Jul 12, 2019

Film Photo Friday No. 6: Light Station No 1

"What is there to see? What is there to do?"
"Have you ever seen the lighthouse?"

Yeah, that is a common conversation with people that visit my hometown. I've even seen it in altered states of reality.

A multiple exposure shot on a Lomography DianaMini using Kodak Gold 200 35mm film.

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Jul 11, 2019

NO BAILS No Baios cassette

Photo by Dale Merrill
Did Michigan's dilettantes of wah-wah'd pizza party thud turn prog? It's been a few years since they last released anything so who knows, right. Perhaps they've been woodshedding or something brah.

Spotting a nine plus minute track on their latest cassette, No Baios may cause such alarm. Knowing the jokers these Michiganders can be though, a deeper investigation into such a matter needs to be conducted.

The subject in question is "Subbasement Rock." It's highly like that guys who have been sitting around studying things like the space between the notes of Rush's 2112 for decades ARE NOT going to be adding the song, a stream of consciousness featuring screeches, crashes, thumps, attempts to communicate with space aliens and, well, sub-basement jam traipses to their listening agenda any time soon.

If this tape just consisted of things such as that, Bails fans would be left scratching their heads at the very least and likely swearing off Jeno's pizza rolls too. There is very little for them to fret though. "Doin' Fine" top drawer/lo-fi Cosmic Psychos/Dwarves crud.

The song about skateboarding (as there should always be one on any No Bails release) here, "We Sk8", is gunky enough where an entire bottle of Bactine wouldn't stave off the infection from the road rash it sonically resembles. Then there's "No Thankyou Bite" which is the band getting all arty about hardcore.

Put a few extra bratwursts on the charcoal grill, stick this on the boombox and watch the neighbors give you glares of disdain.
Pop ollies over at  No Bails facebook

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Jul 8, 2019

CURLEYS s/t 7inch EP

It's no secret that the state of Florida has a reputation for having some, let's say, colorful and interesting residents. But is the whole "Florida Man" thing is an unfair stereotype? Are there really shirtless/toothless knuckledraggers and poorly tattooed and sun sagged cuckoo birds on every corner?

If trying to prove such as the above is something sets out to do, this debut single from Gainesville's Curleys will not be of results they desire. Crammed with six songs on a 7inch slab, each track is a conniption of its own wig-outness.

Inflamed with a guitar line that sounds as if it laser guided by mutants, the record's opener "Johnny" will get some listeners thinking "Is this some kind of  art trip or should I call the authorities for the sake of everyone's safety."

Slamming right into the record's next blast, "Lid's Loose", won't soothe any of those doubts either. Its choppy cadence bites hard and jagged and also resembles a tantrum inspired chant someone might stomp about to while braiding the wicks of thirty M-80's all together before sticking them into a coffee can and striking a match.

There's no letting up on side two of the record, "Bragging" launches like a nitro powered train departing berserk station. It's as if there is not really any intention of reaching a destination but throwing lots sparks off grinding rails and causing random decapitations of anything that gets in the way is. Just a couple minutes and few songs later, annihilation is complete with "Goro" splatting like a blood filled insect against a speeding semi truck's windshield.

Get tased at Total Punk

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Jul 5, 2019

Film Photo Friday No. 5: Orange's Yellow

This guy was lingering around our neighborhood for a few weeks. We could not take him in (we have three already and have plans in gear to move out of the state in the not too distant future. Finding a place to rent having three cats will probably be tricky enough. I imagine four would be a deal breaker for most landlords) but he was obviously someone's pet at one time. He was a super nice dude who loved to be sociable so we made sure to put food and water out for him on the porch and kept used to being around some friendly humans.

We did not see him for a couple of days so we figured he moved on. Then he showed back up and was roughed up and injured. We were not in a situation to help a stray out ourselves so I made a few calls to people who could. A rescue lady pulled some strings to get him into the county funded shelter even though they were full. She told me the shelter was now a no-kill and he would receive the best care available.

He is now better and up for adoption at the shelter. He will make someone an awesome friend.

A double exposure shot on a Lomography LaSardina using LomographyXpro 200 35mm film.

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Jul 1, 2019

July 2019 Mixclouder of the Month: The Village Subway

Starting a new thing here on Smashin' Transistors where we spotlight on a show on Mixcloud that we dig a lot. If you are not familiar with Mixcloud it's an online music streaming service that allows for the listening and distribution of radio shows, DJ mixes and podcasts. There are tons of people producing content and uploading it daily on to the site. Actual humans putting sets of music together instead of computerized systems or algorithms. What a concept, right?

For our first voyage into doing this, we shine a light on the Village Subway.

Hosted by David Schwentker, the Village Subway originates live on Monday nights from 8-9pm on Raleigh, North Carolina's online station littleraleighradio.org.

Encompassing a vast variety of loud, wild and twitchy sounds, Dave describes his musical selections as Underground Rock. There hasn't been an episode of the show yet where I haven't gotten turned on to something really good that I haven't heard before.

Jun 30, 2019

Smashin' Podsistors 52: Crawl right through your mind

Summertime and the, ummm, grass is longer. The snakes are more active because of it. Be sure to have a hammer and a jackknife handy at all times.

What you'll hear:
Squirrel Bait – Sun God
Protruders – Tax 101
Nots – Built Environment
Franky Shampoo and the City Creatures - Talk To Me
Major Stars – Out In The Light
-words from your host-
Straight Arrows - 21st Century
Lassie – Go West
Prince – Manic Monday
M.A.Z.E. - Human Brain
Eric Nervous and the Beta Blockers – Nailed To The Wall
-words from your host-
Aborted Tortoise – 20 XX
The Zits – Can't Get Smart
Primitiv Parts – bad vibes
Ice Baths – Auster
Salem 66 – Across The Sea
-words from your host-
Pinch Points – Spelt Out
Petite League – New York Girls
The Lice – So Bourgeois
Rose City Band – Fear Song
Radio Birdman - Snake
-words from your host-

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Jun 28, 2019

Film Photo Friday No. 4: Cenotaphs of the Big Three No. 1

I took my recently scored 1956 Zorki 2C rangefinder with a Jupiter 8 lens out for test run recently.

Zorki's are often called the poor man's or commie Leica (especially when paired with the Jupiter glass. The Russians took their optics very seriously.)

Using expired Astrum film from Ukraine, I went and shot some snaps American built classics.

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Jun 21, 2019

Film Photo Friday No. 3: Sunhouse

Sunhouse bassist (and my son) Lucas thumpin' the Thunderbroom at Slum Nation in Port Huron.

Slum Nation was a recent and very needed local DIY venue space in Downtown Port Huron for original bands to play. It has already been kiboshed due to ordinances and squares.

Shot on a Holga 120N with an AmozonBasics Electronic Flash using Kodak TMax 400 120 film.

I caught the picture taking bug as a young child in the mid 70s when my grandmother handed me a Kodak 126 Instamatic. In high school and college in the mid to late 1980s, I learned a lot about the art of photography and how everything works when it comes to using film. When digital photography gear became somewhat affordable in the early 00s, I made the leap. Eventually, it caused me to forget a lot that I learned. It also made me less discerning of what to shoot and when. 

A couple years ago, I started using film again. Cameras that are fully manual and antiquated I like using to get my skills back to where they were and are a blast to use. "Toy cameras" with plastic lenses are fun as well. And I also cannot forget to mention the slew of cheap former Soviet Union shooters in have in my collection. It has taken me back to observing and composing  instead of just willy nilly shooting randomly at whatever. 

I hope you enjoy the photos I will be sharing as much I do taking them.

If you'd like to help me out in the costs involved  (cuz film and development does cost a bit and my extra cash to spend on such is limited after my real life bills are paid), you can "buy me a cup of coffee" at my Ko-Fi page.


Jun 20, 2019

TOEHEADS Basement demo

There was a point in time where if you heard something describe as garage rock, you had a general idea of what it would most likely sound like. Over the years though, the size of that umbrella and what is underneath has grown quite larger. There's stuff out there, for example, that basically some quasi singer/songwriter folk stuff that doesn't really swing or move that is being called garage rock these days. A lot of times seems to boil down to some tape hiss in the final product. I believe that is what some people wittier than myself have called the Burger Record effect.

Unruly. Unhinged. Greasy hair and zits. A snarl and a stomp. Bedraggled. That's what I think should be expected when throwing the term around. Not a musical version of LARPing either where it's playing some traditionalist/purist role where everything past a particular year over 5 decades ago is scoffed either. Having it armed with some punk rock explosives is the way to knock people off their feet as far as I'm concerned.

With everything pushed into an absolutely blown out red, Michigan's Toeheads deliver on those expectations. Three chords all rattled and covered with muck while howling at anything that moves is the band's modus operandi and, as distortion bomb that's "Floating Dust", the greasy fingers zig-zagging of "Grad" and how "Mr. Fish" violently hammers out a beat, make such procedures victorious.

The band could crank out such short mud-caked knuckle dragger after knuckle dragger to please those of the shortest attention spans but they also well aware that even subhumans can't survive constantly on the same kind of dirt alone. "Going Steady" boards the jangle train loaded with gasoline and is headed towards a gigantic fireball while "Windows (Brain Fry)" and "Laser Cannon" are like doing a hangover crawl toward more of a dog that bit ya.

Find out more about what creeps in the cellar at their Facebook page.

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Jun 17, 2019

Smashin' Podsistors 51: A Chattahoochee Reference

Though I like to think I am reasonably well-read, sometimes my brain will go off in some direction where I think something that is probably a well-worn colloquialism (or a line from a David Lynch film) is actually just a lyric from some cheesy pop country song of the 1990s.

What you'll hear: 
Cigaretz - Scared Of Girls 
Toeheads – Grad 
Registators – Panic Action 
Smart Hearts – You Beat Me To It 
Rose City Band – Fog Of Love 
-words from your host- 
 Kool 100s – Bogus Journey 
American Gorilla – Forsaken All Others 
Richard Vain – Castles 
Gun Club- Thunderhead 
Jack Oblivian – Scarla 
-words from your host- 
Protruders – No Stone 
Big Quiet – Pull The Thread 
The Fall – Wings 
Urochromes – Trapped On Planet 
Isolation Party – Disassociator 
-words from your host- 
Wolfmanhattan Project – Silver Sun 
Fabulous Fairies - Telephone 
Bikini Gorge – Cat In The Flat 
Georgia Asphault - Burn Again 
13th Floor Elevators - Dust
-words from your host- 

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