Truly

Fast Stories…From Kid Coma(Capitol/Sub Pop 1995)

http://www.mediafire.com/?2ymzybx2eik

Fast Stories…From Kid Coma is an unheralded gem that was discarded and quickly forgotten amidst the rush to sign the next big thing in the wake of Nirvana’s success, Truly had the pedigree to get the attention of a major label since its members included Hiro Yamamoto of Soundgarden and Mark Pickerel of Screaming Trees, but their predilection for drugged, proggy riffs and dissonant ballads that drag on for twelve minutes disqualified them from the winner’s circle. I never dug the aforementioned bands that much, so it’s kind of surprising that I always keep coming back to this album years later since Truly kind of reminds me of a laid-back stoner version of Soundgarden minus the embarrassing emoting, Robert Plant-esque wails and eagerness to pen a hit. The wildcard in this equation is singer and guitarist Robert Roth whose lazy, deadpan drawl fits the nihilistic, doomed vibe of this concept album about god knows what. In addition, his guitar playing alternates between gorgeous metallic smears of feedback and majestic psychedelic riffing that is simultaneously elegant and damaged all at once.

Another thing that set Truly apart from its peers was its unrelentingly bleak instrumentation and lyrics. There isn’t an upbeat note or verse to be found here. It’s an album designed for those looking to wallow in misery. At times, it even flirts with an oppressive arena rock take on goth ala the Cure’s Disintegration on the slower numbers, albeit with more testosterone and a passion for 70s metal and hard rock. What makes Kid Coma appealing is the fact that it is such a stylistic mess as “Blue Flame Ford” somehow tosses My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless, Nirvana and some hoary classic rock riffs against the wall and it somehow achieves excellence. I’m not saying that the song is brilliant, but the juxtaposition of strange bedfellows works in mysterious ways here. However, the highlights of the album are the long, drawn out melancholy numbers where the band stretches out their legs and lets Roth slowly build an anthem from narcoleptic beginnings to ecstatic peaks and back again to mellower valleys. The duo of “Angelhead” and “Chlorine” last a grand total of twenty minutes, but squash all that I love about 90s alt-rock into twin ballads that whisk me back to stoned nights in my dorm room with an ill-suited hairdo and even worse fashion sense. I understand if Kid Coma disappoints you tremendously since it’s got its share of underwhelming moments to match its impeccable pinnacles, but the gentle, insistent tug of nostalgia gives it a glow that keeps me coming back more than I care to mention.

Obits

One Cross Apiece/Put it in Writing 7-inch

a-side: http://www.mediafire.com/?ozm4tj35mnn

b-side: http://www.mediafire.com/?n2ztmy2mmij

I fondly remember the moment when Drive Like Jehu came to play Philly on their Yank Crime tour. To this day, that album still punches me in the gut and hasn’t lost the immediacy and rush that jolts me alive when the opening to “Here Comes the Rome Plows” kicks in and everything is alright with the world for the next seven minutes. Therefore, my younger and hopelessly awkward doppleganger raced to the front of that seedy bar and basked in all that can be transcendent about those shows where everything goes right and each song drives you a few inches closer to losing your motherfucking mind. It happened that summer night and I swore allegiance to everything having to do with Rick Froberg from that moment onwards. I’ve stuck to my guns since then, so I now embrace the new single by his latest band, Obits.

What I love most about Obits is they fulfill my long festering wish to hear a punk band obsessed with Credence Clearwater Revival since these two seemed like a natural combo ala peanut butter and jelly. Yeah, half of their stuff veers a bit into the bro vibe of his previous band Hot Snakes, but the other half is so mind-bogglingly great and grooves in such a scruffy, intense way. Froberg channels John Fogerty, but reimagines him as a much more aggro fellow and somehow CCR marrying Drive Like Jehu makes perfect sense. This new single reaffirms my faith my love of a good riff as “One Cross Apiece” relies on a repetitive one that walks a fine line between Devo and Queens of the Stone Age. Now that is a questionable combo ala pretzels and salsa, but it somehow works some magic and gets the head a-noddin’ and the toes a-tappin’. Eventually it gives way to some Peter Hook-esque bassline and Froberg starts ranting about some apocalyptic world where God speaks through men and uses him to defeat his enemies. The flipside is all about furious strumming of guitars and furious pleading and it reveals yet another side of a man whose music has yet to disappoint this humble soul.


Destroyer

Streethawk: A Seduction (Misra 2001)

http://www.mediafire.com/?0tbqat1m0d9

Before I begin, I am very sorry for disappearing for such a long vacation. Shit has hit the proverbial fan and blogs seem inconsequential. However, it stinks less than last week, so here I am.

Before he lost himself in a lyrical labyrinth of his own creation, Dan Bejar, otherwise knows as Destroyer, was one of the most witty, dense lyricists of the 90s. The cryptic lyrics and Bowie nods were plentiful, but they worked despite themselves, Streethawk: A Seduction is the first album where he really shed his indie-rock cocoon and became some wordy bastard child of Hunky Dory. Later albums became more verbose and complex, but Streethawk is the one where his knack for penning a catchy, but bizarro tune melded perfectly with a love of Bowie. Yes, subsequent efforts like This Night and Rubies pinched from different Bowie albums and were equally dense, but this one has an almost Dylan-esque ramble to it. By no means are any of Destroyer’s albums on par with the highlights of both of these legends, but Streethawk hints that Bejar could be a bizarro version if he cut the fat from his sometimes pretentious songs.  However,  even his most bloated songs break my fragile ticker when he aims for the bullseye and hits it perfectly.

I have always had a romantic fascination with Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo, so Destroyer’s “Virgin with a Memory” always floors me with its opening line of ” Was it the movie or the making of Fitzcarraldo where someone learned to love again.”  Al;though it is only an intro, it is a perfect image to conjure for a song about someone coming to grips with the weight of an actual passion. It may be overwrought to compare Herzog’s torture of sailing a riverboat up the Amazon, but somehow it is a fitting analogy for an emotionally stunted soul struggling to feel emotions that are dangerous, but electric. It is a song that celebrates youth and its infinte possibilies where all is new and raw.

Sometimes his lyrics sound better in song  than when read, but they are always interesting even when it winds up as a pile of well-crafted nonsense.  His discography is spotted with flaws, but somehow I keep listening to his albums because his flaws are infinitely more interesting than most musician’s successes.

I’m guessing this was a fundraising item during WFMU’s pledge drive in 2004. Compiled by John Allen, it collects a veritable who’s who of indie rock circa 1989. However, most of this compilation veers towards the punk end of the spectrum. It is great to hear some old favorites and get the chance to listen to some great songs that never made it onto their respective albums. It does an excellent job of summing of the the cream of the crop. It is even more impressive due to the fact that it focuses on a single year and catches many of these bands in their prime. I haven’t heard some of these songs in over a decade it brings back memories of bands that lost me with later efforts, but this comp is forcing me to reevaluate some of my opinions. Extra points for emulating the design and approach of Chuck Warner’s Messthetics comps that have lovingly collected forgotten punk and new wave gems.

Various Artists

Killed by Murder Volume One

http://www.divshare.com/download/5271141-fff

tracklist

16 Tons-Lauren(No Blow)

Action Swingers-Kicked in the head(Noiseville)

Bricks-Girl with the Carrot Skin(merge)

Dead Moon-Black september (Tombstone)

Death of Samantha-Rosenberg Summer (Homestead)

Die Kreuzen-Gone Away (Touch and Go)

Drunks With Guns-Drug Problem (Noiseville)

Dwarves-Drug Store (Sub Pop)

Gibson Brothers-Emusified (Siltbreeze)

Go Team-Ribeye (K)

Halo of Flies-There Aint No Hell (Amrep)

HP Zinker-The Know it All(Matador)

Ickey Joey-Ill Love You There (C/Z)

Jesus Lizard-Chrome (Touch and Go)

Lee Harvey Oswald Band-Ligtning Strikes (Touch and Go)

Lonely Moans-Rockinerd (amrep)

Love Child-Know its Alright (Sympathy)

Melvins-Anal Satan (Sympathy)

Monster Magnet-Lizard Johnny (Circuit)

Mudhoney-Hate the police (Subpop)

Seaweed-Inside (Leopard gecko)

Surgery-Not Going Down(Amrep)

Tar-Same (Amrep)

Treepeople-Important Things(Silence)

Unsane-This Town (Treehouse)

Vomit launch-Every Pretty Girl (teenbeat)

I’ve been pondering the posting of lists. This will be the first in a series of thematic collections relating to floats my boat. Today’s list was inspired by a humid drive into the barren heart of Delaware County where Peter Jefferies’ depressing Electricity album placed me in one of those pensive moods that went perfectly with the blur of chain restaurants dominating my horizons. Therefore, this led to this list of songs that always make me feel like a maudlin chump. Sorry that these are individual tracks, but I broke it up so you may pick and choose. There will probably be a sequel since I gave up at twenty.

1. Skip Spence-“Broken Heart” from the Oar LP

-he sounds broken down before his life even began. There are many worthy choices on this album, but this captures the weight of love gone wrong.

http://www.mediafire.com/?dxntyjgtxyv

2. Beck-“Lost Cause” from the Sea Change Lp

-he has devoted so much time to being the most wiggity-wack Scientologist in the club that you forget how great he can be without the fixins’. A vivid snapshot of regret, lost friendships and the worry that goes along with new beginnings.

http://www.mediafire.com/?2tst2o2jbts

3. Bread-“Look What You’ve Done” from the On the Waters LP

-a soft-rock classic where the protagonist is pitiful and pissed at the same time. Who knew Bread had such issues with passive aggressive behavior?

http://www.mediafire.com/?nfzg1c4gg91

4. Camper Van Beethoven-“All Her Favorite Fruit” from Key Lime Pie LP

-domesticity gone awry.

http://www.mediafire.com/?r69tkztryc2

5. Codeine-“3 Angels” from the Frigid Stars LP

-I could probably pick any of their songs, but this one crushes you more than the others.

http://www.mediafire.com/?3005tccwn42

6. Galaxie 500-When Will You Come Home” from Peel Sessions

http://www.mediafire.com/?mauo9b1cnem

An old chestnut that deals with those times you miss the company of other humans.

7. Gary Stewart-“She’s Acting Single(I’m Drinking Doubles) from The Essential Gary Stewart

http://www.mediafire.com/?dgibufxxzum

-Oh Gary, lemme give you a big old hug. Nevermind, let’s finish the bottle.

8. Gene Clark-“Life’s Greatest Fool” from the No Other Lp

http://www.mediafire.com/?39z1yp4mmog

-an exploration of powerlessness, then hope. Actually, this is kind of uplifting in its own way.

9. Go-Betweens-“Dive For Your Memory” from 16 lovers Lane LP

http://www.mediafire.com/?ify3xjmnyyw

-A man willing to do anything to regain the past. Kind of romantic, but tragic.

10. Graham Nash-“Military Madness” from the Songs For Beginners LP

http://www.mediafire.com/?hiyftjm9pdn

-Sad only because its Vietnam era warnings seem relevant again.

11. The Jayhawks-“Take Me With You When You Go” from Hollywood Town Hall

http://www.mediafire.com/?1tcummrzuyd

-I always imagined this to be about Mark Olson’s worries about his wife’s struggle with Multiple Sclerosis.

12. Kristin Hersh-“Beestung” from Hips and Makers Lp

http://www.mediafire.com/?pqdg46mvcky

-I don’t know what the hell she’s talking about, but it seems to deal with her struggles with mental illness and her pleas for a lover to assist her.

13. Lisa Gerrard-“Sanvean” from Live in Dusseldorf bootleg.

http://www.mediafire.com/?ndelmnjn9an

-I hope these are the sounds I hear as my life enters its last minutes.

14. The Magick Heads-“Before We Go Under” from Before We Go Under Lp

http://www.mediafire.com/?lmy9qzbtgzo

-A song about drowning from a side project of Robert Scott of The Bats.

15. Michael Hurley-“Sweedeedee” from Armchair Boogie(the best album ever made)

http://www.mediafire.com/?axmtoxymmuc

-another tale of lost love and the attempts to regain it.

16. Mickey Newbury-“The Future’s Not What It Used To Be” from ‘Frisco Mabel Joy

http://www.mediafire.com/?lxmd2y1ddij

-a man discovers that travel and booze won’t solve his problems. Go figure.

17. Peter Jefferies-“Scattered Logic” from the Electricity lp

http://www.mediafire.com/?el1jtm1ej3n

– my favorite song at the moment. A heart-wrenching three minutes.

18. John Cale-“I Keep a Close Watch on My Heart at Night” from Music for a New Society

http://www.mediafire.com/?nxtwsbscisl

-somebody not only broke this dude’s heart, but squashed it into a pulp.

19. Peter Hammill-“Been Alone So Long” from the Nadir’s Big Chance Lp

http://www.mediafire.com/?semmnz2ejsd

-This is a close second to the John Cale song in terms of crushing hopelessness. A song about a man who has been isolated so long that he’s forgotten how to relate to humanity.

20. Marc Ribot-“Saints” from the Saints Lp

http://www.mediafire.com/?qbadnytjjdx

-let’s end on a wordless note. His cover of Albert Ayler’s “Saints” is a dark, moody end to this self-indulgence.