from One Stupid Mop