Monthly Archives: June 2008

“Shine in/Shine on”

Boredoms – “Super Going” from Super Ae [1998]

Here is some mind-expanding minimalist drone punk to laze away a summer Sunday with. Boredoms at 2006 Intonation Festival (pictured above) blew me away with volume and rhythmic attack, but they lacked the tunefulness (albeit in the loosest sense of “tune”) this song soars with. Enjoy.

Can’t buy me Boredom

Posted by Glenn

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3 Comments

Filed under 1990s, Experimental, Post-rock, Prog Rock, Psychedelic, Punk, Space rock

“He never helps out in the yard”

The Feelies – “The Boy With The Perpetual Nervousness” from Crazy Rhythms (1980)

The Feelies, Television, and Talking Heads form some kind of unholy late-70s triumvirate of nervy New York dorkitude. I don’t know the work of Glenn Mercer & co. as deeply as I know that of Television and Talking Heads, but I have a feeling the Feelies may be the best of the bunch. The vocal delivery is as good as Byrne at his best (check the “awright” at 2:17, just after the song’s big plot twist); the rushing guitars at the climax of the song more than illustrate, they embody the lyrical content; the band seems constantly pushed to the breaking point, in the best punk tradition.

If you like, check the usual Internet sources for more–it looks like Feelies CDs are hard to come by these days.

Try the Feelies at Amazon

Posted by Glenn

2 Comments

Filed under 1980s, Punk, Rock

“You leave me [breath sound] breathless”

Jerry Lee Lewis – “Breathless” [Single, 1958]

He grew up playing piano with his cousin, future televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, married his 13-year old cousin (Lewis was 23 at the time; she was his third wife) and goes by the nickname “The Killer.”  Jerry Lee Lewis was Rock and Roll’s first wild man.  Once, very early in his career, a Nashville producer suggested Lewis switch from the piano to the guitar.  Offended, Lewis reportedly replied “you can take your guitar and ram it up your ass!”  “Breathless” is one of the Killer’s first singles, recorded in 1958 on the venerable Sun Records label.  I love the sound of the drums and the rockabilly groove on this track.

I am interested in the origins of things, and this is a fine example of the origins of rock music.  Everyone knows “Great Balls of Fire” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” so I wanted to post a song that, while it was a single in 1958, is relatively unknown today.  It is songs like this and artists like Lewis that enabled today’s rock music – if not all of today’s popular music – to exist.  We as music fans have a debt to pay to these old rock and rollers; the least we can do is give them a listen every now and again.  These old songs are not lyrically or musically complex (though the Killer was/is a hell of a piano player) but in a way, that makes them more pure.  Their simplicity certainly makes them easier to enjoy.

Buy the Killer

Posted by Adam

3 Comments

Filed under 1950s, Rock

“But I prefer…alcohol!”

The Clash – “The Right Profile” from London Calling (1979)
The Clash – “Gates of the West” from Super Black Market Clash (1994) [originally on The Cost of Living EP, 1979]

Two lesser-known Clash songs, both of which feature top-notch vocal performances by their respective singers. (That’s Joe Strummer on “The Right Profile” and Mick Jones on the smooth-as-butter “Gates of the West,” natch.)

The above photo of Monty Clift comes by way of Stanley Kubrick, an SWR fave. Check out Kubrick’s photo book.

Buy the Clash

Posted by Glenn

7 Comments

Filed under 1970s, Punk, Rock

“Tell it to me slowly”

The Zombies – “Time of the Season [UK mono mix]” from Odessey & Oracle [1968]

As a young boy, I was captivated by this song.  The hushed forthrightness and swagger of the narrator disturbed me.  Nevertheless, I wanted to be the guy who could walk up to a girl and ask “What’s your name?/Who’s your daddy?/Is he rich like me?”  Damn.  I’ll never be that threatening/alluring.

This gem was written by Zombie Rod Argent whose keyboard passages define Odessey & Oracle as much as Colin Blunstone’s characteristic vocals.

Buy it here

Posted by Jordy

3 Comments

Filed under 1960s, Psychedelic, Rock

Hammocks, et al.

Tren Brothers – Gold Star Berlin from Ep [1997]

I just found out that the Tren Brothers are playing at Schuba’s in Chicago. Against my better judgment, I purchased two tickets and a round-trip plane ride in order to witness this event. Why, you ask?

Mick Turner and Jim White (two thirds of the Dirty Three) create loop-based, off-kilter sunset reveries (my friend says this should be called “the hammock song”) that demonstrate the perfect fact that they have insane chops and have transcended them. This band is good. Really good. Better than most everything in my music collection. So if you’re in Chicago, you should really make it out on Saturday. Their current tour is tonight in New York, two dates in Canada, Chicago on Friday and then a couple more dates in Canada. If you can call that a tour.

So go, already. Buy your tickets here.

Also, buy the music here

Posted by Phil

3 Comments

Filed under 1990s, Instrumental

“Now it’s Friday.”

Migala – Suburbian Empty Movie Theatre from Arde [2001]

I first heard Migala on a covers record of Low’s I Could Live In Hope and it was spooky. In researching their back catalog, I found that they used to be an experimental noise band.

Whatever.

Regardless, this song off their first US release for Sub Pop makes me feel really, really good whenever I listen to it, and since it’s raining and I’m still at work, well, I thought I’d give it a shot. Hopefully it works for you, too.

Disappear for half the night. Disappear

Posted by Phil

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Filed under 2000s, Rock