Sunday, November 30, 2008

Lode/Load: November 30, 2008

Closing out November with some rare scores and singles that I didn't plan on. Thanks, Academy.


Comet Gain | Love Without Lies b/w Books of California | What's Your Rupture? | Black
Jacuzzi Boys | I Fought a Crocodile b/w Blowin' Kisses | Rob's House | Black
Melchior, Dan und Das Menace | She's So Blank | Almost Ready | Black
Nodzzz | I Don't Wanna (Smoke Marijuana) | Make a Mess | Black


Big Black | Atomizer | Homestead | Black
Jawbreaker | Unfun | Shredder | Black
Sugarcubes | Life's Too Good | Elektra/Asylum | Black

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lode/Load: November 29, 2008

Things to be thankful for...


Limpwrist | Want Us Dead | Lengua Armada | Black
Middle Class | Out of Vogue | Frontier | Translucent Blue
No Talk | Tighten the Noose | AG82/Cutthroat/Death Exclamations/Psychowolf | Black
Secret Prostitutes | S/T | AG82/Cutthroat/Death Exclamations/Psychowolf | Black


Springsteen, Bruce | Dream Baby Dream | Blast First Petite | Black | 7243/8000


31Knots | Talk Like Blood | Polyvinyl | Black
31Knots | The Days and Nights of Everything Anywhere | Polyvinyl | Black
American Football | S/T| Polyvinyl | Black
Braid | Frame & Canvas | Polyvinyl | Black
Collections of Colonies of Bees | Customer | Polyvinyl | White
Eiafuawn | Birds in the Ground | Pillowscars | Black
Fischer, Kyle | Open Ground | Polyvinyl | Black
Jawbreaker | Etc. | Blackball | Black 2xLP
Jawbreaker | 24 Hour Revenge Therapy | Tupelo-Communion Conspiracy Theory | Black
Make Believe | Going to the Bone Church | Flameshovel | Black | 752/1000
Make Believe | Shock of Being | Flameshovel/Polyvinyl | Black
Nobunny | Love Visions | 1-2-3-4 Go! | Translucent Orange
Oooga Boogas | Romance and Adventure | Aarght! | Black
Owen | S/T | Polyvinyl | Black
Owen | At Home With... | Polyvinyl | Black
Owen | I Do Perceive | Polyvinyl | Black
Owen | No Good For No One Now | Polyvinyl Black
Rainer Maria | A Better Version of Me | Black
Rainer Maria | Long Knives Drawn | Black
Rainer Maria | Look Now Look Again | Polyvinyl | Black

V/A | Fight On, Your Time Ain't Long | Mississippi | Black

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I am listening to Chinese Democracy right now.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lode/Load: November 23, 2008

My bones ache. Big scores en route this week.


Divisions | S/T | Human Crush | Black


Beirut | Gulag Orkestar | Ba Da Bing | Black
Better Beatles | Mercy Beat | Hook or Crook | Black
Cold Sweat | Severed Ties | Rock and Roleplay | Black
Have Heart | The Things We Carry | Bridge Nine | White/Yellow/Green
Love Is All | A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night | What's Your Rupture | Black
Nodzzz | S/T | What's Yourr Rupture? | Black
Say Anything | ...Is a Real Boy | Doghouse | White 2xLP
Shorebirds | It's Gonna Get Ugly | Rumbletowne | Black
Verse | Aggression | Rivalry | Grey

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Polyvinyl is having a Black Friday sale...

All those records I've always put off saying "Oh, I'll get them some other time..."

Forgive me, Lord, for what I am about to do...

1 x 31Knots - The Days and Nights of Everything Anywhere LP - Black
1 x 31Knots - Talk Like Blood LP - 180 Gram Black
1 x Braid - Frame and Canvas LP - 180 Gram Black
1 x American Football - American Football LP - 180 Gram Black
1 x Kyle Fischer - Open Ground LP - 180 Gram Black
1 x Collections of Colonies of Bees - Customer LP - White
1 x Make Believe - Shock of Being LP - 180 Gram Black
1 x Make Believe - Going to the Bone Church LP - 180 Gram Black
1 x Owen - Package: All 4 Owen LPs Package Deal
1 x Rainer Maria - Long Knives Drawn LP - Black
1 x Rainer Maria - A Better Version of Me LP - Black
1 x Rainer Maria - Look Now Look Again LP - 180 Gram Black


"Thank you for ordering from Polyvinyl."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

“Now we've seen what happens when tens of millions of choices are thrown in the air and land on the floor.”

This has been the dreamt-of shape of things to come. Digital music is supposed to break format and form, dissolving binds and allowing for more fluid audio consumption. It rewards quantities of quality over multitudinous shit yoked to a couple workhorse tracks. This is the saviour of the music; with the demise of the head, that strange oligarchy of predestined hitmakers, the utopian tail takes over. It's like playing on the floor in front of the stage. Power transfers from Empire Records' "The Man" to Radiohead, Brian Eno, and the little guys, from big-britched Sub Pop to Brooklyn bedroom operations. Diltettantism finds a charitable end.

Too bad that's what the tail actually looks like for digital music, maligned into resembling the exact same shape as, guess what, the brick-and-mortar industry dinosaur's sales curve. Turns out they're not that different. And what do you expect? Instead of non-purchases, you have "theft." Sampling, laziness, righteous indignation, general indifference, or maybe even just a different consumption paradigm motivate the savvy music downloader, while the people buying digital music are probably the same inclined to shop at Tower or Best Buy. Effectively, there's no real difference, just a different arena.

That's not to say that the long tail doesn't have its purposes, or even its truths. I think it just requires a different consideration of what the "industry" is, and how artists can support themselves. Trying to convert the historic model of superstardom and name recognition into a scalable middle class model doesn't work, because the tail doesn't necessarily pertain to economics. What it does pertain to, however, is the idea that the cottage industry can have a much bigger, albeit still relatively small, splash in a much bigger pond. I've said it before, but this is the Era of the Amateur. A return to multidisciplinarianism. The reintegration of music into everyday life as an art, a hobby, an honest-to-God passion.

The fallacy of the digital medium's vestigial tail speaks to the importance of both permanence and physicality that music now possesses. If you want that party jam, just because, you're still not going to pay for it. CD death doesn't necessarily mean that iTunes will be able to sculpt a phoenix out of the ashes. A real patron will still buy the record, with mp3 download now included. So keep on pressin' and rippin'. I'm buying in.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The dinosaur reflects...

With an attempt at amplifying the whimper, TRL went out yesterday. I didn't see it, nor did I care to, as its prolonged half-decade decline hadn't given me any reason to rush off the bus and catch The After School Special, competing in the same time slot as Christopher Lowell for the stay home moms. "Hegemony" gets tossed around a bunch when talking about TRL's run through the nineties and up to the less serious pre-9/11 years, and I think that's pretty fair. It was also the last bastion of music on Music Television; now with the surreality of "Paris Hilton's My New BFF" (rightfully) heading up the fleet, maybe the diaspora's actually finished. The ghost given up.

Idolator has the best analysis/nostalgia trip I've seen so far. They also provided me with the TRL Top Ten, as far as influential videos on the teen scream fest:
1. Britney Spears - Baby One More Time (1/12/99)
2. Eminem - The Real Slim Shady (6/30/00)
3. Backstreet Boys - I Want It That Way (6/29/99)
4. N*Sync - Bye Bye Bye (3/14/00)
5. Christina Aguilara - Dirrty (10/15/02)
6. Kid Rock - Bawitdaba (2/15/00)
7. Beyonce feat. Jay-Z - Crazy in Love (6/15/03)
8. Usher feat. Ludacris and Lil Jon - Yeah (10/5/04)
9. Blink-182 - What’s My Age Again (10/17/00)
10. OutKast - Hey Ya! (9/15/03)
I gotta say, that's pretty damn good, even with the holes. No Aaliyah? And what about "The Boy Is Mine," or the Nas/Diddy crucifix controversy?

It's strange that I can still recall those incidental occurrences from almost ten years back in some cases, but maybe it speaks to the power of TRL, when it really served as the pop(ulist) forum for music that everyone could/should agree on. It was all about mass appeal, and they never failed, until new forms that allowed for even more direct contact than that television dinosaur.

Maybe I'll check in on it, after all...

Wear what you hear...

Sounds.Butter is my new favorite people.

Sound as artifact is such a fraught arena, because there's really no limits to what can be done, considering the impossibility of really capturing solid audio. Digital forms exacerbate this; it gets closer in proximity, but lacks the elegance of a wave. Using the sewing machine, which operates on its own pattern creation, turned into a speaker, or an oscilloscope, is really pretty ingenious. And sartorializing audio certainly makes you reconsider the vestigial trappings that really are rather arbitrary compared to the wave form's fidelity to the original.

TV on the Radio on the silver screen...

Jonathan Demme may have seen the inevitability of post-Election Day 2008 America before anyone else, though it's hardly an original premonition. Watching Rachel Getting Married made think first how unimportant and boring this kind of dead-sibling-rehab-trainwreck-life narrative of familial salvation is, but how it can be set in a truly mesmerizing melting pot world.

It doesn't explode for Demme. The sticks of butter he drops into the crock don't just merge at the seams, they homogenize thoroughly and are poured back into wholy recognizable casts. There's no depth, though, just a pure surface meaning that is intent on legibility and first impression. Here's a movie that is post-class, post-race, post-taste, even; there is something that is good, and there is something that is bad, and further distinguishment isn't necessary. Campy but expensive. Personal but expansive. Wholly inclusive but wholly insular, too. This is a petri dish that you could say was a success, but you still leave confined to the lab.

Where else are you picked up from rehab in an dusty, old-money Mercedes to be ferried to the rustic throwback suburban family manner? To be a part of an Indian wedding of your white tri-state area shrink sister and her black, Hawaiian, probably musician-entrepreneur husband? It's all so perfectly crafted to feel like home, that you never consider that this weird place doesn't exist. Where two strange families actually fit into the puzzle, adoring musical toasts from rappers, indie rockers, old jazz hands, and a couple of kids who contort Hendrix's guitar burning sound from a national anthem to a wedding march.

It's only right that Tunde Adibempe, lead singer of TV on the Radio, masters of cultural elision, is the bridesgroom, and delivers the best performance. His presence alone imbues the whole scenario with some kind of credibility, and when he speaks, it's as if to say "I don't need to participate in this fiction." If only he could've shown how on to something Demme was, and gotten the yawnful narrative arc dropped for the strangeness of this dramatized home video for the perfect hipster-as-mainstream wedding.

Note: Almost forgot to mention how fucking cool Adibempe is, clearly. Dude is legit.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jawshrine or Crimpbreaker?

Blake Schwarzenbach and Aaron Cometbus have a new band? And they played in Brooklyn this week? This should be interesting...

After the Jawbreaker and Crimpshrine break-ups, I've been more compelled by the other projects that have sprung up, as opposed to the respective principals' efforts. But with the supporting cast from each of those bands temporarily out of the game for now, I have to wonder if the team-up will be as wonderful as everyone wants it to be...or if it's just going to be two old guys singing about their feelings. Do superpowers still have superpowers?

The clip isn't enough to really judge anything, but it's got me optimistic that yes they can.

More details? From the 'breaker himself:
“I can say only that it’s loud and tender and we’re called the Thorns Of Life. whether it’s more Jetsesque or Breaker-like I honestly don’t know; It sounds like a storehouse of fond hatred from the last few years and in the now.”

Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Somehow weird or sloppy..."

The idea is that now that we embraced a change agent-in-chief, we have to do the work of supporting the (hopefully evolutionary) transformation of the future. It's being tossed around all over the place, perhaps best by an article about Obamaism in New York magazine; it's our specific brand of what should be called Futurism except for the sneaky artists who stole it.

I always had a hard time imagining this kind of future. There's a fog of war that still shrouds anything past January 20th, but I can't help but hope that the gears really have started turning. Because it's a responsibility that the activist in everyone has to take up. Josie's review of the new Cause Co-Motion! collection of EP's, from 2005 to 2008, is notable not just because she writes with such grace and acumen, but also because her final critique of the oxymoronically named band challenges not just their ho-hum past sound, but the culture as a whole from the malaise of the past near decade:
Yet, the tiredness of this exercise as a whole, the extent to which it fails even when it succeeds, suggests that music, too, needs to stop reliving the psychodrama, fear and inward focus of the Cold War. Clinton’s election seemed to mark the end of isolation – the underground burst forth – but it was merely a respite. Punxatawny Phil saw his shadow, electro got eaten up in yet another wave of incompetent rock. Winter is over, and it’s time to figure out what, aesthetically, our generation is all about. Imagine: someone, a group of people, might come up with an entirely new mode of expression; how freaking exciting is that?! Yes, we can.
She also fit the word spandrel in there. Game, set, match.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lode/Load: November 9, 2008

If you see a kid riding around my green Mercier with gold wheels, probably around the East Village, with a Fuck It Tapes, Daniel Striped Tiger, The Vicious, and Government Warning sticker, punch him in the face for me. The past two weeks' mail order is now calling me.


Birth Control | Going to Target | Fashionable Idiots | Black
Buzzer | S/T | Douchemaster | Black
Chronic Seizure | Live on WHPK | Fashionable Idiots | Clear
Cult Ritual | 3rd EP | Drugged Conscience | Black
Herds | S/T | Fashionable Idiots | Black
Little Claw | Race to the Bottom | Siltbreeze | Black
Loser Life | Life Number Two | Rock Bottom | Yellow
Muslims | Parasites b/w Walking With Jesus | I Hate Rock N Roll | Black
N.N. | S/T | Lengua Armada | Clear
Timber | S/T | Something Crucial | Black
American Cheeseburger/Canadian Rifle | Rock Bottom | Black


31Knots | It Was High Time to Escape | Forge Again | Translucent Red | /200
31Knots | Worried Well | Polyvinyl | Black
Body | S/T | Obscurist Press/Mau Mau | Black
Clean | Compilation | Little Axe | Black
Des Ark | Loose Lips Sink Ships | Bakery Outlet | Black
Earth | The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull | Southern Lord | Gold 2xLP | Bible Edition
Exploding Hearts | Guitar Romantic | Dirtnap | Black
Failures | S/T | Clean Plate/Youth Attack! | Clear
FIYA | Better Days | Obscurist Press | Black
FIYA | Make Joy, Make Strength | Obscurist Press | Black
Hank IV | Refuge in Genre | Siltbreeze | Black
Have Heart | Songs to Scream at the Sun | Bridge Nine | Translucent Blue
Leusemia | S/T | Lengua Armada | Clear
Libyans | S/T | Upstate Chamber | Black | Paper Airplane
Mind Eraser | Conscious Unconscious | Clean Plate | Translucent Yellow
Music Tapes | ...For Clouds and Tornadoes | Merge | Black

Pink Razors | Leave Alive | Houseplant | Black
Psychedelic Horseshit | Magic Flowers Droned | Siltbreeze | Black
Ringers | Curses | 1-2-3-4 Go! | Translucent Red
Sisters | S/T | Parts Unknown | Black
Black Pus/Foot Village | Split | DNT | Black
Intelligence/Thee Oh Sees | Split | Mt. St. Mtn. | Black
Sidetracked/Dead Radical | Split | 16oh/Mangled Ankle | Black

Friday, November 7, 2008

Lode/Load: November 7, 2008

Change is good. Here's the San Francisco haul. Thanks, Amoeba SF, Amoeba Berkeley, 1-2-3-4 Go!, and Aquarius.


Lewis, Jenny | The Next Messiah | Warner Brothers | Black
Q and Not U | Book of Flags b/w X-Polynation | Dischord | Black
Crimson Curse/Festival of Dead Deer | Split | Three One G | Black | Square Format

Khayembii Communique/Vidablue | Split | Blood of the Young | Translucent Blue


Against Me! | As the Eternal Cowboy | Fat Wreck Chords | Black
Bananas | New Animals | Recess | Translucent Yellow
Bound Stems | The Family Afloat | Flameshovel | Black | 318/500
Braid | The Age of Octeen | Mud | Black
Brimstone Howl | We Came In Peace | Alive | Translucent Purple
Bum Kon | Drunken Sex Sucks | Maximumrocknroll/Smooch | Black
Crystal Antlers | S/T| Touch and Go | Black
Kidnappers | Ransom Notes & Telephone Calls | FDH | Translucent Peach
Lewis, Jenny | Acid Tongue | Warner Brothers | Black 2xLP
Minutemen | Double Nickels On The Dime | SST | Black 2xLP
Smalltown | The Music | Deranged | Black
Funeral Diner/The Shivering | Split | Unfun/Into the Hurricane/City Boot | Black