Saturday, January 07, 2006

New Music Scan

This must be reissue week...Dinosaur Jr.'s first three will come in limited edition LP (four colors, 2000 copies) as well as Tim Buckley (below)... and in anticipation of reissues of Bastro's two LPs comes a live CD... also, goofy recyling project called Record Reverser "reissues" old LPs in a strange way... and finally one of the best releases from Poison Idea is being reissued on CD.

Starting with releases from

4M 132LP

BUCKLEY, TIM: Goodbye and Hello LP (4M 132LP) 15.00
Gatefold 180 gram LP reissue of this album from 1967, the 2nd Buckley album, originally issued by Elektra. Produced by Jac Holzman and Jerry Yester. "One of the great rock vocalists of the 1960s, Tim Buckley drew from folk, psychedelic rock, and progressive jazz to create a considerable body of adventurous work in his brief lifetime. Often cited as the ultimate Tim Buckley statement, Goodbye and Hello is indeed a fabulous album. Contains 'Once I Was' and 'Pleasant Street.' Original artwork."

BG 004LP

DINOSAUR JR: Dinosaur Jr LP (BG 004LP) 15.00
"The first three Dinosaur Jr records repressed for the first time since their original release (the first being on Homestead and the second two on SST). All three records are in edition of 2000 copies and contain bonus tracks: Self Titled -- 'Bulbs of Passion,' 'Does It Float (live)'; You're Living All Over Me -- 'Just Like Heaven'; Bug -- 'Keep The Glove.' Baked Goods is Mascis' own label."

And from Aquarius Records...

album cover BASTRO Antlers (Drag City) cd 14.98
Here's a band that far outshone most of their contempories but somehow managed to slip through the cracks and become more known as a footnote of the bands that came after than the rock legends they truly were. Ever wonder where David Grubbs spent his time after Squirrelbait and before Gastr Del Sol? Ever wonder what Bundy Brown did before Tortoise? Ever wonder what John McEntire did before he was in Tortoise and the Sea & Cake and started producing Stereolab Records? Did you ever wonder what band featured members who would go on to play in bands like Slint, Evergreen, King Kong, The For Carnation and more? Well, if you did, the answer is a resounding BASTRO!
This live release was supposed to coincide with the two proper Bastro lps finally released together on a single cd, but there seems to be some weird legal hang up, presumably with Bastro's old label Homestead, but for now we have this glorious live record, from one of the most amazing bands of the late eighties / early nineties.
If you're already a fan, this record is Holy Grail type shit, all songs that were never recorded, caaptured live right before the band broke up. Some of these songs morphed into Gastr Del Sol songs, but a whole new record of never-before-heard Bastro songs should have your jaw around your ankles. And for those of you new to the whole Bastro experience, these songs will definitely whet your appetite for more.
Bastro are really hard to descibe, which could be why maybe they ended up going over a lot of people's heads. They incorporated lots of elements of other post hardcore / college rock bands but in perfectly obtuse, totally unlikely ways. You can hear bits and pieces of Jesus Lizard, Big Black, Rapeman, Scratch Acid, Drive Like Jehu and Don Caballero. They started out as a sort-of-industrial-noise rock band a la Big Black, turned into a pumelling noise rock combo, and eventually morphed into a dense, complex avant-math-rock outfit, which is where this live recording catches them, live in 1991, in Chicago and Germany. Super serpentine guitar lines, extended convoluted song structures, impossibly mathy drumming (resident AQ drummer Andee spent ages learning and then playing along to Bastro songs, and considered McEntire one of his favorite drummers back then) all in a dense tangle of fragmented pop, mathy post rock and obtuse musical chaos. So incredible. As much as we love the bands that came after, Bastro still hold a special place in our heart, their music somehow transcending the music of almost all of their contemporaries, melodic, heavy, bizarre, beautiful. We're dying for the reissue of the albums proper, but for now we'll just listen to Antlers, over and over and over and over and over.....
Also includes two live Quicktime videos of Bastro live in Germany and Holland!!!
MPEG Stream: "Antlers"
MPEG Stream: "Educated Fool"

album cover RECORD REVERSER, THE (Top Quality Rock And Roll) record reverser 15.00
SDRAWKCAB RETTEB SDNUOS CISUM LLA!!!! I mean, ALL MUSIC SOUNDS BETTER BACKWARDS!!!! It's just a fact. There's something completely alien but so strangely beautiful about music in reverse. The way the drums sort of swoosh backwards, the attack and decay exchanging their rightful places, the vocals, a sweetly smooth garbled alien language, even more musical once the context and words are removed, leaving just the sound and timbre, and melodies become seasick, woozy smears of sound. Everyone discovers it eventually. Maybe it was when you were first trying to discern the hidden Satanic messages on your Iron Maiden or Beatles records. Once you tired of that, you suddenly realized that the rest of the record sounded pretty dang cool backwards too. Maybe even better! For some, it happened even earlier, just messing around as a kid with your folks' turntable, that almost always resulted in some sort of scolding that it would damage the needle. But what was it that they were really trying to hide? Satanic messages? Maybe. But maybe it was the fact that music really did sound better backwards. Once the word of that got out, what would happen to music as we know it. For me, it was the realization as a teenager, that you could unscrew a cassette tape, turn the tape over and put the tape back together, resulting in some of the coolest weirdest music we had ever heard. Fifty cent tapes from the thrift store became our car music of choice, once they had been reversed of course. A favorite that I still have to this day is a Bangles cassette, that once reversed turned into a gorgeous dizzying blast of Sgt. Peppers-ish My Bloody Valentine psych-pop! Some folks took this sacred knowledge, and started bands, the most notable being Teenage Filmstars, who employed backwards drums, backwards vocals, reversed guitars, sometimes whole songs played in reverse! (For a taste, check out their track on the Here's To Old England comp we reviewed recently.) And who can forget the first Sonic Youth ep, the cassette version of which featured the whole program in reverse on the other side of the tape. And you know what? It sounded so much better!
So now it's the age of computers and electronic music, so with a push of a button you can turn songs around or do whatever you want really, but there's something about vinyl records, lp's, and the act of playing them backwards that cannot be reproduced on a computer. You can also by a fancy DJ turntable that will play backwards, but A. we're not entirely sure that's good for the needle OR the record, and B. that'll set you back hundreds of dollars. Thus, we have the Record Reverser, an ingenious gizmo that enables you to play any record, backwards on the turntable you now have! We weren't sure to expect, but when we got one, and threw on a record, BACKWARDS, we were floored. I took one home and have been listening to backwards records for the last two weeks almost exclusively, because music DOES sound better backwards. IT DOES!! How does it work? Well, first you just need to make sure of two things, first that you have a removable stylus on your turntable, and second, that once removed, also make sure the tone arm has BOTH a top and bottom slot. Then all you do is flip over your needle, attach your favorite record to the record reverser and VOILA, it's playing backwards! Here's a pretty extensive 'how to' videoclip:
Each Record Reverser is hand made out of recycled lps -- mine is a High Masekela record on on side and an Engelbert Humperdinck on the other! So completely cool. We've even been talking about the idea of buying 50 Record Reversers and pre-preparing 50 records and DJ-ing with nothing but backwards lps and Record Reversers!!
Definitely just about the coolest thing we've seen in ages.
MPEG Stream: YLLIB 'ECNIRP' EINNOB "Daerd Fo Lluf Yad Rehtona"

album cover POISON IDEA War All The Time (Abstract USA) cd 13.98
Several Poison Idea cd reissues recently hit the racks, and we rate this one the best (although they're all pretty darn good!).
Poison Idea is one of the few bands that comes immediately to mind when you think about what a good hardcore band was really all about. Manic pace, adept "sausage-finger" guitar playing, a tight rhythm section and a singer wailing over the top with lyrics so poetic and fucking deep it's actually worth reading the lyric sheet! Poison Idea was that band -- Portland's finest -- and on top of it all, you had two serious behemoth madmen drinking and bleeding and rocking in a hellbent frenzy.
With this 1987 release, War All the Time (yes, it's named after Bukowski, duh) the self-proclaimed "Kings of Punk" added extra power-pummel to the mix with the addition of Thee Slayer Hippy on drums and Vegetable Olsen on second guitar. This record still proves to be a timeless classic today as far as early hardcore/thrash/crossover goes. Lots of stop-and-start on a dime riffage, a million little cymbal splashes filling in the holes, Pig Champion moving those little chubby stubs up and down the fretboard at the speed of light (or maybe as fast as the malt liquor would allow on any given night!) and on top of it all Jerry A. mumbling / howling / screaming some seriously stoic shit in that immediately recognizable caterwaul, but you wouldn't know how serious unless you were reading along...
You're definitely not a real punk without this in your collection!


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