Check out this awesomely grimey video of the Melvins performing "Matt-Alec" on what looks like some local access cable TV show, circa 1984. Thud-thud-boom-boom! If nothing else, at least now I know approximately how long it would take to grow my current hairstyle out to King Buzzo's gravity-defying coiffure of recent history.
The song can be found on the awesome Mangled Demos release from a couple years back. (Buy it here.) To quell your more immediate jones, here are a pair of live Melvins tracks for download, both recorded at 2009's All Tomorrow's Parties festival.
London's most excellent arts radio station, Resonance FM, has announced a day of special programming for Saturday, June 19th, from midnight to midnight local time. From the station's website:
Most radio stations rely on playlists. Most rely upon the repetition
of familiar tunes. Resonance104.4fm, the award-winning radio station
which famously does not have playlists, presents an entire day devoted
to a single song.
Radio Yesterday presents 24 solid hours of radio
in the company of The Beatles’ “Yesterday,” reputedly the most covered
song in history – in as many cover versions as it’s possible to secure.
Midnight to midnight, the day after Sir Paul McCartney’s 68th birthday.
Radio Yesterday works on many levels. It’s a forensic
examination of “variations on a theme.” It’s an homage to an enduring
masterpiece. It’s an investigation into what turns a pop song into
currency. It’s a satirical take on “golden oldie” playlists. It’s a
exercise in casual listening taken to a crazy extreme.
As comfort zone turns into endurance test and back, Radio
Yesterday is presented as a conceptual radiophonic artwork,
conceived and produced by Ed Baxter.
It is curated by Dan
Scott who will be live-blogging throughout the day. It features the
voice of our favourite continuity announcer Piers Gibbon.
I had the good fortune to visit Resonance FM on my last voyage to the UK in 2003. (One of the very few occasions in which I exercised my WFMU cred in order to receive special treatment... Though in all honesty, my good pal and London resident Vicki Bennett was really the one who earned my access through the green door, as it were.) I immediately recognized the people running the show at Resonance as kindered spirits in broadcasting. They operate with an acute adoration of radio, but are just as eager to embrace web-based technologies in order to best adapt to the rapidly changing face of the medium. They are great people running a great organization, and their efforts—thematic or otherwise—are well worth our attention. You can listen online with this link. Viva Resonance!
Or to put it more directly, we got a new grill. New-ish, anyway. The guy who just moved out from the apartment above ours left his CharBroil Supreme in the yard, with a vague promise to return for it "on the weekend".
That was a month ago.
Never one to miss an opportunity, I promptly email Landlord and asked if he thought Old Neighbor would ever really return for said grill, as per his prophecy. After a quick email exchange, Old Neighbor decides that trekking across multiple boroughs in expensive rental car in order to retrieve $120 grill not worth the trouble, so Charbroil Supreme deemed abandoned, and quickly scooped by me.
Obviously, it's no luxurious or limited edition Weber model, but seeing as how I was able to mostly dismantle our old grill with a hammer and my foot, anything is an improvement. Old Neighbor apparently used this grill exactly once, so although it has sat exposed to the elements for getting on a year now, it is more or less in tip-top condition, which I intend to begin changing immediately. First up, the boring chicken breasts I bought on sale and then froze on their expiration date—I pulled them out of hibernation last night and let them brine all day in a mixture of water, salt, and a gross, holiday-themed beer that had been rolling around the back of the fridge since Christmas. Certainly nothing fancy, but obviously, I must first acquaint myself with the Charbroil Supreme's various subtleties before I hurl... I don't know, a marinated yak onto it.
Postscript: Now that I own not one but TWO propane cylinders (obviously, we saved the one from our old grill), I feel as though I have crossed some major threshold on the way towards neo-suburbia. It has been said that outdoor grills are like gateway drugs for city-dwellers, and there may be something to that. My wife and I got our first grill two years ago. In the time that has elapsed since then, we also had a kid and bought a compact hatchback. (Or, a "small station wagon", as people say when they are trying to hurt my feelings.) Buyer beware, I guess. If you're really attached to a swingin' social life, maybe you should stick with the rice cooker and your microwave. Consider yourselves warned.
Although it's not as weird as the Mad Man of Manchester's recitation of football results that made the rounds a few years ago, it's good to see that the Fall's Mark E. Smith has once again publicly addressed the world's favorite game with post-punkity panache. Mute ESPN2 for a few minutes and check out Shuttleworth featuring Mark E. Smith performing "World Cup Song".
Jacques Cousteau knew this, and would likely have told us so today were he to have lived to be 100 years old. Kelley Stoltz communicates the idea with a similar pedigree to that most intrepid of deep sea explorers. Happy Birthday, Jacques—Ring on, Kelley!
...and their utterly peerless psych-funk song, "Faust 72", which I first became obsessed with on the Cherrystones Hidden Charms DJ selection comp, back in 2004. A Google image search of the band's name yields upsetting results, but in spite of their questionable dress sense (even for an early 70s French band), there's no denying that these guys could turn it on when they felt like it. And judging from what I've managed to track down, they almost always felt like it.
Listen to: "Faust 72" by Dynastie Crisis
Listen to: "Schizomania" by Dynastie Crisis
More recently, another mysterious song captured the reigns of my musically obsessive brain—this one a lonely psych-folk number sung by an enigmatic chanteuse called Emily, which appeared on the Women Blue: 16 Lost US Femvox Classics compilation. The song is an eerie slice of early 70s melancholia which bares more than a passing resemblance to the kind of dreary Christian singing that's been driving people away from church for decades. Yet somehow, the song's stark and otherworldly tenor is completely captivating, and comes across as something of a revelation within a genre that not too many people remain devoted to in 2010.
Listen to: "Song of Decision" by Emily
This morning, the song popped up in my iTunes rotation again and it finally prompted me to do some research and find out who this Emily was. If my Googling skills are up to task, it turns out that she is one Emily Bindiger, an American singer who recorded a full LP with Dynastie Crisis (from which "Song of Decision" originally came) when she was just 16 years old. She later went on to Broadway, as well as acting and writing for The Great Space Coaster, and collaborating with an eyebrow-raising list of luminaries that includes Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, Leslie Gore, Ronnie Spector, and Neil Sedaka. Weirder still, her website reveals that she wrote commercial jingles for Advil PM, Pepsi, Wendy’s, DHL, Kodak, Crest, Verizon, Bounty, American Express, Gillette, Toyota, and a variety of others. She lives in NYC now, and is a member of a band called the Accidentals. So, umm... yeah. Like I was saying: all roads lead to... Dynastie Crisis.
UPDATE: Immediately after posting this entry, I discovered that Scott Williams scooped me on the Emily/Dynastie Crisis connection almost a full year ago, as revealed by his 8.20.09 WFMU playlist. I hate it when he does that!
Y'all know that I'm not much into the reunion phenom that seems to govern the modern legacies of 80s/90s underground bands. But the enviable lineup for this year's Columbus Music Co-Op Parking Lot Blowout gets a free pass, since I don't think Scrawl ever officially broke up, and the New Bomb Turks haven't been gone long enough to really mark the appearance as a "reunion". The Gibson Brothers, who haven't performed together in a great many years, also earn a get-out-of-jail-free card because they will likely frighten the living hell out of anyone who doesn't know what to expect from them.
Regardless, were I to make the trek for this (which I won't be, unfortunately), the uber-attraction for my five bucks would definitely be Scrawl. Scrawl! Far and away one of the classiest and most unique bands of their era—no one's ever managed to emulate their sound, in spite of them being frequently cited as a huge influence on the Riot Girl bands of 15+ years back. Listen here, as they perform one of my favorite songs in their repertoire, the awesome "Begin" from the Smallmouth LP (1989, Rough Trade Records.)
Also, it's good to see that NJ will be representing in the form of Ted Leo, who's performing at the afterparty. Rumors of a Puzzlehead or Hell No reunion remain unsubstantiated as of this time.
Our Memorial Day grilling plans took an unexpected turn when the vaguely foul smell in the fridge was eventually traced to the chicken thighs I'd been planning to make. Although they still had two days to go before the expiration date, I did not regard the monetary loss as worse than a potential bout of food poisoning, so they were promptly binned. With trotting off to C-Town for replacement meat (at 6 PM on one of the most popular grilling days of the year) not being an idea with any apparent traction, we instead turned to the only other grillable in the house: a whole pork tenderloin.
Rather than just hurl it onto the grill caveman style, I sliced the tenderloin into two inch medallions and then set to concocting a dry rub that eventually joined crushed cumin with brown sugar, freshly ground coffee, chipotle chili powder, garlic, cayenne, plus salt and pepper. With the medallions coated in this potting soil-like mixture and chilling back in the fridge, I moved on to the ridiculous and probably unnecessary task of whipping up a batch of DIY barbecue sauce to brush on to these beasties as they
were set to the hot grill. With consideration for my Jersey upbringing, it's obvious that I have no license to strut around like some kind of barbecue sauce snob. Like most everyone else I know, I grew up with the customary bottled brands and although I never cared much for their corn syrupy textures, I grew to accept the stuff as a reasonable topping for grilled meats upon which ketchup would be inappropriate. ("Chicken", as it is called in some parts of the world.)
As such, I sauteed a bunch of garlic and shallot in olive oil, and then added a bit of ketchup, along with lashings of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, hot sauce, and a few shakes of whichever items from the spice rack seemed appropriate. Or at least barbecue-y. Much to my surprise, the results were super delicious, even without bourbon. (Curse the lack of Makers Mark in the liquor cabinet... what kind of stay-at-home dad am I?!)
Meanwhile, back in the yard, the smokey wonder of the dry-rubbed pork medallions was garnering all kinds of envious looks from the burgers n' dogs crowd that was assembled in the adjacent yard. Not that grilling should be treated as a backyard pecker contest between yourself and the neighbors, but there is definitely a particular swagger associated with eschewing the traditional for coffee and cumin rubbed pork medallions. We considered this concept further over a bottle of rosé, helpings of grilled asparagus, crusty bread, and the pork medallions—which were magnificently juicy and delicious.
Then it started raining, which brought the al fresco routine to a sudden end. Tracks were made for the kitchen, where the happiness resumed and where holiday appropriate Scab Cadillac MP3s were sought with wild abandon. [Listen]