Saturday, December 31, 2005

Pre New Year Blues

We Jam Econo: The story of the Minutemen. Click here to view the trailer. THIS IS GOING TO BE AMAZING!

God today is going fast. New Years is always so, well, disapointing; I won't tempt fate though.

It's (almost) the end of the year. Apologies if you've read my meanderings about this band previously, but i've re-discovered this album over the last couple of days and thought it warranted a repeat post. Capstan Shafts is alter-ego of Dean Wells, a native of Vermont, who has a gift for making short, DIY produced, skuzzy folk rock songs. Chick Ciggarettes was released on Asaurus Records last year, and was one of those sleeper records that appeared on a lot of people 'best of lists' but never really made a critical impact - whatever that means (Pitchfork! Your end of list plain sucked ass man!) It's a shame because the songs on this album are incredibly catchy, and even border on accessible at times. The following track quite moody, but it also has a lot of energy. Actually, this track is pretty indicative of the album as a whole. Certainly on the Robert Pollard/ Guided by Voices vibe.

Capstan Shafts - Auto Naval.

Oh, and even though I ordered this album on a whim I hope you take to time to browse around Asaurus Records, and to even order yourself a copy if you like what you hear.

He also has a EP that's currently avaliable for download, here.

Some sites far more worthy of your perusal:

Over at Said The Gramaphone Sean has compiled a list of his favourite tracks from this year. Click here and listen to them in all their glory. Also, Songs Illiniois and You Aint No Picasso continue to bring the tunes. Along with, of course 20JFG'S. Juan and Stuart. The NY partee looks like it's going to be a blast! See everyone else next year.

Friday, December 30, 2005

The Wiz

Now for some punk ramblings courtesy of Portland underdogs, Wipers. In 1979 Wipers recorded their first “studio” album: Is This Real? It was released on an independent label with lead singer and guitarist Greg Sage, Dave Koupal on bass, and Sam Henry on drums. Their record company insisted that they record everything in a professional studio, but despite the relatively polished outcome, Is This Real? remains a cornerstone for their sound; even if the band would never record another album in a studio again.

Is This Real is crammed with Sage's raging but lively guitar solos; most of which would become his trademark. His song writing style: dealing with extreme isolation, and frustration; with an almost insane awareness of melody, would later go on to have real affect on Kurt Cobain and his band Nirvana – they also covered two of the songs from this album. In 2001, Sage used his own label to release a three-for-one package of Wipers' first three albums. Remastered with plenty of bonus tracks, it's probably best introduction to a band you could ever ask for.

Follow this link for information on the band and on how to purchase their album(s). There is also a revealing interview with Greg Sage avaliable through their official site.

The following song was their first single.

Wipers - Better off Dead

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Bored out of my cord

Christmas is over: Deal with it. We're now it that strange place of nothingness that exists between Chistmas and New Year.

Well, It could be a lot worse.

I'm still in the midst of a eighties acid flashback I NEVER experienced, but hey, you can't hold that against me. Black Flag, Husker Du, Sonic Youth ('Evol' and 'Sister' really), Wipers, Minutemen, Laughing Clowns, Scientists, Volcano Suns are destroying me. The Minutemen are particuarly blowing my mind. They were just, well, wild. The Pixies might have been wild too, but the Minutemen had absolutely NO respect for well, anything resembling song structure. Of course, on the other end of the spectrum (but there in SST spirit) you have the raw 'fuck you' of early eighties Black Flag. Frequently alternating between the brilliant and the absurdly brilliant. In other news: There is a great Laughting Clowns restrospective masquerading as a review in the most recent issue of Plan B. You haven't got that issue yet? Stop reading this and buy it immediately. I'm being deadly serious.

Charlottefield are native to Brighton and inhabit a place on a disturbing list of bands that i've yet to catch live - for some reason. It's probably not a good reason, i'm just pathetic in that way Their eight track mini album, How Long Are You Staying, shifts through a mix of the dissonantly angular high octane swirl of wall to wall guitars (Again) and astonishingly accurate passages of controlled percussion with bursts of bass and drums (How Long). The reviews I have read seem to focus on way in the which the vocals are recorded low in the mix; this is often viewed in a disparaging light. Not being one to sit on the fence, i'll just get this right out of the way now: I like the way the vocals are recorded. It makes an already angry record more volatile, and it reminds fools like me that they're even more foolish for not witnessing them in their natural habitat; otherwise known as, in a room full of wanabee punkers. Hella yeah.

Charlottefield - Again


Charlottefield Website