Friday, July 12, 2013

Ear Plugs III: The Touch.


In today’s society maybe more than ever we are told DON'T TOUCH but listening to FRONTIER FOLK NEBRASKA's debut LP, after multiple digital (mp3) listens and an immediate turntable placement upon the delivery of the physical product (duh! the actual record) It’s during the first song... The brilliant emotional muddy river tsunami of "I Never Bent A Thing I Didn’t Break (Heavy Heart)" followed by (after a brief reprise of "Fistful of Carnations" and the equally brilliant and optimistic "Blackbirds" that led me to discover that I had not one, or two, but THREE 'empty' bottles of peanut butter that needs attention... The vacating of the rogue peanut butter via a butter-knife to retrieve the pesky peanut butter that refused all previous applications. Seriously, its so fucking hard to totally vacate a bottle of peanut butter...How they get that shit in there? So, this FFN LP... It made me realize... it’s all about TOUCH. The needle on the record... The needle touching the record’ that sort of touch.... I tell Olive: “Lets listen to this new LP!" "I'm going to play with my doll house." she sez while turning off the TV. I put the LP on... It instantly re-won me over... The needle on the record, TOUCHING the record... This LP never sounded better. Sonically, this record plays like how I imagine a ceasefire between The Black Angels and Neil Young (yes, before you ask, I love The Black Angels... Always have, always will...) so, the record turns and I make a peanut butter and banana sandwich on wheat bread. I leave the butter knife in the bottle. You can guess what WiLL happen... I flip the record over. "Cradle to The Grave" I’m sonically floored. I’m doing at this exact moment what I have been born to do. Muslim jihadist talk of martyred acts of self-destruction and weaponizing of the self in thinking they will receive 72 virgins in their afterlife in turn for their sacrifice... Or that’s what we ate led to believe... If that’s so, then that’s a pretty-pretty clever fucking fallacy. I will take nearly empty jars of peanut butter, FFN music and a butter knife in pla ce thereof. Thank you.

I do not wanna appear flighty, but my flooring of FFN was proceeded by a CD I forgot I had... I say from about 1998-2003 my amount of music purchasing was at its height. Every week $40-$80 (if not more most times, various formats) and to be honest, I haven’t given a majority of my purchases a real chance... ADAM & THE ANTS "Dirk Wears White Sox" CD featuring the 1979 album and other early 7" and 12"ep releases dating as late as 1982, rocked my ass HARD. I must have, at one time or other dismissed this as not being good enough to remember... I listened to this NOW and I don’t know what the fuck was wrong with me. I suppose I caught up in my musical taste with Adam & The Ants... A band truly before their time... "Car Trouble" "Digital Tenderness" FUCK ME! This shit is awesome. "Digital Tenderness" especially foretelling a time of loneliness due to digital devices... So it’s befitting to re-experience this lost gem in connection to the FFN long player hitting me now how that hit. It’s never too late to make it matter... I hear modern elements of the Ant-Sound not only in local amazeo's PHOUL PHILL ANDT GUILL and Miney Mo but also in Youngstown’s BATT_LION... Familiar song structure, aesthetics of performance... Adam and The Ants helped me cone to grips with the direction and representation of why Phoul Phill is so fucking awesome and how Miney Mo exemplifies greatness also... Shits different and fresh. Adam and The Ants sound fresh as older punk acts still sounds... It’s a basic truth of the most basic of truths. Understanding Adam and The Ants has also acted as a boost to what I hear with Batt_Lion and their 'thing.' So, is my Bowie phase over? Finally? You know what? I hope so... As fucked up as its sounds and to take this statement to the next level of discomfort, I hope Bowie is done with me.

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away witnessing a Tokyo Rose Records based event at Boswell Alley pushing thru the smell... No, aroma... No... STENCH of Deep Fried ________. I’m making that sound like a bad thing but it wasn’t. Let the record show that David Garza does not count his chicken fingers before and after his trip for pre-meal washings... Anyway, that night I heard a band called DARK MAVEN. A band revolving around the two principle members Dave Rohs and Mark Milano... I’ve been a Rohs fan for a while. CHALK were a great local band and have a decent CD catalog that I’ve rediscovered recently from my Re-organizing Blitzkrieg and survived the great Compact Disc Culling of 2013 that has 'released' 1/3 of my personal collection. My Chalk CDs survived that falling somewhere in my Shawn Abnoxious Top 680-720 scratch that... There have been some developments... My top 900-1080. I would see Dark Maven at least once more personally and the band would play a handful of shows before they reformed their unit into SEA OF STORMS. This CD has an eerie quality to it. Spacious songs including a noticeable one "Homecoming" that really takes on a macabre presence. A certain store-brand kind of desperation that fills you with these songs. Each track is well written and sounds good when I first seen this band and compared to how these tracks turned out the minimalist beauty was lost a bit with the added textures of 'bonus' instrumentation and personnel to songs. Don’t take that as something bad either you cheeky fucks... It’s just different. Ultimately, you feel Sea of Storms. Its atmospheric, like a humid 1st Midwest evening where you can feel the thickness of the air and even though there’s not a cloud in sight, you know a storm is coming. I was watching TV the other day and they were taking about that whole new Steam-Punk thing. Sea of Storms songs could each be Steam-punk anthems. They are closest to steam-punk as I can willingly and subliminally get. By time I got around to this release, I guess the band is no more. Last I heard Dave Rohs is doing some solo rockabilly gigs around town and Mark Milano is still doing his thing still (apparently) in Daddy that I reviewed a bit back. There are hopes and even maybe some beginnings of a plan to revive Sea of Storms. That would be cool. I would love to see where those rough seas take them. I’m sure they will let Thwart know.

I picked up a 'blind'* Southside LP by TEXAS (1989, mercury Rec.) at Shake it Records (used, $7.99) and stuffing my only remaining good ear (the left one) with sounds. This one was surfing the early waves of what would become categorized as 'college rock' and later blur into 'alternative'... You Rank And File lovers out there take note. Texas is full of jangle and I can’t help but notice the Alt-country mix. Imagine Stevie Nicks without working her nasal passages getting that 'Stevie Nicks Waver'. Whereas Southside isn’t the new wave rager that I initially thought it could be, it’s of no concern. A good listen and band I never heard about before now. Southside is a good mellow listen with things picking up as the LP comes to a close. Side B's opener "Thrill is Gone" must have been overlooked for inclusion in a Miami Vice episode... Al in all, this record is a good, solid purchase.

*Blind (as in 'a blind purchase': pertaining to musical formats) = A musical purchase with little or no known information available taking format design, band name, label knowledge and/or song titles in consideration.