Sep 29, 2010

Dogfish Head Burton Baton

Ahhh, those occasional/rare brews that some of this nation's fine microbreweries produce. As a beer dork you have to get them when you see them sitting on the shelves without hesitation because who knows when they'll be spotted again. This double oak aged IPA from Dogfish Head is one of those one's where, at least in these parts, multiple 4 packs of them are purchased at once so they can cherished and sipped on while others are saying "I didn't even get to try those this year."
Cloudy amber in color and a good sized head that hangs on for quite a long while leaving a thick lace all the way though. Caramel scented malts is the first thing that tingles the nose followed by citrus, campfire smokiness and a dint of booze (but at 11% abv not as much as expected).
The mouthfeel of the brew is chewy but creamy and the flavor is packed with a whole bunch of complexities. The sweet warmth of the candied dark fruit flavored malts and tart grapefruit bite of the 90 Minute IPA are the first thing most, if they are familiar with that Dogfish Head flagship, will notice. The oak aging gives it a twist of vanilla and spices as well as a slight smokey twist. As it breathes the bitters do mellow a bit and you find yourself not believing, or at least surprised the higher end alcohol content this has....that unless you've sat down having a few and try to stand up a little to quickly.
One of the best brews of it's type and always worth waiting for it to come available again.
http://www.dogfish.com/

Sep 27, 2010

BLACK MOUNTAIN "Wilderness Heart" LP

Radio, for the most part, sucks. Yeah, it's not some great statement of any kind and it sure ain't no secret to people (or at least I hope it's not) but having not only having a LP copy of this for home and when out on DJ night missions there has been a CD copy of this album in my car for a couple of weeks now. It been getting played an awful lot when I'm out driving. Every time it comes to and end I eject it while looking for something else to pop in. Usually one of the commercial rock stations (be it the one that plays what they claim is "alternative/modern", "hard" rock or "just the best" rock). The keyword is ROCK. Downtuned and autotuned ROCK which knowledge and history of groove, feeling and structure may go back a few decades but stops at anything before Nirvana and sounds like all the other fake angst ridden douchebags that have appropriated that sound then "improved" upon it by making it more strip club and sports bar friendly. Yep, it's ROCK but it has no ROLL.
"Dammit" I yell at the radio. It's all I can do really because there's little sense in calling the station to rant on the dj because more than likely it's prerecorded voice tracked or satellite fed and even if there is someone live in the studio it's not their job to have any discerning taste or pick what to play as it is to pretend they actually enjoy playing shit with names like Hinder, Breaking Benjamin, Crossfade and on and on. I would like to think though that if they did have a choice though they would play ROCK that has some ROLL and Black Mountain would be jamming all over the nation's ROCK (and roll) radio airwaves.
A 3 way marriage of Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and Hawkwind happens on tracks like the album's lead single "Old Fangs" with it's hotboxed organ sound and total joyriding the country roads guitar riff (and who's title may or may not be a play on a Them Crooked Vultures tune from a year or so ago called "New Fang"), the psych-boogie of the album's title track and take the slamming pace of the Purp's "Highway Star" and headbang against some boulders on "Let Spirits Ride" (which also features some of the most sinister sounding singing co-singers Amber Weber and guitarist Stephen McBean have laid down to date in the band's 5 year career).
Other tracks like the folky but funky (as in grooving-not stinky) "Hair Song", "Way To Gone" and the campfire country finds a psychedelic orchestra tinged "Buried By The Blues" could make the an otherwise super annoying hippie party tolerable for their 4 or so minute run times. "Radiant Hearts" and "The Space Of Your Mind" have a more than a slight "Yes, Roger Waters is the brains behind Pink Floyd but I am the star" thought process that David Gilmour probably still has going though his head but greet the ear with a warm and friendly embrace than cold and overblown isolation.
Nope, Rock radio will probably not add any of the songs. Not because they don't ROCK but because they not only ROCK AND ROLL but show a whole lot more personality and ideas than what they choose to spin these days. That might challenge the listening audience...and radio programmers don't want to do that at all, do they?
http://www.facebook.com/BlackMountainOfficial

Sep 26, 2010

SUNDAY SONANCE October 3rd at the Raven Cafe in Downtown Port Huron

Join yours truly and Franck Nowak for an evening of all kinds of grooves for your listening pleasure. We had to skip last month due to the Labor Day weekend but we are back 100% vinyl spinning for 3 hours.
http://www.ravencafeph.com/

Sep 24, 2010

HUE BLANC'S JOYLESS ONES "LIVE" at the Roche Bar in Port Huron Tuesday Oct 26th


Twisted and gnarled sound blasts of two guitars and two drummers from Algoma, Wisconsin (population 3,357).

Check this interview with them
http://smashintransistors.homestead.com/midwest_gentlemen.html

Read a review of their album from a couple years back on Victim Of Time
http://www.victimoftime.com/articles/breaking-sounds-hue-blancs-joyless-ones-arriere-ga/

Listen to some of their music here
http://www.myspace.com/hueblancsjoylessones

Sep 14, 2010

DRUGS DRAGONS "DRGSDRGNS" 7inch EP and TONY SAGGER ONE MAN BAND " Lies" 7inch EP

Somewhere in the magical and mystical world called HARD ROCK LAND there's a road only marked by a weird and twisty oak tree that the largest crows ever seem like to populate. While walking up it look for the trail of crushed Milwaukee's Best Ice and Hamm's cans and chicken wing bones. They will lead you down a path populated with a crossbred plants of Venus Fly Traps and Poison Ivy. Soon the screeches and caws of the buzzards and crows is drowned out by a crunch and squall and squeal and squelch as you get closer to a cave. At first those sounds may resemble 70's FM boogie rock but only for the first few seconds. Then it starts to sound all stretched out and mangled. Sorta like they have a picture of Black Sabbath on a wad of Silly Putty and are doing all kinds of distorted things to it. It's quickly deduced that you have Drugs Dragons lair. The people of HARD ROCK LAND have run them out of town for taking butt boogie, swerving it all over the road and laughing each and every time they put it in the ditch. They have been declared pariah's for their disrespect and this is where they must dwell. The musty and damp environment is a perfect match to their sound where old AC/DC records are put through a meat grinder and cooked up on a grill by the fires of Feedtime. The Butthole Surfers stopped taking LSD years ago and the Drugs Dragons have decided they would have the acid flashbacks for them.
One of the key components in the Drugs Dragons sound is the mutilated blues licks (if "licks" is even the proper way to describe the string bending that is going on) of Mr. Tony Sagger. Here, in a very one man band (and one sided single) setting he bares heartache on the sparse "Lies" (sample lyric: "I hope you fucking die!"), does a way drunk but waits to fall apart until the very end version of the 13th Floors Elevators "You're Gonna Miss Me" and closes it out with the garage-rock having absolutely disturbed cough syrup buzzed hallucinations "I Love You".
Check out a Tony Sagger One Man Band gig here.
Find out more about the Drug Dragons over at their Myspace page.

Sep 12, 2010

Missing Bancroft Orders

If you have ordered any Bancroft releases in the last 8 weeks or so and have not received them in the mail yet-Let me know at my email address smashintransistors (at) yahoo (dot) com. Seems there's been problems and some have not arrived. I am trying to figure out what the hell the problem is and I want to make sure all orders are filled and customers are satisfied.

Thanks for your patience
-Dale

Sep 10, 2010

Short's Hangin' Frank IPA

Short's developed this IPA for the City Park Grill in Petoskey, Michigan. The place serves some good grub but is most famous for it being a place Ernest Hemingway like to hang out/hide out at and it being haunted by a ghost named Frank who hanged himself in the cellar of the place about 100 years ago.
Short's has already made a name for itself for it's superpacked with hops flavor of their Huma Lupa Licious. In contrast to that this is a more mellow take on the style. The brew color is a nice burnt orange in color and sports a moderately sized off white head that holds on pretty tight all the way down the glass leaving a lace all over the place. Pine like hops are noticeable in the aroma but there's also a lot of fruit nuances such as pineapple and peaches that come out. It's all anchored by a sweet biscuit like smell of crystal malt.
The hops aren't as aggressive and have more of a sweet fruit flavor than that pucker up sting Huma is known for. That's not to say this lacks the bright-n-green bitters that other Short's more than hop friendly brews but this has a friendly pinch to the tastebuds more than an angry bite.
For anyone who has been considering delving into the craft beer world and doesn't know where to start (and no Leinenkugel, Blue Moon and those specialty Michelob's don't count no matter what the commercials say, how bartenders repeat what the beer salesman told them and what the guy behind me at the beer store who was behind me line was saying while I was purchasing this) here's a great place to begin your discovery.
http://www.shortsbrewing.com/

Sep 9, 2010

ALICJA-POP! "Shining Apple" 7inch

Alicja Trout has done "pop" before. To name off a bit of her musical background there's the Lost Sounds, Mouserocket and the River City Tanlines for starters. Sure, the "pop" elements may have been disguised in those projects from time to time but she's always known her way around writing something that sticks and really isn't that the basis of all good "pop" music anyway?
On this record the "POP!" on a side one's "Shining Apple" is 80's DIY pop such as the Young Marble Giants equipped with a better tape machine so they can layer some girl group harmonies while getting sidetracked by some motorik hypnotics.
Some years ago I recall reading an interview with Daniel Johnston where he was asked what his influences were and how he would describe his music to someone who may not have heard it before. His reply mentions some a contemporary bands at the time as well as him discussing his love for the Beach Boys. One thing I've learned by knowing quite a few real deal outsider musician's like him is that in their heads that is what they hear but it usually takes someone else to cover a song wrote by them to bring those kind of sounds to the forefront. Here, on the b-side's cover of Johnston's "Walking The Cow", Alicja brings them out with a 60's sunshine feel rubbing shoulders with melodic beep-beep-boop synth bits.
http://www.certifiedprrecords.com