Saturday, November 30, 2013

Y Pants - Beat It Down (1982)

Y Pants were a short lived No Wave trio from New York City (obviously), they weren't that much like a lot of their other, more successful, contemporaries, such as Swans, who were dark and violent. This all-female group made No Wave that was more choppy and more bouncy than a lot of other acts, almost blurring the line between Post-Punk and No Wave. They basically made cute, fun No Wave, which is something a lot of people don't seen know about, they don't seem to know that No Wave wasn't all just angry, brooding music like Mars or DNA, but there was also a brighter, almost Disco-influenced side to the scene. And this album shows off that side of the No Wave movement quite well. They still have the dark undertones and almost satirical parodying of New Wave in the songwriting that's characteristic of No Wave (the last song on this LP is one of the darkest songs I've heard as of late) but on the surface they just appear very happy and carefree. It's cheerful and adorable No Wave that can be dark and hypnotic at the exact same time, and an album like that is definitely worth a listen.

Got this feeling for you
Got this feeling for you
Got this feeling for you
Gonna beat it down

Friday, November 29, 2013

Destroy All Monsters - 74 76 (1994)

Destroy All Monsters were quite an interesting group. Emerging in Ann Arbor in the early 70's, their sound could best be described as an extremely noisy and hectic proto-punk group. The band, however, is very eclectic and it's difficult to define their sound with just a genre or two, and this album, compiled by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, definitely shows it. They were certainly ahead of their time, and quite out there too, with songs that are full-on improvisational freak outs, to really droney songs, to songs that seemingly signal and hint at the Post-Punk, Punk Rock, and Anarcho-Punk movement that were soon to come. I definitely feel they had an influence on all three of those genres. Although the album is quite intimidating, clocking in at just under three and a half hours, its definitely worth it and I highly recommend giving this album a chance. It's a great look into one of the many (but in my opinion one of the best) precursors to the Punk movement.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Throbbing Gristle - D.o.A: The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle (1978)

This is probably one of the most demented album I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. And I mean that in the best way possible, Throbbing Gristle was one of the most influential groups of Industrial music, and they did it by making some very sick, hypnotic, and fantastic albums. Eons ahead of their time, they really just didn't have any contemporaries, they were raw, unadulterated, and grotesque. And Throbbing Gristle have the ability to be great at crafting songs that are up-in-your-face-violent and psychotic, while being equally good at writing songs that manage to build a subtle sense of dread, songs that really have the power to leave the listener uneasy by the end. This is my favorite release from them by far, though their most accessible is probably the legendary 20 Jazz Funk Greats. It's unique, hypnotic, and just plain spooky. While it's not the best starting point for the industrial genre, but it's a fantastic listen for those already accustomed to the abrasive genre.

You didn't see me on the floor weeping
You didn't see me lying by the door
You didn't see me swallowing my tablets
You can't look inside my eyes no more

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

R. Stevie Moore - Clack! (1980)

Stevie is singular -- the concrete universal embodied. Stevie is the patron saint of radical alterity -- and in this way he is far from alien. Stevie is the proper exegesis of pop -- and he knows it and we know it. Stevie has reached the position of absolute knowledge -- and is it now the time, maybe, for our interesting results? Here is the lesson: Stevie serves /his/ intentions rather than those of cultural capital and the endless circulation of genre. You can't transcend the dialectic, cuz whenever you think you have you're deeper in it than you ever thought -- so get inside it enough to get outside; let's see you try. 

Mass - Labour of Love (1981)

Wonderful little gem from 4AD, one of the best albums to come from the label in my opinion. Mass can be quite out there at times, and pretty ahead of their time if you ask me. To describe the album briefly, it's like a looser, angrier, and more demented version of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures LP, that doesn't quite do it justice though, it's really worth a listen. And I'd say that it's definitely a required listen for big fans of This Heat, as the two, to me, are very similar. I honestly think anybody who likes Post-Punk in general should check this out. It's definitely one of my favorite albums of the genre.

Clap your hands
We're doing handstands for fun
Can't win
We're rolling around on the floor

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice - The Flood (2005)

Wooden Wand is the moniker of James Toth, a free folk artist from New York. He's remained quite under the radar, creating quite a few hidden freak folk gems since the dawn of the New Weird America movement of the early 2000's.