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"Addicted to the Blade" by Useless Eaters

Finally saw Useless Eaters in Chicago a few weeks back, and Seth Sutton’s band is goddamn ferocious live.  Previously I’d only heard them on vinyl & MP3s, and now I can’t help thinking how I love the way a great live band can strip their records bare: I now understand better what this song is doing, so I appreciate it more even in spite of how pale it sounds compared to that live performance.

PS: It’s worth mentioning that I goddamn LOVE Chicagoland record stores, & paid visits to Dave’s Records, Logan Hardware, Saki, the Reckless Records on N. Milwaukee, and Old School Records out in Forest Park.

ArtistUseless Eaters
TitleAddicted to the Blade
AlbumHypertension
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"Run For Your Life" covered by Lara & The Trailers

This is Lara Tan (one of Singapore’s most famous singers at the time) with an American-influenced Garage band covering a Beatles song in Mandarin Chinese.  Read that again; I’ll wait.

When we were in Iraq we had an interpreter from Jordan who liked to play Metallica songs on his acoustic guitar.  He was good, too.

I wish I had something brilliant to say about that, but I don’t, and maybe that’s why it floors me how songs are universal in a way that words aren’t.

ArtistLara & The Trailers
TitleRun For Your Life
AlbumGirls In The Garage Vol. 9: Oriental Special
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"Go Away" by The Coathangers

This band can look down its family tree and find The Slits, Wire, The Raincoats, and a little Bikini Kill—not to mention their own delightful Ninjanuity (which is what Sergeant G used to call ingenuity with a vengeance).  These ladies are brilliant and restless, and here to make their case is a breakup song you’ll be whistling all day.

ArtistThe Coathangers
TitleGo Away
AlbumLarceny & Old Lace
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"The Criminal Inside Me" by R.L. Burnside

Here’s R.L. Bunside with The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion on a record that’s equal parts Blues and Garage Rock, with a gloriously foulmouthed song about a pissed-off monkey crashing a party for all the other animals. 

ArtistR.L. Burnside
TitleThe Criminal Inside Me
AlbumA Ass Pocket of Whiskey
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"Tastebuds" by The King Khan & BBQ Show

Fuck it, let’s just listen to a fun little record about a guy who wishes he had tastebuds on his genitals.

ArtistThe King Khan & BBQ Show
TitleTastebuds
AlbumInvisible Girl
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"Cheap Beer" by Fidlar

I should never have bought this album on vinyl.  I can’t listen to it without stomping hard enough to make the record skip:)

ArtistFidlar
TitleCheap Beer
AlbumFidlar
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The members of Eddy Current Suppression Ring worked in a record-pressing plant and had never played a note before they decided to form a band.  DIY, folks: Sometimes a little creativity and a lotta nerve are all it takes.

ArtistEddy Current Suppression Ring
TitleDemon’s Demands
AlbumSo Many Things
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If Thee Oh Sees have ever put out a disappointing record, I haven’t heard it yet.  My copy of Floating Coffin finally arrived in the mail the other day, and I fucking love it.  It’s catchy, it’s trippy, it’s melodic and wild, it’ll make you feel stoned even when you’ve run out of weed (which I have, unfortunately).

ArtistThee Oh Sees
TitleToe Cutter - Thumb Buster
AlbumFloating Coffin
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This may be the coolest idea for a compilation album EVER.

Last year, John Dwyer's label Castle Face Records released "The Velvet Underground & Nico" by Castle Face and Friends, which covers the entirety of The Velvet Underground’s debut album, in sequence, with a different band covering each song.  Which may sound like a stunt—hell, it is a stunt—but it works.  There isn’t a soggy patch to be found on this record (except maybe “Run Run Run” covered by White Fence).  Great bands covering great songs, and their interpretations are brilliant enough they’ve made me listen to the original Banana Album again, hearing innovations and possibilities I hadn’t noticed before. 

Here’s Ty Segall’s take on “Femme Fatale.”

ArtistTy Segall
TitleFemme Fatale
Album"The Velvet Underground & Nico" by Castle Face and Friends
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I’m still waiting for my vinyl copy of Floating Coffin to arrive in the mail—in the meantime, I refuse to spoil my listening experience by just ripping or streaming a digital version of the new Thee Oh Sees record.  Am I weird for doing this?  Fuck it, what do I care?  I’m already weird in so many other ways…

Anyhow: For the time being I’m listening to The Hounds of Foggy Notion, the album for a live DVD I never saw.  This one caught me by surprise: It’s melodic & subdued.  I knew John Dwyer’s speakers go all the way up to eleven, but I didn’t know he could turn it down and still keep me interested.

ArtistThee Oh Sees
TitleDreadful Heart
AlbumThe Hounds of Foggy Notion
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From the Go Home record by Hank Wood & The Hammerheads.  I think it was rawpowerwritings who recommended this album to me.  It’s loud.  It’s crude.  It’s fucking perfect.

ArtistHank Wood & The Hammerheads
TitleIt's Hard On The Street
AlbumGo Home
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"Psychotic Reaction" by Count Five

I just read Lester Bangs' essay “Psychotic Reactions and Curburetor Dung: A Tale of These Times,” and this seemed appropriate.

Plenty of those early ’60s Garage & Psychedelic bands were amateurish, unoriginal, sloppy, crude, and “aggressively mediocre”—but bracing and vital in ways that more refined, critically vaunted artists just can’t imitate. 

Listening to Rock & Roll should be like getting ripped to the tits on cheap beer. Sure, there are more sophisticated ways to spend your time, but few that are more fun.

ArtistCount Five
TitlePsychotic Reaction
AlbumPsychotic Reaction
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Here’s Thee Mighty Caesars, featuring wild Billy Childish.  ‘Nuff said.

ArtistThee Mighty Caesars
TitleConfusion
AlbumSurely They Were the Sons Of God!
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The Black Lips.  This band makes me want to fuck on the floor.  And conveniently enough, my girlfriend just got home.  Soooooo, we may have to table this discussion for the moment…

ArtistThe Black Lips
TitleFamily Tree
AlbumArabia Mountain
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Doc Shoe’s Musical Quality Test #7: If you’re the kinda guy who can’t dance without looking silly, the best songs are also the most likely to embarrass you after you’ve had a couple drinks.  The trick is to keep drinking until you don’t care.

ArtistThe Dirtbombs
TitleCedar Point
AlbumIf You Don't Already Have A Look