Dec 6, 2018

CELEBRITY HANDSHAKE "That's Showbiz, Baby" 7inch


"This makes the Oblivians sounds like Rush!"

I'm positive I've blurted that out more than a few occasions through the years but one time I know for sure that I did was the first time a record from Portland, Maine's Jumpin' Beans and the Moustaches was rotating on my turntable.

It wasn't just a random blurt either. To use the term "blown out" about it was an understatement. The dry rotted garage punk irascibility and raw, drunken hollerin' that it discharged made what it was being compared to sound downright elegant.

If a compatriot with more "serious" taste in music was ever at my digs and started calling what I was listening to as being inept or dimwitted I would say "Oh, yeah. You think?" Then I would put on a Jumpin' Beans record. It would make them head straight for the door.

Maladroit minds that mastered those fracases have much to do with what is going on with Celebrity Handshake.

To call the rubbed raw guitar sound that anchors "That's Showbiz, Baby" a boogie riff would be misleading. A boogie barf perhaps is fitting. It's sick, it's smells, it oozes and it gonna leave a big stain behind. The beats behind does all it can to keep up and be heard while voice possessed by the Lord, the Devil, Howlin' Wolf and the fine art of swallowing razor blades serves up a verbal lashing that leaves everything mutilated.



On  "Television Lips" it like they've spaced from a moldy basement by stowing away on a rusted rocketship. One could describe the clatter of this of the slab "space punk" and bandy around the names of legends such as Chrome but Celebrity Handshake seem more inclined to use dirt from Brewers Phillips as an inspiration for a hook than crediting it all to a trip to Morrocco.

Get sweaty palms at Eastern Prawn

Nov 30, 2018

TERRESTRIALS s/t 12inch EP

You know that really sketchy oil change stop out by the edge of the city limits? Did you know after the place closes every evening the dudes that work there chew a couple microdots and pick up musical instruments they have hidden behind the old plastic gallon milk jugs filled used motor oil?

As of a result of a battered boombox that blasts a radio station which leans heavy on some kinda Alice Cooper/Foghat and associated doob rollin' ilk, they think they're all about the same hard rock action by once the scleener fry starts its'a sizzlin', a grimy garage boogie boards a psych-ships towards a galaxy of fuschia colored streets and sapphire shaded cheeseburgers.

Ascension is quick. Judging from the gospel-tinged organ that thrust the record's opener, "Aman Düde", into the atmosphere it is launching off from some sort of place of weird worship. The title of the song alone evokes images of kaleidoscopic flashes on one blurry, gnarled hand and a ratty teenage mustache on the other.

From there the record swirls through leaded gasoline fueled space journeys of Z-movie alien abductions, laser beam zaps and wigged out punk rock squirming. The record doesn't end with them returning to earth either because the final track, "Moonblade", sounds like they convinced a hillbilly bar on some other celestial body that they're the party band that planet has been waiting for.

Taste your departure ticket at Heel Turn

Nov 19, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 43: Building blocks of proteins

Many across the nation will be in a serious tryptophan coma on Thursday. Like every year, I hope to be out of mine come Sunday though for Grep Cup viewing. 
What you'll hear on episode 43
Blacktop - Blazing Streets
The Unholy Two - Moscow Doomsday Cloud
Movietone - Mono Valley
Roxy Music - Editions of You
Mauvais Genre - Pour Toi
-words from your host-
Leon Gardner - Farm Song
Jon Spencer - Hornet
Suburban Homes - Magazine
Remember Sports - Up From Below
Gino and the Goons - Early Retirement
-words from your host-
Timmy's Organism - Wall Of Grey
Celebrity Handshake - Television Lips
O. Rex - Califawnia Girls
Crescent - Lightbulbs In The Trees
Missing Pages - Long Way Down
-words from your host-
U-Nix - Liberal Hardcore
Johnny Notebook and the Blue Screens - Go Bust
Urochromes - I'm Gonna Confront Ya
Pinch Points - Jelly Brain
The Prats - Disco Pope
-words from your host-

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Nov 12, 2018

Ellison Tiramisu Stout


Winter. It's hard for this writer to find reasons to get all excited about it anymore. One I can find though is stouts. Their roasted flavors provide some sort of psychological warmth for what will seem like endless days of monochrome views from here on into the spring.

That warming effect is pretty much instantaneous from opening the can of this offering from Lansing, Michigan brewery Ellison. Dark roasted coffee and chocolate rise from the glass immediately like welcoming you from coming in from the cold. Notes of sweet dark fruits and caramel add slight but rich details to the aroma.

While the coffee, cocoa flavors (along with a hint of smoke) are also the star of the show flavorwise, it's also where those aforementioned little details get to work some tasty magic. More than a smidgen of vanilla cream makes it place known too, really giving this stout a legit claim to tiramisu flavor. It's sweet but not syrupy. Bold but not burly. The finish is slightly sweet with enough coffee bitter to keep any sugary, weird candy flavor effect away.

I made a note that I am going to stick on my fridge. It's a list to remind me what stouts I should be sure to keep on hand once the snow starts blowing all around (and, from what I read today, that very well may start tonight.) This is one of the beers that is on it.
Pour yourself a cup at www.ellisonbrewing.com

Nov 10, 2018

MISSING PAGES "Long Way Down" 7inch


When first glancing at the cover of the Missing Pages 7inch, something about its design had me thinking of a large percentage of "Euro-garage" singles that came out in late 90's and early 00's. Many of them had a certain look to them.

Another similarity about a lot of those kinda records had to them was that the bands had the best intentions but there was always an element lacking in their rocking which kept them in the "Ehh, they're okay I guess. They mean well" pile.

Missing Pages are not from anywhere in Europe. They're from Austin, TX. Comprised of members of Sweet Talk, Church Shoes and others, they're set into other time shifts.

1985. Reagan's in for a 2nd term. It's dark times in America. Let's say it's a cold winter college town USA city. Darker music, mostly of an English flavor in the early forms of post-punk, made its mark on some bands that played the bar with the local favorite budget beer lighted sign outside.

1985. Sounds about right. Bobby Knight threw a chair and fucking New Coke. The country was slowly starting to get out of a recession it was in but unemployment were high all over the western world.

R.E.M. released an album they recorded in England. New Order released their last decent album. The Jesus and Mary Chain's Psychocandy, Bad Moon Rising by Sonic Youth and The Fall's This Nation's Saving Grace (to name a just few) came out that year too. Rhythm sections could be heads down pounding but also sway. Guitars made a sparkly roar....or a spindly spider crawl. The highest rung of the artistic bar was brooding with hooks.

David Lee Roth also left Van Halen in 1985. That was sure sign the good times were going to go dim.

My favorite year of music in my life time? Not quite but it is in my top seven or so. These are the types of things I hear on "Long Way Down." A rock solid bottom, a hook and melody that rings classic but wrinkled into a odd pattern. A catchy glide to get caught in a thunderstorm with. There's a tinge of "art" that plays on a subtle level here where the more it is absorbed, the way a standard rock band line-up can intertwine sound takes on a colorful weave.



Somewhere between my first impression and the prattle above was, of course, my second impression.

"It like the first two Psychedelic Furs re-envisioned by the Marked Men" I proclaimed (to one of my cats who was in the room.) I said it even louder when side two's "Highlighter Piss" started blaring outta the speakers.That makes more sense once it's realized that Jeff Burke mixed this candy coated chainsaw.


This record will not end up in the earlier mentioned "meant well" pile. It will stay in my listening to quite a bit stack for a good spell though.
Get found at 12XU

Nov 4, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 42: Sizzled


Sizzle. They say ya gotta sell it. Hard sell tactics are not a strong point for yours truly. I can guarantee that there's plenty of sizzling soundwise on this latest episode of Smashin' Transistors.

Bathe in the hiss!


What you'll hear:
Fly Ashtray - The Man Who Stayed In Bed All Day 
Mountain Movers - My Eyes Are Always Heavy 
Obnox - Enter The Hater 
J.C. Heavy - Do What You Like 
Beauticians - Mouse or Man 
words from your host
David Nance Group - 110 Blues 
Monokultur - Äckel 
Rocket 808 - Digital Billboards 
Little Walter Trio - Bad Actin' Woman 
Water Trash - Fine
words from your host 
The Pink Noise - House Of Cards 
The Randoms - ABCD 
Jon Spencer - Wilderness 
Brandy - Throw Out My Kitchen 
words from your host
Mary Bell - Be a mom 
Lysol - Chemical Reaction
Terrestrials - Teenage Waistband
Latex Bride - Puppet Head 
Cows - Mine
words from your host

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Oct 29, 2018

BLOODBAGS Sinister Deeds 7inch


The smearing of vital fluids that New Zealand's Bloodbags do all over this glob of wax is not for the chicken-livered.

Burly and brusque, slashes of jagged guitars flail and flash like a craggy blade in front of  broken down drums that sound like their being beaten with the firewood logs on "Elder Statesmen." Thoughts of Wire's Pink Flag come to mind but there is more of a feeling of having your head held down in an old metal barrel full of tiger milk. The howl of desperation in Andrew Tolley's voice does not sound like it is going to break into a dissertation of Barnett Newman's work or something of the sort either.

The ride that's "Dark Room Dick" is one on a rigid suspension, down some rocky roads that the ilk of the Honeymoon Killers and the Scientists trudged across using only the distant sound of war drums and the scent of death in the air as road maps.
Get transfused at Spacecase

Oct 12, 2018

ROCKET 808 "Digital Billboards" 7inch


When it comes to rock-n-roll John Schooley has an old soul. It's been obvious since his barely outta high school hayseed punk band the Revelators bolted from the bucking chute in the late 90's.

It's continued with each musical thing he's been part of too. Just straight up back road hollerin', stripped raw blues burnin', punk rockin' bang-n-twang. No post-punk math assignments. No mustache pondering indie rock. No digital do-dads used as crutches to soil up the sound.

His latest project is named in tribute to what is contestability the first rock-n-roll song recorded. More servings of that fine cooking he whips up right?

Well, he's now using a drum machine!!! Before you go clutching for your pearls and beckoning for the smelling salts, it's a drum machine that sounds like it was snatched out of some Silvertone electric organ that had been sitting neglected in the corner of an old folks home for a few decades now.

With it setting a beat that's as slinky as it is cheezy,  a guitar rings and roars in hillbilly from hell handlin' a hollow body style. Strings bend and blare in reverb drench but never stray into shred territory like some of the surf and rockabilly assholes of the past couple of decades stray into much too often.


While "Digital Billboards" is like sauntering through the sleaziest part of town where neon reflects in pools of spilled whiskey on the sidewalks, "Mystery Train" takes the well worn Junior Parker song down into the sewers below in search of the slimiest echo.

Blast off at 12XU

Oct 8, 2018

VIOLENCE CREEPS Nephew Melting 7inch


It is often said that it is better to go out with a bang than a whimper. In August of this year Oakland, CA's Violence Creeps played their final show and this single is their adieu to the world.

They didn't go out with a whimper. And calling this single a bang is not the right choice of words either. A torpid avalanche of bright and searing toxic sludge that engulfs everything in its path seems more apt here.

As often before, the band echoes a sludgy Flipper dirge but the occasional flourishes of melody and the random sounding bursts of avant-ism along with singer Amber's hoarse scorn of a voice, the sound resembles an ambush from all sides than it does getting run over by the slowest moving steamroller in the world.

They also didn't decide to play nice for a final salvo either. "Nephew Melting" calls out scene vampires with stupid mustaches and the privileged poser douches they do shots of Fernet with, pulling no punches in pointing out their backstabbing ways. Either that or it's about mini-MAGAt and 70's rock cosplayer Matthew Melton. Same difference.


The handclaps that start "Ford Go Bikes" had me waiting for an eroded version of Rolls Royce's "Car Wash" to kick in for a sec. Instead, it's something that one might declare having hints of Siouxie-core (if such a thing exists.) Lurching jangle, goth'd out reverberation and riddled with contempt. In its sights here is gentrification and the entitled class that is ripping the soul out parts of town and replacing it with some sort of free-range plastic accouterments.

Get broiled at Total Punk

Oct 2, 2018

Smashin' Podsistors 41: Like an emotional complex


Autumn makes hints of its arrival but never says exactly when. It may a subtle entrance. It can also crash down brazenly.


What you'll hear in this October installment:

The Necros - Peer Pressure
Pious Faults - Field
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band - Petrified Forest
Ruby Karinto - Chikotan
P-Model - Art Mania
-words from the host-
Brandy - Life Jail
Gen Pop - Din
Stereolab - Revox
George Brigman - I've Got to Know
Terrestrials - Rings
-words from the host-
School Damage - Isn't Easy
The Uniques - You Ain't Tuff
HONG! - Maruk
Purling Hiss - Passenger Queen
Violence Creeps - Ford Go Bikes
-words from the host-
Warmest Winter - We Should Go Out Tonight
Hawkwind - Lost Johnny
Siouxie and the Banshees - Jigsaw Feeling
Mope Grooves - Here Comes Another One
Television Personalities - The Glittering Prizes
-words from the host-

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