Monday, February 28, 2005

Here again!

Since I only have a limited amount of disc space, I keep shuffling what's availible. But what about all you folks who missed that great Isaac Schankler piece? Well, after noting the link, he posted the tune here.
He's now posting an mp3 a day here.
Go there and bug him about writing more great pop tunes. Otherwise, he'll be stuck in that New Works Classical ghetto forever!

You know you want it!

Another 25mb Internet EP comin' atcha!
(For Monkeyfilter folks coming here, this will include none of the songs that you will get on your mix discs, though it will include some of the artists).

A few years ago, I got a promo in the mail from a band called The Escorts. They were an obscure '70s soul group, whose gimmick was that they were all in prison when the songs were recorded. I assume that they only recorded the vocals in prison (the only note is that the recordings were done in the psych ward because it was soundproofed, but I doubt that they could get a full brass and string section in there to do the takes live).
Most of the album is treacly crap, but they have a few harder songs in there that rescue the album. The most poignant of these is the apologetic All We Need is Another Chance.

I bought a compilation at a record store that has now gone under, and on it there was this fantastic, dark rock and roll track called Ruby by the band Gallon Drunk. It was apparently recorded live, and the only other place I've ever found it was a Ryko reissue of their singles (Tonight... The Singles Bar. This was recorded in 1990, but sounds like part and parcel of a lot of the Garage Rock revivals that we had in the last couple of years.

Another track that I found on a compilation (this time, offered with the magazine Select), When the Kingdom Comes, by Primal Scream. They claim that it was unreleased up until then, and it led to me to pick up Primal Scream's album Xtrm8r, as "When the Kingdom Comes" was so good. Too bad Xtrm8r kinda blows, with two or three really great songs and a buncha crap. Apparently, Kevin Shields produced this one, so enjoy it.

As I'm mining comps here, I might as well toss on Goin' Down a One-Way Street by Little Ann, off of the excellent Ladies of Detroit vol. 1 comp. There's a bit of Little Ann's life here. After a little websearching, I found out that the label that put these out (Marginal-Bar) has disappeared and the owner killed himself. Hmm. Guess I won't be able to order the rest of the series... (Any info, please mail rock @, as I'd love to get more...)

Ok, last track: African Lipstick by the Demolition Doll Rods. A Detroit band, this one is from the Bulb Records singles comp, vol. 2. Go and buy it if you like this track, as there's always more than enough to delight on any Bulb comp.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

What I've learned from Audioscrobbler

I enjoy Audioscrobbler, honestly I do. It hasn't really helped me find any bands (but it did help me find out that the Spectral Light... folks had a full album out, through a helpful comment), but it's neat to see what other people are listening to.
In my world, it becomes like a Music Nazi version of MTV's RoomRaiders, in which a bevy of selections can tell me more about you, as a person, than knowing what your bedroom looks like.
That being said, I realize there are serious defects in the system. Like, by basing rankings on the number of songs played, jazz and krautrock get short shrift; there are only two songs on each disc of Bitches Brew and Kraftwerk's Concert Classics only has four, despite being well over an hour long. Bands with more songs per hour necessarily rank higher in profiles (making it hard to find interesting jazz and krautrock without trawling profiles).

But that's not as much fun as just being judgemental about people's musical taste. That's the genius of Audioscrobbler: it works both ways. You can dismiss people as douchbags by what bands they like, and you can take known douchebags and see what they enjoy, and are thus able to dismiss it in the future. It's a beautiful thing.

Take, for example, The Vegetarians, who listen to, say, The Smiths in disproportionate numbers. Has nothing to do with the Meat Is Murder album, right? What else do they listen to (besides the obvious Morrissey)? Well, lots of sissy shit, like you might expect. Radiohead, Elliot Smith, The Cure. Bunch of pantywaists, all slowly rocking from side to side with their mewling mascara-wearing momma's boys (and girls).

Or that the Porn group listens almost exclusively to mainstream metal. Once one has developed a taste for big hair, it pervades every aspect of life.

The Family Guy? More shitty metal, showing that people who appreciate that show enjoy the speed and bombast more than good material (fuckin' Korn? That explains a lot, really.)

But the best are The Furries. The top artists? Less Than Jake, followed by Green Day, Nirvana and 3 Doors Down. What does this tell us about Furries? Well, aside from liking to hump stuffed animals, it tells us that most of them came of age during the early '90s, and haven't let go. Also, that they prize watered-down versions of groundbreaking genres like punk and ska.
To extrapolate, this can be linked with their sexual lives: Instead of going out and really fucking animals, like they'd all love to do, they cop out and fuck people in animal costumes. If, instead, they listed Desmond Dekker, The Buzzcocks and The Pixies, they'd finally have the courage to do some pet damage.
C'mon, Furries, buck up and fuck that horse.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

On the 25

Announcing: The First Ever Honest Engine 25mb EP!

You see, I wanted to have one of those fancy MP3 blogs all the kids are talking about, but I don't have enough room on my state-mandated server.

So what do I do? I put up brief EPs for a limited time, then take them down in two weeks or so. Maybe someday, I'll have enough cash to buy real web hosting.

Now, know that the reason why I'm doing this is because I love the music that I'm putting up. All of it is mine, either purchased or sent to me as promos, and I've ripped the mp3s because I think more people should hear it. I'm not going to be putting up a bunch of major label (or even major indie) songs, because you've probably already heard them. Even if I thought about dropping some Mekons in there.
Besides, those folks have plenty of bandwidth. Go get some songs from them dircetly.

But, just as a note, if any of the bands I feature ever get surly and want off, that's not a problem. Just lemme know.

And now, onto the first ever 52mb EP: Move quickly, because they won't last.

Dabenport's loping grace and sparse beauty come through on Finds You Well. It's off of their self-titled debut, now reissued on Fall Theory records (who have an incredibly shitty over-Flashed site, otherwise I would have linked directly). It's the type of country music you play when you're stepping through an airport terminal, wanting to be in two places at once.

I bought a copy of Dream Magazine while I was in Atlanta about three years ago now. I was doing a MasterCard Priceless Edge internship (I couldn't find a good link), and felt like I was the only one with decent taste in music. But with this magazine came a CD, full of good and weird and fun music (like Magical Power Mako and Mandible Chatter), and one of those tracks was the Spectral Light And Moonshine Firefly Snakeoil Jamboree's Chilly Winds. I haven't been able to find anything about them before or after, but it's a great song and one I hope leads to me finding more about them.

The Rants, who have retreated to the barren lands of Detroit (where they seem to be able to gig al the time, as opposed to the once a month Ann Arbor/Ypsi circuit) used to be one of this town's best bands. Then they had a personelle split (on one side: "It's hard when you want to play, and all he wants to do is take drugs." On the other: "I wanted to live a little, and he just kept getting more uptight.") where both parties are now happier, but their music isn't as consistently good (though it is, in fact, still good). Hell or High Water was one of their best songs off of the album "Get Back Into It," which seems to be out of print for all time now.

Stylex is part of the grand tradition of Ohio bands that sound like Devo. No, wait, that's not fair. They sound like Devo and Braniac. Pretty much. Well, y'know how "electroclash" got all popular there for a minute, what with Danse Macabre and The Faint and Adult. and all the other queers with asymetrical hair and jerky, unsmiling dance moves? Stylex was a bit ahead of the curve, but because they're from Ohio, it didn't count. Sea Of Numbers is one of my favorite songs, off of their album Wonder Program. You can apparently buy it through their website, but they don't allow for direct linking (only to the main page) so they'll have to deal with you when you go there.

The last track on this bi-weekly EP hasn't even been released, honestly. It comes from the Livejournal of a guy named Isaac Schankler. He desires to be a great classical (or whateverthefuck composed music is called these days) composer, but he's actually a great pop song writer. Kind of like Irving Berlin, if everything you knew about Irving Berlin were wrong. He also plays in the klezmer band Into The Freylakh, but this isn't a Klezmer song. It's more Gary Neuman in awesomeville. Dig it: The Distance of the Moon.