Thursday, April 11, 2013

EAR PLUGS II: Static is Good For You

or  Hark! Everything Went Mono!

DeathIt wasn’t until the nasty side effects of a medicine left me with such a ringing in my right ear rendering it deaf and issuing yet more medicine to correct a medicines effect (oh, the irony). This included not only an order of NO LOUD MUSIC (pshaw) and 30 minutes of AM radio static in headphones (3rd best doctor order EVER; #1- Drink 2 cups of coffee a day #2-drink a Styrofoam cup of Pepsi and eat this chocolate which was ironically enough both directly attached to persistent migraines with the 3rd reason being somewhat directed too.) So, per my commitment to excellence I not only READ but LISTENED to Lord "Josh" Rutledge and committed myself to listening to music more even if it meant turning off Days of Our Lives during Dinner time and giving records turns. Spiritual|Mental|Physical a collection of raw meat demo recordings by Detroit MI proto-punk rockers revealed a hidden beauty? Yeah, Side 1 or 'A' the stronger of the sides holding the repeatable "Can You Give Me A Thrill???" When DEATH say "Rock and Roll!" they utilize it like a threat. The song really got me going. The needle hit the record several times in a row. It was playing for a third time when Kenny called and playing fir a fourth time when he called back after me forcing him to listen to my voice mails concerning recent deafness and scrapped business slogan for his painting company BRUSHMASTERS: WE WILL PAINT YOUR FACES! Side two of SPIRITUAL was the weaker of the two sides with some throw away doodling tracks but oh well... the gems outweigh the turds by far.

If you’ve ever wondered punk-rock is alive and well... wait. No. Scratch that. Lets start over. If you’ve ever wondered punk-rock is surviving... Barely scrapping by... Holding on for deer life (please note 'deer' in 'deer life' is NOT a misuse) in Columbus, Ohio represented maybe best by the band SICK THRILLS (Eastern Watts Records) with their packed to the brim 10 song No Fashion 7" LP. Please note: LP was not misused in this particular case. Punk-Rock at its most desperate rawness. Utilizing the factors of speed, desperation, anger, frustration and alienation and focusing them into a suicidal mission on one release, this record the historical equivalent to the Doolittle raid on Tokyo in 1942 THE SICK THRILLS are going all in on this 7" fitting as most rip raw garage punk rager’s as they can before something happens and everything becomes a fucking memory. Bringing to mind THE MOTARDS to a greater degree and a Midwestern hardcore punk sound just behind it pushing and shoving for some surface time itself, loud & snotty vocals spilling out ample amounts of poisoning snarl hold things all together vocally jabbing as with a switchblade where every stab is deadly, but intended to be playful. To drag you through to the very end. You’re dying but your not dead yet... You’re not allowed to die. The Sick Thrills will let you know when you can die.

SUBSETS imageAre you ready? I doubt your readiness. The moment I heard Ape Facin' by Cincinnati's own SUBSETS it floored me. literally. Todd Uttley, Angie Granado and Sarah Speeg all lifted me off the floor in all my glory and uncontrollable flatulence. Good thing Im humble and really don't give a fuck or THAT would have really been embarrassing. Subsets have a downloadable 4 song EP via Granado Records dine on it via a pay what you want release on bandcamp but if you ask me, I think you should pay about $60 for it because 1) it's damn good early 80's so-cal punk rock mixed with east coast punk ethics. like Agent Orange and The Ramones... and 2) Its from Granado Records... A new Cincinnati conglomeration of artist that includes yours truly. So yeah, I'm biased so fuck you. Pick yourself up off the floor and carpe deim you piece of shit.

Back-In-The-Day THE CRAMPS represented to me what The Ramones and even The Sex Pistols represented to others... One teenage evening after jerking off into a dock about six times I picked up a bass and while Bad Music for Bad People CASSETTE played, which incidentally is one of my personal all-time favorites (singles collection or not, it ROCKS), I convinced myself that I could play the bass parts to every song off that tape by evenings end. Almost anything The Cramps had put out is rocking or at least listenable to a certain degree or another and "Big Black Witch Craft Rock" b/w "Butcher Pete" is no exception. Yeah "Witch Craft" rocks a bit harder than the B-Side but still, its    consistent with other Cramps material. You can day what you want about The Cramps but something’s you cannot deny is that you will absolutely love about 2/3 of their songs and at least look at any album artwork or band photo to see if Poison Ivy is rocking a shaved vagina. Shaved vagina's are rock and roll right?

Slabs of plastic in the form of records like FOOTWORKS Bully 7" ( starts discord that leads to movements that lead to bloody revolutions and wars... Not really, bit it should. In my mind it does. Putting this record on I feel avant-revolutionairy. This 7" plays fast. Two burst of metallic rage on the A-side and I don’t mean 'metallic' rage as in metal music... Metallic rage as in RAGE as if metallic. Art-punk no wave crested and went back to reveal in its tsunami destruction this band! Footwork bring to mind Sonic Youth's "Confusion is Sex" era like on times when they get really rocking like on the track "Inhuman.” and a mix of DNA at their best. Ladies and gentlemen and everything else in-between, No Wave and art-punk isn’t without its 'mistakes' and moments that it would have been better to just watch Adam Ant or The Plasmatics on Solid Gold... This Footwork 7" is on yellow vinyl. Double A-sided which leaves just one more on the B... A really short one on the B-side too but all in all its worth it. Fans of ERASE ERRATA take note please. Fans of ELECTRALANE you may dig it too so give it a try let the art-punk in you out. It’s ok to be loud. It’s Ok to be frantic. You have two ears; one of those WILL die for rock and/or roll. The sooner you admit that the better. Fighting is sooooo passé.

BTW I hope you enjoyed that Footworks Facebook link. Take THAT mediocrity!

Ask around here in the Queen City (aka Queens Shitty) amongst the punk-rockers and... Whatever those other kids call themselves these days... 'Indie-ducks?' Bah... They are not serious about record collecting or more importantly record LISTENING or serious about bands or drinking fucking red bull or whatever else the fucking Indie- Ducks do if they don’t know who in the fuck NELSON SLATER is. Period(.) This includes even me. I wandered around basement shows and other dank holes for a few years before his name graced my ears and round a few more before I actually had the opportunity to meet the Wild Angel himself. Even got to write an article about him for CITY BEAT MAGAZINE that I'm rather proud of really. But then, with knowledge and exposure to Nelson you will also develop an opinion about him... Don’t worry, its part of the deal. Me? I love him. He is my Dads age... My Dads name 'rings a bell' with Nelson as Nelsons name tugs on my Dads memory a bit too... Well, even though I had a mp3 version of Nelsons Wild Angel (RCA1976) and heard the album several times in its entirety when the cut-out bin vinyl version made it into my hands still with a 99¢ on it and that vinyl looked minimally played... It had its turn on the table. Recently there was an early morning fire in a Cincinnati neighborhood and whom did the newsmen find to give commentary on this 4AM-ish incident? Nelson! "Wild Angel" may not be the rager of an LP track to track but "Wild Angel" and "Memory Girl" are pretty damn cool. I’m gonna get my ass up outta bed one morning and hit the streets until I find Nelson and have him autograph my LP... Or rather maybe Nelson will let me find him or even better yet; maybe Nelson will allow himself to be found!

Arriving in the trademark zip-loc sandwich bag, because music is the dope now mannnnnn... The latest offering from Youngstown Ohio’s LIONS CARE RECORDINGS brings you SWEET STARCHILD Speaks CD... No, its not a KISS cover band... Exactly but it sorta is... Sweet Starchild Speaks is a one-man covers release featuring the banter in-between live KISS songs! It’s totally PFG (Pure Fucking Genius). Only in Youngstown! Only in Ohio! This thing will have you laughing so be careful... Sweet Starchild doesn’t belittle the cause, he supports it. Its been unconfirmed from reconnaissance sources that go, but never return that Sweet Starchild has become some sorts of Colonel Kurtz type enigma in Ol' Y-Town (Y?Ynot?) and has even been known to take the 'thing' out in public MC'ing events! Wow! That would be worth a show in itself! I hope the next Sweet Starchild includes phone calls "This is Sweet Starchild bay-beee! YOUR the e-mergen-cee" and fast food orders "Hellll yeah I wanna biggie size that be-utiful combo meal. I lovvvve you!" Be forewarned now you Indie-Ducks, this is rock hard neo-urban heroism here... Yes, I just made that up bay-beeee. Lions Care has ANOTHER winner here but you’re too afraid to like it ('you' know who you are).

Ambushed! TRIN TRANS "Dark Radar" (Drag City) slipped under my radar! Actually some Trin Tran showed up on the facebook feed of a friend. Miles Uroshevich of WHALE TRAP (thanks Miles) and man oh man, I have at least three friends who digitally or metaphorically ran to the actual stores or 'virtual' stores (which sounds just as fucked up when you say it as read it.) I know very little about the background of this group or musician or whatever. With anything being just a click away, its nice and somewhat fitting that I just let mystery of the unknown back into my life if even when it comes to musicians. I’m fine with the ___________ knowledge is really such a let down. So musically I suppose my art-punk leanings have really shown in this edition of EAR PLUGS because Trin Tran is, you guessed it, exorbitant in the glory of art-punk sunshine. Frantic minimal punk with break apart vocal pops and jeers. If ya dig DEVO and NUMBERS this will make your genitals do what they are designed to do. Its good. Damn good. Minimal furious punk. It’s just amazing how some things seem so damn simple but are not yet achieved. Trin Tran songs are crafted. They are built and as each song collapses for the next attempt to your interest... the next try to convert you over to the ways of art-punk. Easily, Trin Tran could go toe to toe with the highest riders of the No Wave sound old or new.

Listening to Barfly by ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS I must say that the main reason why Pere Ubu isn’t the BEST Ohio band is simply enough because PERE UBU are Pere Ubu… Too artsy for their own good? Maybe... I think so… The Modern Dance is a great LP and all those HARPEN singles are amazing doses of gritty 1st Midwest punk-rock at its artistic finest but by Dub Housing Pere Ubu got too Lewis & Clark with it. Even by my standards. Is Dub Housing interesting? Shit yeah. Is it rocking? No. Not really and everything that pretty much followed by Pere Ubu including their latest Shanghi Lady is more interesting than out right rocking… "Free White" is AMAZING though… I must note that…  That’s why one of the many reasons, I declared The Pagans THEE best representation of Ohio punk. At its most filthy, raw rocking-ness. Rocket from The Tombs are the best parts of Pere Ubu without being Pere Ube. On Barfly you get the rocking-ness with “Maelstrom”, “Six and Two”, ‘Butcherhouse 4” and “I Sell Soul.” I will admit though “sister Love train” began to grate on my last fucking nerve eventually…

If ever there was any blame to be placed on the reduction and near deafness in my right ear by brain lesion or the prognosis of a viral infection, the preview of work on the next FUXTER SCHITTLY, would be something easy to pin it on. Is it music? Is it song? Can you dance to it? Get outta my head big brother, you wont like what you find there. It’s still unclear how to define Fuxter's material... I have covered this nine fingered son of a bitch for quite a while although I think he has been following me even longer... Experimental... Noise... The use of 'noise' may be misleading because per a deepening phone convo with Gabe Molnar, 'Noise' doesn’t necessarily mean L O UD. Noise is sound... Soft AND loud...Both kinds... Melody... Looking at sound and songs (more precisely) as sonic Leggos. Rearranged sampled morsels of audible consciousness taking you to a all-new level of mental super saturation of popular culture and its adversary, the UNDERGROUND... The FRINGE ELEMENT mixed... sonic Yin and yang in one place for your convenience... AT LAST. I was given a sampling, an of the moment study of Fuxters next production and its going in the right direction... I suppose. Can you dance to it? Hell yeah you can. You just gotta let yourself go... As usual, worked on from time to time in the cleanest clean room that side of the Great Miami River, somewhere the enemy is out there... Waiting for the order to 'hit play'...or something. Fuxter Schittly was born erect with a circumcised erection (do the math Ponch). The blues will have its revenge yet and the river will run a new brown like you never seen before. A further inspection will reveal that the river is now yoo-hoo... And talk of your 'most favorite whale' whilst sitting in The Blue Jay Restaurant that’s next to Shake It Records that’s next to Darou Salam all of which are up the street from that fucking glass pot bong store whose REAL name should be JUST BONG-IT... Well, talk of what your favorite whale is ends up not being an odd thing to talk about at all. Together, Nine-fingered Fuxter and 9.5 toe I, admire the man in the both behind ours injecting art into The Blue Jay balancing silverware in a rather interesting way. Purposely, I tell him I don’t want to know his name... Fuxter and I want the mystery. The infamous Chuck Cleaver, who I have witnessed inside The Blue Jays walls more times than not, walks by with his wife to be. "See you guys around..." he sez and we give good wishes back. Yeah, it would be easy for me to blame Fuxter fir the loss of hearing even though He and I and hell, maybe even YOU know that that’s not the case. The large cache of bubble gum next to a baseball glove on the steps of that Bartending School and KFC (just across from JUST BONG IT was a trap. Fuxter puts a dip in and passes the can to me. I grab two pouches of Skoal 'Bandits' in-between my bottom lip and teeth. Wintergreen. "Well, I'll be a son-of-a-bitch!" I say as Fuxter snaps a photo of the trap. He looks at me and smiles. "Your the only man I've ever enjoyed kissing" I say as I later drive away for the pure enjoyment of a strange thing for someone who may be listening to hear. Sometimes you watch the show other times you are the show.
Turn up the volume. I’m not totally deaf yet. I can still take more...

Always room for more.

I dare you for more. #Orelse.