Friday, December 21, 2007

Dude, You're No Wizard.

Langford, who has been Expressway To Yr Skull's apprentice for the past couple of weeks, made a disparaging comment about Mika Miko on our show this week as I was pointing out the greatness of Silver Daggers' (a Mika Miko offshoot) New High & Ord album from this year. Even though I already called him out on it on-air, I feel the need to further address this in a public forum: Langford, you're a nice dude & you might be able to pronounce "Einsturzende Neubauten" better than I can, but you're totally wrong on this one, pal. Mika Miko rules. Better luck next time. On that note, I dedicate this, complete with ridiculous stop-motion vomiting, to you!

Mika Miko - "Business Cats"

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cheap Thrills #1.

As you might have noticed, the WMUA blog has jumped on the obligatory music nerd bandwagon of evaluating the best & worst (the blurst?) of the past year. We're about the enter that weird lull period in the new release schedule, during which we're supposed to quitely reflect upon all of the music that got dumped on us in the previous twelve months & compile it all into various lists, which High Fidelity types seem to love. Personally, one of my favorite things about the year winding down is hitting up record stores & loading up on all of the used music that people have sold back in order to finance expensive holiday gifts for all of the special someones in their lives. Seeing as I'm lonely & bitter, their loss becomes my gain. Anyway, as an antidote to 2007 recap mania, I think I'm going to make this a quasi-regular feature to talk about awesome not-so-recent gems that I've recently dug up in the used bins, leaning toward the underrated & overlooked (because honestly, if you need someone to tell you how amazing the Germs' (GI) LP is, there's a much more serious problem at hand).

Say hello to Nerves' self-titled album*! I stumbled across it the other day, still sealed, for five bucks, buried amongst a bunch of battered Journey & A Flock of Seagulls LPs. It's not particularly hard-to-find & definitely falls into the category of things that I've passed up on numerous occasions because I've been distracted by something ridiculous that I'd probably never see again. Nerves were one of those Chicago Thrill Jockey bands that weren't post-rock & as such, I think they were denied some love. It doesn't help that this album came out in 1998, when people were preoccupied with hailing Tortoise's TNT as the greatest thing since sliced bread (and that record was about as exciting as sliced bread). But back to Nerves. I've had Dead Moon's retrospective Echoes Of The Past in extremely heavy personal rotation lately & picking this record up now was rather fortuitous timing on my part, as Nerves' could pass for a Midwestern incarnation (see: serious Stooges/MC5 influence) of Dead Moon, or to a lesser extent, the Wipers, with no questions asked. Totally excellent stripped-down garage punk. They put out two more not-as-great full lengths on Thrill Jockey following this one, but as far as I know, they've been inactive since about 2001 or so, when the moodier/less lean World of Gold came out. Regardless, mad approval on my end & definitely more interesting than the smooth jazz-for-indie rockers nonsense the Sea & Cake have been cranking out lately on the same label.

*Not to be confused with the 1980s Nerves who recorded "Hangin' On The Telephone" before Blondie took the money & ran.

A Noise Show In Western Mass? No Way!

WMUA hearts the Flywheel & would very much like to see them re-open their doors soon, so make it your business to attend this show Saturday night. Plus it's fucking cold outside & there will be free coffee/tea. Plus this is the first non-lame-metalcore show at Mercy House that I've been aware of for quite some time. And I while I can't speak for all of the bands, I lend my support to both Fat Worm of Error & the Bunnies. Just go, people.

Fat Worm of Error
Cave Bears
Doe Pog
Jow-Jow the Death Knell Rung
Dinosaur Astrology

Dec. 15th, 6-11pm
at Mercyhouse, 365 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA

Featuring several experimental and noise acts from the Pioneer Valley (the intention is). Come listen for music, to come together as a community of sound, to give donations to the Flywheel in hope of its swift recovery. There will be no charge but there will be a donations bucket and there will be free coffee and tea below so Mercyhouse wants donations too - it is a church.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Here are some year-end awards given to the musicians of 2007 that made it so much fun. It's Chunklet style, so if you happen to be an offended musician/artist on the list, unknot those panties.

The Disaster Waiting to Happen Award
The Stooges Release a new album

The Let Down Award
Shellac - Excellent Italian Greyhound

Worst Bruce Springsteen Tribute Album Award
Tie: The Arcade Fire - Neon Bible and Jason Anderson - Tonight

Most Gender Misleading Album Title Award
Adrian Orange & Her Band

Best 'Stache Award
Nick Cave

Band That Makes You Wish Out Hud Hadn't Broken Up Award

Sell Out Award
Thurston Moore

Worst Best New Music'd by Pitchfork
3-Way Tie: Black Lips Good Bad Not Evil, Daft Punk Alive 2007 and Grizzly Bear Friend EP

Best David Yow Offshoot
Pissed Jeans

Worst David Yow Offshoot

Dicking Around Award
Battles - Mirrored

Best Reissue Award
Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth

Unnecessary Reissue Award
Foo Fighters - The Colour and The Shape

Outside Possibility Morrissey Didn't Ruin the Smiths Award
Jonny Marr in Modest Mouse

Most Sacriligous Music Act Award
Brian Chippendale's drumming on Bjork's Volta

Most Overrated Music Label Award
Arts and Crafts (for Kevin Drew, Los Campesinos, Stars)

Worst Music Label Output Award
Tie: Merge/Ipecac

"Too Many People Claim to Like This Band" Award
Animal Collective

Worst Pitchfork Review Award
Ryan Schrieber's Friend EP review

Spoon-Lite Award
Spoon's "Underdog"

Your Volvo Dad's Album of the Year
Wilco - Sky Blue Sky

Midlife Crisis Award
Kevin Barnes

Karen Carpenter Award
Bradford Cox

Biggest Music Trend Award
Getting band gear stolen and then having a web-zine posting about it

Baffling Hip Hop Hype by a Publication Award
The Fader (for Redman, Bone Thugs 'n Harmony, Collie Buddz)

Least Likely to Record an Album About Every State Award
Sufjan Stevens

Lone Cocorosie Supporter Award
John Darnielle

Egregious New Order Theft Award
M.I.A. ("20 Dollar")/LCD Soundsystem ("All My Friends")

Cherry Poppin' Daddies Award (Formerly the Macy Gray Award)
Amy Winehouse

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Waits Wednesday

Tom Waits & Iggy Pop in Jim Jarmusch's Coffee and Cigarettes

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I Think I'll Go With The Cape.

Hanukkah ends tomorrow at nightfall & I've only posted one Hanukkah/Yo La Tengo-related blog entry! This must be amended, so here's the video for "Tom Courtenay". As an aside, I will go on record as saying that Yo La Tengo consistently make the most entertaining music videos as far as I'm concerned (and they even hold up well when you're watching them on a computer at work with no sound).

Friday, December 7, 2007

2007 WMUA Album of the Year Competition ROUND 1

Midwest Region

Low vs. Clipd Beaks
I'll just mention Clipd Beaks, since they're losing this round. This is unfortunate, since under most of the other competitors it would have moved on. A delicious pizza slice of distortion rock. Additionally, I’d like to extend some mad props to the Lovepump people for locking up some great acts. -EM
Winner: Low

Standing Nudes vs. Demon's Claws
Demon's Claws are from Montreal but were totally ignored in the recent flurry of Quebecois indie rock hype, presumably because they don't have any connections to Broken Social Scene, which I cite as a compliment. Standing Nudes are a Brooklyn band that doesn't really fit in with your average Vice Magazine reader's connotation of a Brooklyn band, meaning that they're probably never going to be accused of ripping off the Boredoms. This is a tough call, but since In the Red Records is going to be heavily represented in the rounds to come, I'm going try to diversify things a little & give Standing Nudes a pass to move on. -EP
Winner: Standing Nudes

LCD Soundsystem vs. Caribou
I'm hoping both acts learned valuable lessons from their previous releases. In LCD Soundsystem's case, it's that Mr. Murphy needs a minimum of 5 minutes per track length to let those sounds get fleshed out. For Caribou's case, Mr. Snaith needs to keep with the 60s psychedlia and less of the kraut. -EM
Winner: LCD Soundsystem

Deerhoof vs. My Sister Klaus
It amuses me to know end when people find this to be a Deerhoof sell-out record for being too poppy. Rhianna is poppy. Deerhoof is and always will be for the ADD crowd. Props to My Sister Klaus for putting out a great electro-rock album with probably the closest to an Alan Vega/Lou Reed vocal mashup I've heard. A promising debut, but Deerhoof hold one of the best album track records these days. -EM
Winner: Deerhoof

Black Lips vs. Black Lips
In what many feel is the highlight of the first round album battles, Atlanta's Black Lips face-off against themselves. In one corner are the up-and-coming Black Lips. These fellows have pooled their 3 dirty-as-shit garage stomping albums and countless 7" into a spit- and beer-soaked live album with Los Valientos Del Mundo Nuevo in an attempt to capture just the audio portion of their manic. In the other corner are the newly professional Black Lips, the ones who spent their Vice money on a more polished sound, backward guitar effects, their own moonshine brand and restrained tracks to be unleashed onstage for Good Bad Not Evil. What ensues is all out mayhem- the polished Black Lips, filming an interview for Vice in some Berlin dumpster backstage, are caught off-guard by the post-concert Black Lips who storm into the ring. These Black Lips are at maximum drunkenness and bar-brawl-ready enough to make even their own selves an easy foe to vanquish. The polished Black Lips beg the referee for a timeout so they can get properly soused, however it's not awarded by the ref, who cites them being "huge pussies for asking for a timeout" which "is so not what rock and roll is all about." -EM
Winner: Los Valientos del Mundo Nuevo Black Lips

Mark Sultan vs. The Coathangers
Mark Sultan, the one-man-music-factory-band seems outnumbered by the Atlanta four piece. But then Mr. Sultan notices that the Coathangers are women and quickly disposes of them*. After his post-victory interview with Bob Costas, Mr. Sultan steps out the ring and makes out with King Khan. -EM
Winner: Mark Sultan
*take that feminist humor, ladies.

HEALTH vs. Stars of the Lid
It took Shellac 7 years to put out a mediocre album and Stars of the Lid only 6 years to put out a drone masterpiece. This is a case of two completely different acts putting out two great albums, yet in HEALTH's case there are umpteen-million acts around and maybe umpteen-hundred acts in Stars of the Lid's case. -EM
Winner: Stars of the Lid

A Place to Bury Strangers vs. Clockcleaner
Here's a good question- what type of album is more uncomfortable to listen to: a loud as shit album or one with uncomfortable lyrics? Thankfully, A Place to Bury Strangers and Clockcleaner has each provided their case to that question. APtBS hopefully got everyone in the mood for that upcoming My Bloody Valentine album. And Clockcleaner has the scatological lyrics and asshole guitars to make a good case for 2008 to be the year indie-rag-mags love Butthole Surfers revitalization bands (Hairway to Steven era type stuff). But that APtBS album is tizight. -EM
Winner: A Place to Bury Strangers

West Region

Battles vs. Shellac
This one is really difficult. I'm not as crazy about Battles as a lot of other people seem to be, but that Shellac album was also such a tremendous let-down for me. If any other band had put it out, I probably wouldn't be judging it so harshly, but when it comes to Shellac, the bar is set ridiculously high in my mind (At Action Park kick started my descent into full-on Touch & Go Records fanaticism when I was a teenager) & they just didn't deliver. I mean, this record came out seven years after their last one & it still sounds rushed. All of the noodling sound experiments just dragged down the moments of classic Shellac balls-to-the-wall rock in between them. Battles, on the other hand, put out probably the best Don Caballero album that Don Caballero never made, as long as we're on the topic of Touch & Go fanaticism. I'm going to say Battles here, just because Steve Albini & co. broke my heart. You don't mess with a girl like that, guys. -EP
Winner: Battles

Fatal Flying Guilloteens vs. Electrelane
This one could get ugly, as I once witnessed the Fatal Flying Guilloteens dressing up like "ass pirates" when they were on the bill with a touring band with openly gay members, causing a mini-brawl & a ton of drama. You wouldn't really expect a bunch of English ladies who recall the Farfisa-smothered sounds of Stereolab (minus the Marxist sloganeering) to be able to compete with those sorts of dirty tricks. But you would also be wrong. You see, their attempts at being controversial (or assholes, take your pick) aside, the Guilloteens' jump to French Kiss Records from Estrus also signaled a move past their more primal, garage rock leanings in favor of a more angular post-punk thing that just isn't as exciting, but could probably get them on a tour with the Rapture at some point. They get a little bit cocky about going head to head with a bunch of girls (and possibly come up with a costume mocking them to that effect), only to be subsequently buried under Electrelane's organ drone, allowing Electrelane to move on to the next round. -EP
Winner: Electrelane

Ponys vs. Jana Hunter
Yeah, the Ponys are basically the band equivalent of an all-80's-college-rock mixtape (Jesus & Mary Chain? Check. Pixies? Check). But it's a pretty fucking good mixtape. I have a lot of love for Jana Hunter as a fellow Houston lady, but her weirdo psych-folk is just no match for the Ponys' shoegaze-meets-garage guitar workouts. -EP
Winner: Ponys

Thurston Moore vs. Intelligence
The devil on my shoulder says that I should let Thurston move on to the next round because, y'know, he was in a little band called Sonic Youth that saved me from winding up as a Jnco-wearing, Nine Inch Nails-obsessed teenager during my musical formative years. But I just can't bring myself to care too much about Thurston Moore's solo output & that Intelligence album is really, really good. Plus, I've been extremely partial to In The Red Records this year as a whole. So the question becomes: spastic, lo-fi post-punk or indie rock demi-god being paid tribute to now by Starbucks? Intelligence for the win. -EP
Winner: Intelligence

Von Südenfed vs. Antelope
That Fall album that came out this year was really underwhelming (the number of young people in the band photo on the cover should have tipped me off), so I was expecting to be totally unimpressed with Von Südenfed, which is Mark E. Smith's collaboration with Mouse On Mars. I gotta hand it to him, though. The dude might be batshit insane & teaming up with an electronic duo might have sounded absurd on paper, but the results were really, really good. I've had a basic appreciation for Antelope ever since the time I played them on my show & somebody called in to ask if it was a new Gang of Four recording, but being Son of Gang of Four will only take you so far. Good album, but I feel like these kids will be doing better things as time goes on. -EP
Winner: Von Südenfed.

M.I.A. vs. Numbers
Numbers caught some grief when they first came out for following the train of the recent dance punk craze Rapture and Radio 4, among others were dishing. Over their most recent album and their previous, they shied away from those Gang of Four/Devo cornerstones and produced from very satisfying experimental music somewhere between Stereolab and the Cocteau twins. And while it's certainly a step in the right direction for them and I hope they continue exploring further, they just can't topple M.I.A.'s mammoth 2nd LP. And if releasing a mammoth album requires it to be bloated with some weaker cuts (looking at you Timbo collab and "20 Dollar") you can pretty much overcome that by quoting Modern Lovers lyrics on the bouncing "Bamboo Banga." -EM
Winner: M.I.A.

Clorox Girls vs. The One AM Radio
No one is ever going to accuse the Clorox Girls of being original, unless you're living in some fantasy world where the years 1977-1979 just never happened. But, to their credit, if you're going to mimic bands that came before you, you could do a lot worse than choosing the Buzzcocks & the Adverts. On the other end of the spectrum from the Clorox Girls' nervous pop-punk, we have the One AM Radio, who in a more just universe would have beat the shit out of the Postal Service & stolen all of their laptop-indie glory. I'm actually going to let the Clorox Girls advance, if only because I'm holding out hope that the One AM Radio should save their energy for when someone actually invents a time machine & they can go back to show Ben Gibbard who's boss. -EP
Winner: Clorox Girls

Liars vs. Les Savy Fav
The match seems like one of the fairest fights around- both bands have 3 full lengths under their belts, they're both survivors of the dance-punk era, and their most recent albums are their most direct attempts at appealing to a mainstream audience. Eventually each band brings out their secret weapon. Liars produce their army of kittens they recruited post "Houseclouds" music video. Les Savy Fav brings forth Eleanor Freidberger of the Fiery Furnaces who guest sang on one of their album tracks. Like her music in the Fiery Furnaces, she frustrates Les Savy Fav to no end and they concede. -EM
Winner: Liars

East Region

Parts & Labor vs. Menomena
That Menomena album was definitely a grower for me. It's also one of the few times you'll ever see the words "Barsuk Records" on one of my playlists. But unfortunately, through no fault of their own, they just don't stand a chance against Parts & Labor. If you sound like the bastard love child of Hüsker Dü & Lightning Bolt, THEN pull off the rare feat of managing to do justice to a Minutemen cover, you're pretty much beyond criticism in my book. Parts & Labor will conquer Tokyo. -EP
Winner: Parts and Labor

Dinosaur Jr. vs. Kinski
Despite Kinski's best efforts at evoking Sonic Youth, WMUA is an Amherst organization & as such, is going to have to side with the album actually made by people from Western Mass, so this round goes to Dinosaur Jr. Kinski, call us back when you've taken up residence at Thurston & Kim's house. -EP
Winner: Dinosaur Jr.

Future of the Left vs. Gui Boratto
You sir, Future of the Left, are no McLusky. You're like a really great Paul McCartney album, say Ram. Try as the listener might, they'll eventually start missing all the other oddities and characteristics from the previous band, be it John Lennon sneering "Yer Blues" or the druggy Harrison numbers. You've got a lot of great qualities that call back to your firestomping McLusky heyday, but there's something missing. You, Gui Boratto, are a totally different beast. People might be going a little bit more apeshit over that Field album, but this one felt more special to my ears. -EM
Winner: Gui Boratto

Pissed Jeans vs. Silver Daggers
It's unfortunate that one of these albums will have to be eliminated, because the contenders in this round are extremely well-matched & this one is basically anyone's game. The bottom line is whether to give the nod to Jesus Lizard revivalism, or James Chances & the Contortions reincarnated as a Load Records noise band. Tough call, but I'm going to declare Pissed Jeans the winner, simply because they did David Yow-ism better than David Yow himself this year (Qui? Yeah, right). -EP
Winner: Pissed Jeans

These Are Powers vs. Aa
Gosh, do I side with the artsy, noise rock band from Brooklyn or... the other artsy, noise rock band from Brooklyn? If we're talking Brooklyn clichés, These Are Powers are probably always going to be footnoted as "featuring the original bass player of Liars", while Aa have definitely memorized the Black Dice & Oneida pages in their local phonebooks. These Are Powers have the slight edge, though, if only because I think their album holds up better as a whole, rather than as a collection of crazy fucked-up sound experiments (as good as those crazy, fucked-up sound experiments are). They're still probably going to have to answer to Liars in some way or another later on in the tournament, which could turn out to be a bitter family reunion. -EP
Winner: These Are Powers

Grinderman vs. Black Dice
Black Dice enter this bout with a tremendous assortment of synthesizers, field recordings, and other sonic weaponry to take down just about any opponent that faces them. Unfortunately for them, their opponent is Nick Cave's you-just-can't-fuck-with-this mustache and the rest of Grinderman. The 'stache handles Black Dice in one round while the band members sit back, sip tea and think of new pickup attempts to include in "No Pussy Blues" when playing it live. -EM
Winner: Grinderman

Do Make Say Think vs. Explosions In The Sky
While I was living in Texas, I saw Explosions In The Sky live, by a conservative estimate, approximately eight million times. The first time, it blew my mind & each subsequent time, watching the exact same bombastic instrumental drama got less & less impressive. Ever since then, I haven't been able to get too excited about any of their records because I'd rather just listen to Slint or something because fortunately, I never had the chance to get bored with them live. Now, I've seen Do Make Say Think twice & call me a hypocrite, but I feel like their music just holds up better because it's not as strictly dependent on cliché quiet/gradual build up/LOUD!/quiet dynamics. Their new one is probably my favorite of theirs since "Goodbye Enemy Airship, The Landlord Is Dead" & they even managed to work vocals into it without totally fucking it up. So I'm going to be a traitor to my Texas roots & give the Canadians the edge. -EP
Winner: Do Make Say Think

No Age vs. Saturday Looks Good to Me
Oh twee SLGtM, did you really think you had a shot at this? It's like asking would Led Zeppelin or the Smiths win in a rock battle. –EM
Winner: No Age

South Region

Deerhunter vs. The Faintest Ideas
Seriously? Not even close. See the No Age/Saturday Looks Good to Me. -EM
Winner: Deerhunter

Epsilons vs. Pterodactyl
I'll take a band that apes Oneida over a band that apes the Germs any day of the week. However, if I was to base this round on the great videos they each put out (here and here), Epsilons would hold a very slight edge. -EM
Winner: Pterodactyl

Old Time Relijun vs. Adult.
Adult. comes into this bout with an album of gloomy electroclash to listen to in your room when you've run out of Joy Division records & you want to slit your wrists, you melodramatic goth, you. Old Time Relijun is a bunch of dudes with beards who sound like the Bad Seeds & the Cramps making hot passionate love with Captain Beefheart watching. One of these things is clearly more fun than the other & using the word "electroclash" in 2007 makes me feel kind of dirty. Old Time Relijun wins & Adult. can turn their loss into inspiration for their next soul-crushing album. -EP
Winner: Old Time Relijun

Marnie Stern vs. Eluvium
Matthew Cooper (aka Eluvium) enters the tournament with a simple gameplan- take whatever his opponent deals, then treat, loop and texturize the shit out of it until the opponent weeps to death or fall asleep. Marnie Stern, the axe-welding prodigy, simply sends one monster riff or killer shred ad finitum until Eluvium becomes overwhelmed and his head explodes. -EM
Winner: Marnie Stern

Lamps vs. !!!
Hey !!!, I'm still bummed that Out Hud broke up. Lamps can claim a guy named Monty Buckles amongst their ranks. MONTY BUCKLES. Sorry folks, this one's over quick, Lamps win. -EP
Winner: Lamps

Love of Diagrams vs. Shooting Spires
Shooting Spires is the solo project of BJ Warshaw of Parts & Labor, a band of which we are quite fond. The Brian Eno-meets-Boredoms thing he came up with on the Shooting Spires album was good, but Parts & Labor's album this year was GREAT. We also have much love for Love of Diagrams, the fearless co-ed post-punk band from the Land Down Under. As Aussies, they bust out some Crocodile Hunter-style moves on Shooting Spires, taking the round. They are now ready to challenge their next competitor to a game of "Knifey Spooney". -EP
Winner: Love of Diagrams

XBXRX vs. Jenny Hoyston
Jenny Hoyston, of the very excellent Erase Errata, gave us a solo album this year that was half country-styled (in the manner of her collaboration with all-around awesome dude William Elliott Whitmore), half closer to Erase Errata's spiky post-punk, making for a good but somewhat uneven record. XBXRX showed up wearing matching outfits & tore through an album's worth of songs in less than half an hour like a Devo-on-amphetamines whirlwind. It's looking like 2007 is the year of demented noise-rock & XBXRX are clearly at an advantage here. -EP
Winner: XBXRX

Prinzhorn Dance School vs. Turzi
The first time I heard Prinzhorn Dance School, I totally freaked out because I thought it was something from a new album by the Ex that I just hadn't heard about. That right there is probably enough to propel them into Album of the Year contention for me. While I like the Turzi album, my inner punk is going to side with an album that tips its hat to Dutch anarchists as opposed to French dudes doing their best Brian Eno. -EP
Winner: Prinzhorn Dance School

So for those keeping track, the bracket right now looks like:

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Get BBQ'd.

As much as I like to hate on Boston, there's another really good show happening there this weekend.

Expressway To Yr Skull favorites, The King Khan & BBQ Show!
The Tampoffs
The Turpentine Brothers
The Hospital Rats
at Great Scott in Allston (Harvard & Comm Ave.)
9pm, $9, 18+ (sorry all you youngsters)

Be smart & go see them, because with the KK/BBQ splitting their time between Berlin & Montreal, they don't really tour around here that often. Give in to the peer pressure.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

You Can't Spell Feminism Without "Min" and that kinda sounds like "Men"

During the Monday Expressway to Yr Skull show I made a comment of how it would be amusing if an all-male riot grrrl band existed, totally unaware that The Onion published this gem the very same day.

Waits Wednesday

The second episode of Fishing With John, featuing Tom Waits sticking a live fish in his pants. Catch it!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Don't Be A Loser.

Hey y'all, don't forget to get your bracket entires in soon for the Expressway To Yr Skull Album of the Year blowout. We'll probably start posting the results of each round this upcoming weekend so that we can crown a winner before the end of the year. Details can be found here! Get on it! If you call us & ask nicely, maybe we'll even drop some hints tomorrow on our show. Maybe.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Pure Evel.

Our good buddy Evel Knievel died yesterday at the age of 69 (I'm honestly surprised that he was able to cheat death that long). Some of you might remember Evel* from his guest appearance on the legendary Awkward Noise vs. Bear Trap Proposal throwdown that happened last spring, so we're pouring out our metaphorical 40's for Mister Knievel today. If there's a heaven, he's surely jumping over buses there on a magical motorcycle.

*By Evel, I of course mean Sam of Awkward Noise pretending to be Evel.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Start Flying Tonight.

Just a reminder that there's a swell rock show happening tonight at Hampshire College.

Kurt Weisman
Hampshire College Dining Commons
8:30pm-ish, free or close to it.

And for your visual accompaniment, Flying - "Twin Sisters"

Q: What Can I Get for 12 Dollar? A: Baroness.

If you're going to be in Boston this weekend to see that drool-worthy Oneida/Kinski show at the Middle East, consider going tonight as well. Georgia's other Relapse-approved-metal-act-not-named-Mastadon, Baroness, are doing a show at the Middle East. Their 2007 release The Red Album is one of those metal album of the year contenders. Listening to it now is making me think that we're going to have to post a list of albums from this year that were inexplicably left off the bracket. Witchcraft and Radio Moscow are also on the bill.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

2007 WMUA Album of the Year Competition

Hi All,

The hosts of Expressway to Yr Skull have compiled our top 64 albums of the year and pitted each album against each other in a battle royale, NCAA basketball style. If you follow NCAA Men’s Basketball this will be self explanatory. For those unfamiliar, we’ve pitted 64 good to great to amazing albums that are Expressway to Yr Skull endorsed in a unique angle of crowning an album of the year champion. Two albums face off and the winner moves on to the next round and faces another winner from the previous round. That continues until only two are left and final winner is determined.

So here’s the gameplan:
DOWNLOAD the PDF or Excel file of the bracket
FILL it out
EMAIL it to 911wmua at

The entry that's closest to the final results receives the bitching Expressway to Yr Skull 01 compilation and possibly other things.

So look forward to battle results leading up to the end of the semester. If you have any complaints, provide a comment or email to said location. Also, the Daft Punk album was not included because it was a live album and it's extremely weak. It sounds like they mixed out all of the fun from the live show. Zilch-o spine-o.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Epsilons - "Teeny Boppers"

from Killed 'em Deader 'n a Six Card Poker Hand on Retard Disco

Come On Everybody, Let's Rock!

So Oneida is playing in Cambridge at the Middle East this Saturday with Kinski, Cul De Sac & Neptune. If that line-up doesn't make your head want to explode with glee, then I feel really, really sorry for you. I'm not usually one for advocating going to Boston for things, but seriously. Oneida. If your head doesn't explode with glee over the line-up, it will definitely explode from sheer rockage after seeing Oneida live.

Don't believe me? "Each One, Teach One", live in Atlanta.

We were also talking last night about the Sheets Of Easter Everywhere six-tape series that Furniture Records is doing where a whole slew of bands cover Oneida's epic "Sheets of Easter" (duh). I thought the line-up seemed bizarrely heavy on relatively obscure Texas bands (plus Jana Hunter, who isn't so obscure now that she has the Devendra thing going for her) & I guess it wasn't my imagination, given that the label is based out of Austin, which never occurred to me. Let's just say that I hadn't heard the names Best Fwends or Skullening since I was living in Houston. From Furniture:

Everyone here at Furniture is proud to inform you that we will be begin our singles club within the week. Unlike most singles clubs, Sheets of Easter Everywhere will be a very very unique experience. Over the course of a year we will be releasing six tapes with very nice packaging (each volume designed by a different artist). Each tape will feature interpretations of Oneida's infamous "Sheets of Easter." One tape will be released every other month starting in February 2007 and there will be a very small run of each tape. After the year is up, we will have a final tape blowout extravaganza but those details will be disclosed at a later date.

Sheets of Easter Everywhere will feature: AIDS Wolf, Awesome Cool Dudes, BARR, Best Fwends, Birthdayboyy, Cleckhuddersfax, Daniel Francis Doyle, DJ Sony Playstation, Excepter, Fancy Feast, Fireworks Ensemble, Jason Forrest, Genghis Tron, Glitter Pals, Jana Hunter, Shawn David McMillen, MonsterDudes, Parts & Labor, Pit er Pat, Plastic Crimewave Sound, Dick Price, Pterodactyl, Skullening, Synt.tofs and many more types of bands and music.

As far as I can tell, only two of the tapes are out so far, so you probably have time to jump on the cassette bandwagon before the rest of the series materializes.

Stay Cool, Sugarpuff Redux

In the Red continues its run of excellence by lovingly reissuing the King Khan & BBQ Show selt-titled debut LP on both CD and double-vinyl. The double vinyl LP features a bonus side of demo recordings featuring some cover songs and two tracks that would appear on their second LP “What’s for Dinner?”

"Fish Fight"


Crypt Records has a brand-spanking new EP by the KK & BBQ Show called “Teabag Party” out now for only $4. It's five brands-spanking new tracks encased in a a poorly photoshopped homoerotic cover that almost gives the Liars “It Fit When I Was a Kid” EP a run for its money.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Behind The Curve.

Was anyone else aware of the fact that the Black Lips apparently booked & already cancelled a show (with Quintron & Miss Pussycat!) scheduled for March at Pearl Street in Northampton, all of this seemingly happening within the past couple of days? Since I didn't even know about it, I can't really be disappointed, but perhaps they'll reschedule & the Pioneer Valley can finally get some (ex-)In The Red love. We're kind of overdue for it, dudes.

And just because I feel like it, here's a video of Quintron kicking out the jams in my old 'hood in Houston.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I Don't Hate Anything About This Song.

In honor of Hanukkah approaching & as the resident WMUA Blog Jew, I thought I would give some props to Yo La Tengo, who have their annual Eight Nights of Hanukkah shows coming up soon in Hoboken. But since the dates are all sold out & making the trip to New Jersey wasn't exactly tops on my list of things to do anyway, you should just go to their website instead & spend some time browsing the "Fun" section, which I swear by as an amusing time-waster while at work. I'm particularly fond of the feature Kids Respond to "Little Eyes", where a class of Canadian second graders illustrate & write what they think of the song. It's like reading Pitchfork with slightly more spelling & grammatical errors, though without the gratuitous name-dropping.

Oh yeah, you should also get a load of the totally legit Billboard chart that has "Nuclear War" a mere five spots below Will Oldham's favorite R. Kelly jam, "Ignition".

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Early Warning.

Hey friends, there's yet another show at Hampshire College next week because the Creative Music Collective is hooking that shit up.

Friday, November 30th at the Hampshire College Dining Commons -

Flying, from Brooklyn, who have a new album coming out soon on Menlo Park Records. I'd put these kids somewhere between Deerhoof & Animal Collective on the experimental art-pop spectrum. I saw them at the Flywheel last year & no one was there, so let's correct that this time around. Here's a video for their song "Minors":

Plus Kurt Weisman, who is part of many fine musical projects, among them Feathers, Witch & Ben + Vesper. He's got a solo album coming out on Important Records in January. Huzzah!

It'll be taking place around 8:30pm-ish & will likely be free or very reasonably priced. No excuses.

WMUA Wishes You a Happy Thanksgiving

The below text is taken from the official Turkey Slaughter training manual (PDF) used by a Food Inspector-to-be for the United States Depeartment of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service. Now I intend to eat turkey like the average American, but this was just too good to pass up.

Turkey Plant Operations

Turkeys are hauled to the plant on truck beds or trailers in crates, fixed coops, or batteries.

When the turkeys are readied and unloaded for slaughter, the veterinarian (or a food inspector under his/her supervision) performs antemortem inspection by observing the turkeys on a lot basis.

The turkeys are hung by the shanks in shackles hooked to an overhead moving chain that conveys the live turkeys toward the stunning area prior to the neck cutting and bleeding areas.

Scalding of the bled turkeys occurs when the shackles pass through an immersion scalder filled with heated water, which is agitated by recirculation pumps.

In place of an immersion scalder, some turkey slaughter plants shower carcasses with hot water and then convey them through humidity cabinets where they are sprayed with steam. This system avoids the community bath of the immersion scalder.

Picking is done mechanically; usually there are several pickers used and each concentrates on a different area of the turkey to insure complete feather removal.

The shackled dressed turkeys sometimes are singed by a gas flame following picking, This burns the fine hair or feathers off the skin. The carcasses then pass through a wash cabinet, which is equipped with sprayers.

The hock joints are severed and the shanks are removed from the carcass prior to transfer of the carcasses to the evisceration line. The carcasses may be hung by the hocks or by the necks to make the subsequent removal of the crop and trachea (windpipe) easier.

The neck and both hocks of each carcass are placed in the shackle. This three-point suspension of the carcass facilitates the evisceration process.

Before the viscera can be removed, some cuts have to be made into the carcass. The vent area is cut free by a circular incision. Next, if a modified J-cut is used, a cut is made to the point of the keel. If a bar-cut is used, a transverse cut is made caudal to the point of the keel. Either method is approved for use provided the requirements of uniform presentation are accomplished in a sanitary manner.

Drawing, or viscera removal, is accomplished by pulling the viscera free from the body cavity and placing it consistently either to the right or left of the tail. Generally the esophagus will be the only natural body attachment remaining inside the body cavity.

The USDA food inspector inspects the eviscerated carcasses for wholesomeness. The viscera and the outside and inside of the carcass are manipulated in a manner that insures that only wholesome product is passed. Unwholesome carcasses and parts are condemned for human consumption and are positively controlled until proper disposal is completed.

Removal of the heart and liver from the viscera is part of the giblet harvest and trimming, which occurs next. The heart cap is removed from the heart, and the gall bladder is removed from the liver. Next the liver and heart are sent to an ice-and-water chiller.

The removal of the gizzard finishes the giblet harvest from the viscera.

The gizzard is removed by cutting anterior and posterior to its attachment to the gastrointestinal tract.

The gizzards are placed in a machine which splits (peels) and cleans their surfaces. The surfaces are then flushed, and the gizzards are chilled in ice and water.

After the viscera is removed, the lungs can be vacuumed from the chest cavity.

The crop and trachea are pulled free from the slit in the neck. If the oil sacs have not already been removed, they are cut off the tail.

The heads are removed and a final check of the carcasses is made to ensure all eviscerating processes have been properly completed. Then the carcasses pass through a final wash.

After the wash, the neck bones are cut. The necks may be placed inside the body cavity or chilled separately from the carcasses in vats of slush ice.

Next, the tails are cut, and, if they are used by the plant, hock lock wires are inserted in those carcasses that will be trussed. Tucking and trussing the legs of the carcasses is usually done prior to chilling.

Ice-and-water chillers are used to lower the product temperature. Carcasses and giblets are chilled separately.

After the initial chilling, the carcasses are hung on a drip line and drained.

Grading, if requested, is done next. Grading is a voluntary service performed at an additional expense to the plant.

Some carcasses are sent to the cut-up line. Carcass parts are packed in tray packs with plastic overlay, boxed, or bagged.

The giblets are wrapped and stuffed into the whole carcasses.

At the bagging station, the carcass is placed in a plastic bag.

The air is vacuumed out of the bagged carcass and the bag is closed with a clip. The bagged carcass then passes through a shrink tunnel, where it is sprayed with hot water. This procedure shrinks the plastic bag to conform to the shape of the carcass and results in an appealing consumer package.

The whole bagged carcasses and containers of cut-up parts are weighed to confirm, adjust, or mark the net weigh of the product. In some plants the price per pound and the total price of the product may be applied to the outside of the product package.

An immersion freezer is used by some plants to put a crust or quick chill on the product. This process helps prevent freezer burn on the carcass surfaces. Most immersion freezers contain solutions of propylene glycol or brine. As the bagged carcasses exit an immersion freezer, they must be sprayed with water in order to remove any freezing solution from the package.

The product is sorted and packed prior to entry in to the blast freezer.

Usually the air blast or plate-type freezer is used to freeze the product solid.

It is not usual for turkey plants to thaw frozen carcasses and cut-up or further process them some time after slaughter.

Once frozen, the product is ready to be shipped to food markets.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Waits Wednesday

Beavis and Butthead comment on "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" by Mr. Waits

Also, if you want to watch just about every music video Beavis and Butthead reviewed in poor Youtube quality, go here until it gets yanked. Whoever this member is just added Archers of Loaf, Replacements and Jesus Lizard within the past day.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Who is Cooler?

The cult Canadian television program Kenny vs. Spenny is finally getting a broad US airing thanks to Comedy Central. The show revolves around lifelong best friends Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice spending an episode determining who is better at a particular challenge, be it who can stay homeless longer, who can produce more semen, who can sell more bibles, and other juvenile challenges. Apparently South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone love the show and are executive producing their fourth and latest season. Even if you are not a fan of their work, Kenny vs. Spenny I strongly recommend watching this. The next episode "Who Can Eat More Meat?" airs tonight (Sunday) at 11:30 PM EST.

I've been watching this show ever since I read a piece written by show co-creator Kenny Hotz in the Vice V13N8 issue, which I've included below as an attempt to get you, reader, interested and laughing. I'm not sure we have any legal permission to post this, but if Vice requests it removed it shall be done.

from Vice V13N8
I Told My Friend He Had AIDS
by Kenny Hotz

I make my living being a total fucking asshole. It makes me feel bad sometimes but it sure beats the shit out of selling wheelchairs to old people on the phone. I live with my roommate and we have a show in Canada where we compete against each other. Some of you may have heard of it. It’s called Kenny vs. Spenny.

Basically the show is me and my idiot roommate, who looks like Jar Jar Binks with Down syndrome, competing in fuckedup competitions. Shit like: Who can gain the most weight in a week? Who can make out with the most chicks and drink the most beer before puking?

One of the shows that we did last season was hailed in Canada as the meanest, biggest asshole prank ever blitzkrieged on a loved one. My pal Spencer (Spenny) and I wanted to see, once and for all, who was funnier. So we decided that we were both going to take a week to practice for a stand-up comedy competition and perform in front of a huge comedy guru and let him decide who is the funniest stand-up comedian (like it’s any fucking contest).

I follow the tenets of Sun Tzu’s Art of War, i.e. “Totally crush and destroy your enemy from within.” In Canada, it is mandatory for the Ministry of Health to inform you if you have had sex with a person who has tested positive for the HIV virus. They actually mail out these letters. Could you imagine getting one of these letters? Spenny can.

It’s so easy to forge high-quality counterfeit documentation. I went to the Ministry of Health website, popped their logo on the top of a Word document, and then wrote a letter to Mr. Spencer Nolan Rice informing him that he was going to die of AIDS. I made sure he got it right in the middle of his preparation for the competition. After he got it in the mail, he actually puked.

Forgetting about the competition, Spenny tearfully confided in me that there was a chance he had AIDS (I didn’t know, remember? He got this letter from the government). Being the wonderful friend that I am, I pretended to drop everything and arranged for grief counseling, blood tests, insurance plans, the writing of his will, and all the other shit that most people would do if they thought they were dying.

Spenny’s week prior to the competition consisted of many golden moments. Casually calling girls he’d fucked trying to find out if they were the one with HIV. He gave me a few of his favorite belongings and paid me back some of the cash he’s owed me over the years.

The good news is a blood test takes seven to ten days to come back—in this case well after the competition ended. One of the AIDS counselors I set him up with, whose name was actually Gaylord (I swear to God), told Spenny that the best thing he could do would be to go on with his life, so Spenny decided to go on with the competition.

I actually got scared for a minute because nothing is funnier than a totally depressed, pathetic comedian, but then I remembered we’re dealing with fucking Spenny over here.

We get to the comedy club and Spenny goes first, gets onstage, and starts his bit. A few jokes in, it appeared like the whole depression thing was working for him. But all of a sudden he fucking freezes and tells the audience about the letter that says he might have AIDS and walks off the stage. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. Pure platinum. He broke down and almost started crying.

I ended up giving the judge a copy of the letter I sent Spenny and he gave me the win for unleashing such a devious plan on my best friend.

I did feel a little bad for doing it because I had to be with him on suicide watch and it’s a lot of effort to take care of a pal with pretend AIDS. His mother almost had a fucking coronary, but she’s a bit of a bitch anyways. The funny thing is, when he found out I totally faked the whole thing, he was so happy that he didn’t have HIV that to this day there’s been no retribution.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Last Minute Weekend Plans.

Uh, yeah. This one's a big one.

Ecstatic Peace! presents
curated by Byron Coley

11/16 FRIDAY/YOD SPACE (221 Pine Street #441, Florence MA 01062 ph: 413-587-9400) 6:00 – 12:00 with Vegetarian Two Bean Chili, Brown Rice, Green Salad, Chilled Beverages

8:00 (m) John Oliver Simons reads 1 (10)
8:15 (m) Richard Krech reads 1 (15)
8:35 (m) Charles Potts reads 1 (15)
9:20 Thurston Moore/Byron Coley/Valerie Webber read (10)
9:35 Traum Ecke (ducktails) plays (20)
9:55 (m) Mike Watt reads (20)

11/17 SATURDAY AFTERNOON/RED BARN (Red Barn at Hampshire College on Rt. 116 in S. Amherst.Red Barn is next to admissions office, about 1000 feet north of main entrance to college) 1:00 – 5:00 with beverages/food

1:00 Byron Coley reads (10)
1:15 (m) Gown (Andrew McGregor) plays (20)
1:40 (m) Bree reads (10)
1:55 (m) Rick Beaty reads (15)
2:15 (m) Corrine De Winter reads (10)
2:30 (m) Yomul Yuk play (20)
2:55 (m) Sara Jaffe reads (15)
3:15 (m) Valerie Webber reads (15)
3:35 (m) Charles Plymell reads (20)
4:00 m/m/m/m/m Slander Puff plays Conrad Capistran/Anna Klein/John
Shaw/Joshua Burkett/Dan Ireton (30)
5:00 break

SATURDAY EVENING 7:00 – 12:00 RED BARN with beverages

7:00 (m) Bill Nace/Sara Jaffe play (15)
7:20 (m) John Oliver Simons reads 2 (20)
7:50 (m) Richard Krech reads 2 (25)
8:20 (m) Charles Potts reads 2 (25)
8:50 Mirror/Dash (Thurston Moore/Kim Gordon) plays (15)
9:10 (m) George Wallace reads (15)
9:30 (m) Marci Denesiuk reads (15)
9:50 (m) Matt Krefting reads (15)
10:10 (m) Angela Jaeger reads (15)
10:30 (m)/(m) Hair Wars (Paul Flaherty/Kate Biggar) play (20)

11/18 SUNDAY 12:00 – 6:00 YOD SPACE with East African Sweet Pea Soup, bread/bagels, coffee, tea

1:15 Dredd Foole plays unless his Peterborough gig is too early (20)
1:40 Emma Young reads (10)
2:00 Joshua Burkett plays (20)
2:25 Wesley Eisold reads (10)
2:40 Grant Hart plays (20)
3:05 Byron reads (10)
3:20 J Mascis plays (20)
3:45 Thurston Moore plays unless he's in NYC recording

Yes, Mike Watt, as in "the guy from the Minutemen that I refuse to believe was involved with that last Stooges album". Yes, Grant Hart, as in "one of the dudes in Husker Du who didn't have the amazing moustache":

And as if that wasn't enough to keep you busy all weekend, this just popped up on my radar as well:

Saturday, November 16th
OM (Southern Lord Records, 2/3 of stoner-rock legends Sleep, etc.)
Grails (releases out on Temporary Residence, Important Records, Neurot Recordings, etc.)
Witch (ever want to see J Mascis play drums for a psych-metal band?)
Jack Rose (psych/drone from a member of Pelt.)
at The Loft (Cotton Mill Hill) in Brattleboro, VT.

Check it out, friends.

OM, live in Brooklyn.

Grails - "More Extinction"

Witch - "Seer"

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What In The Hell Is A Japandi?

Just a reminder that our friends over at Hampshire College's Creative Music Collective have a show going on tomorrow night:

Friday, November 16th
Sleeping People
Prescott Tavern, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA
8:30pm, probably free or practically free.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Waits Wednesday

(Looking For) The Heart of Saturday Night
Live in Italy 1986

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Are You Down With EP?

Yeah, there's a new Grizzly Bear EP with remixes & a bunch of bands covering their songs (Band of Horses? Seriously, guys?). There's also that new Battles EP, which boasts even more remixes (including one by Four Tet, which seems to be mandatory for any indie rock remix project) & videos that take the "bask in the sight of our music's complexity & technicality" angle to new extremes. But since EPs are disqualified from contending for the Expressway To Yr Skull Album of the Year crown, I feel that it's my responsibility to tell you about some short & sweet EP jams I've been fond of lately. We'll start off with this one:

It's no secret that I'm a big supporter of manic garage-punk & I was pretty stoked to see that John Dwyer of the very manic, very excellent Pink & Brown/Coachwhips (RIP) is picking up where those bands left off with his new project, Yikes! (his other project, the Oh Sees, put out an album this year called Sucks Blood also worth checking out, though more on the lo-fi weirdo pop tip). They just put out an EP called Whoa Comas & Blood Bomb on the Kill Shaman record label, who seem to be ahead of the curve on nutty noise-rock lately (Load Records, watch your back). What are you in store for on this little guy? Fuzzed-out guitar racket that could pass for Thee Heacoats on speed, distorted vocals that sound like they were recorded in a shoebox & a few off-kilter punk tricks they probably picked up from the Fall. Success! They apparently also have a new-ish full-length called Secrets To Superflipping out on Upset! The Rhythm out of London - I'm not sure if it's going to be released domestically anytime soon, so it might be worth it to break down & buy the import, even if the dollar-to-pound conversion rate is absurd right now. Might I suggest buying the No Age 12" EP they released as well, while you're at it & while we're on the topics of EPs?

Speaking of No Age, here's a rad video for "Boy Void", which is probably the best song on their ridiculously awesome Weirdo Rippers singles anthology. OH YEAH!

Jason Anderson Tonight!

Courteousy of the Hampshire College Alternative Music Collective.

Jason Anderson & Crush Cloud
November 13 @ Hampshire College
7pm. The Red Barn

Jason Anderson has been around. He's been the drummer for Yume Bitsu and the Microphones; he's played keyboards for David Dondero and recorded with Mirah, Calvin Johnson and the Blow. He's toured with Mark Robinson, Little Wings and
Son, Ambulance. With a seemingly insatiable appetite for travel and music, Jason is a true wandering troubadour, playing anywhere and everywhere, and always trying to grow. Jason has lived in the Pacific Northwest, in Omaha, on the east coast, and in his car. His commitment to travel and the idea of "life as tour" has created a community where the line between friend and fan is blurred. The shows are participatory, intimate exchanges of humanity and joy. Everyone seems to leave
inspired and uplifted, most of all Anderson himself. It's exciting to see someone who believes so much in music and the potential it has to bring people together.

Crush Cloud is Shira Erlichman and Emily Thomas. They are sing-along campfire fun. bring your sleeping bag, your clapping hands, and marshmallows for smores. they escaped their hard life on the farm to bring you melodies. music for folks, and non-folks alike. dogs wearing bandanas welcome.

We're Jason Anderson fans supporters, but WMUA is hoping that Jason Anderson doesn't incorporate that gawd-awful E-Street Band sound on his latest album. Sorry J.A.!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Read & Burn 03

Apparently Wire released a new EP on November 5th and I did not know about it. Link yes yes

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Do The Suicide.

While Eric & I were attempting to round out the field for our Best of 2007 showdown, the question of Load Records was raised, specifically if they had put out anything noteworthy this year. I felt like it had kind of been a quiet year for them, aside from that new Clockcleaner album (which is admittedly pretty good in a "1993 called & they want their Jesus Lizard albums back" kind of way), but it turns out that they've put out a ton of stuff lately that just never crossed paths with our mailbox at the radio station.

At any rate, someone (possibly Eric - confirm or deny) told me a few months ago that the amazingly demented, synthed-out Six Finger Satellite was back together. I think that so many bands have seemingly been coming back from the grave lately that I didn't really think too much about it, even though I'll swear up & down that Six Finger Satellite is arguably one of the most underrated/overlooked bands that ever had a Sub Pop logo turn up on one of their albums*. What's not to love about a band that sounds like Devo hanging out with Big Black? Nothing, that's what. But the reformation giddiness has finally set in, because the word on the street is that there's a new 6FS album coming out on none other than Load Records in the spring. The fact that it's being released on the label synonymous with Lightning Bolt (who very obviously owe no small debt to their Providence forefathers in 6FS) rather than the label (at least now) synonymous with the Shins is good news indeed. Not to mention that their all-synthesizer EP Machine Cuisine is also being reissued, with bonus tracks galore.

Some kind soul finally got the video for "Parlour Games" that appeared on Beavis & Butthead onto YouTube, so I am including it thusly:

Apparently Polvo is reuniting for All Tomorrow's Parties next year, which coupled with the Six Finger Satellite reunion & the fact that Shellac recently put out a new record, means that I'm rapidly approaching some bizarre space-time continuum where I'm back in junior high & obsessing over math-rock bands again.

* If you only respond to Pitchfork buzzwords, the Juan MacLean used to be in the band & DFA Records owe their name to the Six Finger Satellite's tour set-up. And I feel dirtier just for feeling the need to mention that.

Friday, November 9, 2007

New Ratatat Mixtape

Ratatatatatatatatat have a new mixtape available for free on their website. Like the first one, it has their music mashed with other rappers' rhymes. Tracklist is:

1. Young Buck, T.I. and Ludacris - Stomp
2. Notorious B.I.G. - Party & Bullshit
3. Jay-Z & Notorious B.I.G. - Allure
4. Z-Ro, Devin the Dude & Juvenile - The Mule
5. Young Buck - Shorty Wanna Ride
6. Beanie Sigel & Jay-Z - Glock Nines
7. Despot - Freestyle
8. Memphis Bleek - Alright
9. Slim Thug, T.I. & Bun-B - Three Kings
10. Young Jeezy & Bun-B - Over Here
11. Kanye West - Diamonds
12. Beans - Freestyle
13. Notorious B.I.G. - Dead Wrong
14. Saigon & U.G.K. - We Gon' Ride

Thursday, November 8, 2007

This is Going to be the Most Significant Television Event Since Quantum Leap

This is not music related, but the always reliable Adult Swim is going to start airing the hopefully cult classic Garth Marenghi's Darkplace starting tomorrow night at 11 PM. Like most of the great British comedy classics, it's bizarre, dry and indirectly hilarious. The concept revolves around horror/director/producer/writer mastermind Garth Marenghi (real life Matthew Holness) created the Darkplace show back in the 80s with next to no budget. It was a show, as Marenghi puts it, that was "so radical, so risky, so dangerous, so go-haw-damn crazy that the so called powers-that-be became too scared to show it." The show gets resurrected for a second go-around on air, this time featuring Garth Marenghi, publicist/co-star Dean Learner (Richard Ayoade) and fellow cast members being interviewed about the show between scenes.

The show is meant to spoof the horror/action genre shows that were in abundance back in the day. The show takes place at Darkplace Hotel where Dr. Rick Dagless (Marenghi) has to fight off the evils plaguing the hospital as well as fighting to keep his patients alive. He's joined by Dr. Lucien Sanchez (played by Todd Rivers played by Matt Berry), Dr. Liz Asher (played by Madeleine Wool played by Alice Lowe) and hospital administrator Thornton Reed (Learner). There's incredibly (and purposefully) stiff acting, blatant misogyny, cheap props and sets and more hilarity abound.

But to keep it semi-music related, here's a music video for the song "I'm a One Track Lover" that appears in the show

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Gold Star For Robot Boy.

While I'm definitely not a Guided By Voices obsessive, I have a serious soft spot in my heart for basically everything up until about the Mag Earwhig-era (I still haven't fully gotten over seeing Bob Pollard in a bright green "Ladies' Man"-style satin shirt on the Conan O'Brien show after Do The Collapse came out - totally shudder-inducing). I will also maintain that if you can listen to Bee Thousand & not fall in love with it, then you have a heart of stone, you cold, horrible person. This makes me extremely nostalgic for simple, low-budget 90s indie rock videos (complete with high kicks):

What triggered this post was reflecting upon the highs & lows of the 2007 music year, particularly the last ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead album & how they managed to rape my memories by covering/butchering Guided By Voices' "The Gold Heart Mountaintop Queen Directory" (in the middle of what looked like a overly ambitious pseudo-concept album too, making it all the more inexplicable & out of place). As luck would have it, that Trail of Dead record actually came out in late 2006 & thus narrowly escaped earning a top spot on my 2007 shit-list. But that cover was so mind-blowingly awful that I'm going to call them out entirely on their own right now, exact release dates be damned. Attention, Trail of Dead: Stop adding cheesy, dramatic strings to songs that were beautiful & haunting precisely because they were originally so sparse & lo-fi. Please just go back to pretending to be a Sonic Youth tribute band.

Waits Wednesday

On Late Night with Conan O'Brien earlier this year

"Lucinda" and "Ain't Goin' Down to the Well"


Hurry Up and Get Some Juice for the Juiceman

Here's a notification for those unaware that mister Andy "Falco" Falkous and Jack Egglestone of the band that's better than your band, McLusky, have joined forces with former Jarcrew member Kelson Mathias to become the Future of the Left. Did you like McLusky? I'll give 5:4 odds that you may end up liking Future of the Left. Falkous shouting, brutish bass and drums, and a rude guitar lead warm up a cold fall day. The one potential caveat for some people? Keyboards. They released their debut album out in the UK on Too Pure in September. It's called Curses and according to Falco's myspace blog it's "It's 37 minutes and 13 seconds long, an Aries*, and enjoys long country walks, alfresco bathing and revenge." I have no clue when the US release date is, though it's hopefully in time for the Festivus holiday.

Your pity sets the bar

Future of the Left - "Adeadenemyalwayssmellsgood"

On top of that, the remaining member of McLusky, mister Jon Chapple, and his band Shooting at Unarmed Men released their 3rd full length entitled Triptych in August. It's only available legally in Australia[?] but should be getting released sometime in the near future. Otherwise, I'd suggest checking out their energetic and excellently titled 2nd LP Yes! Tinnitus! on Too Pure. Apologies for not finding any good clips of them.

*I believe a September 24th release date places it as a Libra, but I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it's based on a conception sometime between March 21 and April 19**.

**I'm also assuming by the above statement that the album was born prematurely six months into the term.

Monday, November 5, 2007

For Your Reconsideration

The music video for Sheryl Crow's "A Change (Would Do You Good)"

1. directed by Michel Gondry
2. features the following people:
- Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm)
- Heather Matarazzo (Welcome to the Dollhouse)
- Ellen DeGeneres
- Molly Shannon
- Toby Huss (The Adventures of Pete & Pete - Artie, the strongest man in the world!*, Carnivale)
- Mary Lynn Rajskub (24, Mr. Show)
- Andy Dick

1. Song by Sheryl Crow
2. features the following people:
- Ellen DeGeneres
- Andy Dick

*Not enough can be said about that show

Saturday, November 3, 2007


What the hell is up with this praise for the Chromatics disco-Italia style?! They're from Seattle! WMUA awards no points!*

*this is a bullshit rant since the exclusive Exprsswy t Yr Skll compilation** contains a track by them.

**Did I mention limited edition?

Cough Up Some Cash!

If you have money that's currently burning a hole in your pocket (and you should, since we know that most of you didn't give it to us during fund drive this week), definitely send it to the fine folks over at our beloved In The Red Records, because they've recently launched a series of mailorder (and merch table, if you're lucky)-only vinyl releases that will make you kick yourself later if you miss out on them.

Jay Reatard's Night of Broken Glass EP has been out for awhile now & is apparently limited to 700 copies, never to be re-pressed. It also happens to be fucking awesome. He hasn't had them at his merch table the past two times I've seen him, so you should order one from the label directly (which y'all should do more often in general), because I imagine they'll probably be gone soon.

There's also a split 7" featuring Lamps & Haunted George, with the old trick where each band covers a song from the other. This one's limited to 400 copies & if the Lamps full-length that recently came out (which you should also check out) is any indication, this should be pretty excellent.

The most recent installment is from Intelligence (featuring Lars of the underrated & now defunct A-Frames), who just put out a kick-ass full-length called Deuteronomy on In The Red as well. Their contribution to the series is a four song 12" EP, limited to 600 copies.

That's not enough to get you all hot & bothered in your record nerdery? How about the fact that the Black Lips are slated to put out a record for the project? Yeah? There's also apparently a non-mailorder Angry Angles (another great Jay Reatard outfit) album coming out on the label soon. Get stoked.

Friday, November 2, 2007

More Decisions.

It came to my attention tonight that there is ANOTHER show next weekend, in addition to the Popfest! New England/Yo La Tengo madness I mentioned a few days ago. So here's another option for you to weigh:

Blevin Blectum at the Hampshire College Dining Commons on Friday, November 9th, probably around 8:30pm & probably free or cheap (but this being a Hampshire show & information being hard to come by, don't quote me on that). One half of the defunct laptop-fuckery/IDM duo Blectum From Blechdom, she's also collaborated with Matmos, DAT Politics, The Soft Pink Truth & a bunch of other bands you may or may not like, in addition to doing her solo electronica act. If you're vehemently against going to an indie pop show that night, you should probably go to this or risk being a loser forever.

Also, this one's a little bit further off on the horizon, but some advance warning anyway:

Sleeping People (on Temporary Residence Records), Japandi, Yukon & Bunnies at the Prescott Tavern at Hampshire College, Friday, November 16th at 8:30pm. Cost? Again, probably free or cheap. If you're into the technical, instrumental math-rock thing (see: Don Caballero, Hella, so on & so forth), you'd probably be smart to jump on the Sleeping People bandwagon. They're also starting a tour with the Locust soon, if that's any indication. Go & feel good about yourself for going to Five College campus shows so that they can keep happening, hopefully.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

'Nutha Reminder

As we mentioned in an earlier post, A Place to Bury Strangers/The Bunnies/Sisxers are doing a free show tonight at 8:30 pm at the Hampshire College Dining Commons. The frontman to APtBS, Olivier Ackermann is giving a free workshop on effect pedal making at 5 pm at Lemelson on campus. It's all FREE!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Popkid's Dilemma.

All of you cardigan'd, horn rimmed popkids (and I'm including myself in that category, so be quiet) out there better start thinking about your plans for next weekend. This could be a battle of epic proportions:

Friday, November 9th through Sunday, November 11th, this year's installment of the colossal Popfest! New England is happening at the Elevens in Northampton, with more tambourines & handclaps than you can fathom. In particular, I would like to voice my support for the awesome Bunnygrunt, who are headlining the opening night, if you're into things like energetic Superchunk-y pop-punk with co-ed vocals, as well as the Tullycraft-meets-Beat Happening styled Lil' Hospital, who are playing the Sunday afternoon matinee show. There's a kick-ass, download-able sampler featuring all of the bands on the Popfest! roster up here that I highly recommend checking out.

But before you cough up the cash for one of those three-day Popfest! passes, you should probably be aware of the fact that Expressway to Yr Skull favorites Yo La Tengo are going to be at Mass MoCA in North Adams on Saturday, November 10th as part of their "Freewheeling" tour. From their website: "The Freewheeling Yo La Tengo Tour is a rare opportunity to see this ever-surprising band in a setting more intimate and interactive than any tour in their 23-year career. A little bit "Storytellers", a little bit "Unplugged", with a soupcon of their famously varied Hanukkah shows, it will feature the band playing an almost-acoustic set of songs from their entire catalog, with stories about their life as a band, and an encouraged back-and-forth with the audience. Already famous for never playing the same show twice, this fresh look at Yo La Tengo offers rare insight into one of the most important, unique, and beloved bands in American rock. Yo La Tengo's latest CD, I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass, will be the springboard for these shows, though anything can and will happen from there". Mass MoCa shows are pretty incredible (seeing Mission of Burma there was nothing short of mind-blowing) & Yo La Tengo has yet to disappoint me live.

So here's my proposal: Hit up Popfest! on Friday, make the trip out to North Adams for Yo La Tengo on Saturday & spend your Sunday going through indie-pop overload at the matinee/evening Popfest! shows. And after all of that, you'll probably be ready to catch a Lightning Bolt show or something to make up for things.

Celebrity Cameo

Why is it that everyone's getting Cuteoverload boners for Angus's kitten snorgling but no one's commenting about the Zach Galifianakis cameo in the new Liars video?

Waits Wednesday

Since this is one of the few days during the year that a grown person can revert back to the glory days of a seven year old, this one seems Halloween appropriate.

"I Don't Want to Grow Up" from Bone Machine

Wheezy Wheezed

Here is WMUA's contribution to the music blogs paying tribute to Lawrence, Massachusetts-born Robert Goulet's death via a Will Ferrell impersonation.

Happy Halloween! No raping! Rapping is fine.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Tuesday Bum-Out.

First, a real downer, stolen from an article at the Onion AV Club, Those of you who followed the whole mid-to-late 90s Touch & Go/Matador Records thing might remember a woefully underrated band by the name of Silkworm (and if you don't, I recommend that you go acquire all of their albums immediately, perhaps beginning with the tremendous Firewater). You might also remember the horrible incident two summers ago, when a woman attempting suicide in Chicago plowed her car into the vehicle occupied by Silkworm drummer Michael Dahlquist, killing him as she escaped from the collision essentially unscathed. Long story short, said woman was recently found guilty of reckless homicide (rather than the three counts of first degree murder she was originally facing) & is looking at up to a whopping ten years in prison for killing three innocent bystanders. Totally depressing on a number of counts - to paraphrase Bill Hicks, if you're going to kill somebody, at least have some fucking taste.

Silkworm - "Wet Firecracker" (this band ruled so hard!)

And for you fans of art-damaged dance punk: shed a tear, because apparently the Gold Standard Laboratories label has bit the dust. Now would be a good time to pick up all of those Chromatics albums you slept on, or perhaps that Fatal Flying Guilloteens/This Moment In Black History split that will rock your face off. Y'know, while you still have the chance.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Miracle of Life

Vice has a blog post up with three above and beyond halloween costumes, this one setting the bar for halloween costumes to come. Slightly (or totally) not safe for work.

And as a last minute reminder, WMUA is currently in the midst of its annual fund drive. If you have a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket or thinking of getting deeper into debt, consider making a donation to the station. Better yet, make your donation tonight during Expressway to Yr Skull (that's Monday, 8-10 pm). Erika and I have made a bitchin' 3 CD boxset that comes free with ANY donation amount. $1, $100, $1000- everyone gets the same gift on top of the other station-sanctioned premiums available. The boxsets are each one-of-a-kind packaged and will feature a mixes made by Erika and me individually along with a joint best-of-2007 music. Catch it!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween Hangover.

If you manage to escape without catching a razorblade in your Halloween candy this week, you might want to go to this show & get your shoegaze on.

Thursday, November 1st
A Place To Bury Strangers
The Bunnies
Hampshire College Dining Commons (893 West Street, Amherst)

Also, at 5pm, there's a Death By Audio workshop with Oliver Ackermann of A Place To Bury Strangers, so if you want to earn some cool points & learn about circuit bending or pedal making, here's your chance.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Stay cool, Sugarpuff.

For the weekend.

Love of Diagrams - "The Pyramid"
from Mosaic out now on Matador

The King Khan & BBQ Show - "Why Don't You Lie"
from What's for Dinner? out now on In the Red

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

If You Want To Write Rock Lyrics, You Must Learn About Where The Hobbits Dwell.

I was nerding out over indie rock from the Clinton era with my friend Charlie today & we were inspired to go digging for some lost 90s treasures from back in the day when you could actually catch a Swervedriver or Shudder To Think video on MTV (the mind boggles).

Yo La Tengo - "Sugarcube" (featuring the cast of Mr. Show!)

Chavez - "Break Up Your Band"

Superchunk - "Watery Hands" (with Janeane Garofalo & David Cross!)

Jawbox - "Savory"

To be continued.

Waits Wednesday

"Cold Cold Ground" live in 1987

Monday, October 22, 2007

RIP Lance Hahn.

Lance Hahn, guitarist/vocalist for the great Austin-via-San Francisco "anarcho-situationist-pop-punk" band J Church, passed away yesterday, apparently the result of a kidney disease-induced coma. There's a really touching tribute to him up on the Austin 360 music blog that you can check out for the exact story, or you can peruse the J Church myspace page for the sorts of always slightly unsettling post-death comments that make the internet a weird place sometimes. This dude had been a huge part of the Texas DIY community during my formative teenage punk days & will be missed terribly in Austin & elsewhere. RIP, Lance.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Do You Wanna Get Your Teeth Knocked The ***K Out (Sonically Speaking, Of Course...)

Hi All - Ladewtangclan here.

Last week's End of Radio program on WMUA (Thur 8-10pm EST. Winamp, Itunes, Windows Media player are all now on board if you want to stream live from, btw) featured Boston's own firebrand dj HUBRIS spinning rare punk 7"s and 12"s accumulated through several decades of record collecting bliss and we were there to podcast it!

Playlist followed by the 4 part podcast...

The End of Radio - Thursday, 2007-10-11, 20:00:00-22:00:00

* denotes a request, # denotes a new release

Time Played - Artist - Song Title - Album Title - Label
#19:59:31 - Campaign For Real Time - Hey - LA Tracks 1933-1969 - Wonderdrug
20:01:57 - Iggy Pop - Success - The Passenger - Virgin
#20:05:56 - The Mabuses - Mirth - Mabused - Magpie Records
#20:11:50 - Enon - Colette - Grass Geysers... Carbon Clouds - Touch and go
#20:20:19 - Magik Markers - Circle - Boss - Ecstatic Peace!
#20:25:01 - Pinback - Barnes - Autumn Of The Serphs - Touch and Go

20:33:14 - Television - Little Johnny Jewel - 7" - Ork
20:34:45 - Dub Diablo - Talib Kweli v. Radiohead - 12" - BFR
20:38:17 - Charles Mingus - Fables of Faubus - Charles Mingus - Barnaby Records
20:47:19 - Serge Gainsbourg - Requiem Pour Un Con - Le Selections Du Cinema De Gainsbourg - Smoke Disque
20:50:51 - El Michaels Affair - Bring The Ruckus - 7" - Truth And Soul
20:52:10 - Sinead O'Connor - Throw Down Your Arms - 7" - Taxi
20:56:51 - Jandek - Your Other Man (Secret Frequency Crew Remix) - 7" - Schematic Music
21:08:28 - The Cramps - Domino (R. Orbison) - Gravest Hits EP / Off The Bone Compiliation - Alien Records
21:11:58 - The Girls - Jefferey I Hear You - 7" (Local Boston band 1979) - Hearthan
21:12:33 - La Peste - Better Off Dead - 7" - Black Records
21:15:46 - Iggy Pop and James Williamson - I Got A Right - 7" - Siamese
21:17:24 - Roxy Music (Phones Remix) - Editions of You - 7 - Virgin
21:23:34 - Test Icicles (Digital Remix) - What's Your Damage - The Dig Your Own Grave E.P. - Domino
21:35:17 - Gossip (Soulwax Nite Version) - Standing In The Way - V/A: Kitsune Maison Compilation 3 - Kitsune
21:38:03 - The Slits - I Heard It Through The Grapevine - Typical Girl 12" - Island
21:41:50 - Soulwax - Teachers - Nite Versions - Pias
21:43:31 - Dub Diablo - Hives vs. Peaches - 12 - BFR
21:45:48 - PIL - Annalisa - PIL (Edition 1) - Virgin
21:48:34 - Joakim - Love Me 2 - Monsters and Silly Songs - Versatile
21:56:14 - NY Dolls - Human Being - Too Much Too Soon - Mercury

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four