Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Spaghetti Rock: Italian Rock music of the 70's

The fertile grounds of the early 1970's birthed many freaky weird yet interesting styles of rock & roll. Germany had Krautrock (Can,Faust,Neu!), Japan had uhh Jap Rock (Les Rallizes Denudes, J.A.Ceasar, Flower Traveling Band), France had Zeuhl (Magma, Eskaton, Weidorje), but what about Italy? Some pasta eating, gumbas had to be blowing their minds on rock in the most amazing fashion right? RIGHT.

Here's a chunk of similar minded music that represents Italy's own warped take on Rock n Roll in the 1970's pre punk era that ill tag with a semi derogatory name: Spaghetti Rock. I'm not gonna lie, some of these bands veer into the classical style symphonic prog rock with serious flute action, and operatic vocal styles, but don't let that deter you because you'll miss out on atonal synth action, bizarre concept records and ghoulish atmospheres that only the Italians could have whipped up.

Velvet Underground worshiping psychedelic raga burnouts. Goes into territory that Thee Oh Sees crawled all over on Carrion Crawler/The Dream, but ya know 40 years early.

I've written about Battiato before on this blog calling him an Italian Eno, but really that comment should be reveresed as Battiato's album Fetus came out before Eno's solo efforts. Batiato's 1970's work is beatiful, haunting, and WAY ahead of the curve.

Epic prog rock concept album about Darwin? Fuck yeah! Crazy synth action on this one. Get's downright spooky at times.

This band's album YS will  make you feel like your running around with Scooby Doo and the gang in some door chase scene escaping some dude in a shitty frankenstein mask. Creepy, atmospheric, wacky and rocks to boot!

Known for their brilliant scores to Agrento's films, dig deeper and their non soundtrack albums are just as remarkable.

Gotta include this one

The synth work by this band is as miraculous as it is intense. On this track, fingers fly as fast and furious over the keys as any Lost Sound records you got in yer collection.

Another band i've rewritten about before on this blog and hey... they got  reissued and some praise from Pitchfork thanks to a compilation of tunes with new mixes. Though im not a fan of these retooled mixes Sensations Fix is worthy enough to investigate all of their original 70's output.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me

Kangaroo being one of my favorite songs ever, I wanted to share my girlfriend's, friend/co-worker Amy's film that she in part produced called Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me.

Big Star, such an amazing, fantastic, and haunting band from the 70's that was sadly overlooked in their heyday, were crucial to the development of alternative music in the 90's. This doc looks great and seems to final give Big Star some much needed respect and a coveted spot in the rock n roll history books. I'm jealous that my lady gets to see it tonight!
Watch the trailer below and check out the website for more info including when this film is coming to your hood!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Early Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett

By the time I got to college I had completely written off Pink Floyd as something I was just not into. I love kraut rock, space rock,  psychedelic , and yes I love Progrock, but Pink Floyd? File under bands I just don't get (next to Radiohead). I listened to all the big albums thanks to friends and coworkers who felt it necessary for me to listen to REAL music and it plain bored me.
It really mystified me when I was into the punk thang and read that The Damned wanted Pink Floyd to produce their second album or that, even though Johnny Rotten famously wore the "I Hate Pink Floyd" T-Shirt he was quite fond of early Floyd. What the fuck? Oh right the first album and singles are fucking AMAZING thanks to one psychedelically charged mad man named Syd Barrett. Syd was the driving force behind Pink Floyd's sound, using innovative guitar techniques such as distortion, echo and feedback. Whimsical as all hell and not following anyones rules the man burned out in an acid haze only to be pushed out of the band and live the rest of his life quietly, painting in the English country side. So be forewarned, you may turn into an uber music douche like me and say "I only like early Pink Floyd"

My favorite Syd Barrett penned Pink Floyd song.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Xiu Xiu - Born To Suffer ( I was the assistant director on this!)

Last February I worked as an assistant director on this Xiu Xiu music video and after waiting on the label, its been released to be seen by your eye balls!

Here's a crew picture.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Early Soft Machine

I love early Soft Machine as much as I HATE later Soft Machine. Which is a lot. Look at these freak-y deek-y long hairs play. Ayers bass sound is a wonderful grinding machine, and Wyatts drumming is frenetic as hell. Love love love these dudes. You can hear echoes of this incarnation of the Soft Machine in a lot of post punk bands.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Burial Hex

Clay Ruby's Burial Hex is a dark trip into demonic ambient post-industrial unease. Perfect background music for your next incantation, possession, exorcism, or family fun night around the ouija board. He has a VAST catalog so i'm gonna put up my favorite sonic nuggets below via bandcamp links. (Note. if you're reading in google reader bandcamp doesn't show up,  you're gonna have to actually go to my blog!)

First up is my favorite, the 20 minute "In Psychic Defense" a protection spell in the form of music. Starts with guitars and gentle chimes with Nick Cave-y in The Birthday Party's "Deep in the Woods" vocals. Some wispy ambient drone, then creepy black metal cookie monster deep growling, THEEEEN a goth dance jam. Gonna have to hop on discogs and track down that limited edish vinyl folks.

"The Night" is the most recent release and one of the most accessible. Well orchestrated electronics and monk chants. The companion track "Brighter Than The Day" is a really groovy beats and screams jam.

I love when Ruby remix's his work and Hunger (Burial Hex Nativity Forefeast Remix) is no exception to that devotion. Swirly goth-y moody dance track that feels less for dancing and more for enticing spirits out of their hiding spots. Dat bass just throbs and throbs and throbs.....

Some menacing, brooding tracks off the split he did with Zola Jesus.

Next is Initiations: a dark suffocating fever dream of an album. Analog power electronics rip through your skull as tortured souls scream in the dark. Don't play this at night by yourself, i'm pretty sure you'll go insane, but thats exactly what I do when reading a good book... This is the do or die point, thee line in the sand so to speak, for whether or not you're gonna like this dudes work. It only gets more "out there" after this.

Burial Hex & Ludo Mich feels like a dark cosmic journey into the mind of a tortured schizophrenic. This thing gurgles and spews and twists and grinds. Ooooooo weee this thang will fuck you up!

Check out this video for one of the tracks off of The Book of Delusions which you can yonk the vinyl off of Brave Mysteries.

There are a gazillion more awesome tracks on bandcamp that you are hopefully gonna check out now that I have initiated you into the world of Clay Ruby's Burial Hex.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Monster Rally - Beyond the Sea

Tropical fairies orgasming pixie dust into your ear canals? Bathing in a tub full of bubbling champagne as shooting stars skitter across a vast night sky? You're getting closer to the creamy gooey core of Monster Rally. Some hip hop-like beats in there to keep you afloat before you sink into a tinsel crinkling, ocean of sound. Check it out below friends. Totally free on the band camps!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

R.I.P. Ray Bradbury

Another great writer gone. I'm glad his work was celebrated while he was alive.

                   (This is the cover of my copy of Fahrenheit 451. Totally badass)

Check out this video if you haven't already. I used to work with Rachel at The Onion, she's hella funny. A fitting tribute? She got to meet him after this video blew up. Super jealous!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hashbrown - The Walk On

Hashbrown's got that early Hip Hop-chopped-up soul/funk vinyl collection sound, all samples, complete with radio/tv/film snippets for extra grimy fun. Dude was 16 when he made this. Get those summer vibes going gang. Free off da bandcamps below!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Zacht Automaat

 Zacht Automat's music is beamed in from an impossible future. Taped off A post apocalyptic cabby's radio, the tunes switch back and forth between cosmic musique concrete, far east industrial, retarded Todd Rungren studio meanderings, Chrome sheet metal paranoia, unnerving Jazzrock bass mayhem, and classical on a synth ala Wendy Carlos. Dense yet playful, Zacht Automat has created music thats inviting and fun to swim in, but also drown, out in the cacophonous deep end . Can you dig that? Get your grubby hands on this bands amazing output. You have zero excuses because its all free on their bandcamp page!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tommi Stumpff

Gotta love this crazy Germ! RIPE for rediscovery. Stumpff made the most amazing, ANGRY electronic music I've ever heard, YEARS ahead of its time. If Fad Gadget had thrown out those lame cabaret influences, took a bunch of speed, and channeled some serious hate they may have gotten close to the genius of Stumpff. Stumpff frequently had Conny Plank engineer his work and you can tell in the arrangements. Don't investigate anything past 1988,  he gets very generic. Go forth and find his compilation Mich Kriegt ihr nicht [Back up 1982-1985)

I cant get over the sheer awesomeness that is "Seltsames Gluck". It's everything I've ever wanted from the meeting place of punk and electronics: aggressive, dissonant, forward thinking, propulsive, volatile and explosive.  Dig that cowboy twanging geeeeeetarrrrrr in thar!

"Mich Kriegt Ihr Nicht" is the soundtrack to a post apocalyptic tribes late night shanking of a poor twisted soul, screams and all.

"Contergan Punk" is Nine inch Nails before NIN, except exceptionally better.

"Ehre und Blut" is WWII trench-frontline drag queen contest musack. 

You need this album to feed your soul the bile it has always craved. Or  maybe you just want to listen to someone yell at you in German with crazy sound effects...

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Hey Ya'll I got a sister blog i've started called LIFE STINKS: Ohio Rock & Roll all about music that came out of Ohio. A continuation of a previous post I did on this blog. No, it doesn't have anything to do with bro-rocksters The Black Keys. I'll be talking about Devo, Pere Ubu, electric eels, mirrors, Clone Records, Rubber City Rebels, and much more! Check it out my friends!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Family Curse

What the fuck are you doing? Seriously do you have any idea? I mean come on buddy get your shit together. Your ears should be consuming the glorious sonic destruction that is Family Curse. Out of control spastic post-punk burners that sounds like a band continuously falling down the stairs but still keeping their respective shit together. Angular as fuck (I don't care how overused that term is for post punk stuff because here if fits and feels gooooood). Reminds of something that GSL would have released back in the early aughts only with more UMPH and chutzpaaaaaaaaaaah!

The bass line on "Julia Armant" is so deliciously slippery and zigzaggity I dunno whether to dance or freak out (just do both you freaks). "Middle Aged America" sounds like a rougher, leaner, meaner, Brainiac with a bombastic drum/vocal attack style that thrashes your music sensibilities into oblivion. Family Curse scratches that weirdo art punk itch so fucking well that you need to go to the store and drop your coins on their 7in immediately. Then sit in your room and wait till they drop a full length.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Blasted Canyons - 2nd Place

It's almost summertime kiddies and this new plastic disk by Blasted Canyons ,"2nd Place", is fan-fucking-tastic!
The stand out track that's currently occupied my ear canals for the past week, "Holy Geometry", is like running through a fuzzy VHS copy of Greg Araki's "Doom Generation". Its moody thanks to a deep n creepy bowel busting synth line bubbling in the background, but its also got propulsive drums, a chugging guitarline and fantastic vocals that makes for running round town at 2AM with your friends to get nachos. Pick it up on Castle Face Records you geeks and breath in that weirdo midnight magic!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Alice Cooper Band

Really been into Alice Cooper as of recent, or should I say the Alice Cooper Band. Mr. Furnier fired his brilliant band in 1975 and decided to do campy show tunes (barf!) So forget "Welcome to My Nightmare" and dig into "Pretties for You", "Easy Action", "Love It To Death", "Killer" and "Billion Dollar Babies".

Rumor has it that Frank Zappa signed The Alice Cooper Band to his label in the sixties because he asked the band to come to his house and play at 7 and they showed up at 7AM! Zappa immediately signed them because any band thats willing to play psychedelic music (thats right they played psych! fucking Alice Cooper!) at 7 in the morning has to be good!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dat Rifff

Yeah, yeah, Stiff Little Fingers nicked that riff off Montrose. Sorry to burst your punk bubble. So are The Men being ironic with their opening cut off their new Lp Open Your Heart? Homage to both bands? Do they know that SLF ripped it from Montrose? I guess it is such a simple little riff but instantly recognizable to those that know.

In the art, film, and music worlds themes and ideas get constantly regurgitated for better and for worse. Lets be honest though: Montrose may have invented that riff but Stiff Little Fingers OWNED it. The Men are a great band and the new record is good (not as great as Leave Home) but they didn't play that riff in a new light or context. It limps along and has zero umph and zero bite. Do they really wanna be the band that is known for referencing other bands? When I hear "Turn it Around" I wish I was listening "Suspect Device". Sorry. I feel bad because I really like The Men.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Mallard

Currently digging these dudes. Kinda a riffn' on Thee Oh Sees no? But in a good way. Like a surfy twangy, trippy, druggy good way. Get your swerve on brother and sisters.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dolly Parton - The Bridge

Today is Dolly Parton's 66 birthday. Its rather unfortunate that she's more remembered for big, hair, big boobs, and mutant plastic surgery than her actually talent. I got this song off a country compilation tailored to death and misery. Who knew Dolly wrote about suicidal expecting mothers? Just a guitar and her voice this makes for a compelling performance. A nice slice of Americana from a bygone era where innocence and ignorance swept the land with an undercurrent of melancholy nostalgia.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Beauregarde - Testify

Dudes from The Wipers laying down some fierce proto-punk rama-lama in 1971 with wrestling sensation Beauregarde. Find of the century right here.