Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tonight at Music Hall of Williamsburg: Guilt By Association Vol. 2

Hey Kids:

JS-NYC will be out at Music Hall Of Williamsburg  for The Tripwire tonight, courtesy of Samantha at Tell All Your Friends. Robbers On High Street are playing, along with Jukebox The Ghost, Takka Takka, and Lowry. It's a record release party for Guilt By Association Vol. 2. 


Look for a review on The Tripwire early next week. 

Thanks to Derek at The Tripwire and Samantha at Tell All Your Friends.


Friday, January 30, 2009

Aldenbarton debut a gang of new songs at Fontana's

I'm still waiting on photographic proof, but I saw Aldenbarton play with Spray Paint Star at Fontana's last night. I only caught the end of the SPS set, but suffice to say they are representing the Spirit Of '88 in a way that only H20 has in recent years. They aren't hardcore, but the sure love themselves the pop from that era. It was ok, made more notable by the presence of my ex-bass teacher (and Springsteen Seeger band player) Jeremy Chatsky and sometime Sandusky  fill-in drummer Timmy in their ranks. Good guys, and I guess they are opening for They Might Be Giants tonight in Rhode Island, so good on 'em.

Aldenbarton played next, as sort of unknowing openers to a surprise performance from what appeared to be Joe and the Hot Dogs in their Mott The Stupid incarnation. Aldenbarton heated up the room with a couple songs from their I-tunes debut Exodus Of The Eldest, then proceeded to floor everyone in attendance with a gang of new tunes that they've been cooking up in the studio. Good stuff, especially that New England song (not a Billy Bragg cover, douchenozzle). They are back in the studio next month, hopefully we'll get those tracks out and in our earhole soon. In the meantime, check them out next Tuesday (2/3) at temporal wormhole Cake Shop with The Visitations and get the Exodus EP on I-tunes..

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Katt Williams - It's Pimpin' Pimpin'

I always enjoyed Katt Williams. His Comedy Central specials were a good time and I guess have spawned a bunch of film work for him. Or maybe vice versa?

Speaking of vice, our Katt seems to be indulging a bit more than he should be as of late. He has been quite the tabloid darling: missing a Conan O'Brien appearance, having gun charges levied against him, shit talking about Steve Harvey and recently being slapped off a stage. And that's just in the last couple of months. While the shit is being stirred up, scuttlebutt is that perhaps that the Diplomats chain he's sporting on the cover is a bygone affiliation, as well, and that KW may be retiring from stand-up? I smell a Martin Lawrence turn in the future, but maybe it's all Interweb conjecture.

Williams' personal issues aside, he's managed to release a new CD and DVD called It's Pimpin' Pimpin'. It's a live recording from DC. If the title doesn't already tell you, it's business as usual for him. The usual subjects are covered: his son (assumably biological and not one of his alleged 100+ foster kids), weed (this time, via the vaporizer), and self-reliance (look up 'star player' in the Katt lexicon). It's all pretty hysterical, as are the stories about him finally getting a motorcycle and his commentary on Oscar Pistorius' Olympic medal bid. Comedy Central has been airing this a bunch, but you can get your own copy here, if you'd like. Pick it up and pay for Katt's retirement, or at least his legal bills.


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

William Elliott Whitmore - Animals In The Dark

I met Whitmore at Twangfest in St. Louis a couple of years ago. I ended up talking with him and the guys from Backyard Tire Fire while they soundchecked and took solace in that fact that even if their bands ended up sucking that night, they sure seemed to be good people. During our chat, William mentioned that he lived in a shack in Iowa without heat or running water, but so genuinely that it didn't seem to be just dropped to impress. He played an early set later that night to a real Hank III kind of crowd ranging from trainhopper crust kids to grey-haired purists, all of whom seemed to enjoy a drink.

Whitmore played solo, as is his custom, with only sparse banjo and guitar to accompany him. He was in good voice and the crowd was really into him, especially that ladies. I remember liking him, but listening to Animals In The Dark, I would have thought a guy who sings like he does would make me pay attention. Frankly, I'm not sure how I feel about his voice. My first thought was that it was way too Chambers Brothers and maybe a tad affected. At some parts it even gets a little Darius Rucker and I'm not sure that's really the best idea if you're playing to the Anti- set, but what do I know?

My shitting on him aside, Whitmore is definitely talented in the playing and singing departments, and for his Anti- debut he's fleshed out the tracks a bit, embellishing the tracks with spartan string and steel parts to burnish things up. I really need to check out his older recorded stuff (six records) on Southern. The rawer stuff like Hell Or High Water reminds me of Preston Long in his Young James Long incarnation and you don't get much better than that. In poking around, Whitmore seems to be a solid guy with a soulful voice and a populist bent. Hopefully the move to Anti has prompted a move to more winter weather friendly habitation. My misgivings aside, Animals In The Dark is well worth checking out, do that here and maybe even buy it from the good folk of Anti- if you see fit. If you get bitten by the bug, keep track on Whitmore's current whereabouts here.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Kurious Jorge Record!

Whouda thought, Kurious is back! You should remember I'm Kurious and Mansion And A Yacht from back in the day, or if you were a Purchase kid from the early 90s maybe you saw him at parties. Either way, he was a good guy to drink a 40oz with and had some fun tunes, a lot of which were produced by the mighty Beatnuts. The Beatnuts pop up behind the boards here, as do VIC and Dame Grease. If you're into such things (and I am) MF Doom and MC Serch pop up on the old school compliant Benetton, too. Pick up Kurious Jorge's II from Amalgam Digital on 3/24 here. Track listing is below. Crate diggers can rest assured that there will be hard copies as well. You can check out the first single Back From Up Under (feat. Max B) here.


1.) Take What is Given (produced by Dame Grease)
2.) Back with VIC (produced by VIC)
3.) Work It (produced by 88-Keys)
4.) Sittin' In My Car (produced by Ed Noodles)
5.) Drinks In The Air f/Vanessa Liftig (produced by Boola)
6.) Animals and Horses f/Kadi (produced by Yogi)
7.) Rubberbandz (produced by The Beatnuts)
8.) Benetton f/MC Serch & Mf Doom (produced by Sosa)
9.) Rain On f/Co Campbell (produced by Dame Grease)
10.) Wake Up f/Vanessa Liftig (produced by Team Demolition)
11.) Smiling (produced by Domingo)
12.) Brand New Day f/Dave Dar & Co Campbell (produced by Hi-Tek)
13.) Mysterious (produced by Boola)
14.) New Heights (produced by Oner)
15.) Back From Up Under f/Max B (produced by Dame Grease)
16.) Is This the End (produced by Sosa)
17.) Prosperous (produced by Fyre Dept.)
18.) The Magician f/ Del The Funky Homosapien
(produced by James Strong)**** Amalgam Digital BONUS TRACK

Monday, January 26, 2009

Hot Chillin' presents The Juice Crew EP

First off, all props are due to the mighty for the heads up that this even exists.
Robbie over there is a connoisseur of hip-hop old and new, but his love of the mighty Kool G. Rap shines through. The Juice Crew EP features two unreleased KGR and Polo, plus three more unreleased Juice Crew cuts from the vaults of Marley Marl himself. It's vinyl only, with four possible colors and an $80 price tag. Horribly enough, it's probably already sold out, but if you are a fan of the era, you would do well to start trolling the interwebs and trying to find some mp3s of these tracks.

Kool G. Rap and DJ Polo come out the gate swinging with I Declare War. It's a leftover from the Road To The Riches record. KGR sets a formidable rhyme pace from the opening lines and bobs and weaves for almost four minutes, rocking the beat while Polo weighs in with some nasty, nasty scratches. KGR is pretty much unfuckwithable here.

The next track is from Super Kids, who had a young Tragedy Khadafy in their ranks, although back then he was Tragedy The Intelligent Hoodlum. Frankly, I'm not sure how many Super Kids there were, or if any of them were female, but while all of the MCs comprising said Super Kids have skills, their pre-pubescent voices also sound a lot like Roxanne Shante in cadence and register. I actually thought it was Shante the first time. For young kids, though, they come hard. Don't get these kids mixed up with Another Bad Creation.

Now I'm as big a mark for Big Daddy Kane as Robbie at Unkut is for KGR. That's no disrespect to G. Rap, just a statement of preference. KGR is a true rhyme animal, but Kane sets it off on side two with For Your Own Concern, where he simply tears the Marley track the fuck up. Kane is just a beast. He rhymes with swagger and authority over the mid-tempo beat, decimating all rappers in his path and taking time to clear his throat and mock other rappers while he does it. The track was recorded for and left off Long Live The Kane, If you hear this, compare it to anything in the current hip-hop Top 10, then consider the track is over 20 years old and deemed unfit for release. Kane is at the peak of his powers here, but even today in his 50's, Kane is harder and more hip-hop than most of the chumps in the game today.

Coming off the opening track, you would figure G. Rap couldn't have have two amazing tracks that ended up on the cutting room floor, right? I mean, what are the chances? Consider those odds beaten: while a crappier version of this was released previously, Enter The Dragon lives up to it's namesake, kicking ass without mercy for 5 :10. KGR doesn't even seem to pause to take a breath for the duration, but never rhymes fast for the sake of showing off. How anyone can listen to Twista or B.O.N.E without losing their mind is beyond me, although I can give begrudging props to the Ohio contingent's ability to harmonize. I don't want to hear it, but they kinda do it ok. This KGR cast-off is better than either of those crews entire recorded output.

The five songs close with a surprise track from Craig G, who drops some old-school science over some disco-infused boom-bap. It's up there with any of his big singles, but is still one the weaker (ie not Kane or KGR) of the five tracks here. That's like saying that GZA is the fifth best rapper in the Wu, while his rank may be in question, he's still nicer than most, and Craig G still brings it.

While these five tracks are total bangers, $80 seems more than a little ridiculous, but while things are murky in this regard, it seems like maybe Marley is behind Hot Chillin', which takes the moniker from dumb to a pretty awesome fuck you to the Cold Chillin camp. If all this is going in Marley's pocket, more power to him. Makes me think that the limited numbers are an attempt to keep those royalty checks to a minimum, but pop on over here and try and figure out who the mastermind of this is.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

La Coka Nostra - Brand Name Dope EP

For the uninitiated, La Coka Nostra is a supergroup of sorts, featuring the gents from House Of Pain, along with Ill Bill from Non-Phixion, Slaine from the criminally underrated Special Teams and some guy named Big Left. Of course, there are also guest spots from Cypress Hill, Psycho Realm and (ahem) Danny Diablo. I can't say that I'm really feeling Brand Name Dope, though. I always liked HOP, even as late as Truth Crushed To Earth Will Rise Again, but after Everlast's unexpected solo career it seemed like we'd seen the last of the Irish triumverate. I can't say that any of the gents in LCN seem to be bringing their A Game to the table on Brand Name Dope, but maybe you'll feel differently. Ill Bill and Everlast are co-executive producers of the project and it seems to be coming out on Ill Bill's Uncle Howie Records in conjunction with Suburban Noize (run by Daddy X, sXe guy from Doggy Style and Kottonmouth Kings). Keep up on the goings-on with the La Coka Nostra here, and look out for the full-length called A Brand You Can Trust in the next couple months.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Morrissey - Years Of Refusal

So when did Morrissey start making good records again? I liked The Smiths as much as the average guy trying to get laid in college and followed the careers of the members in passing as they splintered, but in my heart I was always a Johnny Marr man, although his dalliance with Modest Mouse has tested that devotion in a way that has gone untested since the days of Electronic. I can only pray for a The The reunion tour and/or incarceration of the retarded guy that fronts that nightmare. 

Morrissey has lived in L.A. since the late part of the last millenium and his tenure in the City Of Angels has ingratiated him to the East LA set. It also fostered a good working relationship with the late producer Jerry Finn. Much has been made of Morrissey's recent work, and the word renaissance has been bandied about with greater accuracy than in recent years. I know that he's having sex again (openly, and assumably with a gentleman) and that change has revitalized his career more than Latin Americans have, but I never thought Years Of Refusal would be even close to this good. 

Jerry Finn (with help from long-time cohort Roger Manning) manned the producer's chair for the last two Morrissey releases. I'm not sure how Finn managed to do it, but he seems to have gotten the notoriously single-minded Manc to experiment with sounds and textures, especially with the vocals, and all the tracks were recorded live. I hope that it's not telling that Finn died soon after these recordings. After nine solo records, it's nice to hear a little bit of change in The Miserable One. Granted, there was the rockabilly turn that served as a simultaneous artistic demarcation and death knell for The Smiths era. That turn was spearheaded by Boz Boorer and current ex-Moz band Alain White, both of whom weigh in heavily as regards co-writes on Years Of Refusal. Current second guitarer (and ex-Red Hot Chili Pepper) Jesse Tobais cleans up the rest. Regardless of the six-string foil, Morrissey jumps all over the song and makes the track shine here. I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris is the first single, a Boorer co-write that Morrissey's been joking is his Eurovision entry. It's not quite that pop, but it sure is a great tune. 

Wonderfully enough for us, Years of Refusal is full of quality tunes. There are a dozen on the record, plus a couple ancillary b-sides that will pop up on singles and whatnot. Morrissey's on Lost Highway in the States, now, serving to show how Peter Jesperson continues to be a quality set of ears for that franchise. Plus, I would venture our Steven isn't hounding him for Bob Stinson stories.  Morrissey drops this record state-side on February 16 and is allegedly headlining Coachella, if you're into such things.  Keep track on all your Mozzer related stuff, including live dates here. Maybe there will also be active discourse as to why Morrissey is cupping the kid's nuts-to-be on the cover.  Barring Blind Faith-ian issues with cover art, you can get Years Of Refusal from the good folk of Lost Highway here on the 16th.  If you're over the moon about the Moz, get the import with a DVD here. I sure would.


Friday, January 23, 2009

Lifter Puller Anthology Info

Hey Kids:

Looks like more info on the new Lifter Puller anthology is trickling out. It's a pleasure to hear that they are finally re-releasing all this stuff as soon as I've ponied up big bucks to get their entire catalog on Ebay.

Jessica Hopper put out a request on her blog for LP stories and pictures a couple months ago and Steve Dude was on local Minneapolis radio talking it up, so it looks like things are moving along nicely. Not quickly, mind you. Details are sketchy as to how the retrospective will manifest itself, but there are semi-firm details concerning a book that is to be included and punknews seem to believe that French Kiss will have a hand in the proceedings. Interesting! We can only hope for live shows to commemorate the anthology's release.

Keep up on what's doing at the Lifter Puller web presence here.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Batillus digital EP

Regular readers of JS-NYC know of my love of the Batillus. These Brooklyn metal merchants have pummeled their way into my eardrums on a number of live occasions, but I was anxious to get the home version of the Batillus so that I might share the delights with my neighbors.

The Gravel Chime MP3 was a nice teaser, and at a shade over 11 minutes it was longer than a lot of bands EPs we get at the JS-NYC HQ. If you grabbed the MP3 when we posted, you know that it's well worth the time investment. After the slow build, things jump off nicely around the seven minute mark, whereafter one would do well to hold on to one's ass. Go there. The other twenty minutes are filled by a couple of live staples in Make Me An Iron Hand and Kamala, the latter quite a new school doom opus, with pretty quiet parts in its middle section that lend a nice contrast to the heavier portions of the EP.

While there are quiet parts, the dynamic duo of loud and heavy are rarely far away. Space and sludge are dispensed in equal portions throughout Batillus and while there are no vocals (as yet) on the songs here, your inner headbanger and chin scratcher will both be well sated by the end of this half hour cruise. Pick Batillus up for free from the gents here. Word is there will be hard copies coming down the pike soon, but check out their web presence for all your merchandising needs, including some bad-ass poster action.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Andi Smith - Home Perm

Andi Smith is from St. Louis (her take: cheaper and easier to feel superior there) but despite her lack of residency in time-honored soul-sapping nexuses like NYC or L.A., she has risen to a level that a lot of comedians, female or otherwise, have yet to attain. Maybe you've seen her on Last Comic Standing or Comedy Central. Homeperm is her first record(ing) and it puts her up there with Morgan Murphy and Maria Bamford. She's pretty crass, but just as funny, which makes her pretty aces in my book. Whether you like your humor about foster kids, West Virginia miners or Nigerian prison gang rape, Smith has got you covered.

Smith has been putting in a lot of road word lately, so you might best keep track of her whereabouts here. In the interim, you can pick up a copy of Homeperm here for $12.


Monday, January 19, 2009

DJ Mike Nice presents Brooklyn Bullshit mixtape

If you're like me (and I pray that you're not) and you have to have everything your favorite artist releases, the internet can be a godsend. On the other hand, you can get rampant carcass picking (see: Tupac) or lots of rehashing, like our dear friend Puff and his whoring of Biggie's legacy. Puff has released pretty much all of the verses he can cobble together, but there are some rare pre-Bad Boy demo and freestyles recordings out there, most probably from the vaults of DJ 50 Grand, that have leaked out recently.

DJ Mike Nice has put together old and new B.I.G material with rare Jay-Z and Big Daddy Kane cuts to make a must-have mixtape. How (and why) he's releasing it for free is beyond me, but take advantage and pick it up for free here. Track listing is below.


01. Notorious B.I.G - Intro
02. Shakespeare - KingsCounty (Brooklyn Bullshit Anthem)
03. biggie spittin at 12
04. biggie - music video box freestyle
05. biggie - soul power197 rhymes
06. Fulton St. battle at 17
07. big daddy kane & jayz - bday party freestyle 9-10-91
08. biggie - guranteed raw
09. big daddy kane/kool g rap - raw (demo)
10. jay-z/sauce money - rippin it up
11. big daddy kane - aint no half steppin (demo)
12. biggie - blind alley freestyle (demo)
13. biggie-i love you (teenage recording)
14. biggie - dont love no hoe
15. jay-z/sauce money - nothing but love (demo)
16. biggie - biggie got the hype shit (demo)
17. big daddy kane - raw attitude (unreleased)
18. jay-z - high powered (at age 17)
19. jay-z/sauce money - broken english & drug selling (demo)
20. notorious big - party and bullshit (extended version)
21. biggie - 16 bars at the lyrical lounge in 1993
22. jay-z - whats in a name (demo)
23. big daddy kane - sing my song (unreleased)
24. jay-z - pass the roc
25. big daddy kane - set it off (unreleased remix)
26. big daddy kane - for your own concern (demo)
27. biggie - childhood rhymes
28. jay-z - greatest mc (demo)
29. biggie/sadat x - come on (1st take demo version)
30. biggie - niggaz bleed
31. notorious big - big millionaire (unreleased verse)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wino - Punctuated Equilibrium

Scott 'Wino' Weinrich has been around since the dawn of doom metal, whether it be through his early work with The Obsessed or St. Vitus or his recently defunct Hidden Hand, but to the best of my knowledge this is his first solo record. Evidently the demise of HH prompted Wino to take the reins and maybe take advantage of whatever momentum he may have garnered through that Dave Grohl metal record appearance. He drafted in Jean Paul from Clutch and Jon Blank from the unfortunately named Rezin and set to saturating some tape and moving some air.

The fact that the stoner/doom idiom has bands called Rezin and covers like the one Punctuated Equilibrium  sports makes it easy to take shots at the hesher leanings. They wouldn't be all that unfounded. PE displays most of the Sabbath tendencies you'd expect, and the power trio format lets everybody stretch out. Wino and the boys do throw down. You need look no farther than Gods, Frauds, Neo-cons and Demagogues to find said rockage. If you'd like things a little slower and sludgier, check out Eyes Of The Flesh. J. Robbins captures every black-lunged note of Punctuated Equilibrium with his usual unobtrusive style, with an occasional stab of Electric Ladyland phasing to remind you what genre you're listening to. 

It'd be fun to hear this stuff live, but the new Shrinebuilder project looks to trump any chance of Wino touring behind this. The band features Al from Sleep, Scott Kelly from Neurosis. Dale from Melvins along with Wino and seems to be the new doom Golden Smog. Load those bongs and buy a fresh lighter, I see Doritos stock jumping through the roof with the advent of both Wino projects.

Keep track on all things Wino, including his predilection for ape hangers, here. Get Punctuated Equilibrium from the good folk of Southern Lord here. The Doritos are up to you.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Eric Hutchinson - Sounds Like This

Eric Hutchinson is from Maryland, although he's currently making NYC his in-between tour home. After releasing Sounds Like This in 2007, he started snowballing via the internet. A friend hooked him up with Perez Hilton, who it terrifies me is now considered a musical tastemaker, and it was off to the races. A deal with Maverick fell through when the label went under, but he became an I-tunes phenom, eventually becoming the highest-charting unsigned artist in the net portal's history. 

I saw him the other night on Conan and figured that he was going to be a second-rate Ben Folds, but Hutchinson really seems to have some talent. There are some BF leanings, but Hutchinson is much more soulful.

For a white guy, the soul thing is a slippery slope, and rightfully so. Shawn Smith and Happy Chichester have flown under the radar for years, and while Timberlake seems to be genuinely talented, he's also opened the door for Alan Thicke's kid and that bozo from Maroon 5. That can't be condoned in good faith by this asshole. Hutchinson helms the band from the piano, lending a Stevie Wonder meets Joe Jackson at Billy Joel's place in the Hamptons vibe to Sounds Like This. I've suffered through many a white muso passing through his Stevie Wonder phase (usually right after a dalliance with either Roxy Music or maybe Can) and it rapidly becomes the equivalent of the guy who plays acoustic at parties to try and fuck your girlfriend.  Even when it's good, you can't help but hate. Or at least I can't.

Hutchinson can sing his ass off, and knows his way around a hook. Guys like him come around every couple years (see: Mike Viola, Jonny Polansky and the aforementioned Mr. Folds) but we rarely see them move even to the level of a Jason Faulkner or Matthew Sweet. The song Rock and Roll is blowing up, and for better or for worse we may see Hutchinson go all Jack Johnson on our ass, or even worse Dave Matthews. He's not as spartan as Johnson, or as wanky as Matthews, but is just as good with a hook. Sounds Like This is crossover enough that I see very big things for Hutchinson in 2009. Given the success of his 2008, the big time certainly seems to loom ominously.

Keep up with all goings-on with Eric at his personal web presence. You can get Sounds Like This there for $8.99 and I suggest you do. Here's a link. Thank me later.


Friday, January 16, 2009

Props Due: Double Cross Webzine

Yowza! I blundered on to this blog a day or so ago and it's pretty much taken over my life since then. I wasn't a hardcore kid, although I knew some of the local players in the early 90s Albany scene. Once I moved down to NYC in the early 90s, I ended up meeting and/or playing with a lot of the movers and shakers in the NY Hardcore Scene. As I started getting more and more into the history of the local hardcore scene, it was funny to put the pieces together and realize how close I had been to some of the seminal events in the last 20 years. The JS-NYC location on the swinging Lower East Side is close to a lot of history that's reminisced about and commemorated at Double Cross and I'm glad to have been in the thick of it.

Double Cross is curated by Tim McMahon from Mouthpiece and his buddy Gordo. It has a straight-edge lean, but not exclusively. There's no judgement, but there is a whole lot of Judge coverage. Double Cross is well respected and positioned to get some of the classic stories from hardcore history, as well as rare still and video clips. I can't get enough of it and I'm far from Edge. I've spent easily eight hours of the last twenty-four poring over the interviews and entries and don't plan on stopping til I'm caught up. Where else are you going to find out who introduced Varsity Jackets into the sXe scene or find out who Porcell's top ten moshers are. There's also a good amount of shit talking. It's a good Net read, but this needs to printed in book form stat. In meantime, check out Double Cross here and pick up the Mouthpiece discography when it drops this Tuesday on Revelation


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Superchunk - The Clambakes #4: Sur La Bouche Live In Montreal 1993

Bizarrely enough, Superchunk - The Clambakes #4: Sur La Bouche Live In Montreal 1993 is the only the second installment of love for the Sweet Chunky Goodness at JS-NYC. Ever odder, it's another live release. This is the fourth installment of The Superchunk Clambakes series. Previous installments contained rarities and improv material, but Vol. 4 documents a ripping live set from Montreal; one that marks the early days of the current Superchunk lineup. As the Francophiles in our midst may have already ascertained, it's a show from the On The Mouth tour. 

The band is in fine fettle and tight as all get out. You can hear that they've been on the road for a couple weeks. Listening to the two recent live releases from the Chunk, it's pretty funny how absolutely identical the band is sonically and personality-wise. Granted they are tighter here than on the Cradle Show but Jim is still a smart-ass and Mac still has the exact droll stage manner on this '93 recording that you'll hear at the rare Chunk live shows in this millennium. It so good, and only really serves to remind us all how remarkably boring and/or shitty most bands are today. It's not rocket surgery, kids: Good songs, catchy guitar, Jon Wurster. It's easy enough to get your own slant on the first two, and you might even be able to get the third if you play your cards right. If he'll play with Marah, as long as the Chunk are on blocks it's not out of the realm of possibility that he'd play with your shitty band. And speaking of shitty bands, here's a forum topic: Gaslight Anthem are the new Marah. The corollaries are scary. Don't get it twisted: that is not in any way a good thing, but you know Asslight want Steve Earle to do their next record.

But I digress. The Clambakes #4 is being released solely in the digital format, which kinda sucks. I'm not looking for gatefold vinyl, but I think we all would have paid more for packaging. The set La Bouche is nineteen tunes, with most of the stuff you'd expect to hear in 1993: Package Thief, On The Mouth, Cadmium. No Slack Motherfucker, but I think we've all heard enough of that tune in the set over the last ten or fifteen years.  You can get Sur La Bouche Live In Montreal from the Merge Digital Store for a mere $8.99 in the mp3 format. If your audiophilic ways necessitate lossless FLAC , it'll cost you $11.49. I haven't heard the decoded FLAC version, but lets not gild any fucking lilies, shall we? Fire up the ol' downloader and get this. Regardless of your audio leanings the set list is great, Superchunk are great, and it's cheap; plus safe money is on it being better than anything currently on Pitchfork's front page. Buy this shit and turn it up loud. 


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Free G-Dep Mixtape!

G. Dep is yet another casualty of a Bad Boy tenure. With B.I.G dead and Black Rob and Shyne on an Up North Trip, I guess you could say that he got the best of the fallout. After the hype and subsequent fall-out of Let's Get It, Dep relocated down to the Carolinas a couple years ago and set to dropping a gang of mixtapes with DJ Enyce.

This one is the second of the G. Ometry series and I gotta say that maybe I was prepared to drink some Haterade while I listened. I think that The Hiatus Vol. 2 starts a little slow, but ultimately G. Dep sets to ripping shit up. I can't say that he's deposed Black Rob as my favorite ex-Bad Boy label guy, but this is pretty solid.

Snag this shit for free here. If you want to rekindle ties, keep tabs on G. Dep here.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tommy Keene review up at The Tripwire

Hey Boy(s) and Girl(s):

Review of the new Tommy Keene record In The Late Bright is up at The Tripwire. Check it out here.

Thanks to Derek Evers at The Tripwire.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Jay Bennett - Whatever Happened, I Apologize

Jay Bennett is a talented guy. After coming up with Titanic Love Affair in the 90's, he teamed up with Jeff Tweedy post-Uncle Tupelo dissolution to form a little band you may have heard of called Wilco. The first two records were good, great from where I'm sitting, and I saw a ton of the shows behind both releases. The second record, Being There, was a double, and showed Tweedy as a gent that might not be all that tightly wrapped. Perhaps you were at the Mercury Lounge show back in the day when he jumped off the stage, coked to the gills, and grabbed literally their biggest fan by the neck for mentioning that the bass might be too loud, then stormed off like a two-year-old for a half-hour before he returned, asking if all the assholes had left. That was great for all parties involved.

And a point of reckoning, yet another case of where it might not be the best idea to get that close to your favorite artists, literally or figuratively. Being There was still a pretty great record and tour, but it soon started to get kind of Agatha Christie out Chicago way. UT holdover Ken Coomer was the first to go, then Bob Egan and Max Johnston, leaving Tweedy and bassist John Stiratt the last men standing. Around that time, the I Am Trying To Break Your Heart documentary dropped, encapsulating the ridiculousness Wilco encountered recording and releasing their Summerteeth record. It was a decent movie, save for the rampant fanboy-dom by director Sam Jones and the fact that it made Jay look like both an idiot and a sideman, when he was actually a founder and a huge driving force behind the band. To add insult to injury, Bennett was handed his hat and asked where his hurry was soon after, and Wilco disappeared up Jeff Tweedy's ass. Any band that is that boring with Nels Cline and Glenn Kotche in the fold is a shocking aberration musically.

Bennett took his toys and opened up his own studio, recording artists like Mark Eitzel (and Blues Traveler, evidently) as well as a couple stellar records with Ed Burch. The records were crammed to the gills with the hooks and arrangements that made the early Wilco material great, but didn't sell anything close to the level of the Wilco material released at the same time. I'm sure Bennett was bummed, but his records have gotten better and better. And cheaper and cheaper. In fact, the newest release, Whatever Happened, I Apologize is currently available both free and legally via the good folk of Rock Proper (a download label run by studio partners of Bennett) here. It's pretty great, with maybe a little bit more of an Elvis Costello lean than previous releases. That is rarely a bad thing with bands in general and with Bennett in particular. Bennett is no Costello, but he certainly has nothing to apologize for. Evidently this free record is a precursor to a more expansive release called Kicking At The Perfumed Air. I'm not sure there is a release date for it as yet, but after these ten teasers I'm pretty excited to check it out. While we're all waiting, check out Whatever Happened, I Apologize and tell your friends. Maybe it'll wake them from the narcolepsy that is the last Tweedy snooze-fest.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Harvest Of Hope Fest 2009

If my trip to Turkey taught me anything, it's that my Dad is a far better person than I am. Now it looks like No Idea and Harvest of Hope have upped the ante their own bad selves. Looks like this asshole might need to write a check or find religion or something.

Ryan from No Idea (and True North) had been working with Harvest Of Hope as part of his Grad Program. He called in a bunch of markers with a gang of bands like Against Me!, Bad Brains and a gazillion more, got a 50,000 grant from St. John's County in FL, and now there is a three day Harvest Of Hope Fest, raising money for what looks to be the largest benefit for Migrant Workers Rights in recent history, if not ever. While it doesn't make me feel any better about my shitty, selfish self; kudos go to Ryan and the rest of No Idea, Tony Weinbender at Southern Lovin' and Harvest Of Hope for doing such a great thing.

Check out all the skinny about Harvest Of Hope Fest here.


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bill Burr: Why Do I Do This?

Bill Burr is a pretty funny guy. I'm not sure where I saw him the first time, but safe money is either Comedy Central or Cringe Humor. He's much more towards the Cringe Humor end of the spectrum. He curses, he'll talk about racism against white people, pedophilia, stereotypes, and generally will call a spade a spade. It's good.

He dropped his first DVD Emotionally Unavailable a couple years ago and followed that up with a pretty relentless touring and TV schedule. It's the way of the walk for comedians today, but seems to be bearing fruit for Burr. I assume he's probably writing for TV, too. He deserves the cross-over success, as he's one funny bastard. If you like Louis CK and Greg Giraldo, and don't want your content lily-white, pick up Why Do I Do This? here.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Smoking Section and Trackstar The DJ present Wafeek - The Aristocrats Mixtape

So Wafeek is from St. Louis, but evidently has made an effort to establish a Cali presence in recent years. Long Beach, to be exact. I get a bit of the Heiro vibe in his flow, which combined with his utter avoidance of the Nelly, Twista and/or Bone Thugs flows, puts The Aristocrats Mixtape head and shoulders above the lion's share of Midwestern hip-hop. 

Wafeek has made no bones about the fact that he wants to be an internet celebrity (ie: sell a lot of records to white suburban kids). Hell, he's even gone so far to drop a mildly ironic track with the very same name. Fair enough, save for the fact that your average white hip-hop kid is pretty insufferable and that the average rapper who blows up in that way (see Kid Sister, Fanny Pack, etc.) shits the bed in half the time. God bless that 3G speed. Granted, there have been some Net cross-over kids like Kids In The Hall and that Shwayze band that has that one good song, but by and large the only advantage is their quick disappearance. 

Sure we all want dollars, and there's no reason why there shouldn't be cross-over, but I'm both surprised and a little bit put-off by Wafeek rhyming over Minus The Bear loops or referencing fucking Pitchfork. I guess it's bound to happen, but it does not bode well for my hackles not jumping like an epileptic low-rider. Truth be told, things aren't all backpacker on The Aristocrats Mixtape, but it is based on a Friar's Club theme for chrissakes. That's just fucking weird. I was just coming to grips with Wale and his Seinfeld tape. Do I smell a Fawlty Towers theme in the near future. MF Doom? Your move.

Wafeek can certainly rhyme, and you can't knock his hustle. With a lot of these free mixtapes, they are worth every penny of the nothing you pay, but The Aristocrats is definitely worth checking out.  Big ups to Trackstar the DJ and The Smoking Section for teaming up with dude to get the Wafeek name out there. Pick The Aristocrats Mixtape up here (again, for free). If you get down like that, be his internet jump-off here.

the eighteenth letter

Thursday, January 8, 2009

You Idiot: The First Book by Nate Ganglehoff

I miss the zine era. I mean the paper ones that you could hold and shit. While I was never the most passionate follower of the more personal ones like Cometbus or Rollerderby (at least then), I enjoyed The Probe quite a bit (and yes, I did read the articles). Hardcore zines like Rumpshaker and Change figured most prominently in my personal stacks, but the siren call of Ebay has prompted the acquisition of scads of music zines. Hell, I have a floor to ceiling wall unit full of them six inches to my right. If I were to be crushed under it, few that knew me well would be shocked.  Still, the advent of the Interwebs has homogenized the genre while simultaneously gutting world of the paper zine. Bound compilations of older zines are becoming more and more popular (and necessary) to keep the zine alive. It works for me, and the reissues of Anti-Matter and Schism sure take up a lot less space on the shelf.

You Idiot: The First Book is a collection of the zine work of one Nate Ganglehoff, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Around the JS-NYC HQ, he gets props for having been a part of the hat trick of band membership in Rivethead and Off With Their Heads as well as helming the mighty Banner Pilot.  You Idiot was his first zine and it did a pretty good job of raising hell on message boards and exposing nuttiness like Christian video games.  Towards the end of the the zines tenure, he introduced my personal favorite column: Reviews Of Books I Sort Of Skimmed Through. That is pretty fucking brilliant. Later, Whiskey Plus came on the scene, sort of concurrently,  I guess, and focused more on the music end of things. Two issues of same are included in the book and feature some pretty fabulous features, including City Sounds: Reviews Of Bands I Overheard At Our Practice Space and Reviews Of The Music My Coworker Listens To When I'm Hungover.  It's pretty great.  You want this.

Get You Idiot: The First Book from Nate for $12 here. If you are a Banner Pilot fan, and I'd be ashamed if you were not, keep tabs on them here and get a package deal with some BP records and/or merch. Tell em' JS-NYC sent you and look for a new Banner Pilot record soon.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Punk Rock: An Oral History by John Robb

This was my travel book on the Turkish junket. I didn't really know that John Robb was as much of a player in the UK punk rock game as he is, but I will give him his due props for opting for the anecdotal format in Punk Rock: An Oral History. Ponderous dissertations have ruined books like Lords Of Chaos for me in the past, plus with jokers like Johnny Rotten and Captain Sensible in the fold, I'd venture it's best not to misquote. Robb is currently the singer for Goldblade and evidently was part of The Membranes, who were evidently held in some esteem in the UK punk scene. He's also written for UK music rag Sounds for some time and can evidently be blamed for coining the term Brit-pop.

Punk Rock: An Oral History covers the rise of punk rock in the UK from its inception in the 70s through its implosion in early 84. Not a lot of new ground being broken. You probably won't come away struck by Johnny Rotten's modesty, but the anecdotal format lets a lot of the humor that's so often overlooked in the scene shine through. Don Letts comes across as a total gem, and a guy who's autobiography I'd like to see printed stat. It's also nice to hear Glen Matlock's take on things as well. Whether you're a casual fan of the genre or a fanboy who wants to soak up every but of minutae, there's definitely something for everyone here. I read it twice in a week. See what you think.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

JS-NYC: Back For The Attack in '09

Hey Kids:

Evidently my insightful musings that were to be posted while I was cold kicking it Istanbul Style have vanished into the ether, so stay tuned as they rise from the dead. I dare not contemplate a world where such insight would go unpublished...



Monday, January 5, 2009

DJ Davito - The Intervention mixtape

DJ Davito represents for new school of old school DJs. He's from Brooklyn and has dropped this mix-tape for free. It's 30 songs and pretty much all bangers. 

I keep up with hip-hop but I'm not the biggest internet troller for the most underground of underground shit but limited poking around leads me to think that a lot of this stuff is pretty exclusive to The Intervention. There's a pretty good mix of up and comers like Meyhem Lauren and Complex plus more established entities like GZA, Busta and Saigon.

There are some eyebrow-raising cameos from Speech from Arrested Development and Irish Boxing Champ Oisin Fagan to keep things interesting, but it's not to the detriment of The Intervention, especially since it's free and all. Cop that shit from Davito here and stay on his good side, willya. He evidently has been known to bottle the shit out of a reggaeton star or two that talk too slick., so I'd expect internet shit talkers will be given even less tolerance. 


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Dragonzord - Hole World

Dragonzord is a the brainchild of Philadelphia's Dominic Angiella, aided and abetted by a rag-tag band of Fishtown collaborators. In typical egaltarian fashion, the ever-generous folk of If You Make It have made the four songs from the Dead Broke 7" available for free. Four songs, all with a backing band that's pretty solid in a softer Kill Creek/Ben Deilly-fronted Lemonheads era kind of way, or maybe some of the higher points from the Tree Post-Marked Stamps series. but without getting so noisy on the choruses. If you want a Philly precedent, think some of the more recent Joe Jack Talcum stuff. Angiella's guitar work is particularly strong on these songs. Don't expect any shred pyrotechnics, but the arrangements and playing are pretty damn solid.  It seems like he could pull off a lot of these songs solo without too much effort. A lot of bands get buy on volume but Dragonzord don't seem to need that crutch.

Again, the four songs are free here, courtesy of If You Make It, but If you were of a mind to actually buy the 7". you'll get a bonus CD(R?) with 30 more songs. That'll cost you $5 and you can do that here. It's evidently a co-release with Leather Fist Records, too, although I couldn't find anything about them on the interwebs.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Jonesin'/Shang-a-lang split

Got a chance to catch up with Dave Bierling over the holiday, which is as awesome as you might suspect. In shooting said holiday shit, it came to light that one of the main proprietors of the If You Make It empire was the drummer for the dear departed Potboiler. Yet another reason to lament the passing of that stellar franchise.

That said, IYMI has got the Jonesin'/Shang-a-lang split up in the download section. They put it together for their Summer tour last year and it's well worth checking out. It's a bi-coastal affair, with Jonesin' representing from Long Island and Shang-A-Lang repping for New Mexico, I believe. I'm more of a Jonesin' guy, as they are purveying the sound that the current crop of Phil Douglas-curated rock that currently rocks my little world. The two songs have an early Hot Water beard/PBR vibe that has more of a Mats-y spin than a Dag Nasty one. It's good, and free here. Jonesin' web world portal is here.

Shang-a-lang I'm a little moe ambivalent about. The ratty original they ponied up for this split has a an early Built To Spill overloaded-single-mike-in-a-rehearsal-space sound that is not helped by digitization, but is still kind of catchy the first couple of times. The other song is a Lou Reed cover. Having suffered through any number of insufferable art school VU Lou Reed jockers (as well as LR personally) in the last couple decades, I will not entertain the notion of the New Mexican version of same, but grab the songs here and check out their web presence here. Maybe it'll work better for you.

Donate to IYMI, fools.


Friday, January 2, 2009

Grails - Doomsdayer's Holiday

This wasn't what I expected. I guess if I had known that Grails were originally called Laurel Canyon, I would have recalibrated accordingly. I thought I'd be getting pummeled by metal, but Grails is much more aligned with stuff like Dead Can Dance or Godspeed You Black Emporer. There's a heavier world music influence than I normally hear this side of Michael Gira curated fare, but with Tod from CopShootCop resuscitating Firewater and Gogol Bordello setting Brooklyn on it's ear, I can see this getting a lot of notice.

Now I'm totally new to Grails, so maybe they are already a big deal, but the sheer volume of their releases, Doomsdayer's Holiday being the second in 2008, I'd say someone's taking notice. The band is based out of Portland, OR and has adopted some curious tendencies (only touring Europe initially, now only touring the East Coast) and kind of sounds like Isis covering DCD. It's good stuff. Grails had released material on Neurot previously, but this time around Temporary Residence has stepped up and added them to the roster. The band members are keeping busy, too as members tenure in projects with such heavy hitters as Jandek, Steve Von Till and M. Ward. Evidently one of the guys is in OM, now too. Gotta pay those bills.

Doomsdayer's Holiday is evidently one of two Grails recordings this year. Important Records has also released Take Refuge In Clean Living. After typing that, I'm pretty sure that I have a copy of that around, so look out for a companion review soon. If you are looking for some instrumental music that isn't just background white noise, you could do a lot worse than Grails.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year from Jaded Scenester NYC plus free Best Of 2008 Comp!

Hey Kids:

Thanks for checking in over the last couple of months and making JS-NYC more successful than I could have ever contemplated. I've taken the liberty of throwing together 29 tracks that comprise (most of) my personal best of 2008. I've got them in hard copy and in Zip file form. If you'd like one, leave a message in the comments, then send me your name and mailing address to jadedscenesternyc (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll dash one off to you when I get back stateside.

Look forward to some steps forward in 2009, with legitimate MP3 hosting in the near future and well as interviews. If you haven't been in touch to get on the interview schedule, get in touch.

Have a Happy and a Healthy One!