Saturday, May 31, 2008

So Freakin' Juicy!

This one is for Jess...

When I was home for winter break, I went to see Heavy Face at the Smell with Matt... I knew that the Ima (Fucking) Gymnist 7" was out, but I didn't know too much about them at that point. Ol Factory has a distro sorta thing run out of the venue, so they were selling it, and I was contemplating buying it. I was a little bit hesitant since it was $6 (in my opinion kinda expensive for a 7"), but I took the plunge.... Great decision.

I think this release is most accurately described by its name- ...So Freakin' Juicy! It's super fun dancey punk. The cowbell on the title track gets me every time. "We're Professionals" is also great.

...So Freakin' Juicy! was produced by Jennifer Clavin from Mika Miko and Dean Spunt from No Age- no surprise there as Ima Gymnist sound a lot like Mika Miko (clearly a good thing).

I wish I could write something more inciteful/informative about this... mostly I just love it. I generally hate the Valley (apologies to anyone there), but these kids represent.

Ima Gymnist- ...So Freakin' Juicy!
Buy it from Ol Factory

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Giggles in the Dark

Once finals were over, it was time to pack. Packing meant turning up my speakers and blasting Giggles in the Dark, which I finally found online since my preamp has been broken for a couple months now.

Giggles in the Dark, the remixes of Lesbians on Ecstasy's first self-titled album, was probably the second record I ever got (after Cut). My older sister has always mocked me for listening to "lesbian" music, whatever that may mean. The only time this has come in useful was when she gave me this record for Christmas a few years ago.

The beautiful lavender vinyl was released by Alien8 in September 2005. After I didn't bring my records to school with me freshman year, I was really excited when one of the first things I saw in the Record Hospital lounge was this CD in the middle of the table. When doing air for the queercore orgy last year (my first solo air), we tried desperately to find this, but it seems to have disappeared from the depth of the RH library... I'll have to email Alien8 some time to get another copy.

With remixes from icons like Le Tigre and Jody Bleyle, this album gives some fun spins, often combining older songs (like Fifth Column's "All Women Are Bitches") with Lezzies on X ones. I've always been more into this than the regular version of their self-titled album (but I did also hear it first).

Lesbians on Ecstasy's most recent album, We Know You Know, was released last spring. Unfortunately, the Montreal-based group doesn't seem to have any shows coming up soon.

Lesbians on Ecstasy- Giggles in the Dark
Buy it from Alien8

Monday, May 19, 2008

Black Tambourine & Vivian Girls

The Slumberland website says that Black Tambourine wore their influences on their sleeves. The same could be said for Brooklyn's Vivian Girls with regards to Black Tambourine, and they readily admit to it, listing the band first among their influences on their myspace. Despite their existing about fifteen years apart, the similarities are uncanny. But don't worry-- Vivian Girls aren't just a cheap rip-off of Black Tambourine.

Black Tambourine made delightfully fuzzy pop in the early 1990s. They were part of the Slumberland scene in DC along with bands like Velocity Girl and Whorl, with whom they shared members. They released a couple 7" EPs and added a few tracks to compilations before calling it quits.

Slumberland compiled their discography and released it as a 10" and CD in 1999.

Black Tambourine's Pam Berry also supposedly started Chickfactor Magazine. You can read some great interviews with the likes of Tiger Trap and Heavenly on its website now. If you're in Cambridge, they have some old issues at the Papercut Zine Library (go ahead and mock me for this).

Many years later and a few hundred miles north come Brooklyn's Vivian Girls. I love pop, but hardly any good pop is made today. Vivian Girls, however, are delicious.

I haven't had a chance to see them live yet and am really mad I'm missing the big tour they just departed on-- especially their show at the Smell with the girls of Pocahaunted and BlackBlack.... it'll be fucking epic, and if you're in LA, you should be ashamed of yourself if you don't go. Seriously though, check out their tour schedule on their myspace and get to a show near you.

Anyway, so far, Vivian Girls have released a 7" on Plays with Dolls and have a couple new things out this month- a 7" on Woodsist and an LP on Mauled by Tigers. You can order the LP now and hopefully will be able to order the 7" very soon too.

Their first 7" came out in March and is called Wild Eyes. Two wonderful pop gems- "Wild Eyes" and "My Baby Wants Me Dead." Get it before it's gone.

I also came across their demo recently- even fuzzier but still excellent (not like fuzz would preclude it from being great).


Black Tambourine- Complete Recordings
Vivian Girls- Wild Eyes 7"
Vivian Girls- demo

Sunday, May 18, 2008

How the Winter Was Passed

In the spirit of orgy season, I figured I'd post something related to one of mine.

The first Tara Jane O'Neil I got into was probably Rodan. Incredible post-hardcore out of that thriving Louisville scene in the early/mid '90s along with others like Slint. The band included TJO, Jeff Mueller (later of June of 44 & Shipping News), Jason B. Noble (also in Rachel's & Shipping News), and then sometimes Kevin Coultas, John Weiss (not to be confused with John Wiese), & Jon Cook. TJO, of course, does solo stuff and was also in the Sonora Pine, Retsin, the King Cobra, Drinking Woman, etc. etc.

This picture might be too '90s for me to handle, or at least just the far left.

Their How the Winter Was Passed 7" has just two songs- "Milk & Melancholy" & "Exoskeleton." It was released in 1993 on 3 Little Girls Recordings. "Milk & Melancholy" was recorded in September of '92 and "Exoskeleton" in June '93.

"Milk & Melancholy" might be my favorite Rodan song. It's a lot shorter than most, but it's a pretty concise predictor of what was to come.

Rodan released one LP, Rusty, before calling it quits. Luckily, their members continued to make music. TJO is now based in Portland and is still putting out prettiness- by means of sound as well as visual art.

Rodan- How the Winter Was Passed

Saturday, May 17, 2008

TJOrgy Playlist

Rodan- How the Winter Was Passed
Rodan- Rusty
Rodan- Peel Sessions
Retsin- Salt Lick
Retsin- Egg Fusion
The Sonora Pine- s/t
Retsin- Sweet Lucky of Amaryllis
The Ida Retsin Family
The Sonora Pine- II
Tara Jane O'Neil- Peregrine
Retsin- Cabin in the Woods
Tara Jane O'Neil- In Sun Lines
Tara Jane O'Neil- TJO TKO
The King Cobra- s/t
Tara Jane O'Neil- You Sound, Reflect

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Boy Poison

Clearly, I have a bunch of people I'm obsessed with.... Kaia Wilson, Amelia Fletcher, Rose Melberg, etc. etc. The one who precedes all of them though is Kathleen Hanna.

I was a bit young to be into Bikini Kill when they were around, but I was lucky enough to catch Le Tigre live. Before either of these bands though, Kathleen was in Viva Knievel. It was her second band (after Amy Carter) and would play shows at her Reko Muse gallery in Olympia.

Viva Knievel toured the country once and released one EP, Boy Poison, in 1990 before breaking up.

Clearly this band is historically important as a sort of predecessor to riot grrrl- you could say a lot about this. Allison Wolfe (of Bratmobile) saw them play, and it helped inspire her to start her own band- blah blah blah.

I was listening a lot to it last week when writing my riot grrrl paper for WGS. Aside from "Boy Poison" being a very riot-grrrl-esque motto or whatever, it's also just an incredibly awesome song. It starts off with Kathleen singing in her kind of high soft voice thing, and then just comes in with this killer deep bass line, and she just rips shit up. One of the many reasons why I love her. I also love how fucking rough she looks on the cover of this.

Viva Knievel- Boy Poison

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Death to False Grind; the Death of Grind

So maybe "the death of grind" is a bit dramatic, but I found out a couple days ago that Insect Warfare are breaking up after their final show at Dude Fest this July. Serious bummer.

I don't listen to that much grindcore, but I love Insect Warfare, and they've definitely been one of the most awesome grind bands the past few years.

Their only LP release came last September with World Extermination. It was released by 625 Thrash & RSR. Every time I listen to it, I'm just kind of in disbelief-- so fucking fast, so fucking hard. And it gets better pretty much every time. (Yes, Milli, I know it sounds dirty.)

I don't think I can do it that much justice, so I'll leave it to 625:
"Seriously, this needs to be heard to be believed. No tech, no minamalist noise, this is pure, straight forward, raw grindcore that no other band seems able to deliver these days. While the larger death metal labels are salivating over this band, IxWx stay true to their DIY roots and prove that 1000mph raw grindcore belongs in the underground. Be prepared for slaughter."

Their final release will be the Noise Grind Power Death noisecore 7" EP-- "fuck it, end it on a noise note." It'll be a one-sided 12" on 625 with a CD release as well.

Insect Warfare- World Extermination

Monday, May 12, 2008

THE SMELL playlist

Night One
v/a- Under 21: Los Angeles! A Compilation of Rad Youth (get it from Ol Factory's snazzy new webstore)
Bad Dudes- Eat Drugs
Upsilon Acrux- Volucris Avis Dirae-Arum
The Sads- Deux Pas 7” (get it at FAMILY)
No Age- Eraser 7”
BARR- What Would the Second BARR?
Apathetic Ronald McDonald- Where My Money At Ho?
Foot Village- Friendship Nation (buy it)
Pocahaunted + Robedoor- Plays Berkley
Polar Goldie Cats
Lucky Dragons- Widows (get it at OOGA BOOGA)

Night Two
Mika Miko CD (666 EP + 7” + rare)
Sissy Spacek- Pow Wow 7”
No Age- Nouns
Bipolar Bear- Man Mountain
Robedoor- Shining Smoke
Child Pornography/Quem Quaeritis split
The Mae Shi- Terrorbird
Captain Ahab/Toecutter- Drunk on the Blood of Other Men (get it from Deathbomb Arc)
Kevin Shields- The Death of Patience (from DBA)
Goliath Bird Eater- Blood Venus (get it from Not Not Fun)

Night Three
Silver Daggers- New High & Ord
John Wiese- Soft Punk
Ima Gymnist- So Freakin’ Juicy! 7” (from Ol Factory)
Hello Astronaut Goodby Television- Pixelated Math Costumes (from Ol Factory or NNF)
Health- Health
Books on Tape- Dinosaur Dinosaur
The Sharp Ease- Going Modern (from Ol Factory)
Lucky Dragons- Nortenas (from Oooga Booga)
John Wiese- Arrhytmia Wave Burst and Panner Crash
Rainbow Blanket with Brian Miller
The Sads LP (from Family)
Bad Dudes EP

Night Four
Wives & John Wiese- split with Moving Units
Lucky Dragons- Dream Island Laughing Landscape
Abe Vigoda- Animal Ghosts 7"
Rose for Bodhan- Then Everybody Hugged. "Racism Is God."
BARR- Summary
Apathetic Ronald McDonald- split with Final Draft
NASA Space Universe
John Wiese- Magical Crystal Blah Vol. 3
Friends Forever/Gang Wizard
Captain Ahab- After the Rain My Heart Still Dreams
Kevin Shields
Knit Witch

Night Five
Abe Vigoda- Kid City
No Age- Dead Plane
Foot Village- Bones 7"
The Sharp Ease- Remain Instant
The Mae Shi- Heartbeeps
Pocahaunted- split with Orphan Fairytale
No Age- Get Hurt
Books on Tape- Throw Your Down Laptops
Child Pornography- She's Got Legs
Metalux & John Wiese- Exoteric
Captain Ahab- Snakes on the Brain
The Mae Shi- HLLYH
Pocahaunted- Native Seduction
Robedoor- Free Buried
Pocahaunted- split with Christina Carter
Robedoor- Shrine to the Possessor
Pocahaunted- Peyote Road
Pocahaunted- What the Spirit Tells Me
Pocahaunted- Neon Commune 3" CDR

Night Six
Wives- split with Kit
Mika Miko- C.Y.S.L.A.B.F.
Abe Vigoda- Sky Route/Star Roof
No Age- Weirdo Rippers
Silver Daggers- Art School No Bleed
Foot Village- Fuck the Future
BARR- Beyond Reinforced Jewel Case
Pocahaunted + Robedoor- Hunted Gathering
Lucky Dragons- Mini Dream Island
Abe Vigoda- split with Mikaela's Fiend
John Wiese- California Box Set
Abe Vigoda & Mika Miko tracks from the Treasure Tropics 7"
Pocahaunted- Island Diamonds

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

J Church

When I buried myself in Amoeba for about six hours straight over winter break, I made one of my most incredible finds: the first two J Church singles for something like $4 each.

Lance Hahn tragically passed away in October of last year at the age of 40 after suffering from kidney problems for years. He left an incredible legacy of music (with J Church and Cringer) and punk history (writing for things like MAXIMUMROCKNROLL).
Evan did a really nice tribute orgy to Lance on WHRB this past January.

J Church's first proper release was the She Said She Wouldn't Sacrifice 7" on Allied Recordings in 1991.

"Bomb" is probably my favorite J Church song.... "The bomb is in the briefcase and it's aimed against the bourgeois state"- that's pretty punk rock.

This Song Is for Kathi was released in 1992 on Broken Rekids. According to the J Church website, Blake from Jawbreaker sang back-ups on the chorus of "Kathi." "Girl In A Magazine" was a true story about Colleen Applegate, a porn star who blew her brains out in a cloud of cocaine.

These two 7"s were included on Camels, Spilled Corona and the Sound Of Mariachi Bands, the first J Church singles compilation.

The warm weather and my lack of will to write my four papers make it the perfect time for pop punk (and blogging instead of writing).

J Church- She Said She Wouldn't Sacrifice
J Church- This Song Is for Kathi

These Monsters Are Real

So I'm on a bit of a Sleater-Kinney kick right now after not listening to them for quite a while. As much as a like them, I'm more into Heavens to Betsy, Corin Tucker's first band.

Corin Tucker started H2B with Tracy Sawyer in 1991 in Olympia, Washington. They played their first show in August of that year as part of the International Pop Underground's "Love Rock Revolution Girl Style Now" night. You can watch part of it and hear people like Allison Wolfe and Ian Mackaye talk about it in Don't Need: The Herstory of Riot Grrrl. Allison said it was so powerful that she cried.

After a demo cassette and a split 7" with Bratmobile, Heavens to Betsy released These Monsters Are Real. The four-song EP was recorded by Tim Green (of the Nation of Ulysses) and Molly Neuman (of Bratmobile) at the Red House in Olympia in December of 1992. It was released on Kill Rock Stars.

"Me & Her" is one of my favorite songs-- it was the most played on my iTunes until Des Ark's Battle of the Beards came into my life. Corin Tucker has a completely infectious and powerful voice, and the lyrics along with a simple music fit perfectly. It's one of those girl-love songs (kind of like Team Dresch's "Growing up in Springfield") where not only did this girl break her fucking heart but on top of that someone doesn't "understand a girl who's passionate for another girl." Fucking slays.

Heavens to Betsy went on to release two more 7"s, an LP, and contribute to a bunch of compilations. After H2B, Corin joined up with Carrie Brownstein of Excuse 17 to form the legendary Sleater-Kinney.

Heavens to Betsy- These Monsters Are Real

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hand Grenade

Someone from tweegrrrlshare offered to trade Teams Dresch's first 7", Hand Grenade, with me, which I'm ecstatic about. Team Dresch are one of my favorites- completely infectious and essential pop-punky queercore.

The line-up on Hand Grenade was Donna Dresch, Kaia Wilson, Jody Bleyle, and Scott Plouf. Donna played with acts like Dinosaur Jr. and Lois and is probably best known for founding the awesome Chainsaw Records (named after her earlier zine). Kaia Wilson absolutely kills me- her lyrics, her vocals, her politics, everything. She was in Adickdid (another personal favorite) before Team Dresch, and then went on to do solo stuff and be in the Butchies. She also started the now defunct Mr. Lady label with girlfriend Tammy Rae Carland. Jody Bleyle was in the rad Portland-based Subpop band Hazel. Scott Plouf was in the Spinanes and went on to be in Built to Spill; he was later replaced by Marci Martinez and then Melissa York on drums.

The A side of Hand Grenade is "Hand Grenade" and "Endtime Relay," and the B side is "Molasses in January."

Even the album art sort of declares Team Dresch's agenda- they referred to themselves as lesbionic punk for a reason. It also reminds me a lot of awesome comics with the Adickdid LP.

Here's a snippet of something Kaia wrote in Girl Germs of the same vain:

I felt a bit of personal internet glory/fame when someone on the VLV '90s sendspace forum posted my link to this 7".

Anyway, after Hand Grenade, Team Dresch put out two albums- Personal Best (one of my favorites) and the more political Captain My Captain. They've played a few shows in the past couple years and are supposedly releasing a new album this year. From their website:
"Team Dresch is writing new songs for a new record, to be released in 2008, and we’ll be touring sporadically to try and get those new songs TIGHT.
SO come see us!!! We are better at playing the old songs than we were back in the day, and we’ll be playing new songs and feeling the love. OH SHIT and almost forgot, TEAM DRESCH are all straight now….KIDDING!!!! we R all goldstars still, unless someone is a liar."

Team Dresch- Hand Grenade