Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The "words" part of this blog .

I've mentioned "books" on here a few times, but never really wrote anything about them. While I haven't visited a music store in a while, I find myself irresistably drawn to second-hand book shops and the local Goodwill. The thrill I used to get by spending an hour or so looking up and down the shelves of used CDs and records, I now only seem to experience in the book stores.

I think part of the problem is that I've already bought most of the music I wanted that was available commercially. Too many instances of "Cool, I'd buy that... if I didn't already own it." It seems as if that'll never happen with books, though. For me, part of the fun is finding something unusual or hard-to-find mixed in with "the usual suspects." Despite knowing that many of these books are available at the local libraries, I still insist on owning them. I'm a quick reader, so you'd think I'd continue getting stacks of books at the library, as I did when I was younger, and have them all done days before the due date... but instead I spend my money on "my own copies"... even though my existing books are stacked two deep and my shelves are bowed.

Goodwill appeals to me the most, since I can "trade in" the books I don't want to keep (that I couldn't sell anywhere else) for a discount coupon and bring home another bagful for close to what one new book would cost.

So, today I took a break from listing books on half.com and listing some of my grandmother's vintage cookbooks on Etsy to take another bag full of stuff to Goodwill. I returned with another bag of books. Already, I can hear my significant other groaning: "Why'd you buy more books?"
But there were some great finds today! A copy of Harlan Ellison's Angry Candy, which I hadn't read since I'd checked a copy out of the library when I was younger! A paperback by one J.D. Ratcliff that proved that Chuck Palahniuk wasn't making up that bit from Fight Club about the Reader's Digest stories that were narrated by human organs! (The title is I am Joe's Body, in case you were curious.) Two more John D. MacDonald novels I haven't read (Slam the Big Door and Nothing Can Go Wrong)! A copy of Isaac Asimov's Murder At The ABA (which, according to Wikipedia, has a protagonist inspired by the aforementioned Mr. Ellison. At any rate, the book is dedicated to him.) The list goes on...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mudhoney - "Mudbath" 3/20/89 Manchester England

Mudhoney is one of the bands I've always loved ever since I first heard them. I've made it a point to buy all their albums, even the deluxe re-re-release of Superfuzz Bigmuff that Sub-Pop put out last year. This is the only bootleg I was able to find, back in the late 90s when used CD stores had tons of them for fairly cheap. I paid $5 used for this, you get it for free. I have a clean conscience posting this since it's not an official recording, and the packaging listed an incorrect date (3/3/89) and setlist which I was able to fix thanks to this very informative Mudhoney website. The back cover lists 8 songs, the disc itself lists 10, but there's actually 12! Sorry Aussie bootleg guys, having great artwork on your CD packaging doesn't make up for wrong date/only half a tracklist! Sound quality is very good, IMO.

Mudhoney - "Mudbath"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Packrat tendencies finally paying off...

Sold some stuff I really had no use for anymore, made a decent profit on the extra John D. Macdonald books I was keeping, made a few people happy with some CDs I'd been holding on to but didn't really like much anymore.

Some quick reviews of same:

Television/Marquee Moon
I picked this up in high school after reading some books on "the origins of punk rock" that I found at the library. At the time, I liked it, but as I got into other types of music, I pretty much forgot about this one. When I revisited this disc a month or so ago, I wasn't exactly blown away. While I didn't think "This sucks," I really had no reason to hold onto it.

X-Ray Spex/Germfree Adolescents
Another band I'd heard of but never had the chance to hear until recently. The main thing I remembered reading about them was that singer Poly Styrene wore braces and was an example of how punk rock was rebelling against the 'traditional' roles of women in music. As great as it is that women no longer have to fit into the molds of slick, choreographed 'girl group' or as 'sexy band ornament that plays the tambourine while the men in the group write all the songs,' that doesn't change the fact that to my ears, Ms. Styrene's voice sounds shrill and annoying.

Godspeed You Black Emperor!,A Silver Mt. Zion/Everything
Again, more music I listened to a lot back when I first got it, but haven't played for years. Better to try to sell these to someone who'll appreciate and enjoy them than to hold on to them just in the offhand chance I might decide to dust 'em off and give them another spin. Money triumphs over any attempts at coolness, every time. I have no music snob friends to impress, and nobody reads this anyway!

Captain Crawl is mysteriously down again, so instead of looking for more downloads, I'm gonna try to burn the stuff I have already.

Suggested listening: Living Legends - Artsy
MC Frontalot - Indier Than Thou

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tar - Toast

The first I'd heard of this band was when I found a copy of Jackson in the $5 bin, which I picked up since it was from AmRep and I liked some of the other stuff I'd heard from that label. This is a later one that I found on vinyl and liked just as much as their other one.

This is going up temporarily, since I'm not trying to get sued or anything. I really liked the album, the band is defunct, I had to rip this from the vinyl copy I bought so I could listen to it away from home. If someone from T&G Records gets pissed in the comments, I'll gladly remove this. Until then, enjoy.

Tar - Toast

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Promotional CDs

Odds are, if you're taking the time to read this, you've acquired a few promo discs or records or tapes in your lifetime. Maybe you found them at a used record shop, sitting in the racks in blatant violation of the sticker or stamp that appears on them. You may have been lucky enough to win them in a radio contest. Or perhaps you just bought them online as a "limited edition."

One of the reasons I'd wanted to publish a music 'zine back in the day was that (in theory anyway) I'd be able to receive free music from labels. I was also fed up with how mainstream music magazines were starting to turn into a rock 'n' roll version of People, complete with glossy pics of your favorite pop stars in a "sightings-" style column. Needless to say, my youthful anger couldn't overcome my laziness and cheapness (self-publishing anything on paper is prohibitively expensive) and so this here blog is the closest I've come and the closest I'll ever get to that old dream. At least it's free...

Most of the promo material I've come across had next to nothing in the way of copy protection. The only things keeping me from uploading it are that I like the bands and want others to buy their music, and that I'd usually find these after the official album had already come out. The only exception to this was a promo of Queens of the Stone Age's Songs for the Deaf that I found in a (now-defunct) used shop several months before the CD came out.

I got a promo copy of Unsane's Blood Run that had the most clever copy protection I'd ever seen. Each of its 11 songs were split up into 9 gapless tracks each. While this does nothing to impair your listening, you'd have to go into an audio editor to merge the tracks together, then convert to your preferred file format, if you wanted to share these tracks or load them onto your mp3 player!

Obligatory post about my girlfriend <3

This post is dedicated to my girlfriend, to prove that she doesn't have to be into any obscure or indie rock bands in order to get a mention here. If anything, she deserves a shout-out on this for getting me into a lot of underground hip-hop that I probably wouldn't've heard otherwise. Extra points for going with me to various shows for bands I like that she's not that into (Sonic Youth, the Melvins, Mudhoney, the Brian Jonestown Massacre are the ones that stand out) and not bitching about how she's not that into them.

If I'd known her when I was younger, I probably would've loaded her up with lots of mixtapes or burnt CDs with songs by these bands that I thought she'd like, to try to "convert" her. I've since realized that there's no good reason to do this. It's better to enjoy the music you like together, discover new stuff together, and try to be open-minded. There's a give-and-take that you learn here that is useful in other parts of the relationship, too.