Tuesday, February 27, 2007

More Items I Didn't Win on eBay...

Detroit Garage-Nick & Jaguars-Ich-I Bon-45 RPM Acetate

$73.52 $56.66

The Units - Ready for the House LP - Jandek

$106.50 $99.99


$51.09 $25.55

Jarvis Street Revue Mr Oil Man Orig Canadian Psych LP

$112.50 $79.77

Magik Markers - For Sada Jane LP Wolf Eyes Hair Police

$23.73 $16.66

Oblivians demo Goner Reigning SFTRI garage lofi Memphis

$113.61 $25.55


$21.61 $15.55

McSweeney's 6: Dave Eggers, TMBG, etc. [McSweeneys OOP]

$34.15 $25.55


GBP 56.55 GBP 55.55

So it's pretty self-explanatory...the lower number is my maximum bid. The higher digits the actual selling price. By item...

Nick and the Jaguars: From the Old and Gold radio archives, this is quite possibly the copy that the Gories heard on the radio, made a cassette copy of and then learned from for their cover of "Ich-I-Bon #1" Not too sad I lost as a VG copy of a questionable record (I've heard numerous cautionary tales about questionable acetates going around in Michigan awhile back) isn't too desirable to me, especially when I already have a stock copy.

The Units: I keep losing on LP copies of the first Jandek record. At least the 3rd copy I've big on and lost. This was a radio station copy with something like "WPGU rox" written on the cover. That I don't mind. I probably should've bid at least another $30. I still want this. Damn.

Sonic Youth: I'd never heard of or seen either of these two LP's before. Bootlegs, but good and rare ones at that. Probably would only listen to them once though.

Jarvis Street Revue: A pretty beat-up copy of this record, both sleeve and vinyl. As it usually goes for $500 and I've never spent anything near that for an LP, this was probably the best chance I would get for an original. Not too shaken up as limited repress on green vinyl with a bonus 7" can be had for around $30. I'm all about the bonus 7". I highly recommend picking up a copy of the CD reissue of this. Canuck punks from Thunder Bay environmentally aware before it was mainstream. And killer flowing psych jams to boot. Check out "20 Years"...

Magik Markers: The constant eBay cock-tease. I can't win their records to save my life. For all these modern noise bands that release scads on cassette and cd-r I like to make sure I have all their proper vinyl releases. Still yet to grab one of these suckers. The album itself is somewhat of a departure from their usual ear-drum bludgeoning. A lullaby...almost. I'm sure I'll get this sooner or later.

Oblivians: Long-shot. Never even thought I had a chance. First release from one of the greatest of the Nineties. Already have all the track on the "On the Go" LP. Am a sucker for band's first releases though.

Purple Persians: Only recently brought to my attention, there's still just so much 60's garage that I haven't even heard yet. This band is supposedly a two-piece and I even think they were husband and wife? Check it out as it's pretty whacked in a "what were they thinking?" sort of way.

(please download this as it took me 45 minutes to figure out how to get it there)

McSweeneys: My record collecting compulsion has drifted over to the literary world. I'm still missing a handful of issues of McSweeneys. They're always on eBay. I'm not too worried. I just want to read them. I could give two shits about the They Might Be Giants CD included with issue 6. Favorite issue? The hoaxes of #8, the brilliance of #9 and the 20 minute stories of #12 are all so close to my heart. I'm sure you've already seen it, but also check out...
(it only took 4 seconds for that one, but you can easily spend 45 minutes at the site)

Beck: This one hurt the most. I've been looking for a copy since I first learned it existed in November. This was the first one on eBay since that time. I thought I had it wrapped up. Quite possibly the top of my wants list next to the Compulsive Gamblers 7" that I haven't cared too much about in awhile. Some prick has one listed in his eBay store for $360. I offered him $120 for it and he asked for $150. Kinda regretting not taking him up on that. Anyone got one they're willing to trade?

Feel free to post your own recent losses in the comments section. We can commiserate together.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Crowded Lager House Ramblings...

The Go/The Muldoons/Mountains and Rainbows
February 23rd, 2007
The Lager House, Detroit

Mountains and Rainbows were equally insane and deliberate. Recalling 60's wildmen like the Driving Stupid or the 13th Floor Elevators it was a haphazard mess of fuzz and clunky drums and falsetto vocals. With 3/4 of the members from Tyvek it must be said they have NOTHING in common with those intuitive home insulators. Mountains and Rainbows stand alone in this town, probably this country, almost certainly this world.

The vibe from the stage was anomalous…totally smart and cognizant as well as clueless and lost in their own world of confusion.

The jam Indian with saxophone fed through a delay (what sounded like someone who actually has some sax training as opposed to the current norm of uninformed wailing) was harsh. It was followed by moving Back From the Grave-inspired fuzz number, the most "together" MAR sounded the entire night and yet still quite fractured.

After those two songs, I was so close to walking up to the stage, getting guitarist Heath's attention just to ask him if I could release those two songs on a 7". I just didn't want to risk the chance that someone else would ask them first. I patiently waited until after they left the stage and asked Matt Z instead. He said yes. I cannot wait.

The tune Lester is Coming? is quite possibly in reference to Bangs' prediction of an amazing band in the vein of Mountains and Rainbows in "Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung" a claim about a band from somewhere in the Rust Belt coming along with primal urge and primitive allure. This claim has, in the past, been attributed as the Gories birthright, but I think it's safe to let MAR join in the histrionics. I'm too lazy to dig up the exact quote now, but rest assured, it's somewhere in that book.

The set had a perfect arc, ending with Christo (not named after the fabric wrapping artist, but a childhood friend of the singer Matt Z) a song that has something to do with fiddle-faddle, a curious snack food that's more common in the Southern states. That song ended with the same chordal volume knob fade-in, fade-out that the set started with. From the Raconteurs with Hands, the Mooney Suzuki with And Begin and even the Von Bondies with It Came From Japan I've always been sucker for a band that opened AND closed with the same song.

The Muldoons continued their virtual ownership of the Lager House stage with another blasting performance. They played all the usual hits. The new cut probably named something like Fire in the House is TV Eye meets Rocket 455 juiced up on roids. They simply deliver. Can I call them the first family of rock? Ma gave me dvd of the MC5 documentary. That is awesome. Hunt's guitar hit brutal volume levels mid-set. His low end was nice and fat like T. Rex's 20th Century Boy. If you don't already have their jams, now's the time for you to catch up before you get left behind like a loser.

With the production on Whatcha Doin so divisive, the live arena for songs from that album has always been preferred. So the inclusion of Whatcha Doin, Meet Me at the Movies and Keep on Trash in the set clearly provided the best crowd reaction. But then again, I remember talking to people who didn't live in Detroit about the Go and the consensus always seemed to be that the first album was STUPENDOUS and that the live show was retching. Everyone has an opinion about Whatcha Doin and the Go yet no one will ever get it right. Krautner is singing more than ever and it's silky. A few too many slow songs in towards the middle was a questionable call. So was the absence of Growed Up Wrong from the set. Matt Smith regarding Summers Gonna Be My Girl said "this is the only song that sounds like Can and Steppenwolf" In the world? Tonight? Ever? Please, give me some qualifiers here.

Detroit's doyenne Shelby Murphy and the not-far-behind Aran Ruth stormed the stage dancing and for a brief moment it was as if we were at Motor during the Hamtramck Blowout of '99. You've all seen the pictures, heard the legends, that Christ himself took on human form for that brief set to witness the sheer ferocity and unhinged energy that night. Will they ever top that moment? With all the girls in attendance dressed to the nines and the room crowded and smoky as hell, the palpable furor in the air, I thought they came damn close. You Go Bangin On, So Long Johnny and Help You Out are solid new jams that are already making Howl on the Haunted Beat You Ride a full-length with diverse ambitions. A local band that still draws what seems to be the same people to its shows as it did 8 years ago? Don't know if that can be said about anyone else. Good to have you back.

Friday, February 23, 2007

"I Fucked Up Types of Wood"...

The Whirlwind Heat has yet to do wrong in my book. Their latest release is sly, self-referential and totally snarky only in that inimitable Heat way.

"I Fucked UP Types of Wood" is an acoustic redux version of their album "Types of Wood". With the skilled production and electro Moog whizzing all over that record, it'd be hard to predict what to expect and even harder to discern whether it'd even be worthwhile.

But the only thing that stays the same here are the lyrics. Everything else...chords, melodies, tempo, etc is all changed. It's essentially a new WWH album. And a damn fine one at that.

Where "I Fucked Up Reagan" was a fitting b-side for it's non-fucked up namesake, ALL these other tunes are killer diller. "I Fucked Up Uptight" calls on the ballad-fried tenderness that the album version ignores for funky backbeat. "I Fucked Up My Electric Underwear" is spaghetti waste-ern with galloping sound affects and gunfire and rebel yells a la "arriba!"

If at all familiar with "Types of Wood" the fucked up version is a must. Because it totally recontextualizes it's brilliance in an original and unexpected way. And if I had to guess, it was done in a day with these guys bored and goofing around in GarageBand. Almost (big almost) as stealth as their one day stroke of genius recording of the mini-Lp "Flamingo Honey" which is one of the most criminally underrated records of my lifetime.

The whole thing recalls the acoustix of Beck and a smidge of Johnny Cash...especially on album opener "I Fucked Up Air Miami" with it's dusty saloon shoot up blooze that'd rile up all the white collars at Folsom. And the whole thing is download-only. Activate them iTunes accounts and shell out the bux for these cats. You'll be the wiser because of it.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Albums to Play Me If I'm in a Coma...

This is something everyone should have. Forget a "do not resuscitate" order or a notarized will and testament…what are the jams you want to hear if you end up in a coma? I think it needs to be said that this is not a list of my favorite albums or the greatest albums of all time. This is comfort music.

So here, with all the legality and authority a document posted to a website can be given, I list the records I want played to me shall I enter coma-hood.

1. The Walkmen Bows and Arrows
2. Nick Drake Pink Moon
3. The Stooges Funhouse
4. That Dog Totally Crushed Out
5. Sonic Youth NYC Ghosts and Flowers
6. Nirvana Unplugged in New York
7. Kelley Stoltz Below the Branches
8. The Velvet Underground and Nico
9. Back From the Grave Volume 1
10. The Ramones

I guess what I’m looking for in coma tunes is a bit of familiarity. Albums that I know backward and forward. Plus, I’m imagining I’d like to hear stuff that’s a little softer, but not too soft that it’d turn my brain into wine cooler lameness. So whereas it’s obvious that In Utero is the my favorite Nirvana album and their best release, I think I’d rather just mellow out a bit to Unplugged, you know? Jeez, I’m in a coma, it’s not the time to be thrashing to “Scentless Apprentice” asshole.

Conversely, the Ramones and BFTG are just undeniable, such building blocks in my existence that their repetition upon my unconscious self could quite possibly knock me back into a cognitive state. And with this list, I encourage all three of you reading here to let your loved ones know what you want on the stereo should you take that spill down the stairs. Post your own lists in the comments and let this be the opening of a dialogue. Because nothing, NOTHING can be worse than some random dude you went to grade school with and haven’t talked to in years sitting in your hospital room remembering how much you liked that Collective Soul song that one summer and that maybe repeated plays of “Shine” just might turn things around. Idiots.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I Had to Fill Out This Survey...

For one of my freelancing gigs where a new editor took over. Dig.

Last five albums bought
The Trees Community “The Christ Tree”
Favourite Sons “Down Beside Your Beauty”
Whirlwind “I Fucked Up Types of Wood”
Barrabarracude “Abasement Tapes”
Sonic Youth “The Destroyed Room”

Last five shows/concerts attended
The Muldoons
? and the Mysterians
Human Eye/Odu Afrobeat Orchestra
The Sights
Dan Sartain/Valiant Thor/Gogol Bordello

Five all-time favorite albums (today, at least)
The Stooges “Funhouse”
Nirvana “In Utero”
Back From the Grave volume one
The Gories “Outta Here”
Velvet Underground “White Light/White Heat”

Dead musician you’d most like to have seen perform
Robert Johnson

Dead musician you’d most like to have dinner with
Karen Carpenter

Favorite music website or blog

Choose one:
I like listening to music at home with headphones or at the show with a beer? At a show with headphones.

At a concert, I like being up front yelling or in back critiquing? Back critiquing.

Rhythm or melody? In the beginning, there was rhythm.

Lover or hater? Lover.

Fill in the blank:

The Internet has _________ music journalism. (leveled)

Blender magazine is __________. (paying writers a ton per word)

Mojo magazine is __________. (Not as good as Plan B Magazine)

The worst musical offense I know if is ____________. (the empty gesture)

I feel _________ about the Van Halen reunion with David Lee Roth. (Nothing)

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Why do you write about music?
It is the most logical extension of truly loving music.

Monday, February 12, 2007

What's In Your Jukebox?

(Hold your computer next to a mirror to see what these pictures REALLY look like)

I got a jukebox for Christmas a few years back. The 1960's Seeburg is both a blessing and a curse. There's no better way to listen to 7" singles in rapid succession. Yet upkeep on these beasts is intensive. Of the handful of friends I know in Detroit with jukeboxes, I can't think of any that are currently in working order. The worst part is the only jukebox repairman in town who'll make house calls is kind of a douche who's reminded every single one of us that he once worked on Jack White's jukebox.

My particular model plays small hole 45's at 33rpm and big holes at 45rpm. That was the original reason for the creation of small hole 45's...extended play jukebox records. So some records I'd like to have on there are kept-off because of their hole-status. But bonus such as seven Misfits songs on one single more than make-up for any disappointment. And if I'm really audacious, there's a few shady individuals I know who'll knock out the center hole for a price.
I must admit that when I fired the sucker up for the photos I had this unfounded hope that having not turned the juke on for over a year it may have somehow fixed itself. I always think this about electronic devices...that if I ignore something that's broken long enough it will learn to fix itself in hopes of pleasing me. I need help. Here's a run-down of what's on my box...

100 The Beach Boys Good Vibrations b/w Wouldn’t It Be Nice
The scene in "Roger and Me" where the laid-off auto-worker describes Wouldn't It Be Nice triggering his nervous breakdown is heartbreakingly beautiful.

101 The Mooney Suzuki Hey Joe b/w 7 and 7 Is

102 The Cyril Lords No More Good Times b/w Where Do Girls Go?

103 Blanche Who’s to Say b/w Superstition

104 Tin Knocker Distracted b/w Build a Garage
All Cass releases are slotted according to their catalog number. Muldoon had to drill the center-hole out of two Tin Knocker singles before he got it just right.

105 The Swamp Rats Psycho b/w Louie Louie

106 Sagger Black Market Body Parts b/w Satyrs Make Martys

107 Love Little Red Book b/w Alone Again Or

108 The Alarm Clocks Yeah b/w No Reason to Complain

109 Dirtbombs/White Stripes Cedar Point ‘76 b/w Handsprings

110 The Black Lips Freakout, Sweet Kin b/w Steps, Fad, I’ve Got a Knife

111 The White Stripes Let’s Shake Hands b/w Look Me Over Closely
In all the years I've had a jukebox, this single has always been on it, formerly at the coveted #100 slot. Easily the most-played song on here.

112 Adult. Suck the Air b/w High Heels on Tile Floors

113 Clone Defects Bottled Woman b/w Cheetah Eyes
Another that's been on here since the beginning.

114 The Yardbirds Shapes of Things b/w I’m Not Talking

115 Bob Seger Syster 2+2=? b/w Death Row

116 The Keggs Girl b/w To Find Out
Repress. Like I'd toss the original on here.

117 The Pretty Things You Don’t Believe Me, Buzz the Jerk b/w You’ll Never Do It Baby, Come See Me
You'll Never Do It Baby
came on one day and I proceeded to dance up a storm with my only intention being to make my sister laugh. This single has since become the #1 go-to if looking to start a dance party in this house.

118 Elvis Presley That’s Alright Mama b/w Blue Moon of Kentucky
Repress on RCA. Will trade for original on Sun.

119 Television Little Johnny Jewel pt. 1 b/w Little Johnny Jewel pt. 2
If ever a bassline were to run through my head eternal, this would be it.

120 The Starlite Desperation Our Product b/w …It Rhymes with Bitch

121 The Kinks You Really Got Me b/w It’s All Right

122 The Greenhornes I Won’t Take it Anymore b/w Lost Woman

123 Pavement Stereo b/w Embassy Row
One of the few "For Jukeboxes Only!" singles that actually fulfills its decree.

124 The Sonics Strychnine b/w Shot Down
Thank Lord for Norton Records and their Jukebox Series. Put this in because I became familiar with the Greenhornes shredding live cover of Shot Down.

125 The Mystery Girls Turned On, Tuning In b/w Everbody’s Talking, Killing Floor

126 The Hives Walk Idiot, Walk b/w Genepool Convulsions
The most current release on here. So I guess that means I haven't had this working since 2004. Sad.

127 J. J. Fad Supersonic b/w Instrumental

128 The Mooney Suzuki Turn My Blue Sky Black , Babies in the Cradle b/w Your Love is a Gentle Whip
Self-released version.

129 Beck It’s All in Your Mind b/w Feather in Your Cap, Whiskey Can-Can
Somewhere between this version and the one that appears on Sea Change, Beck did a stellar live acoustic version of ...Mind that usurps either or his others. I have that on a cassette bootleg.

130 The Sonics Cinderella b/w He’s Waitin'

131 Eric B. and Rakim Microphone Fiend b/w Microphone Fiend (Long)
I only know of this song because of Rage Against the Machine's cover of it. Wish more late-Eighties hip-hop made it onto 7".

132 Depeche Mode Just Can’t Get Enough b/w Just Can’t Get Enough

133 Adult./Dirtbombs Pray for Pills b/w Lost Love

134 The Rolling Stones I Wanna Be Your Man b/w Not Fade Away
Not Fade Away always makes me bust out into a weird half-Iggy, half-Bo Diddley hambone air maraca shake. Needs to be seen to be believed.
135 The Kinks Tired of Waiting for You b/w Come On Now
My favorite single by my favorite jukebox band. Well represented here, the Kinks did more undeniable two-siders than any other Sixties rock band. Go ahead, try and argue.

136 MC5 I Can Only Give You Everything b/w One of the Guys
Original copy on AMG that is beat-to-shit but plays without a skip. An eBay steal at $37.

137 MC5 Looking at You b/w Tonight

138 Machine There But For the Grace of God b/w Get Your Body Ready
Totally amazing and totally different from the Gories cover.

139 The Oblivians Motorcycle Leather Boy, Love Killed My Brain b/w Blew My Cool, Song Inside
Blew My Cool is the Oblivians at their best.

140 The Animals A Girl Named Sandoz b/w When I Was Young

141 Thirteenth Floor Elevators You’re Gonna Miss Me b/w Tried To Hide
My national anthem.

142 The Misfits We Are 138, Bullet, Hollywood Babylon, Attitude b/w Horror Business, Teenagers From Mars, Last Caress

A present from Dave Buick. I commented how much I'd love to have this bootleg single of these 7 essential Misfits tunes and not only did he pull the single from his broken jukebox for me, he even gave me his Crimson Ghost-tagged title strip as well. Bummed I didn't think to slot this in #138.

143 The Pleasure Seekers What a Way to Die b/w Never Thought You’d Leave Me

144 The Make-Up Blue is Beautiful b/w Type U Blood

145 The Shangri-Las Remember b/w It’s Easier to Cry

146 The Make-Up Free Arthur Lee b/w Tell it Like a Version
This, along with the Gap Band, Miracles, Crystals and a bunch of others, is a record that is carried solely by the strength of the A-side. All have forgettable B-sides.

147 The Victims Television Addict b/w (I’m) Flipped Out Over You
Repress. If there were no repress I would probably put my original on here.

148 The Stooges Down on the Street b/w I Feel Alright (1970)
Quite possibly the greatest 45 of album tracks. US promo copy with criminal track fade-outs.

149 The Crystals Then He Kissed Me b/w Brother Julius
I'm sure I'm not the only youth of the Eighties who discovered this song via the opening credits of Adventures in Babysitting but I'm willing to wager any of those other youths didn't come to appreciate this Spector symphony as much as I have.

150 The Cobras I Wanna Be Your Love b/w Instant Heartache
A-side is inspiration for the Gories Nitroglycerine. Repress.

151 Motor City Bonnevilles Make Up Your Mind b/w That Lonely Feeling

152 The Rats The Rats Revenge Pt. 1 b/w The Rats Revenge Pt. 2
Repress on Norton. Like I'd throw the original in here.

153 Dollhouse Shangri-La Tiger b/w I’m a Man on the Move
The song-ending effects explosion on Tiger is probably the loudest my juke gets.

154 The Wildbunch Take Off Your Clothes, Nuclear War (On the Dancefloor) b/w Ballad of MC Sucka DJ
Ballad is actually the A-side here, but I always dug the flip so heavily that I took it upon myself to re-appropriate.

155 Gene Vincent Be-Bop-A-Lula b/w Baby Blue

156 The B-52's Rock Lobster b/w 52 Girls
Original early versions of both these songs. Stellar.

157 The Kinks I Need You b/w Set Me Free

158 The Yardbirds Over, Under, Sideways, Down b/w Ha, Ha Said the Clown

159 The Four Tops Bernadette b/w I Got a Feeling
The cold screamed plea of "Bernadette!" is probably my favorite Motown moment.

160 Midnight Star Freak-a-Zoid b/w No Parking on the Dancefloor
I think this 45 belonged to my dad. He had an affinity for this kind of funk. Hands-down one of the most cruelly overlooked singles I can think of.

161 The Kinks Till the End of the Day b/w Where Have All the Good Times Gone

162 The Kinks All Day and All of the Night b/w I Gotta Move

163 MC5 Looking at You b/w Borderline
Total Energy repress. Loud as all get out.

164 The B-52’s Dance This Mess Around b/w Lava

165 The Yardbirds For Your Love b/w Heart Full of Soul

166 The Creation Making Time b/w Try and Stop Me

167 The White Stripes Lafayette Blues b/w Sugar Never Tasted So Good
I think this copy is on pinkish vinyl.

168 The Unrelated Segments Where You Gonna Go? b/w It’s Gonna Rain

169 The Stooges 1969 b/w Real Cool Time
Italian copy.

170 Smokey Robinson and the Miracles The Tears of a Clown b/w Promise Me

171 The Gap Band You Dropped a Bomb on Me b/w Lonely Like Me
Another dad favorite. The 14 minute version is worth owning as well.

172 The Detroit Cobras Ain’t it a Shame b/w Slumlord
The best thing the Cobras have done or will ever do. I'll say it again...they are always better when they cover rock songs. Question Mark's version of Shame was an old standby on here for ages. Slumlord packs a wallop that the Deviants version never managed. Essential.

173 The White Stripes Party of Special Things to Do b/w China Pig, Ashtray Heart
Probably the most expensive single on here. The juke scratches up some singles and leaves others visibly unaffected. I'm hoping this one is clean. But I've got a spare if it's scratchy.
174 The Strokes The Modern Age b/w Last Nite
You know, for kids.

175 Weezer Buddy Holly b/w Jamie

176 They Come in 3’s Where Rev Lived b/w Too Far to the East
Overlooked genius from the apogee of Detroit Garage Rock. Worth the search.

177 Scene Creamers AK-47 b/w Luv Wuz

178 Clone Defects Scissors Chop b/w 15 Minute Love, Mars

179 Bobby Brown My Prerogative b/w My Prerogative (Instrumental)
Was excited/horrified/delighted when both Britney Spears and Selfish Cunt covered this song at relatively the same time. The groove is bombastic. Dig it.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Crooked Brow for Question Mark...

? and the Mysterians at the Winter Blast.

Someone had described them before as a Mexican wedding band. My girlfriend asked "Why do so many of these songs sound exactly like '96 Tears?" Someone else pointed out the importance of the Rolling Stones instrumental "2120 South Michigan Avenue" on the band's oeuvre and how the German pressing of "12x5" has a guitar solo edited out of all other pressings. They played a song called "Cherry July" that none of us collectors could pull up in our mental rolodex of record collections. They did a solid version of "8 Teen" which I only began to love after I learned that the Mooney Suzuki had ripped that song off for ALL of their early jams..."And Begin", "Turn My Blue Sky Black" and "Love is a Gentle Whip" among the ones that come to mind. But they didn't play "Ain't it a Shame"...a song I only became aware of via the Detroit Cobras cover version and had played a version once with the Bricks live on the Garden Bowl lanes.

I heard somebody say they'd seen a ? show where they played "96 Tears" three times. The audacity of such a setlist coup could've clearly shook my weary head this evening.

Could've done without the drawn-out take on "Stand By Me", but then again, this was a band who's closest comparison is really and truly a Mexican wedding band. The new album is supposedly titled "It's Time for Rock and Roll." I think back to Bangs' rant about "96 Tears" and wonder what he would have thought about what I saw last night. Would he think it was retread or revolution? Q himself has still got it...in his beetle boots and belly shirt he's got all kinds of dance moves to light up the stage. And he's still the only man (or, in his mind, Martian) I've ever seen have to genuinely stop a woman from trying to take off his pants onstage (Magic Stick, 5/30/98).

I guess I could lean either way...if they'd have done "Ain't it a Shame" I'm sure I would've flipped. If they hadn't done "8 Teen" I'm sure the pain in my legs from standing in a heat tent situated in the middle of Woodward for nigh on an hour would've have been, for some reason that clearly has no relation to the song, a little more prevalent. The mere fact that they're playing at all should be the only thing that matters. And for some reason, I feel that I expect a little more from this band that has been around for over forty years. But I don't want to.

I wish I was more into it. I wish I could sit here and say it was the greatest show I'd ever seen. But it was honestly mediocre. And being mediocre is not that harmful a label, as there are no other mid-Sixties one-hit-wonders that I can even imagine wanting to witness in the translucent Detroit cold. So Question Mark won this time, but in the future, I hope my end of the battle is not plagued by old-timey sentiment and elder respect. Until then, I'll just cry...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Birds are Singing...

I'm not usually one for songs licensed to commercial causes. But this instance struck me as beautiful. Check it out...


From there, click on the "Nya Volvo C30" section that says "Think Outside the Box"
From there, sit through Sammy's spiel and then click "The Joyride" where you then are given two choices. They're both fun. You get to control the mix of the music and revel in the slightly surreal. It feels like "Yellow Submarine" all over again. I have enjoyed this to no end. Kudos to Volvo for its creativity.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Fuck Art. Let's Damage...

Human Eye live at the Museum of Contemporary Art 2/2/07

I was a bit wary of paying $10 to get in. The exhibit “Shrinking Cities” made no sense to anyone I spoke to (there were Germans involved and a shuttle to Cranbrook, but I didn’t feel like I should have to read a treatise to understand an art show…I should just be able to look at art, right?)

So I reluctantly pony’d up and walked past “art” and supposed treatments for urban living. I cry bunk. The “Meditations in an Emergency” exhibition, complete with Chris Fachini’s ghetto-fabulous rock box sound-system and Roxy Paine’s riveting blob maker was definitely more pleasing. I am not being ironic. I really liked both of these pieces.

The Eye were privy to a packed room, all sorts of art snobs, look-at-me’s, ne’er-do-wells and other shitterati that an only an exhibit opening in Detroit can make them crawl out from under their rocks for.

The performance was deadly. In front of a cinderblock wall painted white, the band slowly plodded into their intro. Brad Hales on bass has proven to be a key integration. With his gold-lame skullcap/bear ears or whatever you want to call it, he’s proven he doesn’t have to be “weird’ to be in the band. He is holding the shit together.

Around the second or third song frontman/guitarist/troglodyte/pure genius Tim Vulgar (or Tim Punk or Tim Lampinen or T.V. Lamp) starts fooling around with a plastic bottle of paint. He had some absurd industrial hose tentacle glove on his left hand and it was all a blur. At first I thought he was dabbing himself with a bingo card marker…on his face or guitar, you know, something just crazy enough that Tim would’ve thought of it first.

But no. This was paint. Tim biting at the bottom of the bottle finally gets the thing working. Without warning he starts splattering the back wall with this blue paint.

Now I’d seen the Creation at the Magic Stick a few years back and they spraypainted a canvas red with purple flashes but they did that EVERY show. It was dry. It was rehearsed. It was anti-climatic.

But Tim, unleashing his inner Pollock on the wall of this months-old institution was liberating. The confusion and puzzlement I felt when trying to decipher the Shrinking Cities exhibit was instantly erased. Tim eventually resorted to smashing the bottle against this austere white wall. Always in need of iconoclasm, I think I stared it down purely that night. I think the rest of the crowd was in agreement with me.

Human Eye somehow got into the belly of the beast and blew the whole fucking thing open. Tim was tossing around a roll of some decorative trim, something you might find on a shitty tablecloth or blanket and trying to TP the place with it, wrapping it around people’s necks and tossing it in the air with impunity.

There were some loosey-goosey moments that I imagine only other dudes in bands could dig on. Things like Tim and Brad and drummer Billy Hafer all making the “what’d we just do?” face at each other towards the end of “Spiders and their Kin” soon thereafter followed up by a collective “aw, fuckit” face before they ramped into the calamitous ending.

And it sounded fine. No one dare notice. A few songs later Tim skillfully tore open a pillow and with a toreador’s flay let loose an extraordinary snowfall of faux feathers. The look in the room, for that second or two where these pieces of (let’s be honest here) dust were slowly floating down onto everyone, was so majestic. So serene. So unexpected and antithetical to everything else going on in that building that night. It created a feeling an atmosphere more than is possible to convey through words on a stupid website.

Billy is a hellstorm on the drums…all laid back and free when necessary and other times a hail of snare fire and tom rolls. He is a drummer that is exciting to watch and those are sincerely few and far between. He was in the Sights for a show a few years back and I was aflutter with enthusiasm after watching him, imagining the future and the potential the deadly Billy-Bobby-Eddie line-up had. But they went with Mike Trombly before realizing they wanted a Patrick Keeler and instead got Keith Fox. But that’s a whole ‘nother story…and one that end’s up with Human Eye grabbing the pink frosted donut while no one was looking.

The show ended with the previously-mentioned gaudy trim being scrounged up and set on fire in front of the band by a batch of miscreants. Someone graffiti’d beneath Tim’s splattering “TVP (a misappropriation of his Timmy V. Lamp moniker) $1000” The place was a beautiful mess, all paint and trim and dust in a perplexing assemblage on the floor. Whatever the intention of booking the Human Eye to play this night, the band came and did the only thing they could and that was wreak havoc.

After the show the owner of the MOCAD wanted to discuss with Tim what they would do about the big blue smear of paint on their previously pristine wall. Without missing a beat, Tim said “Put a frame around it.”

But before people had begun to leave there was already a gallery schmo trying to clean the thing off. With his back to the crowd a crushed beer can (or something of that sort, definitely with a bit of weight) sailed past his head and thudded against the wall.

Fuck art. Let’s Damage.

(Human Eye setlist...notice small splotches of blue paint)

PS. The pioneers @ 107.9 FM was the only interesting part of the Shrinking Cities exhibition. Twelve different collaborators spread primarily across Detroit (with one each in Hamtramck, Ferndale and Royal Oak) spouting radio signals with 400 foot range each with specific programming running 24 hours a day. Chris Pottinger (Odd Clouds, Cotton Musuem) has an original sound piece coming from his crib near St. Aubin and Casmere streets (I caught it earlier today and it was devastating bliss) while Matt and Hazel Blake host what I can only predict is badass from their homstead right around the corner from the Yorba. These are definitely worth driving around for and checking out at http://www.jonbrumit.com/talking-homes.html
view the rest of the junk at www.mocadetroit.org

photos lovingly supplied by Lauren Hood

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Muldoons Phoned It In...

The Muldoons on “Phoning it In” radio program.
Live in the Muldoon Upholstery garage.
Amps on standby
No heat in here.
Hunter in sleeveless white t-shirt.
Shane wearing Spitfire skateboarding t-shirt with Bloody Hollys (Cyril Lords) pin.
Brian in beret and long-sleeve yellow and grey striped t-shirt.
Hunter doing the interview.
Shane waltzing around, trying to cause a stir, aggravate his brother.
Start at 9:04 pm, Shane wearing Honolulu blue air-traffic-controller headphones.
The fact that this is all happening through a mustard yellow curlee cord phone is wonderful. Me and Mom are sitting on the cutting table (she’s also wearing a pair of blue ATC headphones).
1st song – “I Need Your Love” cover of the Greenhornes garage mover, Shane is rampant, all over the studio.
2nd song – “Pain – Gimme Sympathy” cover of Jack Starr, popularized by the Upholsterers…Shane-O gets into this one, hopping around the microphone, treating this like an actual show. The radio listeners can’t see how enthusiastic he is and it is their loss.
3rd song – “Tall” my favorite original ‘doons tune. The melody of the choruses “oh-oh-oh-oh” is painfully simple and deceptive and catchy as all hell. Shane claps along and I can see the imaginary crowd doing so as well. This band is so intrinsically good that it pains me when people don’t get it. When they’re overly critical of the fact that these kids aren’t virtuosos. They’re totally missing the point. This is unbridled youthful exuberance.
How can you tell if someone is trying to call on the other line? I wonder if that annoying call waiting audio click/mute is happening right now. Or if some is trying to pull an emergency breakthrough.
4th song – “Epic Battles” intro into “Red and Black” back into “Epic Battles” and I take snapshots using my iSight camera.
5th song – “Not Old Enough” I don’t’ think I’ve ever heard this song before. Shane is on guitar and the boy is primal, can’t see him tackling more than one string at a time. Missing out on rock and roll shows, R-rated movies…’tis your fate when you don’t even have an ID. Shane is rocking the wah-wah.
6th song – “Zombies” I adjust phone placement for a second and stick my tongue out at Shane. This song chugs on with dissonant distorto guitar weight. Heavy like you ate 3 cheeseburgers at Miller’s in Dearborn. Hunt slays on his “zombie solo”, one of the best solo intro’s after “tell ‘em how I feel” and “take it Micky”
7th song – “Imaginary Friends” slow picked guitar like the Keggs that I’m sure these boys have never heard. Lonely fuzz by Shane. Wait, isn’t this a school night? Are the boys up too late? Setlist taped to the door of the shop. Telephone is hanging from the top of a steamer, a few inches from two swaths of foam attached to the wall, Albini-style.
8th song – “Funtime” Cover of Iggy Pop. If Shane isn’t a born frontman I don’t know who is. He oozes the charisma it takes many guys many years to develop. Asheton-like wah-wah blasts from Hunt destroy. I’m behind his amp and it sounds glorious. We talked about the new Stooges song…"My Idea of Fun” the kids loved it, Brian and I thought it left a bit to be desired. Is anyone listening? Brian has threatened to release this on an LP if it sounds remotely good, enamored with the absurdity of the lo-fi idea through a telephone.
9th song – “Interstellar Overdrive” intro to “Chubby Bunny” Shane does the “IO” power chords as his bangs hang over his eyes. I notice the point where they keep repeating the song title that they progressively make it more and more unintelligible…as if they’re actually shoving marshmallows in their mouths while singing. It’s attention paid to the smallest detail (like this) that is behind the best bands. Mom has the video camera rolling. Multi-media. Stuttered marching band snare drum dominance from Brian propels the song. Hunter’s voice is changing and he’s sick so his vox are delicately odd this evening. Is this the rocking-est garage in Detroit? Shane playing the high E string to the tempo of “Top Special” by the White Stripes. A “Drain You” styled plodding build-up, back into “IO”.
Shane grabs the receiver when they’re done “Hello?” “Thank you”
Mom says “shane, walk over here a little” so that he’s in camera sight.
We listen to the performance on the computer after moving all the gear out of the shop. Brian and Shane think it sounds great. Hunter thinks they are nuts. Mom just sits and smiles.

This is my favorite family in the world.

Listen for yourself…